Integration of renewable energy sources into the future European power system using a verified dispatch model with high spatiotemporal resolution

Syranidou, Chloi; Stolten, Detlef (Thesis advisor); Schnettler, Armin (Thesis advisor)

Jülich / Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Zentralbibliothek, Verlag (2020) [Book, Dissertation / PhD Thesis]

Page(s): 1 Online-Ressource (242 Seiten) : Illustrationen, Diagramme, Karten


The requirements for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the power sector in Europe will result in a significant increase of generation from variable renewable energy sources (VRES). The presence of such technologies may pose significant challenges to the traditional operation and structure of the existing transmission grid. In this thesis, the integration of VRES into the future European power system is investigated until the year 2050.The introduced challenges translate to challenges of modeling the power system as well. Hence, the numerical modeling as well as the existing European framework of power system operation is described in detail, including the corresponding literature. In this thesis, a novel multi-level methodology for the generation dispatch that respects transmission constraints and includes flexible demand operation is introduced to model the pan-European power system. The final development of the model is completed via the determination of the system’s boundary conditions and technical parameters with respect to grid infrastructure, generation and demand in high spatiotemporal resolution. The resulting model is verified for the year2015 against historical conditions and forms the basis for the implementation of all future European scenarios. The future power system is analyzed for the years 2030, 2040 and 2050 with respect to VRES integration and the impact of demand flexibility. It is found that the main grid congestion occurs between the North and Baltic Sea regions and Central Europe. This congestion becomes responsible for the majority of the resulting VRES curtailments, which are related to wind generation. The total amount of curtailments for the reference case is 88 TWh for Germany and 729 TWh for Europe, out of which it is concluded that the most suitable locations for exploiting the corresponding curtailment energy occurs in western Denmark and western Ireland. Regarding the impact of demand flexibility, it is found that the overall impact is relatively small (7.6% reduction in VRES curtailments) and therefore more flexibility options should be considered. Moreover, it is found that VRES integration is more sensitive to the shifting duration rather than to the available flexibility especially when seasonal flexibility is allowed, while also it is shown that shifting in space can also become very beneficial (27%reduction). However load shifting cannot constitute the only solution for their mitigation but further alternatives may be required as well. Examining all scenarios for 2050, it is found that the average amount of VRES curtailments becomes 592 TWh and that this value approximately doubles every 10 years from 2030 to 2050. Finally, it is shown that the level of the spatial resolution for the transmission grid representation plays a significant role with respect to VRES integration, where even models with 100-200 nodes can underestimate the total curtailments by half.


  • ISBN: 978-3-95806-494-2
  • REPORT NUMBER: RWTH-2020-08927