Wärtsilä publishes open access interactive map identifying potential 100% renewable electricity systems

Source: press release, 6 May 2020

Wärtsilä’s interactive map Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy provides valuable information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to geographical regions and their solar and wind conditions
Wärtsilä’s interactive map Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy provides valuable information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to geographical regions and their solar and wind conditions (illustration: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä has published on its website an extensive interactive map Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy on cost-optimal, 100% renewable electricity systems globally. The map provides valuable information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to geographical regions and their solar and wind conditions. Wärtsilä has modelled 145 countries and different regions of the world in 1-hour dispatch granularity to provide an illustrative guide as to the cost-optimal potential of developing 100% renewable electricity systems. The work, which highlights the company’s highly advanced power system modelling capabilities, was carried out following the agreement with Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT to collaborate on research on 100% renewable energy systems and relies on LUT University’s database of power systems data.

The results of the modelling work reveal the importance of a wider technology mix and different types of flexibility in high-renewable power systems. Wärtsilä’s power system modelling has compared two options; the first being a cost-optimal carbon neutral and 100 % renewable energy system utilising flexible gas power plants and Power-to-X technology providing synthetic fuel for flexible gas generation, while the other option is using only solar, wind, and battery energy storage. The differences in capacity build needs and system costs are highlighted. The map also highlights the importance and need for short-term flexibility provided by battery energy storage in high-renewable energy systems. It also emphasises the essentiality of flexibility in load balancing to support the industry’s transition.

“Wärtsilä has taken a leading role in supporting the energy sector as it undergoes a transformation towards greater flexibility, efficiency and sustainability. The benefit of this project is that it provides a picture of how systems using only renewable sourced energy can look like, and how much different types of capacity are required for 100% renewable electricity systems. It shows the role that different technologies have in power systems, and how they work together. The aim is to help our customers in choosing future-proof solutions that will optimise operational costs of their power systems,” says Matti Rautkivi, Director, Strategy and Business Development, Wärtsilä Energy Business.

“Wärtsilä and LUT have an ongoing collaboration to research 100% renewable energy systems and we are happy to be supporting Wärtsilä in developing their modelling approach to serve their existing and new customers all around the world,” says Christian Breyer, Professor for Solar Economy, LUT University.

Visit the map Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy.