Periodic Reporting for period 2 - REFLEX (Analysis of the European energy system under the aspects of flexibility and technological progress)
Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2019-04-30
The REFLEX project facilitates a holistic assessment of competitive low-carbon technologies and flexibility options in the European energy system considering experience curves. The consortium developed two main scenarios with regard to the total amount of renewable energy sources in the energy system: Mod-RES, a moderate amount of energy from renewable resources amounting to 1,898 TWh in the whole energy system until 2050 (corresponds to an increase of +148 % with regard to today’s system) and High-RES, a high renewable amount with approx. 3,121 TWh (+ 307%). The ambitious High-RES scenario is divided into a High-RES centralised and a High-RES decentralised scenario depending on the dominating technologies (Fig. 2) as both developments are uncertain and have a significant impact on the energy infrastructure and the necessary flexibility options. A common database and an effective model coupling were developed, which is combined in the Energy Model System (Fig. 3). Furthermore, experience curves were deduced for different technologies and flexibility options in the energy sector and implemented in the applied REFLEX models (Fig. 4). To assess the deployment and the trade-off between flexibility options and other technologies, the future annual energy demand of the industry, tertiary, residential and transport sector is established by applying demand forecasting models (results visualized in Fig. 5). Additionally, the hourly structural changes of the system load as well as the deployment of demand side management applications are assessed (Fig. 6). Moreover, the interrelation between several low-carbon technologies (incl. flexibility options) taking different market design options into account are analysed using sectoral-based energy system models. Based in the modelling results of demand side sectors (industry, tertiary, residential and transport sector) and supply side sectors (power and district heat sector), the impacts of the scenarios and identified transformation paths on the environment and society are investigated via life cycle assessments (Fig. 7). Further, the modelling results conclude in policy measures to improve the integration of low-carbon technologies and flexibility in the energy systems.
• Modelling the impacts of technological development on the energy system by combining different sectoral approaches and experience curves.
• Set up a holistic scenario framework based on the SET-Plan up to the year 2050.
• Develop an Energy Models System (EMS), which links different models and approaches, including a common database and interface.
• Devise experience curves for energy technologies and incorporate them in the EMS.
• Assessment of flexibility portfolios to integrate RES-based electricity generation, considering demand side management, an interconnected European electricity system, energy storage, flexible generation capacities and alternative electricity market designs.
• Assessment of policy measures of the SET-Plan by considering techno-economic learning and socio-economic parameters from empirical data surveys.
• Simulation of the effectiveness of current energy policy legislation (e.g. of the Energy Efficiency Directive) and identification of the need for additional policies to comply with the 2050 target.
• Quantification of external costs and socio-environmental impacts of the energy system transition, considering the life cycle of new and existing energy technologies.
Beyond the end of the REFLEX project duration, the partners continue with further scientific analyses and publications based on the gathered experiences of the model coupling and the Energy Model System. Furthermore, the developed data warehouse and interface are used in future projects to enhance and harmonise the data exchange of a coupled energy models system (https://data.esa2.eu/). Additionally, two scientific books will be published on behalf of REFLEX (in 2020). The first book focuses on “Technological Learning in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy System” and the second book “The Future European Energy System – Flexibility Options and Technological Progress” gives a detailed overview of the modelling results achieved within the project by providing several scientific paper in a contributed volume.