Article

Energy Storage in Global and Transcontinental Energy Scenarios: A Critical Review

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Abstract

There are a fast growing number of global energy scenarios based on high shares of renewable energy (RE). However, many of them lack comprehensive analyses of energy storage systems. A review of global scenarios reveals that energy storage systems are assessed mainly qualitatively; quantitative assessments of global energy storage demand are scarce. The possible future roles of energy storage systems are plentiful: they can be used in short-term control (e.g. in power grid frequency control), as a medium-term balance mechanism (to shift daily production to meet demand), as long-term storage (seasonal shift), or to substitute grid extensions. Typically, only power storage is considered, if energy storage is assessed at all. Scenario-makers do not always assess the dynamics and synergies of energy storage systems in the power, heat and mobility sectors. To date, publications of the dynamics between continent-wide renewable energy production, transmission grids and energy storage capacities are not numerous. The existing body of research indicates that transmission lines connecting individual countries are regarded as a key component in enabling RE-based, low-cost energy systems. However, various issues could restrain the implementation of proposed grid connections. These barriers could be overcome by partially substituting energy grid reinforcements with energy storage solutions. Furthermore, less storage related curtailment of renewable energy could lead to improved energy system efficiency and cost. Therefore, energy scenarios that capture quantitatively different configurations of international energy exchange and its influence on regional storage systems are needed. High spatial and temporal resolution energy system models are needed to assess scenarios for high share of renewable energy supply and demand for energy storage.

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... In general, scenarios that name the widest ranges of storage technologies tend to add other storage options, such as flywheels and different types of capacitors. Importantly, no single scenario has quantified the demand for storage capacities on a global level [72]. Table 3 shows the results related to a transparency check on the studied scenarios. ...
... However, it proves that although energy storage technologies are discussed in the scenarios, the required capacities are not quantified. This result is in line with the findings of Koskinen and Breyer [72], who showed that global energy scenarios primarily assess storage demand qualitatively. Energy models should be able to quantify all technologies and their related costs. ...
... Energy models should be able to quantify all technologies and their related costs. In addition, the dynamics and synergies of energy storage in different sectors of the energy system (power, heat, mobility) should be made evident, as is increasingly being done with continental and transcontinental energy system modeling [72]. It is insufficient to describe future energy storage with adjectives. ...
Article
Sustainability guardrails in global energy scenarios were reviewed and further developed based on a literature review of global energy system transition scenarios. Environmental planetary boundaries mark out the safe operation space for human activities. The planetary boundary framework has yet to be fully incorporated into global energy scenario modeling, where the emphasis has been almost solely on CO2 emission mitigation. Stress on biochemical flows, land use change, biodiversity, ocean and climate systems are often neglected. Concurrently, social and economic aspects, such as limiting air pollution, providing universal access to modern energy services and improving energy efficiency by electrification of energy services are emerging as new paradigms in energy scenario modeling frameworks. However, ethical choices, such as current and future generations’ access to preserved ecosystems, aversion of energy resource risks, preventing resource use conflicts, and negative impacts on human lives from energy extraction and use are not usually discussed or justified in energy scenario modeling. All investigated global energy transition scenarios failed to adequately describing the critical roles of flexibility in future energy systems based on high shares of renewable energy, such as storage, grids, demand response, supply side management and sector coupling. Nor did they adequately incorporate the concept of resilience in socio-ecological systems.
... Energy storage technologies have seen significant and increasing deployment in renewable energy systems in recent years. This is particularly due to their ability to increase the value of the energy produced from variable renewable energy (VRE) sources by reducing energy curtailment and significant increasing energy dispatchability [13]. Further, the scope of energy storage technologies under current research and development is extremely broad. ...
... Further, the scope of energy storage technologies under current research and development is extremely broad. A survey of the most recent review comprehensive articles [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] on this topic reveals that current energy storage systems for domestic, commercial and utility markets cover a very wide a broad scope of technologies. These include, but are not limited to the following: An evaluation of the above listing reveals that these systems store available energy either in electrical, chemical, gravitational potential, elastic potential or thermal energy forms and cover a capacity ranging from Watt-hours (Wh's) to Giga-Watt-hours (GWh's) [23]. ...
... They also cover a time span ranging from short-term usage (e.g. electric grid frequency control, ramping and spinning reserves), to medium term grid supply/demand balancing, up to long-term storage options (such as seasonal energy storage, or as substitutions for grid extensions/reinforcements) [13]. ...
... Further, they can be used as a partial substitute of grid extensions. The need for energy storage depends on the level of renewable energy deployment 74 . The higher the share of renewable energy, the more flexibility options are required to balance the system. ...
... The same can be noted for battery storage, which is currently experiencing similar trends to solar PV and wind costs. In terms of battery storage, high costs and doubt about resource availability are the main constraints in the same studies 74 . Moreover, the increasing adoption of variable renewable energy and the opportunity for new power systems to be designed based on high shares of renewable generation eliminate the dependence on costly and less flexible traditional baseload generation 7 . ...
Technical Report
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The main outcomes of this report are as follows: • The Paris Agreement implies drastic restructuring of global energy system towards sustainability • There is urgent need to decarbonise energy systems, eliminate harmful emissions beyond CO2, and increase resilience globally • Renewable energy resources, led by solar and wind power, have witnessed high sustained growth in recent years, and continued developments are set to outpace all other energy technologies • Despite their current position in global energy systems, traditional fossil fuel and nuclear power generation are becoming increasingly uncompetitive to renewable energy on environmental, social and economic grounds when the full cost of generation is accounted • Levelised costs of electricity derived from solar and wind resources already show full competitiveness in many G20 countries, and will emerge as the least cost solutions for all G20 countries in 2030 and LCOE of wind and solar PV will start outcompeting all other forms of power generation much before 2030 and possibly as early as 2020 • While bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS), and carbon capture and utilization (CCU) offer some potential to lower global GHG emissions, fossil carbon capture and storage (CCS) represents an economically infeasible risk • The poor economic feasibility of CCS is further exacerbated by high levels of socialised risk and threats to human health • Storage technologies can play a key role in the transition towards sustainability by providing complementary flexibility to solar and wind resources • Especially notable is the fast decline in battery storage costs and the significant potential of EV batteries in global energy systems • Huge fossil fuel and nuclear power subsidies contribute to an unequal playing field, distort power market economics, promote wasteful production, and undermine efforts to mitigate climate change • Stronger efforts must be made to internalise the high social, environmental and economic burdens of fossil fuel and nuclear power, which have often been neglected • Several international reports and academic studies indicate that high shares of renewables, especially solar and wind power, can be achieved in global energy systems • The G20 countries will have prominent roles in leading the energy transition needed to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement • Fiscal incentives and regulatory measures in the G20 countries can foster an environment that is conducive to high uptake of renewables and stronger climate action • A full acknowledgement must be made of past, present and future risks related to the global energy system transition
... However, they do not encompass a global perspective of all the physical infrastructure involved in providing electricity to consumers. In particular, developments towards higher shares of renewable electricity will require a combination of electricity storage and grid expansion to guarantee a reliable and affordable electricity supply (Laugs et al., 2020;Koskinen and Breyer, 2016;Child et al., 2019). ...
... In the second sensitivity variant on 'alternative grid' developments we adjust the assumptions on the growth of the high-voltage (HV) grid to make the model more sensitive to the penetration of variable renewable energy sources (solar and wind). This is based on views in the literature that expanding HV transmission capacity could be a way to improve reliability as well as costs of electricity supply in regions with high levels of solar and wind (Berrill et al., 2016;Laugs et al., 2020;Koskinen and Breyer, 2016;Child et al., 2019). Practically this means that we double the demand for grid lines in relation to generation capacity from solar and wind, while lowering the growth of the HV grid in relation to the other (baseload) generation technologies. ...
Article
Full-text available
We analyse how the global material stocks and flows related to the electricity sector may develop towards 2050. We focus on three electricity sub-systems, being generation, transmission and storage and present a model covering both bulk and critical materials such as steel, aluminium and neodymium. Results are based on the second Shared Socio-Economic Pathway scenario, with additional climate policy assumptions based on the IMAGE integrated assessment framework, in combination with dynamic stock modelling and an elaborate review of material intensities. Results show a rapid growth in the demand for most materials in the electricity sector, as a consequence of increased electricity demand and a shift towards renewable electricity technologies, which have higher material intensities and drive the expansion of transmission infrastructure and electricity storage capacity. Under climate policy assumptions, the annual demand for most materials is expected to grow further towards 2050. For neodymium, the annual demand grows by a factor 4.4. Global demand for steel and aluminium in the electricity sector grows by a factor 2 in the baseline or 2.6 in the 2-degree climate policy scenario. We show that the combination of rapid growth of capital stocks and long lifetimes of technologies leads to a mismatch between annual demand and the availability of secondary materials within the electricity sector. This may limit the sector to accomplish circular material flows, especially under climate policy assumptions. We also highlight the potential for electric vehicles to curb some of the material demand related to electricity storage through adoption of vehicle-to-grid services.
... Further, they can be used as a partial substitute of grid extensions. The need for energy storage depends on the level of renewable energy deployment 74 . The higher the share of renewable energy, the more flexibility options are required to balance the system. ...
