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Köln, Germany

Connolly D.,University of Aalborg | Lund H.,University of Aalborg | Mathiesen B.V.,University of Aalborg | Werner S.,Halmstad University | And 6 more authors.
Energy Policy | Year: 2014

Six different strategies have recently been proposed for the European Union (EU) energy system in the European Commission's report, Energy Roadmap 2050. The objective for these strategies is to identify how the EU can reach its target of an 80% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 compared to 1990 levels. None of these scenarios involve the large-scale implementation of district heating, but instead they focus on the electrification of the heating sector (primarily using heat pumps) and/or the large-scale implementation of electricity and heat savings. In this paper, the potential for district heating in the EU between now and 2050 is identified, based on extensive and detailed mapping of the EU heat demand and various supply options. Subsequently, a new 'district heating plus heat savings' scenario is technically and economically assessed from an energy systems perspective. The results indicate that with district heating, the EU energy system will be able to achieve the same reductions in primary energy supply and carbon dioxide emissions as the existing alternatives proposed. However, with district heating these goals can be achieved at a lower cost, with heating and cooling costs reduced by approximately 15%. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Papaefthymiou G.,Ecofys | Papaefthymiou G.,Technical University of Delft | Dragoon K.,Flink Energy Consulting
Energy Policy | Year: 2016

Relying almost entirely on energy from variable renewable resources such as wind and solar energy will require a transformation in the way power systems are planned and operated. This paper outlines the necessary steps in creating power systems with the flexibility needed to maintain stability and reliability while relying primarily on variable energy resources. These steps are provided in the form of a comprehensive overview of policies, technical changes, and institutional systems, organized in three development phases: an initial phase (penetration up to about 10%) characterized by relatively mild changes to conventional power system operations and structures; a dynamic middle phase (up to about 50% penetration) characterized by phasing out conventional generation and a concerted effort to wring flexibility from existing infrastructure; and the high penetration phase that inevitably addresses how power systems operate over longer periods of weeks or months when variable generation will be in either short supply, or in over-abundance. Although this transition is likely a decades-long and incremental process and depends on the specifics of each system, the needed policies, research, demonstration projects and institutional changes need to start now precisely because of the complexity of the transformation. The list of policy actions presented in this paper can serve as a guideline to policy makers on effectuating the transition and on tracking the preparedness of systems. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Korsholm U.S.,Danish Meteorological Institute | Amstrup B.,Danish Meteorological Institute | Boermans T.,Ecofys | Sorensen J.H.,Danish Meteorological Institute | Zhuang S.,Danish Meteorological Institute
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2012

The effects of building insulation on ground-level concentration levels of air pollutants are considered. We have estimated regionally averaged reductions in energy consumption between 2005 and 2020 by comparing a business as usual with a very low energy building scenario for the EU-25. The corresponding reductions in air pollutant emissions were calculated using emission factors. Annual simulations with an air-quality model, where only the emission reductions due to insulation was accounted for, were compared for the scenarios, and statistically significant changes in ground-level mass concentration of main air pollutants were found. Emission reductions of up to 9% in particulate matter and 6.3% for sulphur dioxide were found in north-western Europe. Emission changes were negligible for volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide decreased by 0.6% over southern Europe while nitrogen oxides changed by up to 2.5% in the Baltic region. Seasonally and regionally averaged changes in ground-level mass concentrations showed that sulphur dioxide decreased by up to 6.2% and particulate matter by up to 3.6% in north-western Europe. Nitrogen oxide concentrations decreased by 1.7% in Poland and increases of up to 0.6% were found for ozone. Carbon monoxide changes were negligible throughout the modelling domain. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.topix.com/energy/alt-energy

On March 11, 2016, a consortium made up of Ecofys, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis , and E4tech announced that the final report on the Land Use Change study is now available online. The study was commissioned and funded by the European Commission and was focused on using the GLOBIOM model to determine ILUC associated with the ten percent renewable energy use target for transportation mandated by the European Union's 2020 goals. Start the conversation, or Read more at JD Supra.

News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: http://www.theenergycollective.com/rss/all

