Title: The near future availability of photovoltaic energy in Europe and Africa in climate-aerosol modeling experiments
Citation: RENEWABLE \& SUSTAINABLE ENERGY REVIEWS vol. 38 p. 706-716
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC87802
ISSN: 1364-0321
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.041
DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.041
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The near future change in productivity of photovoltaic energy (PVE) in Europe and Africa is assessed by using the climate variables simulated by the ECHAM5-HAM aerosol-climate model, and a model for the performance of photovoltaic systems. The climate simulations are forced by green-house gases emissions from the IPCC SRES B2 scenario. In addition, different scenarios for future anthropogenic aerosols emissions are applied. Thus, the sensitivity of the future PVE productivity to changes in aerosol atmospheric burdens between 2000 and 2030 is analyzed. The analysis indicates that reductions in aerosols emissions in the near future result in an increase of global warming, and a significant response in surface solar radiation and associated PVE productivity. A statistically significant reduction in PVE productivity up to 7% is observed in eastern Europe and northern Africa, while a significant increase up to 10% is observed in western Europe and eastern Mediterranean. The changes in surface solar radiation and PVE productivity are related to global effects of aerosols reduction on the large scale circulation and associated cloud cover pattern, rather than to local effects on the atmospheric optical properties. PVE assessment is then discussed in the frame of the present situation and next decades evolution of the photovoltaic market, highlighting that the effects on productivity induced by industrial and public policies, and technological development are comparable to climate related effects. The presented results encourage the improvement and further use of climate models in assessment of future renewable energies availability.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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