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Structural changes of global power generation capacity towards sustainability and the risk of stranded investments supported by a sustainability indicator

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Abstract

Global power plant capacity has experienced a historical evolution, showing noticeable patterns over the years: continuous growth to meet increasing demand, and renewable energy sources have played a vital role in global electrification from the beginning, first in the form of hydropower but also wind energy and solar photovoltaics. With increasing awareness of global environmental and societal problems such as climate change, heavy metal induced health issues and the growth related cost reduction of renewable electricity technologies, the past two decades have witnessed an accelerated increase in the use of renewable sources. A database was compiled using major accessible datasets with the purpose of analyzing the composition and evolution of the global power sector from a novel sustainability perspective. Also a new sustainability indicator has been introduced for a better monitoring of progress in the power sector. The key objective is to provide a simple tool for monitoring the past, present and future development of national power systems towards sustainability based on a detailed global power capacity database. The main findings are the trend of the sustainability indicator projecting very high levels of sustainability before the middle of the century on a global level, decommissioned power plants indicating an average power plant technical lifetime of about 40 years for coal, 34 years for gas and 34 years for oil-fired power plants, whereas the lifetime of hydropower plants seems to be rather unlimited due to repeated refurbishments, and the overall trend of increasing sustainability in the power sector being of utmost relevance for managing the environmental and societal challenges ahead. To achieve the 2 °C climate change target, zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 may be required. This would lead to stranded assets of about 300 GW of coal power plants already commissioned by 2014. Gas and oil-fired power plants may be shifted to renewable-based fuels. Present power capacity investments have already to anticipate these environmental and societal sustainability boundaries or accept the risk of becoming stranded assets.

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... Barasa be built due to their lower GHG emissions, higher efficiency and possibilities to use synthetic gas and biomethane in the later phase. Pumped hydro energy storage and hydropower plants are refurbished every 35 years and never decommissioned based on empirical observation [48]. ...
... In order to avoid system disruptions, the RE capacity share increase cannot exceed 4% per year (3% per year from 2015 to 2020) based on empirical observation [48]. Maximum PV prosumers share is limited to 20% of total power sector demand, but half of total PV prosumer electricity generation can be fed in the grid for small financial compensation. ...
... The RE technologies upper limits were estimated based on the method described in Ref. [53], existing installed capacities until 2015 are taken from Ref. [48] and set as lower limit. Absolute numbers of the upper and lower limits of all technologies are provided in the Supplementary Material (Tables S6eS7). ...
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... The following constraints which govern the model's operation are worth noting. Firstly, for each 5-year time step, the renewable energy installed capacities share cannot grow more than 20% of the total power generation capacities [74]. This is to avoid power system disruptions. ...
... However, installation of gas turbines is allowed as they have lower GHG emissions, higher efficiencies, and in particular possibilities of accommodating synthetic gas and biomethane. Thirdly, hydropower plants are never fully decommissioned but refurbished after every 35years [74]. In addition, the model constrains the Fischer-Tropsch contribution for liquid hydrocarbon fuels in the transport sector to a step wise progression from 3% in 2030, to 10% in 2035, 43% in 2040, 75% in 2045 and 100% in 2050. ...
... The electricity prices for residential, commercial, and industrial end-users are provided in the Supplementary Material (Table S6) and are projected from 2020 to 2050 based on a methodology formulated in [59], [75]. In addition, lower limits for RE installed capacities for 2020 are taken from [74] while the upper limits are calculated based on methodology in [40], [76]. Values of the upper and lower limits of all technologies are shown in the Supplementary Material (Table S7-S8). ...
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... • "Structural changes of global power generation capacity towards sustainability and the risk of stranded investments supported by a sustainability indicator" with 92 cites [55]. • "How to achieve a 100% RES electricity supply for Portugal?" with 132 cites [56]. ...
... The trend usually found in most countries is an increase in renewable energy, coal, and gas power plants, as well as a decrease in new nuclear power plants [55]. Reaching the goal of zero emissions in 2050 goes through a conversion of the energy sector towards 100% renewable. ...
... While the production of energy based on coal has its days numbered, those based on gas can be redirected to renewables through biogas, which is why the oil companies are not affected to a great extent. J. Farfan and C. Breyer (2017) in [55], the energy system transition model is also exposed and analysed. According to this model, the average cost of energy throughout the planet will gradually decrease during the transition process, with 95% decarbonisation being possible by 2040. ...
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... • old capacities are decommissioned accordingly to respective technical lifetimes, except 2020 when only half of aging capacity is decommissioned to reflect existing trend to overextend the power plants operation; • hydropower run-of-river and reservoir (dam) plants and PHES are refurbished every 35 years and not decommissioned, based on empiric observation [53]; • RE capacity share cannot grow more than by 4% per year and 3% for the first step, based on empiric observation [53]. ...
... • old capacities are decommissioned accordingly to respective technical lifetimes, except 2020 when only half of aging capacity is decommissioned to reflect existing trend to overextend the power plants operation; • hydropower run-of-river and reservoir (dam) plants and PHES are refurbished every 35 years and not decommissioned, based on empiric observation [53]; • RE capacity share cannot grow more than by 4% per year and 3% for the first step, based on empiric observation [53]. ...
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... Several technology developers are capitalizing on the momentum behind the floating solar plant by integrating other offshore energy systems into the mix to meet a sizable portion of the world's current electricity requirements [85]. Several developers around the world are also attempting to capitalize on the popularity of floating solar with hydropower plants. ...
... Figure 15 shows the important indicators which may be considered for measuring the HFPV performance. The sustainability indicator (SI) is developed as a tool to compare the electricity sector status of a region and country [85]. The performance of the projects can be analyzed based on NPV, LCOE, CF, and EY [86]. ...
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... The main source of power plant data for the research was the GlobalData dataset [25]. The dataset was later complemented and corrected with the information presented in other databases [26e28], and the results of the global power plant structure were published by Farfan and Breyer [29]. The presented dataset provides comprehensive information on existing power plants (name, capacity, type of generator, fuel type, commission date, country and region, etc. were reported for each specific power plant). ...
... Finally, the assignment of cooling technology was not possible for power plants belonging to the category "aggregated capacities". This category was added to the initial GlobalData database [25] by Farfan and Breyer [29] to match the capacities presented in the database with the statistical information on power generation provided by governmental institutions and international organisations for all countries in the world. These capacities cannot be assigned to specific power plants or units. ...
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... The technical lifetime and efficiencies of all applied technologies can be found in the Supplementary Material (Table S8 and S9). The installed capacities till end of 2014 for hydropower and fossil fuels are taken from [64]. and assumed that they will be utilised till their technical lifetime and then decommissioned. ...
... The installed capacities of generation technologies in 2015 were taken from Farfan and Breyer [64] and Department of Electricity Development [76] for Nepal. The potential (upper limits on installed capacities) for solar PV and wind were calculated based on a criterion that the total land area availability should not exceed 6% and 4%, respectively. ...
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... renewable capacities during 1990 to 20 0 0). Renewable energy capacities for the period 1980 to 1989 are derived from Ref. [8] . Additionally, data from Ref. [8] are used to break down capacities of fossil fuel powered plants to the categories coal, gas and oil, as well as hydropower to run-of-river and storage plants. ...
... Renewable energy capacities for the period 1980 to 1989 are derived from Ref. [8] . Additionally, data from Ref. [8] are used to break down capacities of fossil fuel powered plants to the categories coal, gas and oil, as well as hydropower to run-of-river and storage plants. ...
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Electricity infrastructures are crucial for economic prosperity and underpin fundamental energy services. This article provides global datasets on installed power plant capacities, transmission and distribution grid lengths as well as transformer capacities. A country-level dataset on installed electricity generation capacities during 1980 to 2017, comprising 14 types of power plants and technologies, is obtained by combining data from three different online databases. Transmission grid lengths are derived from georeferenced data available from OpenStreetMap, augmented with data from national and international statistics. Data gaps are filled and historical developments estimated by applying a linear regression model. Statistical data on distribution grids lengths are collected for 31 countries that make up almost 50 % of the global electricity consumption. Estimates for distribution grid lengths in the remaining countries are again obtained through linear regression. Data on installed transformer capacities are sparsely available from market intelligence reports and specialist journals. For most countries, they are estimated from typical transformer-to-generator ratios, i.e. based on power plant capacities. Global generation capacity expansion since 1980 was dominated by coal-fired (mainly China and India) and gas-fired plants (mainly industrialized countries and Middle East). Solar and wind power accounted for the second and third largest capacity additions since 2010 (after coal-fired plants). The total length of transmission circuits worldwide is estimated at 4.7 million kilometres, and the length of distribution grids between 88 and 104 million km. China accounts for 41 % of the expansion of global transmission grids, and 32 % of the expansion of distribution grids since 1980. In 2017, China's electricity grids were approximately as large as the grids of all western industrialized countries combined. The globally installed capacity of transformers is estimated between 36 and 45 Teravolt-Ampere, with transmission and distribution transformers accounting for above 40 % each, and generator step-up transformers for the rest. The data provided in this article are used for estimating global material stocks in electricity infrastructures in the related research paper [1] and can be used in energy system models, for econometric analyses or development indices on country level and many more purposes.
... The same concept is applied for transportation options: the more diverse a system is, the more secure it becomes. The total installed capacities of different power generation technologies in 2014 (MW) were taken from Farfan and Breyer [45] for the following elements, (e i ) (gas, oil, coal, nuclear, solar PV, CSP, wind, biogas, biomass, geothermal, hydro run-of-river, hydro reservoir, ocean) and were used to calculate (Z i ) as in Equation (A10). SIDI for power generation technologies was calculated using Equation (A8). ...
... Less outage days per capita means a more secure energy system. The second indicator is the average weighted age of power plants for all renewable and non-renewable technologies derived from [45]. Normalisation is done by the max-min (Timor-Leste with 45.35 years and Chad 2.94 years) approach presented in Equation (4). ...
