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On the physics of power, energy and economics of renewable electric energy sources - Part II
Dep. of Industrial Economics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
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2010 (English)In: Renewable energy, ISSN 0960-1481, E-ISSN 1879-0682, Vol. 35, no 8, 1735-1740 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) are often recognized as less competitive than traditional electric energy conversion systems. Obstacles with renewable electric energy conversion systems are often referred to the intermittency of the energy sources [1] and the relatively high maintenance cost. However, due to an intensified discourse on climate change and its effects, it has from a societal point of view, become more desirable to adopt and install CO2 neutral power plants. Even if this has increased the competitiveness of RETs in a political sense, the new goals for RET installations must also be met with economical viability. We propose that the direction of technical development, as well as the chosen technology in new installations, should not primarily be determined by policies, but by the basic physical properties of the energy source and the associated potential for inexpensive energy production. This potential is the basic entity that drives the payback of the investment of a specific RET power plant. With regard to this, we argue that the total electric energy conversion system must be considered if effective power production is to be achieved, with focus on the possible number of full loading hours and the Degree of Utilization [2]. This will increase the cost efficiency and economical competitiveness of RET investments, and could enhance faster diffusion of new innovations and installations without over-optimistic subsidies. This paper elaborates on the overall problem of the economy of renewable electric energy conversion systems by studying the interface between physics, engineering and economy reported for RET power plants in different scientific publications. The core objective is to show the practical use of the Degree of Utilization and how the concept is crucial for the design and economical optimization disregarding subsidies. The results clearly indicate that the future political regulative frameworks should consider the choice of renewable energy source since this strongly affects the economical output from the RET power plants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 35, no 8, 1735-1740 p.
Keyword [en]
Renewable energy technologies, Renewable energy sources, Degree of utilization, Engineering, Economy
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122198DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2009.08.031ISI: 000277232900013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-122198DiVA: diva2:309474
Available from: 2010-04-07 Created: 2010-04-07 Last updated: 2015-04-22Bibliographically approved

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