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[en] Highlights: • Connecting the knowledges from various domains, in particular economics, engineering, policy and hydrology. • Giving the keys to assess the linking between hydropower, climate and electricity market. • Making an overall analysis. - Abstract: Hydropower is very important for electricity supply security in the European inter-connexion as well as for the economy of regions (primarily peripheral) that possess water resources. Its future may however be jeopardized by several factors: climate change, the development of new renewable energy, the creation of super and micro-grids, and progress in power storage technology. Energy and climate policy, as well as electricity market design and dynamics play a pivotal role. This article carries out a comprehensive analysis of all these factors and discusses the future of hydropower. This discussion follows an overview of the present situation and of future drivers. The technical, environmental, economic and political aspects of the problem are analyzed with an interdisciplinary approach. The stakes as well as the uncertainties are highlighted. The conclusion is that hydropower has a promising future, particularly in light of emerging sustainable energy policy, but that the risks should not be overlooked. Academics will find a comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of hydropower in this article, whereas public bodies, communities and hydropower companies can identify the strategic variables that should be taken into consideration in the decision making process. The end of water concessions or authorizations is also evoked
[en] Highlights: ► Effectiveness and practicality of greenhouse gas mitigation measures are assessed. ► Best–Worst Scaling surveys are used to elicit expert and sheep farmer opinion. ► Effective and practical measures are priority candidates for policy inclusion. ► Support mechanisms may be needed to deliver effective, low practicality measures. ► Variation in farmers’ perceptions of practicality holds implications for policy delivery. -- Abstract: Policy decision making for agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation is hindered by scientific uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of mitigation measures. Successful on-farm adoption of measures is contingent upon farmer perception of the relative practicality of implementing the measure and associated incentives and advice. In the absence of a comprehensive evidence base we utilised Best–Worst Scaling, a discrete choice survey method, to elicit expert and farmer opinion on the relative effectiveness and practicality of mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sheep production systems. The method enabled individual mitigation measures to be ranked on a ratio scale of effectiveness (expert opinion) and practicality (farmer opinion). Six measures were identified as possessing the combined qualities of effectiveness and practicality and are considered priority candidates for policy promotion. The overall preferred measure was the use of legumes in pasture reseed mixes. Estimation and analysis of the distribution of individual respondent scores revealed heterogeneity in farmers’ perceptions of practicality, suggesting that flexible policies are required to enable farmers to select mitigation measures most suited to their farm type and locality. Practical measures with below average effectiveness may be widely adopted with limited regulation, incentivisation or advice, whilst some highly effective measures with lower practicality are likely to present greater obstacles to adoption
[en] Highlights: • The solar resource is sufficient to provide PV power at suitable locations within the Black Sea catchment. • Climate change will not significantly impact the solar resource, although uncertainty exists. • Land-use change will significantly impact potential PV power, although socio-economic factors will have more importance. • It is important to strengthen regional cooperation for the integration of renewable energy resources. - Abstract: Climate change is a naturally occurring phenomenon that has recently been greatly impacted by anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One of the main contributing sectors to GHG emissions is the energy sector, due to its high dependency on fossil fuels. Renewable energy systems, notably solar energy, can be an effective climate change mitigation alternative. Photovoltaic (PV) technology provides an interesting method to produce electricity through a virtually infinite renewable resource at the human time scale: solar radiation. This study evaluates the current and future solar energy potential through the use of grid-connected PV power plants at the scale of countries within the Black Sea catchment. Simulated data are used to determine potential change in climate and land-use according to two different development scenarios. Incident solar radiation flux from re-analyses, spatial interpolation, and the application of the Delta change method are used to assess the current and future solar resource potential within this catchment. Potential sites suitable for PV power plants are selected following a Fuzzy logic approach, and thus the total potential solar energy through PV power generation can be determined. Results show that climate change will have little impact on the solar radiation resource, while land-use change induces more variability. However, regardless of the scenario followed, the solar energy potential is sufficient to provide an interesting contribution to the electricity generation mix of most countries within the Black Sea region
[en] The potential impact of policies promoting transport biofuels on the use of land due to the indirect effects of feedstock cultivation has generated a controversy in the EU. Policy-makers are urged to regulate the matter without conclusive scientific evidence concerning the scale and severity of indirect land-use change (iLUC). By looking at this situation as an instance of policy making in the context of scientific uncertainty, this study analyses ways to deal with iLUC of biofuels policies learning from policy fields where similar dilemmas were confronted in the past. The experience with technologies such as genetically modified organisms, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and radioactive waste, and transport biofuels is instructive for this purpose. Policy approaches identified in the case studies are applied to the case of iLUC. The results show that a preventive approach, which appears as the most practical choice in terms of effectiveness and stakeholders’ acceptability, however, also involves a risk of treating scientific uncertainty as certainty (the uncertainty paradox). Policy-makers, scientists and stakeholders all have responsibility to avoid this paradox, in order to limit future controversy.