... The same can be noted for battery storage, which is currently experiencing similar trends to solar PV and wind costs. In terms of battery storage, high costs and doubt about resource availability are the main constraints in the same studies 74 . Moreover, the increasing adoption of variable renewable energy and the opportunity for new power systems to be designed based on high shares of renewable generation eliminate the dependence on costly and less flexible traditional baseload generation 7 . ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Die wichtigsten Ergebnisse dieses Reports: • Mit dem Pariser Abkommen haben die Staaten einen grundlegenden Umbau des globalen Energiesystems in Richtung Nachhaltigkeit beschlossen. • Es ist dringend erforderlich, die Energiesysteme zu dekarbonisieren, schädliche Emissionen jenseits von CO2 zu eliminieren und die globale Widerstandsfähigkeit gegen die Folgen des Klimawandels zu erhöhen. • Erneuerbaren Energien, allen voran Solar- und Windkraft, sind in den vergangenen Jahren massiv gewachsen. Ihre kontinuierliche Weiterentwicklung sorgt dafür, dass sie mittelfristig alle anderen Energietechnologien ökonomisch abhängen werden. • Legt man die Gesamtkosten der Erzeugung zu Grunde, so kann die dezeit noch dominierende konventionelle Stromerzeugung aus fossilen Brennstoffen und Atomenergie immer weniger mit den Erneuerbaren Energien mithalten, weder in ökologischer noch in sozialer noch in ökonomischer Hinsicht. • Die niedrigen Stromgestehungskosten (LCOE), die sich mit Solar- und Windressourcen erreichen lassen, zeigen: Erneuerbare Energien sind in vielen G20-Ländern bereits wettbewerbsfähig. Bis 2030 werden Erneuerbare Energien in sämtlichen G20-Staaten die kostengünstigsten Lösungen darstellen, wobei die Kosten von Windkraft und Photovoltaik alle anderen Formen der Stromerzeugung weit vor 2030, möglicherweise bereits 2020, aus dem Rennen schlagen wird. • Bioenergie mit CO2-Abscheidung und -speicherung (BECCS), Direkte CO2-Abscheidung und -speicherung aus der Umgebungsluft (DACCS) sowie CO2-Abscheidung und -verwendung (CCU) bieten ein gewisses Potenzial, um die THG-Emissionen zu senken, doch fossile CO2-Abscheidung und -speicherung (CCS) stellen ein - auch wirtschaftlich gesehen - nicht abzubildendes Risiko dar. • Die geringe wirtschaftliche Realisierbarkeit von CCS wird durch den hohen Grad der sozialisierten Risiken und die Bedrohung der menschlichen Gesundheit weiter verstärkt. • Speichertechnologien können eine entscheidende Rolle beim Umstieg auf Nachhaltigkeit spielen, indem sie komplementäre Flexibilität für Solar- und Windressourcen liefern. • Besonders bemerkenswert für die globalen Energiesysteme ist der rasante Rückgang der Kosten für Batteriespeicher sowie das signifikante Potenzial der Elektromobilität. • Die enormen Subventionen für fossile Brennstoffe und Kernkraft führen zu ungleichen Wettbewerbsbedingungen, verzerren die Ökonomie des Strommarktes, begünstigen schmutzige Stromproduktion und untergraben die Bemühungen, dem Klimawandel entgegenzuwirken. • Es sind weitaus größere Anstrengungen erforderlich, um die hohen sozialen, ökologischen und ökonomischen Lasten der fossilen Brennstoffe und der Kernkraft, die bislang häufig außer Acht gelassen wurden, zu internalisieren. • Eine Reihe internationaler Berichte und akademischer Studien weist darauf hin, dass innerhalb der globalen Energiesysteme ein hoher Anteil an erneuerbaren Energien, insbesondere Solar und Windkraft, erreicht werden kann. • Den G20-Ländern kommt eine wichtige Rolle zu: Sie müssen die Energiewende, die für die Umsetzung der Ziele des Pariser Abkommens erforderlich ist, anführen. • Steuerliche Anreize und Regulierungsmaßnahmen in den G20-Ländern können eine Umgebung schaffen, die zu höherer Nutzung von erneuerbaren Energien und stärkeren Klimaschutzmaßnahmen führt. • Zudem müssen die vergangenen, gegenwärtigen und künftigen Risiken weltweiter Energiesysteme und ihrer Entwicklung voll und ganz anerkannt werden.
... Although the development of interconnections between countries and continents could enhance cooperation and economic development between regions as indicated earlier, it could also bring forth risks in case of supply dependency from non-domestic sources in often unstable regions (B03, e.g. [32,50,55,[144][145][146][147][148]). An often made argument is that import of electricity from centralized distant regions has obvious similarities to the current dependency of large parts of the world on gas and oil imports from a set number of suppliers, including the risk of supply interruptions and its consequences [32,55,144,149,150]. ...
... Vice versa, by importing distant RES-E rather than making use of domestic resources, the economic-and employment opportunities that energy projects bring along are partly being lost to the exporting regions [76]. When it comes to providing flexibility for the variability of VRES, it is often argued that energy storage solutions in parallel with decentral VRES is a more economically viable solution (B09, [25,35,145]). However, because of the absence of detailed modelling of a global grid, as we'll discuss in more detail in section 5, such a statement cannot be verified. ...
Article
Full-text available
Globally interconnected power grids are proposed as a future concept to facilitate decarbonisation of the electricity system by enabling the harnessing and sharing of vast amounts of renewable energy. Areas with the highest potential for renewable energy are often far away from current load centres, which can be integrated through long-distance transmission interconnection. The concept builds on the proven benefits of transmission interconnection in mitigating the variability of renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar by import and export of electricity between neighbouring regions, as well as on other known benefits of power system integration. This paper reviews existing global and regional initiatives in context of a sustainable future and presents the associated benefits and challenges of globally interconnected power grids and intercontinental interconnectors. We find that while the challenges and opportunities are clearly qualified, actual quantification of costs, benefits and environmental implications of the global grid concept remains in its infancy, imposing a significant gap in the literature.
... Interestingly, the question of the school occupancy over the course of a day, or over the course of a year, were not matters of discussion in the previously cited papers. Indeed, the reality of PV electricity production and consumption is not always direct as for many renewable energy sources (31). This paper will examine what could be learnt from the comparison of photovoltaic production and primary school energy consumption at a high temporal resolution, in the context of electrified heating. ...
Conference Paper
In line with the UK goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the combination of photovoltaic electricity and the electrification of heating systems is considered an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while 88% of schools in the UK are gas-heated. This paper analyses the electricity consumption at a 15 and 30min resolution of different scenarios for the retrofitting of a primary school in London, UK, with an electrified heating system and the electricity production of different PV installations. Without a battery storage, thanks to high temporal resolution assessment, only 35 to 47% of the school energy consumption can be met. High temporal resolution allows consideration of to economic balances and the possibilities PV can have on decarbonizing heating systems in UK primary schools.
... All these beneficial aspects provide incentives to investigate further the regional and continental grid interconnections all around the world. Koskinen and Breyer [19] discussed the required energy storage in global energy scenarios focusing on several analysed energy transition pathways. They concluded that large grid interconnections are essential to deploy high penetrations of RE in the most economical manner. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, as the two biggest climate action initiatives, address the need to shift towards a fully sustainable energy system. The deployment of renewable energy, especially solar and wind power, decreases carbon dioxide emissions, but presents issues of resource intermittency. In this study, a cost-optimised 100% renewable energy based system is analysed and quantified for the Americas for the reference year 2030 using high spatially and temporally resolved weather data. Several scenarios have been applied, from a decentralised power system towards a fully centralised and interconnected system, taking into account a mix of renewable energy, energy storage and transmission networks. This research aims to evaluate the benefits of an interconnected energy system for the Americas. The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) is between 48.8 and 59.0 €/MWh depending on the chosen scenario. The results show that the LCOE and total annualised cost drop by 14% and 15%, respectively, in a centralised power system. The optimised utilisation of transmission grids leads to less energy storage requirement. Sector coupling brings further benefits by reducing additional 4% of LCOE, where electricity demand for power, seawater desalination and non-energetic industrial gas sectors have been supplied. A comparison between the interconnected Americas and North and South America individually shows a reduction of 1.6% and 4.0% for the total annual system cost and LCOE. Although the cost of the energy system decreased due to wide grid interconnection, substantial benefits have not been achieved as reported earlier for a Pan-American energy system. A scenario with synthetic natural gas (SNG) trading through a liquefied natural gas value chain has also been presented. The results suggest that local SNG production cost in the assumed consumption centre is almost the same as the cost of imported SNG.
... The key advantage of the LUT results is the hourly modelling of the energy system for an entire year based on RE resource data for solar, wind and hydro on a high spatial resolution of 0.45°× 0.45°or higher and consequent solving of a least cost target function. None of the benchmarking energy scenarios are performed on an hourly resolution for an entire year [38]. However, this is of high importance because an energy system mainly based on PV and wind energy is characterised by a high degree of intermittency. ...
Article
The global energy system has to be transformed towards high levels of sustainability in order to comply with the COP21 agreement. Solar photovoltaic (PV) offers excellent characteristics to play a major role in this energy transition. The key objective of this work is to investigate the role of PV in the global energy transition based on respective scenarios and a newly introduced energy transition model developed by the authors. A progressive group of energy transition scenarios present results of a fast growth of installed PV capacities and a high energy supply share of solar energy to the total primary energy demand in the world in the decades to come. These progressive energy transition scenarios can be confirmed. For the very first time, a full hourly modelling for an entire year is performed for the world, subdivided in 145 sub-regions, which is required to reflect the intermittent character of the future energy system. The model derives total installed solar PV capacity requirements of 7.1–9.1 TWp for the electricity sector (as of the year 2015) and 27.4 TWp for the entire energy system in the mid-term. The long-term capacity is expected to be 42 TWp and, because of the ongoing cost reduction of PV and battery technologies, this value is found to be the lower limit for the installed capacities. Solar PV electricity is expected to be the largest, least cost and most relevant source of energy in the mid-term to long-term for the global energy supply.
... Kondziella and Bruckner [2] follow that line and, in 2016, provide an updated review of flexibility demand. Koskinen and Breyer [35] provide a summary of global and transcontinental storage demand. Finally, Doetsch et al. [36] review different reports, which analyze the need for EES in the German and European energy system. ...
Article
Full-text available
Electrical energy storage (EES) is a promising flexibility source for prospective low-carbon energy systems. In the last couple of years, many studies for EES capacity planning have been produced. However, these resulted in a very broad range of power and energy capacity requirements for storage, making it difficult for policymakers to identify clear storage planning recommendations. Therefore, we studied 17 recent storage expansion studies pertinent to the U.S., Europe, and Germany. We then systemized the storage requirement per variable renewable energy (VRE) share and generation technology. Our synthesis reveals that with increasing VRE shares, the EES power capacity increases linearly; and the energy capacity, exponentially. Further, by analyzing the outliers, the EES energy requirements can be at least halved. It becomes clear that grids dominated by photovoltaic energy call for more EES, while large shares of wind rely more on transmission capacity. Taking into account the energy mix clarifies—to a large degree—the apparent conflict of the storage requirements between the existing studies. Finally, there might exist a negative bias towards storage because transmission costs are frequently optimistic (by neglecting execution delays and social opposition) and storage can cope with uncertainties, but these issues are rarely acknowledged in the planning process.