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Energy security is an international concern for all countries in the world, particularly, for the policymakers looking for the wellbeing of citizens. While proper methods to measure energy security without ignoring the different aspects and multidimensional interplay is necessary, the need for an objective evaluation with numerical indicators is of utmost importance. This research covers these gaps by providing a detailed numerical method to formulate an energy security index that is globally comprehensive, but also nationally applicable to all countries in the world. This implies to include all needed aspects and dimensions of energy security. Results of this research show the global performance of all countries in the world in energy security and the performance of these countries in each of the 15 dimensions that articulate energy security. Germany and the United States performed best in the world, when it comes to overall energy security levels, whereas the Central African Republic and Turkmenistan are on the lowest end of performance. Conclusions show that there is not a single way for development and enhancing energy security but rather different alternatives and options. Countries need to learn from each other to identify what works best for their context and implement these strategies in order to enhance energy security.
... As an indication, the environmental goods and services sector output in 2017 achieved 6% of total GDP in Finland (Statistics Finland, December 2017). Especially, the energy sector is adapting these strategies and is under continuous change driven by the fast technological and business development (Farfan & Breyer, 2017;Ritala et al., 2017), and thereby provides a good opportunity to examine differences in managerial cognition (Bogner & Barr, 2000;Nadkarni & Narayanan, 2007b). ...
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Nowadays, the renewable energies have emerged like an important energy source in the entire world. They have a quick growth and diverse factors triggered it, particularly in the electric sector. The Electric Union (Unión Eléctrica de Cuba) has the challenge to change Cuban energy matrix with the introduction of renewable energy, by the acquisition of technologies to satisfy the electric power demand with effi- ciency, effectiveness and an environmental perspective. This paper aims to propose a training strategy designed to increase the absorptive capacity of technology (ACAP) to optimize and enrich the new tech- nologies concerning to renewable energy development in Cuban electric sector. The starting point is the current level of ACAP, at different levels of organization, in order to build, operate and maintain new electrical power plants, based on renewable energy sources. The paper presents the main proposed strategies and actions to improve the ACAP level.
... Next, we design a retirement pathway for existing power capacity by considering both lifespan and commissioning year of individual units, following the convention of eliminating older facilities first (Ackerman and Fisher, 2013). For example, the decommissioning age of coal power generator practically peaks around 40 years considering the capacity availability, operation costs, and maintenance costs (Farfan and Breyer, 2017). Detailed information on the lifetime of power plants can be found in Supplementary Table S2. ...
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... The sustainable potential of bioenergy [73] and geothermal energy [74] were collected and used as an upper limit. The current installed power plant capacities were structured by technologies and commissioning year, in an annual resolution from 1960 to 2015 (end of 2014), according to Farfan and Breyer [75]. Access to this level of data helps to better account for power plant capacities that have to be phased out at the end of their lifetimes. ...
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... Second, burning natural solid fuels causes major atmospheric pollution [3,4] by harmful substances and gases exacerbating global warming: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, water vapors, and other gases. As a result, many countries try to diversify their fuel sector by embracing alternative, more environmentally friendly and available fuels for electric energy production [5,6]. Due to insistent public demands for the environmental protection and reduction of harmful atmospheric emissions, fuels containing plant components (biomass) are gaining promise [7,8]. ...
Article
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... Equation (1) in the combination of equations from 24 (A1) to (A8) covers all the main coal grades with the mineral impurities content on dry mass A d in the range 0.5% to 60%, water fraction on working mass W w in the range 25 to 50%. The temperature range for these calculations is 40 to 200 C. ...
Article
For the fuel ignition, the thermal conductivity and heat capacity are the key properties that determine the pre‐ignition behavior of the drop of the fuel. The classic monophase fuels, such as natural gas, liquid propellants, or solid one‐component fuels, have been investigated for a long time; and their thermophysical properties are well known in most of the cases. Composite fuels, which have recently attracted the attention of the researchers, have complex contents. In many cases, composite fuel is a mixture of solid and liquid components in the form of a slurry. Coal‐water fuel and its derivatives with different additives are examples of such type fuels. For those fuels, the thermophysical properties are usually unknown. Nowadays, researchers use simple additivity theory for the calculation of the thermophysical properties of complex fuels for the first approach. Authors of this research believe that the simple additivity approach is not correct and can lead to the wrong results in the case of the numerical research of the ignition and burning processes of such a fuel. In the present research, the thermophysical properties of coal‐water fuel with glycerol additives were experimentally obtained. It was found that the coefficient of thermal conductivity increases with temperature and varies in the range of 0.45 to 0.53 W/(m·K). The heat capacity of the fuel also increases with the temperature and varies from 4.7 to 5.5 kJ/kg·K. The higher the glycerol content, the lower the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the composite fuel in the investigated temperature range. The results confirm the failure of the approach of the additivity law usage. Neither, thermal conductivity coefficient or heat capacity of the coal‐water fuel with the addition of up to 20% glycerol complies with the additivity law. Differences between real values of the thermophysical properties and calculated ones are more than 30% to 50%. Empirical expressions for calculation of the thermophysical properties of coal‐water fuel with the addition of up to 20% glycerol are presented. Glycerol affects thermophysical properties of the resulting suspension; thermophysical properties of CWF with glycerol do not obey law of additivity changes in thermophysical properties and can eliminate improvements in CWF combustion.
... Third, Finland has abundant renewable energy resources, and is among the world leaders in utilising high levels of renewable energy in terms of final energy demand, ranking second in the European Union at almost 40 % (European Commission, 2018). Lastly, as is seen in much of Europe, a large proportion of energy conversion assets in Finland are nearing their age of retirement (Farfan & Breyer, 2016) and will need to be replaced in the coming decades. This makes the transition of the Finnish energy system highly representative of those that will happen to many other industrialised countries at temperate latitudes. ...
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A cost-optimised transition pathway towards 100 % renewable energy was simulated for Finland. This transition was consistent with EU and international targets to achieve sstainability, while maintaining national competitiveness. Finland was divided into 7 regions that account for resource distribution and demand differences at high spatial and hourly time resolutions. Results indicate that levelised cost of electricity can decrease from 61 €/MWh in 2015 to 53 €/MWh in 2050 and that levelised cost of heat can decrease from 29 €/MWh to 20 €/MWh based on the assumptions used in this study. Transport sector costs decrease for most vehicle classes through electrification but increase marginally for classes that use bioenergy-based or sustainable synthetic fuels. Costs decrease through the adoption of flexible generation by several renewable energy technologies, intra-regional interconnections, and the use of low-cost energy storage solutions. Results show less need for combined heat and power plants as the electrification increases through sector integration. Individuals and groups can become prosumers of energy, motivated by a desire to contribute to climate action and making choices for lower cost, sustainable energy. Collectively, society can increase a sense of agency through lower exposure to risks. A 100 % renewable energy system can be a resilient, low cost and low risk option for the future.
... This lifetime of coal power plant is an average value, which is calculated from globally retired units before 2016 (in total 2968 retired units). The average lifetime matches with values found in literature sources [61,62]. ...
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Moving to a sustainable industry and weaning electricity supply off coal are critical to mitigate ambient air pollution and climate change. This is particularly true in China which is globally the largest manufacturer and relies heavily on coal-fired electricity. Research that explores the linkages between industrial electricity use and the electricity supply sector to curb air pollution is limited. In this study, an integrated modeling framework is developed that quantifies the impact of industrial electricity savings on the evolution of the coal power plant fleet in China, and on air pollutants for the different power grids in the period 2016–2040. The framework includes a rich set of efficiency technologies and detailed unit-level information (geo-coordinates, thermal efficiency, environmental performance). We find that the reduced electricity load due to the industrial efficiency improvements can effectively scale down the coal power fleet, and most importantly allows closing the most polluting units. The potentials for electricity savings vary amongst the industrial sectors and provinces, resulting in significant heterogeneity of coal plant phaseout per power grid. Because energy-intensive industrial plants are mostly found in the North, Central and Northwest grids, these three grids provide 66% of the total displaced coal capacity. The closing of coal units leads to a variation in annual emission reductions per power grid of 13–85 kt-SO2, 19–129 kt-NOx, 3–17 kt-PM and 21–167 Mt-CO2, compared to business-as-usual emissions. The iron & steel, aluminium and chemical sectors, together contribute to 84% of the total electricity savings by 2040, and are thereby most important to target.
... Third, adequate energy price signals must be provided for, in order to drive the required investments in breakthrough technologies for GHG emissions reduction (most importantly, energy storage and demand resources). Fourth, yet not less important, a predictable regulatory environment must be established, in order to fend off claims for financial compensation by operators of coal-fired power plants in light of the creation of stranded assets [7]. ...
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This contribution aims to provide an in-depth outlook of the phase-out of coal-fired energy generation in Italy. In particular, this article analyzes the state-of-the-art with regard to both the current role of coal generation and the performance of the main legal and regulatory tools as implemented in Italy thus far to ensure the closure of all coal power plants by 2025 as announced in the Italian National Climate and Energy Plan. Based on existing data and scenarios on both electricity production and demand trends, this article unfolds the marginal role played by coal-fired generation in the Italian energy mix. In addition, this paper aims to highlight the outstanding technical uncertainties and regulatory hurdles in the way towards de-carbonization of energy generation in Italy. This paper argues that several remarkable improvements are needed in order to avoid over-generation (especially through natural gas), to upscale the penetration of renewable energy sources, and develop the necessary infrastructures to adequately deliver on the full phasing-out of coal within the expected timeframes.
... To meet the energy needs it is customary to use power generated from centralized utilities, which leads to high transmission and distribution losses. Moreover, these utilities are predominantly fossil fuel based and leaves carbon footprint [1]. On the other hand, harnessing renewable energy-based power yields benefits such as low carbon emissions and economically viable. ...
Article
The concept of renewable energy based microgrid (MG) and its control has been evolved as key area of research in energy sector. In this paper, a decentralized control strategy based on modified fractional order PI (MFO-PI) and two-degree of freedom PI (2DOF-PI) controllers is proposed for efficient operation of an autonomous MG. The autonomous MG consists of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) & photovoltaic (PV) system as distributed generation (DG), battery energy storage system (BESS) as a storage unit and various AC & DC loads. The MFO-PI controller is utilized for controlling voltage source inverters (VSI) and 2DOF-PI is utilized for controlling various DGs and BESS. An evaporation rate-based water cycle algorithm (ERWCA) is employed to optimally tune the proposed controllers. To show the effectiveness of the proposed decentralized control strategy, a comparison of various performance indices such as overshoot, settling time and integral absolute error is made with PI and fractional order PI controllers. The results show that proposed control strategy is efficient in improving the steady state as well as dynamic performance of the system under all operating conditions by effectively regulating the real and reactive power flows among the DGs.
