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Energies 2017, 10(2), 158; doi:10.3390/en10020158

The Impact of Shale Gas on the Cost and Feasibility of Meeting Climate Targets—A Global Energy System Model Analysis and an Exploration of Uncertainties

1
Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK
2
Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John Barrett
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Economy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1903 KB, uploaded 27 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

There exists considerable uncertainty over both shale and conventional gas resource availability and extraction costs, as well as the fugitive methane emissions associated with shale gas extraction and its possible role in mitigating climate change. This study uses a multi-region energy system model, TIAM (TIMES integrated assessment model), to consider the impact of a range of conventional and shale gas cost and availability assessments on mitigation scenarios aimed at achieving a limit to global warming of below 2 °C in 2100, with a 50% likelihood. When adding shale gas to the global energy mix, the reduction to the global energy system cost is relatively small (up to 0.4%), and the mitigation cost increases by 1%–3% under all cost assumptions. The impact of a “dash for shale gas”, of unavailability of carbon capture and storage, of increased barriers to investment in low carbon technologies, and of higher than expected leakage rates, are also considered; and are each found to have the potential to increase the cost and reduce feasibility of meeting global temperature goals. We conclude that the extraction of shale gas is not likely to significantly reduce the effort required to mitigate climate change under globally coordinated action, but could increase required mitigation effort if not handled sufficiently carefully. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale gas; natural gas; supply curves; climate change mitigation; energy system analysis; energy scenarios; TIMES Integrated Assessment Model (TIAM); fugitive methane emissions; energy economics shale gas; natural gas; supply curves; climate change mitigation; energy system analysis; energy scenarios; TIMES Integrated Assessment Model (TIAM); fugitive methane emissions; energy economics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Few, S.; Gambhir, A.; Napp, T.; Hawkes, A.; Mangeon, S.; Bernie, D.; Lowe, J. The Impact of Shale Gas on the Cost and Feasibility of Meeting Climate Targets—A Global Energy System Model Analysis and an Exploration of Uncertainties. Energies 2017, 10, 158.

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