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68 Research products, page 1 of 7

  • SDSN - Greece
  • Publications
  • European Commission
  • MEDEAS
  • Energy Research

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Christian Kimmich; Ferdinand Wenzlaff;
    Publisher: Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis
    Countries: Austria, Czech Republic
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    Growth dynamics are often explained by insatiable wants or anthropological constants, modelled as preferences and behavioural axioms. By contrast, structural perspectives postulate a growth imperative due to macroeconomic or monetary system-inherent properties. Reconciling both perspectives, we develop a relational structure–agency framework to evaluate growth imperative hypotheses. We analytically separate the credit structure (including balance-sheet mechanics and nominal uncertainty) from institutional structure, and describe decision norms for households, entrepreneurs, commercial banks, central bank, and the state. Our framework suggests that the interplay of credit principles, income-dependent saving and portfolio saving rationales prevent the interest rate from adjusting downwards and thereby cause mature credit economies to stagnate. Underemployment results in growth policies becoming the dominant norm – seeking, under budget constraints, to overcome declining growth rates. Our method helps identifying agency to resolve this imperative. Preventing real asset inflation to relieve monetary policy at the effective lower bound appears essential.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Kat Buchmann; Aled Jones; Yiyun Zhang; Johanna Schönecker;
    Publisher: Informa UK Limited
    Country: United Kingdom
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    This paper assesses causes for, and challenges related to, the funding gap in infrastructure required for a large scale increase of renewable energy in the European energy mix, specifically crossborder interconnectors to transport renewable electricity from areas with high renewable energy potential and production to centres of energy consumption. We identify eight barriers that need to be addressed in order to make investment in interconnectors more attractive. We delineate both technological and governance/legislative barriers to investments in this area. Our analysis is based on a scoping literature review and a workshop that was held in London involving finance and legal experts.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Ilaria Perissi; Gianluca Martelloni; Ugo Bardi; Davide Natalini; Aled Jones; Angel Nikolaev; Lukas Eggler; Martin Baumann; Roger Samsó; Jordi Solé;
    Publisher: MDPI AG
    Countries: United Kingdom, Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    In the present study, we compare energy transition scenarios from a new set of Integrated Assessment Models, the suite of MEDEAS models, based on a systems dynamic modelling approach, with scenarios from two already well know structurally and conceptually different Integrated Assessment Models, the Integrated MARKAL-EFOM System (TIMES) and the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP). The investigation was carried out to cross-compare and benchmark the response of MEDEAS models with TIMES and LEAP in depicting the energy transition in two different countries, Austria and Bulgaria. The preliminary results show a good agreement across all the models in representing scenarios projecting historical trends, while a major discrepancy is detectable when the rate of implementation of renewable energy is forced to increase to achieve energy system decarbonization. The discrepancy is mainly traceable to the differences in the models’ conception and structures rather than in a real mismatch in representing the same scenarios. The present study is put forward as a guideline for validating new modelling approaches that link energy policy decision tools to the global biophysical and socioeconomic constraints.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Ignacio de Blas; Margarita Mediavilla; Iñigo Capellán-Pérez; Carmen Duce;
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287), EC | LOCOMOTION (821105)

    Achieving ambitious reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG) is particularly challenging for transportation due to the technical limitations of replacing oil-based fuels. We apply the integrated assessment model MEDEAS-World to study four global transportation decarbonization strategies for 2050. The results show that a massive replacement of oil-fueled individual vehicles to electric ones alone cannot deliver GHG reductions consistent with climate stabilization and could result in the scarcity of some key minerals, such as lithium and magnesium. In addition, energy-economy feedbacks within an economic growth system create a rebound effect that counters the benefits of substitution. The only strategy that can achieve the objectives globally follows the Degrowth paradigm, combining a quick and radical shift to lighter electric vehicles and non-motorized modes with a drastic reduction in total transportation demand. European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 691287 and 821105, respectively. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project FJCI-2016-28833) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project ECO2017-85110-R) Producción Científica