... The BPS-5 scenario with a 5% rate of increasing the capacity share of annual RE integration not only enables the lowest LCOE but also the least total annualised costs, in addition to quickly cutting GHG emissions down to zero. However, it needs to be noted that such a high RE phase-in has not been observed yet anywhere in the world, as more than 3% of annual capacity share growth of RE is hardly found [47]. One of the fastest RE ramps in generation ever recorded has been Uruguay with generation increase from 60% to 98% renewables within eight years, which reveals a phase-in rate of 4.75% for the increase of annual generation shares. ...
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The Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aims to mitigate effects of greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming. Turkmenistan ratified the Agreement and is a country with absolute reliance on fossil fuels and practically zero installed renewable energy capacity. This study provides potential transition scenarios to full sustainability for Turkmenistan in power, heat and transport sectors. Vast sunny desert plains of Turkmenistan could enable the country to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050, with prospects to have 76% solar photovoltaics and 8.5% wind power capacities in a Best Policy Scenario. Seven different transition scenarios, with different GHG emissions cost assumptions and transition rates, have been analysed to demonstrate different possible paths towards full sustainability in a cost-efficient way. The results of the study demonstrate that a 100% renewable energy system, regardless of the transition rate, will be lower in cost than a continual reliance on fossil fuels. The scenario with the highest rate of renewable energy integration enables the least cost system and quickest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The results are expected to serve as a guideline to policymakers in Turkmenistan. The structural results for transition speed options and respective costs and benefits from switching a practically fully fossil fuels based system to a fully renewable energy system are expected to be transferable to many countries.
... Stranded assets can be defined as "assets that have suffered unanticipated or premature write-downs, devaluations, or conversions to liabilities" [44], and may become particularly relevant in the context of transition to a low-carbon economy [45,46]. Policy and technology shifts that may follow the identification of sectors and activities that contribute to reach a "sustainable" society (in these terms also relevant in the context of defining sustainable finance) are expected to be the main triggers of stranded assets [47,48]. In this respect, measures to encourage the low-carbon transition may take several forms, such as ad-hoc fiscal incentives [49], public support schemes to investments [50], or stricter environmental regulatory requirements [51]. ...
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I observe that the sustainable finance landscape as it stands today is featured by an overabundance of heterogeneous concepts, definitions, industry and policy standards. I argue that such heterogeneity may hinder the smooth development of the conceptual thinking underpinning sustainable finance and originates specific risks that may harm the credibility of the nascent market. These risks include green and sustainable washing, the rebranding of financial flows without additionality, the disordered adjustment in the cost of capital spreads between industries. I argue that to reflect the actual industry and policy context as wells as to steer conceptual and applied practice sustainable finance should be today referred to as “finance for sustainability”. To this extent, both its definition and implementing standards should make clear reference to the relevant sustainability dimensions (in particular in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement) and to the sectors or activities that positively contribute to these dimensions.
... Mayer et al. (2017) study on the cost calculation and power generation based on the early-stage uncertainties and risks. Farfan and Breyer (2017) compute the risks of national power system and its investment based on a sustainable indicator. ...
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China’s “Belt & Road Initiative” has been proposed for several years, which has stimulated the economic and financial development of the countries alongside the “Belt & Road”. For a world’s leading energy consuming country, China tries to secure the energy supply from the resource-rich countries via oversea energy investment. In this paper, we propose a sequence to sequence (seq2seq) model to evaluate the energy investment risk of 50 countries alongside the “Belt & Road Initiative”. Specifically, we first build an indicator system mainly containing six factors. Then we adopt Bi-long-short term memory (Bi-LSTM) as encoder to process the historical statistics. Afterward, we use self-attention mechanism to assign the weights on the six factors of the indicator system. Finally we use a hierarchical convolution neural network decoder to generate the assessment results. Our findings indicate that resource potential and Chinese factor are the most important indicators. And through our thorough investigation, we find that Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia are the most recommended target countries for China’s oversea energy investment.
... The installed capacities for 2015 for generation technologies were taken from Farfan and Breyer [96], which are the lower limit of the capacities. On the other hand, capacity cap or the upper limit were set on renewable technologies, so that unrealistic installed capacity should not occur. ...
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Transition towards sustainable energy systems is of utmost importance to avert global consequences of climate change. Within the framework of the Paris Agreement and Marrakech Communique, this study analyses an energy transition pathway utilising renewable resources for the Philippines. The transition study is performed from 2015 to 2050 on a high temporal and spatial resolution data, using a linear optimisation tool. From the results of this study, technically, a 100% fossil free energy system in 2050 is possible, with a cost structure comparable to an energy system in 2015, while having zero greenhouse gas emissions. Solar PV as a generation and batteries a as storage technology form the backbone of the energy system during the transition. Direct and indirect electrification across all sectors would result in an efficiency gain of more than 50% in 2050, while keeping the total annual investment within 20-55 b€. Heat pumps, electrical heating, and solar thermal technologies would supply heat, whereas, direct electricity and synthetic fuels would fuel the energy needs of the transport sector. The results indicate that, indigenous renewable resources in the Philippines could power the demand from all energy sectors, thereby, bringing various socioeconomic benefits.
... The RE upper limits were calculated based on Bogdanov and Breyer [98] and lower limits were retrieved from Farfan and Breyer [99]. ...
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Sub-Saharan Africa is a region with a large population living without electricity. This study investigates the grid balancing role of bioenergy in a sub-Saharan Africa’s fully renewable power sector to address the energy poverty challenge in the region, using Ghana as a case country. Two methods are employed: the bioenergy estimation method, for deriving Ghana’s technical bioenergy potential, and the LUT model, for the power sector transition modelling. The Ghanaian bioenergy potential of 48.3 TWh is applied on the power sector using the LUT model to develop six alternative scenarios, emphasising on the role of bioenergy, greenhouse gas emissions costs, and climate change mitigation policies. The results of the Best Policy Scenario reveal that with an electrical efficiency of 37.2%, 18 TWh of electricity, which is 16.9% of Ghana’s electricity demand by 2050, could be produced from bioenergy for grid balancing. Also, the levelised cost of electricity declines from 48.7 €/MW in 2015 to 36.9 – 46.6 €/MWh in 2050. Whereas the cost of electricity increases to 76.4 €/MWh in the Current Policy Scenario without greenhouse gas emissions costs. The results show the viability of a relatively cheap and bioenergy balanced sustainable renewable power system for the sub-Saharan African region.
... Gas turbines and multi-fuel ICE are permitted to be installed beyond 2015 due to lower carbon emissions and the possibility to accommodate renewable electricity based methane (e-methane), bio-methane and even green hydrogen into the system. Gas-fired power plants are more flexible, not only in their ramping rates but also in utilising different e-fuels 2. In a specific year, growth in the shares of installed capacities of renewable energy technologies cannot exceed more than 4% per annum from 2020 onwards in congruence with empirical data 80 The active capacity existing in the system is defined on each of the steps for each of the regions, based on the data of the capacity installed at previous steps and the lifetime for a given technology at given commissioning year as presented in Eq. (4) using the abbreviations: years (y, year), generation and storage technologies (t, tech), existing active capacity for technology t at modelled year (exis-tingCap t,year ), new built capacity for technology t at previous year y (newCap t,y ), lifetime of the capacity of technology t built in year y (N t,y ): ...
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Recent events like heatwaves and abnormal rainfall are a glimpse of the devastating effects of human induced climate change. No country is immune to its effects, but a developing country like India is particularly vulnerable. This research, for the individual states of India, explores the technical feasibility and economic viability of a renewable transition pathway for the power sector. Based on the assumptions of this study, we show that a renewables-based power system by 2050 is lower in cost than the current coal dominated system, has zero greenhouse gas emissions and provides reliable electricity to around 1.7 billion people. Electricity generation will be based on solar PV, wind energy, and hydropower, while batteries and multi-fuel reciprocating internal combustion engines based on synthetic fuels provide the required flexibility to the power system. This transition would address multiple imperatives: affordability, accessibility, and sustainability without compromising economic growth.
... The necessary conditions of its environmentally acceptable combustion are becoming increasingly popular as subjects of theoretical and experimental research, as well as bench tests (Ding, 2018;Qian et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2018b). The main pollutants from the combustion of coals are NO x , SO 2 , CO, and CO 2 (Farfan and Breyer, 2017;Munawer, 2018;Zheng et al., 2019). Besides gaseous emissions, the atmosphere is significantly polluted by ☆ This paper has been recommended for acceptance by Pavlos Kassomenos. ...
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This paper presents the results of experimental research into the component composition of gases and ash residue from the combustion of a set of high-potential coal-water slurries containing petrochemicals. We have established that the use of slurry fuels provides a decrease in the CO2, CH4, SO2, and NOx concentrations as compared to those from coal combustion. The content of carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the gas environment from the combustion of slurries is higher due to the intense water evaporation. It is shown that adding biomass allows a further 5–33% reduction in the emissions of nitrogen and sulfur oxides as compared to the coal-water slurry and the composition with added waste turbine oil and a 23–68% decrease as compared to coal (per unit mass of the fuel burnt). The mechanisms and stages of CO2, SO2, and NOx formation are explained with a view to controlling gaseous anthropogenic emissions and ash buildup. The values of the relative environmental performance indicator are calculated for slurry fuels. It is shown to exceed the same indicator of bituminous coal by 28–56%.
... These CPEC projects will add considerably to Pakistan's debt burden and pose further threat to an already deteriorating environment [24]. Moreover, mining and burning of coal for power production is water-intensive and the coal power plants, which have a technical lifetime of about 40 years [25], could aggravate Pakistan's existing water scarcity [26,27]. It should be noted, that these coal power plants will be located near densely populated areas such as Karachi to provide electricity for residential, commercial and industrial purposes, coinciding with regions which are already under water stress. ...
