Energy policy and climate change

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Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166Energy policy and climate changePhilippe Jean-Baptistea,*, Ren!e DucrouxbaLaboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de lEnvironnement, CEA-CNRS, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, FrancebCentre dInitiative et de Recherche sur lEnergie et lEnvironnement, CIRENE, Palaiseau, FranceAbstractThe problem of massive emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels and their climatic impact have becomemajor scientic and political issues. Future stabilization of the atmospheric CO2 content requires a drastic decrease of CO2 emissionsworldwide. Energy savings and carbon sequestration, including CO2 capture/storage and enhancement of natural carbon sinks, canbe highly benecial, although it is suggested that both economic and climatic feedbacks could nullify part of the gains achieved.Fossil fuels (coupled with CO2 capture), and lower-carbon hydrogenated fuels such as natural gas are still expected to play animportant role in the future. Nevertheless, stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentration in a growing world economy, now dependenton fossil fuels for 85% of its energy, will also require a vast increase in the supply of carbon-free power. Among these energy sources,hydropower and nuclear energy (operated under western safety and environmental standards) are the most readily available sourcescapable of supplying vast amount of energy at a competitive price. Wind power is also to be encouraged, as it is expected toapproach the competitiveness threshold soon. The French example, where fossil fuel CO2 emissions were cut by 27% in a matter of afew years (19791986) despite increasing energy consumption, suggests that implementing CO2 stabilization is technically feasible ata competitive price. r 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.Keywords: CO2 emission; Climate change; Energy mix1. IntroductionHumanity has been faced with a lack of energy fromtime immemorial. The chief mobilizable energy sources,with very limited yields, were animal traction, windenergy (windmills, sailing ships), low energy hydro-power (watermills) and biomass (mainly for homerequirements). Only in the last two centuries, thanksto scientic progress, has the energy constraint progres-sively loosened, with the possibility of drawing frommore concentrated energy sources including coal, oil,gas, and uranium. This revolution has sparked unpre-cedented economic development (Fig. 1). However,energy production and consumption have undeniableenvironmental repercussions. The environmental da-mages linked to the production, transformation, trans-port and use of different energy sources have beensubstantial in the past and are still far from negligible.The coal mining industry has exacted a heavy price frompast generations (mine accidents, occupational diseases,site degradations, extensive atmospheric pollution, acidrain, etc.). The energy sector has also been subject tomajor catastrophes which have marked its history: oilslicks (Amoco Cadiz, Exxon Valdez, Erika, etc.),rupture of pipelines or well heads, hydro-electric damfailures, nuclear accidents (Tchernobyl), etc. The controlof the environmental impact of the various energysystems in terms of emissions, wastes and perturbationof ecosystems, under normal or accident operatingconditions is hence a major issue. In this respect, theemission of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to the use of fossilfuels (coal, gas, and oil) poses a specic problem.2. Climate risk and the new energy situationAlthough it has been known for more than a century(Arrhenius, 1896), the possibility of climate warmingassociated with the combustion of fossil energies hasonly focused attention in the last ten years, sincescientists demonstrated the rst tangible effect of thiswarming (Fig. 2) and alerted public opinion and thegovernments about the risks of a climatic upheaval(IPCC, 1996a; IPCC, 2001).