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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Events

ESRIG-EES colloquium: Robert van der Velde and Diego Ortiz, MSc EES student

When:Tu 24-09-2019 16:00 - 17:00
Where:5159.0110, Energy Academy, Nijenborgh 6.

Title: Optimizing the execution of solar PV projects at Engie Services Noord B.V.

By: Robert van der Velde, MSc EES student.

The current energy market is undergoing a shift from fossil energy towards more renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy. This shift is due to the realization that CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming and climate change. Globally this realisation has led to treaties such as the Kyoto protocol and the Paris agreement. In the Netherlands also a climate agreement was formed, with closing the gas tap in Groningen being one of the measures. A company such as Engie Services Noord B.V., which currently is partly dependent on contracts made with the NAM and gasunie, has to adapt to this changing market in order to remain competitive. In addition, the ambition of ENGIE is to lead the zero carbon transition. Solar PV projects are great opportunities in their course towards this goal. The realization of solar PV projects, from design up to implementation and maintenance, in a smooth and responsible fashion is of great importance to Engie Services Noord. However, within Engie Services Noord they have noticed that there is still room for improvement in various phases of managing these kind of projects. During my internship I developed a tool that will help to add structure and clarity to their work process.

Title: Assessing Positive Externalities of an Emerging Technology: 2nd Generation Biomethane in France.

By: Diego Ortiz, MSc EES student

Energy supply and value chains are undergoing unprecedented change around the world as the rapid ongoing transition in the energy industry is creating shifts at a macrolevel direct and indirectly. The ultimate goal being to reduce CO2 emissions, the continuing changes and decisions in the policies to adjust current industries are undoubtedly causing externalities. The ambition to develop and implement radical changes to the current system, have often derived in delays due to social opposition and effects such as “NIMBY”. Rather than solely focusing on how to deploy new policies at a fast rate, it might be of general interest to take time to assess and understand the potential positive externalities and create a better implementation strategy by creating a stronger communication tie on a local scale. This could indeed create a smoother transition and evolve into a faster achievement of the climate targets.

Methodologies have been drawn separately to assess environmental, social and economic externalities, but integrating the different tools into a single framework that interconnects the three dimensions of sustainability appears as a potential tool to enable emerging technologies a better fit in the system. The methodology englobes for the environmental assessment, a literature review on Life Cycle Assessments performed and calculates the possible emissions to be saved while converting them into monetary terms based on the Emissions Trading System. The social dimension is considered in terms of creation of employment on a local scale while the economic dimension will mostly rely on the “Added Value” extracted from the implementation of the technology added to the monetary value of the emissions saved compared against the reduction of expenses on the imported replaced fuel. The latter will be assessed with an “Input-Output” table for the selected country. This enables a macro-analysis that encompasses the different economic sectors involved in the development of a technology.

The previously drawn methodology is then applied to the case of France. Biomass represents the major renewable energy source for France and 2nd generation biomethane is an emerging technology that relies on woody biomass. The ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) has drawn scenarios for 2050 with 100% of renewable gas that rely on a significant participation from 2nd generation biomethane. The technology converts the woody biomass into a synthetic gas that is then upgraded to biomethane. The output can be injected in the natural gas grid and serve as a replacement to traditional fossil fuels while being a dispatchable renewable source of energy. This enhances the deployment of Variable Renewable Energies as it is available when natural resources such as sun and wind are not. The modeling is based on the Scenarios and targets stated in the Multiannual Energy Plan published by the Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition and compared to a Business-as-Usual base scenario.