PV Demand, Hourly Resolution, 100% Renewable Energy, Energy Transition, Scenario
Summary / Abstract:
The global energy system has to be transformed towards high levels of sustainability for executing the COP21 agreement. Solar PV offers excellent characteristics to play a major role for this energy transition. Key objective of this work is to investigate the role of PV for the global energy transition based on respective scenarios and a newly introduced energy transition model developed by the authors at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The available energy transition scenarios have no consensus view on the future role of PV, but a progressive group of scenarios present results of a fast growth of installed PV capacities and a high energy supply share of solar energy to the total primary energy demand in the world in the decades to come. These progressive energy transition scenarios can be confirmed by the LUT Energy system model. The model derives total installed solar PV capacity requirements of 7.1 – 9.1 TWp for today’s electricity sector and 27.4 TWp for the entire energy system in the mid-term (year 2030 assumptions set as reference). The long-term capacity is expected to be 42 TWp and due to the ongoing cost reduction of PV and battery technologies, this value is found to be the lower limit for the installed capacities. The cost reductions are taken into account for the year 2030, but are expected to further proceed beyond this reference year. Solar PV electricity is expected to be the largest, least cost and most relevant source of energy in the mid- to long-term for the global energy supply.