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Special Issue "Energy Systems Transformation: Systems Analysis, Infrastructures, Operation, and Market Design"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "I: Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Agert
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Director of the Institute of Networked Energy Systems within the German Aerospace Center DLR Carl-von-Ossietzky-Str. 15, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
Interests: materials and device development for energy converters; renewable energy technologies and systems; energy systems analysis
Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Interests: technology assessment; sustainable development; energy transformation; ethics of technology
Dr. Wilhelm Kuckshinrichs
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy and Climate Research—Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE), D-52425 Jülich, Germany
Interests: socio-economics of energy transition; sustainability assessment of energy systems and technologies; energy transition and bio-economics
Prof. Dr. Detlef Stolten
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Energy and Climate Research—Techno-Economic System Analysis (IEK-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52428 Jülich, Germany
Interests: electrochemical energy engineering; electrochemistry and energy process engineering of electrolysis; SOFC and PEFC systems; fuel cells and hydrogen
Dr. Thomas Vogt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Energy Systems Analysis, DLR Institute of Networked Energy Systems, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
Interests: energy systems analysis; renewable energy technologies and systems; technology assessments; grid and system modelling; environmental impact analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy systems are currently undergoing fundamental transformation processes all around the globe. These processes aim at establishing sustainable and climate-neutral solutions based on a variety of novel technologies. Renewable energies fluctuations, their distributed technical character, and vanishing marginal costs induce related fundamental change within the technical, economic, and societal areas of energy systems. This Special Issue is dedicated to recent advances in this very broad field of research, which includes energy systems analysis, energy infrastructures transformation, energy systems operation, and energy market design, as well as societal, political, and environmental dimensions. The main criteria for paper acceptance are relevance to the field; academic excellence; and originality and novelty of applications, methods, or fundamental findings.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Agert
Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Dr. Wilhelm Kuckshinrichs
Prof. Dr. Detlef Stolten
Dr. Thomas Vogt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy systems analysis
  • energy infrastructures
  • energy systems operation
  • energy market design

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
County Clustering with Bioenergy as Flexible Power Unit in a Renewable Energy System
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5227; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175227 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 358
Abstract
The pressure on the energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is increasing. In the light of current greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector, further expansion of renewable energy sources (RES) is inevitable to reduce emissions and reach the climate goals. This [...] Read more.
The pressure on the energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is increasing. In the light of current greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector, further expansion of renewable energy sources (RES) is inevitable to reduce emissions and reach the climate goals. This study aims at investigating structural characteristics of German counties regarding advantages for self-sufficient power systems based on RES. The modelling of the power sector based on RES is coupled with a cluster analysis in order to draw a large-scale conclusion on structural characteristics beneficial or obstructive for municipal energy systems. Ten clusters are identified with the Ward algorithm in a hierarchical-agglomerative method. The results underline a further need for RES expansion projects in order to close the gap between supply and demand. Only then, bioenergy can effectively balance the offset and support a truly self-sufficient local energy system. While the model results indicate that the majority of the counties are suitable for further expansion, this suitability is to be questioned in cluster 10. High population density is a critical characteristic, because with it come both a high demand and limited sites for further RES expansion projects. Full article
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Article
Addressing the Effect of Social Acceptance on the Distribution of Wind Energy Plants and the Transmission Grid in Germany
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4824; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164824 - 07 Aug 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Social acceptance is increasingly becoming a limiting factor in implementing the energy transition in Germany. From today’s perspective, the expansion of wind energy and future transmission grids is only somewhat a technical or economic challenge rather than a social one. Since political decisions [...] Read more.
Social acceptance is increasingly becoming a limiting factor in implementing the energy transition in Germany. From today’s perspective, the expansion of wind energy and future transmission grids is only somewhat a technical or economic challenge rather than a social one. Since political decisions on the energy system transformation are often derived from findings of energy system modeling, it seems necessary to increasingly integrate the effects of socio-ecological aspects, such as acceptance issues in energy models. In this paper, an approach is introduced to address effects of social acceptance in energy system models by comparing the influence of different distribution scenarios of wind energy in Germany on the expansion need for future transmission lines. The results show that a socio-ecologic distribution of onshore wind installations according to a balanced burden of the German society does not reduce the grid expansion need significantly compared to an economic siting. An actual reduction of planned transmission grids could just be achieved by a more decentral scenario, including decentral market design. The sensitivity of regionalization is an opportunity to consider local acceptance issues within energy system models and should move more into focus inside the procedure of the current grid development process in Germany. Full article
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Article
Integrative Scenario Assessment as a Tool to Support Decisions in Energy Transition
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061580 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 533
Abstract
Energy scenarios represent a prominent tool to support energy system transitions towards sustainability. In order to better fulfil this role, two elements are widely missing in previous work on designing, analyzing, and using scenarios: First, a more systematic integration of social and socio-technical [...] Read more.
