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The Role of Energy Storage Solutions in a 100% Renewable Finnish Energy System

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A 100% renewable energy scenario was developed for Finland in 2050 using the EnergyPLAN modelling tool to find a suitable, least-cost configuration. Hourly data analysis determined the roles of various energy storage solutions. Electricity and heat from storage represented 15% of end-user demand. Thermal storage discharge was 4% of end-user heat demand. In the power sector, 21% of demand was satisfied by electricity storage discharge, with the majority (87%) coming from vehicle-to-grid (V2G) connections. Grid gas storage discharge represented 26% of gas demand. This suggests that storage solutions will be an important part of a 100% renewable Finnish energy system.
Content may be subject to copyright.
1876-6102 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of EUROSOLAR - The European Association for Renewable Energy
doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2016.10.094
Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 34
ScienceDirect
10th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference, IRES 2016, 15-17 March 2016,
Düsseldorf, Germany
The role of energy storage solutions in a 100% renewable Finnish
energy system
Michael Child*, Christian Breyer
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta, Finland
Abstract
A 100% renewable energy scenario was developed for Finland in 2050 using the EnergyPLAN modelling tool to find a suitable,
least-cost configuration. Hourly data analysis determined the roles of various energy storage solutions. Electricity and heat from
storage represented 15% of end-user demand. Thermal storage discharge was 4% of end-user heat demand. In the power sector,
21% of demand was satisfied by electricity storage discharge, with the majority (87%) coming from vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
connections. Grid gas storage discharge represented 26% of gas demand. This suggests that storage solutions will be an important
part of a 100% renewable Finnish energy system.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Peer-review under responsibility of EUROSOLAR - The European Association for Renewable Energy.
Keywords: energy system modeling; storage solutions; 100% renewable energy; Finland; vehicle-to-grid; power-to-gas
1. Introduction
Variability and uncertainty are inherent qualities of energy systems as supply and demand of energy services
vary over time, space and sometimes in unpredictable ways. The challenge of mitigating such imbalance has always
required a high level of flexibility, often provided by energy resources, particularly fossil fuels. However, climate
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +358-40-829-7853.
E-mail address: Michael.Child@lut.fi
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of EUROSOLAR - The European Association for Renewable Energy
26 Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34
change and sustainability challenges require that future energy systems have increased levels of renewable energy
(RE) generation, much of which is intermittent or variable, creating a different need for flexibility measures that can
ensure reliability, stability and quality of energy supply. Moreover, demand must be met in a responsible manner
that does not place unnecessary burdens on society in terms of how disruptive or expensive solutions are to
implement. Energy storage technologies are increasingly viewed as essential elements of flexibility in future energy
systems, capable of bridging “temporal and geographic gaps between energy supply and demand” [1]. Such
geographic gaps are filled in such cases when energy storage is portable, or stored energy can be transmitted or
transported over distance. Additionally, energy storage may bring reliable energy services to areas that have poor
energy infrastructure, or are seen as off-grid.
Finland represents an interesting case study of future energy systems due to strong diurnal and seasonal variation
in variable energy generation (hydro, wind, solar) that is typical of countries at high latitudes. What is more, it is a
highly industrialised nation with a strong need for a reliable energy supply that meets the needs of individual
consumers while also ensuring a competitive industrial sector. Further, Finland has committed to an 80-95%
reduction (compared to 1990 levels) in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 [2].
Finland represents a challenge to high levels of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power in an energy system.
While there are high amounts of solar irradiation during the summer months, the opposite is true during winter.
Moreover, there is noticeable seasonal variation for both onshore, and offshore wind power, with more wind energy
produced in the winter months. Further, there is also a seasonal element to hydro power, as the Finnish system is
dominated by run-of-river hydro power with limited reservoir capacity of approximately 5.5 TWhe [3], equivalent to
approximately 6.5% of current electricity demand [4]. Hydro power is used as seasonal storage of energy in Finland,
as most energy inflow occurs during the spring runoff in May. Reservoirs are kept relatively full until energy is
needed during the winter months of December-April. At the same time, it must be remembered that Finnish hydro
power experiences interannual variation in total annual production of 10-17 TWhe, thereby demonstrating its
somewhat intermittent nature [4].
