Electromobility as enhancer of renewable share in electric power system for isolated regionsthe case of canary islands

  1. Alfredo Jesús Ramírez Díaz
Supervised by:
  1. Francisco J Ramos Real Director
  2. Gustavo A. Marrero Director

Defence university: Universidad de La Laguna

Year of defence: 2018

  1. Yannick Pérez Chair
  2. Pablo Frías Marín Secretary
  3. Ernesto Pereda de Pablo Committee member

Type: Thesis


This doctoral thesis is divided into three chapters. These are linked to a single common axis, which is the impact of the electromobility in islanded regions, exploring two different approaches: Supply and demand side. Chapter 1 and 2 address the supply side, focusing on the role of the electric vehicles as energy storage system in isolated regions. These two chapters have been published in two international journals, included in the Journal of Citation Reports. Chapter 1 was published in Sustainability Journal in 2015; and chapter 2, in Modern Power System and Clean Energy Journal in 2016. Chapter 3 addresses the demand side, deepening in aspects that define the potential buyer of the electric vehicle. This chapter has been submitted to Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Journal and its current state is revised and resubmitted. Chapter 1. Impact of Electric Vehicle as Distributed Energy Storage in Isolated Systems: The case of Tenerife. Isolated regions are highly dependent on fossil fuels. The use of endogenous sources and the improvement in energy efficiency in all consumption activities are the two main methods to reduce the dependence on petroleum-derived fuels. Tenerife offers excellent renewable resources (extensive long periods of sun and wind). However, the massive development of these technologies could cause important operational problems within the electric power grids, because of the small size of its system. In this chapter, it is explored the option of coupling an electric vehicle fleet as a distributed energy storage system to boost the share of renewable energies in an isolated power system, i.e., Tenerife island. A model simulator has been used to evaluate five key outputs under alternative scenarios, which are: the renewable share, the energy spilled, the CO2 emissions, the levelised cost of generating electricity, and fuel dependence. A total amount of 30 different scenarios have been evaluated in comparison with the current situation, combining a gradual renewable installed capacity and the introduction of an electric vehicle fleet using alternative charging strategies. Results show that the impact of 50,000 electric vehicles would increase the renewable share in the electricity mix of the island up to 30%, reduce CO2 emissions by 27%, the total cost of electric generation by 6% and the oil internal demand by 16%. Chapter 2. Complementarity of electric vehicles and pumped-hydro as energy storage in small isolated energy systems: case of La Palma, Canary Islands. In this chapter, we analyse a different island in the Canary Islands, which shows different characteristics than Tenerife. The island of La Palma is located on the northwest of the Canary Islands, and its electric system is fairly small. Sustainability policies planned by local authorities are aimed to increase the share of renewable energies and the reduction of fossil energies. However, intermittence and the concentration of unmanageable renewable energies in few locations may hinder the operation of the system. In order to solve these problems, energy storage plays an essential role. The aim of this chapter is to analyse the effects of the introduction of two possible alternatives as a form of energy storage: pumped hydro storage and electric vehicles. For this, we use a simulation model adapted to the features of La Palma, considering different scenarios and the existence of a pumped-hydro energy storage system. Results show that, in the best-case scenario, the installation of an additional 25 MW from renewables (more than double the current power), supported by 20 MW of pumped hydro storage and a fleet of 3361 electric vehicles, would allow the current share of renewables to increase from 11% (in 2015) to 49%. Furthermore, this would lead to a 26% reduction in CO2 emissions, a 10% in costs of generated kWh and a 19% in energy dependence. Chapter 3. Willingness to pay for electric vehicles in island regions: the case of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Electric vehicles could be a sustainable solution to reduce final energy consumption and carbon emissions in the road transport sector. Moreover, mobility characteristics of drivers (i.e., the average driving distance) fit better with current electric vehicle technical features on a small island than in mainland. In this chapter, the penetration of electric vehicles in Tenerife (Canary Islands) is analysed, which is still quite low. Based on data collected through a face-to-face contingent valuation method, the willingness to change and the willingness to pay for an electric vehicle on the island are estimated, which are key factor to understand the potentiality of electric vehicle penetration. In order to provide an appropriate profile of a potential electric car buyer, in the second part of the chapter we analyse the impact of a set of explanatory variables on both willingness to change and willingness to pay. It has been found that providing information about basic properties of an electric cars and environmental concerns are key factors for willingness to change, while income level, mobility patterns, environmental concerns and technological attitude of individuals are found to be important factors to determine willingness to pay.