Supported by Total in association with Fondation Tuck

Doctoral Program - Emma Jagu

 PhD Student

Emma Jagu

Emma Jagu has joined the Economics department of IFP School in October 2019 to start her PhD work on the deployment of BECCS (Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage). 

She formely gratuated from CentraleSupélec, ESCP Europe and Université Paris-Saclay with a triple Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Management, and Energy Economics. During her student time, she participated in COP22 and COP23 as a representative of the REFEDD (Réseau Français des Etudiants pour le Développement Durable).
 

The economics of BECCS technologies

Id. card:

   Project Type:            Doctoral project proposed to the newly created Chair at IFP School

   Duration:                  3 years, starting on sept. 2019

   Ideal profile for the candidate: A French Grande Ecole (Eng.) + MSc. in Econ./Mgmt Sci.

   Supervisor:               Dr. Olivier Massol

Background

Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) is recurrently presented as a critically needed technology in long-term energy scenarios (e.g., IEA, 2017; Knopf et al., 2013) because this technology option makes achievable the ambitious CO2 abatement targets required for a 2°C-compatible world. However, BECCS faces the reality of a slower-than-anticipated uptake. With few exceptions, to date, large-scale integrated BECCS projects have not been commercially deployed, and skepticism regarding the future outlook of CCS (which is an important element of the BECCS value chain) is now increasing (Banks and Boersma, 2015). In light of these difficulties, research examining the socio-economic barriers to the deployment of BECCS technologies and proposing adapted policy remedies is now gaining momentum.

For policymakers, a series of crucial question marks remain to be addressed and provide the basic motivation for the present project: (i) What is the value (i.e., the social surplus) generated by BECCS projects? (ii) Is it possible to determine an incentive-compatible sharing of that surplus among the different components (and thus the different players) involved in that value chain? (iii) What is the market price per ton of CO2 that would be needed to trigger the adoption of BECCS capabilities? (iv) Is that price compatible with the condition for an incentive-compatible participation of all the economic agents involved in that value chain? (v) and (if that participation is a concern), what are the most adapted public policies capable to sort the problem?

To address it, our point of departure is the series of theoretical and applied contributions presented by O. Massol and his coauthors (cf. the list below) that call for further attention to be paid to the conditions needed for the adoption of new decarbonizing technologies. The originality of that approach is that it departs from earlier contributions that implicitly posit an idealized industrial organization whereby a unique decision-maker (e.g., a benevolent central planner) is assumed to have total control over the whole value chain. As these economic agents are unlikely to strictly obey a “superior” decision-maker, a closer examination of the coordination issues faced by that collection of independent agents is needed. Instead, Massol and his coauthors have developed a cooperative game theoretic approach to investigate the conditions needed for a collection of economic agents to share common infrastructures and/or to interact in a common value chain. That analysis allows determining an incentive-compatible break-even price for technology adoption.

Scope of work

The purpose of this doctoral project is to examine the conditions for the deployment of BECCS projects. It will successively address the following topics:

  1. Provide a synthetic but realistic model of economic interactions that exists aiming the various component of the value chain
     
  2. Identify the conditions for the existence of a net positive social surplus derived from the deployment of that technology
     
  3. Apply and develop the game theoretic tools needed to verify whether there exists an incentive compatible sharing of the benefits and costs of the proposed value chain among the economic agents. That analysis will successively:
     
    1. examine whether an extension of the club theoretic framework in Massol et al. (2014) is sufficient to address the problem?
       
    2. develop some extensions aimed at examining the role of uncertainties related to either cost issues (e.g., uncertainties on the magnitude of the future learning rates, on the magnitude of the scale economies envisioned for that value chain) or benefits (e.g., uncertain future carbon price trajectories).
       
  4. Building upon the insights gained on the economics of BECCS, the student will then study the economics of the public policies that can be proposed to support the deployment of BECCS capabilities (e.g., standards, fiscal subsidies, sectoral regulation). A special emphasis will have to be paid to the identification of time-consistent policies that are de facto immune to the vicissitudes of the electoral cycles.

References:

Banal-Estañol, A., Eckhause, J., and O. Massol. 2016. Incentives for early adoption of carbon capture technology: further considerations from a European perspective. Energy Policy, Vol. 90, pp. 246-252.

Massol, O., Tchung-Ming, S., and A. Banal-Estañol. 2018. Capturing industrial CO2 emissions in Spain: infrastructures, costs and break-even prices. Energy Policy, Vol. 115, 545-560.

Massol, O., Tchung-Ming, S., and A. Banal-Estañol. 2015. Joining the CCS Club! The Economics of CO2 Pipeline Projects. European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 247(1), pp. 259-275.

Conference

On May 2020, the Second International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions to be held at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden was cancelled due to the worldwide sanitary situation.

For the CarMa research team this conference was the opportunity to present the preliminary results of Emma Jagu’s PhD work and to share with our peers the latest progress in the domain of negative CO2 emissions. To allow further contacts and discussions with scientists involved in this domain, we are pleased to make the abstract of her paper available on our website. Feel free to contact us for discussion. We have a lot to learn together!


 

MOOC

The second edition of the MOOC "Energy Transition: Innovation towards a low carbon future", which took place from 27 January to 20 March 2020, attracted 11,643 participants from 129 countries.

While the global participation is lower than the one of the first edition, this second session gained a higher international standing with hundreds of participants in a larger number of countries from the different continents. This significantly increase the MOOC visibility.
Moreover, in line with IFP School's strategy, the MOOC has met its goal by mainly reaching young people (18-25 years old) and young professionals (26-35 years old) with respectively 36% and 39% of them enrolled, in other words 75% of the learning population!

As for the certification rate (i.e. the number of learners who completed the course and met the certification criteria), it is at 24.5%, which is considered very high by experts. In practice, 39% of participants started at least one of the evaluation mini-games and 62% of them completed all the mini-games with a minimum score of 60%. Such a result demonstrates the real interest of the MOOC program content and the willingness of participants to learn about energy transition. 

Last but not least, we took the opportunity of this second edition to introduce the negative CO2 emissions concept especially the BECCS topic: thanks to Emma Jagu our first PhD student of the CarMa chair who presented her research topic on BECCS in an interview and who registered a lecturing video on the topic. 

This second edition was supported by Total Foundation in association with Fondation Tuck. We sincerely thank them to make this free MOOC edition possible.