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Roger Samsó; Ignacio de Blas; Ilaria Perissi; Gianluca Martelloni; Jordi Solé;
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    Today's decision-makers rely heavily on Integrated Assessment Models to guide the decarbonisation of the energy system. Uncertainty is embedded in the assumptions these models are built upon. Unless those uncertainties are adequately assessed, using Integrated Assessment Models for policy design is unadvised. In this work we run Monte Carlo simulations with the MEDEAS model at European Union scale to assess how the uncertainties on the main drivers of the transition affect key socioeconomic and environmental indicators. In addition, One-at-a-time sensitivity exploration is performed to grade the contribution of a set of model parameters to the uncertainty in the same key indicators. The combination of the uncertainties in the model drivers magnify the uncertainty in the model outputs, which widens over time. Parameters affecting sectorial and households' energy efficiency and households' transport energy use ranked amongst the most impacting ones on simulation results This work has been financed by the MEDEAS project, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant agreement No 691287 of the Framework Program for Research and Innovation actions, H2020 LCE-21-2015 With the funding support of the ‘Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence’ accreditation (CEX2019-000928-S), of the Spanish Research Agency (AEI) Special issue Modelling the implementation of ‘A Clean Planet For All’ strategy.-- 13 pages, 7 figures, 9 tables Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Jordi Solé; Roger Samsó; Emilio García-Ladona; Antonio García-Olivares; Joaquim Ballabrera-Poy; T. Madurell; Antonio Turiel; Oleg Osychenko; D. Álvarez; Ugo Bardi; +36 more
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Countries: Austria, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Czech Republic
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    This paper reviews different approaches to modelling the energy transition towards a zero carbon economy. It identifies a number of limitations in current approaches such as a lack of consideration of out-of-equilibrium situations (like an energy transition) and non-linear feedbacks. To tackle those issues, the new open source integrated assessment model pymedeas is introduced, which allows the exploration of the design and planning of appropriate strategies and policies for decarbonizing the energy sector at World and EU level. The main novelty of the new open-source model is that it addresses the energy transition by considering biophysical limits, availability of raw materials, and climate change impacts. This paper showcases the model capabilities through several simulation experiments to explore alternative pathways for the renewable transition. In the selected scenarios of this work, future shortage of fossil fuels is found to be the most influential factor of the simulations system evolution. Changes in efficiency and climate change damages are also important determinants influencing model outcomes This work was supported by the European Union through the funding of the MEDEAS project under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [grant agreement No 69128] With the funding support of the ‘Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence’ accreditation (CEX2019-000928-S), of the Spanish Research Agency (AEI) 13 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables, 3 appendixes, supplementary data https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2020.110105 Peer reviewed

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Jaime Nieto; Óscar Carpintero; Luis Fernando Lobejón; Luis J. de Miguel;
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    The Energy Roadmap 2050 (ER2050) is committed to achieve the European Union's emissions mitigation goals by reducing energy use and a transition to renewables. The macroeconomic impacts of the Ref16 and ‘EUCO’ scenarios of this strategy have been reported to entail an absolute decoupling between GDP growth and energy use. The aim of this paper is assessing the ER2050 targets with a novel modelling methodology based on Post-Keynesian Economics, i.e. demand-led economic growth and Ecological Economics, i.e. taking into account absolute biophysical (energy availability) constrains to economic growth. Thus, this article presents the Economy module of the Integrated Assessment Model MEDEAS-Europe, combining System Dynamics and Input-Output analysis, and evaluates the ER2050 targets under different scenarios regarding primary income distribution, foreign trade, labour productivity, industrial policy and working time reduction. Our results show that GDP growth and employment creation may be halted due to energy scarcity if the ER2050 targets are met even considering great energy efficiency gains. In addition, the renewables share would increase enough to reduce the energy imports dependency, but not sufficiently to meet the emissions targets. Only a Post-Growth scenario would be able to meet the climate goals and maintain the level of employment. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project ECO2017-85110-R) European project H2020-LCE-2015-2 (691287) Producción Científica

