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      Decarbonising the EU Power Sector: a Technological and Socio-economic Analysis and the Role of Nuclear

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            Abstract

            Low-carbon electricity is a key enabler in combating climate change. Decarbonising the power sector is now at the centre of global and European policies. As the IPCC highlights, pathways where the power sector rapidly decarbonises by 2030 have higher chances of keeping global warming below 1.5°C. The electricity sector should be fully decarbonised by 2050 to meet either the 1.5°C or 2°C targets. This means that EU policy efforts should focus on supporting a maximum reduction of emissions per unit of electricity by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Reaching these targets is one of the most pressing questions EU policymakers face today. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, EU policies should guide a cost-effective, reliable and environmentally sound transition of the power sector, benefiting EU research and innovation and its citizens. This meta-analysis provides a novel view on historical data and compares data from modelling scenarios identified in the literature. It assesses the current and future role of nuclear energy in decarbonizing the EU power sector, while reviewing socio-economic implications that could arise if limited public support nearly excludes nuclear fission electricity from the future EU power mix. This work highlights relevant socio-economic policy implications and actionable policy recommendations.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            13 December 2021
            Affiliations
            [1 ] European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Euratom Research, CDMA, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
            Author notes
            Article
            10.14324/111.444/000110.v1
            8f46197a-6c67-4e14-a8f4-e03085c54352

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


            The data that support the findings of this study are available from No new data were generated and all data analyzed were downloaded from public sources and all references are indicated in the paper. but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of No new data were generated and all data analyzed were downloaded from public sources and all references are indicated in the paper..
            Environmental economics & Politics
            EU Green Deal,Electrification,Decarbonisation scenarios,Nuclear energy,Socio-economic costs,EU energy policy,Energy system costs,Power sector,Systems modelling,Energy and policy,Energy and climate,Climate change

            Comments

            Date: 06 May 2022

            Handling Editor: Prof Dan Osborn

            Editorial decision: Declined for publication by the Editors of UCL Open: Environment and withdrawn from submission. This preprint (and all other versions of it) will remain online on the preprint server with its registered DOI, but the article is no longer under consideration for peer review at UCL Open: Environment and the authors are free to submit this manuscript to any other relevant journal of their choice. For more information about this please read the journal’s Editorial Policy online at https://ucl-about.scienceopen.com/publishing-policies.

            2022-05-06 13:11 UTC
            +1

            Date: 18 January 2022

            Handling Editor: Prof Dan Osborn

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            2022-01-20 16:52 UTC
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