Impacts of variation management on cost-optimal investments in wind power and solar photovoltaics
Magazine article, 2020

This work investigates the impacts of variation management on the cost-optimal electricity system compositions in four regions with different pre-requisites for wind and solar generation. Five variation management strategies, involving electric boilers, batteries, hydrogen storage, low-cost biomass, and demand-side management, are integrated into a regional investment model that is designed to account for variability. The variation management strategies are considered one at a time as well as combined in four different system contexts. By investigating how the variation management strategies interact with each other as well as with different electricity generation technologies in a large number of cases, this work support policy-makers in identifying variation management portfolios relevant to their context. It is found that electric boilers, demand-side management and hydrogen storage increase the cost-optimal variable renewable electricity (VRE) investments if the VRE share is sufficiently large to reduce its marginal system value. However, low-cost biomass and hydrogen storage, are found to increase cost-optimal investments in wind power in systems with a low initial wind power share. In systems with low solar PV share, variation management reduce the cost-optimal solar PV investments. In two of the regions investigated, a combination of variation management strategies results in a stronger increase in VRE capacity than the sum of the single variation management efforts.


Viktor Walter

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Lisa Göransson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Renewable Energy Focus

1755-0084 (ISSN) 1878-0229 (eISSN)

Vol. 32 10-22

Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Business Administration

Energy Systems



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