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Abstract

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.

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... This involves linking all energy sectors, enabling seasonal storage without geographic constraints, and describing an energy system fully based on electricity, encompassing both direct and indirect electrification and overcoming the limitations of hydrogen by adding CO 2 -to-X synthesis. In 2017-2019, Bogdanov and Breyer et al. [13,14,23,156] added the combination of high geographic resolution of more than 100 global regions with hourly modeling, regions composed of multiple nodes, power-to-X, and sector coupling, thus enabling a model that includes the five major e-fuels/echemicalshydrogen, methane, Fischer-Tropsch fuels, ammonia, methanolin a full energy system analysis, as is required for realistic energyindustry transition modeling [15]. ...
... Two organizations have attracted repeated criticism (e.g., by [20,23,46,147]) for their too conservative implementation of solar PV in their scenarios and reports: International Energy Agency (IEA) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In early 2021 three studies [105,194,202] investigated, using different methods, data and comparisons, the claims articulated earlier on massive solar PV underestimation in IPCC reports. ...
... Reports from a broad range of stakeholders have been assessed by various authors [18,23,24,41,42,105,202] for their suitability for describing a sustainable future and their views on solar PV. Nearly all reports assessed were skeptical about highly renewable energy systems. ...
Chapter
Solar photovoltaics has demonstrated the strongest long-term growth rates of all energy technologies since the 1950s. It has been recognized as the new “king” of energy markets, having emerged within the past few years as the least-cost source of electricity. Along with supporting energy system technologies, in particular batteries and electrolyzers, it can be anticipated that solar PV will emerge as the main source of primary energy for humankind within only a few decades. In parallel the research field of 100% renewable energy system analyses has developed strongly since the mid-2000s, with a growing number of research groups and organizations joining the 100% renewable energy community. The role of solar PV in these analyses has increased steadily, as the true potential role of solar PV in delivering 100% renewable energy supply has been identified in cutting-edge research in recent years. The results of the research, projections, and empirical statistics indicate the dawn of a Solar Age, which may be the key driving force to enable a rebalancing of human activities within the biogeochemical limits of planet Earth. Solar photovoltaic technology offers a crucial foundation for further progress toward a truly sustainable civilization of the highest technical, economic, and cultural standards, leaving no one behind.
... paths under stringent carbon budgets and to determine cost-optimal future scenarios. [8][9][10][11][12] Some IAMs include lower solar PV contributions to sustainable scenarios than those predicted by other analyses (Figure 2A.) 12,13 For instance, the 890 IAM scenarios included in the 5 th Assessment Report (AR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 8 considered, on average, a global solar PV electricity generation of 4.9 PWh/year in 2050. For the 311 IAM scenarios covered in the IPCC 1.5 C special report, 9 the average is 12.5 PWh/year. ...
... Although the underestimation of the solar PV potential in IAMs was initially assessed by Creutzig et al., 12 Breyer et al, 13 and Fraunhofer ISE, 16 expanding this discussion seems relevant because most of the limitations persist in some IAMs, and the evolution of PV technology in recent years has significantly reduced its costs. Furthermore, the outcomes of IAMs constitute the results included in the IPCC ARs 8,17 and influence the narratives on the energy transition. ...
Article
Thanks to fast learning and sustained growth, solar photovoltaics (PV) is today a highly cost-competitive technology, ready to contribute substantially to CO 2 emissions mitigation. However, many scenarios assessing global decarbonization pathways, either based on integrated assessment models or partial-equilibrium models, fail to identify the key role that this technology could play, including far lower future PV capacity than that projected by the PV community. In this perspective, we review the factors that lie behind the historical cost reductions of solar PV and identify innovations in the pipeline that could contribute to maintaining a high learning rate. We also aim at opening a constructive discussion among PV experts, modelers, and policymakers regarding how to improve the representation of this technology in the models and how to ensure that manufacturing and installation of solar PV can ramp up on time, which will be crucial to remain in a decarbonization path compatible with the Paris Agreement.
... Recently, the world has been exploiting renewable energy [1,2] to meet electricity usage expectations and minimize environmental pollution. Solar power is playing a crucial role in the power supply system to develop the economy of countries in the world [3][4][5]. ...
... The internal rate of return IRR [29] is the discount rate causing the Net Present Value (NPV) of the project to be zero. 0 1 (4) where N is the project life in years, and Cn is the cash flow for year n. The net present value NPV [29] of a project is the value of all future cash flows, discounted at the discount rate, in today's currency. ...
Article
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At present, renewable energy sources are considered to ensure energy security and combat climate change. Vietnam has a high potential for solar power development, especially in the central region and the southern region. However, the northeast region has the lowest solar radiation value, so it can cause difficulty for rooftop solar power investment. In this paper, the study results analyze the financial efficiency of the grid-tied rooftop solar power system with battery storage and compared it to the grid-tied rooftop solar power system without battery storage. The experimental data of a grid-tied solar power system with battery storage at an office building in the northeast region of Vietnam is collected to evaluate the system’s operation performance in real conditions. The study results present that the financial efficiency of rooftop grid-tied power project with and without storage is viable since the benefit-cost ratio (B–C) is larger than one, and internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) are positive. However, the grid-tied rooftop solar power system with storage is not quite feasible in case of changing the electricity selling price and investment cost even though the grid-tied solar power system using the storage device can operate more flexibly. The payback period of the grid-tied solar power system with storage is 6.2 years longer and the total profit is nearly 1.9 times lower than the solar power system without battery storage due to the difference in the price of the inverters and the battery. In contrast, the grid-tied solar power system without battery storage shows better financial efficiency but strongly depends on the operation of the utility grid.
... Nonetheless, energy scenarios have been criticized mostly for their lack of realism, as they are not able to fully reproduce the actual behavior of the energy market and can be strongly biased by external assumptions out its developments [3]. Also, many studies focus on the development of energy strategies to achieve very high renewable energy shares (even up to 100%) [4], [5], and such policies are also supported by national governments, like in the case of Germany [6]. ...
... Starting from the left part of the graph, it is visible how projections computed using average historical capacity factors in Equation 5 to the projections computed in Section 0 are in line with the regression of available historical data. ...
Preprint
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Electricity supply is one of the critical issues in the energy field. Due to the high shares of greenhouse gases emissions related to power production, the electricity sector is experiencing a transition towards a progressively wider use of low-carbon technologies. At the same time, electrification of end-use sectors is identified as one of the most suitable strategies to reduce emissions, although requiring larger electricity production. This paper relates the historical development trends for installed capacity of electricity production technologies to the widely accepted theory of the S-curves, building a method to depict plausible developments in the electricity sector. Projections are performed considering the existence of an upper limit for industrial capacity development, and according to a path envisaging a revolutionary, an evolutionary and a maturity phase for technologies showing considerable growth in the set of available data. As opposed to that, stagnation is taken into account for those not showing any remarkable progress. The computed curves are used to perform forecasts about electricity generation potentials until 2050, showing how the projected growth trend of electricity generation technologies would result in a production sufficient to meet the expected global demand, even excluding the contribution of fossil fuels in some cases.
... Due to the huge global electricity demand with an ever-growing rate [6], a large proportion of solar energy is utilised for electricity generation via photovoltaics (PV). By directly converting solar energy into electricity, PV is expected to play a central role in electricity generation in our green future [7,8]. ...
... Hence, PV is a viable alternative to conventional fossil fuels for electricity generation. With the global cumulative capacity of installed PV at 756 GW by the end of 2020 [9] and 70 TW predicted by 2050 [7,12], it is evident that PV is on its way to dominating the worldwide energy source. ...
... The decarbonization of the electricity sector relies mainly on the large-scale integration of wind and solar power into the energy system while their relative importance varies depending on the geographic location [8,9]. Globally, installed photovoltaic (PV) generation grows faster [10] and is expected to be the main driver of the expansion of renewable energy generation [11]. In contrast to wind power generation, small roof-top PV systems installed on the roofs of private homes play a major role in this growth. ...
Article
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The introduction of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and the expansion of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) power generation are both progressing at a fast pace to decarbonize the transport and the energy sector in Switzerland. These parallel developments have an enormous synergy potential as the actual decarbonization impact of BEVs depends heavily on the carbon footprint of the power source and the PV expansion requires local storage as a buffer to reduce negative impacts on the distribution grid. We present an empirical analysis based on a detailed 10-month data set of the charging and mobility behavior of 78 BEV users in Switzerland. It is combined with a fine-grained digital surface model of Switzerland to extract the detailed roof geometry and the corresponding rooftop PV generation capacity of each of the BEV owner’s houses. We test four different smart charging strategies with a varying degree of complexity and find that when charging uncontrolled (the strategy used during the study), BEV owners can only cover 15 % of their BEV’s demand using PV generated from the roofs of their own houses. A simple controlled charging approach greatly increases the average coverage to 56 % and up to 90 % or 99 % when using an optimized charging strategy without or with a home battery storage. All charging strategies ensure that the individual mobility behavior of the BEV owners is not affected. We further show that using rooftop PV power generation for BEV charging has a large potential to further decrease the climate impact of BEVs and propose simple adjustments to consider in charging strategies that help to increase the owners’ PV consumption.
... The role of solar PV and especially the role of solar technologies in providing low-cost and sustainable electricity for the energy transition has been studied earlier [85,94,95]. In order to estimate the role of wave power electricity generation, the present system has been simulated and optimised without the option of wave power. ...
Article
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Low-lying coastal areas and archipelago countries are particularly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Concurrently, many island states still rely on extensive use of imported fossil fuels, above all diesel for electricity generation, in addition to hydrocarbon-based fuels to supply aviation and marine transportation. Land area is usually scarce and conventional renewable energy solutions cannot be deployed in a sufficient way. This research highlights the possibility of floating offshore technologies being able to fulfil the task of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy solutions in challenging topographical areas. On the case of the Maldives, floating offshore solar photovoltaics, wave power and offshore wind are modelled on a full hourly resolution in two different scenarios to deal with the need of transportation fuels: By importing the necessary, carbon neutral synthetic e-fuels from the world market, or by setting up local production capacities for e-fuels. Presented results show that a fully renewable energy system is technically feasible in 2030 with a relative cost per final energy of 120.3 €/MWh and 132.1 €/MWh, respectively, for the two scenarios in comparison to 105.7 €/MWh of the reference scenario in 2017. By 2050, cost per final energy can be reduced to 77.6 €/MWh and 92.6 €/MWh, respectively. It is concluded that floating solar photovoltaics and wave energy converters will play an important role in defossilisation of islands and countries with restricted land area.
... Using the "Lappeenranta University of Technology energy system model" (LUT energy system model), Breyer et al. [2] investigated the role of photovoltaics in the global energy transition. In addition to considering a temporal resolution on an hourly basis, spatial distribution was also considered. ...