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Pakistan is currently undertaking a substantial expansion of electricity generation capacity to provide electricity for all its end-users and to satisfy a fast-growing economy. Adoption of low-cost, abundant and clean renewable energy will not only fulfil its growing electricity , heat, transportation and desalinated water demand but also help achieve the goals set under the Paris Agreement. A technology-rich energy system model applied in hourly resolution has been used for investigating the transition in 5-year periods until 2050. This study demonstrates that a 100% renewable energy system across the power, heat, transport and desalination sectors is not only technically feasible but also economically viable. Solar pho-tovoltaics emerges as a key technology to generate electricity and contribute a share of 92% to the total primary energy demand across all sectors by 2050. The levelised cost of energy for a 100% renewable energy system is calculated as 56.1 €/MWh in 2050, lower than 70 €/MWh for the current fossil fuel-based system. A key feature of Pakistan's future energy system is the huge increase in demand across all energy sectors, particularly for desalinated water, which is almost 19% of the final energy demand. This share of energy for desalination is among the highest in the world. Direct and indirect electrification across all demand sectors increases the efficiency of the future energy system. Moreover, GHG emissions from all the sectors will drop to zero by 2050 in a fully sustainable energy scenario.
... Globally, the environmental pollution and energy crisis are becoming more and more serious, and there is an urgent need for the transition from fossil fuels to efficient and clean renewable energy (Farfan and Breyer, 2017). Thus, photovoltaic and wind energy, as the main forms of renewable energy utilization, will dominate in the global future energy structure. ...
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Due to their environmental protection and high power generation efficiency, the control technology of hydrogen fuel cells (HFCs) connected to the microgrid has become a research hotspot. However, when they encounter peak demand or transient events, the lack of power cannot be compensated immediately by HFCs which results in sudden changes of the voltage and frequency. The improved virtual synchronous generator (VSG) control strategy based on HFCs and supercapacitors (SCs) combined power generation system is proposed to overcome this shortcoming in this paper. The small-signal model for designing the combined system parameters is provided which are in accordance with the system loop gain, phase angle margin, and adjustment time requirements. Besides, the voltage and current double closed-loop based on sequence control is introduced in the VSG controller. The second-order generalized integrator (SOGI) is utilized to separate the positive and negative sequence components of the output voltage. At the same time, a positive and negative sequence voltage outer loop is designed to suppress the negative sequence voltage under unbalanced conditions, thereby reducing the unbalance of the output voltage. Finally, simulation results in MATLAB/Simulink environment verify that the proposed method has better dynamic characteristics and higher steady-state accuracy compared with the traditional VSG control.
... Caldecott et al. (2015, p. 8), for example, focus on 5-, 10-and 15-year closure scenarios and subcritical coal technologies, noting that the Inter-national Energy Agency (IEA) calculates 290 GW of subcritical coal generation needed to be shut globally by 2020 in order to keep global GHG emissions at a level that is consistent with a 2°C warming scenario. Farfan and Breyer (2017) carry out a plant-by-plant analysis of fossil fuel power plants globally, while Pfeiffer et al. (2016) calculate committed emissions from global thermal coal power plants against 1.5 and 2°C warming goals, finding that 51-58 percent of all plants operating, planned and under construction would become stranded. Caldecott et al. (2016) analyze the scale of potential stranded coal assets in Japan (existing and planned coal-fired power stations) over 5-, 10-, and 15-year periods. ...
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We evaluate the treatment of climate-related financial risk by bilateral finance organizations and related policymaking bodies involved in the design and implementation of thermal coal power generation technology financing. Our empirical focus is Japanese bilateral financing of thermal coal power generation in the Asia-Pacific. We differentiate between three approaches that organizations can adopt to assess climate change risk. In the first, the organization assesses climate risk and includes consideration of stranded asset risk. In the second, the organization assesses climate risk but does not take into account stranded asset risk. In the third, an organization does not explicitly consider climate risk although it may use alternative criteria for deciding whether to support an investment, such as the broader environmental implications of a proposed project. We review publicly available documents from nine organizations, supplemented by interviews, and find that while some Japanese lending and policy-setting bodies take climate risk into account, none are required to consider the risk that infrastructure investments may become stranded. Our paper contributes to the study of stranded asset risk in two ways. First, while export finance plays a crucial role in thermal coal power plant investments in the Asia-Pacific region, lending by bilateral finance institutions has not been a focus of such research to date. Second, we extend research into stranded asset risk to bilateral finance organizations and related policy bodies. Our approach can be adopted to understand how finance decision-making bodies in other geographic contexts and technology-types assess the risk that assets may become stranded. Key policy insights • Bilateral finance organizations are important in infrastructure exports for thermal coal power plant technologies. • Japanese bilateral finance organizations and policy bodies take climate risk into account when making lending decisions for thermal coal power plant technologies, but until recently have not explicitly addressed stranded asset risk. • Impairments to the asset value may be incurred by the asset holders or the government. This risk should be taken into consideration in investment decisions.
... Their results showed that the cost of electricity could achieve a 26% reduction, besides being a feasible scenario that meets the Paris Agreement goals. Moreover, the literature reported a trend of increasing sustainability [57] in the power sector, including more detailed studies focused on specific countries [58][59][60] and a 67% increase in jobs in this sector worldwide in 2050 [61]. ...
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The energy transition towards a scenario with 100% renewable energy sources (RES) for the energy system is starting to unfold its effects and is increasingly accepted. In such a scenario, a predominant role will be played by large photovoltaic and wind power plants. At the same time, the electrification of energy consumption is expected to develop further, with the ever-increasing diffusion of electric transport, heat pumps, and power-to-gas technologies. The not completely predictable nature of the RES is their well-known drawback, and it will require the use of energy storage technologies, in particular large-scale power-to-chemical conversion and chemical-to-power re-conversion, in view of the energy transition. Nonetheless, there is a lack in the literature regarding an analysis of the potential role of small–medium CCHP technologies in such a scenario. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to address what could be the role of the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and/or Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) technologies fed by waste heat within the mentioned scenario. First, in this paper, a review of small–medium scale CHP technologies is performed, which may be fed by low temperature waste heat sources. Then, a review of the 100% RE scenario studied by researchers from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (through the so-called “LUT model”) is conducted to identify potential low temperature waste heat sources that could feed small–medium CHP technologies. Second, some possible interactions between those mentioned waste heat sources and the reviewed CHP technologies are presented through the crossing data collected from both sides. The results demonstrate that the most suitable waste heat sources for the selected CHP technologies are those related to gas turbines (heat recovery steam generator), steam turbines, and internal combustion engines. A preliminary economic analysis was also performed, which showed that the potential annual savings per unit of installed kW of the considered CHP technologies could reach EUR 255.00 and EUR 207.00 when related to power and heat production, respectively. Finally, the perspectives about the carbon footprint of the CHP/CCHP integration within the 100% renewable energy scenario were discussed.
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China has suffered overcapacity in coal power since 2016. With growing electricity demand and an economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, China faces a dilemma between easing restrictive policies for short-term growth in coal-fired power production and keeping restrictions in place for long-term sustainability. In this paper, we measure the risks faced by China's coal power units to become stranded in the next decade and estimate the associated economic costs for different shareholders. By implementing restrictive policies on coal power expansion, China can avoid 90% of stranded coal assets by 2025.
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Wind variability and hydro-wind complementarity should be both considered in the planning of electrical power systems. In such cases, the spatio-temporal dependence between streamflow and wind speed regimes needs to be asses to balance the electricity generation. Medium-term hydrothermal scheduling problems (MTHS) are used to define operation policies for electrical power systems under a 5 to 10 years horizon. MTHS uses stochastic optimization techniques fed by synthetic streamflow scenarios. To set better operation policies, such scenarios should well represent statistical features of historical data. With the rapid growth in the installed capacity of wind power, operators are encouraged to consider novel approaches to represent the dependence of hydrometeorological variables. This study integrates wind variability and hydro-wind complementarity in the medium-term planning of electrical power systems employing joint simulation of periodic streamflow and wind speed time series. The generated scenarios are used as input to derive monthly operational policies via Implicit Stochastic Optimization. A hydropower plant and a wind farm, both located in the Northeast region of Brazil were selected as a case study. Results show that considering wind variability and hydro-wind complementarity can significantly reduce energy deficits in power systems and increase the flexibility in the operation of water reservoirs.
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Low-lying coastal areas and archipelago countries are particularly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Concurrently, many island states still rely on extensive use of imported fossil fuels, above all diesel for electricity generation, in addition to hydrocarbon-based fuels to supply aviation and marine transportation. Land area is usually scarce and conventional renewable energy solutions cannot be deployed in a sufficient way. This research highlights the possibility of floating offshore technologies being able to fulfil the task of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy solutions in challenging topographical areas. On the case of the Maldives, floating offshore solar photovoltaics, wave power and offshore wind are modelled on a full hourly resolution in two different scenarios to deal with the need of transportation fuels: By importing the necessary, carbon neutral synthetic e-fuels from the world market, or by setting up local production capacities for e-fuels. Presented results show that a fully renewable energy system is technically feasible in 2030 with a relative cost per final energy of 120.3 €/MWh and 132.1 €/MWh, respectively, for the two scenarios in comparison to 105.7 €/MWh of the reference scenario in 2017. By 2050, cost per final energy can be reduced to 77.6 €/MWh and 92.6 €/MWh, respectively. It is concluded that floating solar photovoltaics and wave energy converters will play an important role in defossilisation of islands and countries with restricted land area.
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Long-lived capital-stocks (LLCS) such as infrastructure and buildings have significant and long-lasting implications for greenhouse gas emissions. They contribute to carbon lock-in and may hinder a rapid decarbonization of energy systems. Here we provide a systematic map of the literature on carbon lock-in induced by LLCS. Based on a structured search of the Web of Science and Scopus, we identified 226 publications from 38 095 search results using a supervised machine learning approach. We show biases toward power generation and toward developed countries. We also identify 11 indicators used to quantify carbon lock-in. Quantifications of committed emissions (cumulative emissions that would occur over the remaining operational lifetime of an asset) or stranded assets (premature retirement/retrofitting or under-utilization of assets along a given pathway) are the most commonly used metrics, whereas institutional indicators are scarcely represented. The synthesis of quantifications shows that (i) global committed emissions have slightly increased over time, (ii) coal power plants are a major source of committed emissions and are exposed to risk of becoming stranded, (iii) delayed mitigation action increases stranded assets and (iv) sectoral distribution and amount of stranded assets differ between countries. A thematic analysis of policy implications highlights the need to assure stability and legitimacy of climate policies and to enable coordination between stakeholders. Carbon pricing is one of the most cited policy instrument, but the literature emphasizes that it should not be the only instrument used and should instead be complemented with other policy instruments, such as technical regulations and financial support for low carbon capital deployment. Further research is warranted on urban-scale, in developing countries and outside the electricity generation sector, notably on buildings, where stranded assets could be high.
