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Designing optimized energy scenarios for an Italian Alpine valley: the case of Giudicarie Esteriori

Mahbub, Md Shahriar, Viesi, Diego, Crema, Luigi
Energy 2016 v.116 pp. 236-249
algorithms, automobiles, biomass, boilers, carbon dioxide, economic sustainability, energy, energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, heat pumps, issues and policy, markets, models, solar energy, system optimization, wood, Alps region, Italy
The design of future local energy scenarios, under the framework of covenant of mayors' initiative, is an important and challenging task for the energy and policy planners. Designing energy scenarios is a multi-objective optimization problem, hence, a framework that combines a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm and EnergyPLAN is employed to identify optimized scenarios. In this study, optimized scenarios for the policy makers of Giudicarie Esteriori are identified, so that they are able to face the challenges of minimizing energy costs and CO2 emissions, decreasing the dependency on foreign resources, and integrating large amount of renewable energy. The results show that economically attractive, environmental friendly and less dependent energy scenarios can be achieved by 1) increasing the capacity of photovoltaics, 2) maximizing local biomass usage through individual wood boilers, and 3) partially electrifying the thermal sector through ground source heat pumps. The modification of the transport sector by introducing electric cars is not economically viable under the current market conditions. Our kind of study can be performed for the policy makers of other regions as well, by 1) collecting energy data, 2) identifying local renewable resources, 3) modelling reference scenarios, 4) identifying optimized scenarios, 5) studying the scenarios according to the requirements.