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Cost minimization for fully renewable electricity systems: A Mauritius case study
Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States.
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, The University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius.
Mechanical and Production Engineering Department, The University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius.
Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States.
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2019 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 133, article id 110895Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is the world's most prominent environmental problem, and fossil-fuel combustion is its primary cause. To set carbon reduction goals, policy makers require information on feasibility and cost of renewable energy systems. In this study, we describe an economic approach to modeling a national electricity system based entirely on renewable sources, using the island-nation of Mauritius as a case study. Many renewable electricity studies consider levelized costs of electricity (LCOE), which represents average cost of electricity, but cost minimization requires equalizing marginal costs. With variable sources, marginal costs change over time. Minimizing cost thus requires a model incorporating variability at high time resolution (daily or hourly), with the objective of minimizing the levelized cost of electricity for an entire electricity system (LCOES). In Mauritius, the minimum-cost renewable electricity portfolio includes roughly equal proportions of solar, wind, and biomass electricity, along with electricity storage. Policy issues include setting renewable energy targets, selecting policy instruments to incentivize optimum renewable energy portfolios, incorporating energy efficiency, determining appropriate discount rates, ensuring land availability, and accounting for non-cost considerations. Many of the economic and policy issues identified apply universally, and methods demonstrated in this study could be used anywhere in the world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2019. Vol. 133, article id 110895
Keywords [en]
Climate change, Decarbonization, Energy storage, OSeMOSYS, Renewable energy economics, Economic analysis, Energy efficiency, Fossil fuels, Renewable energy resources, Environmental problems, Fossil fuel combustion, Levelized cost of electricities, National electricity system, Renewable electricity, Renewable energies, Renewable energy systems, Electric energy storage, alternative energy, cost analysis, electricity supply, energy policy, modeling, policy analysis, renewable resource, Mascarene Islands, Mauritius
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-263548DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110895ISI: 000496896800003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070754655OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-263548DiVA, id: diva2:1373775
Note

QC 20191128

Available from: 2019-11-28 Created: 2019-11-28 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Howells, Mark I.

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