*Corresponding author. Tel.: +33-31-6908-7714; fax: +33-31-6908-7716.E-mail addresses: pjb@lsce.saclay.cea.fr (P. Jean-Baptiste), re-ndx@europost.org (R. Ducroux).0301-4215/03/$ - see front matter r 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.PII: S 0 3 0 1 - 4 2 1 5 ( 0 2 ) 0 0 0 2 0 - 4The issue of global warming is becoming a major andunavoidable element of world energy policy. Today,about 29 billion tonnes of CO2 are released into the airannually by human activities, including 23 billion fromfossil fuel burning and industry (IPCC, 2001), causing arapid and disturbing increase in its atmosphericconcentration (Fig. 3)The United Nations Convention on Climate Change,signed in 1992, followed by the Kyoto conference(December 1997), marked the rst step towards aninternational determination to limit releases of green-house gases (especially CO2, CH4 and N2O). However,the implementation of an international agreement onlimiting these releases is a complex matter, with majorgeopolitical and economic implications, given the factthat:* World energy needs are steadily rising, driven bygrowth, demography and the economic developmentof the third World (Fig. 4),* 85% of these needs are currently supplied by fossilfuel (coal, gas, and oil) which generates CO2 (Fig. 5),* forecasts for CO2 releases, if nothing is done to limitthem, will exceed 50 billion tonnes/yr in 2050, twiceas much as today (scenario IS92a Business AsUsualFIPCC, 1996a), and* a stabilization of the CO2 content of the air at about550 ppm (a target considered acceptable by mostscientists) will, on the contrary, require releases to behalved from todays level (IPCC, 2001).Answers are available from the energy and industrysectors for meeting this planetary challenge. They relyon three main factors:1. Energy conservation: improved energy efciency andthe rational use of energy.2. Carbon waste management: development of techni-ques for the capture and geological storage of CO2(DOE, 1999).3. Evolution of the energy mix: replacement of highcarbon fuels (coal, oil) by lower carbon contenthydrogenated fuels (natural gas), and greater relianceon non-CO2 emitting energies like hydropower,nuclear, wind, biomass or solar.3. Energy conservationThe apparent present abundance of fossil and ssileenergies should not obscure the fact that over the longterm, these energies are not an inexhaustible resource.Man is obliged to improve exploration and productiontechniques ceaselessly to reach new deposits and therebyoffset the progressive depletion of world reserves(Fig. 6). Therefore, the need for energy conservation isnot only important for lowering CO2 release, it is alsoindispensable to:* guarantee the relative permanence of energy re-sources over the long term,* facilitate access to the developing countries, whosefuture needs are large, and* preserve the environment and the quality of life offuture generationsThis rational approach includes improving the ef-ciencies of energy production and utilization systems, astop to waste, and the optimum use of the differentenergy sources in accordance with their respectiveadvantages. Furthermore, pioneering research must bemaintained so that new energy systems and new energysources can be mobilized for the future.Access of the masses to energy, an important factor incomfort and the quality of life, is a universal right. Thelimitation of energy consumption by rationing or byprice increases (rationing via money) therefore runs intoa problem of social acceptability (witness the widespreadopposition to higher prices of motor fuels). Yet this doesnot mean, far from it, that energy conservation cannotbe achieved. Large potentials still exist in improving theperformance of mass consumption equipment (homeappliances, lighting), road transport, and thermalinsulation in buildings. The experience of the pastfteen years has nonetheless shown us that once the oilshock has been forgotten, our fellow citizens do notspontaneously make waste reduction their favoriteactivity. The introduction of new standards withmanufacturers covering the energy consumption oftheir products has emerged to be the most effectivemeans to obtain quantiable energy savings. Equivalent1850 1900 1950 2000ANNEE0246810World primary energy (Gtoe)EnergyGDP0102030GDP (10 US Dollars)12Fig. 1. World energy consumption and Gross Domestic Product (in1990 US$) from 1850 to 2000. Sources: Casanova (1968), CEPII(2001), BP Amoco (1999), World Energy Council (2000).