Energie : papiers de recherche moissonnés (5/12/2017)

Challenges to the Future of Gas: unburnable or unaffordable? / Jonathan Stern. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Dec. 2017, 53 p. (OIES paper : NG 125) https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/challenges-future-gas-unburnable-unaffordable/

Modelling studies suggest that COP21 targets can be met with global gas demand peaking in the 2030s and declining slowly thereafter. This would qualify gas to be considered a `transition fuel’ to a low carbon economy. However, such an outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion. There are limited numbers of countries outside the OECD which can be expected to afford to pay wholesale (or import) prices of $6-8/MMbtu and above, which are needed to remunerate 2017 delivery costs of large volumes of gas from new pipeline gas or LNG projects. Prices towards the top of (and certainly above) this range are likely to make gas increasingly uncompetitive leading to progressive demand destruction even in OECD countries. The current debate in the gas community is when the `glut’ of LNG will dissipate, and the global supply/demand balance will tighten. The unspoken assumption is that when this happens – generally believed to be around the early/mid 2020s – prices will rise somewhere close to 2011-14 levels, allowing a return to profitability for projects which came on stream since the mid-2010s and allowing new projects to move forward. Should this assumption prove be correct, it will create major problems for the future of gas. The key to gas fulfilling its potential role as a transition fuel up to and beyond 2030, is that it must be delivered to high income markets below $8/MMbtu, and to low income markets below $6/MMbtu (and ideally closer to $5/MMbtu). The major challenge to the future of gas will be to ensure that it does not become (and in many low-income countries remain) unaffordable and/or uncompetitive, long before its emissions make it unburnable.

Les mini-réseaux électriques comme exemple d’application des thèses d’Elinor Ostrom sur la gouvernance polycentrique de la tragédie des communs / Jean-Claude Berthélemy, Revue d’économie du développement, 24(3/4), 2016, pp. 85-106 http://www.cairn.info/revue-d-economie-du-developpement-2016-3.htm

Cet article met l’accent sur les questions de gouvernance à résoudre pour progresser dans l’Objectif du développement durable n° 7 sur l’accès à l’énergie. Le point de départ de l’analyse est le constat de problèmes majeurs de gouvernance dans les grands réseaux électriques des pays en retard en matière d’accès à l’électricité. Ces problèmes de gouvernance, qui induisent des coûts élevés pour les utilisateurs du réseau, relèvent de l’interprétation d’Elinor Ostrom sur la tragédie des communs. Les projets de mini-réseaux, dont la faisabilité technico-économique a été renforcée ces dernières années du fait des progrès en matière de production d’électricité à partir de sources renouvelables, constituent une réponse possible réaliste à ces défis, dès lors qu’une gouvernance polycentrique permettrait, comme envisagé par Elinor Ostrom, de résoudre la tragédie des communs. Quelques retours d’expérience à partir de l’observation de projets récents d’électrification rurale permettent d’identifier les facteurs clés de la réussite de ces projets.

The EU still waiting for a seamless electricity transmission system : missing pillars and roadblocks / Nicolò Rossetto. European University Institute ; Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ; Florence School of Regulation, November 2017, 30 p. (working papers) http://fsr.eui.eu/publications/eu-still-waiting-seamless-electricity-transmission-system-missing-pillars-roadblocks/

The EU does not have a truly seamless electricity transmission system in place yet. Borders still matter when system planning, expansion and operation are at stake. This fact has a negative consequence on the achievement of the European goals in the field of electricity. Three core pillars, currently missing, must be addressed by national and European policy-makers to move forward: coordination of actions and decisions, sharing of benefits and costs, and solidarity beyond costs and benefits. The importance of this pillars is apparent when considering two issues that have become particularly critical in the last few years: redispatching actions and electricity crisis management. If the three missing pillars are not taken seriously, issues like those of redispatching and crisis management can transform in insurmountable roadblocks on the path towards the establishment of a single market for electricity with high levels of security of supply and a low carbon generation mix.

OPEC, Shale Oil, and Global Warming – On the importance of the order of extraction / Hassan Benchekroun, Gerard (G.C.) van der Meijden, Cees Withagen. Amsterdam: Tinbergen Institute, October 2017, 50 p. (Discussion Paper 2017-104/VIII) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3064713

We show that OPEC’s market power contributes to global warming by enabling producers of relatively expensive and dirty oil to start producing before OPEC reserves are depleted. We fully characterize the equilibrium of a cartel-fringe model and use a calibration to examine the importance of this extraction sequence effect. While welfare under the cartel-fringe equilibrium can be significantly lower than under a first-best outcome, almost all of this welfare loss is due to the sequence effect. Moreover, the recent boom in shale oil reserves may reduce social welfare and renewables subsidies can increase the carbon content of current extraction.

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