The pivotal role of electricity in the deep decarbonization of energy systems: Cost-effective options for Portugal

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This chapter explores the impacts on energy systems of deep decarbonization in Portugal up to 2050. The technological bottom-up model TIMES_PT is used to generate three families of scenarios; a reference case, three deep decarbonization scenarios and three electrification scenarios. Results show that the electrification of the final energy consumption of the Portuguese economy contributes significantly towards decarbonization, but that this is not a linear relationship. Electrification is not always the synonym of renewable power, although it is cost-effective to deploy renewable power plants up to the maximum endogenous potentials of onshore wind and hydro. Electrification is achieved by significant deployment of renewable electricity generation, mainly solar photovoltaic and offshore wind, as well as concentrated solar power (to a lesser extent). The end use technologies that contribute the most to the electrification of the Portuguese economy are electric vehicles, heat pumps (both in residential and commercial buildings) and dryers and kilns in some industrial sectors. Investment costs will be the cost component with the highest growth in share of total costs over the modelled period, from around 36% of total costs in 2015 up to almost 60% in 2050 for the most stringent greenhouse gas mitigation scenario, while fuel costs substantially decline. The current energy and climate national policies do not consider any of these specific low carbon energy technologies, nor the major investments that will be required. Such aspects need to be specifically addressed in the Portugal Carbon Neutrality Roadmap studies that have recently started.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLimiting Global Warming to Well Below 2 °C: Energy System Modelling and Policy Development
EditorsG. Giannakidis, K. Karlsson, M. Labriet, B. Gallachóir
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74424-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-74423-0
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Energy
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISSN (Print)2195-1284
ISSN (Electronic)2195-1292


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