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Earth Observation for monitoring and assessment of the environmental impact of energy use

Final Report Summary - ENERGEO (Earth Observation for monitoring and assessment of the environmental impact of energy use)

Executive Summary:
1.1 Executive Summary
A sustainable and reliable energy supply is a major challenge both globally and for Europe in the 21st century. The overarching aim of the EnerGEO project was to develop a strategy for a global assessment of current and future impacts of the exploitation and use of energy resources on the environment and ecosystems based on the use of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) capacities and to demonstrate this strategy for a variety of energy resources worldwide.

A framework linking models and people was built
To assess environmental impacts of the large scale introduction of renewables in the power sector EnerGEO brought people together and linked leading energy system models with ecosystem, land-use and atmospheric models to perform a scenario analysis. For this purpose scenario definitions were harmonized among the different models including electricity production, final demand, as well as on electricity export and import balance up to 2050 for the Baseline and Low Carbon scenarios. We have improved the (health) impact assessment of fossil fuel use for ozone, particulate matter and mercury. The scenario analyses, available in the platform, demonstrated successfully how earth observations can enhance energy potential assessments for energy models and subsequent impact assessment on global and regional scales.

Optimal siting of renewable energy plants based on new renewable energy potential datasets
New renewable energy potential maps were generated for biomass, wind and solar energy. In addition, specific attention was paid to the predictability of the intermittent solar and wind energy production. The energy potential maps were used to generate a number of optimal siting applications. The applications combine the maps with geospatial Life Cycle Analysis and physical constraints that limit the exploitability of the theoretical resource. EnerGEO contributed to GEO Architectural Implementation Pilots with applications for solar energy in Europe (AIP4) and bioenergy in Pakistan (AIP5). EnerGEO developments have been fed into IRENA.

The innovative dissemination strategy
A web based GEO-portal was built and registered as part of the GEOSS registry. The portal provides the results and datasets produced in EnerGEO in a user friendly manner to share data and knowledge with a large community both in- and outside Europe. The portal is now extended to the ‘EnerGEO Knowledge Portal’ incorporating novel approaches for discovery and sharing of information. Web services provide access to impact assessment of selected energy scenarios as well as to optimal siting applications. Three summer schools were organized to train young researchers in the field of renewable energy and impact assessment. Besides building on capacity the aim was to promote the use of geo-information and to create global networks. With a particular focus on building relations between Africa and Europe, EnerGEO established and supports the Bioenergy Atlas for Africa Initiative, a GEO-task under EN01 and AfriGEOSS.

Achievements and Challenges:
The EnerGEO assessments show that renewable energy resources for low carbon economy in Europe are available. Moreover, the EnerGEO scenarios show that a larger share of renewables in the future energy mix than currently targeted for is possible. Moving from fossil fuels to renewables aimed at mitigation of climate change has large co-benefit for air pollution, whereas stringent air quality policies do not necessarily have effect on climate change.
EnerGEO has contributed to raising awareness of the importance of energy transitions in other regions of the world. To provide tailored information for decision making outside Europe, the assessment models need to be adapted or expanded to other parts of the world.

Project Context and Objectives:
1.2.1 Back ground
Global energy consumption has grown considerably over the last decades and is anticipated to grow further in the future, at considerable cost to the environment. To date, a large share of the energy used originates from fossil fuels. To reduce the impact of energy use on climate, the European Commission has set goals to increase the share of renewable energies in Europe to 20% by 2020. According to the Roadmap towards a low carbon economy in 2050 in Europe, emissions from the power sector should be reduced by 54 – 68% in 2030 and 93 – 99% in 2050. To accomplish this energy transition is one of the major societal challenges in Europe of the 21st century.
Worldwide more than 1.5 billion people have no access to modern energy sources, of which most live in Africa. Providing access to these people through exploiting renewable energy resources may significantly improve living conditions and spark economic growth. Many developing countries may strengthen their economies further based on their renewable energy resources. These countries may reduce their dependency on fossil fuel imports. Hence, many less developed countries battle to provide a very basic energy supply to their citizens while eroding their natural resource base at a tremendous pace, and lack the observational means to monitor the impact and the tools to effectively plan. Hence, joint initiatives are needed to build capacity in these countries.
The energy transition will require a huge economic investment within the next decades. The exploration, transport and use of energy resources are associated with many environmental issues. It is therefore important to utilize co-benefits between climate policies and environmental policies where possible. Moreover, global competition issues are rising concerning energy and food security, energy and resource availability. Hence, robust information is sorely needed to help policy-makers assess the environmental impacts of energy production and consumption, gauge how best to diversify energy portfolios, and monitor geographical and temporal trends in (the effect of) the production, transportation and use of energy. Such information is essential to support decision making in the face of wide-ranging concerns about the sustainability of our global energy consumption and the pressure it places on the environment.

