Understanding the requirements for integration of intermittent renewable electricity in low CO2 emitting power systems with CCS

Understanding the requirements for integration of intermittent renewable electricity in low CO2 emi

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

Power plants with CO2 capture and storage and intermittent renewable electricity systems (IRES) in the power sector are important climate change mitigation options for reaching stringent CO2 emission reduction targets. In a power system, demand and supply need to be constantly balanced at all times. Integration of IRES into the power system requires a system that can respond to the variability and partial unpredictability inherent to IRES. Moreover, the reliability of the system needs to be guaranteed on an hourly and daily basis throughout the year.

In many studies, key low-carbon portfolios for the electricity system are proposed. The authors of these studies acknowledge that more power storage and additional (preferably low-carbon) reserves are required for balancing in the future. However, how much storage capacity is required and how much they will be used has barely been investigated. As a consequence, there is insufficient understanding of the total system integration costs, and the risks of the various low-CO2 emitting power system strategies.

Insights into these issues are needed in order to help policy makers and energy companies identify and select the most competitive portfolios of electricity generation technologies. They will get an understanding of which types of generation technologies suitable for a stable low-CO2 power system (e.g. gas-fired CCS, coal-fired CCS, deployment of energy storage technologies, demand-side management, and potential renewable capacity and peak-load curtailment) are best suited to complement IRES technologies.

In this research project, a number of key low-carbon portfolios for the electricity system will be selected. The project will then assess how much power storage and balancing capacity is required under different conditions (e.g. with respect to interconnectivity and reliability requirements). This will be based on power system simulation modelling with an hourly time step.

In the following step, total electricity generation costs (including costs for balancing and back-up capacity) and the reliability of the key low-carbon portfolios will be compared. Besides short-term generation costs, long-term generation costs including investment costs and fixed operating and maintenance costs will also be taken into account. The cost comparison will include cost reductions due to technological learning.

Finally, the results will be evaluated in relation to different electricity market structures. The project will result in a scientific article with the main outcomes of the research. A workshop will then be organised to discuss and disseminate the project results.