Efficiency should always be the first answer – IEA

Efficiency should always be the first answer – IEA

Energy efficiency has been critical in decoupling economic growth from rising energy consumption Source: Efficiency should always be the first answer – IEA In my research I have been focusing on low-carbon power technologies and on how they could contribute to the transition towards a fully decarbonized energy sector. However we often forget that, as the title of this post clearly states, “energy efficiency should always be the first answer”. Before trying to understand how to generate clean energy, in fact,…

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COBHAM – Milan

COBHAM – Milan

In the past days I participated in the workshop titled “Best practices for modeling human behaviour in IAMs”, where I remind that the acronym IAM stands for Integrated Assessment Model, i.e. the model family that comprises my WITCH model. The workshop was organized in the context of COBHAM, the ERC project coordinated by my Supervisor Massimo Tavoni. Behavior is a relevant aspect in Integrated Assessment Modeling, which has become topical in recent years. The research question is quite simple: IAMs…

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Seminar at the JRC

Seminar at the JRC

Last week I was invited to give a seminar at the JRC site in Petten, the Netherlands. As most of you surely know, the JRC is the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. It features seven research institutes distributed across five sites in five different European countries (in addition to the headquarters in Brussels). Petten is the main site of the Institute for Energy and Transport (which also has some units in Ispra, here in Italy). My presentation was…

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Nuclear scenarios and graphs completed

Nuclear scenarios and graphs completed

Running the scenarios for the nuclear exercise did not take too much time: after all, as described in the relevant post, they were only five and setting up the modeling conditions did not require any special work . After the work on solar PV and CCS, I have also become fairly efficient in using the R language, that I adopt for producing graphs: the “initial cost” has been quite high, but the quality of the charts is surely worth the…

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New wind and solar generation costs fall below existing coal plants – FT

New wind and solar generation costs fall below existing coal plants – FT

Estimates jeopardise Trump’s hopes of reviving mining industry in US Source: Financial Times This news reminds me of an old post that reported the progressive decrease of wind and solar costs. Apparently these two technologies have now reached coal, i.e. the benchmark technology, at least “in many areas of the US”, as stated in the article. Now the tendency must be consolidated, of course, but it is normally stressed that renewables will really take off only when they become cheaper…

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Millennials Ambassadors Forum – Turin

Millennials Ambassadors Forum – Turin

Yesterday I participated in a workshop organized by the Millennials Ambassadors Forum (MAF) in Turin. MAF is a think-tank where the so-called Ambassadors, i.e. prominent personalities from the social, political, and economic world, provide mentorship to the new generations under the inspiration of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Naturally the event was not strictly related to the MERCURY project, but it was surely within my multi-dimensional training objectives, especially in the broader perspective of understanding the world where…

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Nuclear scenarios

Nuclear scenarios

As anticipated in the last post concerning my research, in the last weeks I focused on conceiving the nuclear exercise. First of all, I carried out an extensive literature review concerning the present nuclear landscape and the prospects in the different countries. The nuclear scenario is rather polarized between OECD and non-OECD countries. The former feature the most numerous fleets, but most reactors are approaching the end of their operational life and governmental policies are in most cases against further…

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New Asian coal plants knock climate goals off course – FT

New Asian coal plants knock climate goals off course – FT

Growing ‘disconnect’ between energy markets and emission targets Source: Financial Times Whereas old-technology and high-emissions coal-fired power plants have progressively been approaching the end of their operational life in Western countries, in Asia (notably China and India) such plants are averagely much more recent, and many are under construction. This will result in a lock-in of carbon dioxide emissions for decades, with detrimental effects on climate change mitigation. This is one of the biggest issues regarding  the energy sector in…

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CMCC Seminar – Venice

CMCC Seminar – Venice

Last Wednesday I participated in a seminar organized by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC, Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici) in Venice. The seminar was titled “A EU ‘Paris consistent’ road transport policy: is it possible and what would it take?” and was held by Jørgen Henningsen, senior adviser on energy and climate change of the European Policy Centre, and, among others, former director of the DG Environment of the European Commission. Indeed I did not simply attend the…

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CCS paper completed, now nuclear!

CCS paper completed, now nuclear!

Yesterday I finally completed the first draft of the CCS paper. As I anticipated in the last relevant post, I will likely finalize the article only after the end of the project: for the moment, this draft version is more than sufficient for Deliverable 2.1 and I have to focus on completing the modeling activity within January 15. The next step is the final task within WP2, focused on nuclear. It is known that this technology still represents a key…

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