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Large scale renewable energy deployment - Insights offered by long-term energy models from selected case studies
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy Systems Analysis.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4022-5506
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) of Agenda 2030 calls for an increase in the use of renewable energy sources, among other targets. The percentage of fossil fuel-fired thermal generation for electricity is increasingly being reduced as renewable energy technologies (RET) advance in cost-competitiveness, and as greenhouse gas and industrial air pollutant emission limits become more stringent. In certain cases, renewable energy contributes to energy security by improving a nation’s trade balance, since local resources are harnessed and imports are reduced. RET investments are becoming more frequent gaining a sizeable share in the electric power mix of numerous countries.

However, RET is affected by existing fossil fuel-fired electricity generation, especially in countries that have domestic reserves. While coal may be dirty, others such as natural gas provide multiple benefits, presenting a challenge to renewables. Additionally, RET endowment varies for each geographical location. This often does not correspond to the location of major electricity demand centers.  Therefore, large scale RET adoption and integration becomes logistically more cumbersome, as it necessitates existence of a developed grid network.

Utilizing a series of analyses in two different settings – Africa and Cyprus – this thesis draws insights on RET growth policy and the level of technology representation in long term energy models. In order to capture specific challenges of RET integration, enhancements in traditional long-term energy system models are called for and carried out.

 The case of Africa is used to assess adoption of RET under various trade scenarios. It is home to some of the world’s greatest RET resource potential and the single largest potential RET project, Grand Inga.  While, the island of Cyprus has goals of introducing large percentages of RET into its electric power mix. Each have important idiosyncrasies which are reflected in the analysis. On the one hand, natural gas competes with RET in Cyprus and forms a key transition fuel away from oil. On the other hand, lack of cross-border interconnectors limit RET project development across Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , 79 p.
Keyword [en]
renewable energy integration; long-term energy models; gas reserves; policy insights; cost optimization; electricity trade
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-207364ISBN: 978-91-7729-426-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-207364DiVA: diva2:1096832
Public defence
2017-06-09, M3, Brinellvägen 64, 114 28 Stockholm, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170519

Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-19 Last updated: 2017-05-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An indicative assessment of investment opportunities in the African electricity supply sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An indicative assessment of investment opportunities in the African electricity supply sector
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, ISSN 1021-447X, Vol. 25, no 1, 2-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the coming decades, demand for electricity will increase considerably on the African continent. Investment in power generation, transmission and distribution is necessary to meet this demand. In this paper a cost-optimization tool is used to assess investment opportunities under varying scenarios of GDP growth, electricity trade and CO2 taxation. Business as usual fuel price outlooks are assumed, and related assumptions are relatively conservative. The goal is to find if there are economic indications that renewable energy might play a significant role in the expansion of the African electricity system. The results show that there is potential of renewable energy (RE) resources to have a significant share in the generation mix. By 2030, 42% and 55% of the total generation is powered by renewables in the high and low GDP scenarios respectively. Promotion of interregional trade can assist in unlocking RE potential across the continent, such as hydro in Central Africa and wind in East Africa; these regions are projected to be net exporters of electricity. Additionally, generation by off-grid technologies increases over time, reaching 12% of the total generation by 2030 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Keyword
renewable energy, electricity trade, power generation investment
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-148172 (URN)000337735600001 ()
Note

QC 20140812

Available from: 2014-08-12 Created: 2014-08-04 Last updated: 2017-05-19Bibliographically approved
2. An indicative analysis of investment opportunities in the African electricity supply sector: Using TEMBA (The Electricity Model Base for Africa)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An indicative analysis of investment opportunities in the African electricity supply sector: Using TEMBA (The Electricity Model Base for Africa)
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2016 (English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826, Vol. 31, 50-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Africa is a resource-rich continent but lacks the required power infrastructure. Efforts such as the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All and U.S. President Obama's Power Africa initiatives aim to facilitate much needed investment. However, no systematic national and regional investment outlook is available to analysts. This paper examines indicative scenarios of power plant investments based on potential for electricity trade. OSeMOSYS, a cost-optimization tool for long-term energy planning, is used to develop least cost system configurations. The electricity supply systems of forty-seven countries are modelled individually and linked via trade links to form TEMBA (The Electricity Model Base for Africa). A scenario comparison up to 2040 shows that an enhanced grid network can alter Africa's generation mix and reduce electricity generation cost. The insights have important investment, trade and policy implications, as specific projects can be identified as of major significance, and thus receive political support and funding.

Keyword
OSeMOSYS; African electricity supply; Electricity trade; Cost-optimization; TEMBA
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206738 (URN)10.1016/j.esd.2015.12.001 (DOI)
Note

QC 20170512

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-05-19Bibliographically approved
3. Grand Inga to power Africa: Hydropower development scenarios to 2035
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Grand Inga to power Africa: Hydropower development scenarios to 2035
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2014 (English)In: Energy Strategy Reviews, ISSN 2211-467X, Vol. 4, 1-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The vision of harnessing the Congo River's immense flow to generate power for the African continent has existed in the agenda of energy planners and politicians for nearly a century. However after the installations of Inga I in 1972 and Inga II in 1982, progress came to a standstill. Recently though the larger aspirations of Grand Inga seem to be moving forward again. Construction of Inga III low-head is set to commence in 2015 with a projected capacity of 4755MW, of which 2500MW are contracted for the South African market. Upon completion, the total capacity of Grand Inga could reach 42GW. In this paper, we present scenario-driven results of a Sub-Saharan African-focused partial-equilibrium energy model related to the further development of the project. The analysis is presented to show the broad range of possible energy futures related to this project, without taking into deep consideration the admittedly important issues related to governance, environmental impacts or social tensions. Scenarios are developed to assess the energy outlook of the Central African power pool, in which Grand Inga is located, and the exchange of electricity between regions when the project is completed. The project has the potential to cover the increasing needs for power in this power pool and provide electricity exports to other regions; primarily Southern and Western Africa in a high demand scenario and Southern and Northern Africa in a low demand scenario.

