Cost-effective energy carriers for transport - the role of the energy supply system in a carbon-constrained world
Journal article, 2010
The aim of this study is to examine how the options for producing electricity, fuels, and heat in a carbon-constrained world affect the cost-effectiveness of a range of fuels and propulsion technologies in the transportation sector. GET 7.0, a global energy system model with five end-use sectors, is used for the analysis. We find that an energy system dominated by either by solar or nuclear tends to make biofuels in plug-in hybrids cost-effective. If coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS) dominates the energy system, hydrogen cars, rather than plug-in hybrids tend to become cost-effective. Performing a Monte Carlo simulation, we then show that the general features of our results hold for a wide range of assumptions for the costs of vehicle propulsion technologies (e.g., batteries and fuel cells). However, sufficiently large changes in say the battery costs may overturn the impact of changes in the energy supply system, so that plug-in hybrid vehicles become cost effective even coal with CCS dominate the energy supply. Thus, analyses of future energy carriers and propulsion technologies need to consider developments in the energy supply system.
energy system model