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[en] The European Union introduced CO_2 emission standards on cars as an obligation to manufacturers to reduce carbon footprint of cars in EU transportation. The car industry is already marketing low carbon emitting technologies to adjust to the 95 gCO_2/km target set for 2020. An alternative policy option is setting energy efficiency standards, measured as energy consumption per kilometre. A policy based on a long-term commitment on continuously decreasing standards and the choice of the focus between CO_2 or energy efficiency will strongly influence car technology choice. The aim of this paper is to assess these candidate policies for the EU in terms of effectiveness, costs and emission implications until 2050 on the basis of scenarios quantified using the PRIMES-TREMOVE energy economic transport model. The scenarios assume various configurations of the standards and the assessment draws on comparisons to a Reference scenario which does not strengthen standards after 2025. The analysis shows that restructuring the EU car fleet towards significant reductions of energy consumption and CO_2 emissions is affordable provided that preconditions are met regarding technology progress and development of refuelling/recharging infrastructure. CO_2 standards allow a diversified use of technologies, while efficiency standards are more “risky” favouring a single technology. -- Highlights: •We perform a comparison between CO_2 and energy efficiency standards for cars. •Both policies can lead to deep emission cuts from passenger cars. •CO_2 standards are technology and fuel neutral but imply higher total costs. •Energy efficiency standards are not neutral favouring battery electric vehicles
[en] In March 2015 the European Union (EU) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in view of the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21). The binding target of lowering domestic greenhouse gases emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, coupled with long-term decarbonisation goals, will have profound energy system, macroeconomic and policy implications. EU targets are qualitatively discussed and quantitatively assessed with the simulation of a Reference and an alternative decarbonisation scenario to 2050. Simulations are carried out with the technology-rich PRIMES energy-system model and the GEM-E3 Computable General Equilibrium model. Restructuring of the EU energy system induces changes in the energy mix and production with small effects on the EU GDP, 0.4% in 2030 and 1% in 2050 compared to the Reference scenario. Energy efficiency improvements, increasing penetration of renewables, fuel switching towards natural gas, and technical progress in process related to emissions abatement are identified as essential options to the EU INDC implementation. The electrification of final energy demand, particularly transport electrification, complemented with decarbonised power supply is found to play a critical role in the successful transition towards a low-carbon economy by 2050. - Highlights: • EU INDC reviewed and quantitatively assessed with PRIMES and GEM-E3 models. • EU INDC can be met with small effects on GDP, 0.4% in 2030 compared to Reference. • Significant structural effects induced in energy system and investments. • Energy efficiency and renewables’ penetration crucial for EU decarbonisation. • Transport electrification and clean power supply core for 2050 low-carbon economy.
[en] Highlights: • We assess the impacts of delaying transport decarbonisation in the EU. • We find that 2020–2030 is a critical period for preparing the EU decarbonisation. • Delayed action in 2020–2030 could jeopardise achieving the 2050 climate targets. • EU transport GHG emissions mitigation costs are substantially increasing after 2030. - Abstract: The transport sector decarbonisation represents an essential part of the GHG emissions reduction strategy of the EU for the 2030 and 2050 horizon. The strategy presumes a far-reaching structural system change towards the marketing of advanced electrified powertrains and use of energy carriers such as electricity and hydrogen that are generated in a carbon-free way. The decade 2020–2030 is expected to set in motion the complex process of the necessary transformation of the power generation and transport systems which mandates the successful coordination of the interrelated market actors, consumers and policy makers. This paper presents a systems analysis that aims to assess what would happen if the decarbonisation strategy fails to develop, as anticipated during the decade 2020–2030. We refer to this timeframe as the “Lost Decade”. To answer this question, our analysis is based on counterfactual scenarios quantified using the PRIMES energy systems model. The analysis concludes that the decade 2020–2030 is a critical point in this transformation. Limited progress in the coming decade would require the adoption of stringent policy measures beyond 2030 which, along with the pressure to reduce emissions in a short period are found to increase substantially the total costs of the system.
