D6.8 Summary Report on Final Conference

Summary

The final conference of the INNOPATHS project took place on 31st May and 1st June 2021. It was hosted by the European University Institute (EUI), but was held via Zoom, due to ongoing travel and meeting restrictions across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic. This report summarises the sessions across the two days of the meeting and contains links to the recordings of the public sessions.

D5.5 Summary Roadmap of the EU energy system

Summary

The INNOPATHS Roadmap aims to assess the technical and socio-economic feasibility of different, contrasted transformation pathways towards climate neutrality by 2050 and identify if there are robust strategies that are relevant across narratives to achieve deep decarbonisation by 2050. The model-based analysis confirms that the transition to carbon neutrality will result in transformative structural changes across the European economy and requires a significant upscale of all currently available mitigation options combined with emergence of new breakthrough technologies. The ambition of the target is so high that there is no room left for choosing the single best option, as the combined development of all available mitigation options should be accelerated to ensure a cost-efficient transition towards climate neutrality by mid-century. In all scenarios and models, a high increase in electrification of energy end uses, via e-mobility, heat pumps and electrified industry processes, is paramount for deep decarbonization, providing synergies for electricity, transport and buildings sectors, and bringing energy price stability for the demand sectors. Accelerated energy efficiency improvements provide opportunities to reduce the required carbon prices and supply-side investments to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050. In addition, increased innovation, development and diffusion of currently immature technologies such as e-fuels, (green) hydrogen, CCUS or CDR is required to fully decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors like heavy industry, freight transport, aviation and agriculture.

D4.1 Report on assessment of low-carbon pathways for economic growth, industrial competitiveness and employment in EU countries

Summary

The INNOPATHS project aims to provide a fully-fledged assessment of the technology, policy, energy and socio-economic impacts of decarbonisation strategies for the EU. In this context, the deliverable D4.1 aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the activity growth, employment, trade and competitiveness effects of current and future European energy and climate policy measures. This deliverable presents a series of research papers which provide insights on the socio-economic impacts of climate policies towards the transformation of the European Union (EU) economy in line with the EU Green Deal and the long-term strategy for climate neutrality by mid-century. The analysis is not limited to the long-term developments, but also considers the mid-term developments (up to 2030) that need to take place to pave the way towards the restructuring of the European economy towards decarbonisation. In addition, the analysis explores the socio-economic impacts of past and current energy and climate policies, in particular related to the impacts on employment, skills, trade, carbon leakage and embodied emissions. Finally, the research papers present new methodological improvements developed in the task 4.1, both related to advanced econometric and statistical techniques as well as beyond the state-of-the-art modelling enhancements in the macro-economic GEM-E3 model which allow an improved representation of energy system transformation, climate policy instruments, financial sector and endogenous technology progress induced by innovation.

D4.4: Report on governance of low-carbon transitions and infrastructure development

Summary

City-level decisions are crucial for delivering a low carbon transition, particularly as urban population dynamics and environments change in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring appropriate governance structures, mechanisms and resources to facilitate these decisions is therefore essential. Based on a systematic literature review by van der Heijden (2019), this report develops a simple framework to assess the state of ten enabling factors for effective urban climate governance, and applies it to low-carbon passenger mobility in London and Freiburg.

D3.9 Report on decarbonisation in the transport sector

Summary

The INNOPATHS project is using an intensive process of stakeholder engagement and co-design in order to inform the development of technologically-detailed decarbonisation pathways for Europe out to 2050. Building on the stakeholder-developed narratives, state-of-the-art energy-economy-transport models will develop quantitative scenarios leading towards low-carbon transformation pathways. In addition, sector-specific tasks focus on improving the model representations of the transition dynamics in specific energy demand and supply sectors, including technology parameterization, demand evolution and enrichment of representation of sector-specific policies and measures.

This deliverable presents a series of research papers which provide insights on how the overall EU transport sector can drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) until 2050 and analyse the influence of technological progress and specific transport policies for decarbonising passenger and freight transport. The analysis is not limited to the long-term developments, but also considers the mid-term developments (up to 2030) that need to take place to pave the way towards the restructuring of the transport sector towards decarbonisation (for instance technology development, infrastructure building and setting policies). In this respect, we present case studies in which we explore how the transition towards low-carbon transport technologies can take place, already in the decade 2020-2030. Finally, the research papers present new model enhancements, which allow an improved representation of policies and new technologies and fuels (as well as their impacts) in the context of drastically reducing transport CO2 emissions by 2050.

D2.6 Decarbonisation Policy Evaluation Tool [DPET] ) previously referred to as the “Policy Assessment Framework Online Tool”

Summary

This deliverable summarizes insights from the systematic literature review of the environmental, technical and socio-economic impacts of policy instruments that are being considered to foster transitions to carbon neutral economies—work that was carried out under T2.5 of the INNOPATHS project. It also presents and describes the Decarbonisation Policy Evaluation Tool (DPET), an online tool that was also developed as part of T2.5 and also contains all the data collected and coded as part of the systematic literature review process.

D2.2 Prototype of Policy Evaluation Tool [Online Tool]

Summary

This deliverable presents and describes the prototype for the Policy Evaluation Tool (PET) which has been developed in the INNOPATHS project.

The PET was designed to be an integrated, interactive and open online platform to be used by policy makers, industry representatives, researchers and the general public across Europe. The online tool gives guidance as to what can be expected from a wide range of different low-carbon policies. This includes both past policies and future policy options. Given the scope of the INNOPATHS project, the main focus of the tool is on the EU, but policies from other countries may be considered as well. This online tool helps policy makers and other stakeholders get a clear idea what kinds of policies, and at what strength, will be required promote technical progress in low-carbon technologies, and their widespread diffusion.

Summary roadmap

Key messages:

  • Massive expansion of cheap renewables will provide emission-free electricity and make deep electrification of all sectors a key pillar for climate neutrality.
  • Beyond electrification, innovation, development and diffusion of currently immature technologies (hydrogen, e-fuels, CDR) is required to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors like heavy industry, freight transport and aviation.
  • A substantial increase in the strength and ambition of EU climate polices is essential in order to achieve ambitious climate targets for 2030 and 2050.
  • The consistency of climate policy with broader industrial and socio-economic policies will be essential if the full economic benefits are to be realised and potential negative effects avoided.

Read the full brief

Innovation for Decarbonisation

Key messages:

  • The European transition towards net-zero emissions by 2050 requires both competitive technology costs and the removal of a wide array of non-cost-related diffusion barriers.
  • Innovation successfully takes place when a diversity of actors and institutions share a common value system, which can be promoted by EU institutions providing a unifying framework across member states to reduce the impact of countervailing national and cross-national pressures.
  • Increased public support for net-zero R&D is still crucial. Support for R&D in small firms and start-ups is a particularly useful tool to advance the twin goals of innovation in hard-to-decarbonize areas and economic competitiveness and opportunities, provided it is designed adequately.
  • Many of the policy instruments that have been deployed to reduce GHG emissions have also been shown to promote technology innovation alongside emissions reductions.
  • Demand-pull policies play an important role in promoting diffusion and reducing different barriers, but they need to be designed to be flexible and adjustable to minimize negative competitiveness and distributional impacts, particularly for small firms and low income households.