Work Package 2: Modelling of scenarios for Power-to-X and alternative fuels production in Bornholm

David Garcia Marin, Frederik Skou Fertin, Juan Felipe Beltran Busch-Knudsen, Antoine Letoffet, Nicolas Jean Bernard Campion, Marie Münster

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Abstract

Denmark has set ambitious goals for decarbonization, aiming to lead the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a sustainable energy system. By compliance with international climate obligations and its national targets in the energy sector, Denmark plans to cut emissions by 70% by 2030-from 1990 levels- and to be a low-carbon society independent of fossil fuels by 2050.

Despite the country’s goals to drastically increase its renewable energy production capacity, electrif ication alone cannot achieve the desired reduction in greenhouse gases, especially in hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy transport or industry. In these sectors, the adoption of alternative/synthetic fuels becomes essential. These fuels are non-fossil-based energy sources and provide a crucial pathway towards achieving a fully decarbonized energy system.

Alternative fuels are derived from a broad array of energy sources, each with unique production pathways, specific end-use applications, and different socio-economic costs. They can be classified into 3 big groups depending on the energy sources used in their production:

• Electrofuels (E-fuels): They use hydrogen —obtained from the electrolysis of water using renewable energy— as their primary energy source. When carbon is incorporated into e-fuels, it is typically sourced from direct air capture (DAC) processes that also utilize renewable energy.

• Biofuels: These are primarily derived from biogenic carbon sources. The main input is biomass, such as agricultural and forestry waste or energy crops. They are characterized by their carbonneutral cycle, where the CO2 released upon combustion is balanced by the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the biomass.

• E-Biofuels: These are a hybrid approach that utilizes both biogenic carbon from biomass and hydrogen produced by electrolysis with renewable energy sources (RES). This category merges the production techniques of both biofuels and e-fuels, aiming to utilize the strengths of each and maximize carbon utilization.

Power-to-X (PtX) technologies have a key role in the production of alternative fuels. These technologies serve the purpose of converting electrical energy from various sources-preferably from renewable energy sources- into other forms of energy such as synthetic fuels. Hence, PtX facilities can play a vital role in indirectly electrifying hard-to-abate sectors, thereby helping on their decarbonization. The size, power sources, and technologies employed at the different units of Power-to-X plants can greatly affect their output, requiring for careful planning and optimization. This project aimed to develop an intuitive and open-source tool (OptiPlant) designed to identify an optimal size for the different Power-to-X fuel production plant components (conversion and storage units) and their operation. The tool is designed to provide fast results for a large variety of system configurations and scenarios, and also consider uncertainties.

Building upon Denmark’s ambitious energy policies, Bornholm emerges as a key player in the country’s transition towards green energy due to its strategic location and good wind resources.

The ’Energy Island Bornholm’ project, initiated by the Danish Parliament, envisions Bornholm as a renewable energy hub in the Baltic Sea. This ambitious project aims to construct two offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 2-3 GW, which includes a dedicated overplanting of 800 MW specifically for Power-to-X applications. The ’Energy Island Bornholm’ project is expected to provide renewable energy to Bornholm and also to be able to export it to mainland Denmark and Germany. This project enhances innovation and economic growth, both locally and nationally.

It will strengthen Bornholm’s security of supply and potentially improve the sector coupling by combining electricity, heating, and transportation in a sustainable way. This will boost the island’s energy independence and promote its sustainable development.

This report, titled ’Modelling of scenarios for Power-to-X and alternative fuels production in Bornholm,’ dives into the practical aspects of these ambitious goals. It methodically investigates how Bornholm can best utilize its strategic location and resources to align with both local and national green energy objectives. The report focuses on the economical feasibility, efficiency, and potential outcomes of implementing Power-to-X technologies and alternative fuel production on the island, providing valuable insights for transforming Bornholm into a pioneering green energy leader.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages108
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

REACTRF-22-0054

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