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Integrated Energy Planning and 100% Renewable Energy Systems

Departmanet of Development and Planning, Aalborg University
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  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


559-1413-6-LE.qxd 1. Introduction Energy security, fossil fuel depletion, socio-economic impacts and environmental pressures are all motivating factors that have brought energy policy, energy planning and energy management onto the public agenda over the last decades. Nearly 50% of proven oil reserves are located in the Middle East [1] which has had a turbulent history in the 20th and 21st century from the Suez Crisis, the Yum Kippur War, over the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent American-led invasion of Iraq to the Arab Spring. Combined with rising global oil demands, this has contributed to oil prices increasing more than 10-fold from 1970 to 2012 [1] which has had significant socio-economic impacts on oil-importing as well as oil exporting nations. For oil importing nations, the situation was particularly severe in the 1970s, coming from a situation of readily available low cost fuels to a situation of rapidly increasing costs. Other fuel sources such as coal followed oil’s lead, however with less volatility – see Figure 1. In fact, not only the price hikes of oil but also the periods of comparably low prices and thus the sheer volatility of the oil price has proven a challenge. Any long-term investments in oil International journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management Vol. 01 2014 1 exploitation have thus been – and are still – faced with financial uncertainty as are investments in alternative solutions including renewables and energy savings. While the urgency of a sudden impact is no longer preeminent, socio-economic impacts remain important as fuel costs form large balance of trade imbalances for net importers of energy. Lastly, environmental concerns are not being adequately met. While earlier environmental issues of smog, dust, and acid rain could be solved by end-of-pipe solutions in the form of e.g. filters, scrubbers, and catalysts, climate change enhancing carbon dioxide emissions keep increasing as it is an inherent effect of the

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