Volume 25: Accelerated Energy Innovations and Emerging Technologies

A Conceptual Framework for Comparing Alternative Commodities in the Energy Transition Ettore Bompard, Stefano Corgnati Antonio Forte, Andrea Mazza, Audun Botterud, Carlo Papa



The global emissions increase requires the adoption of proper countermeasures, aimed at tackling climate change. On the one hand, the transition towards a renewable-based energy sector is an undeferrable need, because of its important impact on the overall emissions balance. On the other hand, a single final use can be fed by more than one commodity, and their coexistence/competition paves the way to the development of a multi-commodity energy system, enabling the implementation of the so-called ”cross-sector integration”. In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework for the comparative assessment of the various energy commodity chains, aimed at defining the preferrable ones for residential and transport uses. The evaluation of their overall performance is carried out determining the quantity and the quality of the involved commodities, by adopting energy and exergy efficiency along the entire chain, provided that one unit of primary energy can supply one chain only. This straightforward assessment method is not constrained by any generation capacity and/or emission related targets and introduces a commodity-based evaluation framework, that differs from the already existing ones that adopt a technology-oriented approach.

Keywords Energy Transition, Cross-sector coupling, Electrification, Hydrogen, Decarbonization, Energy mix

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