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21.08.2019 – New article in Applied Energy on energy equity and regional distributional impacts of new renewables in Switzerland

The results from our research on regional distributional impacts of decentralised renewables (DREG) are now available in Applied Energy. In this study, we quantify the trade-offs between cost-efficient (least-cost) and regionally equitable DREG allocation in terms of electricity generation costs, investment needs, and DREG capacity requirements. Using the case of the ambitious Swiss Energy Strategy 2050, we set up a bottom-up, technology-rich electricity system model EXPANSE and measure regional equity implications by adapting the concepts of the Gini coefficient. We find a significant trade-off by 2035 in Switzerland: 50% increase in regional equity when allocating DREG to various Swiss regions on the basis of population or electricity demand leads to 18% higher electricity generation costs. Least-cost allocation implies concentrating DREG and associated investments to few most productive locations only. Solar PV is the key technology for increasing regional equity. We conclude that in countries with spatially-uneven DREG resources like Switzerland, any policies that focus on cost efficiency should anticipate regional equity implications in advance and, if desired, minimize them by promoting solar PV.

 

Full reference

Sasse, J.-P., Trutnevyte, E., 2019. Distributional trade-offs between regionally equitable and cost-efficient allocation of renewable electricity generation. Appl. Energy 254, 113724. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.113724

August 21, 2019
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