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166156economies are anticipated in the tertiary sector forlighting, heating and air-conditioning installations, andin the industrial sector, through improvements tomanufacturing processes. At the other end of the chain,reliance on more efcient energy production processesand the development of cogeneration (electricity gen-eration and heat recovery) also represent a signicantpotential for economies (Fig. 7). According to ADEME(the French Environment and Energy ConservationAgency), the development of more efcient technologiestends to suggest by 2050 a drop of consumption inFrance of 5 TWh/yr for home appliances, 8 TWh/yr forwashing equipment and 10TWh/yr for lighting, makinga total of 23TWh, a gure to be compared with the513TWh of annual gross power generation in France(CEA, 1999). However, these economies will have alimited impact on French CO2 emissions since 92% ofthe electricity production is supplied by non-fossil fuels(nuclear and hydro-electricity) (CEA, 1999).Yet in terms of energy conservation, experience showsthe difculty of making reliable forecasts, especially inperiods of economic growth. Overoptimism would be amistake. In fact, the additional purchasing powerassociated with economic and energy efciency gener-ates additional growth and adds new needs: acquisitionof new appliances by households, increased transporta-tion associated with leisure activities etc., which cannullify all or part of the gains achieved (Fig. 8).These two antagonistic trends, improving energyefciency on the one hand, and industrial dynamics onthe other, driven to place new equipment and services onthe market, explain why, including in developed1400 1600 1800 2000YEAR-1.0-0.50.00.5TEMPERATURE ANOMALY (C)RECONSTRUCTED TEMPERATURES INSTRUMENTALRECORD(a)(b)1980 1990 2000YEAR2.53.03.54.04.55.05.5SEA ICE (km x 10 )26(c)(d)1880 1920 1960 2000YEAR-100-80-60-40-20020 VOLUME CHANGE (m equiv.)18 00 19 00 20 00YEAR02040SEA LEVEL (cm)Brest harborTide gaugesFig. 2. (a) Mean temperature of the globe (14002000). Source: IPCC (2001). (b) Arctic sea ice area (19752000). Source: Johannessen et al. (1999).(c) Long-term series of cumulative volume changes for selected glaciers (data relative to 1890 in equivalent water level). Source: Dyurgerov and Meier(2000). (d) Rise in sea level (18002000). Source: IPCC (2001).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166 157countries like France, all the scenarios foresee higherenergy consumption (Fig. 9).4. Carbon waste managementIn most industrialized countries, industries are subjectto strict standards covering releases and waste manage-ment. Paradoxically, the fossil energy sector escapes thisbasic rule concerning CO2, which is entirely releasedinto the environment. Thus one solution which would beboth logical and effective would be to encourage thelarge industries (coal, fuel oil and gas red power plants,cement plants), which account for about 30% of worldCO2 emissions (IPCC, 1996b), to install recoverysystems, just as they have done in the past for sulfurreleases. Technical systems already exist, which areemployed on a small scale to produce CO2 for industrialuse. The average cost of CO2 capture, using state-of-theart technologies, is estimated at 2550$/tonne of CO2according to the type of installation (Beecy et al., 2000;David and Herzog, 2000). Research and development isneeded to design more efcient systems capable ofcapturing CO2 from large power plants with 8090%efciency, at a target price not exceeding 10$/tonne.The problem of the long term storage of CO2 thusrecovered is more complex, given the huge volumesinvolved. The most satisfactory solutions from theenvironmental standpoint are the transport of the CO2by pipeline and its injection into deep geologicalformations like gas reservoirs and oil elds that aredepleted or nearing depletion, or deep saline aquifers.Their worldwide storage potential could amount up to10000 billion tonnes of CO2 (DOE, 1997a; Stevens andKuuskraa, 2000), or the equivalent of several hundredyears of cumulative CO2 releases. Twenty milliontonnes/year of CO2 are already injected in Americanoil elds (DOE, 1997b) for Enhanced Oil Recovery. Inthe North Sea too, the CO2 naturally present in the gasextracted from the Sleipner West Field (operated byNorways Statoil) is separated and re-injected into anaquifer 1000m below the surface. One million tonnes ofCO2 are thus stored every year at depth (Korbol andKaddour, 1995; Statoil, 2001). The transport/deepstorage cost is estimated at about 10$/tonne of CO2(Stevens and Kuuskraa, 2000). On the whole, for theelectricity sector, CO2 capture and storage means anextra cost of about 23 UScents/kWh (Beecy et al.,2000).The spread of CO2 trapping technology towards themajor fossil energy production centers (power plants,heavy industry) thus represents a signicant potential interms of lowering releases, about several billion tonnes1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000YEAR260280300320340360CO CONCENTRATION (ppm)2Instrumental recordPolar ice coresFig. 