Best paper -award at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-6)
Best paper award with the paper "North-East Asian Super Grid: Renewable Energy Mix and Economics" to Christian Breyer, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Keiichi Komoto, Tomoki Ehara, Jinsoo Song and Namjil Enebish at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-6) in Kyoto 2014. The researchers are from the following organisations: Lappeenranta University of Technology, Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Japan; E-konzal, Japan; Korea Institute of Energy Research, Korea; National University of Mongologia.
Further development of the North-East Asian energy system is at a crossroads due to severe limitations of the current conventional energy based system. The high growth rates of new renewable energy technology capacities enable the transformation of the energy system. For North-East Asia it is proposed that the excellent solar resources of the Gobi desert could be utilized for load centers in China, Korea and Japan as a contribution to the energy transformation ahead. Based on that idea we have established a spatially and hourly resolved energy system model focused on 100% renewable energy supply for the electricity demand. The area is subdivided into 14 regions, which can be interconnected by a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grid. Three different scenarios have been defined for highly centralized and highly decentralized energy futures for financial and technical assumptions for the reference years 2020 and 2030. The results for total system levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), including generation, curtailment, storage and HVDC transmission grid, are 0.077 €/kWh for the highly centralized approach for 2020 assumptions and 0.064 €/kWh and 0.081 €/kWh for the centralized and decentralized approaches for 2030 assumptions. The importing regions are Japan, Korea, East China and South China, which receive their energy mainly from Northeast China, North China and Central China. The electricity generation shares of the total LCOE optimized system design deviate from 6% for PV and 79% for wind energy (centralized, 2020) to 39% for PV and 47% for wind energy (decentralized, 2030) and additional hydro power utilization. Decrease in storage LCOE reduces the benefit of HVDC transmission considerably; nonetheless, the centralized system design is still lower in LCOE for the modeled system and applied assumptions. New effects of storage interaction have been found, such as discharging of batteries in the night for charging power-to-gas as a least total system cost solution and discharging of power-to-gas for power export via HVDC transmission. The presented results for 100% renewable resources-based energy systems are lower in LCOE by about 30-40% than recent findings in Europe for the non-sustainable alternatives nuclear energy, natural gas and coal based carbon capture and storage technologies. This research work clearly indicates that a 100% renewable resources-based energy system is THE real policy option.