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Journal Article

Life Cycle Climate Change Impact of a Cost-Optimal HVDC Connection to Import Solar Energy from Australia to Singapore


Ramachandran,  Srikkanth
External Organizations;


Siala,  Kais
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

de La Rúa,  Cristina
External Organizations;

Massier,  Tobias
External Organizations;

Ahmed,  Arif
External Organizations;

Hamacher,  Thomas
External Organizations;

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Ramachandran, S., Siala, K., de La Rúa, C., Massier, T., Ahmed, A., Hamacher, T. (2021): Life Cycle Climate Change Impact of a Cost-Optimal HVDC Connection to Import Solar Energy from Australia to Singapore. - Energies, 14, 21, 7178.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_26747
This paper aims to evaluate the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of importing electrical power into Singapore, generated from a large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Australia, through a long-distance subsea high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable. A cost optimization model was developed to estimate the capacities of the system components. A comprehensive life cycle assessment model was built to estimate emissions of manufacturing and use of these components. Our evaluation shows that, for covering one fifth of Singapore’s electrical energy needs, a system with an installed capacity of 13GWPV, 17 GWh battery storage and 3.2GW subsea cable is required. The life cycle GHG emissions of such a system are estimated to be 110gCO2eq/kWh, with the majority coming from the manufacturing of solar PV panels. Cable manufacturing does not contribute largely toward GHG emissions. By varying full-load hours and cable lengths, it was assessed that sites closer to Singapore might provide the same energy at same/lower carbon footprint and reduced cost, despite the lower insolation as compared to Australia. However, these sites could cause greater emissions from land use changes than the deserts of Australia, offsetting the advantages of a shorter HVDC cable