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Using strong sustainability to optimize electricity generation fuel mixes

  • Bishop, Justin D.K.
  • Amaratunga, Gehan A.J.
  • Rodriguez, Cuauhtemoc
Registered author(s):

    This work represents a contribution to the field of sustainable electricity system design by using an optimization tool to specify the final mix composition, subject to the constraints of: emissions that are within the biocapacity of the region; a diverse and robust electricity supply system; and supply that at least meets current demand. The 25-country European Union (EU-25) is used as a case study. All the goals, save diversity, can be met by re-structuring the current fuel mix, thus maintaining current consumption levels. The diversity target is only met when consumption is reduced by 10-15% and the constraint on maximum material throughput is relaxed. Re-structuring the mix and reducing consumption is insufficient to achieve a sustainable EU carbon footprint. However, the solution proposed singlehandedly allows the EU to meet its Kyoto emissions target as well as its 2007 policy of a reduction of 20% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 971-980

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:3:p:971-980
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    1. Grubb, Michael & Butler, Lucy & Twomey, Paul, 2006. "Diversity and security in UK electricity generation: The influence of low-carbon objectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 4050-4062, December.
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    6. Hinterberger, Friedrich & Luks, Fred & Schmidt-Bleek, Friedrich, 1997. "Material flows vs. 'natural capital': What makes an economy sustainable?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-14, October.
    7. Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2006. "The causality relationship between energy consumption and GDP in G-11 countries revisited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1086-1093, June.
    8. Ekins, Paul & Folke, Carl & De Groot, Rudolf, 2003. "Identifying critical natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 159-163, March.
    9. Voorspools, Kris R. & Brouwers, Els A. & D'haeseleer, William D., 2000. "Energy content and indirect greenhouse gas emissions embedded in [`]emission-free' power plants: results for the Low Countries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 307-330, November.
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    11. Vera, Ivan & Langlois, Lucille, 2007. "Energy indicators for sustainable development," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 875-882.
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