On the demand side, the need for energy services in the form of heat and electricity is naturally higher during
long, dark Finnish winters. So, finding the flexibility in the Finnish energy system has always been a significant
task. In a future energy system based on high shares of variable RE, the need for energy storage solutions (ESS) on
a daily, weekly and seasonal basis seems obvious. This extreme situation could then serve as a model for other
countries at high latitudes, both north and south, of how variable renewable energy generation can play a role in a
highly developed and industrious society.
For these reasons, an energy system based entirely on renewable resources was considered in previous work by
the authors [5]. The scenario of a 100% renewable energy system was seen as being highly cost competitive to those
with increasing shares of nuclear power installed capacity as well as a Business As Usual scenario. In other work,
Child et al. [6] examined the role of solar PV for the case of a 100% RE Finnish energy system for 2050, which
showed that storage technologies could play a prominent role in facilitating high shares of solar PV. However, this
current study seeks to explain the nature and significance of energy storage solutions in more detail. This will
include the roles of Gas storage, Power-to-Gas (PtG) technologies, Thermal Energy Storage (TES), stationary
batteries, and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) connections. The significance of ESS in this future energy system will be
determined by answering the following key questions:
xHow much wind and solar PV power is used directly?
xHow much of the annual energy demand is covered by ESS?
xHow much stored energy comes from stationary batteries and V2G connections?
xHow much stored energy comes from TES?
xHow much stored energy comes from gas storage?
Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34 27
2. Methods
The EnergyPLAN advanced energy system analysis computer model [7] was used to represent a 100% RE
scenario for Finland in 2050. This scenario was one of several used in the study by Child and Breyer [5], and was
selected for the case of a basic biomass resource availability for further detailed analysis as it represented the most
cost competitive of the scenarios studied. A thorough description of the tool used and the scenario parameters can be
found in [5]. In addition, the main inputs to EnergyPLAN for the 100% RE scenario can be found in [6] as well as a
summary of important assumptions and scenario parameters.
In order to explore a broader context and to investigate the possible seasonality of different types of energy
production, a number of the hourly distributions were examined for the entire year. These included annual electricity
demand and production by category as well as levels of electric storage, DH storage, and gas storage for the entire
year. Hourly end-user consumption data for Finland were based on actual values from 2012 obtained from Fingrid
[8] and hourly hydro power and industrial CHP production data were based on actual values from 2012 obtained
from Finnish Energy Industries [9]. Wind and solar PV distributions were derived from Child and Breyer [5], based
on data originating from [10, 11].
To determine the relative contributions of energy storage options investigated in this study, total energy
consumption was determined based on electric and thermal energy end-user demand which were inputs to
EnergyPLAN. In total, 170.3 TWh of energy was consumed for the year, represented by 105 TWh of electricty and
65.3 TWh of heat. Several hourly and annual outputs from the EnergyPLAN analysis were readily available,
including V2G storage discharge, stationary battery storage discharge, and thermal storage discharge. However,
both the annual electricity and heat that were ultimately derived from stored gas were calculated according to the
following equations:
CHPconversioneiCHPdemand
iitotaldemand
istored
e
Gas
Gas
Gas
CHP
,,,,
8784
1,,
,
K
uu
¦ (1)
PPconversioneiPPdemand
iitotaldemand
istored
eGas
Gas
Gas
PP ,,,,
8784
1,,
,
K
uu ¦ (2)
IND
IND
itotale
iitotaldemand
istored
eFuel
Gas
IND
Gas
Gas
IND uu ¦ ,,
8784
1,,
, (3)
eeee INDPPCHPGas (4)
CHPconversionthiCHPdemand
iitotaldemand
istored
th Gas
Gas
Gas
CHP ,,,,
8784
1,,
,
K
uu ¦ (5)
HHconversionthiHHdemand
iitotaldemand
istored
eGas
Gas
Gas
HH ,,,,
8784
1,,
,
K
uu ¦ (6)
BOILERconversionthiBOILERdemand
iitotaldemand
istored
th Gas
Gas
Gas
BOILER ,,,,
8784
1,,
,
K
uu ¦ (7)
28 Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34
thththth BOILERHHCHPGas (8)
CHPe is the total annual electricity generation from stored gas in CHP plants operating in backpressure mode,
