When oversize is really the right size – pv magazine USA


The researchers concluded that wind and solar generating resources that were sized 1.5 times along with three hours of energy storage would meet all but 200 hours of demand dispersed throughout any given year.

Researchers recently published an article in which they seek to to understand how far we can go with wind and solar.

The research analyzes 39 years of hourly wind and solar production data in 42 countries. An assessment of “perfect” transmission without energy storage reveals that The most reliable renewable electricity systems are heavy wind turbines and meet countries’ electricity demand in 72-91% of hours (or in 83-94% of hours by adding 12 hours of storage).

However, research has found that even in systems that meet more than 90% of demand, “hundreds of hours of unmet demand” can occur each year.

The research quantified the power, energy, and utilization rates of supplemental energy storage and demand management (reduction), as well as the benefits of regional aggregation. The models evaluated three levels of over-generation (1x, 1.5x, and 3x) and storage (none, 3 hours, and 12 hours).

Notably, the researchers concluded that wind and solar generation resources that were scaled to 1.5x with three hours of energy storage would satisfy all but 200 hours of demand spread over a given year.

Previous Calderia research suggested that the United States could achieve a reliable power grid consisting of 80% wind and solar with about 12 hours of energy storage. This 80% model would require no additional transmission resources on the electricity grid.

The models have shown that countries with larger areas can (obviously) build wind + solar power grid systems with greater reliability. For systems without integrated energy storage, the ability to meet energy demand increased by 7.2% for every 10-fold increase in land area.

When three or even 12 hours of energy storage are added, patterns begin to emerge.

The upper left corner of the graph above shows a standard volume of production without energy storage. It shows a clear linear increase in reliability associated with the area of ​​the country. But, in cases where three or 12 hours of energy storage is added, the production capacity increases by 50% and the reliability increases considerably.

In fact, when you look at the bottom right box with 12 hours of batteries and 1.5x standard generation, the ability of wind and solar to meet the demand for electricity brings all of the nations analyzed into the picture. ‘study above 97%; several countries have been modeled as meeting 100% of demand.

Research has suggested that there is a trade-off between excess production and energy storage, as a 10% increase in annual excess production equals 3.9 hours of storage.

The article showed that even with energy storage, gaps in the timing of heavy wind and solar systems still find times when distributable resources will be needed. And while it is easy to suggest fossil fuel-based installations as a solution to these downtime, it will become economically difficult to do, as the volume extracted from these fuel sources – coal and gas – decreases. .

In addition, technologies such as hydrogen, vehicle batteries, nuclear and hydropower will be needed to fill in the weak spots. If we find a way to limit our political quarrels and build intra and international transmission, we will achieve maximum use of renewable energy resources.


If we find that “oversized” wind and solar deployment beyond the currently defined standard system sizing is actually the best way to size things, then the word “oversized” is a misnomer.

When these projects produce electricity in excess of demand from the power grid, business minds and asset owners will undoubtedly be looking for ways to make better use of these resources.

Typically, it wouldn’t make sense to place expensive hardware – like hydrogen electrolysers or bitcoin mining rigs – on renewable energy production project sites to make them work. ” only ”when the sites are in overproduction.

It would make sense, however, to place energy-intensive industries close to renewable energy production, with the intention of operating both on the electricity grid and on peak summer generation power that would otherwise have been reduced. . In this way, we can bring down the average electricity prices for these facilities and create a valuable resource from the necessary seasonal surpluses.

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