... The analysis found 99.9% of load hours throughout the year could be satisfied with these VREs while requiring just 9-72 h of storage; and at 2030 technology costs, 90% of load hours are met at electric costs below today's! Similarly robust technical and economic findings have been analyzed by numerous institutions, as for example: Stanford University (Frew et al., 2016), Rocky Mountain Institute (Lovins, 2014), Stanford-UC Berkeley (Jacobson et al., 2015), NOAA (MacDonald et al., 2016), Ecofys and Delft University of Technology (Papaefthymiou and Dragoon, 2016), Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland (Koskinen and Breyer, 2016), Technische Universität München and Aarhus University (Rasmussen et al., 2012), Europa-Universität Flensburg (Hohmeyer and Bohm, 2015), and the University of New South Wales (Elliston et al., 2013). All the assessments emphasize the need for sustaining and expanding vigorous public-private partnerships in RandD, demonstration and commercialization initiatives addressing a range of relevant scientific, technical, engineering, economic, financial, environmental and ecological, policy, regulatory, legal, and cultural issues. ...
Chapter
Is “Sustainable” Attainable? “Sustainability is Dead,” declare pessimists, reluctantly or staunchly (Anonymous, n.d.; Southwood, 2017; Liu, 2013; Terborgh, 2004). “Long Live Sustainability” rejoin optimists, hopefully or steadfast (AtKisson, 2006). Sustainability is a nonsensical issue, retort skeptics (Beckerman, 1994). “Sustainability, not a problem,” pronounces the techno-idealistic singularitarians (Kurzweil, 2006). There is longstanding, if not unresolvable debate over sustainability, conventionally polarized under various names— pessimistic Malthusians versus optimistic Cornucopians, Cassandran versus Panglossian advocates, Doomsters versus Boomsters, Limits-to-Growth (Meadows et al., 1972; Meadows, 2002) versus Ultimate Resources (Simon, 1981), growth addiction versus endless growth, degrowth (Jackson, 2016) versus end of doom (Bailey, 2015), Beyond Growth (Washington and Twomey, 2016) versus Infinite Growth (Dyson, 2004), etc. So what can we say about a “sustainably flourishing” Anthropocene epoch? Is the issue hopelessly schizophrenic (Boyd, 2015), or hopefully reconcilable? Cities Scaling Solar Power Internet ASSET Platforms As indicated throughout this paper, the unparalleled and unprecedented “wicked problem” challenges of global and historical magnitude confronting humanity necessarily demands extraordinarily more effective tools of communication, interaction, ongoing evaluation and adapted courses of action that are commensurate to addressing these mega risks and threats. Despite half a century of efforts to eliminate counter-productive fossil fuel subsidies and replace them with incentives, policies, regulations, codes and procedures fostering emission-free energy options, progress remains staggeringly small. A veritable Gordian knot of innumerable transaction costs curtail and restrain superseding this damaging energy system with emission-free options. However, all of this could change, and rapidly, by leveraging the combination of two proven, powerful Internet-based engines of wealth generation to unleash an “Alexandrian Solution” that undoes the transaction costs and enables communities, businesses and markets to flourish. The needed change can be catalyzed through the power of a COIN infused with ASSETs. COINing ASSETs COIN is the technical acronym for Internet-based “COllaboration Innovation Networks” or “Collective Intelligence Networks”— broadly defined as a voluntary, self-organized network of self-motivated individuals, geographically dispersed, joined in the pursuit of a focused and well-defined mission, target or goal. Wikipedia, the world’s largest and fastest growing encyclopedia, is the premier example to date, one of the top 5 Internet sites in the world, and there are thousands of open source COINs currently operating. ASSETs is the acronym for “Apps for Spurring Solar and Efficiency Tech-knowledge”—purposely meant to prompt multiple financial connotations. It literally refers to the knowledge applications (many already accessible) that can be created, shared, used and communicated through a COIN with the focused mission of accelerating and scaling city and countryside transitions to emission-free landscapes. In plain language, the COIN and ASSETs “reside on” and are accessed through an open source web platform that is globally available 24/7 by any person with access to a smartphone or other computer device (over 5 billion now, and nearly all people worldwide within the decade). Citizens anywhere on the planet can participate in adding to, improving upon, sharing and translating, as well as locally using and applying the expanding pool of knowledge resources to accelerate emissions-free delivered energy services. Over time, the continuous process of globally exchanging local outcomes and accomplishments (and innovative ways of overcoming barriers and impasses) leads to raising the bar or benchmark of what is being achieved more rapidly and at lower and lower cost and risk.
... It is crucial to improve the transparency of the applied methods to track their impact, as accurate projections enable smart policy making and drive investments in the energy sector. Additionally, most global energy studies use a relatively coarse time step size of one year (Koskinen and Breyer, 2016). However, high RE shares entail a high sampling frequency to represent the dynamics owing to the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy. ...
Article
The two main options on the market for utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) installations are fixed-tilted and single-axis tracking systems with a horizontal north-south-orientated axis. However, only a few global energy system studies consider the latter. The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of single-axis tracking PV on energy scenarios. For this purpose, two scenarios with and without the single-axis tracking option are studied for 100% renewable energy (RE) systems in 2030. To find the optimum energy mix for both scenarios, the total annual cost computed by the LUT Energy System model is minimized. The satellite-based input global data have a temporal resolution of one hour and a spatial resolution of 0.45° × 0.45°. Furthermore, a model to estimate the annual yield of single-axis tracking PV is proposed and validated by using the PVsyst software. The simulation results are found to be within a 4% margin to the respective simulation results of PVsyst. Both scenarios demonstrate that a 100% RE system is possible at a low cost, where PV and wind power are the dominating generation technologies. Nevertheless, the results also show a significant effect of single-axis tracking PV. The global generation share of PV increases from 47% to 59%, and 20% of the total electricity is generated by single-axis tracking PV, while the share of wind energy decreases from 31% to 21%. Additionally, curtailment, power transmission requirements, storage demand, and the total cost decrease. The global average levelized cost of electricity decreases by 6% from 54.8 to 51.4 €/MWh. The findings indicate that energy system modeling should include single-axis tracking.
... But, scope of energy sanctions is not definite and based on investigation in the present research. In addition, many energy scenarios usually do not reflect the real current demand and production values because economic factors and the amount of the demand change over the time [11,12]. This situation relies on development of the world. ...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout history, mankind has made progress in social and technical areas by finding many energy sources and developing energy systems. For this reason, energy is a necessary and indispensable issue. Today, due to the increasing demands, the energy requirement has increased even more than in the past. In order to increase this energy capacity, researches and studies have been carried out on the use of energy systems more efficiently. They will be also carried out in the future. In the new global world, great progress has been made in the energy systems technology and very different systems have been found. It is clear that these systems provide high benefits in many sectors, especially in the industrial and transportation sectors. In order to use the energy for their internal consumption, and also export it, the developed countries have power plants with large production capacity. For this reason, the developed countries are competing with each other in energy issues. Producing mechanical and electrical energy, using underground energy sources and alternative energy sources are the major factor which keeping pace with the changing world. In this study, it has been tried to give technical and statistical information about the use of natural energy, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy sources and renewable energy systems such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass. We emphasized which energy system the world head toward for certain years. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of these systems have been demonstrated.
... Energy storage solutions can partially substitute energy grid reinforcements required by increasing share of renewables in the grids. Due to an increase in grid-balancing need and a decrease in costs, use of energy storage technologies is expected to grow rapidly in the next few decades [1,2,4,7,12,13]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes an extension for feasibility assessment of residential energy (heat and electricity) supply solutions in an operational environment undergoing major changes. In order to improve the life cycle economy of the energy supply, the design has to accommodate technological, economic, and regulatory changes in operational environment over the long time. New elements must be included in feasibility assessments of energy supply to ensure consideration of future economic opportunities and risks. The extended feasibility assessment brings up the profitability of “future proofed” more sustainable solutions with lower risks related to utilization costs and with improved resale value preservation. The findings of systematic literature study were structured and clarified into a decision support matrix to guide the assessment process. The procedure was verified by identifying the optimal energy supply solution for a net-zero energy single-family house in Southern Finland. The verification demonstrated that the procedure provides new insights on the economy and the climate implications of the energy solutions.
... This in turn indicates a major systemic change in the energy system as well. We consider increasing the flexibility of the energy system as an important element in the energy transition [15,16] and as an important enabler of the transition, for which reason it is also given attention in our analysis. ...
Article
The aim of this review is to discuss how quantitative modelling of energy scenarios for sustainable energy transition pathways can be made more realistic by taking into account insights from the socio-technical and related literatures. The proposition is that an enriched modelling approach would focus not just on technology development and deployment, but also on feedback loops, learning processes, policy and governance, behavioural changes, the interlinkages between the energy sector and other economic sectors, and infrastructure development. The review discusses a range of socio-technical concepts with a view to how they can enrich the understanding and modelling of highly complex dynamic systems such as flexible energy systems with high shares of variable renewable energy. In this context, application of system dynamics modelling (SDM) for the analysis of energy transitions is also introduced by describing the differences between SDM and a traditional modelling approach that uses econometric and linear programming methods. A conceptual framework for this type of modelling is provided by using causal loop diagrams. The diagrams illustrate the endogenous approach of SDM – understanding and modelling the structure of a system, which is responsible for its dynamic behaviour. SDM can also capture the co-evolution of economic, policy, technology, and behavioural factors over sufficiently long time periods, which is necessary for the analysis of transition pathway dynamics. In this regard, the review summarises how socio-technical concepts can be approached in SDM and why they are relevant for the analysis of flexibility in energy systems. From a computational point of view, it could be beneficial to combine SDM with technologically detailed energy system optimization models and that could be a way forward for achieving more realistic, non-linear quantitative modelling of sustainable energy transitions.
... The key advantage of the LUT results is the hourly modelling of the energy system for an entire year based on RE resource data for solar, wind and hydro on a high spatial resolution of 0.45°× 0.45°or higher and consequent solving of a least cost target function. None of the benchmarking energy scenarios are performed on an hourly resolution for an entire year [38]. However, this is of high importance because an energy system mainly based on PV and wind energy is characterised by a high degree of intermittency. ...
