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Renewable energy based electricity supply at low costs - Development of the REMix model and application for Europe

Scholz, Yvonne (2012) Renewable energy based electricity supply at low costs - Development of the REMix model and application for Europe. Dissertation, Universität Stuttgart.

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Official URL: http://elib.uni-stuttgart.de/opus/volltexte/2012/7635/index.html


Climate change, limited fossil fuel availability and the dependency on energy carrier imports lead the European Union to the formulation of an energy policy for Europe. The EU sets the following criteria for its future energy supply: sustainability, security of supply and competitiveness. Considering the carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuels and the unsolved problem of the ultimate disposal of radioactive waste, only renewable energy can currently be considered sustainable if applied in a socially acceptable way and in accordance with nature conservation. The use of renewable energy can also reduce the dependency on energy carrier imports. Contrary to fossil fuels, renewable energy will become cheaper in the future due to technological learning. The main disadvantage of some renewable energy resources is their fluctuating availability. Adaptation of the energy supply system must take place especially in the power sector in order to reliably cover fluctuating demand with fluctuating resources at any time. In this work, the energy system model ‘REMix’ (Renewable Energy Mix for Sustainable Electricity Supply) is developed. It uses data on the availability of renewable energy across Europe and North Africa (EUNA) to dimension low-cost power supply structures for the EUNA-region, or parts of it, under specific conditions, such as specified shares of renewable energy in the power supply or specified national self-supply shares. The model takes into account the costs of generation technologies, transmission lines and storage units, and finds a combination of these technologies and their geographic locations that is least-cost under the given assumptions. A geographic information system was used for the analysis of the installable capacities and power generation potentials of typical technologies for harnessing renewable energy resources. This analysis is described and the potentials of solar PV, solar CSP, wind onshore and wind offshore, biomass, hydro and geothermal power plants are shown in tables and maps. The data are used as input into a linear programming energy system model which uses them as constraints on the power supply system to be dimensioned. The model, its sensitivity to input parameter variations and a test application are described. The findings confirm the basic findings of other work in this field: transmission lines can be a crucial element of a low-cost, renewable-energy-based electricity supply because they enable balancing effects in a large grid and the use of the highest quality resources even in remote areas, such as deserts or at sea. However, the international cooperation that is necessary to reach the cost-minimum for a given supply task may not be reached by politics or resulting dependencies may be opposed to political goals. Therefore, REMix was built such that countries can be examined individually and the influence of different parameters on their energy supply costs and structure can be investigated. In the test model application, power supply systems for 36 regions in Europe and North Africa, almost all individual countries, are designed with REMix as island grids on the one hand and on the other hand as a network without transmission restrictions (other than the costs of the transmission lines). The model shows that in certain regions the island grid electricity costs can be much higher than, only a little higher than, or even lower than the electricity costs in the network, under the given technological and economic assumptions. The sensitivity to parameter variations is shown to be high; the results of the test application must therefore be considered one example of a technically feasible and efficient supply system but cannot claim to be least-cost in general.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/77976/
Document Type:Thesis (Dissertation)
Title:Renewable energy based electricity supply at low costs - Development of the REMix model and application for Europe
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Scholz, Yvonneyvonne.scholz (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:20 September 2012
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:199
Keywords:Renewable Energy, Potentials, high spatial and temporal resolution, GIS, Energy System Model, Europe
Institution:Universität Stuttgart
Department:Institut für Thermodynamik und Wärmetechnik
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Renewable Energies
HGF - Program Themes:Renewable Energies (old)
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E MS - Systems analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Systemanalyse und Technikbewertung (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment
Deposited By: Scholz, Yvonne
Deposited On:18 Oct 2012 11:31
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:37

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