Gasdemand,CHP,i is the amount of gas used in CHP plants for each hour of the year (1-8784), Gasdemand,total,i is gas used
by all sources for each hour, Gasstored,i is the amount of gas discharged from storage in each hour, and όe,conversion,CHP
is the efficiency of converting gas to electricity in a CHP plant (40%). PPe is the total annual electricity generation
from stored gas in CHP plants operating in condensing mode, Gasdemand,PP,i is the amount of gas used in CHP plants
for each hour, and όe,conversion,PP is the efficiency of converting gas to electricity in a CHP plant (40%). INDe is the
total annual electricity generated by industrial power plants, INDe,total,i is the amount of electricity produced by
industry for each hour of the year, GasIND is the amount of gas used by industry annually (30 TWh), and FuelIND is
the amount of total fuel used by industry annually (125 TWh). Gase is the total amount of electricity produced by
stored gas. CHPth is the total annual heat generation from stored gas in CHP plants operating in backpressure mode,
and όth,conversion,CHP is the efficiency of converting gas to heat in a CHP plant (50%). HHth is the total annual heat
generation from stored gas in individual households, and όth,conversion,HH is the efficiency of converting gas to heat in
individual households (95%). BOILERth is the total annual heat generation from stored gas in district heating boilers,
and όth,conversion,BOILER is the efficiency of converting gas to heat in district heating boilers (90%). Gasth is the total
amount of heat produced by stored gas.
To determine the direct usage of solar PV and wind energy, the sum of these categories of production (solar
PV + onshore wind + offshore wind) was divided by total supply of electricity from all sources. This ratio was
multiplied by the amount of total electricity consumption to determine the proportion of wind and solar PV power
that was directly consumed. The same ratio was multiplied by the total amount of power going to electricity storage
(stationary batteries + V2G batteries + PtG electrolysers) to determine the amount of wind and solar going to
storage. The share of solar PV and wind energy that was directly consumed was determined by the ratio of directly
consumed solar PV and wind energy to total electricity consumption by all sources. These calculations were
performed for each hour of the year and then summed to acquire annual totals. Results were compiled, tabulated and
analysed.
3. Results
Annual results are compiled in Figures 1-5 for electricity production, electricity consumption, electricity storage,
thermal storage and grid gas storage components of the energy system. Results of calculations are shown in Figure
6, and Tables 1 and 2.
Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34 29
Fig. 1. Annual hourly power demand by category (MWe). Flexible demand and electric vehicle charging aids in reducing high peaks in electricity demand and fills valleys in demand during night hours and at midday.
Curtailment of electricity is less than
3.5%.
Fig. 2. Annual hourly power consumption by category (MWe). A seasonal complement is seen between solar PV and CHP electricity production. To a lesser extent, solar PV is also seasonally complemented by wind
power.
30 Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34
Fig. 3. Hourly electric storage levels (MWhe) for entire year. Maximum storage capacity is 170 000 MWhe. The utilization of stationary batteries by EnergyPLAN seems at odds with how such energy storage devices
would be used in reality. EnergyPLAN used stationary batteries as a storage of lowest priority, while future prosumers may use them with the highest priority. V2G batteries were a high priority storage solution for
EnergyPLAN.
Fig. 4. Hourly thermal storage levels (MWhth) for entire year. Maximum storage capacity is 20 000 MWhth. Finland currently has high levels of thermal energy storage associated with the DH system. Much of it is
unused during the summer months, but it has an important function during the winter.
Fig. 5. Hourly grid gas storage levels (MWhgas) for entire year. Maximum storage capacity is 3 800 000 MWhgas. High levels of gas storage are generally associated with high production of wind power. Gas storage
decreases during the summer months when solar PV generation is high.
Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34 31
Fig. 6. Percentage of solar PV, onshore wind and offshore wind that is directly consumed. Values range between 4-80% with a mean of 62%.
Table 1. Summary of calculations related to electricity and heat from gas storage.
