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Laxenburg, Austria

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis is an international research organization located in Laxenburg, near Vienna, in Austria. IIASA conducts interdisciplinary scientific studies on environmental, economic, technological and social issues in the context of human dimensions of global change. IIASA’s mission is "to provide insights and guidance to policymakers worldwide by finding solutions to global and universal problems through applied systems analysis in order to improve human and social wellbeing and to protect the environment." Wikipedia.

Pachauri S.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2011

Recent international events point to a growing momentum to adopt a universal energy access target or goal. However, without an agreement about standards for measuring access from an operational point of view and consensus about the conceptual definition of access, setting such an energy access target and, more importantly, the adoption of such a target by the international community will be challenging. Previous approaches to defining access to modern energy have tended to focus on single dimensions of the access issue, such as physical supply or availability of energy carriers, adequacy (availability above a minimum threshold quantity) and affordability. To reach a consensus on defining access will require focus on three elements. First, defining what energy services should be included in the basic needs basket. Second, setting what quantitative and qualitative thresholds define minimum need. And finally, assessing how the new modern energy costs compares to existing household energy expenditures for different household income groups. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Ondraczek J.,University of Hamburg | Ondraczek J.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014

Despite the rapid decline in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the past five years., even recent academic research suggests that the cost of generating PV electricity remains too high for PV to make a meaningful contribution to the generation of grid electricity in developing countries. This assessment is reflected in the views of policymakers throughout Africa, who often consider PV as a technology suited only to remote locations and small-scale applications. This paper therefore analyzes whether, in contrast to conventional wisdom, PV is already competitive with other generation technologies. Analytically, the paper is based on a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) model to calculate the cost of PV electricity in Kenya, which serves as a case study. Based on actual technology costs and Kenya's solar resource, the LCOE from PV is estimated at USD 0.21/kWh for the year 2011, with scenario results ranging from USD 0.17-0.30/kWh. This suggests that the LCOE of grid-connected PV systems may already be below that of the most expensive conventional power plants, i.e. medium-speed diesel generators and gas turbines, which account for a large share of Kenya's current power mix. This finding implies that researchers and policymakers may be mistaken in perceiving solar PV as a costly niche technology, rather than a feasible option for the expansion of power generation in developing countries. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Rao N.D.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

Electricity access is an important driver of economic development. Previous studies treat electrification as a binary outcome. In reality, in developing countries households with access face chronic supply interruptions, which can last up to 12. h a day. This is the first study to estimate the income differences in urban and rural non-farm enterprises in Indian households with different levels of electricity supply, using a subset of 8125 households in the India Human and Development Survey, a cross-sectional national sample of 41,554 households. I use multiple econometric approaches, including linear regression with an instrument variable and propensity-score matching with multiple treatment levels to represent supply availability. I find a robust income effect of access, and suggestive evidence of the effect of better supply availability. The aggregate income impact across existing NFEs in India of improving supply to 16 h a day could be on the order of 0.1 percent of GDP. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pachauri S.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

Impetus to expand electricity access in developing nations is urgent. Yet aspirations to provide universal access to electricity are often considered potentially conflicting with efforts to mitigate climate change. How much newly electrified, largely poor, households raise emissions, however, remains uncertain. Results from a first retrospective analysis show that improvements in household electricity access contributed 3-4% of national emissions growth in India over the past three decades. Emissions from both the direct and indirect electricity use of more than 650 million people connected since 1981 accounted for 11-25% of Indian emissions growth or, on average, a rise of 0.008-0.018 tons of CO 2 per person per year between 1981 and 2011. Although this is a marginal share of global emissions, it does not detract from the importance for developing countries to start reducing the carbon intensities of their electricity generation to ensure sustainable development and avoid future carbon lock-in. Significant ancillary benefits for air quality, health, energy security and efficiency may also make this attractive for reasons other than climate mitigation alone. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Sigmund K.,University of Vienna | Sigmund K.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | De Silva H.,Vienna University of Economics and Business | Traulsen A.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology | Hauert C.,University of British Columbia
Nature | Year: 2010

Theoretical and empirical research highlights the role of punishment in promoting collaborative efforts. However, both the emergence and the stability of costly punishment are problematic issues. It is not clear how punishers can invade a society of defectors by social learning or natural selection, or how second-order free-riders (who contribute to the joint effort but not to the sanctions) can be prevented from drifting into a coercion-based regime and subverting cooperation. Here we compare the prevailing model of peer-punishment with pool-punishment, which consists in committing resources, before the collaborative effort, to prepare sanctions against free-riders. Pool-punishment facilitates the sanctioning of second-order free-riders, because these are exposed even if everyone contributes to the common good. In the absence of such second-order punishment, peer-punishers do better than pool-punishers; but with second-order punishment, the situation is reversed. Efficiency is traded for stability. Neither other-regarding tendencies or preferences for reciprocity and equity, nor group selection or prescriptions from higher authorities, are necessary for the emergence and stability of rudimentary forms of sanctioning institutions regulating common pool resources and enforcing collaborative efforts. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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