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Going global? Renewable fuel trade and social land-use restrictions in a low-carbon energy system

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "reFUEL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: WIEN
postcode: 1180

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Total cost 1˙499˙905 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙905 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-08-01   to  2023-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET FUER BODENKULTUR WIEN AT (WIEN) coordinator 1˙499˙905.00


 Project objective

Recent global integrated modelling studies indicate low intensities in trade of energy commodities between global regions in a future low-carbon global energy system. Also, research based on modelling indicates that deep greenhouse-gas emission cuts are possible in fully electrified renewable energy systems on a continental or country scale from a techno-economic perspective. However, these modelling efforts partly neglect drivers of globalization and may therefore wrongly project regionalization of energy systems. In particular, (i) new, easily tradable, low-cost renewable fuels (e.g. solar & electric fuels), (ii) global bio-physical variability of renewables (e.g. solar radiation and freshwater availability), and (iii) regional differences in social land-use restrictions associated with the expansion of energy infrastructure can cause an increase of trade flows in the energy sector. We aim at better understanding how the spatial configuration of renewables in low-carbon energy systems is affected by these drivers and develop a cutting-edge, open-source global renewable energy model that combines elements of energy system and land-use modelling. It takes into account bio-physical conditions for renewable fuel and electricity production, social land availability restrictions, and a map of existing energy infrastructure at unprecedented level of detail. Our approach integrates open data sources from public institutions, user-generated GIS data, and social networks. Existing models for Europe and Brazil are used for validation. Qualitative interviews in local case studies complement the global model and increase our understanding of land-use restrictions on the local scale. Our project has impacts beyond energy systems analysis: in particular the identification of winning and losing regions in a global renewable energy system is highly relevant in climate change mitigation negotiations, and the generated spatial indicators and maps enable many potential applications.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Katharina Gruber, Claude Klöckl, Peter Regner, Johann Baumgartner, Johannes Schmidt
Assessing the Global Wind Atlas and local measurements for bias correction of wind power generation simulated from MERRA-2 in Brazil
published pages: 116212, ISSN: 0360-5442, DOI: 10.1016/
Energy 189 2020-02-13
2019 Felix Nitsch, Olga Turkovska, Johannes Schmidt
Observation-based estimates of land availability for wind power: a case study for Czechia
published pages: , ISSN: 2192-0567, DOI: 10.1186/s13705-019-0234-z
Energy, Sustainability and Society 9/1 2020-02-13
2019 Mathias Kirchner, Johannes Schmidt, Sebastian Wehrle
Exploiting Synergy of Carbon Pricing and Other Policy Instruments for Deep Decarbonization
published pages: 891-893, ISSN: 2542-4351, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2019.03.006
Joule 3/4 2020-02-13
2019 Johannes Schmidt, Katharina Gruber, Michael Klingler, Claude Klöckl, Luis Ramirez Camargo, Peter Regner, Olga Turkovska, Sebastian Wehrle, Elisabeth Wetterlund
A new perspective on global renewable energy systems: why trade in energy carriers matters
published pages: 2022-2029, ISSN: 1754-5692, DOI: 10.1039/c9ee00223e
Energy & Environmental Science 12/7 2020-02-13
2019 Luis Ramirez Camargo, Felix Nitsch, Katharina Gruber, Javier Valdes, Jane Wuth, Wolfgang Dorner
Potential Analysis of Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems for Self-Sufficient Residential Use in Germany and the Czech Republic
published pages: 4185, ISSN: 1996-1073, DOI: 10.3390/en12214185
Energies 12/21 2020-02-13
2020 Simon Morelli, Claude Klöckl, Christopher Eltschka, Jens Siewert, Marcus Huber
Dimensionally sharp inequalities for the linear entropy
published pages: 294-325, ISSN: 0024-3795, DOI: 10.1016/j.laa.2019.09.008
Linear Algebra and its Applications 584 2020-02-13

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