3. CO2 atmospheric content. Sources: Etheridge et al. (1996);Keeling and Whorf (1998).02468toe/capitaCANADAUSAHOLLANDSWEDENGERMANYFRANCEUKJAPANITALYSPAINARGENTINATURKEYCHINAINDI AOECD averageWorldFig. 4. Present disparity in per capita energy consumption by country.Source: BP Amoco (1999).gas22.5%coal24.8%nuclear + hydro + renew able14.7%oil37.9%Fig. 5. Energy consumption of commercial energy sources. Sources:BP Amoco (1999), IEA (2001).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166158of CO2/yr. Considering the present 85% share of theworld energy supplied by fossil fuels, and knowing thetime needed for new energy systems to penetrate to theirmarket potential, capturing and sequestering CO2appears as an efcient response to the CO2 problem.Moreover, in the long term, CO2 sequestration willallow us to keep on exploiting the large coal and naturalgas reserves that represents a substantial share of theworld available energy resources.These capture technologies can be coupled with apolicy aimed at enhancing natural carbon sinks.Ecosystems naturally participate in trapping CO2. Ofthe 29 billion tonnes emitted every year, only 40%remains in the atmosphere. The other 60% is absorbedby the ocean and onshore vegetation (IPCC, 2001). Onemeans to reduce the impact of CO2 releases wouldaccordingly be to favor these natural CO2 sinks,particularly by reforestation and changes in agriculturalpractice. For the time being, however, deforestationcontinues at the rate of 1.6% per year as a worldaverage, responsible for the emission of 673 billiontonnes of CO2/yr (IPCC, 2001). Thus a halt, indeed areversal of this process would have a very signicanteffect on the emission balance. Moreover, the conver-sion of virgin soil into farmland in the past caused therelease of a signicant fraction of the carbon initiallyburied in the soil, i.e., about 120 tonnes of CO2/ha,PROVEN RESERVEScoaloilgasUranium(PWR)Uranium(FBR)ULTIMATE RESERVEScoaloilUranium(FBR)gas (hydrates)Fig. 6. Breakdown of world non-renewable energy reserves as apercentage of total reserves. Sources: EIA (1998), EIA (2001a), USGS(2001), Boisson and Criqui (1998), Sundquist and Broecker (1985),COGEMA (2000), World Energy Council (2001).020406080100ENERGY EFFICIENCY (%)biomasssolar PVwindpower nuclear (PWR)nuclear (FBR)nuclear (HTR)non-fossil energy sources fossil energy sourcessteam enginegasoline enginediesel enginecoal power plantcoal power plant (IGCC)gas turbinegas fired combined cyclefuel cellsFig. 7. Efciency of different energy conversion systems. Sources: Smil(2000), Charpin et al. (2000), World Energy Council (2001).20000 40000 60000 80000 100000US HOUSEHOLDS ANNUAL INCOME ($ 1997)100150200ANNUAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION (base 100)natural gasmileageElectricityFig. 8. Energy consumption of US households as a function of incomegrids. Source: EIA (2001b).1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020YEAR50100150200250300350Energy consumption (Mtoe/year) [a][b] [c]Fig. 9. Energy consumption in France and growth scenarios to 2020.Routes (a) to (c) correspond to scenarios ranging from economicliberalism (a) to ecology (c). Source: Boisson and Criqui (1998).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166 159corresponding to a cumulative amount of about 200billion tonnes (IPCC, 2000; Lal, 2000). Scientistsestimate that the optimization of agricultural practicescould restore about 50% of this carbon inventory (Laland Bruce, 1999; Lal, 2000; IPCC, 2000). Assuming acharacteristic period of 50 years to replenish thisinventory, the previous gure would correspond to anaverage carbon sink of 2 billion tonnes of CO2/yr overthis period.Clearly, the optimal management of the naturalcapacity of ecosystems to store carbon can demonstrateearly commitment to ghting the greenhouse effect(Scholes and Noble, 2001). The overall cumulativepotential of ecosystems to store additional carbon isestimated, over the next 50 years, between 100 and 200billion tonnes (IPCC, 1996b; The Royal Society, 2001).However, one must keep in mind that this carbon sink istransient by nature and can only buy time.Furthermore, the modeling of future trends in naturalcarbon uxes suggests a progressive weakening of theefciency of the natural oceanic and biospheric carbonsinks (Friedlingstein et al., 2001) due to several factorsincluding:* enhanced soils respiration in response to the warmingtrend (Cox et al., 2000),* ocean ventilation slowdown