The EU’s comprehensive energy policy is made up of a number of individual strategies integrated into a comprehensive energy climate package. As a result of this comprehensive policy, a gradual transition to low carbon development and society is imposed. In the energy sense, key strategies for implementation and integration of renewable energy sources (OiE) at EU level and long-term sectoral energy efficiency policy will be key. The Republic of Croatia, as a full member of the EU, is obliged to ensure a technical and price optimum transition, having maximum benefit for the entire society; energetic, economic and ecological. The range of renewable energy technologies today is technically and economically fully competitive and we have come to a situation where new integration schemes are needed; both from a technical and a financial point of view. From the financial side, it is necessary to develop new mechanisms for integrating renewable technologies, based on network parity, and hourly energy markets. From the technical point of view, it is necessary to develop innovative mechanisms of flexibility, above all the power system, where paradigm changes, in which we move from a system where production monitors the consumption of a system in which consumption monitors variable production. The basis for this new paradigm is the introduction of technologies that enable sector-wide integration of variable energy sources such as power2heat / cool technology (storage of electricity surpluses through heat tanks and centralized heat and cooling systems based on innovative market mechanisms), various forms of energy storage , electrification of transport, consumption flexibility, etc. The subject of this research is precisely the integration of the above-mentioned problems through an advanced open access model framework that will work through an interactive online Internet platform.
The main objectives of this project are:
- Develop an interactive online open access platform that enables all interested stakeholders to gain insight into the methodology of long-term planning of smart energy systems with the Republic of Croatia as a case study.
- Suggest conceptual and technical solutions for sustainable energy consumption
- Suggest conceptual and technical solutions for sustainable energy supply
- Develop advanced GIS maps as a result of potential mapping and technology
- Mapping and valorisation of biopotential as part of the energy planning process of advanced energy systems.
- Investigate the impact of future electricity markets and preferential tariffs on the promotion of distributed production and smart energy management
- Give estimates of greenhouse gas emission reductions for different scenarios and broader impacts on the national economy as a whole (potential jobs and techno-economic analysis of legislative and financial measures)
- Carry out sensitivity analysis of energy systems, in their transition to the market, with respect to system environmental variables such as electrification of transport, increased energy efficiency, climate change / time and demographics
- Evaluate optimal policies and action plans with the aim of achieving the highest share of renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, self-sufficiency of production.
Development of the Low Carbon Development Guidelines of the Republic of Croatia
- Raise awareness of society and encourage scientific discussion through dissemination activities such as publication in scientific journals and conferences, and by organizing workshops and project web pages
EU Sustainable Energy Week Message: Clean Energy for Everyone
While some, like the US president, are still struggling to accept the concept of climate change, the world goes further. Thus, the Belgian political center Brussels has become the center of debate over all aspects of self-sustainability and a place of exchange of experiences between European institutions, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, business entities and ordinary people for a week. During the week of the conference EU Week of Sustainable Energy , has demonstrated innovative ways to combat climate change, but also ways of more efficient use of energy and increased share of renewable energy sources.
Challenges and opportunities for energy efficiency of residential buildings
The energy intensity of the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) is three times higher than the EU member states, and by 1.6 times higher than the new member states. Similarly to Croatia, in these countries, the construction sector occupies between 30 and 40 percent of total final consumption, and the World Bank estimates that by renovating almost 40 percent of households by 2020, it could save up to EUR 805 million.
In this light, a successful example of co-operation between Bulgaria and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was presented, which funded part of the housing sector through three public invitations. Interestingly, they have established that citizens only apply for calls if grants increase above 85%. In the last call, say, the grants increased to as much as 100%, which resulted in the receipt of 300 entries.
Expected, the biggest stumbling block is the citizens’ disinterest, and the commemorative co-financing with the help of the bank reveals general inertia and revolt. The same problem has arisen in the case of reconstruction in Croatia and BiH, and the distrust of citizens in the bank is the great Achilles’ fifth of these countries. But the problem is still there. After the renovation of buildings, homes often increase thermal comfort – people will increase indoor temperatures from an average of 17 to 21 ° C – which does not change the specific consumption.
