Abstract

Supplementary Information for the Technical Report ”Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector”, published at the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase event (GRESS), a side event of the COP23, Bonn, November 8, 2017
Global Energy System Based on
100% Renewable Energy - Power Sector:
UK, Ireland
Study funded by the
German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and
Stiftung Mercator GmbH
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LUT Energy System Model
The technologies applied for the energy system optimisation include those for electricity
generation, energy storage and electricity transmission
The model is applied at full hourly resolution for an entire year
Real weather data are used for the solar, wind and hydro resources
The LUT model is in 2017 the only one run at full hourly resolution on a global-local scale
The LUT model will be expanded to all energy sectors for a follow-up study
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UK, Ireland - Overview
The region of UK and Ireland also include Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey
The power system is dominated by fossil fuel power plants
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UK, Ireland - Power Plant Infrastructure
Key insights:
Historically, a significant share of fossil powered
plants in the generation mix is observed
In recent times, RE has seen significant growth in
the share of installed capacity, particularly wind and
solar PV
source:
Farfan J. and Breyer Ch., 2017. Structural
changes of global power generation capacity
towards sustainability and the risk of stranded
investments supported by a sustainability
indicator; J of Cleaner Production, 141, 370-384
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UK, Ireland (Solar, Wind)
Wind generation profile
Aggregated wind feed-in profile computed
using the weighed average rule
Solar PV generation profile
Aggregated PV feed-in profile computed using
the weighed average rule
Key insights:
Wind: Excellent and stable wind conditions, very high generation during winter periods
PV: Very low PV resource availability during the winter
Overall variability can be reduced by utilising the balancing effect of wind and PV
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UK, Ireland - Full Load Hours
Key insights:
Wind: Excellent wind conditions throughout the region
Solar PV: Moderate PV conditions in the region
Balancing effect of wind and PV reduces the overall variability
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Hourly Resolved and Long-term Demand
Key insights:
The average compound annual growth rate of electricity generation of about 0.5% in the energy transition
period is assumed
The population in UK and Ireland is expected to increase from 69 to 81 million, while the average per capita
electricity demand rises from 5.5 to 5.7 MWh
The electricity demand is assumed to increase from 385 TWh in 2015 to around 464 TWh in the year 2050
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Energy Transition in Capacity and Generation
Electricity GenerationInstalled Capacity
Key insights:
Wind energy increasingly drives most of the system,
while solar PV and bioenergy complement
Wind energy dominates total supply from 2025 till
2050
Wind supply share increases from 16% in 2015 to
about 59% in 2050, becoming the least cost energy
source
Balancing effect of RE resources is noticed in the
power system by 2050
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Storage Requirements
Key insights:
Batteries are the most important supporting
technology for solar PV
A significant share of gas storage is installed to
provide seasonal storage
Significant share of prosumers is noticed in the
power system
Gas storage dominates the capacities, which is
used for SNG (6%) and bio-methane (94%), which
is not accounted in the storage output diagrams
but as bioenergy generation
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Storage Operation Modes (2050)
Battery 365 x 24 Gas 365 x 24
Hydro reservoirs 365 x
24 (if applicable)
Key insights:
Battery storage balances on a daily basis
Gas storage reacts in a very flexible way
Hydro reservoirs provide complementarity with
solar and wind but are also used as seasonal
storage
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Electricity System Cost during Transition
Key insights:
The power system LCOE decline from 68.6 €/MWh to 47.7
/MWh from 2015 to 2050, including all generation,
storage, curtailment and parts of the grid costs
Beyond 2030 the LCOE further declines to 47.7 €/MWh by
2050, signifying that larger capacities of RE addition
result in a reduction of energy costs
After an initial increase, the investment requirements
decline after 2040
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CO2Emissions Reduction
Key insights:
GHG emissions can be reduced from about 133 MtCO2eq in 2015 to zero by 2050, while the total LCOE of
the power system declines
GHG emissions decline as fossil fueled power plants are eliminated from the system
What is even more important is the observation that a deep decarbonisation of 85% to 4 MtCO2eq by 2025
is possible, which is well before 2050, while gradually lowering the energy system LCOE
The results also indicate that a 100% RE based energy system is much more efficient in comparison to
the current energy system
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The UK and Ireland can reach 100% RE and zero GHG emissions by 2050
The LCOE obtained for a fully sustainable energy system is 47.7 €/MWh by 2050
Wind emerges as the most prominent electricity supply source with around 59% of
the total electricity supply by 2050
Solar PV is the second best RE resource contributing 26% to the total generation in
2050
Batteries emerge as the key storage technology with 95% of total storage output
Cost of storage contributes substantially to the total energy system LCOE, which is
34%
GHG emissions can be reduced from about 15 MtCO2eq in 2015 to zero by 2050
A 100% RE system is more efficient and cost competitive than a fossil based option
Summary I Energy Transition
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Existing RE technologies can generate sufficient energy to cover all electricity demand for the
year 2050
Total LCOE average is around 47.7 €/MWh for 100% RE in 2050 (including curtailment, storage
and some grid costs), compared to the total LCOE of 68.6 €/MWh in 2015
main RE sources contribute to the total electricity supply in 2050 as follows:
26% solar PV
59% wind energy
8% bioenergy
1% hydropower
Wind energy is the most relevant energy RE resource for the transition
Solar PV and other RE resources can provide further flexibility and supply security to the
power system
Excellent resource conditions and seasonal variation are the key reasonsfor the importance
of wind energy
Summary II Energy System 2050
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Further Findings
Results for entire Europe are available:
Europe http://bit.ly/2zonZ6a
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financing of Stiftung Mercator GmbH
and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt.
Further information and all publications at:
www.energywatchgroup.org
www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian_Breyer
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