This invited keynote paper is the most recent among similar reviews published by the author, update to year 2011. In a format similar to that in past reviews, recent estimates and forecasts of the conventional fossil fuel resources and their reserve/production ratio, nuclear power, and renewable energy potential, and energy uses are surveyed. A brief discussion of the status, sustainability (economic, environmental and social impact), and prospects of fossil, nuclear and renewable energy use, and of power generation is presented. Beyond the general review, the paper focuses this year on some of the many important areas that deserve more attention: (1) the recently emerging game-changing developments of postponement of “peak oil”, nuclear power future following the disaster in Japan, and effects of the recent global economy downturn of global sustainability, (2) the potential and impacts of electric cars (3) the often neglected energy status and promising potential of Africa. Some ways to resolve the problem of the availability, cost, and sustainability of energy resources alongside the rapidly rising demand are discussed. The author\\\'s view of the promising energy R&D areas, their potential, foreseen improvements and their time scale, and last year\\\'s trends in government funding are presented.
This presentation describes and promotes strategies for how to use the present economic crisis and investments in sustainable energy as a driver for job creation and industrial development and, thereby, economic growth.
The presentation takes a historical point of departure in the economic crisis of the 70s and 80s, in which countries like Denmark experienced massive unemployment in combination with severe balance of payments deficits. However, an active Danish energy policy with a focus on sustainable energy and employment did succeed in stabilising the primary energy supply while maintaining economic growth and developing growth in exports related to sustainable energy. The Danish policy was based on active strategies of job creation, technological innovation, and concerns for the balance of payment. Especially in the 80s, such strategies played an important role in the implementation of investments in green technologies such as CHP plants, wind turbines, and renovation of buildings. Both at the governmental as well as at the municipal level, methodologies of including job creation benefits in socio-economic feasibility studies were developed and applied when political decisions were made. Expenses related to fossil fuels import were partly replaced by salary costs in Denmark. Moreover, the Danish export of green energy technologies has increased year by year and is now a major factor in the Danish economy. From being a burden to the Danish economy, the energy sector today makes a positive contribution to the GDP.
From such historical point of departure, this presentation promotes the thesis that the same type of strategies may be applied again today in Denmark as well as in similar countries. The presentation puts forward the results of a recent study entitled “Heating Plan Denmark 2010”, showing how, over the next 20 years, fossil fuels can be replaced with biomass, solar, wind and geothermal energy. Over the course of the next 20 years, Denmark will be able to heat its homes, institutions and commercial buildings without any CO2 impacts on the climate..The conversion to renewable energy sources is projected to cost around DKK 70 billion over 10 years, but more importantly, it will result in the creation of 7-8000 additional jobs in Denmark, and it is therefore expected to give positive returns on the governmental expenditures. Tools and methodologies to conduct such analyses are presented.
The presentation will review the current role of hydropower in the global energy mix, with current trends on a regional basis, followed by an analysis of factors determining further development. Specific attention will be given to sustainability assessment in the hydropower sector.
An overview of hydropower in the world’s energy mix will be presented in relation to primary energy, electricity and renewable energy generation. This will include a review of the levels of service from hydropower according to its generic typologies.
A regional analysis of hydropower development, remaining potential, and capacity under construction will be presented, with some explanations for the differentiation of current activities and levels of deployment. This will include discussion on synergies with other renewables; and perspectives on financial structuring and market incentives.
The question of sustainability, its definition within particular contexts, and its assessment have been challenges for many human activities; hydropower is certainly no exception. For more than a decade, work has been conducted to define good practice and establish an assessment methodology that is globally applicable to hydropower. A summary of the progress of this multi-stakeholder initiative to define and measure sustainability will conclude the presentation.
Resilience is the ability to avoid, minimize, withstand, and recover from the effects of adversity, whether natural or man-made, under all circumstances of use. Resilience applied to the critical infrastructure is trustworthiness under stress and spans high availability, continuous operation, and disaster recovery.
Energy resilience is the ability of the energy system to provide and maintain an acceptable level of service in the face of various challenges to normal operation. Loss of resilience can cause loss of valuable energy system services, and may even lead to rapid transitions or shifts into qualitatively different situations and configurations, described for e.g. people, ecosystems, knowledge systems, or whole cultures. In general terms, the vulnerability of a system is assessed according to the concept of resilience, developed in the mathematics of non-linear differential equations.
