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From global to national scenarios. Bridging different models to explore power generation decarbonisation based on insights from socio-technical transition case studies

: Hof, Andries F.; Carrara, Samuel; Cian, Enrica de; Pfluger, Benjamin; Sluisveld, Mariësse A.E. van; Boer, Harmen S. de; Vuuren, Detlef P. van


Technological forecasting and social change 151 (2020), Art. 119882, 12 pp.
ISSN: 0040-1625
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
integrated assessment; socio-technical transition; multi-level perspective; IAM; climate change; Scenarios

In this paper, we apply two global Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) and one detailed European electricity system model to explore the consequences of different narrative-based low-carbon scenarios on the electricity system from the global to national scale. The narratives are based on insights from socio-technical transition analysis on niche-innovations. The main aim of this exercise is to examine the solution space in low-carbon scenarios for electricity supply from the global to national scale, which is largely neglected when focusing on cost-optimal solutions only. We show that taking into account insights from socio-technical transition analysis can have large impacts on the projected transition strategy, especially regarding relatively costly technologies that currently have a high momentum. For instance, we find that the share of offshore wind in electricity generation in Europe is less than 3% or up to 27% by 2050, depending on the underlying narrative. These ranges are useful input for policy-makers, as they show the degree of flexibility in mitigation options. Furthermore, our analysis shows that combining IAMs with more detailed sectoral models illuminates the challenges on a more detailed geographical scale, for instance regarding storage requirements and the need for interconnectivity across European borders.