Economics of energy systems and environment

ECONOMICS OF ENERGY SYSTEMS AND ENVIRONMENT
Sustainable development may be defined as a development that seeks to improve the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems. In this context, tools and analyses are needed for supporting decision making that considers environmental constraints. EIFER seeks to provide this support with a focus on the energy sector. Therefore, this research area at EIFER covers
1) the assessment of impacts of power supply on the environment and
2) the assessment of impacts of environmental factors on power supply.

Sustainable development may be defined as a development that seeks to improve the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems. In this context, tools and analyses are needed for supporting decision making that consider environmental constraints. We seek to provide this support with a focus on the energy sector. Therefore, this research area covers 1) the assessment of impacts of power supply on the environment and 2) the assessment of impacts of environmental factors on power supply.
External effects of energy supply shall be considered in the design of environmentally sound energy systems. When quantified in monetary terms, these externalities are called external costs. Activities in this field include:

  • technology assessment like social Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of measures or policies concerning fossil fuelled power plants,
  • combination of externality assessment and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

    Sustainable energy supply intends to meet both environmental and economic targets. Optimization and simulation tools are used for establishing scenarios of the future power plant park in Germany and Europe taking into account CO2 emission constraints, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets as well as climate change. Tools for scenario analyses of electricity and heat markets have been developed as well.
    The vulnerability towards the impact of climate change has become an important issue for energy suppliers. Thorough knowledge on the consequences of changing hydro-meteorological parameters is needed. With our partners we work to identify vulnerabilities and to quantify possible effects due to climate change. The main topics of research are the impacts of climate change on energy demand and electricity production (cooling systems, renewable energies).

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