Near-zero emissions (-85%)

In contrast to the other scenarios, this sensitivity does not reach net-zero carbon emissions. Here is a carbon price, however no carbon limit. This is not a desirable scenario but this analysis can increase the understanding of the differences between near-zero and net-zero emission scenarios. Flexibility on emission targets at the country level could for instance lead to countries with a small negative balance and other countries with a small positive balance.

Key takeaways
  • With a carbon price reaching 350 €/ton in 2050, CO2 is reduced by 85% (compared to 1990).
  • The major difference with the net-zero CENTRAL scenario is that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) remains prominent up to 2050. The residual emissions that cannot be captured are acceptable in a near-zero scenario but are incompatible with the net-zero emission concept.
  • Going from near-zero (-85%) to net-zero can double the energy system costs beyond 2030. The additional cost is 2 billion euro in 2040 and 6 billion euro in 2050. Conversely, in the net-zero scenario, no tax must be paid for the remaining 15% of emissions, amounting to 6 billion euro annually.

CO2 Emissions

  • In 2050, CO2 is reduced by 85% (compared to 1990). The remaining 15% come from sectors where reducing all CO2 is not cost-efficient if only this carbon price is applied, such as heavy-duty transport. This result is very sensitive to the assumption of maintenance cost.
  • With a carbon price that reaches 250 €/ton in 2040, CO2 is reduced already by 80%. Anticipation for a net-zero 2050 is most pronounced in the transport sector.
  • In 2050, captured CO2 is lower in the net-zero scenario as residual emissions are incompatible with the concept of net-zero.
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