MASTER'S PROJECT: Assessing the Prospects for Renewable Energy (RE)-enabling Technologies

Research Team: 
Start Date: 
Jan 1, 2017
End Date: 
Apr 30, 2018
Summary: 

Goals & Objectives:

This project will review and establish the market outlook (i.e. the policy and regulatory environment, and the economic case) for a technology that enables more efficient and/or expansive renewable energy integration – e.g. battery storage, electric vehicles, microgrids, supergrids, smart meters, etc. General investigation of batteries – comparing and contrasting different country contexts and experiences – could be the best choice. Ideally, in addition to a market outlook for the chosen enabling technology, the project could also produce a collection of on-the-ground case studies, on the latest innovations in technology and business models implemented by countries, which are fostering the markets for different type of batteries; e,g, li-ion, advanced lead acid, flow batteries, etc. These case studies can be presented in a standardized template.

Theoretical Justification, Social Benefit, or Significance:

The large-scale integration of renewable energy technology into power systems may require the construction or expansion of innovative ‘enabling technologies’ such as battery storage, micro/supergrids, etc. Currently, the institutional, technological, and economic outlook for these technologies is highly incoherent, not only between but within markets (e.g. the existence of many different sources of revenue streams for battery storage, based on technology and policy context).

It is important to understand, and document case studies of, the latest innovations for battery markets, in order to assess how these innovations can be scaled up and replicated in many countries to enable VRE integration. Creating an assessment framework to understand the institutional, technological, and economic factors important to such technologies – and performing a market outlook for such factors - can allow for a more transparent and supportive policy and investment environment.

Specific Activities & Duration:

  • Depending on geographic scope of the project (to be defined with the team), possible analyses include:
  • Identifying the relevant institutional, technological, and economic factors for the renewable-enabling technology
  • Providing an overview of the current outlook for those factors in one or more contexts
  • Establishing an assessment framework to establish the cost-effective deployment potential of renewable-enabling technology in a national context
  • Potentially work with single country/market as a case study

Deliverables:

  • A final report – with template to be provided by IRENA
  • Supporting Excel documents
  • A brief final presentation of results

Implementation:

Outputs will be used to develop IRENA’s internal knowledge base, could potentially act as inputs to member country policy and investment, and could be published publically through IRENA

Research Areas: