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  • 1. Campana, P. E.
    et al.
    Leduc, S.
    Kim, M.
    Olsson, Alexander
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    Zhang, J.
    Liu, J.
    Kraxner, F.
    McCallum, I.
    Li, H.
    Yan, Jinyue
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Suitable and optimal locations for implementing photovoltaic water pumping systems for grassland irrigation in China2015In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Grassland plays a key role for the food security of China because of the large number of livestock raised in those areas. Thus, grassland degradation due to climate change and overgrazing is considered as one of the most severe environmental and economic threat for the future sustainable development of China. Photovoltaic water pumping systems for irrigation can play a fundamental role for the conservation of grassland areas.This paper investigates the geospatial distribution of the technically suitable grassland locations for the implementation of photovoltaic water pumping systems. The technically suitable grassland areas were taken as starting point to assess the optimal locations. The assessment of the optimal locations was conducted using a spatially explicit optimization model of renewable energy systems based on the cost minimization of the whole forage supply chain.The results indicate that the photovoltaic water pumping systems provide high potential for improving forage productivity, contributing to meet the local demand. The optimal areas are highly sensitive to several environmental and economic parameters such as increased forage potential yield, forage management costs, forage water requirements, ground water depth, forage price and CO2 price. Most of the optimal areas are selected when the market forage price ranges from 300 to 500$/tonne DM, indicating that the forage produced using PVWP technology for irrigation is already competitive compared to the imported forage.

  • 2. Campana, Pietro Elia
    et al.
    Olsson, Alexander
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    Li, Hailong
    Yan, Jinyue
    An economic analysis of photovoltaic water pumping irrigation systems2016In: International Journal of Green Energy, ISSN 1543-5075, E-ISSN 1543-5083, Vol. 13, no 8, p. 831-839Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Irrigation using the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems represents a sustainable and attractive solution, which can combat Chinese grassland desertification and promote a sustainable development of the agricultural sector. This paper investigates the economics of PVWP systems taking into consideration the effects of the key components on the initial capital cost (ICC), life cycle cost (LCC), and revenues. Sensitivity analyses are conducted regarding the crop yield and price, cost of photovoltaic modules, and system components included in the ICC. Results show that the cost of the PVWP system is the most sensitive parameter affecting the ICC under the assumptions made, especially the cost of the PV modules; whereas, the crop production and price affect the net present value (NPV) and payback period (PBP) clearly. The PVWP has surplus power output when the crop water demand is low or it is non-irrigation season. The potential benefit from selling the surplus electricity is also discussed. In addition, the indirect benefits of carbon sequestration and CO2 emission reduction by applying PVWP systems are addressed in this paper.

  • 3.
    Olsson, Alexander
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    An evaluation of solar powered irrigation as carbon offset projects2016Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Carbon offsets have been developed as one tool to incentivise investments by developed nations in climate change mitigation activities in developing countries. The carbon offsets can be used towards the countries’ own mitigation targets but are also meant to benefit developing countries by providing a pathway to clean development.

    Photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology is a solution to use PV for irrigation, which can be used to restore degraded grasslands and help farmers adapt to climate change. Restoration of degraded grasslands increases the production of grass and will therefore increase the amount of carbon in the soil, a process that may mitigate climate change. However, poor farmers often have limited access to irrigation technology and this thesis assesses how carbon offsets may bring revenues to increase adaption of PVWP technology in remote areas of the Chinese grasslands.

    PV modules can be used to mitigate climate change in different ways; the most common is to produce electricity to replace fossil fuel power capacity. The novelty of this thesis is that it assesses the alternative mitigation possibilities for the PVWP project proposed here. Further, consideration of water constraints that limit the applicability of the technology and a framework to assess the trade-offs between potential downstream water impacts and environmental co-benefits of the project add to the novelty of this thesis. Policy barriers for the project will also be considered.

     Used to restore severely degraded grasslands, PVWP projects show high carbon sequestration potential and successfully compete with grid electricity as carbon offset projects. A case is analysed and it shows that the carbon market could play a role in increasing the feasibility of PVWP projects. However, water issues make project implementation very site-specific and some indicators to determine feasibility is proposed to be blue water availability, evaporation recycling ratio and water productivity. Water use must also be looked at with respect to climate, food and energy security, calling for a nexus approach to evaluate the project suitability. In May 2016, grassland management projects are excluded from the Clean Development Mechanism to the Kyoto Protocol, and this limits project implementation to the voluntary markets.