Energy scenarios represent a prominent tool to support energy system transitions towards sustainability. In order to better fulfil this role, two elements are widely missing in previous work on designing, analyzing, and using scenarios: First, a more systematic integration of social and socio-technical characteristics of energy systems in scenario design, and, second, a method to apply an accordingly enhanced set of indicators in scenario assessment. In this article, an integrative scenario assessment methodology is introduced that combines these two requirements. It consists of: (i) A model-based scenario analysis using techno-economic and ecological indicators; (ii) a non-model-based analysis using socio-technical indicators; (iii) an assessment of scenario performances with respect to pre-determined indicator targets; (iv) a normalization method to make the two types of results (model-based and non-model-based) comparable; (v) an approach to classify results to facilitate structured interpretation. The combination of these elements represents the added-value of this methodology. It is illustrated for selected indicators, and exemplary results are presented. Methodological challenges and remaining questions, e.g., regarding the analysis of non-model-based indicators, resource requirements, or the robustness of the methodology are pointed out and discussed. We consider this integrative methodology being a substantial improvement of previous scenario assessment methodologies. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Hydrogen Cost and Transport Technology in France and Germany for Various Production and Demand Scenarios
Energies 2021, 14(3), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030744 - 31 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Green hydrogen for mobility represents an alternative to conventional fuel to decarbonize the transportation sector. Nevertheless, the thermodynamic properties make the transport and the storage of this energy carrier at standard conditions inefficient. Therefore, this study deploys a georeferenced optimal transport infrastructure for [...] Read more.
Green hydrogen for mobility represents an alternative to conventional fuel to decarbonize the transportation sector. Nevertheless, the thermodynamic properties make the transport and the storage of this energy carrier at standard conditions inefficient. Therefore, this study deploys a georeferenced optimal transport infrastructure for four base case scenarios in France and Germany that differs by production distribution based on wind power potential and demand capacities for the mobility sector at different penetration shares for 2030 and 2050. The restrained transport network to the road infrastructure allows focusing on the optimum combination of trucks operating at different states of aggregations and storage technologies and its impact on the annual cost and hydrogen flow using linear programming. Furthermore, four other scenarios with production cost investigate the impact of upstream supply chain cost, and eight scenarios with daily transport and storage optimization analyse the modeling method sensitivity. The results show that compressed hydrogen gas at a high presser level around 500 bar was, on average, a better option. However, at an early stage of hydrogen fuel penetration, substituting compressed gas at low to medium pressure levels by liquid organic hydrogen carrier minimizes the transport and storage costs. Finally, in France, hydrogen production matches population distribution, in contrast to Germany, which suffers from supply and demand disparity. Full article
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Article
Modeling the Supply of Renewable Electricity to Metropolitan Regions in China
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3042; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123042 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
The accelerated urbanization and industrialization in China is leading to major challenges due to rising energy demand and emissions. Cities in particular play an important role in the decision-making and implementation processes for the energy transition. However, they often have only limited local [...] Read more.
The accelerated urbanization and industrialization in China is leading to major challenges due to rising energy demand and emissions. Cities in particular play an important role in the decision-making and implementation processes for the energy transition. However, they often have only limited local energy potential and are heavily dependent on supply regions. We therefore assess how a predominantly renewable power supply can be implemented based on the availability of local or imported renewable resources. We present a case study in which an advanced energy system model is parametrized and applied to address questions which are relevant to the transformation of the energy system in China. The model is capable of simultaneously optimizing investment decisions and hourly power balances of a scenario year, taking into account different storage technologies, regional power exchange and policy constraints such as carbon cap, carbon price and renewable portfolio standards. The study takes the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan region with Inner Mongolia as a supply region—considered as exemplary regions characterized by heterogeneous infrastructures, resources and consumption—as its model. Starting from a context-related normative energy scenario, we analyze a possible future electricity system under various assumptions using the Renewable Energy Mix (REMix) energy system model developed at the DLR (German Aerospace Center). Depending on the estimated potentials of renewable energies, technology costs and the projected electricity demand, the metropolitan region is mainly supplied with imported wind and solar power. A sensitivity analysis considers installed capacities, annual generation, CO2 emissions and costs. The results indicate that the assumption of storage costs is of great importance for the future total costs of an electricity system. Variations in other parameters led to different generation portfolios with similar system costs. Our results provide insights into future regional infrastructure needs, and underline the importance of regional coordination and governance for the energy transition in China. Full article
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Article
Replacing Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power with Renewable Energy: Utopia or Valid Option? A Swiss Case Study of Bioenergy
Energies 2020, 13(8), 2051; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13082051 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1280
Abstract
The transition towards a reliable, sustainable, low-carbon energy system is a major challenge of the 21st century. Due to the lower energy density of many renewable energy sources, a future system is expected to be more decentralized, leading to significant changes at the [...] Read more.
The transition towards a reliable, sustainable, low-carbon energy system is a major challenge of the 21st century. Due to the lower energy density of many renewable energy sources, a future system is expected to be more decentralized, leading to significant changes at the regional scale. This study analyzes the feasibility of the energy transition in the Swiss canton of Aargau as an illustrative example and explores different strategies to satisfy the local demand for electricity, heat, and fuel by 2035. In particular, we assess the potential contribution of biomass. Four scenarios demonstrate what energy demand proportion could be covered by bioenergy if different priorities were given to the provision of heat, electricity, and fuel. The impact of improved conversion technologies is also considered. The results show that the sustainably available renewable energy sources in canton Aargau will probably not be sufficient to cover its forecasted energy demand in 2035, neither with present nor future biomass conversion technologies. At best, 74% of the energy demand could be met by renewables. Biomass can increase the degree of autarky by a maximum of 13%. Depending on the scenario, at least 26–43% (2500–5700 GWh) of total energy demand is lacking, particularly for mobility purposes. Full article
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