Tailoring large-scale electricity production from variable renewable energy sources to accommodate baseload generation in Europe
Journal article, 2018
This work investigates the possibility of combining large-scale penetration (around 50% of annual demand) of variable electricity production (wind and solar power) with baseload generation of electricity (e.g., via nuclear power or coal burning). A new methodology is developed that focuses on renewable resource and variation management in combination with transmission expansion and curtailment of excess electricity generation. Using the Conditional Value-at-Risk (CVaR) measure in the objective function, the optimization model targets the residual load and tailors it to fit the baseload generation. Using Europe as an example, the results show that it is possible to tailor the residual load to fit the baseload with only a small sacrifice (∼1%) of output of generation from variable renewable energy sources (VRES). Expansion of the electricity transmission system is an important factor in accommodating baseload generation in systems with a high penetration level of VRES, whereby, for example, 50 GW of transmission capacity opens the way for baseload generation to increase from 20% to 32% of annual demand. The results show that wind power is the main contributor to VRES production, even in the case of exceptionally low future costs for solar PV.
Integration of VRES