[en] New European scenarios provide a complementary view to the 2017 RTE Forecast Report, and help to inform future decisions on France's Multi-Year Energy Program (PPE). Three additional variables must be considered: Europe, the long-term, and the energy system as a whole. France's Multi-Year Energy Plan (PPE), covers changes in energy supply and demand over the next ten years, in line with the many objectives of the Energy Transition for Green Growth Law (LTECV - Loi de Transition Energetique pour la Croissance Verte). The context in which the latest version of this document is being drawn up is twofold. On the one hand, the French Government stated in the 2017 Climate Change Plan, that 'the challenge of climate change is a priority', and has since set a greenhouse gas emissions neutrality goal for 2050. On the other hand, the first indicators monitored in the French National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC) show that, instead of decreasing, greenhouse gas emissions are currently increasing. France's mix of nuclear and renewable energy has resulted in an electricity production which is more than 90% de-carbonised and has the lowest CO2 emissions of all of the G7 member countries. In the coming years, the electricity mix is likely to diversify, as the economic and technical performance of renewable energies improves. The Energy Transition Law sets a goal of reducing the share of nuclear power in France to 50% by 2025. This objective is at odds with the priority given to the fight against climate change. RTE's 2017 Forecast Report (Bilan Previsionnel), shows that in order to meet this objective, 23 to 27 nuclear reactors would need to be shut down, whilst continuing to operate existing coal power plants beyond 2025, and building about 20 new gas-fired power plants. Such a scenario would result in an increase in emissions of 38 to 55 million tons of CO2 per year. Even though they have abandoned the date of 2025, the French Government has recently confirmed the goal of reducing the share of nuclear power. This raises the question of the pace of diversification of the electricity mix in discussions for the Multi-Year Energy Plan. RTE's Forecast Report serves as a guidance tool for this discussion; it looks in depth at changes in the production and consumption of electricity, as well as the solutions which make it possible to balance supply and demand. As such, RTE has published five scenarios for reducing nuclear at different timescales, and the conditions required to achieve them. The SFEN is looking to provide an additional perspective to the RTE scenarios, in line with France's national and international goals in the fight against climate change (and not on the objective of reducing the share of nuclear power). This work aims to identify the most economically efficient long-term trajectories for achieving the decarbonization objectives of the French and European energy systems. In this technical note, the SFEN puts forward three additional variables to those considered in the RTE scenarios. 1 - Europe: while the Energy Transition Law focused exclusively on the French electricity mix, the 2017 Forecast Report already specifies that it is 'no longer possible to consider the electricity production mix from an exclusively national viewpoint'. The RTE scenarios model cross-border electricity flows, which depend on interconnection capacity constraints at an hourly level. Although these scenarios take into account projected changes in neighbouring European countries' electricity systems, they do not enable us to understand the role of French nuclear power in de-carbonising their electricity production. By exporting low-carbon, flexible and dispatchable electricity to its neighbours, France supports the development of intermittent renewable energies in Europe. 2 - The long-term: the 2017 Forecast Report explores several scenarios over the 2018- 2035 time period, going beyond that of the Multi-Year Energy Plan (2019-2023 and 2024-2028). However, it is also necessary to take the implications of longer-term trajectories into account: the French Decarbonization (SNBC) and European Decarbonization Road-maps are now set for 2050, and the Paris Agreement sets a goal for 2100. Decisions on nuclear power need to consider these longer timescales: the benefits in terms of climate change and economic interests of extending France's existing nuclear fleet today, and renewing it from 2030, highlighted in earlier SFEN Technical Notes, underlines the need to maintain a core supply of nuclear power to 2050. 3 - The energy system as a whole: the 2017 Forecast Report focuses on the electricity supply-demand balance in France. The issues of the electrification of energy uses and the potential for decarbonization of other energy vectors are addressed exogenously via the forecasting of the overall electricity demand. The RTE scenarios, therefore, do not provide an understanding of the increasing contribution of the electricity system to greenhouse gas reductions across the entire energy system.
