Sensitivity to Energy Technology Costs: A Multi-Model Comparison Analysis

58 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2016

See all articles by Valentina Bosetti

Valentina Bosetti

Bocconi University; CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change

Giacomo Marangoni

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Emanuele Borgonovo

Bocconi University - Department of Decision Sciences

Laura Diaz Anadon

Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) ; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Robert Barron

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Haewon McJeon

University of Maryland - Joint Global Change Research Institute

Savvas Politis

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Paul Friley

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Date Written: January 19, 2016

Abstract

In the present paper we use the output of multiple expert elicitation surveys on the future cost of key low-carbon technologies and use it as input of three Integrated Assessment models, GCAM, MARKAL_US and WITCH. By means of a large set of simulations we aim to assess the implications of these subjective distributions of technological costs over key model outputs. We are able to detect what sources of technology uncertainty are more influential, how this differs across models, and whether and how results are affected by the time horizon, the metric considered or the stringency of the climate policy. In unconstrained emission scenarios, within the range of future technology performances considered in the present analysis, the cost of nuclear energy is shown to dominate all others in affecting future emissions. Climate-constrained scenarios, stress the relevance, in addition to that of nuclear energy, of biofuels, as they represent the main source of decarbonization of the transportation sector and bioenergy, since the latter can be coupled with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to produce negative emissions.

Keywords: Sensitivity Analysis, Integrated Assessment models, Expert elicitation, Technology Cost

JEL Classification: O30, O33, Q41, Q50, Q55

Suggested Citation

Bosetti, Valentina and Marangoni, Giacomo and Borgonovo, Emanuele and Diaz Anadon, Laura and Barron, Robert and McJeon, Haewon and Politis, Savvas and Friley, Paul, Sensitivity to Energy Technology Costs: A Multi-Model Comparison Analysis (January 19, 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 98.2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2718029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2718029

Valentina Bosetti

Bocconi University

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100
Italy

Giacomo Marangoni (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

Emanuele Borgonovo

Bocconi University - Department of Decision Sciences ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Laura Diaz Anadon

Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) ( email )

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert Barron

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Department of Operations and Information Managemen
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Haewon McJeon

University of Maryland - Joint Global Change Research Institute ( email )

5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500
College Park, MD 20740
United States

Savvas Politis

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( email )

PO Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
United States

Paul Friley

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( email )

PO Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
United States

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