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Energies 2017, 10(12), 2080; doi:10.3390/en10122080

The Future of the European Electricity Grid Is Bright: Cost Minimizing Optimization Shows Solar with Storage as Dominant Technologies to Meet European Emissions Targets to 2050

1
Fysisk Resurteori, Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Göteborg 41296, Sweden
2
Energiteknik, Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Göteborg 41296, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)

Abstract

The European roadmap for the power sector dictates an 80–95% cut of existing levels of carbon dioxide emissions is needed by the year 2050 to meet climate goals. This article describes results from a linear cost optimization investment model, ELIN, coupled with a solar technology model, Distributed Concentrating Solar Combined Heat and Power (DCS-CHP), using published investment costs for a comprehensive suite of renewable and conventional electricity generation technologies, to compare possible scenarios for the future electricity grid. The results of these model runs and sensitivity analyses indicate that: (1) solar photovoltaics (PV) with battery storage will likely play a very large role in meeting European targets; (2) concentrating solar power (CSP) with thermal energy storage is at a slight economic disadvantage with respect to PV to compete economically; (3) the economic potential of wind power is only comparable with solar PV if high wind penetration levels are allowed in the best wind sites in Europe; and (4) carbon capture and nuclear technologies are unlikely to compete economically with renewable technologies in creating a low-carbon future grid. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar power; energy storage; energy systems solar power; energy storage; energy systems
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Norwood, Z.; Goop, J.; Odenberger, M. The Future of the European Electricity Grid Is Bright: Cost Minimizing Optimization Shows Solar with Storage as Dominant Technologies to Meet European Emissions Targets to 2050. Energies 2017, 10, 2080.

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