Conference Paper
The simulation tool UCB SEnMod was developed and applied to model an energy system for a rural region in Germany (Nationalparkregion Hunsrück-Hochwald, population about 110 000), focusing on the electricity sector coupled with the transport and heat sectors. The hour-based simulations were performed for different years and possible future scenarios up to the year 2050. Various factors were considered for future energy demand, including the increasing heat pump use, the transformation to electromobility in private transport, and demographic change. The electric load for each sector, including electromobility, was modeled using standard load profiles. The model considers electricity generation via wind turbines, PV systems, and bioenergy. Also, battery storage systems are integrated into the energy model. Electricity generation by wind turbines and photovoltaic systems are simulated using long-term local weather data pro-vided by the German Weather Service (DWD). For the addition of renewable energy capacity, various future scenarios are analyzed. The baseline scenario aims to meet the electricity consumption in the region on a balance sheet basis. The energy model is based on a set of modular python scripts. For the renewable energy plants, the nominal power of wind turbines (402 MW) and PV systems (322 MWp) is revealed. A maximum storage capacity is given for the battery storage. The numbers above the arrows show the energy flows. In the analysis, both the degree of self-sufficiency and the self-consumption rate reaches about 66 %.
... This has boosted the usage of such energy with respect to other renewable energies due to new competitive prices. The growth of installed power of global PV energy increases between 20-25% every year [28][29][30][31]. ...
Article
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This paper analyzes the technical and economic viability and sustainability of urban street lighting installation projects using equipment powered by photovoltaic (PV) energy. First, a description of the state-of-the-art of the technology is performed, studying the components involved in solar LED luminaires for street lighting application and examples of autonomous PV systems installed in different countries. Later, a case study a based on a renovation project of the street lighting installation at a 5000-inhabitant municipality in Lanzarote (Spain) is presented. Two alternatives are analyzed: underground channeling of the previous aerial electrical grid and the installation of LED luminaires, and, on the other hand, the installation of autonomous LED solar luminaires. Simulations concluded that a PV lighting installation proposal guarantees the existing M3 lighting requirements (EN 13201-2:2015) and represents a saving in the material execution budget of 43.78% with respect to the channeled power grid option. Finally, a statistical study has been carried out to assess the social acceptance of Spanish citizens of this autonomous PV technology in urban environments. This considers strengths and weakness of the technology: sustainability, robustness, visual impact, or risk of vandalism. In general, most subjects of all age segments are aware of the problem that means having aerial wiring running at facades (95%) and considers the use of PV in urban lighting sustainable (88%). However, 47% of those surveyed consider that shutdowns due to lack of energy harvesting is problematic and 17% consider this very problematic. This major drawback (visual impact of PV equipment is mostly evaluated as neutral) gives rise to social reluctance, especially in people younger than 50 who remarked this as more problematic than senior segments. Thus, guaranteed operational service is fundamental to have social agreement for PV technology implementation.
... Few studies have also analysed a 100% RE transition for countries in SSA mainly applying an overnight approach for Réunion island [32]- [34], Mauritius [35], Cape Verde [36], and Nigeria [37]. It is worth noting that, the studies of Breyer et al. [38], [39], Bogdanov et al. [40], [41], as well as those of Jacobson et al. [10], [42] carried out at a global level include selected countries and regions in SSA. Results from Oyewo et al. concluded that, by 2050, a 100% RE system is the least cost, least GHG emitting energy supply option for Nigeria [6], West Africa [7], South Africa [5], and Ethiopia [8] which is similar to the findings of Mensah et al. [9] for Ghana. ...
Article
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Sustainable energy systems form an indispensable component of sustainable development especially in developing economies. Understanding the system wide techno-economics of sustainable energy systems therefore becomes critical in shaping the energy system mix within a region or country. This paper explores progressive and optimal pathways towards a fully sustainable energy system for Cameroon by 2050 in power, heat, and transport sectors as a representative case study for the Central Africa region. Six key scenarios are modelled with the LUT Energy System Transition Model to capture key policy and sustainability constraints. Results from the study show that, the optimal least cost technology combination for a fully sustainable energy system for Cameroon with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 is dominated by solar PV (86%), complemented by hydropower (8%) and bioenergy (5%). These results show that a fully sustainable energy system for Cameroon is feasible from both the technical and economic perspectives, if policy commitment is oriented towards these low-cost energy solutions. The results of this research provide a reliable reference for planning transitions towards a 100% renewable energy-based energy system in countries within the Central Africa region.
... This situation can only be defined as a climate emergency [163]. The call for decisive action is urging scientists to devote huge efforts to the development solar energy technologies; as a uniformly distributed, abundant, green vector of energy, the sun [164,165] could help humanity to limit its further negative effects on the environment. The development of solar technologies is an important solution, moving in the right direction [166], but photovoltaic devices must be developed to be not only efficient but cheap, and they must be based on materials whose production is environmentally sustainable. ...
Article
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During the last 20 years, the scientific community has shown growing interest towards carbonaceous nanomaterials due to their appealing mechanical, thermal, and optical features, depending on the specific nanoforms. Among these, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) recently emerged as one of the most promising nanomaterials due to their outstanding electrical properties, chemical stability, and intense and tunable photoluminescence, as it is witnessed by a booming number of reported applications, ranging from the biological field to the photovoltaic market. To date, a plethora of synthetic protocols have been investigated to modulate the portfolio of features that GQDs possess and to facilitate the use of these materials for target applications. Considering the number of publications and the rapid evolution of this flourishing field of research, this review aims at providing a broad overview of the most widely established synthetic protocols and offering a detailed review of some specific applications that are attracting researchers’ interest.
... 15 However, to significantly reduce the carbon emissions from the power generation sector and to achieve the target of limiting global warming to well below 2 1C compared to pre-industrial levels set by the COP-21 Paris Agreement, 16 several studies have suggested that a significant increase in the size of the PV industry is required, specifically, with a cumulative installed capacity of around 70 TW by 2050, and therefore, an annual production capacity of 3-4 TW by this time. [17][18][19] Historically, the PV industry has already exhibited the capability of fast growth in the annual production capacity with an average two-fold increase in every three years. 10 However, the continued aggressive growth of the PV industry and transition towards a major component in the global energy production system leads to a new concern on the availability of scarce elements being used for the manufacture of industrial solar cells and deployment of photovoltaic modules in the field. ...
Article
To significantly impact climate change, the annual photovoltaic (PV) module production rate must dramatically increase from ~135 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 to ~3 terawatts (TW) around 2030. A key knowledge...
... Australia (AEMO, 2013;Ali et al., 2019;Blakers et al., 2017;Elliston et al., 2013;Keck et al., 2019;Lenzen et al., 2016;Li, M. et al., 2020a;Li, M. et al., 2020b;Yousefzadeh and Lenzen, 2019), the USA (Becker et al., 2014;Budischak et al., 2013;Jacobson et al., 2015) and China (Huber and Weissbart, 2015)), regional (e.g. Europe (Bussar et al., 2016;Gils et al., 2017;Pleßmann and Blechinger, 2017;Schlachtberger et al., 2017), Asia (Bogdanov and Breyer, 2016; and North America ) or global level (Bogdanov et al., 2019;Breyer et al., 2017;Jacobson and Delucchi, 2011;Jacobson et al., 2018), where solar and wind represent a dominate share in their low carbon grid configurations. With intermittent solar and wind resources introducing great variability into the grid, bioenergy is expected to play an important role in sustainable recovery (IPCC, 2020) due to its ability to balance such variability (Li, M. et al., 2020b), and its high employment needs that could potentially generate a third of all renewable energy jobs (IRENA, 2020a). ...
Article
Responding to the global crises - Covid19 and climate change - governments around the world are formulating green recovery plans to stimulate economic growth, boost clean energy technologies and cut emissions. Potential transition pathways for low carbon energy systems, however, remain as open questions. Generally, the simulation of biomass in the grid models is limited in their tempo-spatial resolution, transition pathways description, and/or biomass feedstock supply representation. This study aims to provide spatio-temporal highly resolved grid configurations featuring disaggregated biomass feedstocks, to assess Australia's potential energy transition pathways and 100% renewable electricity supply scenarios under various biomass bidding strategies and cost assumptions. We find that, as carbon prices increase, bioelectricity will prove to be a cost-effective flexible option compared to other low-carbon (such as CSP) and fossil-based flexible options (e.g. coal and gas), with its generation share reaching ∼9%-12% at higher carbon price scenarios. Biomass power plants can be well suited for operating in gap-filling mode to provide flexible power generation and to facilitate grid stability and load balancing. In light of the high biomass resource potential in Australia, keeping bioelectricity in the generation mix is beneficial for reducing system capacity and cost by 32% and 21%, respectively, under a future renewable-dominated Australian grid system.
... [1][2][3] Accordingly, huge numbers of total PV installations ranging from 20 to 80 TW p in the year 2050 are an integral part global of progressive energy scenarios. [1][2][3][4][5] However, the associated massive demand for resources for these PV installations is rarely discussed in these scenarios. Most existing literature on resource limitations for PV, on the other hand, only considered significantly lower PV installations of typically below 10 TW p (see also following section) so resource limitations might be underestimated. ...
Article
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Cost efficient climate change mitigation requires installing a total of 20-80 TWp photovoltaics until 2050 and 80-170 TWp until 2100. The question is, whether the projected growth is feasible from a resource point of view-and if so, under which conditions. We assess demand for fundamental resources until the year 2100, which are necessary independently from the specific nature of the used PV technology, i.e. energy, float-glass, and capital investments, and addtionally silver. Without technological learning serious resource constraints will arise. On the other hand, continued technological learning at current rates would be sufficient to stay within reasonable boundaries. With such technological learning, energy demand for production will correspond to 2-5% of global energy consumption leading to cumulative greenhouse gas emissions of 4-11% of the 1.5 °C emission budget. Glass demand might still exceed current float-glass production, requiring capacity expansion; and silver consumption could be kept at current levels. Installations costs would be 300-600 billion $US2020 per year. Technological solutions enabling such learning are foreseeable, nevertheless current and future investments must not only be targeted at capacity expansion but also at upholding the currently high rate of innovation.
... Abbreviations: BOS, Balance of system; CapEx, Capital expenditure; CED, Cumulative energy demand; EOL, End-of-life FiT Feed-in tariff gCO2-eq Grams of carbon dioxide equivalent; GHG, Greenhouse gas; IDR, Indonesian Rupiah; kWh, Kilowatt-hour; kWp, Kilowatt peak; LCA, Life cycle analysis; LCOE, Levelized cost of energy; NPV, Net present value; PV, Photovoltaics. Solar PV is rapidly deploying across the globe, fueled by a combination of decreasing costs and increasing policy support [15][16][17]. Although direct solar energy has the potential to meet large portion of the global primary energy demand [18], solar PV's historically prohibitive costs and its fluctuating power output reduce the economic activities that it can support [19,20]. ...
Article
Solar photovoltaics (PV) are on the rise even in areas of low solar insolation. However, in developing countries with limited capital, land scarcity, or with geographically isolated agrarian communities, large solar infrastructures are often impractical. In these cases, implementation of low-density PV over existing crops may be required to integrate renewable energy services into rural communities. Here, using Indonesia as a model system, we investigated the land use, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, economic feasibility, and the environmental co-benefits associated with off-grid solar PV when combined with high value crop cultivation. The life cycle analyses indicate that small-scale dual land-use systems are economically viable in certain configurations and have the potential to provide several co-benefits including rural electrification, retrofitting diesel electricity generation, and electricity for processing agricultural products locally. A hypothetical full-density off-grid solar PV for a model village in Indonesia shows that electricity output (1907.5 GJ yr⁻¹) is much higher than the total residential consumption (678 GJ yr⁻¹), highlighting the opportunity to downscale the PV infrastructure by half to lower capital cost, to co-locate crops, and to support secondary income generating activities. Economic analysis shows that the 30-year net present cost of electricity from the half-density co-located PV system (12,257 million IDR) is significantly lower than that of the flat cost of diesel required to generate equivalent electricity (14,702 million IDR). Our analysis provides insights for smarter energy planning by optimizing the efficiency of land use and limiting conversion of agricultural and forested areas for energy production.