CHP electricity from gas
discharge (TWhe)PP electricity from gas
discharge (TWhe)Industry electricity from
gas discharge (TWhe)Total electricity from gas
discharge (TWhe)CHP heat from gas
discharge (TWhth)Individual
household heat from
gas discharge
(TWhth)
Boiler heat from gas
discharge (TWhth)Total heat from gas
discharge (TWhth)
1.16 0.73 1.14 3.01 1.44 1.13 0.01 2.58
32 Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34
Table 2. Summary of calculations related to ratios of storage discharge to consumption.
Parameter Unit Value
Electricity consumption TWhe105
Heat consumption TWhth 65.3
Total energy consumption TWh 170.3
V2G discharge TWhe 19.4
Stationary Batteries discharge TWhe 0.1
Electricity from stored gas TWhe 2.7
Heat from stored gas TWhth 2.6
DH storage discharge TWhth 0.2
Solar PV and wind directly consumed TWhe 63.5
as % of total solar PV and wind production 46.6%
as % of total electricity production 70.8%
as % of final electricity consumption 60.5%
Solar PV and wind to electric storage TWhe 69.3
as % of total solar PV and wind production 50.9%
Solar PV and wind to curtailment TWhe 3.5
as % of total solar PV and wind production 2.5%
Total storage discharge TWh 25.0
as % of total consumption 14.7%
Electricity storage discharge TWhe 22.2
as % of electricity consumption 21.1%
V2G discharge TWhe 19.4
as % of all electricity storage discharge 87.2%
Thermal storage discharge TWhth 2.8
as % of heat consumption 4.3%
Gas storage discharge TWhgas 14.0
as % of grid gas consumption 26.5%
4. Discussion
Solar PV and wind power make a roughly 60% contribution to final energy consumption and are 70% of total
electricity generation, but that contribution is quite variable throughout the year. In addition, that contribution is at
times concentrated during daytime, necessitating both short and long-term storage. Approximately 47% of variable
RE is utilized directly, with the balance going to storage (51%) and a small amount being curtailed (2.5%). At the
same time, hydro power production was quite high during times of curtailment, suggesting that curtailment may not
be necessary if the full potential of hydro reservoir storage was harnessed. Electric storage discharge totalled 22.2
TWhe, or 21% of end-user consumption. On a daily basis, V2G batteries seem to have a much greater role (87%)
than stationary batteries, raising the question of whether stationary batteries may be necessary at all in the context of
higher V2G connection. The answer to this question is beyond the scope of this current study, but must include
careful consideration of the needs of off-grid consumers, barriers against V2G connections, and an overall
cost/benefit analysis for both grid operators and end-users. Due to the use of block heaters in winter, Finns are
already accustomed to plugging their cars in, and electrical connections for vehicles are already widespread
throughout the country. The potential evolution of this behaviour and technical capacity seems rather
Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34 33
straightforward, but cannot be assumed without a clear demonstration of technical feasibility and net benefits to
society. Currently, Finnish local low voltage distribution grids and typical household connections may not support
the high power exchanges needed to offer a full range of V2G services. How this possible barrier can be overcome
in the future requires more detailed study.
On a daily, weekly and seasonal basis, PtG technology bridges the gaps between demand and supply at times
when generation is most intermittent. At the same time, this technology is available to provide base loads of
electricity, heating, cooling and mobility when they are needed. These results are in line with those for Germany
[12, 13]. Gas storage arising from PtG, biomass gasification and biogas generation amounts to 14 TWhgas, or 26% of
annual gas usage.
Thermal energy storage in Finland is rather plentiful, but utilization is rather minimal when annual numbers are
examined. Thermal storage discharge amounted to 2.8 TWhth, which represented only 4% of end-user heat demand.
However, the role of thermal storage was rather significant during some periods of the year (autumn and winter),
and would be expected to be quite vibrant in urban areas compared to rural areas. As EnergyPLAN considers the
energy system as one single heating system, rather than a collection of distributed systems, one could expect greater
utilization of thermal storage when the energy system is divided into smaller regions. Further study is needed in this
regard that would necessitate utilization of a different modelling tool.