1.2.2 Overall objectives
The overarching aim of the EnerGEO project was to develop a strategy for a global assessment of current and future impacts of the exploitation and use of energy resources on the environment and ecosystems based on the use of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) capacities and to demonstrate this strategy for a variety of energy resources worldwide.

The EnerGEO approach aims at:
• Linking Energy Use and Environmental Impact by making use of state of the art environmental, energy and scenario models;
• Collecting the necessary datasets and deriving relevant information from them by connecting to current GEOSS capabilities;
• Testing the EnerGEO-concept through dedicated pilots making our approach viable and supportive
• Enabling the collection of and access to EnerGEO-data by building a portal within the context of GEO and based on GEO-ADC-recommendations
• From Pilot-scale to Global Scale enabling to run global scenarios on energy use and environmental impact

The project logic aimed at connecting environmental impact assessment for the various energy resources with existing observation systems, developing an integrated, distributed observation capacity and demonstrating its applicability in a number of pilot-projects. These pilots focussed on 4 energy resources: fossil fuel, biomass, solar and wind energy. Based on the experience of the pilot-projects, first steps towards a global assessment of environmental impact for the extraction, transportation and use of energy resources have been made.

1.2.3 Contribution to GEO
EnerGEO provides the European contribution to the energy social benefit area of the group of earth observation (GEO). The activities of the social benefit area Energy in the 2009-2011 work plan has been divided over two tasks in the new 2012-2015 work plan:

- EN-01 Energy and Geo-Resources Management
- SB-05 Impact Assessment of Human Activities

Energy related strategic targets for these SBA’s of GEO are:

EN01:
- Significant increase in use of Earth observations by all sectors (biomass, fossils, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, ocean, solar and wind) for improved:
o Prediction of potential hazards to the energy infrastructure;
o Prediction of the production of intermittent sources of energy; and
o Mapping of renewable energy potential.
- Improved energy management, including balance between energy demand and supply as well as development of alternative energy scenarios.
- Safe, efficient and affordable development and operation of existing and new energy resources, with emphasis on minimizing environmental and societal impact while moving towards a low-carbon footprint.
- Advancement of the application of data, systems and tools.

SB05:
- Significant increase in use of Earth observations by all sectors (biomass, fossils, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, ocean, solar and wind) for improved environmental, economic and societal impact assessments of energy exploration, extraction, conversion, transportation and consumption.

Below we give an overview of the priority actions to which the EnerGEO project strongly contributes.

EN-01:
- Develop products and services required to assess countries' potential for energy production. Foster the use of Earth observation and information in energy-policy planning
- Develop a Bio-Energy Atlas for Africa to provide information on the quantity, distribution, usage, and quality of biomass.
- Encourage training of decision-makers at all relevant levels for interpreting relevant data and products.

SB-05:
- Develop a modelling platform that will enable planners and governments to forecast and monitor the environmental impact of changes in the energy mix
- Integrate Earth observation data with state-of-the-art modelling tools to calculate socio-economic impacts and environmental costs
- Develop new tools for impact monitoring of mining operations using Earth observations
- Integrate information from in-situ, airborne and satellite observation (through data assimilation) to provide impact diagnostics
- Integrate often sectoral monitoring approaches (and corresponding impact analysis) into a coherent approach, based on innovative Earth observation techniques (related to space-borne, airborne and ground-based sensor systems)

Furthermore, by developing a distributed system based on the recommendations of the GEO-Architecture and Data Committee (ADC), global collection and dissemination of data relating to the impact of energy use on the environment will be supported through EnerGEO.
1.2.4 Detailed objectives
In this section the detailed objectives of the EnerGEO project are given.

WP 1. Environmental Impact Model and Cost Assessment
1. To adapt and to link leading integrated assessment tools for comprehensive energy systems assessment in view of the emerging GEOSS
2. To develop a methodology, which is consistent with GEO, to assess the environmental impacts and costs of energy resource exploitation using a cluster of existing energy models
3. To set up the EnerGEO model cluster to assimilate products of GEOSS.
4. To develop consistent EnerGEO scenarios aimed at GEOSS impact assessment.

