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SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
SOLUTIONS
Module 4, part 1 by Turku University of Applied Sciences
2
Part 1: Introduction
Introduction to sustainable energy solutions
Learning objectives and outcomes of the module:
• ability to understand how the power grid functions
• ability to understand the concepts of base load power and the challenges it poses for
energy transition
• ability to understand how renewable energy sources are exploited and their future
potential
3
Topics for introduction
• In order to better comprehend the challenges and
opportunities related to energy transition, an understanding of
the basic principles through which the power grid operates
and the diversity of energy solutions available on the
market are needed.
• What is Base Load Power and the roles the main sources of
renewable energy can have are also tackled in this part 1.
Key concepts about the power grid
• We depend on electricity, but it cannot be created, stored and provided at a later time.
The instant it’s produced, it’s used no matter how far apart the producer is from the
user. The infrastructure that makes all this possible is the power grid (link) (Practical
Engineering, Youtube, 2019)
• The electric grid or power grid (link) is how electricity is produced and distributed (MIT
climate portal, 2022)
• Most of the world electricity is produced with power plants working with fossil fuel
• Electricity accounts for 40% of our global greenhouse gas emissions from energy
(www.iea.org) and Europe aims to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050 (EU
Commission, 2022, link)
Key concepts about the power grid (Cont.)
• The level of demand for electricity in any one area is variable
and it is more efficient to combine demand from many sites
into an overall regional load (www.nrel.gov).
• Therefore an energy mix is required (cf. next slide) as our
electric supply must keep up with constantly changing demand
for electricity (www.nrel.gov).
• Technologies such as wind and solar do not meet the
requirements for consistent electricity supply (www.nrel.gov).
The roles of different types of generators in the grid
www.nrel.gov
General layout of electricity networks
● The grid is an interconnected network used to deliver electricity
from suppliers to consumers (YU et al., 2011, link)
● Fossil and nuclear energy still play a key role in providing base
load power (link) (De Rooij, 2016). Indeed the production and
use of energy account for more than 75% of the EU’s
greenhouse gas emissions (European Commission, 2022, link).
● One of the Commission’s main objectives regarding energy
transition is to build interconnected energy systems and better
integrated grids to support renewable energy sources (European
Commission Green Deal, 2022, link)
Wikipedia, 2022
Traditional electric grid (link), Yu et al.
2011.
Base Load Power
• Base load power refers to the minimum
amount of electric power to be supplied
to the electric grid at any given time
• Base load power must be supplied by
constant and reliable sources of
electricity which often are coal or nuclear
power plants (www.energyeducation.ca)
• Base load power is therefore a major
challenge when it comes to energy
transition and the use of renewable
energies which are not all constant nor
reliable just yet https://energypost.eu
Renewable Energy Sources
• The following slides will present
renewable energy sources and
examples on how they are or could
be exploited
• This video (link) provides you with a
quick overview of renewable energy
sources (Ecomastery project, You
tube, 2020)
Different renewable energy sources, Ghandriz et al., 2021
Solar Energy
• Solar power is generated in two main ways:
• Solar photovoltaic (PV) is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy
technologies and is playing an increasingly important role in the global energy
transformation. It is highly modular and ranges in size from small solar home
kits and rooftop installations of 3-20 kW capacity, right up to systems with
capacity in the hundreds of megawatts. The cost of manufacturing solar panels
has plummeted dramatically, making them often the cheapest form of
electricity. Solar module prices fell by up to 93% between 2010 and 2020 (link)
according to IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency.
(www.irena.org).
Solar Energy (cont.)