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Ammonia is one of the most commonly used feedstock chemicals globally. Therefore, decarbonisation of ammonia production is of high relevance towards achieving a carbon neutral energy system. This study investigates the global potential of green ammonia production from semi-flexible ammonia plants utilising a cost-optimised configuration of hybrid PV-wind power plants, as well as conversion and balancing technologies. The global weather data used is on an hourly time scale and 0.45° × 0.45° spatial resolution. The results show that, by 2030, solar PV would be the dominating electricity generation technology in most parts of the world, and the role of batteries would be limited, while no significant role is found for hydrogen-fuelled gas turbines. Green ammonia could be generated at the best sites in the world for a cost range of 440–630, 345–420, 300–330 and 260–290 €/tNH3 in 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050, respectively, for a weighted average capital cost of 7%. Comparing this to the decade-average fossil-based ammonia cost of 300–350 €/t, green ammonia could become cost-competitive in niche markets by 2030, and substitute fossil-based ammonia globally at current cost levels. A possible cost decline of natural gas and consequently fossil-based ammonia could be fully neutralised by greenhouse gas emissions cost of about 75 €/tCO2 by 2040. By 2040, green ammonia in China would be lower in cost than ammonia from new coal-based plants, even at the lowest coal prices and no greenhouse gas emissions cost. The difference in green ammonia production at the least-cost sites in the world’s nine major regions is less than 50 €/tNH3 by 2040. Thus, ammonia shipping cost could limit intercontinental trading and favour local or regional production beyond 2040.
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The results of experimental investigation and modelling of puffing/micro-explosion in composite (rapeseed oil mixed with coal micro-particles and water) droplets are described. The modelling is based on the previously developed model of the process, using the assumption that a spherical water subdroplet is located in the centre of a fuel droplet. Predicted and observed times to puffing/micro-explosion decreased with increasing ambient gas temperatures and mass fractions of micro-particles in rapeseed oil (up to 60%). The maximal deviations between the experimental and modelling results were observed for ambient gas temperature 850 K and mass fraction of micro-particles in oil 60%. This is linked to the fact that, for large mass fractions of coal and low ambient gas temperatures, bubbles can be initiated at the coal micro-particles. This effect is not considered in the model.
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In view of the disadvantages of the traditional energy supply systems, such as separate planning, separate design, independent operating mode, and the increasingly prominent nonlinear coupling between various sub-systems, the production, transmission, storage and consumption of multiple energy sources are coordinated and optimized by the integrated energy system, which improves energy and infrastructure utilization, promotes renewable energy consumption, and ensures reliability of energy supply. In this paper, the mathematical model of the electricity-gas interconnected integrated energy system and its state estimation method are studied. First, considering the nonlinearity between measurement equations and state variables, a performance simulation model is proposed. Then, the state consistency equations and constraints of the coupling nodes for multiple energy subsystems are established, and constraints are relaxed into the objective function to decouple the integrated energy system. Finally, a distributed state estimation framework is formed by combining the synchronous alternating direction multiplier method to achieve an efficient estimation of the state of the integrated energy system. A simulation model of an electricity-gas interconnected integrated energy system verifies the efficiency and accuracy of the state estimation method proposed in this paper. The results show that the average relative errors of voltage amplitude and node pressure estimated by the proposed distributed state estimation method are only 0.0132% and 0.0864%, much lower than the estimation error by using the Lagrangian relaxation method. Besides, compared with the centralized estimation method, the proposed distributed method saves 5.42 s of computation time. The proposed method is more accurate and efficient in energy allocation and utilization.
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Coal-water slurries are promising fuels for thermal power engineering despite some problems associated with their combustion in steam and hot water boilers. One of these problems is formation of sufficiently large (more than 1 mm) fuel droplets during coaxial spraying through the nozzles. The aim of this work is to substantiate efficiency of ethyl or isoamyl alcohol addition as a third component of coal-water fuels, which significantly improve atomization technology, by the results of experimental determination of distribution of coal-water slurry droplets by velocity and size in the process of coaxial spraying. Based on the results of experimental studies of atomization process of coal-water slurries prepared on the basis of lignite with addition of ethyl and isoamyl alcohol, instantaneous fields of fuel droplet velocities and sizes in a wide range (from 20 microns to 1 mm) in several cross-sections of the jet at several values of air and fuel pressure were determined using a non-contact method of jet visualization. It was experimentally established that substitution of water (no more than 3% by weight) in the composition of coal-water slurry by fairly typical alcohols leads to decrease in droplet velocities during atomization of alcohol-coal-water slurries in comparison with conventional coal-water fuel by 5-8% at air pressure of 0.28 MPa and fuel pressure of 0.3 MPa. Concentration of sufficiently small fuel droplets (up to 200 microns) increases by 13.4% and by 6.6% during atomization of alcohol-coal-water slurries with addition of ethyl and isoamyl alcohol, respectively, in comparison with conventional coal-water fuel. Influence of small additives of ethyl and isoamyl alcohol in the composition of coal-water fuel, established in experiments for the first time, on flow characteristics of the droplets after spraying proves the possibility of effective application of such three-component suspensions in thermal power engineering. The results obtained are of significant practical value, since they illustrate the possibility of ignition delay time reduction of droplets of promising three-component coal-water slurries with addition of such alcohols.
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Recently, 2-(2-aminoethylamino)ethanol (AEEA) has attracted significant attention owing to its higher interaction performance than that of other amines. In this study, we theoretically investigate the CO2 interaction mechanism of AEEA. Herein, we examined the possible reactions between CO2 and AEEA and found that two-proton transfer occurred via water. Results suggest that the hydroxyl group and the secondary amine play an important role in the capture of water molecules. Additionally, we found that AEEA and CO2 were affected by the hydronium (H3O⁺) generated during the two-proton transfer, which stabilized the structure in the transition state. This effect lowered the activation energy and promoted CO2 interactions.
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Based on the results of the experimental studies performed, physical and mathematical models were developed to describe the processes of heat transfer in droplets of potential coal-water fuels (CWF) before their fragmentation caused by intense heating. The model is based on the solution of a system of heat transfer equations taking into account specific features of the CWF droplets fragmentation identified in the course of experiments. CWF droplet fragmentation delay times were recorded in the course of heating using the disintegration criterion identified in the experiments performed. In the case of CWF, complete evaporation of water from fuel composition droplet serves as the criterion. A series of experiments were carried out to test the model and to clarify the mechanism for implementing the processes investigated. The effect of a group of the following factors on the fragmentation delay times was determined: the temperature (773–2273 K), the initial droplet sizes (0.05–1.55 mm) and the component composition of the fuel (solid particles concentration varied between 40 and 60 wt%). The conditions for the intensification of the processes of fragmentation and ignition of potential fuel suspensions were singled out.
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Parameters of the process of coal-water fuels spraying (characteristics of the fuel jet) with addition of liquid waste from processing of industrial rubber goods have been studied. It has been established that application of this additive in the composition of coal-water fuel leads to an increase in the viscosity of the fuel, as well as increase in the spraying angle. Nonlinear dependences of the velocity of sprayed fuel particles and their size distribution on the concentration of the additive in the fuel composition have been experimentally established. Application of liquid waste from the processing of industrial rubber goods as an additive to coal-water fuel is advisable when the additive content does not exceed 8 wt%.
Thesis
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There are undeniable signs from all over the world demonstrating that climate change is already upon us. Numerous scientific studies have warned of dire consequences should humankind fail to keep average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5°C. Drastic measures to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from all economic activities across the world are essential. Major emphasis has been on the energy sector, which contributes the bulk of GHG emissions. Inevitably, energy scenarios describing future transition pathways towards low, and zero emissions energy systems are commonly proposed as mitigation strategies. However, there is growing awareness in the research community that energy transitions should be understood and analysed not only from technical and economical perspectives but also from a social perspective. This research explores the broader ramifications of a global energy transition from various dimensions: costs and externalities of energy production, democratisation of future energy systems and the role of prosumers, employment creation during energy transitions at the global, regional and national levels and the effects of air pollution during energy transitions across the world. This research builds on fundamental techno-economic principles of energy systems and relies firmly on a cost driven rationale for determining cost optimal energy system transition pathways. Techno-economic analyses of energy transitions around the world are executed with the LUT Energy System Transition Model, while the corresponding socioeconomic aspects are expressed in terms of levelised cost of electricity, cost effective development of prosumers, job creation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions along with air pollution. Findings during the course of this original research involved novel assessments of the levelised cost of electricity encompassing externalities across G20 countries, cost optimal prosumer modelling across the world, estimates of job creation potential of various renewables, storage and power-to-X technologies including the production of green hydrogen and e-fuels during global, regional and national energy transitions. The novel research methods and insights are published in several articles and presented in this thesis, which highlight robust socioeconomic benefits of transitioning the current fossil fuels dominated global energy system towards renewables complemented by storage and flexible power-to-X solutions, resulting in near zero emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. These research findings and insights have significant relevance to stakeholders across the energy landscape and present a compelling case for the rapid transformation of energy systems across the world. However, the research does have limitations and is based on energy transition pathways that are inherent with uncertainties and some socioeconomic challenges. Nonetheless, actions to enhance and accelerate the ongoing energy transition across the world must be prioritised, if not for technical feasibility or economic viability, but for the social wellbeing of human society and future generations.
