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Guiding the future energy transition to net-zero emissions: Lessons from exploring the differences between France and Sweden

Ariane Millot, Anna Krook-Riekkola and Nadia Maïzi

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 139, issue C

Abstract: Despite similarities in their current energy mixes, France and Sweden's pathways have been very different since the 1970s, when both systems were highly dependent on fossil fuels. After the oil crisis, both countries chose to reduce their oil consumption by developing nuclear power. However, Sweden pursued a more diversified energy policy that has subsequently allowed it to reduce its CO2 emissions. Today, both countries have committed to a carbon neutrality goal: by 2045 for Sweden and 2050 for France. In order to understand the key factors that can drive energy transition toward a carbon neutrality goal, we propose to compare the past energy transitions in France and Sweden, two countries that have significantly reduced their CO2 emissions and fossil fuel dependency. To assess the impacts of the current energy system and its regulations on the feasibility of meeting carbon neutrality, we use TIMES bottom-up energy system optimization models. The results show that France faces more challenges in transforming its energy system than Sweden i.e. an increase in power production, a decrease in gas consumption, the replacement of heating systems in buildings, and the electrification of industry, thus confirming that its energy policy has to be driven with a long-run perspective.

Keywords: Energy transition; Climate mitigation; Carbon neutrality; TIMES/MARKAL; France; Sweden (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111358

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:139:y:2020:i:c:s0301421520301154