associated with globalwarming (IPCC, 2001), and* decrease of the CO2 imbalance between the atmo-sphere and the terrestrial and oceanic carbonreservoirs, in the eventuality of an effort to stabilizethe atmospheric CO2 content.Changes in agricultural practices that are benecialfor carbon storage can also have negative effects onother greenhouse gases like N2O or methane (Robertsonet al., 2000). Possible reverse albedo effects are alsoanticipated from the development of boreal forests(Betts, 2000).On the whole, it is therefore possible that efforts toreplenish the natural carbon stocks could be partlynullied by a reverse trend in natural carbon uxes dueto climatic feedbacks.5. Evolution of the energy mixIn addition to the foregoing measures, a substantialmodication of the energy mix, currently consistingabout 85% of fossil energy, must therefore be imple-mented, with greater reliance on low carbon energy(natural gas), and even more on non-CO2 emittingenergies. These changes are possible, over relativelyshort periods. An eloquent example is that of France. Inseven years CO2 emissions have been cut by 27%(Fig. 10), placing France in the leading group in Europefor low CO2 emissions per capita (Fig. 11).Over the period concerned, the share of fossil fuels inthe French energy balance has thus been reduced from87% to 63% (Fig. 12). Today, the energy production ofFrench nuclear generating capacity amounts to 88Mtoe(Observatoire de lEnergie, 2001), including 15% forexport, or the equivalent of the annual oil production ofKuwait.The aim of these changes in the world energy mix is toreduce the present ratio of CO2 emitted per unit of1970 1980 1990 2000YEAR350400450500CO EMISSIONS (MtCO /year)22Fig. 10. French CO2 emissions 19701999. Source: BP Amoco (1999).01234CO (tonnes / toe)SWEDENFRANCEBELGIUM SPAIN UKHOLLANDGERMANYDENMARK2GREECEWorld averageFig. 11. CO2 releases in the European Union. Source: EuropeanCommunities (2000).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166160energy produced (2.8 tonnes of CO2 per tonne oilequivalent) to 0.51 t CO2/toe by 2100, in order toguarantee the worlds energy needs (IIASA, 1998) whilestabilizing the atmospheric CO2 content around550 ppm. For each country, the choice between thedifferent available energies is strongly inuenced byphysical constraints specic to each type of resource(hydropower potential, wind sites with sufcient averagewind speed, high mean insolation, etc.). Hence eachenergy has a specic niche for which its advantages areoptimally exploited (Table 1). In addition to technicalcriteria, this optimization must integrate economic andsocial criteria such as:* economic competitiveness (kWh cost),* sensitivity to raw material prices (oil, gas, uranium),* impact on employment/added value,* environmental impact (including climate change),and* social acceptability.5.1. Natural gasNatural gas accounts today for 25% of world primaryenergy production (BP Amoco, 1999). Progress achievedin cost and performance of gas turbines, the present lowprices, and the large world reserves, make natural gas ahigh growth energy source. Nonetheless, even if the rateof CO2 emitted per kWh produced is favorable (360500 g CO2/kWh) compared with coal (6001000 g CO2/kWh), it is a fact that with respect to the greenhouseeffect, gas does undeniably have an environmentalimpact and its generalized use would necessarily implymassive CO2 releases. Exaggerated reliance on gaswould also raise a number of difculties in terms ofeconomic criteria (sensitivity to the gas price/tradebalance) for countries lacking reserves on their soil,considering that the price of gas accounts for more thantwo-thirds of kWh cost (Lederer and Falgarone, 1997).Therefore, substantial efforts must be made in develop-ing non-fossil energies.5.2. Nuclear energyApart from hydropower, nuclear energy is the onlytechnology available today for the intensive productionof energy without CO2. In France, the replacement ofnuclear power by gas would increase CO2 releases by4050% (150200 million tonnes of additional CO2 peryear, corresponding to the CO2 released annually by 40millions cars), thereby forcing the French socialist-greenruling coalition to deviate from the limitation commit-ments signed in Kyoto, which call for the stabilization ofthe CO2 releases at the 1990 level. The Charpin-DessusPellat report (Charpin et al., 2000), submitted to theFrench Prime Minister in July 2000, also clearly showsthat by the 2050 horizon, only scenarios relying on thecontinuity of nuclear