Article
Europe and North America have numerous studies on 100% renewable power systems. South America, however, lacks research on zero-carbon energy systems, especially understanding South America as an interconnected region, despite its great renewable energy sources, increasing population, and economic productivity. This work extends the cost-optimization energy planning model LEELO and applies it to South America. This results in the to-date most complete model for planning South America’s power sector, with a high temporal (8760 time steps per year) and spatial (over 40 nodes) resolution, and 30 technologies involved. Besides the base case, we study how varying spatial resolution for South America impacted investment results (43, 30, 16, 1 node). Finally, we also evaluate green hydrogen export scenarios, from 0% to 20% on top of the electricity demand. Our study reveals that South America’s energy transition will rely, in decreasing order, on solar photovoltaic, wind, gas as bridging technology, and also on some concentrated solar power. Storage technologies equal to about 10% of the total installed power capacity would be required, aided by the existing hydropower fleet. Not only is the transition to renewables technically possible, but it is also the most cost-efficient solution: electricity costs are expected to reach 32 €/MWh from the year 2035 onwards without the need for further fossil fuels. Varying the spatial resolution, the most-resolved model (43 nodes) reveals 11% and 6% more costs than the one-node and one-node-per-country (16) models, respectively, with large differences in investment recommendations, especially in concentrated solar and wind power. The difference between 43 and 30 nodes is negligible in terms of total costs, energy storage, and technology mix, indicating that 30 nodes are an adequate resolution for this region. We then use the 30-node model to analyze hydrogen export scenarios. The electricity costs drop, as hydrogen is not only a load but also a flexibility provider. Most green hydrogen is produced in Chile, Argentina, and northeast Brazil. For future work, we propose to do an integrated energy plan, including transport and heat, for the region, as well as modeling local hydrogen demands. This work aims to inform policymakers of sustainable transitions, and the energy community.
Thesis
Human development and climate change mitigation are related, and infrastructure - buildings and engineered constructions - is essential to jointly achieve these objectives. Infrastructure provide services that meet societal needs, but this provision is currently insufficient and CO2 emissions intensive in the use and construction. However, infrastructure dynamics is subject to technical, economic and institutional constraints. In this thesis, I investigate how the evolution of global infrastructure stocks can reconcile development needs with CO2 emissions reduction. I focus on three points of tension: (i) carbon lock-in - the inertia on future emissions reduction - induced by short-term development, (ii) limited financing for investment, and (iii) the carbon space for sufficient basic infrastructure development. This thesis makes a contribution by highlighting some of the conditions that need to be met if infrastructure is not to limit the feasibility of climate-development reconciliation.In the first chapter, I systematic review the literature on infrastructure-induced carbon lock-in. I use a supervised machine learning approach to select relevant articles. I synthesize according to sectors and geographical areas the existing quantifications of carbon lock-in, the indicators used to measure it and qualitative statements mentioning policy implications to get out of it. I show that coal-fired power plants contribute significantly to global carbon lock-in and are exposed to the risk of stranded assets due to early retirement. The sectoral distribution and amount of stranded assets differ between countries, with significant amounts for buildings sector in developed countries. Stranded assets are reduced if climate policies are implemented quickly. There is a need to ensure the legitimacy and long-term stability of these policies and coordination between infrastructure sectors. Carbon pricing should not be the only instrument used and should be complemented by regulation and financial support for the deployment of low-carbon capital.In the second chapter, I quantify the investment needs in transportation infrastructures in relation to different levels of climate ambitions. I build socio-economic scenarios with an integrated assessment model that explicitly represents the transport sector. I develop a module to quantify investment needs in line with future mobility trends. I apply a global sensitivity analysis to identify the determinants of investment needs. I show that investment needs decrease with increasing climate ambition but represent significant amounts compared to historical levels and needs in other sectors. Rail utilization level and road building costs are determining factors and could be levers to be activated to promote low-carbon pathways with reduced costs.In the third chapter, I assess whether a high level of access to five essential services - electricity, water, shelter, sanitation and transport - can be provided globally without compromising climate mitigation goals. I quantify in each country the needs for cement and steel based on historical trends. I then estimate the CO2 emissions associated with the manufacture of these materials by taking into account influencing factors such as production technologies, international trade patterns and mitigation actions in these industries. I show that providing high access to sanitation and transport can conflict with the existing low-carbon trajectories. These results suggest the need to limit the use of cement and steel and for further efforts to reduce emissions in developed countries.
Article
The results of spraying characteristics of alcohol‐coal‐water slurries are presented. It has been experimentally proved that the lowest value of the viscosity of the studied slurries varies from 54 to 329 mPa∙s. The density value of alcohol‐coal‐water slurries decreases to 1130 kg/m3 when the content of isopropyl alcohol in the fuel composition is 8% by weight. The largest value of jet spraying angle corresponds to alcohol‐coal‐water fuel with isopropyl alcohol content of 8% by weight. The number of sufficiently large droplets decreases by 35% in comparison with typical two‐component coal‐water fuel. The calorific value of alcohol‐coal‐water slurries increases when the third liquid fuel component is introduced into the composition of coal‐water fuel by 3.23‐8.17%.
Article
As the energy consumption in the world continues to increase, the integrated energy systems combined with multiple types of energy are gradually developing to enhance the utilization efficiency of each type of energy. However, some issues bring challenges to the state estimation of the coupled electric-gas integrated energy system. The issues include that measurement data of the integrated energy system has low redundancy, there exists a large measurement error of the integrated energy system, and the measurement devices of the electric and gas network are not standardized in terms of sampling time units. Considering that the data-driven model has high portability and the ability to distill and summarize information, the data-driven state estimation model of the electric-gas coupled integrated energy system is established in this paper. Bayesian learning is used to obtain the probabilistic statistical features of the measurement data. Super Latin sampling is applied to generate the complete measurement data. The rationality of the generated data is checked by the energy flow analysis of the integrated energy system to obtain the training sample set for the deep learning network. A hybrid deep learning network coupled with the convolutional neural network and long and short-term memory is proposed, and the root mean square error is utilized to train the hybrid deep learning network, which effectively improves the error accuracy of the state estimation of the electric-gas coupled integrated energy system. Compared with the classical model-driven method of state estimation, the arithmetic simulation verifies the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Article
In this study, the flow and spray of biodiesel in the swirl atomization nozzle were analyzed. The influence of primary air flow rate and temperature on the atomization characteristics in the internal and external flow fields of biodiesel was discussed through simulation and experiments. The velocity of biodiesel in the nozzle and mixing chamber were symmetrically distributed. With increasing primary air flow rate, the maximum speed area increased and the shape of the turbulent kinetic energy of biodiesel changed from columnar to funnel. When the primary air flow rate increased from 10 to 30 L/min, the Sauter mean diameter, (SMD, d32) decreased from 95 to 28 μm, and when it increased to 50 L/min, d32 changed slightly. With increasing fuel temperature, the spray velocity increased and the particle size gradually decreased, while the particle size of each interval remained almost unchanged over 45 °C. Therefore, the best primary air flow rate and temperature for the swirling atomization of biodiesel were 30 L/min and 45 °C. It was determined that the increase in air flow rate and temperature promoted the development of atomization flow field and the breaking of droplets in biodiesel, thus optimizing the swirling atomization of biodiesel.
Article
Application of liquid waste of industrial rubber goods (IRG) and waste car oil (WCO) as an additional component of coal-water fuel (CWF) was experimentally studied. It has been established that efficient introduction of liquid combustible components (LCC) into coal-water fuel prepared on the basis of long-flame coal is possible, if their concentrations in the studied slurries do not exceed 8% by weight. A further increase in the concentration of the third component causes an increase in the fuels viscosity, which significantly worsens the jet characteristics after spraying. Increase in the jet spraying angle is about 25%, but a significant number of inhomogeneities and large fragments appear in its composition. Introduction of the third component into the composition of coal-water fuel allows increasing its calorific value by 9.9–31.1%.
Poster
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Large-scale solar farms are usually located on agricultural fields, covering areas from few up to hundred hectares. However, installing solar PV systems on agricultural land has been questioned by some analysts, because it might compete with agricultural production. Thus, policy organizations and governments among their strategies to support renewables, try to promote the installation of solar PV systems on ‘brownfield land’. The term ‘brownfield land’ refers to land previously developed for commercial or industrial purposes likely to have been contaminated with low concentration of pollutants. Landfill sites and waste management facilities are such an option. And as illustrated in this research it is an appropriate one, offering unique advantages favorable to PV systems’ deployment. In the present poster the authors show that the potential for PV installation on landfill sites is significant and even higher than the available public data show. A GIS-based methodology is presented, aiming to support site selection and estimation of the energy yield potential.
Article
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This paper introduces a value chain design for transportation fuels and a respective business case taking into account hybrid PV-Wind power plants, electrolysis and hydrogen-to-liquids (H2tL) based on hourly resolved full load hours (FLh). The value chain is based on renewable electricity (RE) converted by power-to-liquids (PtL) facilities into synthetic fuels, mainly diesel. Results show that the proposed RE-diesel value chains are competitive for crude oil prices within a minimum price range of about 79 - 135 USD/barrel (0.44 – 0.75 €/l of diesel production cost), depending on the chosen specific value chain and assumptions for cost of capital, available oxygen sales and CO2 emission costs. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the RE-PtL value chain needs to be located at the best complementing solar and wind sites in the world combined with a de-risking strategy and a special focus on mid to long-term electrolyser and H2tL efficiency improvements. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-Wind power plants could create a PV-wind market potential in the order of terawatts.
Poster
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Poster on the occasion of the 4th Conference on Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemistry and Polymers in Essen, Germany, on September 29 - 30, 2015.
Article
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Energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) can benefit public health and the climate by displacing emissions from fossil-fuelled electrical generating units (EGUs). Benefits can vary substantially by EE/RE installation type and location, due to differing electricity generation or savings by location, characteristics of the electrical grid and displaced power plants, along with population patterns. However, previous studies have not formally examined how these dimensions individually and jointly contribute to variability in benefits across locations or EE/RE types. Here, we develop and demonstrate a high-resolution model to simulate and compare the monetized public health and climate benefits of four different illustrative EE/RE installation types in six different locations within the Mid-Atlantic and Lower Great Lakes of the United States. Annual benefits using central estimates for all pathways ranged from US5.7-US210 million (US14-US170 MWh 1), emphasizing the importance of site-specific information in accurately estimating public health and climate benefits of EE/RE efforts.