... Due to the increase in energy demand, CO 2 emissions have also increased and are expected to increase by 4.8% in 2021 ("Global Energy Review 2021 -Analysis -IEA," 2021). Keeping in view the depletion rate of fossil fuels and CO 2 emissions, they need to be replaced by renewable energy sources (Breyer et al., 2017). By 2019, the annual global growth of renewable energy sources was 12.2% while the growth of solar PV was 24.3% (bp Statistical Review of World Energy, 2020). ...
Article
Due to soiling on Photovoltaic modules, the active area reduces causing loss in short circuit current of the device due to lower light transmittance. Soiling on Photovoltaic modules depends upon environmental factors like wind, humidity, dust composition, tilt angle, orientation, and material of the module. Soiling loss studies conducted in outdoor conditions are unreliable as environmental factors are uncontrolled and vary with time hence there is a need to explore an indoor soiling station having controlled environment and stimulated conditions. This study reports an indoor soiling station with controlled environment capable to simulate the daily outdoor soil cycle in few hours. The designed soiling station is featured with cost reduction, design improvements, and automation that has been designed to simulate the soiling effects to study the effects of environmental parameters under desired and controlled conditions. The proposed soiling station is capable to explore optimized soiling loss effects on Photovoltaic modules by varying tilt angle, humidity, wind speed, and temperature. The soiling uniformity in the soiling chamber was confirmed by using Scanning Electron Microscopy and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy while average diameter of soil particles was found to be 8.21 µm. The daily cycle of outdoor conditions has been performed on the module and it was found that after 7 daily soil cycles, the module lost 33.54% of short circuit current. In future work, same soiling station will be utilized to study effect of anti-soiling coating, economics of different cleaning processes, and the soiling loss at variable humidity, wind speed, and tilt angle.
... Photovoltaic (PV) installation has reached 130 TWh in 2019 in Europe, which represented 4.8% of the final electricity demand and shared 42% of the yearly increased power generation capacity. With the electricity generation costs fall below to $2ct in many regions over the world, Photovoltaics will play an essential part to mitigate climate change in next decades [2,3]. Though a centralized PV plant is an effective way to benefit from scaling-up, an apparent disadvantage in the current situation is its high cost related to delivering electricity to appropriate places at the appropriate time [4]. ...
Article
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The present deployment of photovoltaic (PV) panels on the rooftop has been far below its potential. Stakeholders often see the PV as a strong design constraint, isolated from the built environment and not adapted to their requirements. Here, we propose a new design that combines the PV panels with a metal-organic framework based sorptive thermal battery, which serves as a multi-functional building element and is more actively involved in the indoor environment regulation. The open-loop thermal battery can stock moisture from air with 10⁵ times its volume so that the built environment with high humidity at night is dried to a comfortable and healthy level. The moisture is removed at daytime with unpleasant solar heat, thereby cools the PV panels simultaneously, improving electricity generation by 5%. The benefits of this design can be translated into economic added value to facilitate investment decisions of building-integrated PV projects.
... However, the results of models, as well as scenarios predicting the deployment of solar energy by 2050, vary widely [12]. Researchers argue that the potential of solar energy is thereby often underestimated, despite its excellent characteristics [13], [14]. ...
Article
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At the heart of Covid-19 responses, the transition from fossil sources to green energy is an urgent issue for nations to address the crisis and secure sustainable economies. As a country in a seismically active zone that relies heavily on imported fossil fuels, Taiwan is vigorously taking the next step in renewable energy development, which is pivotal to securing its position in global supply chains. Solar energy is today the most suitable renewable energy source for Taiwan. However, land prices and policies, and challenges of scale still hinder its development. In this context, identifying optimal sites for solar photovoltaic (PV) construction is a crucial task for major energy stakeholders. In this paper, a two-stage approach, combining the data envelopment analysis (DEA) models and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), has been done for the first time to identify the most suitable locations among 20 potential cities and counties of Taiwan for constructing solar PV farms. DEA models were applied to filter out the areas with the most potential by measuring their efficiency indices with temperature, wind speed, humidity, precipitation, and air pressure, as inputs, and sunshine hours and insolation, as outputs. The locations with perfect efficiency scores were then ranked with the AHP method. Five selected evaluation criteria (site characteristics, technical, economic, social, and environmental) and sub-criteria of each were utilized to prioritize the locations with solar energy potential. AHP was used to determine the relative weights of the criteria and sub-criteria and the final weights of the areas. For criteria weighting results, “support mechanisms,” “electric power transmission cost,” and “electricity consumption demand” with weights of 0.332, 0.122, and 0.086, respectively, were found as the most significant sub-criteria. The final ranking suggests Tainan, Changhua, and Kaohsiung as the top three most suitable cities for constructing solar PV energy systems.
... SPPs that are usually installed on the roofs of buildings can also be installed on facades. In one developing technology, semitransparent solar modules can be installed instead of glass in some applications, although these modules have low efficiency [30][31][32][33][34]. Furthermore, some solar panels can be used in place of shutters; energy production can be increased by adding a solar-tracking system to these shutters [5]. ...
Article
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In building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar energy projects, cost effectiveness, durability, and long-term reliability are among the criteria that should be taken into consideration as well as the gain in electricity generation efficiency. Also, in a study, it is stated that a dual-axis solar tracking system occupies approximately 100% more space than a single-axis system and 160% more than a fixed-angle system. It has been observed that most of the studies that are mounted on the building and include a tracking system are small-scale experimental studies. The aim of this article is to present a systematic analysis with a low investment cost, a low operating cost, and high reliability, in a real application especially for roof applications in buildings. Three buildings in the same location and with the same roof area were selected. Photovoltaic power plants with 23.68 kW power were installed; these panels had three types: fixed-angle, manually controlled, and single-axis solar tracking systems. The energy generation system is connected to the network with a double-sided meter, and there is a double-sided energy flow. The energy produced is used to meet the energy needs of the vehicle charging station and common areas of the buildings. Although the single-axis tracking system is 27.85% more efficient than other energy generation methods, the manually adjusted method has proven to have the shortest amortization time. The study also presents shading, which is a serious problem in large-scale roof projects, and the area covered by the module per unit watt produced.
... For example, under which conditions would a national energy system that depends on imports be considered reliable, or how reliable or resilient (rather than vulnerable) is a global energy system based mainly on depleting fossil fuels? [81] Similarly, (RE) technologies may not be "reliable" on their own, because of varying energy generation rates, but could be as part of a geographical and technological portfolio, embedded in grids with diverse storage systems [82,83]. The ancillary support requirement criterion (viii), that is the need to provide sufficient reserve margin to deal with disruptive fluctuations in the electricity demand and supply, shifts the focus from first order strategic assessment models that use demand balance to second order system reliability analyses appropriate for detailed energy system analyses. ...
Article
Energy-Economy-Environment (E3) models feature prominently in energy policy and climate mitigation planning. Nevertheless, these models have a mixed track record when assessed retrospectively and exhibit biases that can make them counterproductive for prescriptive policy during transition. We argue that in times of energy transitions it is preferable to develop a vision of the desired future energy system rather than relying on techno-economic solutions based on simple objectives (e.g. lower carbon emissions). We support this argument through reasoned inference supported by historical examples. A critical appraisal of E3 modeling exercises highlights the biases, structural or implicit, favoring existing energy system modalities. As a result, if E3 models are uncritically used to formulate long-term energy policy, there is the risk of unintended or deliberate performativity preventing a radical transition. Given the significant learning-by-doing effects in reducing technology costs, the evolution of energy systems is path-dependent and reinforced by technology policy feedbacks. This is showcased by Germany's Energiewende. Therefore, it is preferable to prioritize a clear articulation of the vision for the future desired end-state which can be shared with stakeholders a priori. Then utilize models as exploratory tools for assessing the economics and scale of corresponding interventions. These should include focused technology policy that aims to commoditize relevant technical innovations through learning-by-doing and scale economies. Ideally such models should be open, exploratory, reflexive and incorporate the dynamics of innovation.
... Solar photovoltaic power generation is the most potential renewable energy utilization technology [7e10], and it will meet 20e29% (32,700e133,000 GW) of global electricity demand by 2100 [11,12]. Large-scale deployment of photovoltaic power plants will break the original local radiation and energy balance process, and then affect the local climate environment. ...
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The rapid development of photovoltaic plays an important role in achieving the carbon-neutral goal. How to improve the conversion efficiency and power generation of solar photovoltaic has always been a focus issue. However, more attention is paid to the impact of photovoltaic panel working temperature on the performance of photovoltaic power generation, and how air temperature affects photovoltaic power generation has been ignored. This paper compared and analyzed the impact of the difference in air temperature between lake and land on the revenue of photovoltaic power generation, and established the functional equation between photovoltaic power generation, air temperature and solar radiation, and revealed the relationship between air temperature, solar radiation, and photovoltaic power generation.
... The capacity of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations has exponentially increased [7]. Solar energy is expected to compose the majority of renewable energy production worldwide [8], and fulfill 20%e29% (32,700e133,000 GW) of global electricity demand by 2100 [9,10]. This transition should respond to the increase in the number of PV power plants and the deployment of PV modules. ...
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Solar energy plays an essential role in achieving carbon goals and mitigating climate change. Therefore, solar power plants are rapidly developing in the renewable energy sector. However, many reports of solar power plants are on land, and extremely limited observational research has been conducted on the impacts of fishery complementary photovoltaic power plants (FPVs) on near-surface meteorology and surface energy. This study selected two adjacent eddy covariance observational towers at the fishery complementary photovoltaic power plant (FPV) in Yangzhong, Jiangsu Province, China, to explore this topic. The results indicated that the percent frequency of east wind (<4 m s⁻¹) at 2 m decreased by 25.3% in the FPV site compared with the reference site. The FPV array has not an obvious heating effect on the ambient environment. The average air temperature difference in the two sites at 2 m and 10 m was 0.3 K and 0.1 K, respectively, during the heating period. The net radiation increased by 47.8 W m⁻² in the two sites. The sensible heat increased by 7.9 W m⁻² due to the heating effect. The latent heat in the two sites is contrary to the sensible heat (−13.0 W m⁻²). The difference in the water storage heat is 32.18 W m⁻², which implies that the water absorbs higher heat in the FPV site than in the reference site. This work illustrated the importance of observational experiments to animate process-based understanding combined with FPV systems and provides a scientific basis for establishing FPV energy balance models based on observations that may be used to reveal the impact of utility-scale FPV deployment on climatic effects.
... When adjusting the model of the Bolivian energy system from multi to single-node, total LCOE and annualised costs surprisingly are not reduced; rather, the annualised costs are in between the two multi-node scenarios and total LCOE is larger than both multi-node scenarios. In theory, more constraints from a multi-nodal modelling approach should lead to a higher cost, which was the case in Europe [60] and in a global energy interconnection [97]. This result is likely due to the aggregation of wind and solar resources in a single-node approach, which is particularly impactful for a country such as Bolivia, where solar resources are particularly abundant in the Altiplano to the southwest. ...