power generation (scenarios H3and B3), with a renewal of the existing power capabilityby the 2020 horizon, would help to contain the driftfrom the Kyoto criteria (Fig. 13).In worldwide terms, although its use only pertainsto a limited number of countries, nuclear energy,with 627Mtoe annually (BP Amoco, 1999) or2430TWh (CEA, 1999), avoids 2 billion tonnes ofCO2/yr. If the French situation is extrapolated to themajor industrialized countries, the gure is no longer 2but 8 billion tonnes of CO2 releases that could thus beavoided, or about 35% of all fossil fuels CO2 releasestoday.Hence nuclear power is a cornerstone of the system tobalance the energy mix towards non-CO2 emittingenergies. Currently reserved exclusively for industrialand domestic electricity generation, nuclear energywill also have an opportunity in the future to reinforceits role in ghting the greenhouse effect by new1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000YEAR0100200300Primary energy consumption (Mtoe)COALOILGASHYDRONUCLEARFRANCEFig. 12. French energy mix. Source: Observatoire de lEnergie (2000).Table 1Classication of non-CO2 emitting energy sources as a function ofcapacity suppliedCapacity supplied Energy sources ApplicationsHigh capacity Large hydropower Industries1001500MW Nuclear Urbanized zonesMedium capacity Small hydropower Small industries10100MW High temperature geothermal ResidentialTertiaryLow capacity Micro-hydropower Residential0.0110MW Wind TertiaryBiomassSolarLow temperature thermalP. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166 161applications in the transport sector, which by itselfaccounts for about 29% of world energy consumption:* electric cars in cities, a huge advantage for air quality,* electric rail for transporting trucks over long dis-tances, and* hydrogen production by existing nuclear powerplants during slack hours (elimination of networkmanagement) or by cracking of water in hightemperature nuclear reactors, and use of this hydro-gen in fuel cells.However, despite its overall record, the world nuclearindustry suffers today from a serious image decit in thepublic opinion of many countries. This decit is largelyascribable to the bad example set by Soviet Union,where unsafe reactor concepts, absence of a safetyculture and irresponsible management led to thedisastrous Chernobyl nuclear accident.Despite a radically different situation in the westerncountries, public condence in the safety of nuclearpower generation has nonetheless diminished. This poorbrand image has also suffered from the wide decit oftransparency and communication of the authoritiesduring the Chernobyl crisis and the passage of theradioactive plume above Western Europe. This commu-nication gap, which is only being lled slowly, hasexacerbated the mistrust of this industry, considered bya signicant fringe of public opinion as dangerous.The nuclear industry is currently at a plateau(Fig. 14), with an extremely limited number of newprojects, and maximum exploitation of existing cap-ability. Present day nuclear concept and technology arelargely the fruit of the period of its industrial ascendancyin the 1970s and 1980s. It is clear that the newgeneration of power plants, by the 20202030 horizon,cannot be a simple extrapolation of existing concepts,but, just like any other leading edge industry, will haveto benet from technological breakthroughs in terms of:* passive safety (for example, the intrinsically safereactor concept AP600, developed by Westinghouseand the EPR developed in Europe),* reduction of waste (omnivorous reactor concept,capable of burning its own waste),* electrical efciency (High Temperature Reactor),* economic competitiveness, etc.If it wants to occupy its rightful place in the ghtagainst the greenhouse effect, the nuclear sector mustaccordingly strive to regain the condence of publicopinion, through greater transparency, a more attentiveapproach to the public, and continued technologicaladvances.5.3. Renewable energiesAlongside nuclear power, renewable energies have amajor role to play in ghting the greenhouse effect.1960 1970 1980 1990 2000YEAR0200400600NUMBER OFREACTORS NUCLEAR REACTORSIN SERVICE WORLDWIDEFig. 14. Number of nuclear power reactors in service worldwide.Source: CEA (1999).1970 1990 2010 2030 2050YEAR300400500600CO EMISSIONS (MtCO / year)2Kyoto Commitment2H1H2H3B2B3B4-30FRANCEFig. 