Energies, Vol. 13, Pages 843: Exergy as Criteria for Efficient Energy Systems--A Spatially Resolved Comparison of the Current Exergy Consumption, the Current Useful Exergy Demand and Renewable Exergy Potential (Energies)
The energy transition from fossil-based energy sources to renewable energy sources of an industrialized country is a big challenge and needs major systemic changes to the energy supply. Such changes require a holistic view of the energy system, which includes both renewable potentials and consumption. Thereby exergy, which describes the quality of energy, must also be considered. In this work, the determination and analysis of such a holistic view of a country are presented, using Austria as an example. The methodology enables the calculation of the spatially resolved current exergy consumption, the spatially resolved current useful exergy demand and the spatially resolved technical potential of renewable energy sources (RES). Top-down and bottom-up approaches are combined in order to increase accuracy. We found that, currently, Austria cannot self-supply with exergy using only RES. Therefore, Austria should increase the efficiency of its energy system, since the overall exergy efficiency is only at 34%. The spatially resolved analysis shows that in Austria the exergy potential of RES is rather evenly distributed. In contrast, the exergy consumption is concentrated in urban and industrial areas. Therefore, the future energy infrastructure must compensate for these spatial discrepancies.