ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0211.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: energy system modelling; uncertainties; robustness; penny switching effect
Online: 16 May 2019 (10:46:05 CEST)
Designing the future energy supply in accordance with ambitious climate change mitigation goals is a challenging issue. Common tools for planning and calculating future investments in renewable and sustainable technologies are often linear energy system models based on cost optimisation. However, input data and the underlying assumptions of future developments are subject to uncertainties that negatively affect the robustness of results. This paper introduces a quadratic programming approach to modifying linear, bottom-up energy system optimisation models in order to take cost uncertainties into account. This is accomplished by implementing specific investment costs as a function of the installed capacity of each technology. In contrast to established approaches like stochastic programming or Monte Carlo Simulation, the computation time of the quadratic programming approach is only slightly higher than that of linear programming. The model’s outcomes were found to show a wider range as well as a more robust allocation of the considered technologies than the linear model equivalent.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0417.v1
Subject: Keywords: Renewable energy systems; energy supply systems; hydrogen pipelines; power-to-hydrogen.
Online: 20 October 2020 (17:28:11 CEST)
In light of the latest trends in global installed capacities, the importance of variable renewable energy sources (VRES) to future energy supply systems is evident. Despite this, the inherent intermittency of VRES remains an obstacle to their widespread adoption. Green hydrogen is often suggested as an energy carrier that can account for this in a sustainable manner. In the analysis, a robust European energy system in the context of 2050 and with 100% VRES energy supply is designed through an iterative minimal cost-optimization approach that ensures robust security of supply over 38 weather-year scenarios (1980-2017). The impact of spatial VRES variability is factored in by defining exclusive VRES groups within each optimization region and, from this, it can be seen that higher numbers of groups in each region offer cheap electricity generation locations to the optimizer and thus decrease the total annual cost of the system. Beyond this, the robust system design and impact of inter-annual variability is identified by iteratively combining the installed capacities of different system designs obtained by applying 38 historical weather years. The robust system design outlined here has significantly lower capacities in comparison to the maximum regional capacities obtained in the first round of optimization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0150.v1
Online: 13 October 2019 (16:32:39 CEST)
The transition towards a renewable energy system is essential in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The increase in the share of variable renewable energy sources (VRES), which mainly comprise wind and solar energy, necessitates storage technologies by which the intermittency of VRES can be compensated for. Although hydrogen has been envisioned to play a significant role as a promising alternative energy carrier in a future European VRES-based energy concept, the optimal design of this system remains uncertain. In this analysis, a hydrogen infrastructure is posited that would meet the electricity and hydrogen demand for a 100% renewable energy-based European energy system in the context of 2050. The overall system design is optimized by minimizing the total annual cost. Onshore and offshore wind energy, open-field photovoltaics (PV), rooftop PV and hydro energy, as well as biomass, are the technologies employed for electricity generation. The electricity generated is then either transmitted through the electrical grid or converted into hydrogen by means of electrolyzers and then distributed through hydrogen pipelines. Battery, hydrogen vessels and salt caverns are considered as potential storage technologies. In the case of a lull, stored hydrogen can be re-electrified to generate electricity to meet demand during that time period. For each location, eligible technologies are introduced, as well as their maximum capacity and hourly demand profiles, in order to build the optimization model. In addition, a generation time series for VRES has been exogenously derived for the model. The generation profiles of wind energy have been investigated in detail by considering future turbine designs with high spatial resolution. In terms of salt cavern storage, the technical potential for hydrogen storage is defined in the system as the maximum allowable capacity per region. Whether or not a technology is installed in a region, the hourly operation of these technologies, as well as the cost of each technology, are obtained within the optimization results. It is revealed that a 100 percent renewable energy system is feasible and would meet both electricity demand and hydrogen demand in Europe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0056.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Variable renewable energy, wind energy, weather years, optimization, power-to-hydrogen.
