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Impacts of inter-annual wind and solar variations on the European power system

Seán Collins, Paul Deane, Gallachóir, Stefan Pfenninger, Iain Staffell

The impact of weather patterns on power system increases with decarbonization
Europe's CO2 output and generation cost variability could increase 5-fold by 2030
Several metrics can be reasonably approximated from the level VRE penetration
The most representative single years for renewable generation are 1989 and 2012 [Context & Scale] Wind and solar power have been driving the decarbonization of Europe's electricity over the last decade. Increasing our reliance on weather-dependent resources makes it imperative that planning of electricity systems becomes cognizant of their long-term variability. Studies often neglect the long-term variability of these resources by using only data from a single or a few years or fail to account for the impacts of short-term international electricity flows and limitations on generator flexibility, which are critical to the integration of these variable generation sources.
This study uses a continental electricity system model and 30 years of hourly wind and solar data to determine the impact of long-term weather patterns on European electricity system operation and how this varies with decarbonization ambition. The results show that the variability of CO2 emissions and total generation costs for this interconnected electricity system could increase 5-fold by 2030 compared with 2015.

Joule (July 2018), 
Key: INRMM:14621064



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