A comparison of variation management strategies for wind power integration in different electricity system contexts
Journal article, 2018
Variation management strategies improve the capability of the electricity system to meet variations both in the electricity demand and in the generation that relies on variable energy sources. In this work, we introduce a new, functionality-based, categorization of variation management strategies: shifting (eg, batteries), absorbing (eg, power-to-gas), and complementing (dispatchable generation, including reservoir hydropower) strategies. A dispatch model with European coverage (EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland) is applied to compare the benefits of shifting and absorbing strategies on wind integration in regions with different amounts of complementing strategies in place. The benefits are measured in terms of the wind value factor, wind owner revenue, and average short-term generation cost. The results of the modeling show that the reduction in average short-term generation cost and the increase in revenue earned by the wind owner from shifting strategies, such as the use of batteries, are more substantial at low wind shares than at high wind shares. The opposite situation is found for absorbing strategies, such as power-to-gas, which are found to be more efficient at reducing the average generation cost and increasing profit for the wind owner as the wind share increases. In regions that have access to complementing strategies in the form of reservoir hydropower, variation management has a weak ability to reduce the average short-term generation cost, although it can increase significantly the revenue accrued by the wind power owner.