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Illustrating the conflicts of the energy transition: energy poverty vs decarbonisation. A case example in Spain

J.C. Romero, P. Linares, A.F. Rodríguez Matas, M. Pérez-Bravo


Although the energy transition is generally understood as the decarbonization of the energy sector, other elements, such as atmospheric pollutants mitigation, job creation, energy security, or reducing energy poverty, must also be considered to build a truly sustainable energy roadmap. And, sometimes, these may be conflicting goals. In this paper we present a multi-criteria tool that illustrates the conflict between energy poverty, decarbonization and other energy transition objectives for the Spanish energy roadmap towards 2050.

Our results show that there is a significant level of conflict. Setting critical limits on CO2 emissions radically conditions the scenario and forces vulnerable population to react. And not all households do it in the same way. In particular, vulnerable households do not reach the target of full decarbonisation of residential demand and continue to consume natural gas because of budget constraints.

In addition, the tool makes it possible to compare different strategies for solving the multi-criteria problem, i.e., efficiency versus equity. The results show how the prioritization of equity, i.e., the criterion farthest from the optimum leads to a significant worsening in the rest of the criteria.

Resumen divulgativo:

Aunque la transición energética se entiende generalmente como la descarbonización del sector energético, también deben tenerse en cuenta otros elementos, como la mitigación de los contaminantes atmosféricos, la creación de empleo, la seguridad energética o la reducción de la pobreza energética, para construir una hoja de ruta energética verdaderamente sostenible. Y, en ocasiones, estos objetivos pueden entrar en conflicto. En este trabajo presentamos una herramienta multicriterio que ilustra el conflicto entre pobreza energética, descarbonización y otros objetivos de la transición energética para la hoja de ruta energética española hacia 2050.

Palabras clave: Energy Sustainability, Energy Transition, Multicriteria Analysis, Optimization Modelling, Energy Poverty

Fecha de Registro: 16/04/2020


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