The seasonal complement of solar PV and wind power production in Finland appears obvious (Figure 2), despite
the intermittent nature of each. This intermittency appears manageable by the storage technologies utilized in this
study. In total, 25.3 TWh of heat and electricity are discharged from storage, representing 15% of total end-user
consumption. One must also remember the important role of hydro power in Finland. Up to 20% of end-user
electricity consumption can be supplied by hydro power. This study also does not fully explore the full potential of
hydro storage available in Finland. Indeed, a full accounting of the potential to utilize hydro storage in Finland is
lacking. Harnessing further flexibility in hydro power production could lessen the need for other storage capacity,
such as batteries or PtG production. Alternatively, there may be less need for thermal energy generation. Each of
these reductions may in turn result in a decrease in overall costs.
5. Conclusions
The integration of high shares of renewable energy sources in future energy systems will require a variety of
complementary storage solutions. It has been previously determined that electricity storage devices will be needed
once 50% of power demand is met with variable RE, and that seasonal storage devices will be needed once more
than 80% of electricity demand is met by RE [14, 15]. Currently, there is a long list of energy system flexibility
measures available to support high levels of intermittent RE [16]. Developing a 100% RE scenario for a nation
requires careful consideration of the right mix of these measures for each context. In turn, these measures should be
suited to and complemented by the energy generation technologies that make up the energy system. Such is the case
for variable RE and the energy storage technologies investigated in this work. Variable RE and energy storage
solutions can play a significantly role in a future energy system for Finland based on 100% renewable energy
generation.
Acknowledgements
The authors gratefully acknowledge the public financing of Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation,
for the ‘Neo-Carbon Energy’ project under the number 40101/14.
34 Michael Child and Christian Breyer / Energy Procedia 99 ( 2016 ) 25 – 34
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... The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) [5] determined that between 100 and 152 GW of power capacity in energy storage systems consisting of a variety of storage types were required for the entire U.S. to reach 80% renewable energy penetration in the electricity sector. Similar studies highlighting energy storage have been conducted for other regions of the world such as Finland [6], Australia [7], and France [8]. Previous studies by Hittinger and Azevedo [9,10] characterized the emissions impacts of energy storage operation on near-term electric grids with energy storage operating to provide arbitrage. ...
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Energy storage systems are critical for enabling the environmental benefits associated with capturing renewable energy to displace fossil fuel-based generation, yet producing these systems also contributes to environmental impacts through their materials use and manufacturing. As energy storage capacity is scaled up to support increasingly renewable grids, the environmental benefits from their use may scale at different rates than the environmental impacts from their production. This implies the existence of capacity thresholds beyond which installing additional storage capacity may be environmentally detrimental. Identifying such thresholds are important for ensuring that energy storage capacity selection in future grids are consistent with net emissions reduction goals, but such thresholds have not been studied in the present literature. To identify such thresholds, here we combine electric grid dispatch modeling with life cycle analysis to compare how the emissions reductions from deploying three different flow battery energy storage types on a future California grid (>80% wind and solar) compare with emissions contributions from producing such batteries as total battery capacity installed on the grid increases. Depending on the type of battery and environmental impact indicator (greenhouse gas or particulate matter emissions), we find that the marginal environmental benefits of storage begin to diminish at deployed capacities of 38–76% of the mean daily renewable generation (256–512 GWh in our California scenarios) and reach zero at 105–284% of mean daily renewable generation (700–1810 GWh). Such storage capacities are conceivable, but upstream impacts of storage must be assessed in evaluating the environmental benefits of large-scale storage deployment, or they could negate the environmental benefits of regional electricity system decarbonization.
... Government should take it into consideration, when develops the optimal and flexible energy-mix in Finland. Variable renewable energy sources and energy storage solutions can play a significantly role in a future energy system for Finland based on 100% renewable energy generation [9]. ...