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Antonio García-Olivares; Jordi Solé; Roger Samsó; Joaquim Ballabrera-Poy;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    and car sharing, electric buses and electric two- and three-wheelers, for short journeys. A system of charging posts on the streets and roads for passenger and commercial e-vehicles is studied. Alternatively, a Tracked Electric Vehicle system of continuous power on European roads would improve energy efficiency and the saving of scarce metals (Ni, Li), at a lower cost, if only national roads were electrified. The investment for the construction of the whole system would be 2.3&ndash s GDP per year for 30 years. The new system operation would require 16% less energy than that of 2016, with reduction of 70% in road transport. However, shipping and aviation would demand 162% and 149% more energy, respectively, if liquefied biogas were used as fuel. A type of land transport fully based on trains would provide a similar service to that of an electric vehicle fleet, with a 29% lower energy consumption. Europe must move towards a 100% renewable transportation system for climate, energy and sustainability reasons. We estimate the capital and energy required for building and operating a renewable transportation system providing similar services as the EU-28 transport system of 2016. It could be based on: biogas or fuel cell vessels electric railways and fuel cell or electric vehicles between major cities liquid biogas powered aircrafts 2.7% of the EU&rsquo

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Carlos de Castro; Iñigo Capellán-Pérez;
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | LOCOMOTION (821105), EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    Whether renewable energy sources (RES) will provide sufficient energy surplus to entirely power complex modern societies is under discussion. We contribute to this debate by estimating the current global average energy return on energy invested (EROI) for the five RES technologies with the highest potential of electricity generation from the comprehensive and internally consistent estimations of their material requirements at three distinct energy system boundaries: standard farm-gate (EROIst), final at consumer point-of-use (EROIfinal), and extended (including indirect investments, EROIext). EROIst levels found fall within the respective literature ranges. Expanding the boundaries closer to the system level, we find that only large hydroelectricity would currently have a high EROIext ~ 6.5:1, while the rest of variable RES would be below 3:1: onshore wind (2.9:1), offshore wind (2.3:1), solar Photovoltaic (PV) (1.8:1), and solar Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) (<1:1). These results indicate that, very likely, the global average EROIext levels of variable RES are currently below those of fossil fuel-fired electricity. It remains unknown if technological improvements will be able to compensate for factors, which will become increasingly important as the variable RES scale-up. Hence, without dynamically accounting for the evolution of the EROI of the system, the viability of sustainable energy systems cannot be ensured, especially for modern societies pursuing continuous economic growth LOCOMOTION project, funded by the EuropeanUnion’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder grant agreement no. 821105 MEDEAS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agree-ment no. 691287 Producción Científica

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Iñigo Capellán-Pérez; Ignacio de Blas; Jaime Nieto; Carlos de Castro; Luis J. de Miguel; Óscar Carpintero; Margarita Mediavilla; Luis Fernando Lobejón; Noelia Ferreras-Alonso; Paula Rodrigo; +2 more
    Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287), EC | LOCOMOTION (821105)

    A diversity of integrated assessment models (IAMs) coexists due to the different approaches developed to deal with the complex interactions, high uncertainties and knowledge gaps within the environment and human societies. This paper describes the open-source MEDEAS modeling framework, which has been developed with the aim of informing decision-making to achieve the transition to sustainable energy systems with a focus on biophysical, economic, social and technological restrictions and tackling some of the limitations identified in the current IAMs. MEDEAS models include the following relevant characteristics: representation of biophysical constraints to energy availability; modeling of the mineral and energy investments for the energy transition, allowing a dynamic assessment of the potential mineral scarcities and computation of the net energy available to society; consistent representation of climate change damages with climate assessments by natural scientists; integration of detailed sectoral economic structure (input–output analysis) within a system dynamics approach; energy shifts driven by physical scarcity; and a rich set of socioeconomic and environmental impact indicators. The potentialities and novel insights that this framework brings are illustrated by the simulation of four variants of current trends with the MEDEAS-world model: the consideration of alternative plausible assumptions and methods, combined with the feedback-rich structure of the model, reveal dynamics and implications absent in classical models. Our results suggest that the continuation of current trends will drive significant biophysical scarcities and impacts which will most likely derive in regionalization (priority to security concerns and trade barriers), conflict, and ultimately, a severe global crisis which may lead to the collapse of our modern civilization. Despite depicting a much more worrying future than conventional projections of current trends, we however believe it is a more realistic counterfactual scenario that will allow the design of improved alternative sustainable pathways in future work. LOCOMOTION project, funded by the EuropeanUnion’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder grant agreement no. 821105 MEDEAS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agree-ment no. 691287. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project JCI-2016–28833) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project CO2017-85110-R) Producción Científica

