Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

How will renewable power generation be affected by climate change? The case of a Metropolitan Region in Northwest Germany

Publication date: Available online 14 July 2013
Author(s): J. Wachsmuth , A. Blohm , S. Gößling-Reisemann , T. Eickemeier , M. Ruth , R. Gasper , S. Stührmann
Energy systems that primarily use wind and solar power production are in need of long-term storage of electricity and fully developed transmission grids. Moreover, renewables-based energy systems may be strongly affected by climate change. We present two models that assess the impacts of climate change on solar and wind power generation and use these models to evaluate climate projections based on the A1B scenario for Germany’s Northwest Metropolitan Region. For these projections the seasonal profile of solar power production is not affected despite less cloud cover during the summer, while the seasonal profile of wind power production has a more pronounced seasonal peak during the winter due to slightly increasing wind speeds. We compare the obtained seasonal profiles to different scenarios for electricity demand. For each scenario we identify the ratio of wind and solar power generation that minimizes the variance of the residual load at the monthly time scale under the premise of a full supply by wind and solar power. Our results suggest that the need for long-term storage of electricity and the need for extensions of the transmission grid will on the one hand decrease but on the other hand become more volatile because of climate change impacts in the Northwest Metropolitan Region over the next century.

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