Modelling the material and energy costs of the transition to low-carbon energy
Isterre, CNRS, Université Grenoble-Alpes – France
(*) E-mail: Olivier.Vidal@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr
Published online: 2 October 2018
The evolution from 2000 to 2050 of the needs in concrete, steel, aluminium and copper to build the infrastructure of electricity generation is modelled for the scenarios of García-Olivares et al. (2012), Ecofys-WWF (2012) and the blue map scenario of the IEA (2010). A simple dynamic model is used to estimate the primary production, recycling and lost flows as well as the cumulative stocks of material to be produced, to go into the infrastructure and to be lost. The energy of material production is also estimated. When compared with the expected evolution of global material and energy demands, the modelling results suggest that i) the transition to low-carbon energies implies a substantial increase of raw materials and energy consumption, ii) the shorter lifetime of wind and solar facilities and the loss of recycling implies that the total amount of metal to be produced during the deployment of the infrastructure of energy is significantly higher than their amount stocked in the infrastructure, and iii) the needs in materials and energy will occur in a period of expected increase of primary metal consumption at the world scale and limited potential of recycling
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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