Abundant, affordable and cleaner energy

Carbon dioxide emissions have nearly doubled from 270ppm, before the industrial revolution, to 410ppm in 2017. Arresting heat trapping emissions calls for a radical rethinking of the world’s energy mix which comprises coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity and renewable energy sources. Partial decarbonization of the global energy mix warrants the gradual transition away from coal into less pollution emitting energy sources such as natural gas and renewable energy sources. This drive is especially pronounced for developing nations such as China, India, Brazil and others which will increasingly define the world’s CO2 emissions.

Concerted efforts to address the issue of heat trapping gases led to the adoption of Paris COP21 agreement, in 2015, by nearly all countries. The pledge is to reduce emissions such that world temperature will average 2oC above the pre-industrial level by year 2100. To suggest meaningful remedies for striking a balance between emissions, economic growth and air-quality we opted to examine the world’s largest CO2 emitting countries, namely, China and India. Statistical data indicate that the most polluting sector is power generation which accounts for nearly three quarters of the total emissions.

Using statistical projections, we estimate the future emissions of China and India until year 2040. In addition, we calculate the future levelised cost of each energy technology including battery storage. Our findings reveal that no matter how strict emissions targets other countries set the future energy mix of China and India will progressively dominate world emissions. Remarkably, severe emissions cuts imposed by wealthy countries carry the risk of over-taxing citizens while detrimentally affecting the competitiveness of national economies.

Commencement date: Sept. 2018-

Research Team: Mr. Evangelos Demetriou, Dr. Constantinos Hadjistassou

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