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Exploiting wind-solar resource complementarity to reduce energy storage need

LUT University, Yliopistonkatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta, Finland

Topical Section: Wind Energy

Resource complementarity carries significant benefit to the power grid due to its smoothing effect on variable renewable resource output. In this paper, we analyse literature data to understand the role of wind-solar complementarity in future energy systems by evaluating its impact on variable renewable energy penetration, corresponding curtailment, energy storage requirement and system reliability. Results show that wind-solar complementarity significantly increases grid penetration compared to stand-alone wind/solar systems without the need of energy storage. However, as capacity increases, the capability of complementarity to increase grid penetration approaches its limit due to the reduced matching of output to the load profile and pursuant increase in excess generation. Thus, achieving very high penetration requires appropriately designed energy storage and curtailment. Yet, even at higher grid penetration, complementarity carries significant multidimensional benefits to the power system. The most important observation was the achievement of very high grid penetration at reduced energy storage and balancing requirements compared to stand-alone systems. Researchers reported that using the same energy storage capacity, wind-solar complementarity led to significantly higher penetration of up to 20% of annual demand compared to stand-alone systems. In addition, by coupling to curtailment as an enabler, and related dispatch flexibility that comes with storage application, lower balancing capacity need was reported at higher penetration. Wind-solar complementarity was also found to reduce ramping need while contributing to improved system adequacy. Complementarity from other dispatchable renewable resources further reduces storage need and curtailment and improve system reliability, whereas power grid integration and relative cost changes allow for further optimisation while transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
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