To prevent catastrophic global warming, the world may have to issue a moratorium on new fossil-fuel power plants, writes David Fullbrook, senior consultant with DNV GL Energy’s Clean Technology Centre in Singapore. If that turns out to be politically impossible, project developers must start protecting electricity infrastructure from the impacts of a warming climate. “…if [Asia] implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished,” Jim Yong Kim, World Bank president, told Washington’s Climate Action Summit in early May. Kim’s frank comments about plans by China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam to build some 340 GW of new coal power plants by 2020 – three-quarters of the world’s total – were widely reported.[1] Kim’s concerns followed dispiriting research results demonstrating that the world cannot have both more fossil-fuel power plants and less than 2 degrees Celsius of global warming. In April Dutch research consultancy Ecofys concluded that building high-efficiency low-emissions coal power plants would not keep global warming below 2 Celsius.[2] Adding costly capture and storage technology to pump greenhouse-gas emissions deep underground did not change the conclusion, said Ecofys. In February, an Oxford University team found that for an even chance of staying below 2 Celsius power plants built after 2017 must be zero carbon.[3] However, carbon capture and storage is not yet ready for thousands of coal and gas power plants planned worldwide. Slipping prospects for 2 Celsius have since May been reinforced by research from around the world indicating that without a sea change in policy there is little hope for capping warming at 1.5 Celsius, the aspirational goal introduced at the Paris climate conference last December.[4] How the world decides to respond to the climate challenge has great implications for policy, planning and investment in energy, the primary source of industrial greenhouse gas emissions, as well as for security of supply. One option is a global moratorium on new greenhouse-gas emitting fossil-fuel power plants from 2017. This could be done in combination with grants and cheap international loans to help countries that are cancelling fossil-fuel power plants to rapidly develop energy efficiency, solar and wind. Technically that’s a challenge but doable for two reasons. One, China and India are proving solar and wind can be built quickly at scale. Two, such a massive mobilization and redirection of industry has been successfully undertaken before, during World War Two. Carbon capture and nuclear power[5] could part of such a global project, if costs fall. Remarkably, the effort to hasten decarbonization of energy could quickly pay for itself. Co-benefits for health, prosperity and security may exceed the costs of scrapping fossil fuels, reckons the Global Commission for Economy and Climate.[6] In 2014 fossil fuels caused harm costing nearly 50 times more than subsidies for renewable energy, calculated International Monetary Fund analysts.[7] That year direct subsidies for fossil fuels were almost 5 times those for renewable energy, estimates the International Energy Agency.[8] Politically a moratorium looks like a tall order. Still, when the stakes are high states sometimes move swiftly. The global bailout of banks in 2008 is one example. Another is the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, agreed two years after discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole in 1985. If a moratorium remains out of reach, electricity infrastructure being built from now on must plan for the impacts of a world warming beyond 2 Celsius on food, water and security[9] to secure supply. It is an endeavour clouded by uncertainty because interdependencies and feedbacks between climate and food-providing ecosystems, societies and security are complex, dynamic and potentially surprising. Long-held design assumptions must be revisited to ensure electricity infrastructure performs as we need under an increasingly harsh climate. Engineering must pay greater attention to social stress, rising seas, and, most critically, competition for water. Steps must be taken to ensure the workforce is not undermined by climate impacts. Adapting conventional approaches generally raises costs affecting risk and return for investors committing to decades-long projects like electricity infrastructure. But second-guessing global policy over the next few years and trying to figure out the best way to adapt new infrastructure may be something of a fool’s errand. A less risky and future-proof option for planners and investors might be to fundamentally rethink how they build electricity and energy systems, preferring technologies and designs which simultaneously tackle greenhouse gas emissions and increase operational resilience to climate change. This could be a golden opportunity, particularly in Asia, where so much electricity infrastructure is yet to be built. Energy efficiency, batteries, solar modules and wind turbines are less vulnerable to climate change impacts and policy than conventional alternatives. Costs for renewable energy technologies are falling fast too, making for attractive investments, whether or not a moratorium comes to pass. David Fullbrook, an ecological economist, is senior consultant strategy and policy with DNV GL Energy in Singapore. He writes on DNV GL’s blog Energy in Transition. [2] Wong, L., de Jaeger, D., van Breevoort, P. 2016. The incompatibility of high-efficient coal technology with 2 Celsius scenarios. Utrecht: Ecofys http://www.ecofys.com/en/news/even-most-efficient-coal-puts-global-climate-goals-out-of-reach/ [3] Alexander Pfeiffer, Richard Millar, Cameron Hepburn, Eric Beinhocker, The ‘2°C capital stock’ for electricity generation: Committed cumulative carbon emissions from the electricity generation sector and the transition to a green economy, Applied Energy, Available online 24 March 2016, ISSN 0306-2619, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.02.093 [5] B. K. Sovacool, A. Gilbert, and D. Nugent, “An international comparative assessment of construction cost overruns for electricity infrastructure,” Energy Res. Soc. Sci., vol. 3, pp. 152–160, Sep. 2014; Jonathan Koomey, Nathan E. Hultman, Arnulf Grubler, A reply to “Historical construction costs of global nuclear power reactors”, Energy Policy, April 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2016.03.052; Alexander Gilbert, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Phil Johnstone, Andy Stirling, Cost overruns and financial risk in the construction of nuclear power reactors: A critical appraisal, Energy Policy, April 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.001. [6] GCEC, “Better Growth Better Climate,” The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Washington, DC, 2014.

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