The implications of delivering the UK’s Paris Agreement commitments on the power sector

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Title: The implications of delivering the UK’s Paris Agreement commitments on the power sector
Authors: Daggash, HA
Mac Dowell, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Through the 2015 Paris Agreement, the UK committed to keeping average global temperature rise to “well below 2 °C”. Integrated Assessment Models show that this will require extensive greenhouse gas removal (GGR) from the atmosphere. For the EU, it is estimated that 20–70 GtCO2 of cumulative GGR by 2100 is required, all from bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Depending on how the burden of GGR is shared, the UK would need to remove 2–6 GtCO2 from the atmosphere. We apply a power systems planning model to determine how the electricity system would need to transition from 2015 to 2100 to meet the UK’s Paris Agreement commitments. We find that until 2050, increased penetration of renewables, interconnection capacity and energy storage, alongside 15–17 GW of CCGT−CCS, is sufficient to stay on the required emissions trajectory. Between 2050 and 2100, however, the deployment of 7–26 GW of BECCS and 2–5 GW of direct air capture and storage (DACS) is crucial to provide the GGR required. A Paris-compliant UK electricity system will require £620–700 billion of capital and operational expenditure by 2100, 3–16% greater than the cost of achieving a decarbonised system. For the upper-bound GGR target, local biomass supply is insufficient, so imports are necessary. By 2100, up to 26% of annual demand is met by imported biomass. Such heavy dependence on imports may raise energy security concerns. Also, should biomass imports not be available in the required quantities, alternative (and more expensive) GGR methods will be necessary thereby increasing the cost of delivering a Paris-compliant system.
Issue Date: 1-Jun-2019
Date of Acceptance: 8-Apr-2019
ISSN: 1750-5836
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Start Page: 174
End Page: 181
Journal / Book Title: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Volume: 85
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council [2006-2012]
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/P019900/1
Keywords: Energy
04 Earth Sciences
05 Environmental Sciences
09 Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Embargo Date: 2020-04-18
Online Publication Date: 2019-04-18
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy

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