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Sustainable Energy Transition Considering the Water–Energy Nexus: A Multiobjective Optimization Framework

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journal contribution
posted on 26.02.2021, 17:06 by Javier Tovar-Facio, Lidia S. Guerras, José M. Ponce-Ortega, Mariano Martín
Electricity is becoming one of the main forms of the final energy demand in the world; therefore, energy transition is one of the most important issues to achieve the internationally agreed target to limit global warming below 2 °C. This work addressed the optimal mix of renewable energy technologies to substitute any existing power system. A flexible multiobjective mixed-integer linear programming model was developed that can be adapted to any national power system. The proposed optimization framework considers simultaneously technical operating constraints, availability of renewable energy sources in different places, freshwater consumption as a function of technologies and location characteristics, direct and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, and total annual costs. The peninsular electricity system (PES) of Spain was chosen to show the applicability of the model due to the imminent decommission of its coal and nuclear thermal plants and its ambitious CO2 reduction targets. Results show the location, type, capacity, and generation structure of the optimal energy mix with existing and new power plants. The proposed energy transition shows a potential reduction of up to 37.5 and 49.7% in water consumption and greenhouse gas emission, respectively, with respect to the current system.