عنوان مقاله [English]
Today, energy is one of the most critical elements of society. With the increase in the world population, energy demand is growing intensely. In this regard, traditional fossil fuel thermal power plants have negative environmental impacts. However, renewable energy systems can produce much cleaner energy using renewable resources. Therefore, countries are transitioning from traditional fossil fuel-based power plants to fully renewable energy systems for a more sustainable world. However, to build an efficient plan for the renewable energy transition, an accurate and comprehensive model is required that can calculate the expected impacts of each strategy to follow.
Materials and methods
EnergyPLAN, an input/output energy system modeling tool with various available components, provides the opportunity to accurately model any energy strategy model. In this study, EnergyPLAN is used to model the energy system of Fars and investigate the potential of the province. Fars is the fourth most populous province in Iran, with an approximate population of 4.8 million. Having 3.26 kWh and 7.21 kWh of minimum and maximum daily solar radiation has made Fars a potential province for solar energy. Also, the annual average wind speed of 5.43 m/s provides opportunities for wind turbine investments.
In this study, the energy system of the Fars province in the past, present, and future periods are modeled using EnergyPLAN. For the past modeling, the historical data of energy demands and supplies are used; then, for modeling the current energy systems, the relevant data are gathered and modeled in EnergyPLAN. For future energy system modeling, the realistic data for the Fars province are used in the modeling. Eventually, the environmental impact of these scenarios is compared.
The modelings are performed considering the electricity demands and any power plants (for example, thermal power plants, renewable energy systems, and hydropower). Modeling the past scenario indicates that 26.94 MTon CO2 would have been emitted in the past four years. The second scenario is built upon the premise that the prevailing renewable energy systems had been constructed four years ago. The result of this scenario demonstrates a 1.11 MTon less CO2 emission compared to the first scenario. The results of modeling the current energy systems of Fars indicate that existing renewable energy systems in the province are 3% of the total electricity demand. Also, further analysis suggests that in the absence of current renewable energy systems in the province, 280,000 Tons more CO2 will be emitted.
For the future scenario, the current data are forecasted for the future, using the previous trend in the growth of demands and supplies. Considering that no new power plants will be built until 2024, the results indicate that the renewable energy fraction will rise to 2.7 % by 2024. However, by using the available data on the construction plans of renewable energy systems until 2024, the results indicate that the renewable energy fraction will reach 14.8 %, and 930,000 Ton less CO2 will be emitted compared to the previous case.
EnergyPLAN as an accurate energy modeling tool has been used in this study to model the past, current, and future energy flow of Fars province. This has happened by using historical and current data and forecasting future data. The results showed that if the existing renewable energy plants had been built four years sooner, 1.11 MTon less CO2 would have been emitted until now. This demonstrates the role of timing in the construction of renewable energy systems.
The result of modeling the current and future energy scenarios indicates that if the current renewable energy systems are built until 2024, 930,000 Ton less CO2 will be emitted.
Therefore, considering the province’s high solar and wind potential, it is suggested that more renewable energy systems be built to decrease the CO2 emission cumulatively, and the construction of the traditional power plants should be prohibited. Also, other sources of renewables like biomass and geothermal should be considered in the energy planning to provide a more versatile renewable energy supply to the province. However, the fossil fuel power plants have the advantage of low cost in Iran, making the competition challenging for clean energy sources. Removing the subsidies for fossil fuels can make the competition fairer and provide more opportunities for renewable energy systems to grow in the province.