Renewable Energy

SEXPOT: A spatiotemporal linear programming model to simulate global deployment of renewable power technologies

This thesis introduces a computer model for simulating worldwide deployment of wind and solar power technologies at high spatial and temporal resolution. The Spatiotemporally-Explicit Power and Transmission (SEXPOT) model integrates global meteorological, geophysical, and socioeconomic data to identify cost-minimizing strategies for utilizing available renewable resources. SEXPOT is unique, because it allows for low-cost, large-scale analyses while providing local-scale results. Model output includes the preferred locations for wind and solar power technologies and transmission lines and shows how variable power sources can be integrated with conventional technologies to meet demand hour-by-hour. NASA climate model output is used to predict the performance of onshore and offshore wind turbines and utility-scale and rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and a statistical model is developed to predict the distribution of electricity consumption across space and time. Linear programming techniques are then used to optimize the deployment of generating technologies. This paper describes the development of model components and associated input data and demonstrates functionality with an illustrative model run. Application to a variety of research questions is explored and areas for model improvement identified. SEXPOT is presently a working prototype that, it is hoped, will be improved over time.

Thesis author: 
Kevin Ummel
Thesis supervisor: 
Aleh Cherp
Thesis topic: 
Renewable Energy
Thesis topic: 
energy modeling
Thesis topic: 
energy economics
Thesis topic: 
greenhouse gas mitigation
Thesis topic: 
low-carbon futures
Thesis topic: 
electricity generation
Thesis topic: 
geospatial analysis
Level: 
Master's

Huang He '09 (China)

I am Huang He, a MESPOMer in 2007-2009, and I come from China. After working in London for a while, I am back to Beijing and start working for the Energy Research Institute (ERI) at the National Development and Reform Committee of China. ERI is the most important Chinese energy institute; it has a big influence on decision-making process, especially in my field (renewable energy policy), where China’s renewable energy law was drafted. Renewable energy, considered as good for both environment and economy, is still quite new in China and the whole industry is full of uncertainties and challenges.

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