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As the discourse surrounding 100% renewable energy systems has evolved, several energy system modelling tools have been developed to demonstrate the technical feasibility and economic viability of fully sustainable, sector coupled energy systems. While the characteristics of these tools vary among each other, their purpose remains consistent in integrating renewable energy technologies into future energy systems. This paper examines two such energy system models, the LUT Energy System Transition model, an optimisation model, and the EnergyPLAN simulation tool, a simulation model, and develops cost-optimal scenarios under identical assumptions. This paper further analyses different novel modelling approaches used by modellers. Scenarios are developed using the LUT model for Sun Belt countries, for the case of Bolivia, to examine the effects of multi and single-node structuring, and the effects of overnight and energy transition scenarios are analysed. Results for all scenarios indicate a solar PV dominated energy system; however, limitations arise in the sector coupling capabilities in EnergyPLAN, leading it to have noticeably higher annualised costs compared to the single-node scenario from the LUT model despite similar primary levelised costs of electricity. Multi-nodal results reveal that for countries with rich solar resources, high transmission from regions of best solar resources adds little value compared to fully decentralised systems. Finally, compared to the overnight scenarios, transition scenarios demonstrate the impact of considering legacy energy systems in sustainable energy system analyses.
... During the period from 2009 to 2035, the predicted demand for the world's major energies will increase by 40%, while the contribution of wind and solar energy will reach 600% (Armstrong et al. 2014). It is estimated that solar energy will meet 20-29% of global electricity demand (32,700 GW-133,000 GW) until 2100 (Breyer et al. 2017). Solar PV power generation can effectively avoid problems such as environmental pollution caused by the burning and consumption of traditional fossil energy oil, natural gas, and coal (Nugent & Sovacool 2014). ...
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Photovoltaic (PV) power plants have shown rapid development in the renewable sector, but the research areas have mainly included land installations, and the study of fishery complementary photovoltaic (FPV) power plants has been comparatively less. Moreover, the mechanism of local microclimate changes caused by FPV panels has not been reported. This work revealed this mechanism using a physical model to illustrate the impact of FPV power plants in a lake on the environment. The results indicated that the lake becomes a heat sink after deploying the PV panel on water. The comprehensive albedo (0.082) decreased by 18.8% relative to the free water surface (0.101). The water energy change was dominated by the water–air vapor pressure deficit. In addition, the FPV panels had a heating effect on the ambient environment; however, the range of this effect was related to the water depth. The installation had an obvious heating effect on surface water.
... Photovoltaics can play a central role in the transformation of the energy economy. Depending on the scenario, powering the world with sustainable electricity would typically require over 40-70 TW of global installed PV capacity 1,201,202 , which means reaching an annual production volume of 1.5-3 TW per year within the next decade, and then keeping a stabilized production of several TW per year until 2050 (reF. 203 ). ...
Article
Crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaics has long been considered energy intensive and costly. Over the past decades, spectacular improvements along the manufacturing chain have made c-Si a low-cost source of electricity that can no longer be ignored. Over 125 GW of c-Si modules have been installed in 2020, 95% of the overall photovoltaic (PV) market, and over 700 GW has been cumulatively installed. There are some strong indications that c-Si photovoltaics could become the most important world electricity source by 2040–2050. In this Review, we survey the key changes related to materials and industrial processing of silicon PV components. At the wafer level, a strong reduction in polysilicon cost and the general implementation of diamond wire sawing has reduced the cost of monocrystalline wafers. In parallel, the concentration of impurities and electronic defects in the various types of wafers has been reduced, allowing for high efficiency in industrial devices. Improved cleanliness in production lines, increased tool automation and improved production technology and cell architectures all helped to increase the efficiency of mainstream modules. Efficiency gains at the cell level were accompanied by an increase in wafer size and by the introduction of advanced assembly techniques. These improvements have allowed a reduction of cell-to-module efficiency losses and will accelerate the yearly efficiency gain of mainstream modules. To conclude, we discuss what it will take for other PV technologies to compete with silicon on the mass market. Crystalline silicon solar cells are today’s main photovoltaic technology, enabling the production of electricity with minimal carbon emissions and at an unprecedented low cost. This Review discusses the recent evolution of this technology, the present status of research and industrial development, and the near-future perspectives.
... The practical application of this design also brings huge benefits to the entire photovoltaic industry. It is known that the global PV installed capacity is expected to exceed 14,000 GW by 2050 [39]. It means that the use of this system is expected to bring at least 2.8 billion kWh of power generation. ...
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Radiative cooling (RC) is a passive cooling technology that has been used to cool photovoltaic (PV) panels since it does not consume energy or produce pollution. Previous studies employed RC materials above the PV panels to directly enhance the thermal emission, thereby lowering the temperature, but this method interfered with the absorption of the sunlight simultaneously, and thus reduced the power conversion efficiency (PCE). In this paper, an indirect cooling system for PV panels based on RC was proposed, consisting of the PV module, RC module, cold storage module, and piping system. The RC module was arranged between the adjacent PV panels, and the generated cold energy was used to cool the PV panels through the water system. Experimental results showed that the system without cold storage module reduced the average temperature of PV panels by 13.6 °C and 10.6 °C respectively in summer and autumn, and increased the PCE by 1.21% and 0.96%, respectively. After employing the cold storage, the cold energy generated at night by the RC module was stored for daytime use, then the average temperature of PV panels was reduced by 17.8 °C and 16.6 °C in summer and autumn, and the PCE was increased by 1.69% and 1.51%, respectively. Moreover, a cover shield and large water tank capacity could further improve the system efficiency. In addition, the proposed system has an economic payback period of 8 years and is expected to increase at least 2.8 billion kWh of PV power generation in 2050.
... This enables a wider base of possible supply, demand, and integration options. In practice, the specific configurations that develop are likely to look very different around the world as they evolve to fit local characteristics, and many systems are likely to adopt a range of solutions in combination (Bogdanov et al., 2019;Breyer et al., 2017;Jacobson et al., 2017). The policy lacunae. ...
Article
Change is not linear. Time and again, industries, policymakers, and commentators in markets, technologies, and societies. This report outlines the potential dynamics of the transition to net-zero emissions; explains the general principles, characteristics, and common drivers of growth of emerging technologies; and explores progress against metrics of transition in electricity generation. Given that rapid technological progress and diffusion of zero-carbon technologies are critical to reduce emissions at the pace and scale required, this report looks at the deployment levels and rates of change needed to achieve global climate goals, assuming the widely observed “S-curve” and pace of change. The electricity sector has to lead the global transition required to avoid dangerous climate change. Meeting the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C, as set out in the Paris Agreement, requires global power sector 1 Namely: “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” (UN, 2015). CO2 emissions to reach net zero before 2050, with most studies showing that solar and wind are likely to become dominant sources of zero-carbon power. Many assessments of deployment levels to date are very pessimistic, extrapolating linear growth and looking at the absolute contribution from renewable energy sources, which, though growing, is still limited. This report probes deeper and anchors its analysis in the more commonly observed nonlinear dynamics of technological transition, comparing the trends since 2010 with the pace of transition required. The results may surprise, and bring clarity to where progress is being made and where and how it needs to be pushed faster. A rapid transition is underway and appears now unstoppable, though its pace and depth will depend on policy. But inconsistency with dynamic indicators for fossil fuel-based generation points to a high risk of stranded fossil fuel generation assets irrespective of future policy decisions.
... Similar to parts of the academic community at large, they resist the challenge of 100% RE scenarios based on the dogma that the world cannot do without fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Over the years, two influential organizations have attracted especially heavy criticism for underestimating VRE in general and solar PV specifically: the International Energy Agency, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as pointed out for instance by Philipps et al. [359], Breyer et al. [192], Creutzig et al. [295], and Breyer and Jefferson [360]. ...
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Research on 100% renewable energy systems is a relatively recent phenomenon. It was initiated in the mid-1970s, catalyzed by skyrocketing oil prices. Since the mid-2000s, it has quickly evolved into a prominent research field encompassing an expansive and growing number of research groups and organizations across the world. The main conclusion of most of these studies is that 100% renewables is feasible worldwide at low cost. Advanced concepts and methods now enable the field to chart realistic as well as cost- or resource-optimized and efficient transition pathways to a future without the use of fossil fuels. Such proposed pathways in turn, have helped spur 100% renewable energy policy targets and actions, leading to more research. In most transition pathways, solar energy and wind power increasingly emerge as the central pillars of a sustainable energy system combined with energy efficiency measures. Cost-optimization modeling and greater resource availability tend to lead to higher solar photovoltaic shares, while emphasis on energy supply diversification tends to point to higher wind power contributions. Recent research has focused on the challenges and opportunities regarding grid congestion, energy storage, sector coupling, electrification of transport and industry implying power-to-X and hydrogen-to-X, and the inclusion of natural and technical carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches. The result is a holistic vision of the transition towards a net-negative greenhouse gas emissions economy that can limit global warming to 1.5°C with a clearly defined carbon budget in a sustainable and cost-effective manner based on 100% renewable energy-industry-CDR systems. Initially, the field encountered very strong skepticism. Therefore, this paper also includes a response to major critiques against 100% renewable energy systems, and also discusses the institutional inertia that hampers adoption by the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as possible negative connections to community acceptance and energy justice. We conclude by discussing how this emergent research field can further progress to the benefit of society.
... Why decentral hydrogen? This study will conclude that fuel cells are favorable over gas turbines and batteries, in contrast to other studies, e.g., on Germany [5] or Europe [6,7], or indeed on a global scale [8]. However, these studies provide a good overview about the actual status, and are used as reference here, including their technical reference lists. ...
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This concept study extends the power-to-gas approach to small combined heat and power devices in buildings that alternately operate fuel cells and electrolysis. While the heat is used to replace existing fossil heaters on-site, the power is either fed into the grid or consumed via heat-coupled electrolysis to balance the grid power at the nearest grid node. In detail, the power demand of Germany is simulated as a snapshot for 2030 with 100% renewable sourcing. The standard load profile is supplemented with additional loads from 100% electric heat pumps, 100% electric cars, and a fully electrified industry. The renewable power is then scaled up to match this demand with historic hourly yield data from 2018/2019. An optimal mix of photovoltaics, wind, biomass and hydropower is calculated in respect to estimated costs in 2030. Hydrogen has recently entered a large number of national energy roadmaps worldwide. However, most of them address the demands of heavy industry and heavy transport, which are more difficult to electrify. Hydrogen is understood to be a substitute for fossil fuels, which would be continuously imported from non-industrialized countries. This paper focuses on hydrogen as a storage technology in an all-electric system. The target is to model the most cost-effective end-to-end use of local renewable energies, including excess hydrogen for the industry. The on-site heat coupling will be the principal argument for decentralisation. Essentially, it flattens the future peak from massive usage of electric heat pumps during cold periods. However, transition speed will either push the industry or the prosumer approach in front. Batteries are tried out as supplementary components for short-term storage, due to their higher round trip efficiencies. Switching the gas net to hydrogen is considered as an alternative to overcome the slow power grid expansions. Further decentral measures are examined in respect to system costs.
