Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Small adaptations, big impacts: Options for an optimized mix of variable renewable energy sources

Publication date: 1 August 2014
Source:Energy, Volume 72
Author(s): Philip Tafarte , Subhashree Das , Marcus Eichhorn , Daniela Thrän
The on-going energy transition in Germany aims at a power system dominated by RES (renewable energy sources) with more than 80% in 2050. The primary contributions are expected to come from inherently vRES (variable renewable energy sources), especially wind and solar power. Under currently insufficient storage capacity and limited flexible RES, alternatives for the integration of increasing shares of vRES are urgently needed. This paper aimed at optimizing feed-in patterns to improve system integration of vRES in central Germany for vRES targets of 50% (2030) and 80% (2050). Numerical optimization for optimal shares of wind and solar was conducted for baseline and advanced technology set-up using minimization of excess energy as an indicator for system integration. Results show that for the 50% vRES target, advanced technology reduced excess energy by up to 53% and optimal shares in capacity include 34% wind and 66% solar. Further, the demand for installed wind capacities could be reduced by as much as 55%. This reduction can translate into lower land demand, thereby supporting sustainability concepts. This article concludes that there is a high potential of system integration of increasing shares of vRES in the near to middle-term, especially by the adoption of advanced technologies.

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