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A comparison of renewable energy systems (onshore wind, offshore wind, conventional pv) for Bozcaada Island

Şentürk, Ayşe Eylül
Renewable energy sources have been considered as a sustainable solution for energy production without polluting the environment. Shifting from fossil fuel to renewable sources has been suggested by many scientists to decrease the global warming effects. As several renewable energy sources exist such as solar, wind, hydro-power, etc., it is important to determine the appropriate option for a selected region in terms of maximizing efficiency and power output as well as minimizing life cycle costs (LCC). There are a few case studies answering this problem, and in order to address this gap, a comparison between potential renewable sources for the selected region, Bozcaada Island, has been performed in this study to determine the appropriate renewable system implementation. The region has both wind and solar potential, therefore; two different renewable sources are evaluated with totally three distinct configurations. Onshore wind farm, which is under operation since 2000, and the proposed offshore wind farm are two distinct configurations for the island’s wind potential. As an alternative option, ground-mounted on-grid photovoltaic (PV) power plant is proposed for the third vi configuration which will put the island’s solar potential in use. All three configurations are compared with the selected impact categories which are global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), cumulative energy demand (CED) and energy pay-back time (EPBT) by modelling with GaBi to evaluate environmental specifications. Life cycle cost of each system is calculated by improved equations and the results are compared in order to assess their cost characteristics. “Cradle-to grave” approach is applied in each case. The findings revealed that offshore wind technology is more advantageous than onshore wind technology in terms of minimizing the environmental impacts except acidification potential (AP) and maximizing the use of island’s wind potential whereas onshore technology is more beneficial for the environment than conventional photovoltaic (PV) system when all the selected impact categories are taken into account. In other words, the cleanest way to generate electricity in Bozcaada is utilization of the island’s wind potential by offshore deployment. The most economical investment to generate 1 MWh electricity has been found as the already existing onshore wind farm configuration when costs are compared. With the same consideration, photovoltaic technology has been found to be more promising for the production of electricity than offshore wind farm for future investments in Bozcaada Island in terms of economic aspects.