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Nitrogen (N) doped Sb2Se3 semiconductor material shows potential as promising candidate for solar cell application. However, accurate calculations of its basic physical properties have been lacking. In this paper, G0W0 band gap and absorption spectrum of N-doped Sb2Se3 were studied theoretically using G0W0 approximation in combination with Bethe-Salpeter Equation (BSE), which consider the effects of electron-electron (e-e) and electron-hole (e-h) interactions. These methods are chosen and converged carefully in order to yield quantitative results in agreement with experimental data. Our band structure results revealed that apart from a rigid shift of the conduction bands in the G0W0 approach the qualitative features with that obtained within bare DFT are identical. The calculated bandgap values for Sb15N1Se24, Sb14N2Se24, Sb16Se23N1 and Sb16Se22N2 with G0W0 approximation were found to be 1.02, 0.82, 0.92 and 0.81 eV, respectively. These results showed that the bandgap values reduced by substituting N atom at Se and Sb sites in comparison to the undoped Sb2Se3. Reduction of bandgap values by substituting N atoms at Sb and Se sites are in good agreement with previous works. In the BSE calculations, inclusion of e-e and e-h interactions lead to the existence of strong exciton below the G0W0 optical band gap. The value of optical gaps which corresponding to the first peak in the BSE calculations were found to be 0.89, 0.76, 0.86 and 0.76 eV for Sb15N1Se24, Sb14N2Se24, Sb16Se23N1and Sb16Se22N2 respectively. Our theoretical study of N-doped Sb2Se3 suggests that a device fabricated from this materials can be operated on a wide range of the energy scale such as solar cell and broadband photodetector.
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Rapid progress of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has caused growing interest in understanding interactions between large scale PV plants and near-surface atmosphere. However few attempts have been made to quantify the impact of PV modules on surface radiative forcing and energy partitioning process. Here, this issue is explored experimentally and analytically in the two adjacent sites located at the PV plant and the natural barren field respectively in Wujiaqu in Xinjiang of China. The results showed that the physical effect of PV panels is not symmetrical in the whole day. During the daytime, compared with the reference site, net shortwave radiative forcing increases 8%, a warming effect on the integrated underlying surface (0.1K) and a cooling effect (∼-2.6K) on the ground surface were found in the PV plant. 9.2% of the net radiation (NR) was converted into electric energy (PE), sensible heat flux (H) increased by 30.6% hence resulted in the convection heating effects of 0.64K and 0.32K on the near-surface air temperature at the height of 2 m and 10 m respectively, while latent heat flux (LE) and ground surface heat flux (GS) decreased by 49% and 3% respectively related to the reference site. At night, PV panels produce a cooling effect of -0.2K and -2.3K on the ground and integrated underlying surface respectively, and less GS is released in the PV plant which contribute to the cooling effects of -0.24K and -0.08K on the air temperature at the height of 2 m and 10 m respectively related to the reference site. In the whole day, in the PV plant, H increased by 27.6%, LE and GS decreased by 47.4% and 6.7% respectively, air temperature increased by 0.16K and 0.1K at 2 m and 10 m respectively.
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Getting renewable energies to a position of price competitiveness with fossil fuels has long been seen as a key challenge to the counter-carbon energy transition. Less discussed, but more significant to future investment trajectories in the capitalist global economy, is the relative profitability of fossil-fuel and renewable-energy production. Having recently pledged over the next few decades to decrease hydrocarbon production and increase renewable-energy generation, Europe's three oil and gas majors – BP, Shell and Total – now institutionally straddle the two energy worlds and their respective economic dynamics. This article takes stock of the companies’ announcements and of the existing investment and profit landscape to assess the prospects for their own corporate energy transitions and thus for the global energy transition more broadly.
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This article explores the transition to renewable energy for all purposes in developing countries. Ethiopia is chosen as a case study and is an exemplary of developing countries with comparable climatic and socioeconomic conditions. The techno-economic analysis of the transition is performed with the LUT Energy System Transition model, while the socio-economic aspects are examined in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, improved energy services and job creation. Six scenarios were developed, which examine various policy constraints, such as greenhouse gas emission cost. The Best Policy Scenarios cost less than the Current Policy Scenarios and generate more job. The results of this research show that it is least costing, least greenhouse gas emitting and most job-rich to gradually transition Ethiopia’s energy system into one that is dominated by solar PV, complemented by wind energy and hydropower. The modelling outcome reveals that it is not only technically and economically possible to defossilise the Ethiopian energy system, but it is the least cost option with greatest societal welfare. This is a first of its kind study for the Ethiopian energy system from a long-term perspective.
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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.
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Solar photovoltaics (PV) offer viable and sustainable solutions to satisfy the growing energy demand and to meet the pressing climate targets. The deployment of conventional PV technologies is one of the major contributors of the ongoing energy transition in electricity power sector. However, the diversity of PV paradigms can open different opportunities for supplying modern systems in a wide range of terrestrial, marine, and aerospace applications. Such ubiquitous and versatile applications necessitate the development of PV technologies with customized design capabilities. This involves multifunctional characteristics such as aesthetic appearance, visual comfort, and heat insulation. To enable on‐demand adaptation to the requirements of distributed applications, tunable solar cells (SC) feature exceptional degrees of freedom in the manipulation of their intrinsic properties via adjusted materials engineering. The pertinent tuning abilities include but are not limited to bandgap energy, transparency, color, and thermal management. In this review, the main principles of different tuning approaches are specified and an overview of relevant concepts of tunable SC technologies is presented. Then, the recent integrations of cutting‐edge tunable PV adapted to versatile applications are systematically summarized. In addition, current challenges and insightful perspectives into potential future opportunities for omnipresent tunable PV are discussed. The adaptation of photovoltaics to versatile applications require multifunctional characteristics and customized design capabilities. In this review, tunable photovoltaics that allow a controlled manipulation of their bandgap, transparency, and color are discussed. A comprehensive overview about the relevant general principles, state‐of‐the‐art tunable solar cell technologies, and real‐world applications is presented.
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High-resolution imaging techniques based on thermography, luminescence imaging, and laser beam induced current (LBIC) probe and inspect solar cells and correlate the observed inhomogeneities to the cell performance. The imaging methods get increasingly qualitative as the size scales from cell level to module dimensions, where several solar cells are connected in series, as in silicon panels. Electroluminescence (EL) imaging is a standard measure of inspecting solar panels and extensively utilized in the manufacturing assembly line. The complementary method of obtaining images from the LBIC scanning technique, however, is rarely utilized at large panel dimensions. We report strategies to implement LBIC imaging at module levels and procedures to analyze in terms of microscopic and circuit parameters. LBIC is inherently quantitative and well suited to identify microscopic defects, since it involves measuring local photo-current. We demonstrate that the contrast features from LBIC in a specific cell region are directly associated with the shunt resistance ( $R_{\text{sh}}$ ) variation of that specific cell. Using a single diode equivalent circuit model, we show that the current contrast of the cell under study is purely a function of its $R_{\text{sh}}$ , and an effective load resistance that includes shunt-resistance of the other series-connected cells. The resulting LBIC-map along with EL then becomes a complete diagnostic tool to quantitatively map and identify the defects prevailing in a solar panel. We overcome the key issue of the slow speed of LBIC based imaging by a modified scan routine for rapid screening of large areas (2 ${\bf m}$ by 1 ${\bf m}$ ) panels under 5 min, at high resolution.
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Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are one of the well-known electron transporting layers (ETLs) in flexible electronics, especially for organic solar cells (OSCs). This is due to their high mobility...
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Sustainable development of the inherently complex nature of the energy sector requires a comprehensive understanding of its components and their dynamic interactions. In this study, we employ a system dynamics approach to examine the impact of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency on the performance of the energy sector, and apply this, as a case study example, to the Australian energy sector. Our results show that improving only 1% of energy efficiency would result in 101k/331k GWh energy productivity (5% and 14% of total energy consumption) and reduce domestic CO2 emissions by 15.3/50 Mt CO2-e (4% and 10% of total domestic emissions) by 2030/2050. Switching to renewable energy for transportation and therefore saving 5% per year of current oil consumption may decrease dependency on oil to half by 2030 and to zero by 2050, and reduce domestic CO2 emissions by 74.1/198 Mt CO2-e (18% and 41% of total domestic emissions). Switching to renewable electricity by 3% annually may lead to 60.8/129 Mt CO2-e reduction in domestic CO2 emissions (15% and 27% of total domestic emissions) by 2030/2050. Electrification of other sectors, mainly the manufacturing sector, increasing the use of renewable energy by 4% annually, may lead to 43.3/106 Mt CO2-e reduction in domestic CO2 emissions (11% and 22% of total domestic emissions) by 2030/2050. Improving energy efficiency, switching to renewable energy for transportation, switching to renewable electricity, electrification of sectors that do not currently run on electricity with the use of renewable energy could achieve zero domestic CO2 emissions by 2050 while energy consumption stays almost stable (0.5%/year). This process may be accelerated by improving energy efficiency by more than 1%.
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Dye-sensitized solar cells technology has attracted extensive academic scholars’ interests due to their potential low-cost solar energy harvesting. Increasing performance of dye-sensitized solar cell needs more efficient dye to maximize solar energy absorption. This work presents the synthesis and J–V characterization studies for a novel alizarin derivative dye HDD. The dye was formed by the reaction between brominated alizarin and 5-hexyl-2-thiopheneboronic acid pinacol ester. The final dye product was successfully synthesized as brownish-orange solid. Characterization of the synthesized dye was done using spectroscopic techniques; mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance before photovoltaic performance investigation. The dye was found to be useful as photo-sensitizer in dye-sensitized solar cell through calculation of conversion efficiency. Generally, the dye HDD showed better results in terms of photovoltaic properties with open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current density and fill factor of 0.65 V, 0.0146 A/cm2 and 0.612, respectively. The conversion efficiency of the cell using the synthesized dye HDD was found to be 5.81% under 100 mW/cm2 solar illuminations.
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The rapid anthropomorphic emission of greenhouse gases is contributing to global climate change, resulting in the increased frequency of extreme weather events, including unexpected snow, frost, and ice accretion in warmer regions that typically do not encounter these conditions. Adverse weather events create challenges for energy systems such as wind turbines and photovoltaics. To maintain energy efficiently and operational fidelity, snow, frost, and ice need to be removed efficiently and rapidly. State‐of‐the‐art removal methods are energy‐intensive (energy density > 30 J cm⁻²) and slow (>1 min). Here, pulsed Joule heating is developed on transparent self‐cleaning interfaces, demonstrating interfacial desnowing, defrosting, and deicing with energy efficiency (energy density < 10 J cm⁻²) and rapidity (≈1 s) beyond what is currently available. The transparency and self‐cleaning are tailored to remove both snow and dust while ensuring minimal interference with optical light absorption. It is experimentally demonstrated a multi‐functional coating material on a commercial photovoltaic cell, demonstrating efficient energy generation recovery and rapid ice/snow removal with minimal energy consumption. Through the elimination of accretion, this technology can potentially widen the applicability of photovoltaics and wind technologies to globally promising locations, potentially further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change.
