Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland, and colleagues have produced a simulation which, they claim, shows that the whole world's electricity supplies could be provided by wind and solar, with some gas and enormous amounts of storage.
Simulation brings global 100% renewable electricity system alive for the first time Lappeenranta University of Technology; 3 Nov 2016
- A new model developed by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) shows how an electricity system mainly based on solar and wind works in all regions of the world. It shows the functioning of an electricity system that fulfils the targets set by the Paris agreement by using only renewable energy sources.
- The global Internet of Energy Model visualizes a 100 percent renewable energy system (100%RE) for the electricity sector for 2030. It can do this for the entire world which, in the model, has been structured into 145 regions, which are all visualised, and aggregated to 9 major world regions.
- "With the simulation, anyone can explore what a renewable electricity system would look like. This is the first time scientists have been able to do this on a global scale." says Christian Breyer, LUT Solar Economy Professor and a leading scientist behind the model.
- The model is designed to find the most economical solution for a renewable electricity system. The model shows how the supply of electricity can be organised to cover the electricity demand for all hours of the year. This means that best mix of renewable energy generation, storage and transmission components can be found to cover the electricity demand, leading to total electricity cost roughly between 55 and 70 euros per megawatt-hour for all 9 major regions in the world.
- But the story does not end here. The researchers have ambitious goals to develop the model further. Future upgrades will go from looking only at the electricity sector to showing the full energy sector, including heat and mobility sectors. The model will also describe how to transition from the current energy system towards a fully sustainable one.
Global energy model solely reliant on renewables realistically simulated Jack Loughran; IET Engineering & Technology; 10 Nov 2016
- An electricity grid system 100 per cent based on renewable energy production that works in all regions of the world has been successfully simulated using a complex computer model. Created by a team at the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland, it demonstrates how an electricity system that fulfils the targets set by the Paris Agreement by using only renewable energy sources could work.
- This means that best mix of renewable energy generation, storage and transmission components can be found to cover the electricity demand, leading to total electricity cost roughly between 55 and 70 euros per megawatt-hour for all nine major regions in the world.
- But the story does not end here. The researchers have ambitious goals to develop the model further. Future upgrades will go from looking only at the electricity sector to showing the full energy sector, including heat and mobility sectors.
Analysis / criticism of LUT plan
The Lappeenranta renewable energy model – is it realistic? Roger Andrews; Energy Matters; 8 Mar 2017
- No data to back up the 55-70 euros/MWh generation cost estimate are provided.
- According to my rough calculations Europe would have to install an additional 500GW of PV and 900GW of wind to achieve LUT’s 2030 generation mix – and connect it all to a heavily beefed-up grid – in little more than a decade.
- Britain: energy mix will require approximately 250GW of wind capacity and 70GW of solar capacity along with maybe 35GW of “other” capacity, about 15GW of which will be CCGTs and OCGTs. Battery storage requirements are around 65GWh with a peak charge requirement of 10.5MW.
- France: Approximately 230GW of wind capacity and 90GW of solar capacity will be needed along with maybe 50GW of “other” capacity, about 13GW of which will be CCGTs and OCGTs. Battery storage requirements are around 90GWh with a peak charge of 14.3GW
- Germany: Approximately 220GW of wind capacity and 150GW of solar capacity will be needed along with maybe 60GW of “other” capacity, about 25GW of which will be CCGTs and OCGTs. Battery storage requirements are around 135GWh with a peak charge of 21GW
- The LUT model matches fluctuations in wind and solar generation to demand largely by varying export and imports, as evidenced by the strong inverse relationship between generation and imports/exports in Britain, France and Germany shown in Figures ...
- By adopting this approach the LUT model assumes that every country in Europe, regardless of size, can balance its erratic renewables generation against demand the same way Denmark does it. Even the Danes admit they can do this only because they are a bit player on the Nordic Grid. For the approach to work on the large scale power deficits in one area must be offset by surpluses in another, which will not happen with solar because when it’s dark in one part of Europe it will be dark or getting dark everywhere else too. It probably won’t happen with wind either. Previous Energy Matters posts have demonstrated how wind lulls in Europe extend over large areas, leaving everyone with power deficits. Nevertheless the LUT model reportedly achieves a balance, so next we will look into the question of how it achieves i
- I considered Britain, France and Germany as one single country (hereafter BFG)
- The power transfers between BFG and surrounding countries are very large, and in Switzerland and Denmark on May 14 they approach or exceed the country’s total generation. Switzerland on November 23 is expected to absorb ten times as much electricity as it generates. The Czech Republic generates three times as much electricity at 11am on May 14 as it does at 7pm on November 23 while neighboring Poland generates the same amount. Results like these are not credible. The LUT model is bending the data beyond the limits of reality to make things balance.
- Interconnector capacity: According to the LUT hourly data Britain will export up to 44.8GW, France up to 66.1GW and Germany up to 54.8GW in 2030, and interconnectors must be sized accordingly. Britain presently has only ~3GW of interconnector capacity with the continent while France and Germany have ~14 and ~22 GW respectively of interconnections with each other and with surrounding countries. So to match the LUT export totals Germany would have to add approximately 30GW, Britain 40GW and France 50GW of interconnectors. Again, it will be effectively impossible to install such enormous amounts of additional interconnector capacity in the time available.
- Battery Storage: The LUT hourly data contemplate that Britain, France and Germany between them will have approximately 300GWh of battery storage in 2030. This much storage would keep the electricity flowing in these countries for only an hour or so during peak demand periods, so we can safely assume that its purpose is short-term load following. But 300GWh of lithium-ion batteries at current prices would cost upwards of 100 billion euros, and this is for Britain, France and Germany only. Assuming similar levels of battery storage for the other countries in the world that LUT has developed plans for would raise battery costs well into the trillions. It’s also questionable whether this many batteries could even be assembled and installed by 2030. After years of effort worldwide installed battery storage capacity is still down in the hundreds of MWh range –several orders of magnitude less than the 2030 capacities required by the LUT plan.
The Lappeenranta Internet of Energy in Europe Euan Mearns; Energy Matters; 22 Mar 2017
Is the Lappeenranta IOE Wind Model Realistic? Euan Mearns; Energy Matters; 25 Mar 2017
- The Lappeenrata University of Technology (LUT) Internet of Energy (IOE) model for Europe aims to provide a 100% renewable electricity system costing €55 to €70 per MWh by 2030. A feature of the model are annualised wind profiles that plateau at capacity production which look nothing like the profiles of the current wind carpets. The profiles have the appearance of being curtailed, however, Professor Breyer who heads the LUT IOE team has explained that their model uses “weak turbines” that hit capacity production at lower wind speeds of 11 ms-1 compared with 14 ms-1 today. This is is combined with using taller towers with 160 m hub heights allowing the turbines to access stronger and more continuous wind. Tall towers today are about half that height. The result is that the LUT IOE wind turbines produce twice the energy of today’s – according to the model (Figures 6, 8, 10 and 12).