skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Carbon Dioxide Emissions Effects of Grid-Scale Electricity Storage in a Decarbonizing Power System

Abstract

While grid-scale electricity storage (hereafter 'storage') could be crucial for deeply decarbonizing the electric power system, it would increase carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions in current systems across the United States. To better understand how storage transitions from increasing to decreasing system CO 2 emissions, we quantify the effect of storage on operational CO 2 emissions as a power system decarbonizes under a moderate and strong CO 2 emission reduction target through 2045. Under each target, we compare the effect of storage on CO 2 emissions when storage participates in only energy, only reserve, and energy and reserve markets. We conduct our study in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system and use a capacity expansion model to forecast generator fleet changes and a unit commitment and economic dispatch model to quantify system CO 2 emissions with and without storage. We find that storage would increase CO 2 emissions in the current ERCOT system, but would decrease CO 2 emissions in 2025 through 2045 under both decarbonization targets. Storage reduces CO 2 emissions primarily by enabling gas-fired generation to displace coal-fired generation, but also by reducing wind and solar curtailment. We further find that the market in which storagemore » participates drives large differences in the magnitude, but not the direction, of the effect of storage on CO 2 emissions.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Engineering and Public Policy
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); Claire and John Bertucci Fellowship; ARCS Foundation; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1415502
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1422876
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5D00-68982
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; EFRI-1441131; A14OAR4310249; ACI-1548562
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; carbon dioxide; storage; electricity; power system

Citation Formats

Craig, Michael T., Jaramillo, Paulina, and Hodge, Bri-Mathias. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Effects of Grid-Scale Electricity Storage in a Decarbonizing Power System. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa9a78.
Craig, Michael T., Jaramillo, Paulina, & Hodge, Bri-Mathias. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Effects of Grid-Scale Electricity Storage in a Decarbonizing Power System. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa9a78.
Craig, Michael T., Jaramillo, Paulina, and Hodge, Bri-Mathias. Wed . "Carbon Dioxide Emissions Effects of Grid-Scale Electricity Storage in a Decarbonizing Power System". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa9a78.
@article{osti_1415502,
title = {Carbon Dioxide Emissions Effects of Grid-Scale Electricity Storage in a Decarbonizing Power System},
author = {Craig, Michael T. and Jaramillo, Paulina and Hodge, Bri-Mathias},
abstractNote = {While grid-scale electricity storage (hereafter 'storage') could be crucial for deeply decarbonizing the electric power system, it would increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in current systems across the United States. To better understand how storage transitions from increasing to decreasing system CO2 emissions, we quantify the effect of storage on operational CO2 emissions as a power system decarbonizes under a moderate and strong CO2 emission reduction target through 2045. Under each target, we compare the effect of storage on CO2 emissions when storage participates in only energy, only reserve, and energy and reserve markets. We conduct our study in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system and use a capacity expansion model to forecast generator fleet changes and a unit commitment and economic dispatch model to quantify system CO2 emissions with and without storage. We find that storage would increase CO2 emissions in the current ERCOT system, but would decrease CO2 emissions in 2025 through 2045 under both decarbonization targets. Storage reduces CO2 emissions primarily by enabling gas-fired generation to displace coal-fired generation, but also by reducing wind and solar curtailment. We further find that the market in which storage participates drives large differences in the magnitude, but not the direction, of the effect of storage on CO2 emissions.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/aa9a78},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 03 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Wed Jan 03 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1088/1748-9326/aa9a78

Save / Share:
  • While grid-scale electricity storage (hereafter 'storage') could be crucial for deeply decarbonizing the electric power system, it would increase carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions in current systems across the United States. To better understand how storage transitions from increasing to decreasing system CO 2 emissions, we quantify the effect of storage on operational CO 2 emissions as a power system decarbonizes under a moderate and strong CO 2 emission reduction target through 2045. Under each target, we compare the effect of storage on CO 2 emissions when storage participates in only energy, only reserve, and energy and reserve markets. Wemore » conduct our study in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system and use a capacity expansion model to forecast generator fleet changes and a unit commitment and economic dispatch model to quantify system CO 2 emissions with and without storage. We find that storage would increase CO 2 emissions in the current ERCOT system, but would decrease CO 2 emissions in 2025 through 2045 under both decarbonization targets. Storage reduces CO 2 emissions primarily by enabling gas-fired generation to displace coal-fired generation, but also by reducing wind and solar curtailment. We further find that the market in which storage participates drives large differences in the magnitude, but not the direction, of the effect of storage on CO 2 emissions.« less
  • This paper examines the potential role of large scale, dedicated commercial biomass energy systems under global climate policies designed to meet atmospheric concentrations of CO2 at 400ppm and 450ppm by the end of the century. We use an integrated assessment model of energy and agriculture systems to show that, given a climate policy in which terrestrial carbon is appropriately valued equally with carbon emitted from the energy system, biomass energy has the potential to be a major component of achieving these low concentration targets. A key aspect of the research presented here is that the costs of processing and transportingmore » biomass energy at much larger scales than current experience are explicitly incorporated into the modeling. From the scenario results, 120-160 EJ/year of biomass energy is produced globally by midcentury and 200-250 EJ/year by the end of this century. In the first half of the century, much of this biomass is from agricultural and forest residues, but after 2050 dedicated cellulosic biomass crops become the majority source, along with growing utilization of waste-to-energy. The ability to draw on a diverse set of biomass based feedstocks helps to reduce the pressure for drastic large-scale changes in land use and the attendant environmental, ecological, and economic consequences those changes would unleash. In terms of the conversion of bioenergy feedstocks into value added energy, this paper demonstrates that biomass is and will continue to be used to generate electricity as well as liquid transportation fuels. A particular focus of this paper is to show how climate policies and technology assumptions - especially the availability of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technologies - affect the decisions made about where the biomass is used in the energy system. The potential for net-negative electric sector emissions through the use of CCS with biomass feedstocks provides an attractive part of the solution for meeting stringent emissions constraints; we find that at carbon prices above 150$/tCO2, over 90% of biomass in the energy system is used in combination with CCS. Despite the higher technology costs of CCS, it is a very important tool in controlling the cost of meeting a target, offsetting the venting of CO2 from sectors of the energy system that may be more expensive to mitigate, such as oil use in transportation. CCS is also used heavily with other fuels such as coal and natural gas, and by 2095 a total of 1530 GtCO2 has been stored in deep geologic reservoirs. The paper also discusses the role of cellulosic ethanol and Fischer-Tropsch biomass derived transportation fuels as two representative conversion processes and shows that both technologies may be important contributors to liquid fuels production, with unique costs and emissions characteristics.« less
  • The aim of this paper is to investigate the global contribution of carbon capture and storage technologies to mitigating climate change. Carbon capture and storage is a technology that comprises the separation of from carbon dioxide industrial- and energy-related sources, transport to a storage location (e.g., saline aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon fields), and long-term isolation from the atmosphere. The carbon dioxides emitted directly at the power stations are reduced by 80 to 90%. In contrast, the life cycle assessment shows substantially lower reductions of greenhouse gases in total (minus 65 to 79%).