Assessing the potential of residential heating in reducing global warming using a dynamic approach

Miguel Astudillo (PhD student, civil and building engineering, USherbrooke)

Supervisor: Ben Amor

Co-supervisor: Pierre-Olivier Pineau


There is an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and most of the world (including Quebec) is not on track to reduce emissions to levels compatible manageable climate risk. Most of the emissions come from energy consumption but research methods to conceptualise better transition strategies can be substantially improved. Energy system optimisation models (ESOM) are often used to explore global warming mitigation pathways, but these rarely consider a life-cycle perspective, neglecting a substantial part of the emissions and their associated impact. 



The objective of this project is to lay out a transparent method to combine a ESOM of the TIMES family and LCA methods and apply it to the case of Quebec. Particularly we are aiming to address issues raised in previous attempts such as incomplete mapping, co-product allocation and parameter consistency. The results will be used to provide policy advice to better plan the needed energy transition.



The project uses NATEM-Quebec, an optimisation model of the widely used TIMES framework. First different scenarios will be developed to answer different questions such as “is it economically sensible to increase the insulation of households?“ “Should Quebec develop more hydropower or pv solar?” One of the scenarios will be seen from a life cycle perspective, calculating the full life-cycle impact and their potential consequences on human health and the ecosystem. The integration tool, consisting in a series of functions and workflows will be implemented in python and made freely available for further projects.



This study will provide relevant policy advice on how to reduce emissions in Quebec and their potential consequences in human health and ecosystem quality. This can be useful in the evaluation of mitigation strategies. The integration tool can be used in other studies to better plan global warming mitigation. 

Industrial partner