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Title: Valuing variable renewable energy for peak demand requirements

Abstract

The capacity credit for a generator is the fraction of its nameplate capacity that can contribute to meeting the system's resource adequacy. However, estimating the capacity credit of variable renewable energy is challenging due to the variability, uncertainty, and spatial diversity of the renewable resources. This study uses the Regional Energy Deployment System to quantify the impacts on the U.S. power sector through 2050 from misestimations of renewable capacity credit. Results show that small underestimates of the renewable capacity credit have little impact on system buildout, but that large underestimates (>50%) can reduce solar photovoltaic deployment by nearly 100 GW (50%) and wind by up to 43 GW (22.8%) in 2030s. Such large differences are possible because the capacity credit for variable renewable energy can substantially impact the overall costs and value of variable renewable energy relative to other technologies. Such effects are most strongly felt in the mid-term but are less relevant over the long-term due to the declining value of variable resources. Underestimating the capacity credit of variable renewable energy leads to increased system costs and emissions. Conversely, overvaluing the capacity credit of variable renewable energy reduces system costs at the risk of lower reliability.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Children's Investment Fund Foundation; USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1479875
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-70624
Journal ID: ISSN 0360-5442
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 165; Journal Issue: PA; Journal ID: ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; wind; solar; renewable energy; capacity value; capacity credit; resource adequacy

Citation Formats

Zhou, Shengru, Cole, Wesley J., and Frew, Bethany A. Valuing variable renewable energy for peak demand requirements. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2018.09.009.
Zhou, Shengru, Cole, Wesley J., & Frew, Bethany A. Valuing variable renewable energy for peak demand requirements. United States. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2018.09.009.
Zhou, Shengru, Cole, Wesley J., and Frew, Bethany A. Mon . "Valuing variable renewable energy for peak demand requirements". United States. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2018.09.009. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1479875.
@article{osti_1479875,
title = {Valuing variable renewable energy for peak demand requirements},
author = {Zhou, Shengru and Cole, Wesley J. and Frew, Bethany A.},
abstractNote = {The capacity credit for a generator is the fraction of its nameplate capacity that can contribute to meeting the system's resource adequacy. However, estimating the capacity credit of variable renewable energy is challenging due to the variability, uncertainty, and spatial diversity of the renewable resources. This study uses the Regional Energy Deployment System to quantify the impacts on the U.S. power sector through 2050 from misestimations of renewable capacity credit. Results show that small underestimates of the renewable capacity credit have little impact on system buildout, but that large underestimates (>50%) can reduce solar photovoltaic deployment by nearly 100 GW (50%) and wind by up to 43 GW (22.8%) in 2030s. Such large differences are possible because the capacity credit for variable renewable energy can substantially impact the overall costs and value of variable renewable energy relative to other technologies. Such effects are most strongly felt in the mid-term but are less relevant over the long-term due to the declining value of variable resources. Underestimating the capacity credit of variable renewable energy leads to increased system costs and emissions. Conversely, overvaluing the capacity credit of variable renewable energy reduces system costs at the risk of lower reliability.},
doi = {10.1016/j.energy.2018.09.009},
journal = {Energy (Oxford)},
number = PA,
volume = 165,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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