Wartsila publishes open access interactive map indicating potential of cost-optimal 100% renewable electricity systems

The technology group Wärtsilä is today publishing on its website an extensive interactive map Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy on cost-optimal, 100% renewable electricity systems globally. The map provides valuable information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to geographical regions and their solar and wind conditions. Wärtsilä has modelled 145 countries and different regions of the world in one hour dispatch granularity to provide an illustrative guide as to the cost-optimal potential of developing 100% renewable electricity systems.

The work, which highlights the company’s highly advanced power system modelling capabilities, was carried out following the agreement with Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT to collaborate on research on 100% renewable energy systems, and relies on LUT University’s database of power systems data.

The results of the modelling work reveal the importance of a wider technology mix and different types of flexibility in high-renewable power systems. Wärtsilä’s power system modelling has compared two options; the first being a cost-optimal carbon neutral and 100 % renewable energy system utilising flexible gas power plants and Power-to-X technology providing synthetic fuel for flexible gas generation, while the other option is using only solar, wind, and battery energy storage. The differences in capacity build needs and system costs are highlighted. The map also highlights the importance and need for short-term flexibility provided by battery energy storage in high-renewable energy systems. It also emphasises the essentiality of flexibility in load balancing to support the industry’s transition.

“Wärtsilä has taken a leading role in supporting the energy sector as it undergoes a transformation towards greater flexibility, efficiency and sustainability. The benefit of this project is that it provides a picture of how systems using only renewable sourced energy can look like, and how much different types of capacity are required for 100% renewable electricity systems. It shows the role that different technologies have in power systems, and how they work together. The aim is to help our customers in choosing future-proof solutions that will optimise operational costs of their power systems,” says Matti Rautkivi, Director, Strategy and Business Development, Wärtsilä Energy Business.

“Wärtsilä and LUT have an ongoing collaboration to research 100% renewable energy systems and we are happy to be supporting Wärtsilä in developing their modelling approach to serve their existing and new customers all around the world”, says Christian Breyer, Professor for Solar Economy, LUT University.

Wärtsilä Energy Business in brief
Wärtsilä Energy Business leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers unlock the value of the energy transition by optimising their energy systems and future-proofing their assets. Our offering comprises flexible power plants, energy management systems, and storage, as well as lifecycle services that ensure increased efficiency and guaranteed performance. Wärtsilä has delivered 72 GW of power plant capacity in 180 countries around the world.

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2019, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.2 billion with approximately 19,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries around the world.