International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
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.

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Hoglund-Isaksson L.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2017

Existing bottom-up emission inventories of methane from global oil and gas systems do not satisfactorily explain year-on-year variation in atmospheric methane estimated by top-down models. Using a novel bottom-up approach this study quantifies and attributes methane and ethane emissions from global oil and gas production from 1980 to 2012. Country-specific information on associated gas flows from published sources are combined with inter-annual variations in observed flaring of associated gas from satellite images from 1994 to 2010, to arrive at country-specific annual estimates of methane and ethane emissions from flows of associated gas. Results confirm trends from top-down models and indicate considerably higher methane and ethane emissions from oil production than previously shown in bottom-up inventories for this time period. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Gauthier S.,Natural Resources Canada | Bernier P.,Natural Resources Canada | Kuuluvainen T.,University of Helsinki | Shvidenko A.Z.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Schepaschenko D.G.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Science | Year: 2015

The boreal forest, one of the largest biomes on Earth, provides ecosystem services that benefit society at levels ranging from local to global. Currently, about two-thirds of the area covered by this biome is under some form of management, mostly for wood production. Services such as climate regulation are also provided by both the unmanaged and managed boreal forests. Although most of the boreal forests have retained the resilience to cope with current disturbances, projected environmental changes of unprecedented speed and amplitude pose a substantial threat to their health. Management options to reduce these threats are available and could be implemented, but economic incentives and a greater focus on the boreal biome in international fora are needed to support further adaptation and mitigation actions. © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.

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.

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.

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
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.

Rogner H.-H.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Energy Strategy Reviews | Year: 2013

The Fukushima Daiichi accident of March 2011 has re-ignited the debate about the role of nuclear power in the future global energy mix. More than one and a half years after the accident, a somewhat clearer picture is emerging - different countries responded with different nuclear policies, e.g., one size does not fit all. While several countries confirmed or decided to phase-out the use of the technology or to cancel their plans of adding nuclear power to their future electricity generating mix, the majority of countries with operating nuclear power plants or plans to eventually start national nuclear power programmes continue with the implementation of their pre-Fukushima nuclear strategies albeit at a somewhat slower pace. Projections of future nuclear capacity expansion for the year 2030 show a likely shift of global nuclear generating capacities by about a decade but no significant retraction of national nuclear power programmes globally. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Hoglund-Isaksson L.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2012

This paper presents estimates of current and future global anthropogenic methane emissions, their technical mitigation potential and associated costs for the period 2005 to 2030. The analysis uses the GAINS model framework to estimate emissions, mitigation potentials and costs for all major sources of anthropogenic methane for 83 countries/regions, which are aggregated to produce global estimates. Global emissions are estimated at 323 Mt methane in 2005, with an expected increase to 414 Mt methane in 2030. The technical mitigation potential is estimated at 195 Mt methane in 2030, whereof about 80 percent is found attainable at a marginal cost less than 20 Euro t-1CO2eq when using a social planner cost perspective. With a private investor cost perspective, the corresponding fraction is only 30 percent. Major uncertainty sources in emission estimates are identified and discussed. © 2012 Author(s). CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Samir K.C.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Ecology and Society | Year: 2013

We addressed the issue of differential vulnerability to natural disasters at the level of village communities in Nepal. The focus lay on the relative importance of different dimensions of socioeconomic status and in particular, we tried to differentiate between the effects of education and income/wealth, the latter being measured through the existence of permanent housing structures. We studied damage due to floods and landslides in terms of human lives lost, animals lost, and other registered damage to households. The statistical analysis was carried out through several alternative models applied separately to the Terai and the Hill and Mountain Regions, as well as all of Nepal. At all levels and under all models, the results showed consistently significant effects of more education on lowering the number of human and animal deaths as well as the number of households otherwise affected. With respect to the wealth indicator, the picture was less clear and particularly with respect to losses in human lives, the estimated coefficients tended to have the wrong signs. We concluded that the effects of education on reducing disaster vulnerability tended to be more pervasive than those of income/wealth in the case of floods and landslides in Nepal. © 2013 by the author(s).

Rao N.D.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis
Energy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2012

Kerosene subsidies intended for Indian households have been known for their poor targeting and high fiscal costs. However, the distributional benefits to the 160. million households that use kerosene are not well understood. In this paper, the kerosene subsidy is formally assessed as an instrument of income redistribution. The subsidy incidence, progressivity and efficacy of the kerosene subsidy are calculated for the state of Maharashtra, under actual and ideal implementation conditions.The analysis shows that kerosene subsidies are regressive and of minimal financial value to poor rural households. This is in part because household quotas are based on cooking needs, but kerosene is used predominantly for lighting. In urban areas, subsidies are progressive, and provide benefits of up to 5 to 10% of household expenditure among poorer households which lack affordable access to LPG and biomass. Overall, only 26% of the total subsidy value directly reaches households. This analysis suggests that subsidies targeted only to kerosene-dependent urban areas would have a higher efficacy than broad-based subsidies. © 2012 International Energy Initiative.

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