[en] Highlights: • This is a reflection with a multi-actor perspective on climate expertise. • The UNFCCC adopted a bottom-up strategy with the Paris agreement. • It requires actors to be mobilised at all scales and in all sectors. • The question is raised of how the IPCC could evolve to accompany this dynamic. • Recommendations are made. - Abstract: The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere keep increasing every year, and despite the adoption of the Paris agreement, one cannot expect any significant dip in the trend in the near future. We may therefore legitimately question the efficiency of the current governance system, notably concerning the interplay between science and policy. The strategy adopted by the UNFCCC in Paris contrasts with the strategy adopted in Kyoto, as it endorses a dynamic that is more bottom-up. Its success will depend greatly on the ability of the actors to mobilise on climate issues and to find ways to work together. Scientific expertise has a key role to play to this respect. This paper is a reflection led by the French Association for Disaster Risk Reduction on how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could evolve in order to usefully accompany that strategy. Introducing more reflexivity in the assessment process and widening aspects of the expertise to a more diverse and transdisciplinary range of actors could improve the treatment of uncertainties, multi-scale interactions and the appropriation of expertise, as well as the integration of adaptation and mitigation policies. In practical terms, this could involve more working groups, which could become more focused, drawing up shorter but more frequent reports, and taking account of the “grey” expert literature. The implementation of such an approach merits further investigation, because these improvements could help address the governance challenges in climate change.
[en] Highlights: • We use an integrated modelling framework of the water-energy-land-climate systems. • We assess the effects of socioeconomics, mitigation & water policy on water demand. • The impacts of climate change mitigation on water demand are highly uncertain. • The choice of cooling systems is a major determinant of electricity water demand. • Dedicated policies on irrigation of bioenergy and electricity water use are needed. - Abstract: Climate change mitigation, in the context of growing population and ever increasing economic activity, will require a transformation of energy and agricultural systems, posing significant challenges to global water resources. We use an integrated modelling framework of the water-energy-land-climate systems to assess how changes in electricity and land use, induced by climate change mitigation, impact on water demand under alternative socioeconomic (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways) and water policy assumptions (irrigation of bioenergy crops, cooling technologies for electricity generation). The impacts of climate change mitigation on cumulated global water demand across the century are highly uncertain, and depending on socioeconomic and water policy conditions, they range from a reduction of 15,000 km3 to an increase of more than 160,000 km3. The impact of irrigation of bioenergy crops is the most prominent factor, leading to significantly higher water requirements under climate change mitigation if bioenergy crops are irrigated. Differences in socioeconomic drivers and fossil fuel availability result in significant differences in electricity and bioenergy demands, in the associated electricity and primary energy mixes, and consequently in water demand. Economic affluence and abundance of fossil fuels aggravate pressures on water resources due to higher energy demand and greater deployment of water intensive technologies such as bioenergy and nuclear power. The evolution of future cooling systems is also identified as an important determinant of electricity water demand. Climate policy can result in a reduction of water demand if combined with policies on irrigation of bioenergy, and the deployment of non-water-intensive electricity sources and cooling types.
[en] Highlights: • A technical efficiency model identifies where state park systems can be improved. • The technical efficiency model is joined with output of CC policy simulations. • Shifts in operating expenditure under the CC mitigation policy are estimated. • Results reveal substantial variability across states. • Increasing technical efficiency is the best solution to adapt to CC policy impacts. - Abstract: Numerous empirical and simulation-based studies have documented or estimated variable impacts to the economic growth of nation states due to the adoption of domestic climate change mitigation policies. However, few studies have been able to empirically link projected changes in economic growth to the provision of public goods and services. In this research, we couple projected changes in economic growth to US states brought about by the adoption of a domestic climate change mitigation policy with a longitudinal panel dataset detailing the production of outdoor recreation opportunities on lands managed in the public interest. Joining empirical data and simulation-based estimates allow us to better understand how the adoption of a domestic climate change mitigation policy would affect the provision of public goods in the future. We first employ a technical efficiency model and metrics to provide decision makers with evidence of specific areas where operational efficiencies within the nation's state park systems can be improved. We then augment the empirical analysis with simulation-based changes in gross state product (GSP) to estimate changes to the states’ ability to provide outdoor recreation opportunities from 2014 to 2020; the results reveal substantial variability across states. Finally, we explore two potential solutions (increasing GSP or increasing technical efficiency) for addressing the negative impacts on the states’ park systems operating budgets brought about by the adoption of a domestic climate change mitigation policy; the analyses suggest increasing technical efficiency would be the most viable solution if/when the US adopts a greenhouse gas reduction policy
[en] This study uses an experimental social survey in two large Japanese cities to explore citizens’ attitudes toward international voluntary carbon offsetting that encourages low carbon development in developing countries. In particular, the study focuses on whether the offsetting is a contribution to meet national target of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction under the Kyoto Protocol or reduction beyond the national target, using Kyoto credits generated from climate change mitigation projects in developing countries. The study finds that around 40% of the survey respondents chose real carbon offsetting over a gift certificate as compensation for their participation in the survey, around half of whom chose carbon offsetting contribution to the world. However, most of the current Japanese carbon offsetting providers utilise only the carbon offsetting contribution to the Japanese government. Thus, Japanese citizens have significant untapped potential for undertaking more carbon offsetting to meet targets other than national targets. However, the results also show that there is a general lack of understanding regarding the mechanism of carbon offsetting. Carbon offsetting providers in Japan and other countries that may have national self-imposed targets and allowing the usage of international carbon offsetting should therefore be considered, so as to provide individuals with the options of either contributing to their government to help it meet its national target or contributing to the world to help reduce GHG emissions beyond the national targets.