Article
Energy systems analyses are integrated elements in planning the transition towards renewable energy-based energy systems. This is due to a growing complexity arising from the wider exploitation of variable renewable energy sources (VRES) and an increasing reliance on sector integration as an enabler of temporal energy system integration, but it calls for consideration to the validity of modelling tools. This article synthesises EnergyPLAN applications through an analysis of its use both from a bibliometric and a case-geographical point of view and through a review of the evolution in the issues addressed and the results obtained using EnergyPLAN. This synthesis is provided with a view to addressing the validity and contribution of EnergyPLAN-based research. As of July 1st, 2022, EnergyPLAN has been applied in 315 peer-reviewed articles, and we see the very high application as an inferred internal validation. In addition, the review shows how the complexity of energy systems analyses has increased over time with early studies focusing on the role of wind power and the cogeneration of heat and power and later studies addressing contemporarily novel issues like the sector integration offered by using power-to-x in fully integrated renewable energy systems. Important findings developed through the application of EnergyPLAN includes the value of district heating in energy systems, the value of district heating for integration of VRES and more generally the importance of sector integration for resource-efficient renewable energy-based energy systems. The wide application across systems and development stages is interpreted as inferred validation through distributed stepwise replication.
Article
This study assesses Indonesia power system's transition pathway to reach 100% renewable energy in 2050. The pathway is determined based on least-cost optimisation in the TIMES model comparing 27 power plants and 3 energy storage technologies and using hourly demand and supply operational profile using 24-hour time slices. From this study, it can be concluded that nuclear and solar PV utility-scale will play an essential role up to 16% and 70% of total electricity production, corresponding to 1,396 TWh in 2050. The investment cost in 2050 is three times higher, and the emission is one-sixth lower than in Business as Usual, equal to 95 billion USD and 215 million tons of CO2-eq. The RE mix based on current policy generates a higher CO2 abatement cost, 120 USD/ton CO2-eq in 2050. The optimistic demand projection will increase the coal by 82% in Business as Usual also nuclear and solar PV utility-scale of about 126% and 62% in 100% RE, respectively. The exclusion nuclear in power system increase the installed capacity of solar PV utility-scale and battery, increase land requirement by 78% to 83%, increase the variability of supply from other power plants and batteries, and increase 9.7% of electricity production cost.
Article
Renewable and sustainable energy with advancement in information and communication technologies bear huge expectations in power sector. Whereas, switching from traditional to networked power grid requires a long process. Currently, renewable energy (RE) injection into existing power systems is in transition state, which is a sophisticated and multidisciplinary task. In this article, RE integration engineering efforts are discussed that take a step ahead towards green energy. RE integration engineering refers to the controlling and configuring tasks regarding distributed power generation sources, information and communication technologies and dispatchable loads. An extensive literature review of this domain is conducted considering main objectives with associated constraints, techniques used and miscellaneous parameters that lead towards green energy. As with the induction of renewable energy sources (RESs) and utilization of microgrids (MGs), the power generation uncertainty factor is evolved which limits networked grid to operate within its full capacity and perceived advantages. In this study, an hierarchal conceptual framework is also presented that is hybrid in nature, i.e., adds functionalities of both centralized as well as distributed control to avoid bottle necks and complexities to minimize the power generation uncertainty effects. Furthermore, a brief discussion is provided keeping a broader perspective in forth coming power networks for eco-friendly smart cities. The focus of the discussion is on RE integration engineering in perspectives of precise forecasting problem, dynamic dispatch problem, demand responsiveness and market implications that tends to lead towards eco-friendly and power aware smart cities.
Article
A district energy system, especially one employing a large heat storage facility, may be able to tap energy sources that would not otherwise be suitable owing to irregular occurrence or difficulty in transporting the energy to demand centres. To be viable as thermal energy for buildings, sources such as geothermal, solar, and nuclear energy (which is likely to be available in off-peak electrical demand periods) all require at least one of the following: an extensive network for distribution of the energy, large-scale demand applications, or large off-peak storage capacity. These requirements have hindered the use of these sources in individual buildings, but they are compatible with a district energy system. -from Author.
Conference Paper
There are several barriers to achieving an energy system based entirely on renewable energy (RE), not the least of which is doubt that high capacities of solar PV can be feasible due to long, cold and dark Finnish winters. Technologically, several energy storage options can facilitate high penetrations of solar PV (up to 29 TWhe, or 16% of annual electricity production) and other variable forms of RE. These options include electric and thermal storage systems in addition to a robust role of Power-toGas (PtG) technology. Approximately 45% of electricity produced from solar PV was used directly over the course of the year, which shows the relevance of storage. In terms of public policy, several mechanisms are available to promote various forms of RE. However, many of these are contested in Finland by actors with vested interests in maintaining the status quo rather than by those without faith in RE conversion or storage technologies. These vested interests must be overcome before a zero fossil carbon future can begin.
