Séminaire SWEET: Philippe Quirion (CIRED)

Webinars in Economics of Environment, Energy and Transports


 At 4pm on Zoom and has a duration of 60 minutes, with questions at the end. 

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Philippe Quirion (CIRED)

Low-carbon options for the French power sector: What role for renewables, nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage?


In the wake of the Paris agreement, France has set a target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This target can only be achieved by rapidly decreasing the proportion of fossil fuels and accelerating the deployment of low-carbon technologies. We develop a detailed model of the power sector to investigate the role of different low- and negative-emission technologies in the French electricity mix and we identify the impact of the relative cost of these technologies for various values of the social cost of carbon (SCC). We show that for a wide range of SCC values (from 0 to €500/tCO2), the optimal power mix consists of roughly 75% of renewable power. For a SCC value of €100/tCO2, the power sector becomes nearly carbon neutral while for €200/tCO2 and more it provides negative emissions. The availability of negative emission technologies can decrease the system cost by up to 18% and can create up to 20MtCO2/year of negative emissions, while the availability of new nuclear power stations is much less important. This study demonstrates the importance of an effective SCC value (as a tax for positive emissions and remuneration for negative emissions) in reaching carbon neutrality at moderate cost. Negative emissions may represent an important carbon market which could attract investments if supported by public policies.

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