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Mitigation of climate change requires a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. It motivates an increase in renewable electricity generation. Farmers can develop renewable energy and increase their profitability by allocating agricultural land to PV power plants. This transition from crop production to electricity generation needs ecological and economic assessment from alternative land utilization. The novelty of this study is an integrated assessment that links economic and environmental (carbon dioxide emissions) indicators. They were calculated for crop production and solar power generation in a semi-arid zone. The results showed that gross income (crop production) ranges from USD 508/ha to USD 1389/ha. PV plants can generate up to 794 MWh/ha. Their market cost is EUR 82,000, and their production costs are less than wholesale prices in Ukrainian. The profitability index of a PV project ranges from 1.26 (a discount range is 10%) to 3.24 (a discount rate is 0). The sensitivity analysis was carried out for six variables. For each chosen variable, we found its switching value. It was revealed that the most sensitive variable is a feed-in tariff. Operational expenses and investment costs are the most sensitive variables. Carbon dioxide footprints range from 500 to 3200 kgCO2/ha (depending on the crop). A 618 kW PV plant causes a release of carbon dioxide in the range of 5.2–11.4 gCO2/kWh. The calculated carbon dioxide payback period varies from 5 to 10 months.
Chapter
This book is a comprehensive manual for decision-makers and policy leaders addressing the issues around human caused climate change, which threatens communities with increasing extreme weather events, sea level rise, and declining habitability of some regions due to desertification or inundation. The book looks at both mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming and adaption to changing conditions as the climate changes. It encourages the early adoption of climate change measures, showing that rapid decarbonisation and improved resilience can be achieved while maintaining prosperity. The book takes a sector-by-sector approach, starting with energy and includes cities, industry, natural resources, and agriculture, enabling practitioners to focus on actions relevant to their field. It uses case studies across a range of countries, and various industries, to illustrate the opportunities available. Blending technological insights with economics and policy, the book presents the tools decision-makers need to achieve rapid decarbonisation, whilst unlocking and maintaining productivity, profit, and growth.
Article
This book is a comprehensive manual for decision-makers and policy leaders addressing the issues around human caused climate change, which threatens communities with increasing extreme weather events, sea level rise, and declining habitability of some regions due to desertification or inundation. The book looks at both mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming and adaption to changing conditions as the climate changes. It encourages the early adoption of climate change measures, showing that rapid decarbonisation and improved resilience can be achieved while maintaining prosperity. The book takes a sector-by-sector approach, starting with energy and includes cities, industry, natural resources, and agriculture, enabling practitioners to focus on actions relevant to their field. It uses case studies across a range of countries, and various industries, to illustrate the opportunities available. Blending technological insights with economics and policy, the book presents the tools decision-makers need to achieve rapid decarbonisation, whilst unlocking and maintaining productivity, profit, and growth.
Article
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Over the past decade, halide perovskite systems have captured widespread attention among researchers since their exceptional photovoltaic (PV) performance was disclosed. The unique combination of optoelectronic properties and solution processability shown by these materials has enabled perovskite solar cells (PSCs) to reach efficiencies higher than 25% at low fabrication costs. Moreover, PSCs display enormous potential for modern unconventional PV applications, since they can be made lightweight, semitransparent (ST), and/or flexible by means of appropriate design strategies. In particular, by enabling transparency and high efficiency simultaneously, ST‐PSCs hold great promise for future versatile utilization in the context of building‐integrated PVs (BIPVs) or as top cells to be coupled with conventional lower‐bandgap bottom cells in tandem PV devices. The present Review wants to provide a detailed overview of latest research about ST‐PSCs for BIPVs and tandems, by critically reporting on the most updated and effective design strategies in view of these two possible future applications. The differences and similarities between the available approaches are punctually highlighted, emphasizing the importance of a rigorous application‐orientated ST‐PSC design. Last but not least, the main challenges and issues about device design, operation, and stability that need to be addressed before commercialization are thoroughly scanned. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Thesis
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the energy sector is essential to curb the anthropogenic climate change. The present dissertation introduces a novel, in-situ solar cell and module design for photovoltaic energy conversion that enables to closely approach the lower boundary of the CO2-eq footprint given by the glass substrate. The potential of this technology to further reduce the degree non-sustainability of the global PV industry is outlined in detail in this dissertation. On this basis, the dissertation focusses on the scientific challenges of realizing highly efficient in-situ PV device in particular the specific crystallization kinetics and physical phenomena at the interfaces. The fully printable solar cell architecture is based on a monolithic, mesoporous electrode stack which is effectively glass-encapsulated by a durable glass-frit side-encapsulation and a glass front- and back-pane. The high-efficient perovskite photoabsorber is injected in liquid form as a last processing step and crystallizes in-situ inside the prefab cell or module. This novel perovskite solar cell (PSC) design approach poses a range of challenges: First, the presence of the electrode stack, including a thick opaque carbon-graphite layer and glass panes, hampers the characterization of the physical processes during crystallization and device operation. Second, while ample studies have been carried out on perovskite crystal formation from liquid precursors in free-standing films, little reports exist on perovskite crystal formation in mesoporous networks and the control of perovskite crystallization in thin (10 µm) capillaries as represented by the glass-glass encapsulation in the in-situ concept. A main focus of this dissertation was the development of several advanced characterization methods and physical models to study and understand the perovskite crystallization, the interface formation with the charge extraction layers, and the charge carrier recombination. The acquired understanding served as a feed-back to inspire the development of new strategies for the formation of high-performing perovskite crystal layers. With the aim to shine light on the crystallization kinetics, a method to observe for the first time the evolution of the photocurrent of a semiconductor during crystal formation in real-time was developed. This is made possible by the mesoporous layer stack, which enables measuring the electric current throughout all stages of crystallization from the liquid precursor. By combining photocurrent and photoluminescence measurements, the different crystallization stages could be clearly identified, including a so-far overlooked crystallization stage during which the electrical contact between perovskite and charge extraction layer is formed. Complementary to this approach, to analyze the charge extraction of the perovskite layer at high spatial resolution, a method of potentiostatic photoluminescence imaging (PPI) was developed. Therefore, photoluminescence microscope images are recorded at different electrical bias such as open and short circuit. This fast imaging method is especially interesting for liquid-processed solar cells like perovskites. The PPI method allows to detect and distinguish two main challenges for crystal formation of homogenous perovskite film morphology and the charge extraction via the contact layers. Besides charge extraction, interfacial recombination represents the most detrimental loss mechanism in PSC. Therefore, a 2D model to study the interfacial charge-carrier recombination of the perovskite at the mesoporous titania (m-TiO2) interface and the graphite back electrode was developed. The model was verified by a drift-diffusion simulation and complementary experimental measurements. It was found that the conventional 1D energy-band model is not sufficient to adequately represent perovskite/m-TiO2 layers. Moreover, the model provides an explanation for the remarkably high photovoltages of perovskite solar cells with graphite back electrode despite the non-ideal charge selectivity of pristine graphite. Building on the acquired knowledge, a solvent-free perovskite precursor formulation was developed, as conventional, solvent based precursors are not suitable for crystallization in capillary structures. As an alternative, purified perovskite powder was liquefied by exposure to methylamine gas, forming a “molten salt”. This enables dense crystallization inside the mesoporous stack as well as homogeneous crystal layer formation in the in-situ capillary channels. With this approach, the fabrication of printed, graphite-based perovskite solar cells with a certified, stabilized efficiency of 12.6 % could be achieved, which represented the world record for fully printed PV devices. For glass-encapsulated in-situ devices, a certified, stabilized record efficiency of 9.3 % could be obtained. This demonstrates the proof-of-principle of the in-situ approach and paves the way for further up-scaling of the technology.
Article
Non-technical summary This paper expands the range of scenarios usually explored in integrated assessment models by exploring unconventional economic scenarios (steady-state and degrowth) and assuming no use of negative emissions. It is shown, using a mathematical model of climate and economy, that keeping cumulative emissions within the 1.5 degree carbon budget is possible under all growth assumptions, assuming a rapid electrification of end use and an immediate upscaling of renewable energy investments. Under business-as-usual investment assumptions no economic trajectory corresponds with emissions reductions consistent with the 1.5 degree carbon budget. Technical summary This paper presents a stock-flow consistent input–output integrated assessment model designed to explore the dual dynamics of transitioning to renewable energy while electrifying end use subject a carbon budget constraint. Unlike the majority of conventional integrated assessment model analyses, this paper does not assume the deployment of carbon dioxide removal and examines the role that alternative economic pathways (steady-states and degrowth) may play in achieving 1.5°C consistent emissions pathways. The model is internally calibrated based on a life-cycle energy return on investment scheme and the energy transition dynamics are captured via a dynamic input–output formulation. Renewable energy investment as a fraction of gross domestic product for successful emissions pathways reaches 5%. In terms of new capital requirements and investments, degrowth trajectories impose lower transition requirements than steady-state and growth trajectories. Social media summary We explore the role that steady-state and degrowth economic trajectories may play in emissions reductions consistent with a 1.5 degree world..
Article
Solar forecasting is a crucial and cost-effective tool for better utilization of solar energy for smart environment design. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), have gained great popularity and widely applied in solar forecasting in recent years. However, conventional AI-based forecasting methods suffer from high variability and stochasticity of solar irradiation, making unreliable predictions due to heterogeneous solar resources. Moreover, the training process of DL models is less flexible and requires immense data. Even for a well-trained model, it can still yield deteriorated performances on other datasets of varying data distributions. To tackle the deficiencies of AI forecasting models, we present a flexible distributed solar forecasting framework based on a novel spatial and temporal attention-based neural network (STANN) with federated learning (FL) technique, considering multi-horizon forecasting scenario from 5–30 min. The STANN model consists of a feature extractor and a forecaster, which can be respectively trained on various local datasets for better localization, and updated to further improve forecasting accuracy through global parameter aggregation under the proposed framework without data gathering. We evaluate effectiveness of the proposed method by conducting extensive experiments on real-world datasets and compare it to other popular forecasting models. The results demonstrate that our approach outperforms the other benchmarks with higher forecasting accuracy for all forecast horizons and better generalization on various datasets, achieving the highest forecast skill of 28.83% at 30-min horizon and an improvement of 11.2% compared with the centralized, localized, and conventional FL training methods.
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The Paris Agreement points out that countries need to shift away from the existing fossil-fuel-based energy system to limit the average temperature rise to 1.5 or 2 °C. A cost-optimal 100% renewable energy based system is simulated for East Asia for the year 2030, covering demand by power, desalination, and industrial gas sectors on an hourly basis for an entire year. East Asia was divided into 20 sub-regions and four different scenarios were set up based on the level of high voltage grid connection, and additional demand sectors: power, desalination, industrial gas, and a renewable-energy-based synthetic natural gas (RE-SNG) trading between regions. The integrated RE-SNG scenario gives the lowest cost of electricity (€52/MWh) and the lowest total annual cost of the system. Results contradict the notion that long-distance power lines could be beneficial to utilize the abundant solar and wind resources in Australia for East Asia. However, Australia could become a liquefaction hub for exporting RE-SNG to Asia and a 100% renewable energy system could be a reality in East Asia with the cost assumptions used. This may also be more cost-competitive than nuclear and fossil fuel carbon capture and storage alternatives.
Presentation
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Presentation on the occasion of the European Utility Week, Barcelona, November 17, 2016.
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In recent years, photovoltaic (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.
