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Broadening the appeal of marginal abatement cost curves: Capturing both carbon mitigation and development benefits of clean energy technologies


Low emission development strategies (LEDS) articulate policies and implementation plans that enable countries to
advance sustainable, climate-resilient development and private sector growth while significantly reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions traditionally associated with economic growth. In creating a LEDS, policy makers often have access to information on abatement potential and costs for clean energy technologies, but there is a scarcity of economy-wide approaches for evaluating and presenting information on other dimensions of importance to development, such as human welfare, poverty alleviation, and energy security. To address this shortcoming, this paper proposes a new tool for communicating development benefits to policy makers as part of a LEDS process.

The purpose of this tool is two-fold:
1. Communicate development benefits associated with each clean energy-related intervention
2. Facilitate decision-making on which combination of interventions best contributes to development goals.

Constructing a LEDS requires a tool that enables governments to evaluate and prioritize mitigation measures and corresponding policies for implementation of these measures across an economy and clearly explain the process used to make this determination. Because countries’ development priorities are the drivers behind LEDS, optimization tools used for LEDS should incorporate development benefits to reflect this priority.

To pilot this tool, the authors, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, created a visual using data on development impacts identified through the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) project in Montenegro. The visual will then be revised to reflect new data established through the TNA that provides information on cost, GHG mitigation, as well as the range and magnitude of development impacts.

Access the resource here: Broadening the appeal of marginal abatement cost curves: Capturing both carbon mitigation and development benefits of clean energy technologies.