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ECN publication
The contribution of technological progress to a sustainable energy system. Volume 5 in the CASCADE MINTS project
Uyterlinde, M.A.; Martinus, G.H.; Rösler, H.; Kouvaritakis, N.; Mantzos, L.; Panos, V.; Zeka-Paschou, M.; Keppo, I.; Szabó, L.; Russ, P.; Suwala, W.; Kypreos, S.; Jokisch, S.; Blesl, M.; Ellersdorfer, I.; Zürn, M. ; Fahl, U.; Pratlong, F.; Le Mouel, P.; Sano, F.; Akimoto, K.; Homma, T.; Tomoda, T.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 20-3-2007
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--06-052 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
169 Download PDF  

This report focuses on the possible role and impact of enhanced technological progress in the energy system, combined with variations of CO2 values and oil & gas prices. Based on the results of 11 advanced energy and economic models, it provides an overview of the scenarios analysed in the CASCADE MINTS project. It concludes that the global energy system can meet the challenge of a strong climate policy, with carbon prices up to 100 €/tCO2, through a mix of options. In the power sector, penetration of renewable and nuclear technologies up to 50% combined with the deployment of CO2 capture and storage can result in emission reductions up to 40%. Similarly, in Europe, CO2 emissions can be reduced with 21% - 54% in 2050. The contribution of coal remains uncertain, as it depends on the estimates for costs and potential for CCS. Secondly, the implications of high oil and gas prices are not necessarily environmentally favourable, as there is a tendency towards coal, even though renewables also benefit. The additional effect of enhanced technological progress is strongest in the transport sector, where it can stimulate hydrogen, but also biofuels, to reduce the dominance of petroleum-based automotive fuels. Third, enhanced technological progress - modelled in terms of investment cost reductions due to additional R&D policies - appears to have the most significant impacts on hydrogen production, storage and consumption and on the use of renewables (wind and solar PV) for power generation. This case set-up does not cover all possibilities for progress in the techno-economic characteristics of technologies.

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