Using strong sustainability to optimize electricity generation fuel mixes
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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