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This paper introduces a value chain design for transportation fuels and a respective business case taking into account hybrid PV-Wind power plants, electrolysis and hydrogen-to-liquids (H2tL) based on hourly resolved full load hours (FLh). The value chain is based on renewable electricity (RE) converted by power-to-liquids (PtL) facilities into synthetic fuels, mainly diesel. Results show that the proposed RE-diesel value chains are competitive for crude oil prices within a minimum price range of about 79 - 135 USD/barrel (0.44 – 0.75 €/l of diesel production cost), depending on the chosen specific value chain and assumptions for cost of capital, available oxygen sales and CO2 emission costs. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the RE-PtL value chain needs to be located at the best complementing solar and wind sites in the world combined with a de-risking strategy and a special focus on mid to long-term electrolyser and H2tL efficiency improvements. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-Wind power plants could create a PV-wind market potential in the order of terawatts.
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In a future fossil-free circular economy, the petroleum-based plastics industry must be converted to non-fossil feedstock. A known alternative is bio-based plastics, but a relatively unexplored option is deriving the key plastic building blocks, hydrogen and carbon, from electricity through electrolytic processes combined with carbon capture and utilization technology. In this paper the future demand for electricity and carbon dioxide is calculated under the assumption that all plastic production is electricity-based in the EU by 2050. The two most important input chemicals are ethylene and propylene and the key finding of this paper is that the electricity demand to produce these are estimated to 20 MWh/ton ethylene and 38 MWh/ton propylene, and that they both could require about 3 tons of carbon dioxide/ton product. With constant production levels, this implies an annual demand of about 800 TWh of electricity and 90 Mton of carbon dioxide by 2050 in the EU. If scaled to the total production of plastics, including all input hydrocarbons in the EU, the annual demand is estimated to 1600 TWh of electricity and 180 Mton of carbon dioxide. This suggests that a complete shift to electricity-based plastics is possible from a resource and technology point of view, but production costs may be 2 to 3 times higher than today. However, the long time frame of this paper creates uncertainties regarding the results and how technical, economic and social development may influence them. The conclusion of this paper is that electricity-based plastics, integrated with bio-based production, can be an important option in 2050 since biomass resources are scarce, but electricity from renewable sources is abundant.
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The Anthropocene is a proposed time subdivision of the earth’s history correlated with the strong perturbation of the ecosystem created by human activity. Much debate is ongoing about what date should be considered as the start of the Anthropocene, but much less on how it will evolve in the future and what are its ultimate limits. It is argued here that the phenomena currently defining the Anthropocene will rapidly decline and disappear in times of the order of one century as a result of the irreversible dispersal of the thermodynamic potentials associated with fossil carbon. However, it is possible that, in the future, the human economic system may catalyze the dissipation of solar energy in forms other than photosynthesis, e.g., using solid-state photovoltaic devices. In this case, a strong human influence on the ecosystem may persist for much longer times, but in forms very different than the present ones.
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Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth. Vigorous debate continues about whether this warrants recognition as a new geologic time unit known as the Anthropocene. We review anthropogenic markers of functional changes in the Earth system through the stratigraphic record. The appearance of manufactured materials in sediments, including aluminum, plastics, and concrete, coincides with global spikes in fallout radionuclides and particulates from fossil fuel combustion. Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles have been substantially modified over the past century. Rates of sea-level rise and the extent of human perturbation of the climate system exceed Late Holocene changes. Biotic changes include species invasions worldwide and accelerating rates of extinction. These combined signals render the Anthropocene stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene and earlier epochs. Copyright
Poster
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Poster on the occasion of the 4th Conference on Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemistry and Polymers in Essen, Germany, on September 29 - 30, 2015.
Conference Paper
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With growing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and concerns about climate change, this paper introduces a new value chain design for LNG and a respective business case taking into account hybrid PV-Wind power plants. The value chain is based on renewable electricity (RE) converted by power-togas (PtG) facilities into synthetic natural gas (SNG), which is finally liquefied into LNG. This RE-LNG can be shipped everywhere in the world. The calculations for hybrid PV-Wind power plants, electrolysis and methanation are done based on both annual and hourly full load hours (FLh). To reach the minimum cost, the optimized combination of fixed-tilted and single-axis tracking PV, wind power, and battery capacities have been applied. Results show that the proposed RE-LNG value chain is competitive for Brent crude oil prices within a minimum price range of 87-145 USD/barrel, depending on assumptions for cost of capital, available oxygen sales and CO2 emission costs. RE-LNG is competitive with fossil LNG from an economic perspective, while removing environmental concerns. This range would be an upper limit for the fossil LNG price in the long-term and RE-LNG can become competitive whenever the fossil prices are higher than the level mentioned and the cost assumptions expected for the year 2030 are achieved. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-Wind power plants could create a PV-wind market potential in the order of 9.5 terawatts.
Conference Paper
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Global energy demand has grown steadily since the industrial revolution. During the two decades from 1991 to 2012, total primary energy demand (TPED) grew from 91,200 to 155,400 TWhth, or by 70%, and projections expect this number to increase by a further 40% by 2040. Although greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector have to be reduced to zero by mid-century or earlier to avoid an ecologic disaster, less than 15% of this energy demand is supplied by renewable resources nowadays. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has a significant impact on both political and economic decisions of governments and stakeholders regarding energy. The World Energy Outlook (WEO) report published annually by the IEA projects for the decades to come how TPED and electricity generation, amongst others, will evolve for all major technologies. Since the WEO is often used as a basis for policy making on renewable and conventional energy, a comprehensive analysis of past WEO projections is crucial. Such analysis will ensure well-grounded and realistic energy policy making and can contribute to efforts to fight climate change and to achieve energy security. In this article, the deviation between the real figures documented in the latest WEO reports and the projections of earlier ones is analysed, as well as the different projections of all reports from 1994 to 2014. The results obtained so far show that projections for solar technologies and wind energy have been strongly underestimated, whereas projections for nuclear energy are contradictory from one year to the next. A key reason for the high deviations of solar PV and wind capacities in the projections and the historic data is an incorrectly applied growth pattern. The WEO reports assume linear growth, whereas history shows an exponential growth for the new renewable energy (RE) technologies. The current exponential growth is part of long-term logistic growth of new RE technologies. Furthermore, a model proposed regarding RE technologies shows that to satisfy the world's needs with sustainable technologies in the decades to come, the approach of the WEO reports needs to be substantially reworked. Due to continuously falling prices of renewable energy technology, one can expect a fast deployment of renewables and a replacement of conventional energy. In its latest projections the WEOs did not take into account recent developments, including measures on climate protection and divestment of finance from the conventional energy sector. Therefore, policy-makers are advised to consider the expansion of renewables well beyond the WEO projections in their energy policies in order to avoid stranded investments in future.
Conference Paper
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Photovoltaic (PV) is one of the fastest growing electricity generation technologies in the world. Average annual growth rates of global PV-installations have reached around 45% for the last 15 years, which triggered a fast and ongoing reduction of production cost in PV industry. The presented work aims at consolidating historical price and cost information, deriving refined learning curves for PV modules and systems, and analysing the main factors of learning. For c-Si modules a valid learning rate of 17% is found based on a meta-analysis of various studies. In early years, even a learning rate of 30% is observed. As an example for thin-film PV, CdTe module cost reduce by 16% as the cumulated production output doubles. Interestingly, efficiency improvements contribute only in second order to the overall cost reduction for both technologies, emphasising the relevance of production excellence and economies of scale. On PV system level, a cost reduction of 14% per doubling of cumulated installed capacity is derived. Finally, a sensitivity analysis reveals that learning rate variations are only of minor influence on the overall global PV market potential.
Conference Paper
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PV and wind power are the major renewable power technologies in most regions on earth. Depending on the interaction of solar and wind resources, PV and wind power industry will become competitors or allies. Time resolved geospatial data of global horizontal irradiation and wind speeds are used to simulate the power feed-in of PV and wind power plants assumed to be installed on an equally rated power basis in every region of a 1°x1° mesh of latitude and longitude between 65°N and 65°S. An overlap of PV and wind power full load hours is defined as measure for the complementarity of both technologies and identified as ranging between 5% and 25% of total PV and wind power feed-in. Critical overlap full load hours are introduced as a measure for energy losses that would appear if the grid was dimensioned only for one power plant of PV or wind. In result, they do not exceed 9% of total feed-in but are mainly around 3% - 4%. Thus the two major renewable power technologies must be characterized by complementing each other.
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All forms of economic production and exchange involve the use of energy directly and in the transformation of materials. Until recently, cheap and seemingly limitless fossil energy has allowed most of society to ignore the importance of contributions to the economic process from the biophysical world as well as the potential limits to growth. This paper centers on assessing the energy costs of modern day society and its relation to GDP. Our most important focus is the characteristics of our major energy sources including each fuel's energy return on investment (EROI). The EROI of our most important fuels is declining and most renewable and non-conventional energy alternatives have substantially lower EROI values than traditional conventional fossil fuels. At the societal level, declining EROI means that an increasing proportion of energy output and economic activity must be diverted to attaining the energy needed to run an economy, leaving less discretionary funds available for “non-essential” purchases which often drive growth. The declining EROI of traditional fossil fuel energy sources and the effect of that on the world economy are likely to result in a myriad of consequences, most of which will not be perceived as good.
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This paper uses the EMF27 scenarios to explore the role of renewable energy (RE) in climate change mitigation. Currently RE supplies almost 20 % of global electricity demand. Almost all EMF27 mitigation scenarios show a strong increase in renewable power production, with a substantial ramp-up of wind and solar power deployment. In many scenarios, renewables are the most important long-term mitigation option for power supply. Wind energy is competitive even without climate policy, whereas the prospects of solar photovoltaics (PV) are highly contingent on the ambitiousness of climate policy. Bioenergy is an important and versatile energy carrier; however—with the exception of low temperature heat—there is less scope for renewables other than biomass for non-electric energy supply. Despite the important role of wind and solar power in climate change mitigation scenarios with full technology availability, limiting their deployment has a relatively small effect on mitigation costs, if nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS)—which can serve as substitutes in low-carbon power supply—are available. Limited bioenergy availability in combination with limited wind and solar power by contrast, results in a more substantial increase in mitigation costs. While a number of robust insights emerge, the results on renewable energy deployment levels vary considerably across the models. An in-depth analysis of a subset of EMF27 reveals substantial differences in modeling approaches and parameter assumptions. To a certain degree, differences in model results can be attributed to different assumptions about technology costs, resource potentials and systems integration.
Article
It seems generally accepted that change will occur in global energy systems. There also appears to be consensus on the kinds of changes that may possible for the future, even though there may be disagreement over the exact mix of technologies and policies needed to increase sustainability or mitigate climate change. The terms transition and transformation have both been used to denote the type of change needed in large socio-technical systems. However, the terms have been used both in contradiction of each other and synonymously by different authors. A comprehensive review of both theory and usage in scientific publications was conducted to determine if the terms have been used to denote fundamentally different concepts and if the concept of change is framed differently by usage so as to affect understanding. Despite two camps being readily identifiable, it was concluded that the terms generally refer to the same fundamental concept. At the same time, framing of the concept can be viewed as somewhat different, resulting in a potential for confusion on the part of the reader that may detract from achieving the outcome of change. It is suggested that change to physical forms and systems be denoted as transformations, and that changes to large socio-technical systems be denoted as transitions when the focus is on a higher order of change that highlights the ways that society motivates, facilitates, and benefits from change.
