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[en] Despite the impressive gains in available energy over the last 200 years, the associated benefits remain unevenly distributed. Bridging this divide only adds to the already daunting challenge of securing climate stabilization. In fact, efforts towards the former are more likely to conflict with the latter. To be able to address this dilemma, the relationship between energy consumption and human well-being, beyond its economic dimension, needs to be better understood. This paper aims to contribute to the emerging knowledge base, by examining this relationship using a proxy for human well-being that also considers its environmental and social dimensions. The ultimate goal of this paper is to investigate the potential incompatibility between efforts towards the achievement of higher collective well-being and those associated with climate stabilization. To this end, it provides estimates of the additional energy needed and its associated carbon emissions under different climate scenarios, and compares them with existing carbon budgets. Results indicate that even if new climate policies were adopted, emissions associated with higher well-being in all regions where improvements are needed could still reach up to one and a half times estimated 2 °C budgets, and even more so for lower temperature increase targets. - Highlights: • Selects proxy for well-being that considers all three sustainability dimensions. • Demonstrates possible incompatibility between climate stabilization and well-being. • Higher well-being could take up to two and a half times 2 °C carbon budgets. • Efforts to reduce the carbon impact of higher well-being most needed in Asia. • Advanced countries may need to make room for higher collective well-being emissions.
[en] As the threat of climate change becomes increasingly acknowledged, it becomes more evident that past and current unsustainable energy consumption patterns cannot be pursued or maintained. In order to help policy makers across the globe to address this challenging goal, decomposition techniques have been applied to identify the main drivers of changes in energy consumption and CO_2 emissions. This study presents a cross-country assessment of main energy-related CO_2 emission drivers for Portugal, United Kingdom, Brazil and China, resorting to an approach that differentiates the contribution of all fuel alternatives – both renewable and non-renewable, including nuclear energy. The results obtained have shown the relevance of energy intensity and affluence effects as well as RES contribution as main emission drivers which means that their relationships constitute areas that require a more immediate action by energy policy decision-makers. In terms of policy implications, it seems clear that Brazil and Portugal need to focus on measures improving energy efficiency whereas China and UK need to prioritize issues regarding the weight of non-renewable energy sources in their energy mix. Another important implication is the need to promote synergies within the energy sector, regarding energy security, climate change and pollution mitigation goals. - Highlights: • Past and current unsustainable energy consumption patterns cannot be maintained. • Extended-Kaya decomposition approach has been adopted in a cross-country comparison. • Main drivers of changes in energy-related CO_2 emissions have been identified. • Energy intensity, affluence and renewable energy sources major drivers of changes. • Need to address interconnections among carbon emissions drivers at policy level.
[en] This paper estimates the potential for energy-related greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions in Brazil, their abatement costs and proposes a number of policies to achieve these reductions. The Brazilian energy system is very peculiar as renewable energy accounts for some 45% of total primary energy and 85% of electricity production. The following sectors are covered in this paper: industry, transports and petroleum sector. Compared to a business-as-usual reference scenario, results show a potential to reduce future energy-related GHG emissions by 27% in 2030. However, in spite of that, the mitigation potential identified here is not large enough, in absolute terms, to reduce energy-related GHG emissions below the current level in Brazil by 2030. - Highlights: ► We estimate the potential for energy-related GHG emission reductions in Brazil. ► We cover industry, transports and petroleum sector. ► The potential to reduce energy-related GHG emissions is around 27% in 2030. ► The low carbon scenario in 2030 is above the current level emission in Brazil.