Conference Paper
The global energy system has to be transformed towards high levels of sustainability for executing the COP21 agreement. Solar PV offers excellent characteristics to play a major role for this energy transition. Key objective of this work is to investigate the role of PV for the global energy transition based on respective scenarios and a newly introduced energy transition model developed by the authors at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The available energy transition scenarios have no consensus view on the future role of PV, but a progressive group of scenarios present results of a fast growth of installed PV capacities and a high energy supply share of solar energy to the total primary energy demand in the world in the decades to come. These progressive energy transition scenarios can be confirmed by the LUT Energy system model. The model derives total installed solar PV capacity requirements of 7.1 – 9.1 TWp for today's electricity sector and 27.4 TWp for the entire energy system in the mid-term (year 2030 assumptions set as reference). The long-term capacity is expected to be 42 TWp and due to the ongoing cost reduction of PV and battery technologies, this value is found to be the lower limit for the installed capacities. The cost reductions are taken into account for the year 2030, but are expected to further proceed beyond this reference year. Solar PV electricity is expected to be the largest, least cost and most relevant source of energy in the mid-to long-term for the global energy supply.
... The emergence of demand side technologies along with PV, energy storage options and energy management systems are continuing to change the way electricity is sourced and consumed. Despite a growing number of global energy scenario analyses, many of them lack comprehensive analyses of even energy storage systems as shown by Koskinen and Breyer (2016). Therefore, analyses on the role of PV prosumers in global energy systems is extremely scarce, and have analysed PV prosumers from a global power sector perspective. ...
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.
... Many of them include batteries (Viveka et al., 2015;Han et al., 2015). Other recent reviews (Zerrahn and Schill, 2017;Schill and Zerrahn, 2018) and studies also provide evidence for the cost-effectiveness of highly renewable systems with storage backup (Gulagi et al., 2017;Koskinen and Breyer, 2016). ...
Article
Grinding is one of the most energy-demanding processes of copper mines. Declining ore grades and harder rocks will further intensify this demand. Periods of stressed copper prices, high energy costs and climate change mitigation targets additionally motivate the search for alternative energy sources in mining. In Chile, many copper operations are located in the Atacama Desert, hence solar energy systems are an attractive solution. However, the mineral hardness is variable and uncertain in time and space, which adds challenges to planning energy systems with high solar shares. More specifically, here a stochastic optimization model is developed. It sizes the solar photovoltaic (PV), battery energy storage system (BESS) and the contracted power, based on the solar radiation, mineral hardness, and costs. Using Markov Chains, different years of solar radiation are generated from historical records. These solar scenarios are used to test the impact of individual years with long periods of cloudy/rainy days on the sizing of the system, in contrast to planning with an average year or planning with many-year time horizons in a stochastic approach. The novelties lie in the developed model, and in understanding the impact of the uncertainty and variability of rock hardness and solar irradiation on the optimal sizing of the PV-BESS system and the power capacity contract. Furthermore, the impact of a larger variability of ore hardness is evaluated in one scenario. PV-BESS can cost-effectively provide energy to the grinding mill. Different planning approaches lead to significant differences in the recommended power supply. In contrast to planning with the average solar year, using a conservative solar year (many cloudy days) yields significantly smaller sizes of PV and BESS (20% and 55%) and a higher reliance on the grid (larger contracts and imports); and the stochastic approach follows a similar line (10% and 25% smaller). Despite its increased grid dependency, the one-year stochastic approach provides more robust solutions regarding costs and sizes (avoiding penalties). The variability of the rock hardness also impacts the size of all components of the PV-BESS system, especially the battery energy capacity. Its relevance for battery sizing motivates to perform further studies with a focus on the uncertainty and variability of the ore.
... The emergence of demand side technologies along with PV, energy storage options and energy management systems are continuing to change the way electricity is sourced and consumed. Despite a growing number of global energy scenario analyses, many of them lack comprehensive analyses of even energy storage systems as shown by Koskinen and Breyer (2016). Therefore, analyses on the role of PV prosumers in global energy systems is extremely scarce, Ram et al. (2017a) and Breyer et al. (2018) have analysed PV prosumers from a global power sector perspective. ...
Article
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Globally, PV prosumers account for a significant share of the total installed solar PV capacity, which is a growing trend with ever-increasing retail electricity prices. Further propelled by performance improvements of solar PV and innovations that allow for greater consumer choice, with additional benefits such as cost reductions and availability of incentives. PV prosumers may be one of the most important enablers of the energy transition. PV prosumers are set to gain the most by maximising self-consumption, while avoiding large amounts of excess electricity being fed into the grid. Additionally, electricity and heat storage technologies, heat pumps and battery electric vehicles are complementary to achieve the highest possible self-consumption shares for residential PV prosumer systems, which can reach grid-parity within this decade in most regions of the world. This research finds the cost optimal mix of the various complementary technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles, heat pumps and thermal heat storage for PV prosumers across the world by exploring 4 different scenarios. Furthermore, the research presents the threshold for economical maximum battery capacity per installed PV capacity, along with self-consumption ratios, demand cover ratios and heat cover ratios for 145 different regions across the world. This is a first of its kind study to conduct a global analysis of PV prosumers with a range of options to meet their complete energy demand from a future perspective, up to 2050. Maximising self-consumption from solar PV generation to meet all energy needs will be the most economical option in the future, for households across most regions of the world.
... The role of storage is not much discussed in this paper, but detailed description can be found in Bogdanov and Breyer, 2015;Barasa et al., 2018;Gulagi et al., 2017b;2017c;Barbosa et al., 2017). Koskinen and Breyer (2016) provide insights on the role of storage in global and transcontinental energy system studies. These results confirm the value of power interconnection, however, the highest benefit can be achieved for interconnecting the world structured in 145 regions to 23 regions, whereas the additional value of further power system integration seems to be rather limited, but cost decline through interconnection can be still observed. ...
Article
The discussion about the benefits of a global energy interconnection is gaining momentum in recent years. The techno-economic benefits of this integration are broadly discussed for the major regions around the world. While there has not been substantial research on the techno-economic benefits, however, some initial results of the global energy interconnection are presented in this paper. Benefits achieved on the global scale are lower than the interconnections within the national and sub-national level. The world is divided into 9 major regions and the major regions comprise of 23 regions. When all the considered regions are interconnected globally, the overall estimated levelized cost of electricity is 52.5 €/MWh for year 2030 assumptions, which is 4% lower than an isolated global energy system. Further, the required installed capacities decrease by 4% for the fully interconnected system. Nevertheless, a more holistic view on the entire energy system will progress research on global energy interconnection as, synthetic power-to-X fuels and chemicals emerge as an important feature of the future sustainable global energy system with strong interactions of the power system not only to the supply, in energy fuel and chemicals trading globally, but also to the demand side. Global energy interconnection will be part of the solution to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement and more research will help to better understand its impact and additional value.
... Cost projections for energy technologies The investment and operational costs, lifetime, and efficiency of PV and the storage technologies are taken from Breyer's team [40]. This database uses learning curves to project costs to the year 2050 and has been validated in numerous journal publications [24,[40][41][42][43][44]. We assumed a capital cost of 5%. ...
Article
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Extracting copper is energy-intensive. At the same time, copper is a key material for building the energy systems of the future. Both facts call for clean copper production. The present work addresses the greenhouse gas emissions of this industry and focuses on designing the future electricity supply of the main copper mines around the world, from 2020 to 2050, using distributed solar photovoltaic energy, storage, and a grid connection. We also consider the increasing energy demand due to ore grade decline. For the design, we use an optimization model called LEELO. Its main inputs are an hourly annual demand profile, power-contract prices for each mine, cost projections for energy technologies, and an hourly annual solar irradiation profile for each mine. Our findings show that it is attractive for the mines to have today a solar generation of 25% to 50% of the yearly electricity demand. By 2030, the least-cost solution for mines in sunny regions will be almost fully renewable, while in other regions it will take until 2040. The expected electricity costs range from 60 to100 €/MWh for 2020 and from 30 to 55 €/MWh for 2050, with the lower bound in sunny regions such as Chile and Peru. In most locations assessed, the low cost of solar energy will compensate for the increased demand due to declining ore grades. For the next steps, we recommend representing the demand with further detail, including other vectors such as heat and fuels. In addition, we recommend to include the embodied emissions of the technologies to get a more complete picture of the environmental footprint of the energy supply for copper production.
... Energy scenarios have an influence on people (as possible or credible) within chosen boundaries. In essence, influential energy scenarios could have a selffulfilling mechanism on different levels in the society; the spectrum of different scenario types is wide, thus the purposes and applications differ from each other (Koskinen and Breyer, 2016). In other words, different groups interpret different scenarios for their own purposes and in turn, for whatever ends they see as most vital. ...
Chapter
Future scenarios of climate impacts broadly consider both the need for a transition to renewable energy and the eventual migration of populations. How fast the global energy sector reduces emissions, will determine the rate of increasing temperatures and in turn, the consequences that will lead to mass migrations. This article evaluates how a transition to renewable energy can affect migration and displacement due to climate change impacts globally and in the Pacific region. The Pacific islands are susceptible to many severe climate impacts with some communities already seeking renewables as a way to demonstrate leadership on this issue. However, the promise of renewable energy has not necessarily provided the local jobs and lower prices. While ripe with sunshine and off-shore wind potential, renewable energy and zero emissions targets may not be able to minimize the eventual need for out migration for immediate development needs or climate displacement.
... General energy outlooks often do not consider storage (Koshinen and Breyer 2016). However, studies designed to examine deep decarbonization of electricity systems (carbon dioxide emissions reductions of roughly 80-100 percent) can provide insights into potential future storage needs. ...
Article
Achieving deep decarbonization in the US will require days, and potentially weeks, of energy storage to be available – but today’s technologies only provide hours of capacity. Evolving technologies, like hydrogen, will be needed for long duration storage that can extend to weeks of capacity. While the needs of our future grid are still uncertain, policymakers can and should support the evolution of long-duration, clean energy storage by encouraging technology innovation and enabling financing and procurement models that align with long-duration storage.
... Many global energy scenarios have tried to project the future transition of energy systems based on a wide-ranging set of assumptions, methods and targets from a national as well as global perspective 26 . ...
Technical Report
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Powerfuels – i. e. green hydrogen and derived gaseous and liquid energy carriers and feedstocks such as synthetic kerosene, methane or ammonia – will play an important role in a carbon-neutral energy system. They will be essential for defossilising sectors that are hard to electrify such as aviation, maritime transport, and specific industrial processes. In addition, they will play an important role in replacing fossil resources employed as process feedstocks. Furthermore, even in sectors with high electrification shares, there will be numerous applications relying on gaseous or liquid energy carriers. Here too, renewable liquid and gaseous energy carriers such as powerfuels will be essential for their defossilisation.