Advanced search in Research products
Research products
arrow_drop_down
Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
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arrow_drop_down
Include:
The following results are related to SDSN - Greece. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
68 Research products, page 1 of 7
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Christian Kimmich; Ferdinand Wenzlaff;
    Publisher: Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis
    Countries: Austria, Czech Republic
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    Growth dynamics are often explained by insatiable wants or anthropological constants, modelled as preferences and behavioural axioms. By contrast, structural perspectives postulate a growth imperative due to macroeconomic or monetary system-inherent properties. Reconciling both perspectives, we develop a relational structure–agency framework to evaluate growth imperative hypotheses. We analytically separate the credit structure (including balance-sheet mechanics and nominal uncertainty) from institutional structure, and describe decision norms for households, entrepreneurs, commercial banks, central bank, and the state. Our framework suggests that the interplay of credit principles, income-dependent saving and portfolio saving rationales prevent the interest rate from adjusting downwards and thereby cause mature credit economies to stagnate. Underemployment results in growth policies becoming the dominant norm – seeking, under budget constraints, to overcome declining growth rates. Our method helps identifying agency to resolve this imperative. Preventing real asset inflation to relieve monetary policy at the effective lower bound appears essential.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Kat Buchmann; Aled Jones; Yiyun Zhang; Johanna Schönecker;
    Publisher: Informa UK Limited
    Country: United Kingdom
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    This paper assesses causes for, and challenges related to, the funding gap in infrastructure required for a large scale increase of renewable energy in the European energy mix, specifically crossborder interconnectors to transport renewable electricity from areas with high renewable energy potential and production to centres of energy consumption. We identify eight barriers that need to be addressed in order to make investment in interconnectors more attractive. We delineate both technological and governance/legislative barriers to investments in this area. Our analysis is based on a scoping literature review and a workshop that was held in London involving finance and legal experts.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Ilaria Perissi; Gianluca Martelloni; Ugo Bardi; Davide Natalini; Aled Jones; Angel Nikolaev; Lukas Eggler; Martin Baumann; Roger Samsó; Jordi Solé;
    Publisher: MDPI AG
    Countries: United Kingdom, Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    In the present study, we compare energy transition scenarios from a new set of Integrated Assessment Models, the suite of MEDEAS models, based on a systems dynamic modelling approach, with scenarios from two already well know structurally and conceptually different Integrated Assessment Models, the Integrated MARKAL-EFOM System (TIMES) and the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP). The investigation was carried out to cross-compare and benchmark the response of MEDEAS models with TIMES and LEAP in depicting the energy transition in two different countries, Austria and Bulgaria. The preliminary results show a good agreement across all the models in representing scenarios projecting historical trends, while a major discrepancy is detectable when the rate of implementation of renewable energy is forced to increase to achieve energy system decarbonization. The discrepancy is mainly traceable to the differences in the models&rsquo; conception and structures rather than in a real mismatch in representing the same scenarios. The present study is put forward as a guideline for validating new modelling approaches that link energy policy decision tools to the global biophysical and socioeconomic constraints.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Ignacio de Blas; Margarita Mediavilla; Iñigo Capellán-Pérez; Carmen Duce;
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287), EC | LOCOMOTION (821105)

    Achieving ambitious reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG) is particularly challenging for transportation due to the technical limitations of replacing oil-based fuels. We apply the integrated assessment model MEDEAS-World to study four global transportation decarbonization strategies for 2050. The results show that a massive replacement of oil-fueled individual vehicles to electric ones alone cannot deliver GHG reductions consistent with climate stabilization and could result in the scarcity of some key minerals, such as lithium and magnesium. In addition, energy-economy feedbacks within an economic growth system create a rebound effect that counters the benefits of substitution. The only strategy that can achieve the objectives globally follows the Degrowth paradigm, combining a quick and radical shift to lighter electric vehicles and non-motorized modes with a drastic reduction in total transportation demand. European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 691287 and 821105, respectively. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project FJCI-2016-28833) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project ECO2017-85110-R) Producción Científica

