Power plants with CO2 capture and storage and intermittent renewable electricity systems (IRES) in the power sector are important climate change mitigation options to reach deep CO2 emission reduction targets. In a power system, demand and supply need to be constantly balanced at all time. Integration of IRES into the power system requires a system which can respond to the variability and partial unpredictability inherent to IRES. Also, 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 for balancing are required in the future. However, how much storage capacity is required and how much they will be used, is hardly investigated in these studies. As a consequence, there is insufficient understanding of the total system integration costs and risks of the various low CO2 emitting power system strategies.
Insights into these issues are needed to support policy makers and energy companies to identify and select the most competitive portfolios of electricity generation technologies. They will get an understanding of which types of generation technologies power systems are best suited for a stable low CO2 power system (including potential dispatch of e.g. gas-fired CCS, coalfired 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. Next, it will be assessed how much power storage and balancing capacity are required under different conditions (e.g. with respect to interconnectivity and reliability requirements). This activity 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 backup capacity) and reliability of the key low carbon portfolios will be compared. Besides the short term generation costs, also long term generation costs including investment costs and fixed operating and maintenance costs will be taken into account. The cost comparison includes 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 be organized to discuss and disseminate the results of the project.