Keyword
African power pools, Electricity trade, Grand Inga
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161767 (URN)10.1016/j.esr.2014.01.001 (DOI)2-s2.0-84894243167 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150317

Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-17 Last updated: 2017-05-19Bibliographically approved
4. Regional effects of Grand Inga: A project-focus application of TEMBA (The Electricity Model Base for Africa)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Regional effects of Grand Inga: A project-focus application of TEMBA (The Electricity Model Base for Africa)
(English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The proposed Grand Inga project could reach a total generating capacity of 42 GW, making it the biggest hydropower plant in the world. The scale of the proposed project is immense in comparison to numerous national power systems in Sub-Saharan Africa – and their relatively small demand. As such, when it reaches its full potential, Grand Inga’s low-cost electricity has the potential to dominate the electricity supply mix of neighbouring countries. However, as a result of the required mobilization of funds for Grand Inga’s construction, potential markets and hence investors need to be identified. Energy-intensive and growing economies in Southern and Western Africa are likely destinations for the project’s electricity, but this also necessitates transnational grid expansion to enable trade. This paper employs a cost-optimization approach to provide an indication, under various scenarios, of selected national economies that are likely to demand electricity from Inga and the associated trade routes that should be put in place. A national-scale model of the African continent is employed and results are compared to a preceding study, which used a coarser resolution of the continent’s electricity supply system.

Keyword
Grand Inga; Scenarios; Energy planning; Electricity trade; OSeMOSYS
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206758 (URN)
Note

QC 20170613

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-06-13Bibliographically approved
5. Energy security prospects in Cyprus and Israel: A focus on natural gas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy security prospects in Cyprus and Israel: A focus on natural gas
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2014 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainable Enery Planning and Management, ISSN 1997-5422, E-ISSN 2246-2929, Vol. 3, 5-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The global production of natural gas has increased from 1226 bcm in 1973 to 3282 bcm in 2010 and is projected to continue rising by an annual growth rate of 1.6% between 2010 to 2035. Cyprus and Israel have recently made major offshore discoveries of natural gas, which can supply to a great extent the two countries’ current domestic energy needs for the next few decades and still export a substantial volume. MESSAGE, a global optimization model was used to explore the possible interactions between the two countries’ energy systems. Scenarios are presented that assess the export potential for electricity (generated by gas-fired power plants), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or gas-to-liquid products (GTL). The results are compared to a scenario without any available reserves to illustrate the financial benefits that will arise from the exploitation of the gas resources in the two countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aalborg University press, 2014
Keyword
Gas-to-liquids, Liquefied natural gas, Natural gas markets, Power generation
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-201855 (URN)10.5278/ijsepm.2014.3.2 (DOI)2-s2.0-84994323151 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170309

Available from: 2017-03-09 Created: 2017-03-09 Last updated: 2017-05-19Bibliographically approved
6. Renewable Energy Technology integration for the island of Cyprus: A cost-optimization approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Renewable Energy Technology integration for the island of Cyprus: A cost-optimization approach
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(English)In: Energy, ISSN 0360-5442Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In light of the ongoing financial crisis, Cyprus is called to transform its energy sector. The high electricity cost has been recognized as a priority issue and authorities on the island are considering several available options to reduce electricity tariffs. A fuel switch from oil to gas, domestic or imported, an electrical cross-border interconnection and a rapid increase in the share of renewable energy are among the major options being considered. Focusing on the power supply of Cyprus, the present study uses a cost-optimization tool to investigate the impact of different combinations of policy decision, resulting in a series of different scenarios, with some common key findings, with the aim of directly informing future energy policy decisions. Results indicate that renewable energy technologies will play a major role regardless the decisions taken. However, a set of enabling regulatory and market changes on the horizon might prevent least-cost deployment of renewables to take place. This study will review the findings and make some recommendations on the achievement of this optimal pathways for the evolution of Cyprus electricity sector.

Keyword
Renewable energy; cost-optimization; Cyprus; power supply optimisation; scenarios; energy policy; electricity markets; MESSAGE
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-207358 (URN)
Note

QC 20170613

Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-19 Last updated: 2017-06-13Bibliographically approved
7. Natural gas in Cyprus: The need for consolidated planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Natural gas in Cyprus: The need for consolidated planning
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2017 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 107, 197-209 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The electricity supply system of Cyprus is currently dominated by oil-fired generation, with small but increasing contributions from renewable energy technologies. As regulations regarding emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants will become stricter with the turn of the decade, change is imminent. Available offshore gas reserves and the possibility of natural gas imports have shown that the substitution of oil with gas can reasonably be expected in the not-so-distant future. However, the framework under which change could occur has not yet been established. Should imports of gas serve as a short-term bridge until domestic gas becomes available? What are the infrastructure implications associated with such a medium-term solution? How does a policy-driven transition to gas affect energy security and how compatible is this with a liberalized electricity market? Can short- and longer term strategies be consistently designed and implemented? A cost-optimization model (OSeMOSYS), representing the electricity system of the island, is used to provide insights to these questions. Results regarding generation mix, capacity and system costs are presented for a set of scenarios. In all cases investigated, compliance with environmental regulations of the European Union after 2020 makes gas the strategic fuel of choice for low cost electricity generation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keyword
Natural gas, Cyprus, Electricity supply scenarios, Gas infrastructure, OSeMOSYS
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206743 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2017.04.047 (DOI)000405158200020 ()2-s2.0-85018987515 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170512

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-08-02Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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