Joint Research Project "VEREKON - Reliability of Supply through Combination of Renewable and Conventional Electricity Generation"

Project Leader:Professor Dr-Ing Alfons Kather
Duration:01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020

Aim of the project is to obtain a simplified but still meaningful classification of various electricity generation technologies and their combinations, whilst achieving reliabilty of supply and minimising electricity generation costs and CO2-Emissions. The actual expenditure for achieving a reliable and secure electricity generation system out of a mixture of different technologies will be evaluated in isolated systems without electricity importing and exporting.

Different configurations of facilities in the system will be studied, aimed at costantly supplying 1000 MW of electrical energy to an imaginary island network. Fluctuating electricity sources such as Solar Heat, Photovoltaics and Wind Energy will be considered. To the suppliers of residual power belong power plants using Coal, Gas or Biomass, augmented by various storage concepts.

The wind and solar energy that is available will be accounted for realistically, using respective annual trend lines. The residual power of eventual deficits in renewable soruces will be supplied by generators from conventional sources or storage facilities. These data will be input in an economic analysis to yield electricity generation costs and specific CO2 Emissions, to show the most appropriate system configurations for safe and reliable supply of electricity. Additionally, a second island system will also be considered, whose characteristics in fluctuatin renewable sources differ markedly patterns seen on the first island network. Both island grids will then be interconnected, to constantly supply together 2000 MW of electrical power. In doing so the individual island grids will be allowed to over- or undersupply their own networks. This approach enables investigation of how the reliabilty of supply may be influenced by mixing together different electricity sources.

Ultimate aim is to study the feasibilty of increasing the supply of renewable energies in energy self-sufficient grids, without jeopardising security of supply and network stability. The results on the various scenarios that will be studied will be compared against each other, to deliver a complete picture on the costs and the environmental sustainability of the various combinations of sources. The relative advantages and disadvantages of the various combinations of individual island grid configurations and their components will also be highlighted.

A clear conclusion to emerge is whether specific combinations of conventional power plants and fluctuating renewable energy sources are more preferable than others, to eliminate supply deficits and safeguard reliability of supply. Furthermore, the economic ramifications on electricity generation of this operating regime can be shown and realistic electricity generation costs can be determined. The results can be used to strengthen further supply security in the German electricity sector, even if the input of fluctuating renewable energies in the grid continues increasing. The outcome of the project can assist utilities in decision-making by utilities and contribute to the Energy Transition (Energiewende in Germany).

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