Methodology and Modelling Approach for Strategic Sustainability Analysis of Complex Energy-Environment Systems
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
It is likely that in the near future, energy engineering will be required to help society adapt to permanently constrained fuel supplies, constrained green house gas emissions, and electricity supply systems running with minimal capacity margins. The goal of this research is to develop an analytical approach for adaptive energy systems engineering within the context of resource and environmental constraints. This involves assessing available energy resources, environmental and social issues, and economic activities. The approach is applied to a relatively simple case study on Rotuma, an isolated Pacific Island society. The case study is based on new data from field work. A spectrum of development options is identified for Rotuma and a reference energy demand is calculated for each representative level. A spectrum of conceptual reference energy system models is generated for each energy service level with a range of renewable energy penetration. The outcome is a matrix of energy system investment and resource utilization for the range of energy service levels. These models are then used for comparative risk assessment. The result is an easily understood visual based investment and risk assessment for both development and adaptation to constrained resource availability. The results show a clear development opportunity space for Rotuma where needs and services are in balance with investment, local resource availability and environmental constraints.