Renewable Energies

Renewable Energy is alternative to massive use of fossil fuels.

Biomass, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal renewable energy sources are explicitly explained in EUROGIA+ White Book Part 2.

Biomass:

Biomass is a renewable energy source that can provide energy to be used for heating and cooling, electricity and transport. Biomass fuels can be stored, meeting both peak and baseline energy demands. In the form of biofuels (solid, liquid or gaseous), biomass can directly replace fossil fuels (solid, liquid and gaseous), either fully or in blends of various percentages. In the latter case, there is often no need for equipment modifications.

Bio-energy is CO2 neutral, if biomass is produced in a sustainable manner. Bio-energy can contribute to important elements of national/regional development: economic growth and employment; import substitution with direct and indirect effects on GDP and trade balance; security of energy supply and diversification.

Wind:

Modern wind power technology is largely based on know-how gathered from European R&D and deployment activities related to inland (onshore) wind energy.  Onshore electricity production from wind energy is a mature technology. Ongoing R&D efforts are primarily focused on maximizing the value of wind energy and taking the technology offshore. Capital investment costs for wind generation plants are of the order of €1000 to €1200 per kW for onshore technology (inclusive of grid connection costs), and €1200 to €2200 per kW for offshore (exclusive of grid connection costs), even up to €3000 for deep offshore. Typically, average capacity factors for wind power installations are 1,800-2,200 full-load hours onshore and 3,500-4,000 full-load hours offshore.

Solar:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) systems are currently based predominantly on crystalline silicon technology and are mature for a wide range of applications.
  • Concentrated Solar Power Generation :Concentrated solar power plants (CSP) consist, schematically, of solar concentrator systems made of a receiver and collector to produce heat and a power bloc (in most cases a Rankine cycle). Three main CSP technologies are under development: Trough, Tower/Central and Dish. Today CSP technologies are in the stage of first commercial deployment for power production in Europe.
  • Solar Heating and Cooling:  Solar-thermal systems currently installed in Europe (active and passive) are predominantly based on glazed flat plate and evacuated tube collectors.

Hydro:

  • Hydropower Generation is often seen as a mature renewable power generation technology. At present, it amounts to 70% of the electricity generated from renewable energy sources in Europe or 10% of the total electricity production in the EU. However market developments continue to bring new technical challenges that require RD&D projects.
  • Ocean Wave Power Generation: There are several forms of ocean energy, such as marine current, wave and tidal energy.

Geothermal:

The geothermal energy sector
comprises electric power production and heat production sectors.
A further distinction is made for the heat sector according to whether the geothermal energy is used directly (low and medium temperature applications) or indirectly (very low temperature applications or heat pumps).



 

Technology Challenges

Biomass: Two key technical challenges concern all biomass energy sources: the need to avoid competing with food production for land use; and the need to efficiently and cost-effectively collect feedstock over large areas

Wind: The two main barriers to large-scale wind deployment are grid integration and present limitations that prevent further up scaling. Current electricity transmission and distribution systems have been designed and developed to manage more traditional generation technologies, and are not appropriate for large-scale wind penetration, whether centralised or distributed.

Solar:

  • Photovoltaic System:The main barrier to large-scale deployment of PV systems is the high production cost of electricity, due to the significant capital investment costs.
  • Concentrated Solar Power Generation: The cost-competitiveness of CSP plants is a key barrier. Component improvements and scaling-up of first generation technologies are necessary for cost reduction.
  • Solar Heating and Cooling: The major barrier to the uptake of the solar heating and cooling technology is the high capital cost of the systems leading to long payback times for building owners.


Hydro:

  • Hydro Power Generation: Uptake of these new advances has been slow in part due to a general misperception that hydro is a mature family of technologies with no significant prospects for additional developments in the future, as well as because of long lead times for projects.
  • Ocean Wave Power Generation: The main barrier to wave energy expansion is its current lack of cost-competitiveness due to its early stage of development and its specific operating marine environment.