Article
Power systems for South and Central America based on 100% renewable energy (RE) in the year 2030 were calculated for the first time using an hourly resolved energy model. The region was subdivided into 15 sub-regions. Four different scenarios were considered: three according to different high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grid development levels (region, country, area-wide) and one integrated scenario that considers water desalination and industrial gas demand supplied by synthetic natural gas via power-togas (PtG). RE is not only able to cover 1813 TWh of estimated electricity demand of the area in 2030 but also able to generate the electricity needed to fulfil 3.9 billion m 3 of water desalination and 640 TWh LHV of synthetic natural gas demand. Existing hydro dams can be used as virtual batteries for solar and wind electricity storage, diminishing the role of storage technologies. The results for total levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) are decreased from 62 €/MWh for a highly decentralized to 56 €/MWh for a highly centralized grid scenario (currency value of the year 2015). For the integrated scenario, the levelized cost of gas (LCOG) and the leve-lized cost of water (LCOW) are 95 €/MWh LHV and 0.91 €/m 3 , respectively. A reduction of 8% in total cost and 5% in electricity generation was achieved when integrating desalination and power-to-gas into the system.
Thesis
As electricity generation based on volatile renewable resources is subject to fluctuations, data with high temporal and spatial resolution on their availability is indispensable for integrating large shares of renewable capacities into energy infrastructures. The scope of the present doctoral thesis is to enhance the existing energy modelling environment REMix in terms of (i.) extending the geographic coverage of the potential assessment tool REMix-EnDaT from a European to a global scale, (ii.) adding a new plant siting optimization module REMix-PlaSMo, capable of assessing siting effects of renewable power plants on the portfolio output and (iii.) adding a new alternating current power transmission model between 30 European countries and CSP electricity imports from power plants located in North Africa and the Middle East via high voltage direct current links into the module REMix-OptiMo. With respect to the global potential assessment tool, a thorough investigation is carried out creating an hourly global inventory of the theoretical potentials of the major renewable resources solar irradiance, wind speed and river discharge at a spatial resolution of 0.45°x0.45°. A detailed global land use analysis determines eligible sites for the installation of renewable power plants. Detailed power plant models for PV, CSP, wind and hydro power allow for the assessment of power output, cost per kWh and respective full load hours taking into account the theoretical potentials, technological as well as economic data. The so-obtined tool REMix-EnDaT can be used as follows: First, as an assessment tool for arbitrary geographic locations, countries or world regions, deriving either site-specific or aggregated installable capacities, cost as well as full load hour potentials. Second, as a tool providing input data such as installable capacities and hourly renewable electricity generation for further assessments using the modules REMix-PlasMo and OptiMo. The plant siting tool REMix-PlaSMo yields results as to where the volatile power technologies photovoltaics and wind are to be located within a country in order to gain distinct effects on their aggregated power output. Three different modes are implemented: (a.) Optimized plant siting in order to obtain the cheapest generation cost, (b.) a minimization of the photovoltaic and wind portfolio output variance and (c.) a minimization of the residual load variance. The third fundamental addition to the REMix model is the amendment of the module REMix-OptiMo with a new power transmission model based on the DC load flow approximation. Moreover, electricity imports originating from concentrating solar power plants located in North Africa and the Middle East are now feasible. All of the new capabilities and extensions of REMix are employed in three case studies: In case study 1, using the module REMix-EnDaT, a global potential assessment is carried out for 10 OECD world regions, deriving installable capacities, cost and full load hours for PV, CSP, wind and hydro power. According to the latter, photovoltaics will represent the cheapest technology in 2050, an average of 1634 full load hours could lead to an electricity generation potential of some 5500 PWh. Although CSP also taps solar irradiance, restrictions in terms of suitable sites for erecting power plants are more severe. For that reason, the maximum potential amounts to some 1500 PWh. However, thermal energy storage can be used, which, according to this assessment, could lead to 5400 hours of full load operation. Onshore wind power could tap a potential of 717 PWh by 2050 with an average of 2200 full load hours while offshore, wind power plants could achieve a total power generation of 224 PWh with an average of 3000 full load hours. The electricity generation potential of hydro power exceeds 3 PWh, 4600 full load hours of operation are reached on average. In case study 2, using the module REMix-PlaSMo, an assessment for Morocco is carried out as to determine limits of volatile power generation in portfolios approaching full supply based on renewable power. The volatile generation technologies are strategically sited at specific locations to take advantage of available resources conditions. It could be shown that the cost optimal share of volatile power generation without considering storage or transmission grid extensions is one third. Moreover, the average power generation cost using a portfolio consisting of PV, CSP, wind and hydro power can be stabilized at about 10 €ct/kWh by the year 2050. In case study 3, using the module REMix-OptiMo, a validation of a TRANS-CSP scenario based upon high shares of renewable power generation is carried out. The optimization is conducted on an hourly basis using a least cost approach, thereby investigating if and how demand is met during each hour of the investigated year. It could be shown, that the assumed load can safely be met in all countries for each hour using the scenario's power plant portfolio. Furthermore, it was proven that dispatchable renewable power generation, in particular CSP imports to Europe, have a system stabilizing effect. Using the suggested concept, the utilization of the transfer capacities between countries would decrease until 2050.
Article
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.
Article
In this study, a 100% renewable energy (RE) system for Brazil in 2030 was simulated using an hourly resolution model. The optimal sets of RE technologies, mix of capacities, operation modes and least cost energy supply were calculated and the role of storage technologies was analysed. The RE generated was not only able to fulfil the electricity demand of the power sector but also able to cover the 25% increase in total electricity demand due to water desalination and synthesis of natural gas for industrial use. The results for the power sector show that the total installed capacity is formed of 165 GW of solar photovoltaics (PV), 85 GW of hydro dams, 12 GW of hydro run-of-river, 8 GW of biogas, 12 GW of biomass and 8 GW of wind power. For solar PV and wind electricity storage, 243 GWhel of battery capacity is needed. According to the simulations the existing hydro dams will function similarly to batteries, being an essential electricity storage. 1 GWh of pumped hydro storage, 23 GWh of adiabatic compressed air storage and 1 GWh of heat storage are used as well. The small storage capacities can be explained by a high availability of RE sources with low seasonal variability and an existing electricity sector mainly based on hydro dams. Therefore, only 0.05 GW of PtG technologies are needed for seasonal storage in the electricity sector. When water desalination and industrial gas sectors’ electricity demand are integrated to the power sector, a reduction of 11% in both total cost and electric energy generation was achieved. The total system levelized cost of electricity decreased from 61 €/MWh to 53 €/MWh for the sector integration.
Presentation
Presentation on the occasion of the WEC Finland’s breakfast meeting: IEA World Energy Outlook 2016, Helsinki, November 23, 2016.
Conference Paper
Need to transform the energy system towards 100% renewable generation is well understood and such a transformation has already started. However, this transformation will be full of challenges and there will be no standard solution for energy supply, every regional energy system will be specific, because of local specific climatic and geographical conditions and consumption patterns. Based on the two major energy sources all regions can be divided into two categories: PV and Wind energy based regions. Moreover, local conditions will not only influence the optimal generation mix, but also optimal storage capacities choice. In this work we observe a strong coupling between PV and short-term storage utilisation in all major regions in the world: in the PV generation based energy systems short-term storage utilisation is much higher than in wind-based systems. Finally, PV-based energy systems demand a significant capacity for short-term storage, the more the more PV generation takes place locally.
Article
Bart Doyle writes about recent changes in legislation concerning energy generation in Chile and discusses how this could give the renewables market a significant boost.
Article
The main objective of this research is to present a solid foundation of capex projections for the major solar energy technologies until the year 2030 for further analyses. The experience curve approach has been chosen for this capex assessment, which requires a good understanding of the projected total global installed capacities of the major solar energy technologies and the respective learning rates. A literature survey has been conducted for CSP tower, CSP trough, PV and Li-ion battery. Based on the literature survey a base case has been defined for all technologies and low growth and high growth cases for further sensitivity analyses. All results are shown in detail in the paper and a comparison to the expectation of a potentially major investor in all of these technologies confirmed the derived capex projections in this paper.
Conference Paper
The existing fossil fuel based power sector has to be transformed towards carbon neutrality in close future to limit global warming to 2ºC. The 100% renewable energy (RE) based system will be discussed in the paper. Such a system can be built using already existing energy generation, storage and transmission technologies. A regional integration of Europe, Eurasia and MENA energy systems will facilitate access to lower cost energy sources in neighboring regions, provide additional flexibility in the system and decrease the need in energy storage and increase the system stability because of more distributed generation. Additional demand from synthetic gas generation will additionally decrease the energy storage demand, additional flexibility enables the system to use lower cost energy sources and the primary energy generation cost decreases. Finally, such an integration can provide a sustainable and economically feasible energy system with total LCOE of about 50 €/MWh for the year 2030 cost assumptions. Even for a much higher energy demand in the system the total LCOE will be around 42 €/MWh – lower than coal-CCS or new nuclear options.
Conference Paper
Saudi Arabia is in the midst of redefining the vision for the country's future and creating an economy that is not dependent on fossil fuels. This work presents a pathway for Saudi Arabia to transition from the 2015 power structure to a 100% renewable energy based system by 2050 and analyse the benefits of integrating the power sector with the growing desalination sector. It is found that Saudi Arabia can transition to a 100% renewable energy power system by 2040 whilst meeting the growing water demand through seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants. The dominating renewable energy sources are PV single-axis tracking and wind power plants with 210 GW and 133 GW, respectively. The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of the 2040 system is 48 €/MWh. By 2050, PV single-axis tracking dominates the power sector due to the further reduction in the capital costs alongside cost reductions in supporting battery technology. This results in 80% share of solar PV in the total electricity generation. Battery storage is required to meet the total electricity demand and by 2050, accounts for 48% of the total electricity demand. The LCOE is estimated at 38 €/MWh, required capacity of PV single-axis tracking is 369 GW and wind power plants 75 GW. In the integrated scenario, due to flexibility provided by the SWRO plants, there is a reduced demand for battery storage and power-togas (PtG) plants. In addition, the ratio of the energy curtailed to the total energy generated is lower in all time periods from 2020 to 2050, in the integrated scenario. As a result, the annual levelised costs of the integrated scenario is found to be 2%-4% less than the non-integrated scenario.
Article
The Paris Agreement duly reflects the latest scientific understanding of systemic global warming risks. Limiting the anthropogenic temperature anomaly to 1.5–2 °C is possible, yet requires transformational change across the board of modernity.
Conference Paper
This paper determines a least cost electricity solution for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The power system discussed in this study is hourly resolved and based on 100% Renewable Energy (RE) technologies. Sub-Saharan Africa was subdivided into 16 sub-regions. Four different scenarios were considered according to the setup in high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grid. One integrated scenario that considers water desalination and industrial gas production were also analysed. This study uncovers that RE is sufficient to cover 866.4 TWh estimated electricity demand for 2030 and additional electricity needed to fulfil 319 million m 3 of water desalination and 268 TWhLHV of synthetic natural gas demand. Existing hydro dams can be used as virtual batteries for solar PV and wind electricity storage, diminishing the role of storage technologies. The results for total levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) decreases from 57.8 €/MWh for a highly decentralized to 54.7 €/MWh for a more centralized grid scenario. For the integrated scenario, including water desalination and synthetic natural gas demand, the levelised cost of gas and the levelised cost of water are 113.7 €/MWhLHV and 1.39 €/m 3 , respectively. A reduction of 6% in total cost and 19% in electricity generation was realized as a result of integrating desalination and power-togas sectors into the system.