WP2. Global Observation Systems
• To assess current availability of datasets on soil, fresh water, ocean, land and biodiversity and use these results as input for a more focused analysis of data-availability in the framework of energy use.
• To assess availability of the key atmospheric information products for monitoring the exploitation of energy in terms of geographical coverage, resolution, temporal coverage, and spatial coverage.

WP 3. Systems Engineering
• Design the EnerGEO-system architecture to incorporate contributed components, services and data confirming interoperability using international standards and interoperability arrangements based on the GEOSS architecture.
• Design and implementation of the EnerGEO catalogue discovery system architecture based on international cataloguing standards.
• Design and implementation of the Energy – GEOSS Community Portal.
• Set up standards based EnerGEO Web- and Data-Services Infrastructure for utilization in WP4 and WP5.

WP 4. Development of Pilots
Biomass pilot:
• To provide biomass / bioenergy potential as input to REMIX, TASES and Bewhere models
• To integrate remote sensing data into existing model capabilities (EPIC/IIASA and BETHY/DLR) on different scales (Global, Reginal and Local)
• To validate biomass potential against in-situ data for selected areas
• To assess bioenergy potential using national biomass inventories
• To investigate scale effects
• To assess bioenergy potential using Lidar, ALOS, RapidEye

Solar energy pilot:
• To create a geospatial Site Ranking application that allows users to adjust certain criteria weightings according to individual preferences and include impact assessment (ARMINES) as criterion by the use of open service technologies.
• To validate the use of existing solar power prediction schemes
• To model time dependent averaging effects and cross-border energy flows over larger time periods and areas.

Wind energy pilot:
• To assess direct environmental impacts by wind energy as an energy source as well as the impacts due to substitution of fossil energy by wind power.
• To assess environmental impacts of substitution of fossil energy by wind power related to the complete energy balance of wind power over the total life cycle of a project (construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning).
• To assess the potential (net) energy that can be produced from wind in a given area.

Fossil Fuel pilot:
• To implement a source apportionment for Particulate Matter (PM) to assess the contribution of various sources of fossil fuel to air quality over Europe.
• To evaluate energy transition scenarios in terms of air quality and the deposition of acidifying and eutrofying components over Europe.
• To model the concentration and deposition of mercury over Europe as an indicator of coal combustion
• To combine satellite derived AOD and NO2 column burdens in the regional air quality model LOTOS-EUROS to monitor NOx emission trends.
• To assess the contribution of fossil fuel to global CO2 concentration by using SCIAMACHY and MOPITT-data in conjunction with global air quality model TM5.
• To assess land degradation due to coal mining over eastern Europe using InSAR and Landsat-data.

WP 5. Platform for Integrated Assessment
• Implementation of the tools for performing integrated assessments
• Running the PIA for several known scenarios
• Definition of new scenarios for exploitation of energy resources
• Establishment of guidelines for an improved decision support tool

WP 6. Dissemination
• To maximize the dissemination of results outside the EnerGEO consortium to the global GEO-community, especially to the members of the Community of Practice (CoP) such as government organizations, energy analysts, environmental protection agencies and NGO’s, in order to facilitate the application of the project results in GEOSS.
• To liaison with existing platforms and networks within GEOSS and GMES.
• To spread knowledge and to integrate the results in study programs, academic and professional training courses, summer schools within the EU but also with a particular focus on capacity building measures for developing countries
• To develop a exploitation plan and to integrate of the results in the GEOSS “system of systems”

Project Results:
This part contains many pictures and tables which cannot be uploaded in this part. Please find the complete document attached to this report. The complete document also features TEMPLATE A1: LIST OF SCIENTIFIC (PEER REVIEWED) PUBLICATIONS, STARTING WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES and TEMPLATE A2 - LIST OF DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES
Potential Impact:
This part contains many pictures and tables which cannot be uploaded in this part. Please find the complete document attached to this report. The complete document also features TEMPLATE A1: LIST OF SCIENTIFIC (PEER REVIEWED) PUBLICATIONS, STARTING WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES and TEMPLATE A2 - LIST OF DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES
List of Websites:
Public Website: http://www.energeo-project.eu/
For relevant contact details please see the attached document.