Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

scenario analysis Related Abstracts

6 The Scenario Analysis of Shale Gas Development in China by Applying Natural Gas Pipeline Optimization Model

Authors: Meng Xu, Alexis K. H. Lau, Ming Xu, Bill Barron, Narges Shahraki


As an emerging unconventional energy, shale gas has been an economically viable step towards a cleaner energy future in U.S. China also has shale resources that are estimated to be potentially the largest in the world. In addition, China has enormous unmet for a clean alternative to substitute coal. Nonetheless, the geological complexity of China’s shale basins and issues of water scarcity potentially impose serious constraints on shale gas development in China. Further, even if China could replicate to a significant degree the U.S. shale gas boom, China faces the problem of transporting the gas efficiently overland with its limited pipeline network throughput capacity and coverage. The aim of this study is to identify the potential bottlenecks in China’s gas transmission network, as well as to examine the shale gas development affecting particular supply locations and demand centers. We examine this through application of three scenarios with projecting domestic shale gas supply by 2020: optimistic, medium and conservative shale gas supply, taking references from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) projections and China’s shale gas development plans. Separately we project the gas demand at provincial level, since shale gas will have more significant impact regionally than nationally. To quantitatively assess each shale gas development scenario, we formulated a gas pipeline optimization model. We used ArcGIS to generate the connectivity parameters and pipeline segment length. Other parameters are collected from provincial “twelfth-five year” plans and “China Oil and Gas Pipeline Atlas”. The multi-objective optimization model uses GAMs and Matlab. It aims to minimize the demands that are unable to be met, while simultaneously seeking to minimize total gas supply and transmission costs. The results indicate that, even if the primary objective is to meet the projected gas demand rather than cost minimization, there’s a shortfall of 9% in meeting total demand under the medium scenario. Comparing the results between the optimistic and medium supply of shale gas scenarios, almost half of the shale gas produced in Sichuan province and Chongqing won’t be able to be transmitted out by pipeline. On the demand side, the Henan province and Shanghai gas demand gap could be filled as much as 82% and 39% respectively, with increased shale gas supply. To conclude, the pipeline network in China is currently not sufficient in meeting the projected natural gas demand in 2020 under medium and optimistic scenarios, indicating the need for substantial pipeline capacity expansion for some of the existing network, and the importance of constructing new pipelines from particular supply to demand sites. If the pipeline constraint is overcame, Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Henan’s gas demand gap could potentially be filled, and China could thereby reduce almost 25% its dependency on LNG imports under the optimistic scenario.

Keywords: Energy policy, energy systematic analysis, scenario analysis, shale gas in China

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5 Evaluation Framework for Investments in Rail Infrastructure Projects

Authors: Dimitrios J. Dimitriou, Maria F. Sartzetaki


Transport infrastructures are high-cost, long-term investments that serve as vital foundations for the operation of a region or nation and are essential to a country’s or business’s economic development and prosperity, by improving well-being and generating jobs and income. The development of appropriate financing options is of key importance in the decision making process in order develop viable transport infrastructures. The development of transport infrastructure has increasingly been shifting toward alternative methods of project financing such as Public Private Partnership (PPPs) and hybrid forms. In this paper, a methodological decision-making framework based on the evaluation of the financial viability of transportation infrastructure for different financial schemes is presented. The framework leads to an assessment of the financial viability which can be achieved by performing various financing scenarios analyses. To illustrate the application of the proposed methodology, a case study of rail transport infrastructure financing scenario analysis in Greece is developed.

Keywords: scenario analysis, rail transport infrastructure, financial viability, rail project feasibility

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4 Life Cycle Assessment of Todays and Future Electricity Grid Mixes of EU27

Authors: Johannes Gantner, Michael Held, Matthias Fischer, Rafael Horn


At the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 a global agreement on the reduction of climate change was achieved stating CO₂ reduction targets for all countries. For instance, the EU targets a reduction of 40 percent in emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the environmental performance of the different European electricity grid mixes is crucial. First, the electricity directly needed for everyone’s daily life (e.g. heating, plug load, mobility) and therefore a reduction of the environmental impacts of the electricity grid mix reduces the overall environmental impacts of a country. Secondly, the manufacturing of every product depends on electricity. Thereby a reduction of the environmental impacts of the electricity mix results in a further decrease of environmental impacts of every product. As a result, the implementation of the two-degree goal highly depends on the decarbonization of the European electricity mixes. Currently the production of electricity in the EU27 is based on fossil fuels and therefore bears a high GWP impact per kWh. Due to the importance of the environmental impacts of the electricity mix, not only today but also in future, within the European research projects, CommONEnergy and Senskin, time-dynamic Life Cycle Assessment models for all EU27 countries were set up. As a methodology, a combination of scenario modeling and life cycle assessment according to ISO14040 and ISO14044 was conducted. Based on EU27 trends regarding energy, transport, and buildings, the different national electricity mixes were investigated taking into account future changes such as amount of electricity generated in the country, change in electricity carriers, COP of the power plants and distribution losses, imports and exports. As results, time-dynamic environmental profiles for the electricity mixes of each country and for Europe overall were set up. Thereby for each European country, the decarbonization strategies of the electricity mix are critically investigated in order to identify decisions, that can lead to negative environmental effects, for instance on the reduction of the global warming of the electricity mix. For example, the withdrawal of the nuclear energy program in Germany and at the same time compensation of the missing energy by non-renewable energy carriers like lignite and natural gas is resulting in an increase in global warming potential of electricity grid mix. Just after two years this increase countervailed by the higher share of renewable energy carriers such as wind power and photovoltaic. Finally, as an outlook a first qualitative picture is provided, illustrating from environmental perspective, which country has the highest potential for low-carbon electricity production and therefore how investments in a connected European electricity grid could decrease the environmental impacts of the electricity mix in Europe.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Impacts, scenario analysis, electricity grid mixes, EU27 countries, future trends

