Pathways toward zero-carbon electricity required for climate stabilization

Date: 01 September 2018

This paper provides pathways of the carbon content of electricity extracted from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth Assessment Report scenarios database. It demonstrates three policy-relevant aspects of the carbon content of electricity that are implicit in most integrated assessment model results but under-discussed in academia and the policy debate. First, climate stabilization at any level from 1.5 °C to 3 °C requires the carbon content of electricity to decrease quickly and become almost carbon-free before the end of the century. As such, the question for policy makers is not whether to decarbonize electricity but when and how to do so. Second, decarbonization of electricity is still possible and required if some of the key zero-carbon technologies—such as nuclear power or carbon capture and storage—turn out to be unavailable. Third, progressive decarbonization of electricity ...

Alexander Pfeiffer Adrien Vogt-Schilb Richard Audoly Céline Guivarch

Economics of Sustainability

Pathways toward zero-carbon electricity required for climate stabilization


Type: paper

Audoly, R., Vogt-Schilb, A., Guivarch, C. and Pfeiffer, A. (2018). "Pathways toward zero-carbon electricity required for climate stabilization". Applied Energy, Vol 225, pp. 884-901.


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