The resilience of energy systems is defined as the capacity of an energy system to withstand perturbations from e.g. climatic, economic, technological and social causes and to rebuild and renew itself afterwards. In this respect, quantification of the resilience capacity change can be used as the merit to withstand different events leading to potential catastrophic consequences.
In this analysis, a coal fired power plant of 300 MW in condense regimes is taken into consideration. Due to limited availability of data, this exercise has been limited to economic, environmental, technological and social criteria. As defined, the Sustainability Index is the measure of the Resilience Index. In this respect, the change of indicators is scaled in the same scale, so that the time increment for all indicators is the same.
The Resilience Index of the power plant under consideration is defined under specific constrains, namely the change of specific indicators with other indicators being constant. This approach gives us the possibility to validate the effect indicators change on the safety of an energy system under specific constrain.
Traditionally energy policy of Southeast European countries was based on the combination of local fuels, mainly local coal and hydro power, while the balance was filled by fuel oil. The nuclear energy has made strong growth in countries with weak coal lobby. The natural gas, some local but mainly imported from Russia is making inroads, and European integration of the region is pushing new renewable energies, in particular wind and biomass. Meanwhile, often integrally integrated energy companies are blocking energy liberalisation and integration of regional energy markets which is currently planned for 2014. Traditional use of biomass for heating is strong accross the region, while the solar heating is only strong in countries which did not have much of natural gas and hydro. On the other hand the European Union, under the pressure of security of energy supply and climate change, has started to implement a new energy-climate package of measures, reaching for obligatory targets of 20% renewable energy in gross consumption, 10% renewable fuels in transport, 20% decrease of greenhouse gases emissions, 20% increase of energy efficiency by 2020. It is only a stepping stone on the way to decarbonize the energy systems in the long run. Starting from 2018 newly build and refurbished buildings will have to be energy neutral, meaning they would have to become very efficient in order to produce its own energy from renewable resources. The plan is to fully decarbonize power generation by 2050 by investing significantly into renewable resources, energy storage, while keeping the nuclear energy as much as public acceptance allows and obliging fossil fuel power plants to store CO2 underground. Power systems with high penetration of renewables require much better and smart power grids, but also integration of different energy systems like power, heat and transport, and the energy storage becoming one of the pillars of the new energy systems. The growth of reversible hydro has already started in countries that reached 15% of wind energy on yearly basis, while heat storage and electrical cars are considered significant technologies for evacuating excess of intermittent energy in the near future. EU has also started to regulate CO2 emissions per km driven for new vehicles, which will eventually force electrification of the transport. The Southeast Europe governments are preparing for the new energy policy, but being pulled by their local coal and imported natural gas interests, its implementation will go slowly, unless the EU rules become biting.
100 % electricity supply by renewable energies is content of several scientific studies. Nowadays, they exist for many countries or even transnational regions like e.g. the EU-MENA-region combining the electricity markets by large so-called overlay-grids. Today, it is not any more questioned whether it is possible to have a 100 % renewable supply or not. The controversial issue is more the best way on how to arrive there – the best future system configuration.
This paper doesn’t want to answer this question about the best way. It wants to highlight the extremes between positions and to illustrate how heat, cold and transport are affected by different approaches to a 100 % electricity supply by renewables and to present current scientific discussions. Among these:
Centralized or decentralized? Renewable resources have the big advantage that they are widely distributed and that electricity could be produced by small and decentralized converters. On the other hand some locations in the world have better renewable resources than other locations and it is proposed to interconnect even continents via grids. What is best? Or is there a compromise in-between?
Balancing renewables via energy storage, via large interconnected areas or via renewable overproduction? Most renewables are of intermittent nature. Anyhow, basically three ways could lead to stable electricity systems. Renewable electricity could be stored in times of overproduction in order to be used during times of underproduction. Renewable converters could be interconnected in order to better balance weather dependent generation. Or, when renewable generation is continuing with decreasing costs simply renewable overproduction could be the solution. What is the best way?
With the requirement for seasonal storage in large quantities maybe only hydrogen production and storage or renewable methane production and storage are feasible ways to go. Especially the least one opens the opportunity to mesh electricity system with supplies for heat and cold – and this without changing the current infrastructures. How do storage solutions interact with heat and cold supply?