• Concentrated solar power (CSP) uses mirrors to concentrate solar rays. CSP
is used to generate electricity in large-scale power plants. (www.irena.org)
• One of the main advantages of a CSP power plant over a solar PV power plant
is that it can be equipped with molten salts in which heat can be stored,
allowing electricity to be generated after the sun has set. (www.irena.org)
• Check this video (link) to see how the world’s largest solar power plant works
• Yet solar panels have high recycling cost and usually go straight to landfill
(Atasu et al., 2021 link). These are some of the recycling challenges linked to
solar panels (Peplow, 2022 link)
Wind Energy
• Global installed wind generation capacity – both onshore and offshore – has
increased by a factor of 98 in the past two decades, jumping from 7.5 GW in
1997 to some 733 GW by 2018 (www.irena.org)
• Wind is a resource we have in abundance and that has the potential to
replace fossil energies (Jorgensen. TED Talk, Link). The amount of power
that can be harvested from wind depends on the size of the turbine and the
length of its blades. The output is proportional to the dimensions of the rotor
and to the cube of the wind speed. Theoretically, when wind speed doubles,
the wind power potential increases by a factor of eight. (www.irena.org)
Wind Energy (Cont.)
• Most of us are familiar with onshore and offshore
windmill farms
• This video (link) presents an example of a newly developed
technology from Aeromintechnologies (link) exploiting wind energy
on rooftops (Ferrell, You tube, 2023)
• Wind energy has also its challenges, like maintenance (Tagabe,
2022 link) or recycling wind turbine blades and generators but
solutions start to emerge. The first wind turbines blades were
successfully recycled in Finland. (Finnish Wind Power Association,
2022, link)
Middelgrunden Offshore Wind Farm. Wikimedia
Commons
Hydropower
• Hydropower is among the most cost-effective means of generating electricity and is often the preferred
method where available. In Norway, for example, 99% of electricity comes from hydropower.
(www.irena.org) Recent data shows that hydropower development grew steadily worldwide in 2021,
but is still falling drastically short of the rate needed to deliver net zero emissions
(www.hydropower.org).
• The basic principle of hydropower is using water to drive turbines. Hydropower plants consist of two
basic configurations: with dams and reservoirs, or without. Hydropower dams with a large reservoir can
store water over short or long periods to meet peak demand. (www.irena.org)
• The facilities can also be divided into smaller dams for different purposes, such as night or day use,
seasonal storage, or pumped-storage reversible plants, for both pumping and electricity generation.
Hydropower without dams and reservoirs means producing at a smaller scale, typically from a facility
designed to operate in a river without interfering in its flow. For this reason, many consider small-scale
hydro a more environmentally-friendly option. (www.irena.org)
Hydropower (cont.)
• This 15 minutes video (link) discusses the
future of hydropower. Hydropower generation
has been growing internationally (e.g.China).
Yet dams and reservoirs disrupt eco-systems
and these challenges need to be addressed
(CNBC, YouTube, 2022)
• This other video (link) presents a few
examples of DIY local small scale hydropower
projects (Mr. construction, YouTube, 2022)
Hydro power and the grid, Source: Us National Hydropower
Association
Geothermal energy
• The potential of geothermal energy is
colossal most of its potential is untapped
• It could generate power more than all the
gas and oil resources in the world. This 10
minutes video (link) explains the main
principles behind geothermal energy
• Yet there are several challenges
preventing to exploit its full potential (DW
Planet A, YouTube, 2022)
Geothermal Energy, Greenesa, Shakya, 2021
Tidal Energy
• Only a fraction of tidal energy is used to power
our homes
• With a planet that is 70% water, tidal energy
has the potential to power an entire continent.
This video (link) presents the main principles
behind it. (DW Planet A, 2022)
• The challenges (link) related to the exploitation
of tidal energy are numerous but the
technology keeps developing (MIT climate
portal, 2022) Multiple turbines are often used to increase
power capacity (Cleanenergyideas, 2019)
Tidal energy technologies
• Different kinds of technologies (link) and approaches are
aiming at exploiting the power of waves (www.irena.org) -
click on the pictures to find out more about these
examples-:
Corpowerocean.com
Orbitalmarine.com
Minesto.com
Self-reflection questions
• What does “clean energy” mean, and how quickly can we get
to 100 percent?
• What are the main challenges preventing us to rely solely on
renewable energy sources to power our electric grid?
• Which of the renewable energy sources presented here you
think have the most potential for the future? Why?
• How do you think the EU Green Deal is going to impact our
ability to transit to a sustainable energy consumption model?