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Roger Samsó; Ignacio de Blas; Ilaria Perissi; Gianluca Martelloni; Jordi Solé;
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    Today's decision-makers rely heavily on Integrated Assessment Models to guide the decarbonisation of the energy system. Uncertainty is embedded in the assumptions these models are built upon. Unless those uncertainties are adequately assessed, using Integrated Assessment Models for policy design is unadvised. In this work we run Monte Carlo simulations with the MEDEAS model at European Union scale to assess how the uncertainties on the main drivers of the transition affect key socioeconomic and environmental indicators. In addition, One-at-a-time sensitivity exploration is performed to grade the contribution of a set of model parameters to the uncertainty in the same key indicators. The combination of the uncertainties in the model drivers magnify the uncertainty in the model outputs, which widens over time. Parameters affecting sectorial and households' energy efficiency and households' transport energy use ranked amongst the most impacting ones on simulation results This work has been financed by the MEDEAS project, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant agreement No 691287 of the Framework Program for Research and Innovation actions, H2020 LCE-21-2015 With the funding support of the ‘Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence’ accreditation (CEX2019-000928-S), of the Spanish Research Agency (AEI) Special issue Modelling the implementation of ‘A Clean Planet For All’ strategy.-- 13 pages, 7 figures, 9 tables Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Jordi Solé; Roger Samsó; Emilio García-Ladona; Antonio García-Olivares; Joaquim Ballabrera-Poy; T. Madurell; Antonio Turiel; Oleg Osychenko; D. Álvarez; Ugo Bardi; +36 more
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Countries: Austria, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Czech Republic
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    This paper reviews different approaches to modelling the energy transition towards a zero carbon economy. It identifies a number of limitations in current approaches such as a lack of consideration of out-of-equilibrium situations (like an energy transition) and non-linear feedbacks. To tackle those issues, the new open source integrated assessment model pymedeas is introduced, which allows the exploration of the design and planning of appropriate strategies and policies for decarbonizing the energy sector at World and EU level. The main novelty of the new open-source model is that it addresses the energy transition by considering biophysical limits, availability of raw materials, and climate change impacts. This paper showcases the model capabilities through several simulation experiments to explore alternative pathways for the renewable transition. In the selected scenarios of this work, future shortage of fossil fuels is found to be the most influential factor of the simulations system evolution. Changes in efficiency and climate change damages are also important determinants influencing model outcomes This work was supported by the European Union through the funding of the MEDEAS project under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [grant agreement No 69128] With the funding support of the ‘Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence’ accreditation (CEX2019-000928-S), of the Spanish Research Agency (AEI) 13 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables, 3 appendixes, supplementary data https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2020.110105 Peer reviewed

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Jaime Nieto; Óscar Carpintero; Luis Fernando Lobejón; Luis J. de Miguel;
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    The Energy Roadmap 2050 (ER2050) is committed to achieve the European Union's emissions mitigation goals by reducing energy use and a transition to renewables. The macroeconomic impacts of the Ref16 and ‘EUCO’ scenarios of this strategy have been reported to entail an absolute decoupling between GDP growth and energy use. The aim of this paper is assessing the ER2050 targets with a novel modelling methodology based on Post-Keynesian Economics, i.e. demand-led economic growth and Ecological Economics, i.e. taking into account absolute biophysical (energy availability) constrains to economic growth. Thus, this article presents the Economy module of the Integrated Assessment Model MEDEAS-Europe, combining System Dynamics and Input-Output analysis, and evaluates the ER2050 targets under different scenarios regarding primary income distribution, foreign trade, labour productivity, industrial policy and working time reduction. Our results show that GDP growth and employment creation may be halted due to energy scarcity if the ER2050 targets are met even considering great energy efficiency gains. In addition, the renewables share would increase enough to reduce the energy imports dependency, but not sufficiently to meet the emissions targets. Only a Post-Growth scenario would be able to meet the climate goals and maintain the level of employment. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project ECO2017-85110-R) European project H2020-LCE-2015-2 (691287) Producción Científica

