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Abadie L.M.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Chamorro J.M.,University of the Basque Country | Gonzalez-Eguino M.,Basque Center for Climate Change
Energy Journal | Year: 2011

Coal-fired power plants face potential difficulties in a carbon constrained world. The traditional advantage of coal as a cheaper fuel may erode in the future if CO2 allowance prices increase. When would it be optimal to abandon a coal station and obtain its salvage value? We assess this question following the Real Options approach. We consider the case of a coal plant that operates in a deregulated electricity market where natural gas-fired plants are the marginal units. We assume specific stochastic processes for the fundamental uncertainties in our model: coal price, natural gas price, and emission allowance price. The underlying parameters are derived from actual futures markets. They are further used in a three-dimensional binomial lattice to assess the decision to abandon. We draw the optimal exercise boundary. Sensitivity analyses (regarding fuel prices, allowance price, volatilities, useful life, residual value, thermal efficiency, safety valves in carbon prices, time step) are also undertaken. Copyright © 2011 by the IAEE. All rights reserved.

Van Vliet M.T.H.,Wageningen University | Van Vliet M.T.H.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Vogele S.,Jülich Research Center | Rubbelke D.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Rubbelke D.,Ikerbasque
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

Recent warm, dry summers showed the vulnerability of the European power sector to low water availability and high river temperatures. Climate change is likely to impact electricity supply, in terms of both water availability for hydropower generation and cooling water usage for thermoelectric power production. Here, we show the impacts of climate change and changes in water availability and water temperature on European electricity production and prices. Using simulations of daily river flows and water temperatures under future climate (2031-2060) in power production models, we show declines in both thermoelectric and hydropower generating potential for most parts of Europe, except for the most northern countries. Based on changes in power production potentials, we assess the cost-optimal use of power plants for each European country by taking electricity import and export constraints into account. Higher wholesale prices are projected on a mean annual basis for most European countries (except for Sweden and Norway), with strongest increases for Slovenia (12-15%), Bulgaria (21-23%) and Romania (31-32% for 2031-2060), where limitations in water availability mainly affect power plants with low production costs. Considering the long design life of power plant infrastructures, short-term adaptation strategies are highly recommended to prevent undesired distributional and allocative effects. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Cosenza A.,University of Palermo | Mannina G.,University of Palermo | Vanrolleghem P.A.,Laval University | Neumann M.B.,Laval University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2013

Three global sensitivity analysis (GSA) methods are applied and compared to assess the most relevant processes occurring in wastewater treatment systems. In particular, the Standardised Regression Coefficients, Morris Screening and Extended-FAST methods are applied to a complex integrated membrane bioreactor (MBR) model considering 21 model outputs and 79 model factors. The three methods are applied with numerical settings as suggested in literature. The main objective considered is to classify important factors (factors prioritisation) as well as non-influential factors (factors fixing). The performance is assessed by comparing the most reliable method (Extended-FAST), by means of proposed criteria, with the two other methods. In particular, similarity to results obtained from Extended-FAST is assessed for sensitivity indices, for the ranking of sensitivity indices, for the classification into important/non-influential factors and for the method's ability to detect interaction among factors and to provide results in a reasonable time.It was found that the computationally less expensive SRC method was applied outside its range of applicability (R2)=(0.3-0.6)<0.7. Still, the SRC produced a ranking of important factors similar to Extended-FAST. For some variables significant interactions among the factors were revealed by computing the total effect indices STi using Extended-FAST. This means that to obtain reliable variance decomposition and to detect and quantify interactions among the factors, the use of the Extended-FAST is recommended. Regarding the comparison between Morris screening and Extended-FAST a poor agreement was found. In particular, the Morris screening overestimated the number of both important and non-influential factors compared to Extended-FAST for the analysed case study. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Krishna V.V.,University of Gottingen | Drucker A.G.,Bioversity International | Pascual U.,University of Cambridge | Pascual U.,Basque Center for Climate Change | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

This paper examines the role of direct compensation payments for agrobiodiversity conservation, using minor millet landraces in India as an example. The cost of farmer participation in a hypothetical 'payments for agrobiodiversity conservation services' (PACS) scheme is estimated using a stated preference valuation approach. Significant inter-crop and inter-varietal differences are observed with respect to consumption values, upon which the compensation demanded by farm households is shown to primarily depend. Drawing on a categorisation of consumption values and farmer preferences, the paper points to the importance of simultaneously considering a range of potential interventions in order to conserve a priority portfolio of agrobiodiverse resources in predominantly subsistence-based agricultural systems. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Villa F.,Basque Center for Climate Change
Communications in Computer and Information Science | Year: 2010