Conference Paper
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With growing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and concerns about climate change, this paper introduces a new value chain design for LNG and a respective business case taking into account hybrid PV-Wind power plants. The value chain is based on renewable electricity (RE) converted by power-togas (PtG) facilities into synthetic natural gas (SNG), which is finally liquefied into LNG. This RE-LNG can be shipped everywhere in the world. The calculations for hybrid PV-Wind power plants, electrolysis and methanation are done based on both annual and hourly full load hours (FLh). To reach the minimum cost, the optimized combination of fixed-tilted and single-axis tracking PV, wind power, and battery capacities have been applied. Results show that the proposed RE-LNG value chain is competitive for Brent crude oil prices within a minimum price range of 87-145 USD/barrel, depending on assumptions for cost of capital, available oxygen sales and CO2 emission costs. RE-LNG is competitive with fossil LNG from an economic perspective, while removing environmental concerns. This range would be an upper limit for the fossil LNG price in the long-term and RE-LNG can become competitive whenever the fossil prices are higher than the level mentioned and the cost assumptions expected for the year 2030 are achieved. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-Wind power plants could create a PV-wind market potential in the order of 9.5 terawatts.
Conference Paper
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Global energy demand has grown steadily since the industrial revolution. During the two decades from 1991 to 2012, total primary energy demand (TPED) grew from 91,200 to 155,400 TWhth, or by 70%, and projections expect this number to increase by a further 40% by 2040. Although greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector have to be reduced to zero by mid-century or earlier to avoid an ecologic disaster, less than 15% of this energy demand is supplied by renewable resources nowadays. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has a significant impact on both political and economic decisions of governments and stakeholders regarding energy. The World Energy Outlook (WEO) report published annually by the IEA projects for the decades to come how TPED and electricity generation, amongst others, will evolve for all major technologies. Since the WEO is often used as a basis for policy making on renewable and conventional energy, a comprehensive analysis of past WEO projections is crucial. Such analysis will ensure well-grounded and realistic energy policy making and can contribute to efforts to fight climate change and to achieve energy security. In this article, the deviation between the real figures documented in the latest WEO reports and the projections of earlier ones is analysed, as well as the different projections of all reports from 1994 to 2014. The results obtained so far show that projections for solar technologies and wind energy have been strongly underestimated, whereas projections for nuclear energy are contradictory from one year to the next. A key reason for the high deviations of solar PV and wind capacities in the projections and the historic data is an incorrectly applied growth pattern. The WEO reports assume linear growth, whereas history shows an exponential growth for the new renewable energy (RE) technologies. The current exponential growth is part of long-term logistic growth of new RE technologies. Furthermore, a model proposed regarding RE technologies shows that to satisfy the world's needs with sustainable technologies in the decades to come, the approach of the WEO reports needs to be substantially reworked. Due to continuously falling prices of renewable energy technology, one can expect a fast deployment of renewables and a replacement of conventional energy. In its latest projections the WEOs did not take into account recent developments, including measures on climate protection and divestment of finance from the conventional energy sector. Therefore, policy-makers are advised to consider the expansion of renewables well beyond the WEO projections in their energy policies in order to avoid stranded investments in future.
Article
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The Power-to-Gas (PtG) process chain could play a significant role in the future energy system. Renewable electric energy can be transformed into storable methane via electrolysis and subsequent methanation. This article compares the available electrolysis and methanation technologies with respect to the stringent requirements of the PtG chain such as low CAPEX, high efficiency, and high flexibility. Three water electrolysis technologies are considered: alkaline electrolysis, PEM electrolysis, and solid oxide electrolysis. Alkaline electrolysis is currently the cheapest technology; however, in the future PEM electrolysis could be better suited for the PtG process chain. Solid oxide electrolysis could also be an option in future, especially if heat sources are available. Several different reactor concepts can be used for the methanation reaction. For catalytic methanation, typically fixed-bed reactors are used; however, novel reactor concepts such as three-phase methanation and micro reactors are currently under development. Another approach is the biochemical conversion. The bioprocess takes place in aqueous solutions and close to ambient temperatures. Finally, the whole process chain is discussed. Critical aspects of the PtG process are the availability of CO2 sources, the dynamic behaviour of the individual process steps, and especially the economics as well as the efficiency.
Article
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We provide, and perform a risk theoretic statistical analysis of, a dataset that is 75 percent larger than the previous best dataset on nuclear incidents and accidents, comparing three measures of severity: INES (International Nuclear Event Scale), radiation released, and damage dollar losses. The annual rate of nuclear accidents, with size above 20 Million US$, per plant, decreased from the 1950s until dropping significantly after Chernobyl (April, 1986). The rate is now roughly stable at 0.002 to 0.003, i.e., around 1 event per year across the current fleet. The distribution of damage values changed after Three Mile Island (TMI; March, 1979), where moderate damages were suppressed but the tail became very heavy, being described by a Pareto distribution with tail index 0.55. Further, there is a runaway disaster regime, associated with the "dragon-king" phenomenon, amplifying the risk of extreme damage. In fact, the damage of the largest event (Fukushima; March, 2011) is equal to 60 percent of the total damage of all 174 accidents in our database since 1946. In dollar losses we compute a 50% chance that (i) a Fukushima event (or larger) occurs in the next 50 years, (ii) a Chernobyl event (or larger) occurs in the next 27 years and (iii) a TMI event (or larger) occurs in the next 10 years. Finally, we find that the INES scale is inconsistent. To be consistent with damage, the Fukushima disaster would need to have an INES level of 11, rather than the maximum of 7.
Article
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The large-scale deployment of renewable energy sources (RES) is an important aspect of decarbonising the energy supply, and represents a key part of the German Energiewende. However, significantly increasing the share of renewable power in the energy mix implies coping with the natural intermittency of RES like wind and solar. RES development also does not directly address non-electric energy needs such as fuels for transportation and industry feedstock, which are presently relying on fossil fuels. Therefore, the conversion of surplus renewable electricity (RES-E) into the more convenient form of a liquid or gas (power-to-liquid and power-to-gas) could help offset RES intermittency while providing a diverse mix of energy carriers. If recycled CO2 is used in the fuel synthesis process, overall emissions can be greatly reduced. This paper aims to sketch the possible contribution of RES-E combined with power-to-gas (PtG) and power-to-liquid (PtL) schemes in the 2050 German energy system, by modelling an increase in installed renewable power. Different scenarios are laid out and compared, and the results are utilised in a basic economic assessment of the fuel production cost for an hypothetical power-to-liquid plant.
Article
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Despite the recognized importance of reservoirs and dams, global datasets describing their characteristics and geographical distribution are largely incomplete. To enable advanced assessments of the role and effects of dams within the global river network and to support strategies for mitigating ecohydrological and socioeconomic costs, we introduce here the spatially explicit and hydrologically linked Global Reservoir and Dam database (GRanD). As of early 2011, GRanD contains information regarding 6862 dams and their associated reservoirs, with a total storage capacity of 6197 km(3). On the basis of these records, we estimate that about 16.7 million reservoirs larger than 0.01 ha - with a combined storage capacity of approximately 8070 km(3) - may exist worldwide, increasing Earth's terrestrial surface water area by more than 305 000 km(2). We find that 575 900 river kilometers, or 7.6% of the world's rivers with average flows above 1 cubic meter per second (m(3) s(-1)), are affected by a cumulative upstream reservoir capacity that exceeds 2% of their annual flow; the impact is highest for large rivers with average flows above 1000 m(3) s(-1), of which 46.7% are affected. Finally, a sensitivity analysis suggests that smaller reservoirs have substantial impacts on the spatial extent of flow alterations despite their minor role in total reservoir capacity.
Article
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Global warming, fossil fuel depletion, the growth of large new economies, and the latent risks of terrorism and international conflict are weaving an uncomfortable stranglehold on the world's energy outlook. This is reflected by an extreme volatility in energy commodity prices and associated economic disruptions, superimposed over long-term environmental worries. The International Energy Agency, through its programs such as Solar Heating and Cooling*, is actively working to advance the new energy technologies and strategies needed to meet future demand while reducing dependence on the liquid fossil fuels that currently drive the planet's economies. Often cited alternatives include clean coal, nuclear, and an array of renewable options: hydropower, biomass/biofuels, geothermal, ocean thermal energy conversion, waves, tides, wind, solar, etc. In the eyes of leaders and decision makers, developing such a mix of alternatives is a reasonable approach to bring about the desired stable energy future -- akin to putting future energy eggs in different baskets. However this view presupposes that all alternatives have a comparable capability. Hence the purpose of this brief note: to step back and take a fundamental look at their respective potential. The three-dimensional rendering in Figure 1 compares the current annual energy consumption of the world to (1) the known reserves of the finite fossil and nuclear resources and (2) to the yearly potential of the renewable alternatives. The volume of each sphere represents the total amount of energy recoverable from the finite reserves and the energy recoverable per year from renewable sources. This direct side-by-side view shows that:
Chapter
The following chapter is based on the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2018 (WNISR2018). The annual WNISR is a comprehensive assessment of the status and trends of the global nuclear power industry.
Article
Power systems for South and Central America based on 100% renewable energy (RE) in the year 2030 were calculated for the first time using an hourly resolved energy model. The region was subdivided into 15 sub-regions. Four different scenarios were considered: three according to different high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grid development levels (region, country, area-wide) and one integrated scenario that considers water desalination and industrial gas demand supplied by synthetic natural gas via power-togas (PtG). RE is not only able to cover 1813 TWh of estimated electricity demand of the area in 2030 but also able to generate the electricity needed to fulfil 3.9 billion m 3 of water desalination and 640 TWh LHV of synthetic natural gas demand. Existing hydro dams can be used as virtual batteries for solar and wind electricity storage, diminishing the role of storage technologies. The results for total levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) are decreased from 62 €/MWh for a highly decentralized to 56 €/MWh for a highly centralized grid scenario (currency value of the year 2015). For the integrated scenario, the levelized cost of gas (LCOG) and the leve-lized cost of water (LCOW) are 95 €/MWh LHV and 0.91 €/m 3 , respectively. A reduction of 8% in total cost and 5% in electricity generation was achieved when integrating desalination and power-to-gas into the system.