... Many global energy scenarios have tried to project the future transition of energy systems based on a wide ranging set of assumptions, methods and targets from a national as well as global perspective [7]. ...
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Climate change threats and the necessity to achieve global Sustainable Development Goals demand unprecedented economic and social shifts around the world, including a fundamental transformation of the global energy system. An energy transition is underway in most regions, predominantly in the power sector. This research highlights the technical feasibility and economic viability of 100% renewable energy systems including the power, heat, transport and desalination sectors. It presents a technology-rich, multi-sectoral, multi-regional and cost-optimal global energy transition pathway for 145 regional energy systems sectionalised into nine major regions of the world. This 1.5°C target compatible scenario with rapid direct and indirect electrification via Power-to-X processes and massive defossilisation indicates substantial benefits: 50% energy savings, universal access to fresh water and low-cost energy supply. It also provides an energy transition pathway that could lead from the current fossil-based system to an affordable, efficient, sustainable and secure energy future for the world.
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Electrical energy storage (EES) has the potential to enable a transition to clean energy in the future as it brings flexibility into the electricity network. Uncertainties exist around EES regarding technology, costs, business models and market structures but experts agree on EES being beneficial. This study offers an economic analysis of the role of EES in low-carbon electricity supply. A GIS-supported hourly simulation study of Australia assesses the impact of adding EES to wind and solar generation on levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), installed capacity, generation mix and energy spillage. The study finds that EES deployment is able to lower LCOE in scenarios with high penetration of renewable sources. In the case study of Australia, it is found that EES between 90 and 180 GWh capacity can be economic for cost levels below 1,000 AU$ kWh ⁻¹ . In addition, the study finds that EES can reduce LCOE by 13–22%, reduce installed capacity by up to 22%, and reduce spilled energy by up to 76%. It is shown that the generation mix is highly influenced by the magnitude of EES deployed.
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The EROI – for Energy Returned On Invested – of an energy technology measures its ability to provide energy efficiently. Previous studies draw a link between the affluence of a society and the EROI of its energy system, and show that EROIs of renewables are lower than those of fossil fuels. Logically, concerns have been expressed that system-wide EROI may decrease during a renewable energy transition. First, I explain theoretically that the EROIs of renewables themselves could then decrease as energy-efficient fossil fuels would be replaced by less energy-efficient renewables in the supply-chain. Then, using the multi-regional input-output model THEMIS, I estimate the evolution of EROIs and prices of electric technologies from 2010 to 2050 for different scenarios. Global EROI of electricity is predicted to go from 12 in 2010 to 11 in 2050 in a business-as-usual scenario, but down to 6 in a 100% renewable one. Finally, I study the economic implication of a declining EROI. An inverse relation between EROI and price is suggested empirically, even though theory shows that both quantities may move in the same direction.
Technical Report
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The Chilean economy has historically been based on raw material extraction, and copper is Chile’s principal export. Nowadays, solar energy technologies have emerged as an opportunity to transition to a newer economy: a knowledge-based economy. This would be possible if both industries (mining and solar) focused on solving the present and future mining issues through solar technologies. This paper takes a scientific perspective to propose solar-based solutions to the present and future problems that the Chilean copper mining industry faces. We built our proposals by analyzing electricity costs of solar energy, macro-economic impacts of massive solar electricity deployment in Chile for different scenarios, and the current Chilean copper mining condition as described in the document “From copper to innovation, mining technology roadmap 2035”. After performing these analyses, we discussed a list of concrete integration opportunities with stakeholders from the solar and mining industries, and academia during a workshop in March 2018. Our first result shows that Chile’s solar-based electricity costs will be lowered by 2030. Furthermore and as a result of the scenario analysis, a massive solar electricity deployment in Chile would allow the support of almost 1 million job-years assuming a positive development of the economy. The scenario analysis demonstrates that becoming a strong supporter and developer of solar technologies would tackle the challenges that copper mining faces today. Finally, we conclude that the proposed solutions are opportunities for a comprehensive and synergic integration between the solar and mining industries. The implementation of these opportunities requires data collection, knowledge development and high skill levels, in combination with efforts from industry, government and academia. If implemented, they would lead to a change in the operational paradigm for Chilean copper mining, resulting in a 100% solar-based mining operation.
Technical Report
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Technical Report "Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector", published at the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase event (GRESS), a side event of the COP23, Bonn, November 8, 2017 A global transition to 100% renewable electricity is feasible at every hour throughout the year and more cost effective than the existing system, which is largely based on fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Energy transition is no longer a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but of political will. Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage can generate sufficient and secure power to cover the entire global electricity demand by 2050 . The world population is expected to grow from 7.3 to 9.7 billion. The global electricity demand for the power sector is set to increase from 24,310 TWh in 2015 to around 48,800 TWh by 2050. Total levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity in 2050 is 52 €/MWh (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to 70 €/MWh in 2015. Solar PV and battery storage drive most of the 100% renewable electricity supply due to a significant decline in costs during the transition. Due to rapidly falling costs, solar PV and battery storage increasingly drive most of the electricity system, with solar PV reaching some 69%, wind energy 18%, hydropower 8% and bioenergy 2% of the total electricity mix in 2050 globally. Wind energy increases to 32% by 2030. Beyond 2030 solar PV becomes more competitive. Solar PV supply share increases from 37% in 2030 to about 69% in 2050. Batteries are the key supporting technology for solar PV. Storage output covers 31% of the total demand in 2050, 95% of which is covered by batteries alone. Battery storage provides mainly short-term (diurnal) storage, and renewable energy based gas provides seasonal storage. 100% renewables bring GHG emissions in the electricity sector down to zero, drastically reduce total losses in power generation and create 36 million jobs by 2050. Global greenhouse gas emissions significantly reduce from about 11 GtCO2eq in 2015 to zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, as the total LCOE of the power system declines. The global energy transition to a 100% renewable electricity system creates 36 million jobs by 2050 in comparison to 19 million jobs in the 2015 electricity system. Operation and maintenance jobs increase from 20% of the total direct energy jobs in 2015 to 48% of the total jobs in 2050 that implies more stable employment chances and economic growth globally. The total losses in a 100% renewable electricity system are around 26% of the total electricity demand, compared to the current system in which about 58% of the primary energy input is lost.
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Synthesis of 3D graphene by laser irradiation has emerged as a promising approach due to its multifunctionality, cost-effectiveness and simplicity. In this review, we focus on the emerging applications of laser-induced graphene (LIG) in batteries. This type of 3D graphitic carbon offers several advantages, including (1) binder-free self-supported electrode configuration, (2) high electrical and ionic conductivity, (3) hierarchical porosity, and (4) controllable composition upon laser exposure. A comprehensive review of the current status of LIG synthesis and its development for battery applications is discussed. This includes using LIG as an electrode for lithium and sodium ion batteries, a current collector for lithium metal batteries, an electrocatalyst for metal-air batteries, and a host and interlayer for lithium-sulfur batteries. Finally, we conclude by giving our perspectives and outlook for developing this class of carbon materials for advanced battery systems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Energy storage systems can cost-effectively balance fluctuations from renewable generation. Also, hydropower dams can provide flexibility, but often cause massive fluctuations in flow releases (hydropeaking), deteriorating the ecology of the downstream rivers. Expanding transmission infrastructure is another flexibility source but is frequently plagued by social opposition and delays. As the decision-making process transcends costs, we developed a multi-objective framework to design a fully renewable power system, such that the tradeoffs between total costs, hydropeaking, and new transmission projects can be assessed from a multi-stakeholder perspective. We planned the Chilean power system for the year 2050 and, based on the obtained trade-off curves (Pareto), we identified the following implications for the different stakeholders. Avoiding new transmission generates little costs (avoiding 30%/100% of transmission costs < 1%/ > 3%), which is positive for planners but negative for transmission companies. Severe hydropeaking can be mitigated for about 1% of additional costs if transmission is deployed. Avoiding both hydropeaking and transmission is the most extreme scenario, costing 11%. The less the transmission and hydropeaking, the more solar and storage technologies are installed. Cheap solar and storage systems enable policymakers to cost-effectively limit hydropeaking and new transmission, which makes the system greener and more socially acceptable.
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.
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In 2013, renewable energy accounted for only 8.9% of global commercial primary energy use, with fossil fuels supplying nearly all the rest. A number of official forecasts project such global energy growing by 50% or more by mid-century, and continuing to rise thereafter, in parallel with continued global economic growth. All energy sources of the future must meet three criteria: reserves or annual technical capacity must be adequate to meet projected demand; their climate change effects must be minimal; finally, they must be able to be widely deployed in the limited time available for climate mitigation. It is argued here that existing future energy scenarios generally fail to meet all three criteria. Most scenarios assume that adequate fossil/nuclear reserves are available, and that technical fixes can overcome greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. The few scenarios projecting that renewables will supply most of the world’s energy by mid-century assume unrealistic technical potentials and implementation times. To meet all three criteria, global energy use will need to be reduced, through a combination of energy efficiency improvements and energy conservation efforts.
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Driven1 by decreasing prices for photovoltaic (PV) systems and incentive programs of different governments almost 100 GW of PV and over 100 GW of wind turbines (WT) have been integrated in the European power system today (2014). In some areas, the electricity generation already exceeds the demand, pushing the existing transport infrastructure to its limits in certain hours. In order to reach the European Commission's targets for 2050, the system integration will at some point require flexibility sources independent of conventional generation in order to keep today's standard in security of supply. There are several sources of flexibility. Together these flexibility sources will ensure the match of demand and supply at any given time. Energy storage systems can provide this flexibility by shifting of load in time while transmission grids provide the shift of load in space. Up to a certain extent, transmission capacity and storage capacity can replace each other, i.e. storage can reduce the load on transmission infrastructure by mitigating local peaks in load and/or generation.
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The future European energy supply system will have a high share of renewable energy sources (RES) to meet the greenhouse gas emission policy of the European Commission. Such a system is characterized by the need for a strongly interconnected energy transport grid as well as a high demand of energy storage capacities to compensate the time fluctuating characteristic of most RE generation technologies. With the RE generators at the location of high harvest potential, the appropriate dimension of storage and transmission system between different regions, a cost efficient system can be achieved. To find the preferred target system, the optimization tool GENESYS (Genetic Optimization of a European Energy System) was developed. The example calculations under the assumption of 100% self-supply, show a need of about 2,500 GW RES in total, a storage capacity of about 240,000 GWh, corresponding to 6% of the annual energy demand, and a HVDC transmission grid of 375,000 GWkm. The combined cost for generation, storage and transmission excluding distribution, was estimated to be 6.87 ct/kWh.
