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Assessment of a Fully Renewable System for the Total Decarbonization of the Economy with Full Demand Coverage on Islands Connected to a Central Grid: The Balearic Case in 2040


The transition to clean electricity generation is a crucial focus for achieving the current objectives of economy decarbonization. The Balearic Archipelago faces significant environmental, economic, and social challenges in shifting from a predominantly fossil fuel-based economy to one based on renewable sources. This study proposes implementing a renewable energy mix and decarbonizing the economy of the Balearic Islands by 2040. The proposed system involves an entirely renewable generation system with interconnections between the four Balearic islands and the Spanish mainland grid via a 650 MW submarine cable. This flexible electrical exchange can cover approximately 35% of the peak demand of 1900 MW. The scenario comprises a 6 GWp solar photovoltaic system, a wind system of under 1.2 GWp, and a 600 MW biomass system as generation sub-systems. A vanadium redox flow battery sub-system with a storage capacity of approximately 21 GWh and 2.5 GWp power is available to ensure system manageability. This system’s levelized electricity cost (LCOE) is around 13.75 cEUR/kWh. The design also incorporates hydrogen as an alternative for difficult-to-electrify uses, achieving effective decarbonization of all final energy uses. A production of slightly over 5 × 104 tH2 per year is required, with 1.7 GW of electrolyzer power using excess electricity and water resources. The system enables a significant level of economy decarbonization, although it requires substantial investments in both generation sources and storage.

Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Spain

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