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Energy Technology Systems Analysis (ETSAP TCP)


Pathways to step-up the share of renewables by 2030

The ETSAP TCP assists decision makers to assess the current energy technologies and markets that will meet the future challenges of energy supply, economic development and environmental protection. Activities carried out included support for comparing pathways to double the share of renewables by end-use sectors by 2030. 

The step-by-step approach to modelling shows pathways to doubling the share of renewable energy in final consumption by 2030.*

As the share of renewable energy is expected to grow only from 14% to 19% in the global energy mix by 2040 under current and planned policies, developing pathways to assist policy makers in identifying technology deployment, investment and policy needs on a national and international level is a priority.**

To support the Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap 2030) of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the ETSAP TCP and IRENA collaborated on a comparative analysis of their pathways to achieving a doubling of the share of renewables in end-use sectors by 2030.

The two approaches quantify the expected impacts of increased renewable energy sources (RES) by identifying technology deployment, investment and policy needs on a national and global level by creating comparable cost-supply curves across countries.

REmap 2030 provides detailed information on each of the renewable energy sources, technologies and their deployment potentials in the different energy sectors in a simple, replicable and transparent format based on national data in order to explore pathways to reach the 2030 targets.

The ETSAP TCP approach incorporates energy efficiency measures to achieve incremental increases in the share of renewable energy in the end-use sectors. For each increase, systems costs (i.e. grid integration and capital stock turnover) required to increase RES at the lowest cost are calculated. This incremental, integrated approach enables policy makers to gain understanding of the long-term costs – and benefits – associated with strategic choices concerning RES and technologies.

For example, in the first incremental increase, natural gas for electricity generation is displaced by onshore wind, photovoltaics and, depending on the resources, geothermal, while oil is displaced by biofuels in the industry sector, and diesel is displaced by ethanol in the transport sector. As the demand for low-carbon electricity generation will continue to increase, a share of 36-44% for RES in end-use sectors was feasible by 2030. These steps also highlight benchmarks that may be integrated into national plans and targets.

On the other hand, the IRENA approach explores strategies to increase the amount of provision from RES, leaving out possible further contribution from energy efficiency measures, to increase the share of renewables in final energy use. Understanding different approaches provides for more accurate energy planning. Information on the two approaches has been integrated into IRENA’s REmap 2030 publication.

* Graph adapted from data provided by the ETSAP TCP
** IEA, Paris (2014) World Energy Outlook 


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