This paper deals with the modeling of a regional energy system, based on the example of Qatar, over a time horizon of 35 years or more, taking into account the possible transition toward a smart city paradigm of the Doha region and the probable climate regime that could result from COP21 and the coming rounds of international climate negotiations. The impact on the energy system of a transition toward smart city could take many forms: (i) by providing two-way communications between consumers and electricity producers, the smart city will foster demand response and distributed energy resource management; (ii) new forms of demand for energy services will materialize in the transport, housing and service sectors that could contribute to lower the environmental footprint of the energy sector; (iii) the smart-grid connection of distributed energy resources and the possibility to provide secondary reserve through grid storage and distributed system service, like e.g. reactive power compensation, will facilitate the penetration of variable renewable energy in the energy system. Qatar is the world-class leader in the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It has also access to crude oil reserves. As the economy of Qatar developed, as in other Gulf countries, the energy system expanded assuming an unlimited supply of very low cost fossil fuels. However, the very economic success of the gas and oil exporting countries in the Gulf region is starting to impose a limit on this form of development of the energy system. The share of gas that is used in the region and thus not available for export is increasing sharply. The local pollution due to the burning of fossil fuels in transport, residential, service and industry sectors, has to be curbed. Finally, at COP21 in Paris, more than 160 nations, including Qatar, have agreed to reduce GHG emissions in order to reach a goal of limiting the temperature change at the end of 21st century at 1.5oC. At COP21 Qatar has made a commitment to reduce its per-capita emission level, which is one of the highest in the world. To deal with these challenges, the Gulf countries count on a substitution from fossil fuel source to variable renewable ones (as well as some extent to nuclear power generation in UAE, KSA and Iran). This is exemplified by the location of IRENA headquarters[1] in Abu Dhabi, inaugurated in May 2015. Indeed, harnessing wind and solar energy sources seems promising in the region, with some caveats due to intermittency of wind blowing and sand storms reducing the efficiency of solar panels. There is another game changing phenomenon represented by the drive toward smart cities. The cities in Gulf countries are very modern and they are ready to embrace the smart city paradigm and concept. Abu Dhabi and more generally the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have announced pilot projects for fully integrated “smart-city” districts. The development of the “internet of things”, which characterizes smart cities, will translate for the energy system into a development of smart-grid connected, distributed energy resources and this should help tremendously the penetration of variable renewable energy sources. The model ETEM-SC[2] used in this research has been designed to help in assessing the policies that could be used to define, up to the horizon 2050, an environmentally friendly energy system in Qatar. ETEM-SC is a technology rich cost-efficiency model, which permits an exploration of the future of the regional energy system under different environmental and economic constraints. The model is derived from the shell-model ETEM (Energy-Technology-Environment-Model), developed at ORDECSYS[3]. This shell has a structure of a linear program, as in MARKAL, MESSAGE or TIMES, with an extensive description of technology and energy choices in the region into consideration. The new additions that have been made for our purpose (SC for Smart Cities) concern: (i) the modeling of constraints and options at the power distribution level, due to the introduction of smart grids, distributed energy resource and demand response; (ii) the consideration of the impact on demand for energy services of the development of a smart city environment, and (iii) the explicit consideration of uncertainty in the scenario building, through the use of stochastic programming and robust optimization techniques. Some technical aspects of these modeling advances have been described in two parent papers (Babonneau et al. (2016a) and (2016b)). The present research will focus on the description of the scenarios for Qatar that result from the use of this model. These scenarios are based on publicly available data and should not be considered as a representation of the energy policy of the state of Qatar. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the potential offered by ETEM-SC to assess the possible penetration of variable renewable energy in regional energy systems with smart-city development, in order to reduce drastically the GHG emissions. [1] The International Renewable Energy Agency. www.irena.org [2] Energy Technology Environment Model-Smart-Cities. [3] See www.ordecsys.com for details.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error