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3 Case Study Approach Using Scenario Analysis to Analyze Unabsorbed Head Office Overheads

Authors: T. Gupta, K. C. Iyer, Y. M. Bindal


Head office overhead (HOOH) is an indirect cost and is recovered through individual project billings by the contractor. Delay in a project impacts the absorption of HOOH cost allocated to that particular project and thus diminishes the expected profit of the contractor. This unabsorbed HOOH cost is later claimed by contractors as damages. The subjective nature of the available formulae to compute unabsorbed HOOH is the difficulty that contractors and owners face and thus dispute it. The paper attempts to bring together the rationale of various HOOH formulae by gathering contractor’s HOOH cost data on all of its project, using case study approach and comparing variations in values of HOOH using scenario analysis. The case study approach uses project data collected from four construction projects of a contractor in India to calculate unabsorbed HOOH costs from various available formulae. Scenario analysis provides further variations in HOOH values after considering two independent situations mainly scope changes and new projects during the delay period. Interestingly, one of the findings in this study reveals that, in spite of HOOH getting absorbed by additional works available during the period of delay, a few formulae depict an increase in the value of unabsorbed HOOH, neglecting any absorption by the increase in scope. This indicates that these formulae are inappropriate for use in case of a change to the scope of work. Results of this study can help both parties in deciding on an appropriate formula more objectively, considering the events on a project causing the delay and contractor's position in respect of obtaining new projects.

Keywords: scenario analysis, absorbed and unabsorbed overheads, head office overheads, scope variation

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2 The Cost of Non-Communicable Diseases in the European Union: A Projection towards the Future

Authors: Desiree Vandenberghe, Johan Albrecht


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for the vast majority of deaths in the European Union (EU) and represent a large share of total health care spending. A future increase in this health and financial burden is likely to be driven by population ageing, lifestyle changes and technological advances in medicine. Without adequate prevention measures, this burden can severely threaten population health and economic development. To tackle this challenge, a correct assessment of the current burden of NCDs is required, as well as a projection of potential increases of this burden. The contribution of this paper is to offer perspective on the evolution of the NCD burden towards the future and to give an indication of the potential of prevention policy. A Non-Homogenous, Semi-Markov model for the EU was constructed, which allowed for a projection of the cost burden for the four main NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes mellitus) towards 2030 and 2050. This simulation is done based on multiple baseline scenarios that vary in demand and supply factors such as health status, population structure, and technological advances. Finally, in order to assess the potential of preventive measures to curb the cost explosion of NCDs, a simulation is executed which includes increased efforts for preventive health care measures. According to the Markov model, by 2030 and 2050, total costs (direct and indirect costs) in the EU could increase by 30.1% and 44.1% respectively, compared to 2015 levels. An ambitious prevention policy framework for NCDs will be required if the EU wants to meet this challenge of rising costs. To conclude, significant cost increases due to Non-Communicable Diseases are likely to occur due to demographic and lifestyle changes. Nevertheless, an ambitious prevention program throughout the EU can aid in making this cost burden manageable for future generations.

Keywords: Health Policy, Non-communicable diseases, Preventive Health Care, Markov Model, scenario analysis

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1 Impacts of Hydrologic and Topographic Changes on Water Regime Evolution of Poyang Lake, China

Authors: Feng Huang, Carlos G. Ochoa, Haitao Zhao


Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China, is located at the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin. It has great value in socioeconomic development and is internationally recognized as an important lacustrine and wetland ecosystem with abundant biodiversity. Impacted by ongoing climate change and anthropogenic activities, especially the regulation of the Three Gorges Reservoir since 2003, Poyang Lake has experienced significant water regime evolution, resulting in challenges for the management of water resources and the environment. Quantifying the contribution of hydrologic and topographic changes to water regime alteration is necessary for policymakers to design effective adaption strategies. Long term hydrologic data were collected and the back-propagation neural networks were constructed to simulate the lake water level. The impacts of hydrologic and topographic changes were differentiated through scenario analysis that considered pre-impact and post-impact hydrologic and topographic scenarios. The lake water regime was characterized by hydrologic indicators that describe monthly water level fluctuations, hydrologic features during flood and drought seasons, and frequency and rate of hydrologic variations. The results revealed different contributions of hydrologic and topographic changes to different features of the lake water regime.Noticeable changes were that the water level declined dramatically during the period of reservoir impoundment, and the drought was enhanced during the dry season. The hydrologic and topographic changes exerted a synergistic effect or antagonistic effect on different lake water regime features. The findings provide scientific reference for lacustrine and wetland ecological protection associated with water regime alterations.

Keywords: back-propagation neural network, scenario analysis, water regime, Poyang Lake

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