Can Australia Power the Energy-Hungry Asia with Renewable Energy?

Results contradict the notion that long-distance power lines could be beneficial to utilize the abundant solar and wind resources in Australia for East Asia. However, Australia could become a liquefaction hub for exporting RE-SNG to Asia and a 100% renewable energy system could be a reality in East Asia with the cost assumptions used. This may also be more cost-competitive than nuclear and fossil fuel carbon capture and storage alternatives.
3 years ago

Authors: Ashish Gulagi, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Mahdi Fasihi and Christian Breyer
 
Journal Title: Sustainability
 
Publisher: MDPI AG
 
Abstract
 
The Paris Agreement points out that countries need to shift away from the existing fossil-fuel-based energy system to limit the average temperature rise to 1.5 or 2 °C. A cost-optimal 100% renewable energy based system is simulated for East Asia for the year 2030, covering demand by power, desalination, and industrial gas sectors on an hourly basis for an entire year.
 
East Asia was divided into 20 sub-regions and four different scenarios were set up based on the level of high voltage grid connection, and additional demand sectors: power, desalination, industrial gas, and a renewable-energy-based synthetic natural gas (RE-SNG) trading between regions. The integrated RE-SNG scenario gives the lowest cost of electricity (€52/MWh) and the lowest total annual cost of the system.
 
Results contradict the notion that long-distance power lines could be beneficial to utilize the abundant solar and wind resources in Australia for East Asia. However, Australia could become a liquefaction hub for exporting RE-SNG to Asia and a 100% renewable energy system could be a reality in East Asia with the cost assumptions used. This may also be more cost-competitive than nuclear and fossil fuel carbon capture and storage alternatives.
 
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
 

Illustration Photo: Albany Wind Farm in Western Australia (credits: Lawrence Murray / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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