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We model many combinations of renewable electricity sources (inland wind, offshore wind, and photovoltaics) with electrochemical storage (batteries and fuel cells), incorporated into a large grid system (72 GW). The purpose is twofold: 1) although a single renewable generator at one site produces intermittent power, we seek combinations of diverse renewables at diverse sites, with storage, that are not intermittent and satisfy need a given fraction of hours. And 2) we seek minimal cost, calculating true cost of electricity without subsidies and with inclusion of external costs. Our model evaluated over 28 billion combinations of renewables and storage, each tested over 35,040 h (four years) of load and weather data. We find that the least cost solutions yield seemingly-excessive generation capacity—at times, almost three times the electricity needed to meet electrical load. This is because diverse renewable generation and the excess capacity together meet electric load with less storage, lowering total system cost. At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90%–99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today's—but only if we optimize the mix of generation and storage technologies.
Technical Report
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This report combines a global assessment of energy scenarios up to 2050, case studies of energy access and low-carbon efforts around the world, and a review of the technological shifts, investments, policies and governance structures needed to bring energy to all. It finds that it is, indeed, possibly to meet energy needs for human and economic development in a way that is compatible with sustainable development. However, what is required is nothing less than a massive transformation of energy systems and rapid turnovers of infrastructure and technology, driven by strong policies and a shared development agenda across the global North and South.
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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.
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International Expert Workshop on Low Carbon Technology Transitions: The role of renewable electricity imports
Conference Paper
A vast potential of renewable energy sources and a supportive regulatory environment that has been encouraging investments on renewable energy (RE) are driving the development of non-hydro renewable energy generation in South American countries. Therefore, the possibility to build cost competitive independent 100% RE systems is becoming a reality in a near future. New energy systems based on 100% RE in the year 2030 were calculated for South America using an hourly resolved energy system model. The region was subdivided into 15 sub-regions and three different grid development levels were considered in three different scenarios. The integration of reverse osmosis water desalination and industrial natural gas electricity demand was studied in a forth scenario. The results show that different grid development levels lead to different optimal system designs and total electricity generation. However, all the studied scenarios are able to supply 1813 TWh of electricity, what corresponds to the electricity demand of the area in 2030. The integrated scenario is able to generate also the amount of electricity needed to fulfil 3.9 billion m 3 of water desalination demand and 640 TWhLHV demand of synthetic natural gas. For energy storage, hydro dams will operate similar to battery storages diminishing the role of power-togas systems for seasonal storage, especially in a highly centralized grid scenario. In terms of cost, the total system levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is quite low for all the analyzed scenarios: it decreased from 62 €/MWh (for a highly decentralized grid scenario) to 56 €/MWh (for a highly centralized grid scenario). The integration of desalination and power-togas into the system has increased the system's flexibility and efficient usage of storage, reducing the total cost in 8% and the electric energy generation in 5%. From the results it can be concluded that 100% RE-based system is feasible for the year 2030 and with the cost assumptions used in this study more cost competitive than other existing alternatives.
Conference Paper
In recent years, PV technology has experienced a rapid cost reduction. This trend is expected to continue, which in many countries drives interest in utility-scale PV power plants. The main disadvantage of such plants is that they operate only when the sun is shining. The installation of PV modules together with energy storage and/or fossil fuel backup is a way to solve that issue, but consequently increases the costs. In the last few years, however, lithium-ion batteries as well have shown a promising price reduction. This paper studies the competitiveness of a hybrid power plant that combines a PV system, lithium-ion battery and gas turbine (GT) compared to conventional fossil-fuel power plants (coal and natural gas-fired) with focus on the battery cost. To fulfil the demand an auxiliary GT is used in the hybrid PV plant, but its annual generation is limited to 20% of the total output. The metric for the comparison of the different technologies is the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). The installation of the plants is showcased in Morocco, a country with excellent solar resources. Future market scenarios for 2020 and 2030 are considered. A sensitivity analysis is performed to identify the key parameters that influence LCOE.
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
Increasing ecological problems provoked by human activities, including the fossil fuel based energy sector, emerge the development of a renewable energy (RE) based system as the way to stop pollution and global warming but also to reduce total energy system cost. Small population density and availability of various types of RE resources in Eurasian regions including solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal energy resources enables the very promising project of building a Super Grid connecting different Eurasian regions' energy resources to reach synergy effects and make a 100% RE supply possible. For every sub-region it is defined a cost-optimal distributed and centralized mix of energy technologies and storage options, optimal capacities and hourly generation. Charge and discharge profiles of storages are computed for regions interconnected by high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power lines. System cost and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for each sub-region are computed. The results show that a 100% RE-based system is lower in cost than nuclear and fossil carbon capture and storage (CCS) alternatives.
Article
This paper aims to quantify the long-term economic benefits that arise from an increasing integration of the pan-European electricity system by means of comparing model-based decarbonization scenarios developed with the model LIMES-EU+. It explicitly accounts for the interplay between transmission infrastructure and renewable generation capacity expansion. We confirm earlier findings that, on aggregate, pan-European transmission capacity expansion constitutes a no-regret option for integrating increasing shares of variable renewables. It leads to positive social returns on investment in all mitigation scenarios under analysis. However, the reduction in total discounted system costs stemming from transmission capacity expansion is modest in magnitude. Over the period 2010–2050 it reaches a maximum of 3.5% for a case with massive expansion compared to one in which the status quo remains. In technical terms this means that the optimum is rather flat and taking into account regional and local benefits and distributional aspects could alter the evaluation of the economic benefits. A crucial finding is that the configuration of pan-European transmission infrastructure and the importance of specific country-connections, i.e. a “Southern” versus a “Northern” solution, hinges on the relative development of specific investment costs for solar and wind technologies over the next decades.
Article
Electricity supply at present requires about 38% of the global primary energy demand and it is likely to rise further in the coming decades. Facing major problems, such as limited resources of fuels and an ongoing anthropogenic climate change, a sustainable electricity supply based on renewable energies is absolutely vital. Wind and solar power will play an extensive role in future supplies but require energy storage capacities to meet electricity demand. To investigate the relationship of power plant mix and required energy storage capacity, a computer model based on global weather data has been developed to enable the simulation of electricity supply scenarios by up to ten different power plant types for various regions. The focus of the investigation has been on the energy storage requirements of an electricity supply for Europe by wind and solar power. The minimum required energy storage capacity for a totally weather dependent electricity supply occurs at a ratio of 30% wind and 70% photovoltaic (PV) power plant capacity installed. Thus, the required energy storage capacity rises from a transition of to-day's electricity supply to the afore-mentioned 100% renewable wind and PV scenario exponentially to about 150 TWh (3.8% of the annual electricity demand). The installation of additional excess wind and PV power plant capacity was seen to be an efficient way to reduce the required energy storage. Already 10% excess capacity lead to a reduction by 50% of the required storage capacity. To use different storage technologies in an optimised way in terms of storage capacity and efficiency, the storage tasks can be separated into a daily and a seasonal usage. While the seasonal storage capacity has to be about two orders of magnitude larger than the required capacity of the storage for the daily cycle, the sum of stored energy during one year is almost equal for the long and short time storage. In summary, an electricity supply by wind and PV power was shown to be completely feasible regarding the required energy storage capacity together with the required land area for power plants, and with electricity generating costs of 0.09 EUR to 0.18 EUR per kWh depending on the power plant mix, excess capacity, and storage investment costs.
Article
Further development of the North-East Asian energy system is at a crossroads due to severe limitations of the current conventional energy based system. For North-East Asia it is proposed that the excellent solar and wind resources of the Gobi desert could enable the transformation towards a 100% renewable energy system. An hourly resolved model describes an energy system for North-East Asia, subdivided into 14 regions interconnected by high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grids. Simulations are made for highly centralized, decentralized and countrywide grids scenarios. The results for total system levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) are 0.065 and 0.081 €/(kW&h) for the centralized and decentralized approaches for 2030 assumptions. The presented results for 100% renewable resources-based energy systems are lower in LCOE by about 30–40% than recent findings in Europe for conventional alternatives. This research clearly indicates that a 100% renewable resources based energy system is THE real policy option.
Article
This paper explores the large scale transmission of solar electricity to Southeast Asia from Australia. Despite the expense and losses incurred in long distance transmission of Australian solar electricity, it appears to be competitive with locally produced solar electricity because of high insolation levels in Australia. Supplementation of locally produced electricity (both from renewable and conventional sources) with power from Australia, together with substantial integrated energy storage, would allow a high solar electricity fraction to be achieved in Southeast Asia.
Article
We provide a meta-analysis of several recent analytical studies that evaluate the possibility, operability, and implications of high levels of renewable sources of electricity (RES-E) in power systems. These studies span different geographic regions, rely on a range of analytical methods and data assumptions, and were conducted with differing objectives. Despite the differences, these studies share some common conclusions, one of which is that renewable energy resources can play a large role in future power systems. Moreover, most of the studies address aspects of integrating these resources into system operations, and all of them conclude that RES-E can supply, on an hourly basis, a majority of a country's or region's electricity demand. We compare the analytic approaches, data inputs, and results in an effort to provide additional transparency and information to policy makers.
Article
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to large-scale solar energy generation is the intermittent nature of solar energy and the associated costly storage. This paper presents a method to optimize combinations of selected worldwide regions in different time zones with the surprising capability of providing sufficient electricity generation to overcome intermittency or reduce it to such an extent that substantially less storage and generation capacity are needed. The recent sharp drop in the cost of photovoltaic (PV) generation capability accompanied by worldwide increased investment in PV plants suggests a new economic base for cooperative efforts to sequentially combine day time insolation. The approach presented here optimizes two aspects, first, the selection of sites across large geographic areas, and second, the size and relative proportion of generation and storage capacity at each site. Our approach converts 20 years of daily insolation data by NASA Solar Sizer to hourly scale. The hourly data are used to assess and compare supranational distributed solar networks in different parts of the globe that have recently been proposed, and to subsequently optimize their generation capacity and storage. We show that linking regions in different time zones and on the two hemispheres can fully eliminate intermittency without the need for fuel and renewable energy other than solar.