Conference Paper
With growing demand for transportation fuels such as diesel and concerns about climate change, this paper introduces a new value chain design for transportation fuels and a respective business case taking into account hybrid PV-Wind power plants. The value chain is based on renewable electricity (RE) converted by power-to-liquids (PtL) facilities into synthetic fuels, mainly diesel. This RE-diesel can be shipped to everywhere in the world. The calculations for the hybrid PV-Wind power plants, electrolysis and hydrogen-to-liquids (H2tL) are done based on annual full load hours (FLh). A combination of 5 GWp PV single-axis tracking and wind onshore power have been applied. Results show that the proposed RE-diesel value chains are competitive for crude oil prices within a minimum price range of about 79-135 USD/barrel (0.44 – 0.75 €/l of diesel production cost), depending on the chosen specific value chain and assumptions for cost of capital, available oxygen sales and CO2 emission costs. RE-diesel could become competitive to conventional diesel from an economic perspective, while removing environmental concerns. The cost range would be an upper limit for the conventional diesel price in the long-term and RE-diesel can become competitive whenever the fossil fuel prices are higher than the level mentioned and the cost assumptions expected for the year 2030 are achieved. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the RE-PtL value chain needs to be located at the best complementing solar and wind sites in the world combined with a de-risking strategy and a special focus on mid to long-term electrolyser and H2tL efficiency improvements. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-Wind power plants could create a PV-wind market potential in the order of terawatts.
Article
In order to define a cost optimal 100% renewable energy system, an hourly resolved model has been created based on linear optimization of energy system parameters under given constrains. The model is comprised of five scenarios for 100% renewable energy power systems in North-East Asia with different high voltage direct current transmission grid development levels, including industrial gas demand and additional energy security. Renewables can supply enough energy to cover the estimated electricity and gas demands of the area in the year 2030 and deliver more than 2000 TW hth of heat on a cost competitive level of 84 €/MW hel for electricity. Further, this can be accomplished for a synthetic natural gas price at the 2013 Japanese liquefied natural gas import price level and at no additional generation costs for the available heat. The total area system cost could reach 69.4 €/MW hel, if only the electricity sector is taken into account. In this system about 20% of the energy is exchanged between the 13 regions, reflecting a rather decentralized character which is supplied 27% by stored energy. The major storage technologies are batteries for daily storage and power-to-gas for seasonal storage. Prosumers are likely to play a significant role due to favourable economics. A highly resilient energy system with very high energy security standards would increase the electricity cost by 23% to 85.6 €/MW hel. The results clearly show that a 100% renewable energy based system is feasible and lower in cost than nuclear energy and fossil carbon capture and storage alternatives.
Conference Paper
With growing demand for transportation fuels such as diesel and concerns about climate change, this paper introduces a new value chain design for transportation fuels and a respective business case taking into account hybrid PV-Wind power plants. The value chain is based on renewable electricity (RE) converted by power-togas (PtG) facilities into synthetic natural gas (SNG), which is finally converted to mainly diesel in gas-to-liquid (GtL) facilities. This RE-diesel can be shipped to everywhere in the world. The calculations for the hybrid PV-Wind power plants, electrolysis and methanation are done based on annual full load hours (FLh). A combination of 5 GWp single-axis tracking PV and wind power have been applied. Results show that the proposed RE-diesel value chain is competitive for crude oil prices within a minimum price range of about 121-191 USD/barrel (0.67 – 1.06 €/l of diesel production cost), depending on assumptions for cost of capital, available oxygen sales and CO2 emission costs. RE-diesel is competitive with conventional diesel from an economic perspective, while removing environmental concerns. The cost range would be an upper limit for the conventional diesel price in the long-term and RE-diesel can become competitive whenever the fossil fuel prices are higher than the level mentioned and the cost assumptions expected for the year 2030 are achieved. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the RE-PtG-GtL value chain needs to be located at the best complemented solar and wind sites in the world combined with a de-risking strategy and a special focus on mid to long term electrolyzer efficiency improvements. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-Wind power plants could create a PV-wind market potential in the order of terawatts.
Conference Paper
The installed capacity of photovoltaics (PV) is rising steadily. Most PV is installed in highly electrified countries as on-grid systems. Further, there are reams of small off-grid systems in rural areas of developing countries. Due to this, reliable installation rates for PV are available only for a small number of countries. For the end of 2014 SolarPower Europe reports 178,391 MWp of globally installed PV capacity, giving clear national specific data for 21 countries. IEA PVPS gives a number of 176,965 MWp installed by providing detailed data for 34 countries, 24 of which coming from official sources in IEA PVPS member countries. This paper gives an overview of installed PV for all countries in the world, predicated based on the examination of publically accessible data. Furthermore, an analysis of the development of cumulative PV capacities in recent years is given. Resulting from this evaluation, PV installations are localized in 190 countries, representing 177,600 MWp.
Article
Power-to-gas (PtG) technology has received considerable attention in recent years. However, it has been rather difficult to find profitable business models and niche markets so far. PtG systems can be applied in a broad variety of input and output conditions, mainly determined by prices for electricity, hydrogen, oxygen, heat, natural gas, bio-methane, fossil CO2 emissions, bio-CO2 and grid services, but also full load hours and industrial scaling. Optimized business models are based on an integrated value chain approach for a most beneficial combination of input and output parameters. The financial success is evaluated by a standard annualized profit and loss calculation and a subsequent return on equity consideration. Two cases of PtG integration into an existing pulp mill as well as a nearby bio-diesel plant are taken into account. Commercially available PtG technology is found to be profitable in case of a flexible operation mode offering electricity grid services. Next generation technology, available at the end of the 2010s, in combination with renewables certificates for the transportation sector could generate a return on equity of up to 100% for optimized conditions in an integrated value chain approach. This outstanding high profitability clearly indicates the potential for major PtG markets to be developed rather in the transportation sector and chemical industry than in the electricity sector as seasonal storage option as often proposed.
Article
The production of hydrogen from renewable sources by water electrolysis can be coupled to a downstream chemical synthesis. This enables the production of liquid fuels or chemical raw materials that can be used in today's infrastructure. However, it is not clear which synthesis technology fits best to the novel boundary conditions for chemical plants (e.g. small scale, flexible operation). In order to identify the most promising syntheses, different one-stage synthesis systems are evaluated in terms of technology, economics and acceptance. The analysis gives in all cases production costs that are significantly above today's market prices. Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis routes are expected to have a higher public acceptance compared to the other technologies due to the high product similarity to conventional energy carriers (diesel, crude oil). The economic feasibility of synthetic natural gas (SNG) production suffers from the low product price of natural gas as a benchmark, but its technical score is high. Methanol production is identified as the synthesis technology that achieves the highest overall score. The analysis shows that not only techno-economic parameters, but also parameters representing the public acceptance like the fit to the existing infrastructure, have to be considered to identify appropriate technologies that may play a role in future energy systems.
Conference Paper
Power-to-gas (PtG) technology has received considerable attention in recent years. However, it has been rather difficult to find profitable business models and niche markets so far. PtG systems can be applied in a broad variety of input and output conditions, mainly determined by prices for electricity, hydrogen, oxygen, heat, natural gas, bio-methane, fossil CO2 emissions, bio-CO2 and grid services, but also full load hours and industrial scaling. Optimized business models are based on an integrated value chain approach for a most beneficial combination of input and output parameters. The financial success is evaluated by a standard annualized profit and loss calculation and a subsequent return on equity consideration. Two cases of PtG integration into an existing pulp mill as well as a nearby bio-diesel plant are taken into account. Commercially available PtG technology is found to be profitable in case of a flexible operation mode offering electricity grid services. Next generation technology, available at the end of the 2010s, in combination with renewables certificates for the transportation sector could generate a return on equity of up to 100% for optimized conditions in an integrated value chain approach. This outstanding high profitability clearly indicates the potential for major PtG markets to be developed rather in the transportation sector and chemical industry than in the electricity sector as seasonal storage option as often proposed.
Conference Paper
The installed capacity of photovoltaic (PV) is rising steadily. Most PV is installed in highly electrified countries as on-grid systems. Further, there are reams of small off-grid systems in rural areas of developing countries. Due to this, reliable installation rates for PV are available only for a small number of countries. For the end of 2013 EPIA reports 138,858 MWp of installed PV capacity, using data for 45 countries, whereas 2,098 MWp are not allocatable to specific countries. IEA-PVPS gives a number of 136,200 MWp installed by providing detailed data for 32 countries, 24 of which coming from official sources in IEA PVPS member countries. This paper gives an overview of installed PV for all countries in the world, being predicated based on the examination of publically accessible data. Furthermore, an analysis of the development of cumulative PV capacities in recent years is given. Resulting from this evaluation, PV installations are localized in 191 countries, representing 137,500 MWp.
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An analysis of 401 power plant and transmission projects in 57 countries suggests that costs are underestimated in three out of every four projects, with only 39 projects across the entire sample experiencing no cost overrun or underrun. Hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, wind farms and solar facilities each have their own unique set of construction risks.
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Solving the issue of environmental degradation due to the expansion of the World's energy demand requires a balanced approach. The aim of this paper is to comprehensively rank a large number of electricity generation technologies based on their compatibility with the sustainable development of the industry. The study is based on a set of 10 sustainability indicators which provide a life cycle analysis of the plants. The technologies are ranked using a weighted sum multi-attribute utility method. The indicator weights were established through a survey of 62 academics from the fields of energy and environmental science. Our results show that large hydroelectric projects are the most sustainable technology type, followed by small hydro, onshore wind and solar photovoltaic. We argue that political leaders should have a more structured and strategic approach in implementing sustainable energy policies and this type of research can provide arguments to support such decisions.
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The paper reviews the history and the economics of the French PWR program, which is arguably the most successful nuclear-scale up experience in an industrialized country. Key to this success was a unique institutional framework that allowed for centralized decision making, a high degree of standardization, and regulatory stability, epitomized by comparatively short reactor construction times.Drawing on largely unknown public records, the paper reveals for the first time both absolute as well as yearly and specific reactor costs and their evolution over time. Its most significant finding is that even this most successful nuclear scale-up was characterized by a substantial escalation of real-term construction costs. Conversely, operating costs have remained remarkably flat, despite lowered load factors resulting from the need for load modulation in a system where base-load nuclear power plants supply three quarters of electricity.The French nuclear case illustrates the perils of the assumption of robust learning effects resulting in lowered costs over time in the scale-up of large-scale, complex new energy supply technologies. The uncertainties in anticipated learning effects of new technologies might be much larger that often assumed, including also cases of “negative learning” in which specific costs increase rather than decrease with accumulated experience.