I present a new modeling formalism that enables multiple-scale, multiple-paradigm, and modular modeling. The formalism starts with a generalization of the semantics of scientific observations, where specialized observation classes compute their states by running models, using the states of the dependent observations as input, inheriting, intersecting and harmonizing their topologies of time and space. This formalism, called semantic meta-modeling, offers a uniform and cohesive approach that encompasses data management, storage, querying and many aspects of traditional modeling. I will show how simple, elegant model specifications can be rewritten into queries that can be run on a semantic database to produce semantically annotated model results. The algorithm automatically operates context translation, matching probabilistic with deterministic data and models, performing data-driven structural transformations of model structure as required by the context, and seamlessly mixing traditionally isolated paradigms such as agent-based with process-based or temporally- with spatially-explicit. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Martinez G.S.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Imai C.,World Health Organization | Masumo K.,University of Tokyo
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2011

The adverse health effects from hot weather and heat waves represent significant public health risks in vulnerable areas worldwide. Rising temperatures due to climate change are aggravating these risks in a context of fast urbanization, population growth and societal ageing. However, environmental heat-related health effects are largely preventable through adequate preparedness and responses. Public health adaptation to climate change will often require the implementation of heat wave warning systems and targeted preventive activities at different levels. While several national governments have established such systems at the country level, municipalities do not generally play a major role in the prevention of heat disorders. This paper analyzes selected examples of locally operated heat-health prevention plans in Japan. The analysis of these plans highlights their strengths, but also the need of local institutions for assistance to make the transition towards an effective public health management of high temperatures and heat waves. It can also provide useful elements for municipal governments in vulnerable areas, both in planning their climate change and health adaptation activities or to better protect their communities against current health effects from heat. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Khatun K.,Basque Center for Climate Change
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2011

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA, 2005) has classified a number of ecosystems good and services (EGS) provided by tropical forests, namely cultural, provisioning, regulatory and support services. The primary focus of this paper is to carry out an economic assessment by comparing the financial costs and returns of selected EGS, namely carbon and timber in the tropical forests of Central America. Timber is unusual from the other EGS provided by forests in that it competes with the other services, i.e. biodiversity, recreation and water services. Carbon storage is the non-timber value most often included in forest accounts and can be equated directly with timber available in terms of biomass content. The study provides a quantitative appraisal of the carbon and timber stocks and flows of tropical (primary) forests by evaluating them simultaneously using data from a number of sources. The provision of reliable and accurate estimates of the economic value of these services is crucial to plan adequate conservation policies that encourage the protection and sustainable management of tropical forests such as those under REDD+. Results indicate that the economic return for managing natural forests is influenced by timber and carbon prices as well as the discount rate applied. Timber on face value is the better land use option; however, there are many issues that need to be considered when valuing timber, especially regarding the management regimes. Revenues under REDD+ option would be higher if co-benefits, which include monies from the extraction of timber under Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) are considered. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Gamerith V.,University of Graz | Neumann M.B.,Laval University | Neumann M.B.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Neumann M.B.,Ikerbasque | And 2 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2013

While several approaches for global sensitivity analysis (GSA) have been proposed in literature, only few applications exist in urban drainage modelling. This contribution discusses two GSA methods applied to a sewer flow and sewer water quality model: Standardised Regression Coefficients (SRCs) using Monte-Carlo simulation as well as the Morris Screening method. For selected model variables we evaluate how the sensitivities are influenced by the choice of the rainfall event. The aims are to i) compare both methods concerning the similarity of results and their applicability, ii) discuss the implications for factor fixing (identifying non-influential parameters) and factor prioritisation (identifying important parameters) and iii) rank the important parameters for the investigated model. It was shown that both methods lead to similar results for the hydraulic model. Parameter interactions and non-linearity were identified for the water quality model and the parameter ranking differs between the methods. For the investigated model the results allow a sound choice of output variables and rainfall events in view of detailed uncertainty analysis or model calibration. We advocate the simultaneous use of both methods for a first model assessment as they allow answering both factor fixing and factor prioritisation at low computational cost. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Markandya A.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Markandya A.,University of Bath | Pemberton M.,University College London
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

The paper develops a framework to analyze energy security in an expected utility framework, where there is a risk of disruption of imported energy. The analysis shows the importance of an energy tax as a tool in maximizing expected utility, and how the level of that tax varies according to the key parameters of the system: risk aversion, probability of disruption, demand elasticity and cost of disruption. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Galarraga I.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Gonzalez-Eguino M.,Basque Center for Climate Change | Markandya A.,Basque Center for Climate Change
Environmental Policy and Governance | Year: 2011

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing us, and it requires urgent policy action. Although climate change policies are mainly being discussed at international level by means of the United Nations Conventions and the Kyoto Protocol, the bulk of the impact will be felt at regional and local level. Regional and local governments are thus important actors. Moreover, regional governments in many parts of the world hold a wide range of the competences to implement policy actions for both adaptation and mitigation. This paper illustrates the important role of regions in climate policies and considers many of the policy instruments being designed and implemented. The paper describes 23 leading regions in climate policy. Finally, the case of Basque climate policy is described as an example of an industrial region in Europe where the degree of decentralization is significant. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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