Conference Paper
Further development of the North-East Asian energy system is at a crossroads due to severe limitations of the current conventional energy based system. The high growth rates of new renewable energy technology capacities enable the transformation of the energy system. For North-East Asia it is proposed that the excellent solar resources of the Gobi desert could be utilized for load centers in China, Korea and Japan as a contribution to the energy transformation ahead. Based on that idea we have established a spatially and hourly resolved energy system model focused on 100% renewable energy supply for the electricity demand. The area is subdivided into 14 regions, which can be interconnected by a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grid. Three different scenarios have been defined for highly centralized and highly decentralized energy futures for financial and technical assumptions for the reference years 2020 and 2030. The results for total system levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), including generation, curtailment, storage and HVDC transmission grid, are 0.077 €/kWh for the highly centralized approach for 2020 assumptions and 0.064 €/kWh and 0.081 €/kWh for the centralized and decentralized approaches for 2030 assumptions. The importing regions are Japan, Korea, East China and South China, which receive their energy mainly from Northeast China, North China and Central China. The electricity generation shares of the total LCOE optimized system design deviate from 6% for PV and 79% for wind energy (centralized, 2020) to 39% for PV and 47% for wind energy (decentralized, 2030) and additional hydro power utilization. Decrease in storage LCOE reduces the benefit of HVDC transmission considerably; nonetheless, the centralized system design is still lower in LCOE for the modeled system and applied assumptions. New effects of storage interaction have been found, such as discharging of batteries in the night for charging power-to-gas as a least total system cost solution and discharging of power-to-gas for power export via HVDC transmission. The presented results for 100% renewable resources-based energy systems are lower in LCOE by about 30-40% than recent findings in Europe for the non-sustainable alternatives nuclear energy, natural gas and coal based carbon capture and storage technologies. This research work clearly indicates that a 100% renewable resources-based energy system is THE real policy option.
Article
This paper aims to quantify the long-term economic benefits that arise from an increasing integration of the pan-European electricity system by means of comparing model-based decarbonization scenarios developed with the model LIMES-EU+. It explicitly accounts for the interplay between transmission infrastructure and renewable generation capacity expansion. We confirm earlier findings that, on aggregate, pan-European transmission capacity expansion constitutes a no-regret option for integrating increasing shares of variable renewables. It leads to positive social returns on investment in all mitigation scenarios under analysis. However, the reduction in total discounted system costs stemming from transmission capacity expansion is modest in magnitude. Over the period 2010–2050 it reaches a maximum of 3.5% for a case with massive expansion compared to one in which the status quo remains. In technical terms this means that the optimum is rather flat and taking into account regional and local benefits and distributional aspects could alter the evaluation of the economic benefits. A crucial finding is that the configuration of pan-European transmission infrastructure and the importance of specific country-connections, i.e. a “Southern” versus a “Northern” solution, hinges on the relative development of specific investment costs for solar and wind technologies over the next decades.
Article
This paper highlights the key results from the Renewable Electricity (RE) Futures Study. It is a detailed consideration of renewable electricity in the United States. The paper focuses on technical issues related to the operability of the U.S. electricity grid and provides initial answers to important questions about the integration of high penetrations of renewable electricity technologies from a national perspective. The results indicate that the future U.S. electricity system that is largely powered by renewable sources is possible and the further work is warranted to investigate this clean generation pathway. The central conclusion of the analysis is that renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of the total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the United States.
Article
This study demonstrates – based on a dynamical simulation of a global, decentralized 100% renewable electricity supply scenario – that a global climate-neutral electricity supply based on the volatile energy sources photovoltaics (PV), wind energy (onshore) and concentrated solar power (CSP) is feasible at decent cost. A central ingredient of this study is a sophisticated model for the hourly electric load demand in >160 countries. To guarantee matching of load demand in each hour, the volatile primary energy sources are complemented by three electricity storage options: batteries, high-temperature thermal energy storage coupled with steam turbine, and renewable power methane (generated via the Power to Gas process) which is reconverted to electricity in gas turbines. The study determines – on a global grid with 1°x1° resolution – the required power plant and storage capacities as well as the hourly dispatch for a 100% renewable electricity supply under the constraint of minimized total system cost (LCOE). Aggregating the results on a national level results in an levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) range of 80-200 EUR/MWh (on a projected cost basis for the year 2020) in this very decentralized approach. As a global average, 142 EUR/MWh are found. Due to the restricted number of technologies considered here, this represents an upper limit for the electricity cost in a fully renewable electricity supply.
Thesis
Climate change, limited fossil fuel availability and the dependency on energy carrier imports lead the European Union to the formulation of an energy policy for Europe. The EU sets the following criteria for its future energy supply: sustainability, security of supply and competitiveness. Considering the carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuels and the unsolved problem of the ultimate disposal of radioactive waste, only renewable energy can currently be considered sustainable if applied in a socially acceptable way and in accordance with nature conservation. The use of renewable energy can also reduce the dependency on energy carrier imports. Contrary to fossil fuels, renewable energy will become cheaper in the future due to technological learning. The main disadvantage of some renewable energy resources is their fluctuating availability. Adaptation of the energy supply system must take place especially in the power sector in order to reliably cover fluctuating demand with fluctuating resources at any time. In this work, the energy system model ‘REMix’ (Renewable Energy Mix for Sustainable Electricity Supply) is developed. It uses data on the availability of renewable energy across Europe and North Africa (EUNA) to dimension low-cost power supply structures for the EUNA-region, or parts of it, under specific conditions, such as specified shares of renewable energy in the power supply or specified national self-supply shares. The model takes into account the costs of generation technologies, transmission lines and storage units, and finds a combination of these technologies and their geographic locations that is least-cost under the given assumptions. A geographic information system was used for the analysis of the installable capacities and power generation potentials of typical technologies for harnessing renewable energy resources. This analysis is described and the potentials of solar PV, solar CSP, wind onshore and wind offshore, biomass, hydro and geothermal power plants are shown in tables and maps. The data are used as input into a linear programming energy system model which uses them as constraints on the power supply system to be dimensioned. The model, its sensitivity to input parameter variations and a test application are described. The findings confirm the basic findings of other work in this field: transmission lines can be a crucial element of a low-cost, renewable-energy-based electricity supply because they enable balancing effects in a large grid and the use of the highest quality resources even in remote areas, such as deserts or at sea. However, the international cooperation that is necessary to reach the cost-minimum for a given supply task may not be reached by politics or resulting dependencies may be opposed to political goals. Therefore, REMix was built such that countries can be examined individually and the influence of different parameters on their energy supply costs and structure can be investigated. In the test model application, power supply systems for 36 regions in Europe and North Africa, almost all individual countries, are designed with REMix as island grids on the one hand and on the other hand as a network without transmission restrictions (other than the costs of the transmission lines). The model shows that in certain regions the island grid electricity costs can be much higher than, only a little higher than, or even lower than the electricity costs in the network, under the given technological and economic assumptions. The sensitivity to parameter variations is shown to be high; the results of the test application must therefore be considered one example of a technically feasible and efficient supply system but cannot claim to be least-cost in general.
Article
Through a parametric time-series analysis of 8 years of hourly data, we quantify the storage size and balancing energy needs for highly and fully renewable European power systems for different levels and mixes of wind and solar energy. By applying a dispatch strategy that minimizes the balancing energy needs for a given storage size, the interplay between storage and balancing is quantified, providing a hard upper limit on their synergy. An efficient but relatively small storage reduces balancing energy needs significantly due to its influence on intra-day mismatches. Furthermore, we show that combined with a low-efficiency hydrogen storage and a level of balancing equal to what is today provided by storage lakes, it is sufficient to meet the European electricity demand in a fully renewable power system where the average power generation from combined wind and solar exceeds the demand by only a few percent.
Article
This paper puts forward the vision that a natural future stage of the electricity network could be a grid spanning the whole planet and connecting most of the large power plants in the world: this is the "Global Grid". The main driving force behind the Global Grid will be the harvesting of remote renewable sources, and its key infrastructure element will be the high capacity long transmission lines. Wind farms and solar power plants will supply load centers with green power over long distances. This paper focuses on the introduction of the concept, showing that a globally interconnected network can be technologically feasible and economically competitive. We further highlight the multiple opportunities emerging from a global electricity network such as smoothing the renewable energy supply and electricity demand, reducing the need for bulk storage, and reducing the volatility of the energy prices. We also discuss possible investment mechanisms and operating schemes. Among others, we envision in such a system a global power market and the establishment of two new coordinating bodies, the "Global Regulator" and the "Global System Operator".
Article
The huge solar resources in the MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa), significant improvements in concentrating solar power (CSP) technology and in power transmission technologies, and the urgent need to remove carbon emissions from the European (EU) energy system lead to an increased interest in an EU-MENA electricity grid interconnection. As contribution to the current discussions about DESERTEC, MedGrid and other initiatives this article describes the approach and results of an analysis of possible solar electricity import corridors from MENA to Europe including Turkey. The study is based on solar energy potentials of the MENA countries identified by remote sensing, reviewed performance and cost data of generation and transmission technologies, and geographic data and information systems (GIS) for the spatial analysis. CSP plants combined with high temperature heat storage and high voltage direct current (HVDC) overhead lines and sea cables represent the key technologies for implementing this promising option for renewable energy import/export. The total technical solar power generation potential from remote sensing analysis in the seven MENA countries considered was calculated to about 538,000TWh/yr. This huge potential implies that less than 0.2% of the land suitable for CSP plants would be enough to supply 15% of the electricity demand expected in Europe in the year 2050. A GIS analysis of potential future HVDC corridors led to the description and characterization of 33 possible import routes to main European centers of demand.