This is the end of part 1. Thank you!
22

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TOO4TO Module 4 / Sustainable Energy Solutions: Part 1

  • 1.
  • 2. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS Module 4, part 1 by Turku University of Applied Sciences 2
  • 3. Part 1: Introduction Introduction to sustainable energy solutions Learning objectives and outcomes of the module: • ability to understand how the power grid functions • ability to understand the concepts of base load power and the challenges it poses for energy transition • ability to understand how renewable energy sources are exploited and their future potential 3
  • 4. Topics for introduction • In order to better comprehend the challenges and opportunities related to energy transition, an understanding of the basic principles through which the power grid operates and the diversity of energy solutions available on the market are needed. • What is Base Load Power and the roles the main sources of renewable energy can have are also tackled in this part 1.
  • 5. Key concepts about the power grid • We depend on electricity, but it cannot be created, stored and provided at a later time. The instant it’s produced, it’s used no matter how far apart the producer is from the user. The infrastructure that makes all this possible is the power grid (link) (Practical Engineering, Youtube, 2019) • The electric grid or power grid (link) is how electricity is produced and distributed (MIT climate portal, 2022) • Most of the world electricity is produced with power plants working with fossil fuel • Electricity accounts for 40% of our global greenhouse gas emissions from energy (www.iea.org) and Europe aims to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050 (EU Commission, 2022, link)
  • 6. Key concepts about the power grid (Cont.) • The level of demand for electricity in any one area is variable and it is more efficient to combine demand from many sites into an overall regional load (www.nrel.gov). • Therefore an energy mix is required (cf. next slide) as our electric supply must keep up with constantly changing demand for electricity (www.nrel.gov). • Technologies such as wind and solar do not meet the requirements for consistent electricity supply (www.nrel.gov).
  • 7. The roles of different types of generators in the grid www.nrel.gov
  • 8. General layout of electricity networks ● The grid is an interconnected network used to deliver electricity from suppliers to consumers (YU et al., 2011, link) ● Fossil and nuclear energy still play a key role in providing base load power (link) (De Rooij, 2016). Indeed the production and use of energy account for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions (European Commission, 2022, link). ● One of the Commission’s main objectives regarding energy transition is to build interconnected energy systems and better integrated grids to support renewable energy sources (European Commission Green Deal, 2022, link) Wikipedia, 2022 Traditional electric grid (link), Yu et al. 2011.
  • 9. Base Load Power • Base load power refers to the minimum amount of electric power to be supplied to the electric grid at any given time • Base load power must be supplied by constant and reliable sources of electricity which often are coal or nuclear power plants (www.energyeducation.ca) • Base load power is therefore a major challenge when it comes to energy transition and the use of renewable energies which are not all constant nor reliable just yet https://energypost.eu
  • 10. Renewable Energy Sources • The following slides will present renewable energy sources and examples on how they are or could be exploited • This video (link) provides you with a quick overview of renewable energy sources (Ecomastery project, You tube, 2020) Different renewable energy sources, Ghandriz et al., 2021
  • 11. Solar Energy • Solar power is generated in two main ways: • Solar photovoltaic (PV) is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy technologies and is playing an increasingly important role in the global energy transformation. It is highly modular and ranges in size from small solar home kits and rooftop installations of 3-20 kW capacity, right up to systems with capacity in the hundreds of megawatts. The cost of manufacturing solar panels has plummeted dramatically, making them often the cheapest form of electricity. Solar module prices fell by up to 93% between 2010 and 2020 (link) according to IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency. (www.irena.org).
