Researchers decry flawed renewable energy modelsMarch 12, 2018
Researchers have issued warning concerning flawed models that do not account for real world challenges
Researchers from Imperial College London are warning against the use of renewable energy models that do not account for the reliability of the supply chain. A new report from Imperial College London suggests that some models used to predict the future of clean power may not be accounting for real-world challenges. Researchers have expressly criticized models that did not consider transmission, energy storage, and system operability requirements.
One model in the UK fails to account for energy storage issues
One model that researchers focused on was used for power generation in the United Kingdom. The model relies entirely on hydropower, wind, and solar energy. Together, these three forms of renewable energy will provide 100% of the UK’s electricity by 2050, according to the model. Researchers found, however, that the model would ultimately fail due to a lack of back-up energy solutions. As such, the model has been deemed inoperable. This is only one of several models that do not account for challenges that are relatively simple to overcome.
Decarbonization may need to be more of a focus
Researchers suggest that greater focus should be placed on maximizing the rate of decarbonization rather than how quickly renewable energy can be used to replace older forms of power. Decarbonization efforts, such as carbon capture and storage projects, could help overarching environmental endeavors find success. Energy storage projects could also help the clean power sector overcome some modest challenges, thereby making sustainable energy much more viable in the coming years. Some countries have formed strong decarbonization efforts that have helped prop up the success of their renewable energy projects.
Governments have been ignoring the auxiliary needs of clean power
Many governments have taken a “whole system approach” in terms of renewable energy adoption. This involves using clean power to completely replace the consumption of fossil-fuels. Many of these efforts do not account for the auxiliary needs of renewable energy systems. As such, they may be prone to fail, leaving countries falling short of their established environmental goals.