In Europe’s Most Renewable Energy Sources (OIE)
Energy recovery in the Western Balkan countries may be in its infancy, but when we talk about the share of renewable energy sources (OIE) in the world, Europe is certainly a leader. Apart from the fact that such sources reduce greenhouse gases, they increase the energy independence that has often been discussed at Union level. Although OIE technology prices are falling sharply, they are still not a common phenomenon at world level, and if that is the case, they need to make them more attractive. US President Donald Trump, with the announcement of a withdrawal from the Paris Accords, has caused a great deal of potential damage to the United States, given that the OIE’s development encourages innovation and competitiveness, and ultimately economic viability, which fossil resources no longer have. Fossil fuels may have hidden internal costs, but OIEs have a hidden internal profit.
The International Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA) has shown tremendous progress in the use of solar energy in Asia. Over the past six years, capacity has doubled, and China plans to increase its solar capacity by up to six times by 2020. We add to this and how the number of people employed in the RES industry increased to 10 million at the global level last year. Bearing this in mind, it is a logical conclusion that further progress in energy systems can be achieved through decentralization and digitization – the concepts that dominated the European Week of Sustainable Energy.
In connection with this, the question of a market structure that would be suitable for renewable energy sources was opened. In that light, DONG Energy showed the development of offshore wind power plants. In the first calculations, the EU used LCOE of 128 € / MWh, and in 2015 the average incentive was around 180 € / MWh. DONG will be in 2024. to build a project with zero incentives, and the construction of a wind farm of 1.4 GW with an area equal to Malti is planned. With this kind of technology development, a huge drop in prices is achieved, and this is the largest among renewable energy sources.
According to their data, the capacity factor is about 50%, but they produce up to 98% of the energy per year. For example, offshore Park Burbo Bank in Liverpool regulates power by following the network frequency, and TSO pays it just as well as the usual thermal power plant. Additionally, batteries have been installed to increase plant reliability and better regulate export power.
Data centers – up to almost zero energy consumption
In the last decade, increasing the number of data transmitted is exponentially observed with the increased capacity of data centers . They represent the largest specific consumers per square meter – they spend large amounts of cooling and heat energy and provide power throughout the day – and smaller or medium sized centers have a surface area of approximately 100 m2. Today, they account for about 2 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), but they are good news and are a great potential for reducing consumption and increasing overall building efficiency.
In addition, it is possible to connect to smart city grid where they would actively participate as a source of waste heat (through merging into centralized heat and cooling systems) or participate in maintaining network stability (as a responsive response to demand). As an example, DC4Cities has been mentioned, where co-operation with several data centers within the EU has been achieved, and they have been able to connect the electricity consumed with the electricity produced from solar modules. The RenewIT project has created a web tool to explore the potential of merging data centers with renewable energy sources and simulating the operation of such a system. The tool is completely free and available for use (www.renewit-project.eu/tools).
In addition to this, the ICTFOOTPRINT project was also presented with a general methodology to calculate the overall impact of a particular center, such as a CO2 imprint. Finally, the EUREKA project has collected all the most important results, including those related to data centers .
Otherwise, in 2008, the EU launched a Call for Data Centers for Voluntary Reducing Consumption, led by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC).
What does Northern Europe do?
Local authorities in northern Europe have already absorbed the use of their own renewable energy sources, but examples of Norway’s waste collection are collected through the underground transport center and drain into the incinerator, whereby energy for the centralized heat system is produced.
On the other hand, in Scotland, a micro system is designed to connect a wind turbine, a PV module, a battery, a hydrogen electrolyzer, and a battery charger for hydrogen powered vehicles. In addition, they have also incorporated fuel articles. And according to Iceland’s example, and its natural resources, a large share of energy mixes represents geothermal energy – as much as 75% of the consumption of the region shown is just covered with it.
Instead of a conclusion…
The European week of sustainable energy might be behind us, but we have not left empty hands. Energy experts are increasingly focusing on the topics of future end-customers with their own production, so-called prosumer , and one of the most frequently mentioned terms was digitization as a crucial factor in creating smart systems and involving end customers through flexible spending.
However, there has generally been little talk about the use of central heating and cooling systems of the fourth generation, which is unusual since they have proven to have great potential for increasing energy efficiency at EU level. Maybe this is something more than before the next EU conference.