Deep decarbonization scenarios for Ireland to 2050 using a new scenario ensemble tool

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dc.contributor.advisor Rogan, Fionn en
dc.contributor.advisor O'Gallachoir, Brian en Yue, Xiufeng 2020-01-29T13:00:55Z 2020-01-29T13:00:55Z 2019 2019
dc.identifier.citation Yue, X. 2019. Deep decarbonization scenarios for Ireland to 2050 using a new scenario ensemble tool. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 151 en
dc.description.abstract In response to the threat of climate change, countries of the world have signed the Paris Agreement aimed at limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and with an ambition to limit global warming within 1.5°C. As a member country of the European Union, Ireland is currently not on track to meet its carbon reduction targets and lacks climate policies leading towards a 1.5°C energy future. The purpose of this thesis is to develop methods, evidence and insights from energy systems modelling that can contribute to addressing the challenges of deep decarbonisation of Ireland’s energy system by 2050. While scenario analysis and energy systems modelling has been widely used globally to project 2°C-consistent energy pathways, a comprehensive literature review carried out in this thesis shows that single energy system projections may result in limited or even biased insights. This thesis presents an ensemble of scenarios method, which under a wide range of assumptions captures a broader range of solution space and can better address the challenges of deep decarbonization targets towards 1.5°C. The VEDA-SET (VEDA scenario ensemble tool) system is first developed based on the user shell of the TIMES model VEDA (VErsatile Data Analyst), and allows generating, queueing and analyzing large numbers of scenarios in an efficient manner. Using the VEDA-SET system, scenario ensembles are developed to explore deep decarbonization feasibilities and pathways towards the 1.5°C target set by the Paris Agreement. The results indicate that 1.5°C compatible targets are extremely challenging in terms of cumulative emissions from now to 2050. A more realistic target is midway between 1.5°C and 2°C targets and requires much stronger mitigation efforts between 2020 to 2030 than suggested by the current Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The thesis then focuses on mitigation measures by deriving marginal abatement cost curves (MACCs) using scenarios with varying carbon reduction targets. The MACCs are used to identify key mitigation options with significant mitigation potential and rank them based on cost effectiveness. Compared to existing MACCs for Ireland, MACCs based on the TIMES model better capture intertemporal dynamics and interactions across different sectors. Finally, an analysis is carried out to explore pathways that achieve decarbonization through 100% renewable energy. The analysis finds that 100% RES can be achieved through variable renewable energy (VRE) or abundant supply of bioenergy. A global sensitivity analysis using 500 scenarios reveals that energy pathways relying on bioenergy is more susceptible to uncertainties in investment costs, import costs and global bioenergy supply potentials. The scenario ensemble method adopted in this thesis enhances energy systems modeling by improving model transparency, addressing uncertainties and providing more robust policy insights. Besides journal publications and conference presentations, the findings and insights are disseminated through invited talks, policy briefs and online visualization platforms. Analysis on feasibilities of deep decarbonization is referenced by the IPCC special report on 1.5°C, providing evidence base for national mitigation pathways. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2019, Xiufeng Yue. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject TIMES model en
dc.subject Decarbonization en
dc.subject Energy systems modelling en
dc.subject Uncertainty analysis en
dc.subject Renewable energy en
dc.title Deep decarbonization scenarios for Ireland to 2050 using a new scenario ensemble tool en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en Not applicable en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Science Foundation Ireland en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Energy Engineering en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason Not applicable en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Embargo not applicable (If you have not submitted an e-thesis or do not want to request an embargo) en
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2020 en
dc.internal.ricu Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) en
dc.internal.ricu Environmental Research Institute (ERI) en
dc.relation.project info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/SFI/SFI Research Centres/12/RC/2302/IE/Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) - The SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Research/ en

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© 2019, Xiufeng Yue. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2019, Xiufeng Yue.
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