Future highly renewable Chinese energy systems: fundamentals and techno-economic design

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling


This dissertation is a collection of research articles that focus on long-term investment planning of a highly renewable Chinese energy system. Today's energy sectors in China are undergoing radical transformation towards higher level of sustainability, and this dissertation aims to answer questions what the future system would look like and how to get there.

Given the complexity of such a system, accurate representation of the technical operations and the interactions in the system economics is crucial. Years of high-resolution data of wind, solar and hydro power are modeled here using state-of-the-art practices, in order to capture their production and operational characteristics.

The renewables' weather dependent availability and geographical variations raise the question of how to best exploit them for a cost-optimal system. If wind and solar generation were distributed homogeneously, the best renewable resources would not be fully utilized and total system costs may be higher than the spatially heterogeneous optimum. With a heuristic and a numerical optimization approach, potential economic gains of heterogeneity for the whole electricity system, including backup generation and transmission, are quantified.

Hydro, storage and transmission are important facilitating units for variable renewable dominated systems. With two transmission grid expansion strategies, I assess the flexibility from reservoir hydro and the benefits of investing in battery and hydrogen storage capacities and determine their role in the transition time-line in terms of a lower system cost.

Synergies of coupling electricity to the heating sector and their interactions in the transition are also discussed. The impact of two policy possibilities on the cost-optimal emission reduction pseudo-pathways are explored: only a single emission reduction target for both sectors or separate targets. In terms of optimal investment, the two schemes show opposite sectoral evolution paths, specifically which sector is defossilized first.
ForlagAarhus Universitet
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2019

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