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Flexibility in Europe's Power Sector - an Additional Requirement or an Automatic Complement?

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  • Bertsch, Joachim

    ()
    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Growitsch, Christian

    ()
    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Lorenczik, Stefan

    ()
    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Nagl, Stephan

    ()
    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

Abstract

By 2050, the European Union aims to reduce greenhouse gases by more than 80 %. The EU member states have therefore declared to strongly increase the share of renewable energy sources (RES-E) in the next decades. Given a large deployment of wind and solar capacities, there are two major impacts on electricity systems: First, the electricity system must be flexible enough to cope with the volatile RES-E generation, i.e., ramp up supply or ramp down demand on short notice. Second, sufficient back-up capacities are needed during times with low feed-in from wind and solar capacities. This paper analyzes whether there is a need for additional incentive mechanisms for flexibility in electricity markets with a high share of renewables. For this purpose, we simulate the development of the European electricity markets up to the year 2050 using a linear investment and dispatch optimization model. Flexibility requirements are implemented in the model via ramping constraints and provision of balancing power dependent of current renewables feed-in. We fi nd that an increase in fluctuating renewables has a tremendous impact on the volatility of the residual load and consequently on the flexibility requirements. However, any market design that incentivizes investments in least (total system) cost generation investment does not need additional incentives for flexibility. The main trigger for investing in flexible resources are the achievable full load hours and the need for backup capacity. In a competitive market, the cost-efficient technologies that are most likely to be installed, i.e.,gas- red power plants or flexible CCS plants, provide flexibility as a by-product. Under the condition of system adequacy, flexibility never poses a challenge in a cost-minimal capacity mix. Therefore, any market design incentivizing investments in efficient generation thus provides flexibility as an automatic complement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln in its series EWI Working Papers with number 2013-10.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 06 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:ewikln:2013_010

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Keywords: Electricity; power plant fleet optimization; renewable energy; flexibility; market design;

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  1. De Jonghe, Cedric & Delarue, Erik & Belmans, Ronnie & D'haeseleer, William, 2011. "Determining optimal electricity technology mix with high level of wind power penetration," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 2231-2238, June.
  2. Möst, Dominik & Fichtner, Wolf, 2010. "Renewable energy sources in European energy supply and interactions with emission trading," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2898-2910, June.
  3. Joskow, Paul L., 2008. "Capacity payments in imperfect electricity markets: Need and design," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 159-170, September.
  4. Denholm, Paul & Hand, Maureen, 2011. "Grid flexibility and storage required to achieve very high penetration of variable renewable electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1817-1830, March.
  5. Nicolosi, Marco, 2010. "Wind power integration and power system flexibility-An empirical analysis of extreme events in Germany under the new negative price regime," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7257-7268, November.
  6. Fürsch, Michaela & Hagspiel, Simeon & Jägemann, Cosima & Nagl, Stephan & Lindenberger, Dietmar & Tröster, Eckehard, 2012. "The role of grid extensions in a cost-efficient transformation of the European electricity system until 2050," EWI Working Papers 2012-4, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
  7. Richter, Jan, 2011. "DIMENSION - A Dispatch and Investment Model for European Electricity Markets," EWI Working Papers 2011-3, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
  8. Nagl, Stephan & Fürsch, Michaela & Jägemann, Cosima & Bettzüge, Marc Oliver, 2011. "The economic value of storage in renewable power systems - the case of thermal energy storage in concentrating solar plants," EWI Working Papers 2011-8, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
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