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Master thesis: Assessment of the technical and economic potential for offshore wind energy in European scale

Advertising institute: IEK-3 - Electrochemical Process Engineering
Reference number: D154/2017, Energy engineering, energy system engineering, computer science, process engineering, mechanical engineering, sustainable energy supply, chemical engineering

Start of work: at once/by arrangement

In the light of the international climate protection goals a further massive expansion of renewable energies (wind turbines and photovoltaic power plants in particular) is considered as indispensable. Their fluctuating occurrence requires further developed solutions of short- and long-term energy storage. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen by means of electrolysis also referred to as power to gas, offers a promising technology pathway for seasonal storage of energy and at the same time being a carbon free fuel for the transport sector.

At the IEK-3 international energy concepts are developed to convert surplus energy from intermittent renewable energy sources into hydrogen and make it available to other energy sectors like mobility or industry. In this regard an international hydrogen infrastructure for exports and imports of hydrogen is of vital significance. In terms of hydrogen production via surplus renewable energy, location and cost of renewable energy components play an important role in the design of an energy system involving countries having different potential for each component. Cost of each technology differs and depends on different aspects. However, having higher investment cost does not mean that technology should not be used, since higher-cost-technology may have higher efficiency. Taking offshore and onshore wind power as an example, although investment cost of offshore wind power is higher, it is known that offshore wind has higher full load hours compared to the onshore. For this purpose electricity cost at each country should be calculated in order to compare the onshore and offshore wind energies.

Your task
Within the scope of this thesis the technical and economic potential of offshore wind power in Europe will be determined by adapting an already developed methodology for the onshore wind power. Obtaining the eligible area and placing offshore wind turbines, one can see the number of wind turbines that can be installed within a specified region. By using a wind scenario the power production of offshore wind turbines can be calculated for future scenarios and be introduced to an existing energy system model.

The objective of the thesis is to build up a geo-referenced model in Python to assess the potential of offshore wind power in Europe taking into account the economic and ecological aspects. By combining this module with the existing energy system model, the overall energy system including offshore wind power will be optimized and based on a sensitivity analysis the impact of offshore modelling on the optimization results will evaluated.

The following tasks are to be dealt with in the course of a master thesis:

  • Creating a criteria list to be used in the determination of eligible area
  • Determining the components affecting the cost to install a wind turbine (such as depth of water body)
  • Developing a geo-referenced scenario model for Europe to place the wind turbines
  • Simulating offshore wind electricity generation for selected turbine placement scenarios
  • Comparison of electricity generation costs in Europe
  • Integration of the offshore wind model in an existing optimization model for Europe
  • Calculation of cost optimized scenarios for Europe and sensitivity analysis of offshore parameters

Your profile:

  • Very good academic records in energy engineering, energy system engineering, computer science, process engineering, mechanical engineering, sustainable energy supply, chemical engineering or a comparable field
  • Interest in energy storage systems and future energy markets
  • High individual motivation, good analytical skills and fluent command of English
  • Experience of programming in GIS and Python

Our offer:

  • A pleasant working environment within a highly competent, international team in one of the most prestigious research facilities in Europe
  • You will be remunerated, supported by top-end scientific and technical infrastructure as well as closely guided by experts
  • You will have the opportunity to work with keen researchers from various scientific fields and be part of designing the future European energy system

Dilara Caglayan
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
IEK-3: Electrochemical Process Engineering
Process and Systems Analysis
52425 Jülich

Tel. 02461 61-5396