The French nuclear in the European energy system - Synthesis and recommendations. Scenarios based on the PRIMES model for the SFEN. SFEN note - April 2018. SFEN contributions to the energy multi-annual programming. The role of the French nuclear energy in the low carbon transition in Europe - Technical note
[en] This note first put three frameworks which would complement RTE scenarios of reduction of the nuclear energy share in the French mix by different time horizons: the European dimension, the long-term dimension, and the energy system as a whole. The PRIMES European simulation model has been chosen for this study. Its characteristics, properties and functionalities are briefly presented. Several scenarios have been studied. Some differ in terms of time horizon for a 50 per cent share of nuclear energy, while others either consider a steady nuclear capacity, or a regular increase of electric power demand, or examine two possibilities of deep de-carbonation by 2070. Results and lessons learned are presented and discussed. A second note provides information regarding the evolution of power production from nuclear energy in France within the framework of a European policy supporting a transition towards a low carbon economy. The PRIMES model has been used on several scenarios inspired by different European scenarios. Results are discussed in terms of nuclear capacity and investments, development of renewable energies, distribution of electric power generation, greenhouse gas emissions, electricity price, energy system costs, consequences for the rest of Europe
[en] In 2009 the EU decided to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least by 20% in 2020 compared to 1990 and to supply 20% of energy needs by 2020 from renewable energy sources. This paper uses an energy model coupled with a non-CO2 greenhouse gas model to assess the range of policy options that were debated to meet both targets. Policy options include trading of renewable targets, carbon trading in power plants and industry and the use of the Clean Development Mechanism to improve cost-efficiency. The models also examined fairness by analysing the distribution of emission reduction in the non-emission trading sector, the distribution of CO2 allowances in the emission trading sector and the reallocation of renewable targets across Member States. The overall costs of meeting both targets range from 0.4% to 0.6% of GDP in 2020 for the EU as a whole. The redistribution mechanisms employed significantly improve fairness compared to a cost-effective solution. - Research highlights: → Meeting the EU's greenhouse gas and renewable targets costs 0.4-0.6% of GDP. → Trading national targets for renewable energy reduces costs. → Carbon trading in power plants and industry and CDM also lowers costs. → The redistribution mechanisms agreed by the EU significantly improve fairness.
[en] Rather than examining aggregate emissions trends, this study delves deep into the dynamics affecting each sector of the EU energy system. It examines the structural changes taking place in power production, transport, buildings and industry, and benchmarks these with the changes required to reach the 2030 and 2050 targets. In so doing it aims to influence both the ambition and direction of future policy decisions, both at Member State and EU level. In order to assess the adequacy of the EU and its Member States policies with the 2030 and 2050 decarbonization objectives, this study goes beyond the aggregate GHG emissions or energy use figures and analyse the underlying drivers of emission changes, following a sectoral approach (power generation, buildings, industry, and transport). Historical trends of emission drivers are compared with the required long-term deep decarbonization pathways, which provide sectoral 'benchmarks' or 'corridors' against which to analyse the rate and direction of historical change for each Member State and the EU in aggregate. This approach allows the identification of the necessary structural changes in the energy system and policy interventions to reach deep decarbonization, and therefore the comparison with the current policy programs at European and Member State level. The EU has made significant progress in the structural decarbonization of its energy system. However, despite of this progress, the EU is currently 'off-track' to achieve its objectives by 2030 and 2050. First, the rate of change is insufficient across a large number of the indicators assessed. Second, too much of the change in aggregate emissions has been driven by cyclical effects rather than structural decarbonization, notably the impact of the financial crisis and subsequent slow recovery. Third, long-term decarbonization options, for example to decarbonize industrial processes and materials, are not being adequately prepared. While some policies under the EU's 2030 Climate and Energy Framework will have an impact, our study suggests that the ambition of EU and Member State policies is either a continuation of business as usual in terms of rates of progress, or is being dialed down in some cases. The EU and Member State policy should significantly revise their approach to decarbonization by refocusing on the key drivers of emissions in each sector. The EU's new Energy Union Governance Mechanism should be designed based on this principle and current proposals to implement the 2030 package should be adopted in the strongest possible form to put the EU back on track. The EU, in coordination with the Member States, should develop a suite of sectoral policies to complement the overarching emissions caps of the EU ETS and non-ETS sectors