Impact of the economic recession on the European power sector’s CO2 emissions
Title: Impact of the economic recession on the European power sector’s CO2 emissions
Citation: Energy policy, 2011, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 1677-1686
This paper investigates the impact of the economic recession on CO2 emissions in the European power sector, during the years 2008 and 2009. Three main determinants of the power sector’s emissions are identified: the demand for electricity, the CO2 price, and fuel prices. A counterfactual scenario has been set up for each of these, i.e., what these parameters would have been if not affected by the recession. A simulation model of the European power sector is then employed, comparing a historical reference simulation (taking the parameters as actually occurred) with the counterfactual scenarios. The lower electricity demand (due to the recession) is shown to have by far the largest impact, accounting for an emission reduction of about 175 Mton. The lower CO2 price (due to the recession) resulted in an increase in emissions by about 30 Mton. The impact of fuel prices is more difficult to retrieve; an indicative reduction of about 17 Mton is obtained, mainly as a consequence of the low gas prices in 2009. The simulated combined impact of the parameters results in an emission reduction of about 150 Mton in the European power sector over the years 2008 and 2009 as a consequence of the recession.
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