This deliverable is the third one in the series of three reports that have been developed in the work package (WP) 2 "Limitations and shortcomings for optimal use of local resources" from the H2020 project eNeuron. The main objective of this deliverable is to identify the main barriers, technical limitations, shortcomings and obstacles which can limit the optimal use of local energy resources.
In this work, several technologies that can be installed in micro-energy hubs and energy hubs structures have been identified and analysed in detail in order to determine any factor that could limit their practical implementation. This analysis has covered 33 different types of technologies, divided into three broad multi-energy groups:
• Generation (thermal, electricity and H2 production).
• Storage (thermal, electrical and H2 storage).
• Other complementary technologies that may have a direct impact on the deployment of these local energy resources. In this case, the study has focused on transportation and control systems.
The main technical limitations identified in this work are related to the low efficiency of some of these technologies used in thermal (heat and cool) generation (such as adsorption chillers or air-air heat pumps (HPs)), in distributed electricity generation (such as photovoltaic (PV) cells, wave and tidal generation or fuel cells) and in some energy storage (such as Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES), among others). Hydrogen production, storage and re-electrification has also a low performance.
Another technical barrier that has been found in this analysis is low flexibility. Some of the analysed technologies are designed to operate at constant regimes and have poor behaviour at partial load or have a low dynamic response (e.g., biomass boilers, steam boilers, heat pumps, fuel cells, etc.), reducing their controllability and limiting the number of applications in which they can be used autonomously. The easiest way to overcome this drawback is usually by hybridising these technologies (which operate at constant load) with others that can handle the fast variations in generation/consumption imposed by the control system (e.g., fuel cells are usually hybridised with battery packs in fuel cell electric vehicles-FCEVs).
There are some other technical limitations related to security concerns. Some technologies have explosion hazards due to the use of flammable materials or fuels (i.e., gas boilers, Li-ion batteries, H2 handling and LAES, where there is a risk of concentration of oxygen and possible subsequent explosion).
Environmental problems due to the production of noise (e.g., steam boilers, Internal Combustion Engine Combined Heat and Power (ICE CHP), geothermal electric generation, back up generators), the emission of green house gasses-GHG (e.g., natural gas boilers, ICE/Turbine CHP, back up generator, CAES, etc.), the content of toxic materials (e.g., PV cell production, phase change material-PCM, fuel cells, different technologies of electrochemical batteries, supercapacitors, etc.), or the impact in wildlife and environmental disturbances (e.g., small hydropower plant, wind generators, wave-tidal generators) are also important limiting factors.
Other technologies require large space to produce or store energy (e.g., PV, concentrated solar power (CSP), sensible heat energy storage systems or batteries), or they have low energy density (e.g., batteries, flywheel, supercapacitors).
Finally, cost and cost-effectiveness are two of the most important limiting factors which affect several technologies. Most of them are still very expensive, having a high start-up and/or operational costs, particularly those which require civil works (such as small hydropower plants, CAES storage in caverns, etc.) or are installed in very extreme environments, such as wave-tidal generation.
From a technical point of view, not all technologies have the same level of maturity. In some cases, the analysed technology is mature and competitive in the current global market, but in other cases, further efforts are still required to develop this technology and make it competitive in the near future.
The identification of regulatory limitations has been a more complicated process due to the difficulty in identifying legislative barriers at different levels, from limitations at the European level to barriers at the national or local levels.
Considering the work performed in Task 2.1 of this WP, the main regulatory limitations at the European level have been identified and are presented in this deliverable. Additionally, country-specific regulatory limitations have also been analysed and included in Annex I. This analysis has been done in greater detail in those countries where the eNeuron project will install and operate pilot demonstrations, namely Italy, Norway, Portugal and Poland.
After a detailed description of all the encountered technical and regulatory limitations, this document presents a series of potential recommendations for different stakeholders that will help to overcome these barriers.
The main output of this deliverable will be used as input for the specification of the pilots. Once the main technologies to be implemented in these pilots have been defined in the project (in WP5 and WP6) and the main constraints associated with each of these technologies have been identified –that is the scope of this deliverable, it will be possible to anticipate the likely limitations and shortcomings that could affect the real implementation of these pilots.