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External costs of energy conversion - improvement of the externe methodology and assessment of energy-related transport externalities


The supply and use of energy imposes risks and causes damage to a wide range of receptors, including human health, natural ecosystems (flora and fauna) and the built environment. Such damages are to a large extent external costs, as they are not reflected in the market price of energy. The existence of external effects in the energy and transport sectors may cause welfare losses and a non-optimal allocation of resources. The internalisation of environmental externalities, which is an important element of EU environmental policy strategies, requires the identification, quantification and monetisation of the external effects.

For the electricity generation sector a methodology for externality quantification was developed within previous phases of the ExternE project. The main feature of this methodology is the modelling of impact pathways. Within the ExternE Transport I Project the ExternE methodology was extended to energy-related impacts of the transport sector, accounting for the considerable differences between the transport sector and the energy sector. However, the uncertainities in the estimation of external costs of energy conversion from both stationary plants and transport are large; furthermore some issues are not sufficiently solved yet and new knowledge has qrisen that has to be integrated into overall framework. So, further methodological improvements is necessary.

The work programme of the present proposal is grouped into two sections:
ExternE Core and ExternE Transport. In ExternE Core issues of general interest for the impact assessment of both, stationary and mobile energy conversion techniques will be addressed, including global warming impacts, ozone impacts, exposure-response models, monetary valuation, sustainability indicators and validation. The results of these tasks will feed into the transport activities of this proposal as well as into National Implementation activities, which are addressed in a separate proposal.

ExternE Transport focuses the issues in the context of the transportation sector. Methodological improvements will include dispersion modelling on the kerbside scale, the extension of life cycle analysis work, the harmonisation of country-specific emission factors and the development of a methodology taking into account the specific issues of aircraft transport. A computer tool for local assessment of transport impacts will be developed. Furthermore externality data will be aggregated, taking into account particularly the needs of the policy case studies.

it is expected that at the end of the project major remaining issues in the current ExternE methodology (e.g. global warming and ozone impacts) will be solved and that the transport accounting framework and the respective tools will be developed so that the framework is ready for broad dissemination and application. Hence, the transport accounting framework and tools will support activities on different aggregation levels as e.g.

- assessing transport techniques in different areas (urban or regional transport),

- analysing single European transport tasks in order to compare different transport systems,

- providing a methodology for supporting the application of environmental policy instruments in the transport sector,

- "green accounting" at the national and European levels.

Call for proposal

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Participants (15)