Currently, subsidising, research and technology development in the field of sustainable energy systems takes place in a broad range of technologies and application fields. Options to increase efficiency and market penetration potentials of various technologies are often considered isolated from each other. However, when it comes to the strategic orientation of research and technology development, the short, mid and long term priorities of various technologies have to be considered. Moreover, it has to be taken into account which technologies can be realised in a dynamic context and which ones have the chance to enter the market in order to reach a critical mass and achieve a relevant market potential.
The main target of this project consists of two aspects: First, the development of scenarios depicting the long term development (until 2050) of various sustainable energy technologies in Austria. These scenarios describe which technologies are feasible and are able to reach a relevant potential under economic, technical, structural and societal restrictions.
Second, technology rankings will be carried out with respect to the robustness and stability towards changing side conditions. These rankings will serve as a basis for deriving recommendations for the future priorities of research and technology development.
The content of the project focuses on simulating the future development of various sustainable energy technologies. These simulations will be carried out based on models developed in the course the EU-projects Green-X, GreenNet and Invert. The core methodological approach is the analysis of the dynamic cost development of various technologies, which results in the development of the technology mix. Besides technical and economic side conditions two core elements are crucial: The modelling of technology interactions (spill-overs, synergy effects, competition etc) and investigating the effects influencing the costs of technologies (technological learning, increase in efficiency, research and technology development). Both elements will be modelled and integrated in the formal framework for the scenario development. This will be carried out based empirical data and existing previous studies and literature.
Various exogenous parameters have a crucial impact on the future development of various technologies. This are primarily: trend of energy prices (particularly of the oil price), demand of energy services (e.g. cooling), European and global development of various energy technologies e.g. inducing global learning effects, political side conditions, especially with respect to internalising external effects. These parameters will be subject to sensitivity analyses. The stability of technologies towards a change in these parameters will be tested.
The analysis in principle includes all renewable and energy efficient technologies relevant for Austria in the fields of heating, cooling, electricity and biofuels. A special focus is given to those technologies addressed by the program “Energiesysteme der Zukunft”.
A core element of the project is a comprehensive reviewing and discussion process. Expert discussions and workshops will be carried out in order to critically discuss the results of the scenarios and the recommendations. In a feed-back-loop, these inputs will be considered for a refinement or modification of the scenario analyses and corresponding recommendations.
The project will be carried out in six work packages. At the beginning, the technology analysis will be carried out and a technology database will be developed (WP1). Subsequently, the numerous interactions between technologies and their costs will be investigated (WP2). WP3 deals with the impact and influencing parameters of learning effects on costs and efficiency of various technologies. WP4 combines the results of the previous work packages in deriving the scenarios for technology development and the impact of exogenous scenario parameters is modelled. WP5 includes the technology rankings, deriving recommendations and the discussion and reviewing process. Coordination, communication and other management activities are carried out within WP6.
The main results of this project consist of three parts: First, scenarios for the development of the mix of sustainable energy technologies. These scenarios describe, which technologies enter the market in which scenarios, to what extent and when. Second, technology rankings with respect to robustness and relevance of various technologies and third, recommendations for the future priorities of research and technology development in the field of sustainable energy systems in Austria.