Launch of user centered study on alternatives to the greenhouse gas SF6 in the energy sector
Fluorinated gases (F-gases) are a family of man-made gases used in a range of commercial and industrial applications. One of it, sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), plays an important role in electrical switchgear. And it is a powerful greenhouse gas, with a global warming effect of 22 800 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2), when released to the atmosphere. The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE and the Grenoble Ecole de Management are performing a research study to investi-gate extend and socio-economic impact of the usage of SF6 in medium volt-age power distribution grids.
This month Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) will launch a user acceptance study: New alternatives to SF6 for medium voltage (MV) gas-insulated switchgear installations have not yet penetrated the market. Thus, empirical analysis cannot draw on observed adoption behavior in the market. GEM Energy Management team is using a unique methodology to provide insights into the future market develop-ment of new products and services under various scenario assumptions.
GEM carries out a survey including stated preferences choice experiments (SPCE). SPCEs involve constructing hypothetic choice scenarios where alternatives (e.g., products, solutions) are described by a range of attributes (e.g., price, environmental impact, size). Respondents are expected to make trade-offs between these different attributes and select their most preferred alternative. This allows estimating im-portance weights and willingness-to-pay for multiple attributes, including SF6-free alternatives.
The survey and experiment are targeted at customers of MV switchgear in five differ-ent EU countries (France, Germany, UK, Spain and Poland). Respondents are ideally company representatives who have a leading role in the switchgear procurement process. GEM expects a minimum of 1500 survey respondents from the targeted countries.
Furthermore, the yearly emissions of SF6 and greenhouse gas impact will be derived from a detailed asset based model developed by Fraunhofer IEE. This methodology gives the possibility to investigate the impact of future trends and policy measures like grid extension and network developments or incentives and regulations to re-duce the use of fluorinated gas (F-gas) in power distribution systems. Using its exper-tise in power system development and operation Fraunhofer IEE follows a bottom-up approach to calculate the actual installations of medium voltage (MV) switchgear in Germany, France, Spain and Poland. Thus, top-down reporting can be verified. On the basis of the calculation the overall SF6 emissions from MV switchgear in Europe will be extrapolated.
The research started in March 2019. Results will be made available for the EU regula-tory action to control F-gases as part of its policy to combat climate change. The final results will be presented in a publicly available white paper.
Dipl.-Ing. Wolfram Heckmann
Phone +49 561 7294-126