[en] Highlights: • Literature review of empirical megaproject cost overrun and construction delays (power and O&G). • Index proposed to assess inter-regional capex cost differences of energy projects named Z-Factor. • Z-Factors implemented in energy system model to assess impact of cost overruns and delays in Brazil. • Result: delays and cost overruns impact Brazil energy security, increase oil products imports. • Non-hydro renewables fill the gap, indicating they should be the preferred option ex-ante. - Abstract: Cost minimization is arguably the most important criterion governing decisions about energy sector infrastructure construction. Usually, a winning project is picked among similar alternatives based on lowest levelized cost of energy, because, ceteris paribus, economies of scale drive down the unit cost of energy delivered. As such, megaprojects – here defined as costing more than a benchmark US$ 1 billion – are perceived as more competitive than smaller-scale options. However, megaprojects are prone to construction cost overruns and delays that, if included ex ante, may change the optimality of decision for a given project. We hypothesize that optimistic assumptions on techno-economic performance of megaprojects favor their inclusion in the solution of integrated assessment models (IAMs), preventing higher shares of non-hydro renewables, energy efficiency and other low-carbon options. To test this hypothesis, we ran the COPPE-MSB energy system cost-optimization model for infrastructure expansion. We estimate a factor (named Z factor, for zillions) to determine cost differences both within Brazil and vis-à-vis international parity and adjust the model's parameters for CAPEX and construction times of projects qualifying as megaprojects. Results show decreased coal and increased wind power generation, and a reduction in the number of new refineries leading to higher imports of diesel and gasoline.
[en] One of the technologies that stand out as an alternative to provide additional flexibility to power systems with large penetration of variable renewable energy (VRE), especially for regions with high direct normal irradiation (DNI), is concentrated solar power (CSP) plants coupled to thermal energy storage (TES) and back-up (BUS) systems. Brazil can develop this technology domestically, especially in its Northeast region, where most of VRE capacity is being deployed and where lies most of the CSP potential of the country. This work applies the Capacity Expansion Model REMix-CEM, which allows considering dispatch constraints of thermal power plants in long-term capacity expansion optimization. REMix-CEM calculates the optimal CSP plant configuration and its dispatch strategy from a central planning perspective. Results showed that the hybridization of CSP plants with jurema-preta biomass (CSP-BIO) becomes a least-cost option for Brazil by 2040. CSP-BIO contributes to the Northeast power system by regularizing the energy imbalance that results from the large-scale VRE expansion along with conventional inflexible power plants. CSP-BIO plants are able to increase frequency response and operational reserve services and can provide the required additional flexibility that the Northeast power system of Brazil will require into the future. - Highlights: • Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants provide flexibility to power systems. • CSP configuration is optimized endogenously during capacity expansion optimization. • CSP hybridized with biomass supports grid-integration of variable renewable energy. • CSP become the least-cost option for the Northeast power system of Brazil by 2040.
[en] The present analysis of the contributions (INDCs) submitted by Member States to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the run-up to COP21 was conducted by leading research teams from Brazil, China, Japan, India, the United States and the European Union within the MILES Project (funded by the European Commission). By investigating the concrete implications of INDCs for the low-carbon transformation by and beyond 2030, from energy systems, buildings to transport and industry, this study complements the upcoming cutting-edge assessments by UNFCCC and UNEP of the impact of INDCs on global emissions and the global temperature goal. The 'Modelling and Informing Low-Emission Strategies' (MILES) project is an international research project bringing together 16 leading research teams in order to build capacity and knowledge on low-emissions development strategies. The objective of this report is to understand the implications of INDCs of the 5 countries and 1 region covered by the project (US, China, Japan, EU, Brazil and India), both at a national and global level, by investigating the concrete implications of INDCs for the low-carbon transformation by and beyond 2030, from energy systems, buildings to transport and industry. A significant transition appears in the electricity sector, where INDCs will further drive the transition towards renewables and other low-emissions forms of electricity production. In the six major economies assessed individually, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity production falls by about 40% between 2010 and 2030 and renewable electricity becomes the dominant source of electricity production at about 36% of the electricity mix. Some crucial low-carbon solutions, like CCS, electric vehicles, advanced biofuels, sustainable urban planning, appear unlikely to be developed under the INDCs at the scale and speed required for a 2 deg. C scenario. Likewise, the report highlights that INDCs would leave too much inefficient and unabated fossil fuel capacity online in 2030 to be coherent with a 2 degrees scenario. This highlights the risks of lock-in into a high carbon trajectory if action is not strengthened quickly. Post-Paris policy efforts need to stimulate technology innovation, deployment and diffusion in order to drive down costs in such sectors where insufficient progress is being seen. The INDCs imply a significant acceleration of climate action but as currently submitted may not be enough to keep the below 2 deg. C goal in reach. The Paris Agreement should establish a clear mechanism to allow the regular, predictable and timely revision of national contributions and the global framework. New contributions should be based on a vision for the deep decarbonization of national energy systems. The Paris agreement should foster the development of national deep decarbonization pathways around 2018