26/01 Marie-Alix Dupré La Tour agenda

PhD students seminar: Marie-Alix Dupré La Tour

Towards a decarbonized energy system in Europe in 2050 : impact of vector coupling and renewable deployment limits


To address climate change, Europe is committed to a decarbonized energy system by 2050. The power system has a large potential for decarbonization. It can thus contribute to the decarbonization of other vectors (hydrogen for example), which will therefore tend to become more electrified. Therefore, this thesis has focused on the decarbonization of the power system on the one hand, and the interaction between the various energy vectors on the other.

The decarbonization of the power vector will involve the use of renewable energies. However, the studies that evaluate their potential obtain very different values. In the first chapter, which consisted of a systematic literature review of wind and photovoltaic studies of potential in Europe, the variability of these values was examined. The areal limits of the potentials are not restrictive, and the variability of the values is due to the addition of socio-political criteria to the calculations of potential. Ultimately, the limit to the development of renewables will not be technical feasibility but political and societal will and limits of the industrial sector, including the availability of the necessary natural resources (metals, etc.).

In a second chapter, the operation and prices of this coupled system with fixed capacities were studied. The influence of the couplings on the prices of the energy vectors was underlined. In particular, the flexibility of the demand for synthesis gas (via electrolysis) could set the electricity prices on a majority of the time steps of the year. The importance of seasonal stock management in the formation of gas prices, and therefore electricity prices, was highlighted. To operate optimally, such a system requires a high level of coordination between vectors. Variants that degrade coordination show a significant increase in the operating costs of the energy system.

Finally, a third chapter addressed the consequences of energy couplings on the system capacity requirements. The research focused on the analysis of variants on each vector through the evaluation of the capacity needs based on indicators on several time scales. In particular, the interest of coordination between vectors was confirmed: it also avoids massive investments.

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