Article
A clear consensus exists in German society that renewable energy resources have to play a dominant role in the future German energy supply system. However, many questions are still under discussion; for instance the relevance of the different technologies such as photovoltaic systems and wind energy converters installed offshore in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Concerns also exist about the cost of a future energy system mainly based on renewable energy. In the work presented here we tried to answer some of those questions. Guiding questions for this study were: (1) is it possible to meet the German energy demand with 100% renewable energy, considering the available technical potential of the main renewable energy resources? (2) what is the overall annual cost of such an energy system once it has been implemented? (3) what is the best combination of renewable energy converters, storage units, energy converters and energy-saving measures? In order to answer these questions, we carried out many simulation calculations using REMod-D, a model we developed for this purpose. This model is described in Part I of this publication. To date this model covers only part of the energy system, namely the electricity and heat sectors, which correspond to about 62% of Germany's current energy demand. The main findings of our work indicate that it is possible to meet the total electricity and heat demand (space heating, hot water) of the entire building sector with 100% renewable energy within the given technical limits. This is based on the assumption that the heat demand of the building sector is significantly reduced by at least 60% or more compared to today's demand. Another major result of our analysis shows that - once the transformation of the energy system has been completed - supplying electricity and heat only from renewables is no more expensive than the existing energy supply.
Research
Presentation on the occasion of the World Conference of Futures Research 2015: Futures Studies Tackling Wicked Problems (17th International Futures Conference) in Turku on June 11, 2015.
Article
The paper reviews different approaches, technologies, and strategies to manage large-scale schemes of variable renewable electricity such as solar and wind power. We consider both supply and demand side measures. In addition to presenting energy system flexibility measures, their importance to renewable electricity is discussed. The flexibility measures available range from traditional ones such as grid extension or pumped hydro storage to more advanced strategies such as demand side management and demand side linked approaches, e.g. the use of electric vehicles for storing excess electricity, but also providing grid support services. Advanced batteries may offer new solutions in the future, though the high costs associated with batteries may restrict their use to smaller scale applications. Different “P2Y”-type of strategies, where P stands for surplus renewable power and Y for the energy form or energy service to which this excess in converted to, e.g. thermal energy, hydrogen, gas or mobility are receiving much attention as potential flexibility solutions, making use of the energy system as a whole. To “functionalize” or to assess the value of the various energy system flexibility measures, these need often be put into an electricity/energy market or utility service context. Summarizing, the outlook for managing large amounts of RE power in terms of options available seems to be promising.
Conference Paper
The excellent solar resources of Israel make it possible to reach the target of 100% RE, independent of fossil fuel supply in a rather close future. For now the development of large PV capacities is restrained by battery storage costs: before reaching a cost level of 200 €/kWh, batteries are not competitive and installations of thermal storages and CSP are cost optimal. The role of CSP remains unclear; however, the high competitiveness of PV-battery may limit CSP to a minor role. PV self-consumption plays a significant role in the energy transformation in Israel.
Article
Integrating a high share of electricity from non-dispatchable Renewable Energy Sources in a power supply system is a challenging task. One option considered in many studies dealing with prospective power systems is the installation of storage devices to balance the fluctuations in power production. However, it is not yet clear how soon storage devices will be needed and how the integration process depends on different storage parameters. Using long-term solar and wind energy power production data series, we present a modelling approach to investigate the influence of storage size and efficiency on the pathway towards a 100% RES scenario. Applying our approach to data for Germany, we found that up to 50% of the overall electricity demand can be met by an optimum combination of wind and solar resources without both curtailment and storage devices if the remaining energy is provided by sufficiently flexible power plants. Our findings show further that the installation of small, but highly efficient storage devices is already highly beneficial for the RES integration, while seasonal storage devices are only needed when more than 80% of the electricity demand can be met by wind and solar energy. Our results imply that a balance between the installation of additional generation capacities and storage capacities is required.
Reservoir content for Finland
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