  • 12. Solar Energy (cont.) • Concentrated solar power (CSP) uses mirrors to concentrate solar rays. CSP is used to generate electricity in large-scale power plants. (www.irena.org) • One of the main advantages of a CSP power plant over a solar PV power plant is that it can be equipped with molten salts in which heat can be stored, allowing electricity to be generated after the sun has set. (www.irena.org) • Check this video (link) to see how the world’s largest solar power plant works • Yet solar panels have high recycling cost and usually go straight to landfill (Atasu et al., 2021 link). These are some of the recycling challenges linked to solar panels (Peplow, 2022 link)
  • 13. Wind Energy • Global installed wind generation capacity – both onshore and offshore – has increased by a factor of 98 in the past two decades, jumping from 7.5 GW in 1997 to some 733 GW by 2018 (www.irena.org) • Wind is a resource we have in abundance and that has the potential to replace fossil energies (Jorgensen. TED Talk, Link). The amount of power that can be harvested from wind depends on the size of the turbine and the length of its blades. The output is proportional to the dimensions of the rotor and to the cube of the wind speed. Theoretically, when wind speed doubles, the wind power potential increases by a factor of eight. (www.irena.org)
  • 14. Wind Energy (Cont.) • Most of us are familiar with onshore and offshore windmill farms • This video (link) presents an example of a newly developed technology from Aeromintechnologies (link) exploiting wind energy on rooftops (Ferrell, You tube, 2023) • Wind energy has also its challenges, like maintenance (Tagabe, 2022 link) or recycling wind turbine blades and generators but solutions start to emerge. The first wind turbines blades were successfully recycled in Finland. (Finnish Wind Power Association, 2022, link) Middelgrunden Offshore Wind Farm. Wikimedia Commons
  • 15. Hydropower • Hydropower is among the most cost-effective means of generating electricity and is often the preferred method where available. In Norway, for example, 99% of electricity comes from hydropower. (www.irena.org) Recent data shows that hydropower development grew steadily worldwide in 2021, but is still falling drastically short of the rate needed to deliver net zero emissions (www.hydropower.org). • The basic principle of hydropower is using water to drive turbines. Hydropower plants consist of two basic configurations: with dams and reservoirs, or without. Hydropower dams with a large reservoir can store water over short or long periods to meet peak demand. (www.irena.org) • The facilities can also be divided into smaller dams for different purposes, such as night or day use, seasonal storage, or pumped-storage reversible plants, for both pumping and electricity generation. Hydropower without dams and reservoirs means producing at a smaller scale, typically from a facility designed to operate in a river without interfering in its flow. For this reason, many consider small-scale hydro a more environmentally-friendly option. (www.irena.org)
  • 16. Hydropower (cont.) • This 15 minutes video (link) discusses the future of hydropower. Hydropower generation has been growing internationally (e.g.China). Yet dams and reservoirs disrupt eco-systems and these challenges need to be addressed (CNBC, YouTube, 2022) • This other video (link) presents a few examples of DIY local small scale hydropower projects (Mr. construction, YouTube, 2022) Hydro power and the grid, Source: Us National Hydropower Association
  • 17. Geothermal energy • The potential of geothermal energy is colossal most of its potential is untapped • It could generate power more than all the gas and oil resources in the world. This 10 minutes video (link) explains the main principles behind geothermal energy • Yet there are several challenges preventing to exploit its full potential (DW Planet A, YouTube, 2022) Geothermal Energy, Greenesa, Shakya, 2021
  • 18. Tidal Energy • Only a fraction of tidal energy is used to power our homes • With a planet that is 70% water, tidal energy has the potential to power an entire continent. This video (link) presents the main principles behind it. (DW Planet A, 2022) • The challenges (link) related to the exploitation of tidal energy are numerous but the technology keeps developing (MIT climate portal, 2022) Multiple turbines are often used to increase power capacity (Cleanenergyideas, 2019)
  • 19. Tidal energy technologies • Different kinds of technologies (link) and approaches are aiming at exploiting the power of waves (www.irena.org) - click on the pictures to find out more about these examples-: Corpowerocean.com Orbitalmarine.com Minesto.com
  • 20. Self-reflection questions • What does “clean energy” mean, and how quickly can we get to 100 percent? • What are the main challenges preventing us to rely solely on renewable energy sources to power our electric grid? • Which of the renewable energy sources presented here you think have the most potential for the future? Why? • How do you think the EU Green Deal is going to impact our ability to transit to a sustainable energy consumption model?
  • 21. This is the end of part 1. Thank you! 22