Online: 7 June 2019 (12:20:55 CEST)
Renewable energy sources (RES) will play a crucial role in future sustainable energy systems. In scenarios analyzing future energy system designs, a detailed spatial and temporal representation of renewable-based electricity generation is essential. For this, sufficiently representative weather data are required. Most analyses performed in this context use the historical data of either one specific reference year or an aggregation of multiple years. In contrast, this study analyzes the impact of different weather years based on historical weather data from 1980 through 2015 in accordance with the design of an exemplary future energy system. This exemplary energy system consists of on- and offshore wind energy for power-to-hydrogen via electrolysis, including hydrogen pipeline transport for most southwestern European countries. The assumed hydrogen demand for transportation needs represents a hypothetical future market penetration for fuel cell-electric vehicles of 75%. An optimization framework is used in order to evaluate the resulting system design with the objective function of minimizing the total annual cost (TAC) of the system. For each historical weather year, the applied optimization model determines the required capacities and operation of wind power plants, electrolyzers, storage technologies and hydrogen pipelines to meet the assumed future hydrogen demand in a highly spatially- and temporally-detailed manner, as well as the TAC of the system. Following that, the results of every individual year are compared in terms of installed capacities, overall electricity generation and connection to the transmission network, as well as the cost of these components within each region. The results reveal how sensitive the final design of the exemplary system is to the choice of the weather year. For example, the TAC of the system changes by up to 20% across two consecutive weather years. Furthermore, significant variation in the optimization results regarding installed capacities per region with respect to the choice of weather years can be observed.
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: hydrogen supply; renewable energy import; global energy infrastructure; hydrogen trade
Online: 8 February 2020 (05:36:14 CET)
The threats of climate change and the sustainable supply of clean energy are global challenges that require an international approach to the energy supply. Utilizing the wind and solar energy potential of regions where these renewable sources are especially viable to produce hydrogen by means of water electrolysis represents an attractive option to counter the above-mentioned challenges. Within the scope of this techno economic analysis of a worldwide hydrogen supply infrastructure based on renewable energy, selected regions are assessed on the basis of their wind or solar energy potential. In contrast to established analyses of hydrogen infrastructures, this paper introduces a worldwide allocation approach to the supply hydrogen from strong wind and solar regions to different demand regions on the premise of a global supply cost minimum. The allocation results show a significant dependence of hydrogen export volumes and the oversea transport distances of potential trading partners. Hence, the transnational trading flows of hydrogen derived from wind and solar energy are concentrated in continental regions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0223.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Renewable energy; land eligibility analysis; onshore wind; open-field photovoltaics; Mexico; renewable potential; technical potential
Online: 9 July 2021 (13:23:51 CEST)
Due to the increasing global importance of decarbonizing human activities, especially the production of electricity, the optimal deployment of renewable energy technologies will play a crucial role in future energy systems. To accomplish this, particular attention must be accorded to the geospatial and temporal distribution of variable renewable energy sources (VRES) such as wind and solar radiation in order to match electricity supply and demand. This study presents a techno-economical assessment of four energy technologies in the hypothetical context of Mexico in 2050, namely: onshore and offshore wind turbines, and open-field and rooftop photovoltaics. A land eligibility analysis incorporating physical, environmental, and socio-political eligibility constraints and individual turbine and photovoltaic park simulations, drawing on 39 years of climate data, is performed for individual sites across the country in an effort to determine the installable potential and the associated levelized costs of electricity. The results reveal that up to 54 PWh of renewable electricity can be produced as a cost of less than 70 EUR/MWh. Around 91% (49 PWh) of this would originate from 23 TW of open-field photovoltaic parks that could occupy up to 578,000 km2 of eligible land across the country. The remaining 9% (4.8 PWh) could be produced by 1.9 TW of onshore wind installations allocated to approximately 68,500 km2 of eligible land that is almost fully adjacent to three mountainous zones. The combination of rooftop photovoltaic and offshore wind turbines account for a very small share of less than 0.03% of the overall techno-economical potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0121.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Offshore wind energy, future turbine design, floating foundation, fixed-bottom foundation, levelized cost of electricity
Online: 13 February 2019 (15:43:22 CET)
