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Capital investment requirements for greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in power generation on near term to century time scales and global to regional spatial scales

Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Leon Clarke, James Edmonds, Katherine Calvin and Page Kyle

Energy Economics, 2014, vol. 46, issue C, 267-278

Abstract: Our paper explores the implication of climate mitigation policy and electricity generation technology performance for capital investment demands by the electric power sector on near term to century time scales. We find that stabilizing GHG emissions will require additional investment in the electricity generation sector over and above investments that would be needed in the absence of climate policy, in the range of 15 to 29 trillion US$ (48–94%) depending on the stringency of climate policy during the period 2015 to 2095 under default technology assumptions. This increase reflects the higher capital intensity of power systems that control emissions as well as increased electrification of the global economy. Limits on the penetration of nuclear and carbon capture and storage technology could increase costs substantially. Energy efficiency improvements can reduce the investment requirement by 18 to 24 trillion US$ (compared to default technology climate policy assumptions), depending on climate policy scenario. We also highlight the implications of different technology evolution scenarios for different regions. Under default technology set, the heaviest investments across scenarios in power generation were observed in China, India, SE Asia and Africa regions with the latter three regions dominating in the second half of the 21st century.

Keywords: Integrated assessment modeling; Capital investment; Electricity generation; Energy scenarios; Climate policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q40 Q47 Q48 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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