Article
Sowohl die Ressourcenproblematik als auch die drohenden Ausmaße der Klimaänderung lassen einen Umstieg auf andere Energiequellen langfristig unausweichlich erscheinen und mittelfristig als dringend geboten. Unabhängig von der Frage, auf welchem Niveau sich der Energiebedarf stabilisieren lässt, bleibt dabei zu klären, welche Möglichkeiten sich aus technischer und wirtschaftlicher Sicht in Zukunft zur Deckung unseres Energiebedarfs anbieten. Eine aussichtsreiche Option besteht in der Nutzung regenerativer Energien in ihrer ganzen Vielfalt. Die Arbeit "Szenarien zur zukünftigen Stromversorgung, kostenoptimierte Variationen zur Versorgung Europas und seiner Nachbarn mit Strom aus erneuerbaren Energien" konzentriert sich mit der Stromversorgung auf einen Teilaspekt der Energieversorgung, der zunehmend an Wichtigkeit gewinnt und als ein Schlüssel zur nachhaltigen Energieversorgung interpretiert werden kann. Die Stromversorgung ist heute weltweit für etwa die Hälfte des anthropogenen CO2-Ausstoßes verantwortlich. In dieser Arbeit wurden anhand verschiedener Szenarien Möglichkeiten einer weitgehend CO2–neutralen Stromversorgung für Europa und seine nähere Umgebung untersucht, wobei das Szenariogebiet etwa 1,1 Mrd. Einwohner und einen Stromverbrauch von knapp 4000 TWh/a umfasst. Dabei wurde untersucht, wie die Stromversorgung aufgebaut sein sollte, damit sie möglichst kostengünstig verwirklicht werden kann. Diese Frage wurde beispielsweise für Szenarien untersucht, in denen ausschließlich heute marktverfügbare Techniken berücksichtigt wurden. Auch der Einfluss der Nutzung einiger neuer Technologien, die bisher noch in Entwicklung sind, auf die optimale Gestaltung der Stromversorgung, wurde anhand einiger Beispiele untersucht. Die Konzeption der zukünftigen Stromversorgung sollte dabei nach Möglichkeit objektiven Kriterien gehorchen, die auch die Vergleichbarkeit verschiedener Versorgungsansätze gewährleisten. Dafür wurde ein Optimierungsansatz gewählt, mit dessen Hilfe sowohl bei der Konfiguration als auch beim rechnerischen Betrieb des Stromversorgungssystems weitgehend auf subjektive Entscheidungsprozesse verzichtet werden kann. Die Optimierung hatte zum Ziel, für die definierte möglichst realitätsnahe Versorgungsaufgabe den idealen Kraftwerks- und Leitungspark zu bestimmen, der eine kostenoptimale Stromversorgung gewährleistet. Als Erzeugungsoptionen werden dabei u.a. die Nutzung Regenerativer Energien durch Wasserkraftwerke, Windenergiekonverter, Fallwindkraftwerke, Biomassekraftwerke sowie solare und geothermische Kraftwerke berücksichtigt. Abhängig von den gewählten Randbedingungen ergaben sich dabei unterschiedliche Szenarien. Das Ziel der Arbeit war, mit Hilfe unterschiedlicher Szenarien eine breite Basis als Entscheidungsgrundlage für zukünftige politische Weichenstellungen zu schaffen. Die Szenarien zeigen Optionen für eine zukünftige Gestaltung der Stromversorgung auf, machen Auswirkungen verschiedener – auch politischer – Rahmenbedingungen deutlich und stellen so die geforderte Entscheidungsgrundlage bereit. Als Grundlage für die Erstellung der Szenarien mussten die verschiedenen Potentiale erneuerbarer Energien in hoher zeitlicher und räumlicher Auflösung ermittelt werden, mit denen es erstmals möglich war, die Fragen einer großräumigen regenerativen Stromversorgung ohne ungesicherte Annahmen anhand einer verlässlichen Datengrundlage anzugehen. Auch die Charakteristika der verschiedensten Energiewandlungs- und Transportsysteme mussten studiert werden und sind wie deren Kosten und die verschiedenen Potentiale in der vorliegenden Arbeit ausführlich diskutiert. Als Ausgangsszenario und Bezugspunkt dient ein konservatives Grundszenario. Hierbei handelt es sich um ein Szenario für eine Stromversorgung unter ausschließlicher Nutzung erneuerbarer Energien, die wiederum ausschließlich auf heute bereits entwickelte Technologien zurückgreift und dabei für alle Komponenten die heutigen Kosten zugrundelegt. Dieses Grundszenario ist dementsprechend auch als eine Art konservative Worst-Case-Abschätzung für unsere Zukunftsoptionen bei der regenerativen Stromversorgung zu verstehen. Als Ergebnis der Optimierung basiert die Stromversorgung beim Grundszenario zum größten Teil auf der Stromproduktion aus Windkraft. Biomasse und schon heute bestehende Wasserkraft übernehmen den überwiegenden Teil der Backup-Aufgaben innerhalb des – mit leistungsstarker HGÜ (Hochspannungs–Gleichstrom–Übertragung) verknüpften – Stromversorgungsgebiets. Die Stromgestehungskosten liegen mit 4,65 €ct / kWh sehr nahe am heute Üblichen. Sie liegen niedriger als die heutigen Preisen an der Strombörse. In allen Szenarien – außer relativ teuren, restriktiv ”dezentralen” unter Ausschluss großräumig länderübergreifenden Stromtransports – spielt der Stromtransport eine wichtige Rolle. Er wird genutzt, um Ausgleichseffekte bei der dargebotsabhängigen Stromproduktion aus erneuerbaren Quellen zu realisieren, gute kostengünstige Potentiale nutzbar zu machen und um die Speicherwasserkraft sowie die dezentral genutzte Biomasse mit ihrer Speicherfähigkeit für großräumige Backup-Aufgaben zu erschließen. Damit erweist sich der Stromtransport als einer der Schlüssel zu einer kostengünstigen Stromversorgung. Dies wiederum kann als Handlungsempfehlung bei politischen Weichenstellungen interpretiert werden, die demnach gezielt auf internationale Kooperation im Bereich der Nutzung erneuerbarer Energien setzen und insbesondere den großräumigen Stromtransport mit einbeziehen sollten. Die Szenarien stellen detaillierte und verlässliche Grundlagen für wichtige politische und technologische Zukunftsentscheidungen zur Verfügung. Sie zeigen, dass bei internationaler Kooperation selbst bei konservativen Annahmen eine rein regenerative Stromversorgung möglich ist, die wirtschaftlich ohne Probleme zu realisieren wäre und verweisen den Handlungsbedarf in den Bereich der Politik. Eine wesentliche Aufgabe der Politik läge darin, die internationale Kooperation zu organisieren und Instrumente für eine Umgestaltung der Stromversorgung zu entwickeln. Dabei kann davon ausgegangen werden, dass nicht nur ein sinnvoller Weg zu einer CO2–neutralen Stromversorgung beschritten würde, sondern sich darüber hinaus ausgezeichnete Entwicklungsperspektiven für die ärmeren Nachbarstaaten der EU und Europas eröffnen. ---------------- Both the resources problem and the extent of the looming climate change make a change of course in humankind’s use of energy sources appear inevitable. Independent of the question of the level on which energy consumption can be stabilized, clarification of the technical and economic possibilities for the future energy supply is necessary. Promising options exist in the use of renewable energies in their whole variety. The thesis "Szenarien zur zukünftigen Stromversorgung, kostenoptimierte Variationen zur Versorgung Europas und seiner Nachbarn mit Strom aus erneuerbaren Energien" concentrates on the electricity supply as a partial aspect of the energy supply. Electricity supply is increasingly gaining in importance and can be seen as a key to a sustainable energy supply; it is currently responsible for approximately half of the world-wide anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In this research/study possibilities of a largely CO2 neutral electricity supply for Europe and its closer neighbourhood were examined on the basis of different scenarios, whereby the scenario area actually covers about 1.1 billion inhabitants and an electricity consumption of about 4000 TWh/a. The focus was the question of how the electricity supply should be developed to lead to the most economic solution. This question was considered, for example, for scenarios based only on techniques available today. Also examined was the possible influence which the use of some new technologies – in so far as they are still under development – could have on the future options of the electricity supply, on the basis of some examples. The conception of the future electricity supply was aimed to meet criteria of the greatest possible objectivity, to provide genuine comparability of different resulting scenarios. To achieve this aim a mathematical optimization approach was implemented, thus ensuring the avoidance of subjective decision-making processes during the configuration of the supply system, whilst optimizing the use of all system components. The aim of the optimization was to find the ideal system of power plants and transmission systems to provide the least cost solution for a realistic electricity demand close to the current demand. As options for the electricity production the use of renewable energies with hydro-electric power plants, wind energy converters, energy towers, biomass power stations as well as solar and geothermal power stations are considered amongst others. Dependent on the selected preconditions, this resulted in different scenarios. The main goal of the thesis was to create a set of different scenarios in order to establish a broad basis for future political decisions. The scenarios present options for a future organization of the electricity supply and point out the impact of different - also political - conditions. Before calculating the scenarios, the different potentials of renewable energies and their characteristics had to be determined in high temporal and spatial resolution. This set up a reliable data basis allowing answers to the questions associated with a spacious renewable electricity supply, without resorting to unverified assumptions. The characteristics of the different systems for energy conversion and transport also had to be studied and are discussed together with their associated costs and the potentials within the dissertation. The starting point is a conservative base case scenario. It is a scenario for an electricity supply relying entirely on renewable energies, all of which are based on technologies available today and calculated with today's costs of all components. This base case scenario can accordingly be understood as a kind of conservative Worst Case estimation for our future options of a renewable electricity supply. As a result of the optimization for the base case scenario, the largest proportion of the electricity production is from wind energy. Biomass and currently existing hydropower take over the predominant part of the back-up function within the supply area which is interlinked with powerful HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission. The calculated costs of electricity production and HVDC transmission are about 4.65 €ct/kWh and therefore relatively close to the current costs of electricity produced with conventional technologies. They are actually lower than today's prices on the electricity stock exchange. In all scenarios - except the relatively expensive restrictively "decentralized" ones which exclude cross-national electricity transport via HVDC - the electricity transport plays an important role. It is used in order to realize smoothing effects of the weather-dependent electricity production from renewable sources, to make the best production sites accessible for common use and to enable the use of hydropower as well as the decentralized biomass with its inherent storage capability for common duties within the supply area. Thus electricity transport proves to be one of the keys to an economical electricity supply. This again can be interpreted as a recommendation for action for political decision-makers, who thus should deliberately pursue international co-operation in the field of renewable energy use and include in particular the issue of international electricity transmission. The scenarios constitute a detailed and reliable basis for crucial political and technological decisions about our future electricity supply. They show that - even under conservative assumptions - an exclusively renewable electricity supply is possible with international co-operation and could be realized without any significant economic problems. They place the responsibility for future action in the field of policy. A substantial task of the policy-makers would be to organize the necessary international co-operation and to develop legal and economic instruments for a transformation of our electricity supply. Thereby, not only a reasonable path to a CO2-neutralen electricity supply would be taken, but beyond that excellent perspectives for the development of poorer neighbour states of the European Union and Europe could be opened.
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