Energy Trilemma: Models to Evaluate Energy Policy — Natasha Turkmani

Governments are thus faced with the task of planning a low-carbon energy transition, but at what cost and how quickly will this transformation occur?

The international commitment to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels will require significant and consistent reductions in global emissions. The Nationally Determined Contributions set out at COP21 are likely to promote the strong decarbonization of the energy sector, which is responsible for two-thirds of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Governments are thus faced with the task of planning a low-carbon energy transition, but at what cost and how quickly will this transformation occur? How can the flexibility and reliability of energy supply be ensured, amidst disruptive changes in energy consumption? These three set of issues is known as the Energy Trilemma.

This CHUtalk provides a brief overview of energy modelling fundamentals, highlighting the numerous technological, economic, and social factors at play. Integrated Assessment Models, such as those used by the IPCC to create forecasts, will be introduced, along with some interesting results. Natasha shed's light on the complex, subjective nature of an “ideal” energy system. Presented by postgraduate students and Fellows from the College, CHUtalks provides stimulating summaries on a diverse range of topics, whilst at the same time delving deep into individual fields of research to uncover fascinating insights. 

Presented at Churchill College, 28 February 2018.

 

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