13. CO2 releases in France by 2050 according to the differentenergy scenarios considered in the Charpin report (Charpin et al.,2000). Scenarios H correspond to high energy demand, while scenariosB presume weaker growth in demand. H1 corresponds to market logicwithout any specic constraint, with the progressive abandonment ofnuclear power. H2 and H3, in addition to the development ofrenewable energies, presume the maintenance of nuclear powergeneration at the present level (H2) or its increase to cope with higherenergy demand. B2 corresponds to a modest retreat of nuclear powergeneration (offset by gas and wind), while B3 presumes themaintenance of nuclear power generation at the present level with agreater effort to develop wind generation. B4-30 describes ananticipated exit from nuclear power. In all the scenarios, thepredominant inuence of decisions concerning the future of nuclearpower capability on CO2 releases is obviously noteworthy. (NB. TheseCO2 emissions must be considered as default values, because they onlyconcern power generation and do not take any particular considera-tion of the foreseeable growth in the transport sector, which is by itselfresponsible for 35% of the French CO2 releases).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166162Among them, hydropower remains the most widelyexploited worldwide: 2500TWh in 1996 (BP Amoco,1999) or 19% of world electricity production, withextremely high peaks for countries possessing hydro-power resources: Norway, 85%, Brazil 82%. Hydro-power generation continues to advance steadily, chieyin the developing countries, with a total produciblepotential of 9000TWh (IPCC, 1996c).Wind energy, thanks to major advances in windgenerator technology, is the one growing fastest (Flavin,1998): 4 TWh in 1990, 20TWh in 1998. Its globalestimated potential is of the same order of magnitude ashydropower (IPCC, 1996c). Despite its low generationfactorFaverage capacity/installed capacity=about20% (World Energy Council, 2001)Fstemming fromthe intermittent nature of the energy source (Fig. 15),economic protability is growing steadily and currentlysubsidized projects can be seen to be approaching thecompetitiveness threshold.This is still far from being the case, apart from specicapplications, for solar energy which is expected remainan auxiliary energy source for many years to come,despite its high long term potential. Some applications(solar water heaters) nonetheless already offer signi-cant potential in countries with favorable insolation.Low temperature geothermal energy is exploited inmany countries to generate heat (urban heating net-works), with an estimated capacity of about 10,000MWthermal (Observer, 1999). In France, technical pro-blems (corrosion and clogging), and especially theeconomic problems of the system, have sharply curtailedthe early interest in this energy in the immediateaftermath of the oil crisis. Geothermal heat pumps arenonetheless expanding in North America and Europefor heating homes and buildings (Observer, 1999). Highenergy geothermal energy, limited to a small number ofcountries situated in volcanic areas, has been growing4.6% per year since 1990. Yet its overall weight remainsmarginal, with electricity generation estimated at about50TWh/yr (Observer, 1999).Modern biomass, in other words biomass exploitedaccording to strict environmental criteria (if not,biomass consumption is equivalent to deforestationand represents an additional CO2 source for theatmosphere), is also growing signicantly: world pro-duction of biogas, 15Mtoe/yr, has a potential estimatedbetween 150 and 300Mtoe/yr (Observer, 1998)Fto becompared with world gas consumption in 1998:2016Mtoe (BP Amoco, 1999). Biomass consumptionfor electricity generation has been growing sharply inEurope since 1990, with 1.7% of power generation in1996. Nevertheless, faced with the serious environmentalissues connected with industrial agriculture, and giventhe very low energy efciency of biomass, the currenttaste for bio-energies should not obscure the need for athorough scrutiny of the production processes.6. Economic aspectsIn the context of the liberalization of the electricitymarket, economic protability becomes a major criter-ion for selection between the different energies sources.All these systems are advancing, narrowing the competi-tiveness gap (Fig. 16), with a signicant drop in powerprices in most countries.The gains are particularly signicant for gas-com-bined cycles. Yet fuel cost has very different weights inthe different systems, and any pressure on gas pricescould totally discredit the present gures. In this respect,wind020406080100Generation factor (%)hydropowernucleargeothermalsolarFig. 