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Antonio García-Olivares; Jordi Solé; Roger Samsó; Joaquim Ballabrera-Poy;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    and car sharing, electric buses and electric two- and three-wheelers, for short journeys. A system of charging posts on the streets and roads for passenger and commercial e-vehicles is studied. Alternatively, a Tracked Electric Vehicle system of continuous power on European roads would improve energy efficiency and the saving of scarce metals (Ni, Li), at a lower cost, if only national roads were electrified. The investment for the construction of the whole system would be 2.3&ndash s GDP per year for 30 years. The new system operation would require 16% less energy than that of 2016, with reduction of 70% in road transport. However, shipping and aviation would demand 162% and 149% more energy, respectively, if liquefied biogas were used as fuel. A type of land transport fully based on trains would provide a similar service to that of an electric vehicle fleet, with a 29% lower energy consumption. Europe must move towards a 100% renewable transportation system for climate, energy and sustainability reasons. We estimate the capital and energy required for building and operating a renewable transportation system providing similar services as the EU-28 transport system of 2016. It could be based on: biogas or fuel cell vessels electric railways and fuel cell or electric vehicles between major cities liquid biogas powered aircrafts 2.7% of the EU&rsquo

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Carlos de Castro; Iñigo Capellán-Pérez;
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | LOCOMOTION (821105), EC | MEDEAS (691287)

    Whether renewable energy sources (RES) will provide sufficient energy surplus to entirely power complex modern societies is under discussion. We contribute to this debate by estimating the current global average energy return on energy invested (EROI) for the five RES technologies with the highest potential of electricity generation from the comprehensive and internally consistent estimations of their material requirements at three distinct energy system boundaries: standard farm-gate (EROIst), final at consumer point-of-use (EROIfinal), and extended (including indirect investments, EROIext). EROIst levels found fall within the respective literature ranges. Expanding the boundaries closer to the system level, we find that only large hydroelectricity would currently have a high EROIext ~ 6.5:1, while the rest of variable RES would be below 3:1: onshore wind (2.9:1), offshore wind (2.3:1), solar Photovoltaic (PV) (1.8:1), and solar Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) (<1:1). These results indicate that, very likely, the global average EROIext levels of variable RES are currently below those of fossil fuel-fired electricity. It remains unknown if technological improvements will be able to compensate for factors, which will become increasingly important as the variable RES scale-up. Hence, without dynamically accounting for the evolution of the EROI of the system, the viability of sustainable energy systems cannot be ensured, especially for modern societies pursuing continuous economic growth LOCOMOTION project, funded by the EuropeanUnion’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder grant agreement no. 821105 MEDEAS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agree-ment no. 691287 Producción Científica

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Iñigo Capellán-Pérez; Ignacio de Blas; Jaime Nieto; Carlos de Castro; Luis J. de Miguel; Óscar Carpintero; Margarita Mediavilla; Luis Fernando Lobejón; Noelia Ferreras-Alonso; Paula Rodrigo; +2 more
    Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
    Country: Spain
    Project: EC | MEDEAS (691287), EC | LOCOMOTION (821105)

    A diversity of integrated assessment models (IAMs) coexists due to the different approaches developed to deal with the complex interactions, high uncertainties and knowledge gaps within the environment and human societies. This paper describes the open-source MEDEAS modeling framework, which has been developed with the aim of informing decision-making to achieve the transition to sustainable energy systems with a focus on biophysical, economic, social and technological restrictions and tackling some of the limitations identified in the current IAMs. MEDEAS models include the following relevant characteristics: representation of biophysical constraints to energy availability; modeling of the mineral and energy investments for the energy transition, allowing a dynamic assessment of the potential mineral scarcities and computation of the net energy available to society; consistent representation of climate change damages with climate assessments by natural scientists; integration of detailed sectoral economic structure (input–output analysis) within a system dynamics approach; energy shifts driven by physical scarcity; and a rich set of socioeconomic and environmental impact indicators. The potentialities and novel insights that this framework brings are illustrated by the simulation of four variants of current trends with the MEDEAS-world model: the consideration of alternative plausible assumptions and methods, combined with the feedback-rich structure of the model, reveal dynamics and implications absent in classical models. Our results suggest that the continuation of current trends will drive significant biophysical scarcities and impacts which will most likely derive in regionalization (priority to security concerns and trade barriers), conflict, and ultimately, a severe global crisis which may lead to the collapse of our modern civilization. Despite depicting a much more worrying future than conventional projections of current trends, we however believe it is a more realistic counterfactual scenario that will allow the design of improved alternative sustainable pathways in future work. LOCOMOTION project, funded by the EuropeanUnion’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder grant agreement no. 821105 MEDEAS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agree-ment no. 691287. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project JCI-2016–28833) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Project CO2017-85110-R) Producción Científica