Energy Potentials and Supply Pathways
The transformation towards a greenhouse gas-neutral energy system requires the massive use of renewable resources globally, which include renewable energy and its downstream products. Integrating and linking these resources into global supply pathways leads to challenges of supply security. To meet these, the main question to be answered is: where do which potential renewable resources reliably exist, at which points in time, and how can supply and demand be linked within a global energy system in the best possible way?
Against this backdrop, the Energy Potential & Supply Pathways research group is especially concerned with the worldwide expansion and exchange of renewable energy and its downstream products, such as green hydrogen. For this purpose, newly developed and existing techno-economic, highly spatially- and temporally-resolved system models developed with the ETHOS model suite are used, which, among other things, enable the comparison of different process chains and their combinations, and include import options for Germany and Europe. The analyses focus on energy and material supply security under socio-technical framework conditions, and therefore aim to identify robust supply pathways to support decision-making in the political and economic spheres.
Research topics include the modeling of current renewable energy utilisation and the projection of future renewable energy resource developments. Focus is also given to the global distribution of renewable energy supply pathways.
Dr.-Ing. Heidi Heinrichs
Building 03.2 / Room 3005
Potential Renewable Resources
Our analyses of renewable resource potential are primarily carried out with two models, namely GLAES and RESkit, from the ETHOS model suite. Using GLAES, we both analyze available land areas based on dozens of socio-technical criteria and situate renewable energy facilities in a site-specific manner. For each of these locations around the world, RESkit employs the latest weather data to calculate the best energy plant design and time series of electricity feed-in. This is done across different weather years in order to enable an integrated view of the impact of weather years on supply reliability. These highly temporally- and spatially-resolved renewable resource potential maps are suitably aggregated for use in further system models, such as FINE.NESTOR, EUROPOWER, or FINE.Infrastructure, using methods from the Complex Energy System Models and Data Structures group, amongst others. In addition, these inputs will be used, amongst other things, in the creation of a green hydrogen atlas for western and southern Africa as part of the H2-Atlas-Africa project.
Global Supply Pathways
Potential renewable resources are globally distributed. As a result, they are not always located in regional and temporal proximity to demand. The conditions for the development of renewable resources also differ greatly around the world. This is why we approach and analyze supply paths internationally. This also includes analyses of global supply paths for green hydrogen, which are used as both cost-potential curves for the import of green hydrogen to Germany by the Integrated Transformation Strategies group, as well as in projects such as ES2050 or ETSAP-DE. The notable feature here is the technical level of detail and high spatial and temporal resolution, without which no reliable results could be obtained. We can only calculate this high level of detail and the associated complexity with the help of our institute’s own computing cluster and, if necessary, the Jülich supercomputers.