15. Generation factor (annually averaged capacity/installed ca-pacity) of various non-fossil energies (the low factor for wind and solaris explained by the intermittent nature of the energy source). Source:World Energy Council (2001).1980 1990 2000ANNEE204060cFF95/KWhGASCOALNUCLEARFig. 16. kWh price in France. Source: Lederer and Falgarone (1997).P. Jean-Baptiste, R. Ducroux / Energy Policy 31 (2003) 155166 163the maintenance of the nuclear option (very competitivein base load) and the development of renewableenergies, for a country like France lacking fossilresources, accordingly represents a genuine insurancepolicy.The protability of wind generating installationscritically depends on the quality of the wind reservoiravailable. Hence proper siting is crucial. With a kWhprice ranging from 0.05$ to 0.07$ (Chabot, 2000;Enerpresse, 2000), large wind generators (>200KW)are already of interest to Electricit!e de France (EDF),the French state utility, as an auxiliary source in peakperiods, especially in winter. Small wind generators (1060KW), with costs oscillating between 0.07$kWh and0.15$/kWh (Enerpresse, 2000) are also advantageous forremote sites which cannot be coupled to grid at acompetitive price. Nevertheless, due to its intermittentnature, the wind investment in this case must beduplicated by a supplementary investment (microturbine or diesel generators) to contend with windlessperiods.Yet the wind sector has other ambitions than merelyto be a simple auxiliary energy. In the industrializedcountries, the existence of a dense power grid is atechnical advantage for the penetration of high capacitywind generators. However, it is clear that in the newderegulated energy environment, the future of thesystem demands the improvement of its economiccompetitiveness. In the context of climate change, theinternalization of the costs associated with the green-house effect, by the enforcement of standards on CO2releases, could amply facilitate the economic takeoff ofthis system (Fig. 17).7. ConclusionsThe rapid rise in atmospheric CO2 content associatedwith the massive consumption of fossil energies, and themenace it implies for the equilibrium of the planet,represent a major new factor in the world energy policy.In an expanding global economy, still dependent onfossil fuels for 85% of its energy needs, reducing thereleases in order to stabilize atmospheric CO2 is anextremely complex task. Three main options areavailable to us: (i) energy conservation, (ii) carbonmanagement including enhanced carbon storage on landby natural ecosystems, CO2 capture and geologicalstorage, (iii) greater reliance on CO2-free energies. Tomaximize the global efciency of the ght against globalwarming, these different strategies must be combinedoptimally to exploit their respective advantages.As far as non-fossil energy is concerned, hydropowerand nuclear power resources are the principal assets, dueto their high production potential and their economicefciency. The example of the results obtained inFrance, where CO2 emissions have been cut 27% inthe space of a few years (19791986), despite an increasein energy demand, demonstrates that a policy aimed atthe substantial reduction of CO2 releases is technicallyfeasible at a competitive price. Greater reliance onrenewable energy should also be encouraged, wheretechnical progress should enable it to attain theeconomic competitiveness.For each country, the choice between the variousavailable options is strongly dependent on the localconditions. In France for instance, 472TWh of the513TWh of electricity produced annually are alreadygenerated without any CO2 release by the nuclear andhydraulic sectors (Observatoire de lEnergie, 2001).Because of this situation, unreasoned development ofthe wind electricity generation in France would in factlead to an increase in the CO2 emissions, because of thenecessity to build additional fossil fuel generatingcapacity to deal with the intermittent nature of thewind resource (Birraux and Le D!eaut, 2001). Thissimple example reminds us of the diversity of the energysituation in the various parts of the world and shows usthat a strategy which is well adapted to a given countrycould be totally counterproductive if applied elsewherewithout proper evaluation.ReferencesArrhenius, S., 1896. On the inuence of carbonic acid in the air uponthe temperature of the ground. Philosophical Magazine 41, 251.Beecy, D., Kuuskraa, V., DiPietro, P., 2000. 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