  • 4.
    Olsson, Alexander
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology.
    Campana, Pietro Elia
    Lind, Mårten
    Yan, Jinyue
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes. Mälardalen University, Sweden .
    Potential for carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change by irrigation of grasslands2014In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 136, p. 1145-1154Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The climate change mitigation potential of irrigation powered by a photovoltaic water pumping system (PVWPS) to restore degraded grasslands has been investigated using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. The purpose of this study is to develop a generic and simple method to estimate the climate change mitigation benefit of a PVWPS. The possibility to develop carbon credits for the carbon offset markets has also been studied comparing carbon sequestration in grasslands to other carbon sequestration projects. The soil carbon sequestration following irrigation of the grassland is calculated as an annual increase in the soil organic carbon pool. The PVWPS can also generate an excess of electricity when irrigation is not needed and the emissions reductions due to substitution of grid electricity give additional climate change mitigation potential. The results from this study show that the carbon sequestration and emissions reductions benefits per land area using a PVWPS for irrigating grasslands are comparable to other carbon sequestration options such as switching to no-till practice. Soil carbon in irrigated grasslands is increased with over 60% relative to severely degraded grasslands and if nitrogen fixing species are introduced the increase in soil organic carbon can be almost 80%. Renewable electricity generation by the PVWPS will further increase the mitigation benefit of the system with 70-90%. When applying the methodology developed in this paper to a case in Qinghai, China, we conclude that using a PVWPS to restore degraded grasslands for increased grass production and desertification control has a climate change mitigation benefit of 148 Mg (1 Mg = 1 metric ton) CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq) per hectare in a cold temperate, dry climate during a 20 year process of soil organic carbon sequestration and emissions reductions. Leakage due to an increase in N2O emissions from the additional biomass production and introduction of nitrogen fixing species is included in this result. The most important conclusion from our case is that if soil carbon sequestration is lower than 24 Mg CO2-eq per hectare including leakage, then the climate change mitigation benefit is larger if PV is used to produce electricity for the grid.

  • 5.
    Olsson, Alexander
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    Campana, Pietro Elia
    Lind, Mårten
    Yan, Jinyue
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    PV water pumping for carbon sequestration in dry land agriculture2015In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 102, p. 169-179Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper suggests a novel model for analysing carbon sequestration activities in dry land agriculture considering the water-food-energy-climate nexus. The paper is based on our on-going studies on photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems for irrigation of grasslands in China. Two carbon sequestration projects are analysed in terms of their water productivity and carbon sequestration potential. It is concluded that the economic water productivity, i.e. how much water that is needed to produce an amount of grass, of grassland restoration is low and that there is a need to include several of the other co-benefits to justify the use of water for climate change mitigation. The co-benefits are illustrated in a nexus model including (1) climate change mitigation, (2) water availability, (3) downstream water impact, (4) energy security, (5) food security and (6) moisture recycling. We argue for a broad approach when analysing water for carbon sequestration. The model includes energy security and food security together with local and global water concerns. This makes analyses of dry land carbon sequestration activities more relevant and accurate. Without the nexus approach, the co-benefits of grassland restoration tend to be diminished.

  • 6.
    Olsson, Alexander
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    Grönkvist, Stefan
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    Lind, M.
    Yan, Jinyue
    School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    The elephant in the room - A comparative study of uncertainties in carbon offsets2016In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 56, p. 32-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The clean development mechanism (CDM) is a flexible mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, which makes it possible for developed countries to offset their emissions of greenhouse gases through investing in climate change mitigation projects in developing countries. When the mitigation benefit of a CDM project is quantified, measurable uncertainties arise that can be minimised using established statistical methods. In addition, some unmeasurable uncertainties arise, such as the rebound effect of demand-side energy efficiency projects. Many project types related to land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) have been excluded from the CDM in part because of the high degree of statistical uncertainty in measurements of the carbon sink and risk of non-permanence. However, recent discussions within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have opened up for the possibility of including more LULUCF activities in the future. In the light of this discussion, we highlight different aspects of uncertainties in LULUCF projects (e.g. the risk of non-permanence and the size of the carbon sink) in relation to other CDM project categories such as renewables and demand-side energy efficiency. We quantify the uncertainties, compare the magnitudes of the uncertainties in different project categories and conclude that uncertainties could be just as significant in CDM project categories such as renewables as in LULUCF projects. The CDM is a useful way of including and engaging developing countries in climate change mitigation and could be a good source of financial support for LULUCF mitigation activities. Given their enormous mitigation potential, we argue that additional LULUCF activities should be included in the CDM and other future climate policy instruments. Furthermore, we note that Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are currently being submitted to the UNFCCC by developing countries. Unfortunately, the under-representation of LULUCF in comparison to its potential is evident in the NAMAs submitted so far, just as it has been in the CDM. Capacity building under the CDM may influence NAMAs and there is a risk of transferring the view on uncertainties to NAMAs.

  • 7.
    Olsson, Alexander
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    Lind, M.
    Yan, Jinyue
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
    PV water pumping for carbon sequestration in dry land agriculture2014In: Energy Procedia, 2014, p. 1037-1041Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is inspired by theory related to the water-food-energy-climate nexus and suggests a novel model, suited for analysing carbon sequestration in dry land agriculture using irrigation. The model is applied specifically to photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems for irrigation of grasslands in China. We argue against the narrow approaches to analysing the water issue often found in literature and propose that carbon sequestration, energy security, food security together with local moisture recycling patterns should be included within the system boundary in order to make analyses of dry land agricultural activities more relevant and accurate.

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