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Balancing Electricity Supply and Demand in a Carbon-Neutral Northern Europe


This work investigates how to balance the electricity supply and demand in a carbon-neutral northern Europe. Applying a cost-minimizing electricity system model including options to invest in eleven different flexibility measures, and cost-efficient combinations of strategies to manage variations were identified. The results of the model were post-processed using a novel method to map the net load before and after flexibility measures were applied to reveal the contribution of each flexibility measure. The net load was mapped in the space spanned by the amplitude, duration and number of occurrences. The mapping shows that, depending on cost structure, flexibility measures contribute to reduce the net load in three different ways; (1) by reducing variations with a long duration but low amplitude, (2) by reducing variations with a high amplitude but short duration and low occurrence or (3) by reducing variations with a high amplitude, short duration and high occurrence. It was found that cost-efficient variation management was achieved by combining wind and solar power and by combining strategies (1–3) to manage the variations. The cost-efficient combination of strategies depends on electricity system context where electricity trade, flexible hydrogen and heat production (1) manage the majority of the variations in regions with good conditions for wind power while stationary batteries (3) were the main contributors in regions with good conditions for solar power.

Funding source: This research was funded by MISTRA, grant number 2019-0026, and the Swedish Energy Agency, grant number 49341-1.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Sweden

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