Renewable energy sources will play a central role in the sustainable energy systems of the future. Scenario analyses of such hypothesized energy systems require sound knowledge of the techno-economic potential of renewable energy technologies. Although there have been various studies concerning the potential of offshore wind energy, higher spatial resolution, as well as the future design concepts of offshore wind turbines, has not yet been addressed in sufficient detail. Here, we aim to overcome this gap by applying a high spatial resolution to the three main aspects of offshore wind potential analysis, namely ocean suitability, the simulation of wind turbines and cost estimation. A set of constraints is determined that reveal the available areas for turbine placement across Europe’s maritime boundaries. Then, turbine designs specific to each location are selected by identifying turbines with the cheapest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), restricted to capacities, hub heights and rotor diameters of between 3-20 MW, 80-200 m and 80-280 m, respectively. Ocean eligibility and turbine design are then combined to distribute turbines across the available areas. Finally, LCOE trends are calculated from the individual turbine costs, as well as the corresponding capacity factor obtained by hourly simulation with wind speeds from 1980 to 2017. The results of cost-optimal turbine design reveal that the overall potential for offshore wind energy across Europe will constitute nearly 8.6 TW and 40.0 PWh at roughly 7 €ct kWh-1 average LCOE by 2050. Averaged design parameters at national level are provided in an appendix.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0196.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: renewable energy systems; land eligibility; Onshore wind energy; technical potential; economic potential; simulation
Online: 17 December 2018 (11:12:51 CET)
Considering the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, onshore wind energy is certain to play a major role in future energy systems. This topic has received significant attention from the research community, producing many estimations of Europe's onshore wind potential for capacity and generation. Despite this focus, previous estimates have relied on distribution assumptions and simulation schemes that summarily under predict both the amount of available future wind capacity as well as its performance. Foremost in this regard is the common use of contemporary, or at least near-future, turbine designs which are not fitting for a far-future context. To fulfill this role, an improved, transparent, and fully reproducible work flow is presented for determining European onshore wind potential. Within a scenario of turbine cost and design in 2050, 13.5 TWof capacity is found to be available, allowing for 34.4 PWh of generation. By sorting the explicitly-placed potential generation locations by their expected generation cost, national relations between turbine cost and performance versus a desired capacity are exposed. In this way, it is shown that all countries possess some potential for onshore wind energy generation below 4 €ct kWh-1. and, furthermore, that it is unlikely for these costs to exceed 6 €ct kWh-1.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0187.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Salt caverns; salt structures; technical storage potential; hydrogen storage
Online: 16 October 2019 (11:40:43 CEST)
The role of hydrogen in a future energy system with a high share of variable renewable energy sources (VRES) is regarded as crucial in order to balance fluctuations in electricity generation. These fluctuations can be compensated for by flexibility measures such as the expansion of transmission, flexible generation, larger back-up capacity and storage. Salt cavern storage is the most promising technology due to its large storage capacity, followed by pumped hydro storage. For the underground storage of chemical energy carriers such as hydrogen, salt caverns offer the most promising option owing to their low investment cost, high sealing potential and low cushion gas requirement. This paper provides a suitability assessment of European subsurface salt structures in terms of size, land eligibility and storage capacity. Two distinct cavern volumes of 500,000 m3 and 750,000 m3 are considered, with preference being given for salt caverns over bedded salt deposits and salt domes. The storage capacities of individual caverns are estimated on the basis of thermodynamic considerations based on site-specific data. The results are analyzed using three different scenarios: onshore and offshore salt caverns, only onshore salt caverns and only onshore caverns within 50 km of the shore. The overall technical storage potential across Europe is estimated at 84.8 PWhH2, 27% of which constitutes only onshore locations. Furthermore, this capacity decreases to 7.3 PWhH2 with a limitation of 50 km distance from shore. In all cases, Germany has the highest technical storage potential, with a value of 9.4 PWhH2, located onshore only in salt domes in the north of the country. Moreover, Norway has 7.5 PWhH2 of storage potential for offshore caverns, which are all located in the subsurface of the North Sea Basin.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0116.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: MILP; district optimization; energy system model; time series aggregation; typical periods
Online: 10 May 2019 (10:25:50 CEST)
The complexity of Mixed-Integer Linear Programs (MILPs) increases with the number of nodes in energy system models. An increasing complexity constitutes a high computational load that can limit the scale of the energy system model. Especially in microgrid optimisation problems with multiple buildings and energy systems with a number of rival supply, distribution and storage technologies, methods are sought to reduce this complexity. In this paper, we present a new 2-Level Approach to MILP energy system models that determine the system design through a combination of continuous and discrete decisions. On the first level, data reduction methods are used to determine the discrete design decisions in a simplified solution space. Those decisions are then fixed, and on the second level the full dataset is used to extract the exact scaling of the chosen technologies. The performance of the new 2-Level Approach is evaluated for a case study of an urban energy system with six buildings and an island system based on a high share of renewable energy technologies. The results of the studies show a high accuracy with respect to the total annual costs, chosen system structure, installed capacities and peak load with the 2-Level Approach compared to the results of a single level optimization. The computational load is thereby reduced by more than one order of magnitude, while a significantly higher accuracy is reached in comparison to the common time series aggregation approach.