The impact of shale gas on the cost and feasibility of meeting climate targets - a global energy system model analysis and an exploration of uncertainties

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Title: The impact of shale gas on the cost and feasibility of meeting climate targets - a global energy system model analysis and an exploration of uncertainties
Authors: Few, SPM
Gambhir, A
Napp, T
Hawkes, A
Mangeon, S
Bernie, D
Lowe, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: There exists considerable uncertainty over both shale and conventional gas resource availability and extraction costs, as well as the fugitive methane emissions asso ciated with shale gas extraction and its possible role in mitigating climate change . This study uses a multi - region energy system model, TIAM (TIMES Integrated Assessment Model) , to consider the impact of a range of conventional and shale gas cost and avai lability assessments on mitigation scenarios aimed at achieving a limit to global warming of below 2 °C in 2100, with a 50% likelihood. When adding shale gas to the global energy mix, the reduction to the global energy system cost is relatively small (up to 0.4%), and the mitigation cost increases by 1 - 3% under all cost assumptions. The impact of a “dash for shale gas”, of unavailability of carbon capture and storage, of increased barriers to investment in low carbon technologies, and of higher than expected leakage rates, are also considered; and are each found to have the potential to increase the cost and reduce feasibility of meeting global temperature goals. We conclude that the extraction of shale gas is not likely to significantly reduce the effort req uired to mitigate climate change under global ly coordinated action, but could increase required mitigation effort if not handled sufficiently carefully.
Issue Date: 27-Jan-2017
Date of Acceptance: 17-Jan-2017
ISSN: 1996-1073
Publisher: MDPI
Journal / Book Title: Energies
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Sponsor/Funder: Met Office
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: PO14206
Keywords: Science & Technology
Energy & Fuels
shale gas
natural gas
supply curves
climate change mitigation
energy system analysis
energy scenarios
TIMES Integrated Assessment Model (TIAM)
fugitive methane emissions
energy economics
09 Engineering
02 Physical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 158
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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