Although the transition to renewable energies will intensify the global competition for land, the potential impacts driven by solar energy remain unexplored. In this work, the potential solar land requirements and related land use change emissions are computed for the EU, India, Japan and South Korea. A novel method is developed within an integrated assessment model which links socioeconomic, energy, land and climate systems. At 25–80% penetration in the electricity mix of those regions by 2050, we find that solar energy may occupy 0.5–5% of total land. The resulting land cover changes, including indirect effects, will likely cause a net release of carbon ranging from 0 to 50 gCO 2 /kWh, depending on the region, scale of expansion, solar technology efficiency and land management practices in solar parks. Hence, a coordinated planning and regulation of new solar energy infrastructures should be enforced to avoid a significant increase in their life cycle emissions through terrestrial carbon losses.
Today, we are witnesses to the early days of a change in the mobility technology as oil reserves decline and society's environmental awareness increases. Electric technologies are intended to replace those based on hydrocarbons as they have been initially conceived as more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. However, the problem of the future availability of the materials required for this change has arisen. A large demand for this type of mobility could contribute to the depletion of these resources, leading to major problems for the manufacture of vehicles and all other technologies that use these materials if we do not find alternatives that allow us not to deplete these natural resources. These alternatives may involve not only a change in the materials used in electric vehicles but also the use of different modes of transport. To help us estimate which materials related to the transition in the transport sector might be most critical in the future globally, the MEDEAS system dynamics simulation model will be used. Once the simulations on different scenarios have been run, we observe how aluminium, copper, cobalt, lithium, manganese and nickel have such a high demand that would practically cause the exhaustion of their reserves in several scenarios, so we will propose alternative measures to try to avoid their exhaustion due to the use of this type of mobility. Keywords: Transport modes, mineral resources, system dynamics, lithium-ion batteries.
R epresent ation the variable renewable energy supply (VRES) in the integrated assessment models (IAMs), includes the hourly variability of renewable energy modeled in EnergyPLAN software. H ourly effects of the integration have been accessed. Finally, flexibility options are recommended to accommodate this variability within existing energy system based on flexibility tecnology options and sectors coupling.
Four explorative scenarios, depicting different strategies for the decarbonization of global transportation by 2050, have been implemented in the IAM MEDEAS-World which allows to take into account two factors understudied in the literature: the potential of lifestyle change and mineral requirements of mobility alternatives. Co, Li and Ni emerge as the most critical minerals for mobility, together with Cu with an expected important demand from the rest of the economy. A Degrowth strategy characterized by strong lifestyle changes towards reduced mobility as well as shared and light modes emerges as the most plausible scenario towards achieving high global GHG reductions considering mineral availability.
The environmental module in WILIAM consists of: A land use module composed of the supply side is developed with databases from FAOSTAT and with the LPJml model for land use maps, crop yields and biomass potentials, the demand side based on FAOSTAT data on diet and food consumption and production. A land use allocation module including for Renewable Energy resources (RES). A climate module based on C-ROADS computing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions coming from land activities and LUC. A water module built with datasets from AQUASTAT and LPJml for computing water supply (rivers, dams and groundwater) and water demand per sector (Agriculture, Industry, Households) coming from the Input/Output table (related to the economic module). A module assessing climate change impacts on the environment such as crop yields, biomass production etc.
Whether renewable energy sources (RES) will provide sufficient energy surplus to entirely power complex modern societies is under discussion. We contribute to this debate by estimating the current global average energy return on energy invested (EROI) for the five RES technologies with the highest potential of electricity generation from the comprehensive and internally consistent estimations of their material requirements at three distinct energy system boundaries: standard farm-gate (EROIst), final at consumer point-of-use (EROIfinal), and extended (including indirect investments, EROIext). EROIst levels found fall within the respective literature ranges. Expanding the boundaries closer to the system level, we find that only large hydroelectricity would currently have a high EROIext ~ 6.5:1, while the rest of variable RES would be below 3:1: onshore wind (2.9:1), offshore wind (2.3:1), solar Photovoltaic (PV) (1.8:1), and solar Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) (<1:1). These results indicate that, very likely, the global average EROIext levels of variable RES are currently below those of fossil fuel-fired electricity. It remains unknown if technological improvements will be able to compensate for factors, which will become increasingly important as the variable RES scale-up. Hence, without dynamically accounting for the evolution of the EROI of the system, the viability of sustainable energy systems cannot be ensured, especially for modern societies pursuing continuous economic growth.
A diversity of integrated assessment models (IAMs) coexists due to the different approaches developed to deal with the complex interactions, high uncertainties and knowledge gaps within the environment and human...