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Assessing the natural resource use and the resource efficiency potential of the Desertec concept

  • Considering global warming, increasing commodity prices, and the dramatic consequences of the over-exploitation and overuse of resources, a transition to a renewable energy supply is necessary. This requires an (resource) efficient and renewable supply of operating reserve. In this article, a possible solution to this problem is analysed: the Desertec concept. It is meant to convert solar energy in areas with high solar irradiation into electrical energy by means of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) transferring this energy by High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines into the whole European Union Middle East and North Africa (EU-MENA) area. In order to assess the resource efficiency potential of Desertec, three different kinds of CSP plantsConsidering global warming, increasing commodity prices, and the dramatic consequences of the over-exploitation and overuse of resources, a transition to a renewable energy supply is necessary. This requires an (resource) efficient and renewable supply of operating reserve. In this article, a possible solution to this problem is analysed: the Desertec concept. It is meant to convert solar energy in areas with high solar irradiation into electrical energy by means of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) transferring this energy by High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines into the whole European Union Middle East and North Africa (EU-MENA) area. In order to assess the resource efficiency potential of Desertec, three different kinds of CSP plants (parabolic trough, Fresnel collector and central receiver of the building classes Inditep, Novatec and Solar Tres) including heat storage systems (Molten Salt and Phase-Changing-Material) and the necessary HVDC are analysed using the Material Input per Service Unit (MIPS) methodology. The assessment is accomplished for three different locations (Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt) and two points of time (2025 and 2050). With these results, a scenario of electricity supply in Germany in 2050 with a 20% share of solar power import is calculated. Central receivers are the most resource efficient ones: their consumption of abiotic materials is only half of parabolic trough plants and two thirds of Fresnel trough plants. Water and air consumption is the lowest of all analyzed CSP plants as well. The scenario for Germany's fuel mix in 2050 shows that a predominantly renewable fuel mix reduces the consumption of abiotic materials by 75%, of water by 60% and of air by 45%. Only the consumption of biotic materials rises due to the higher share of biomass conversion.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Tobias Samus, Bastian Lang, Holger Rohn
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-46457
Year of Publication:2013
Language:English
Source Title (English):Solar energy
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2012.10.011
Volume:87
First Page:176
Last Page:183
Release Date:2012/12/21
Division:Nachhaltiges Produzieren und Konsumieren
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
Licence:License LogoIn Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt