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Hydroclimatic variability and the integration of renewable energy in Europe : multiscale evaluation of the supply-demand balance for various energy sources and mixes

Abstract : In the context of climate change, the integration of renewables in electric power systems is one of the main challenges of the coming decades. Climate-Related-Energy sources (CRE - solar, wind and hydro power) can contribute to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. However, they exhibit large spatio-temporal fluctuations and the associated intermittent electricity generation often leads to an incomplete supply-demand balance. This study aims to evaluate the meteorological feasibility of developing an electric power system that would only rely on CRE sources. We focus on the multi-scale spatio-temporal fluctuations of these renewables by assuming a balance between mean electricity production and mean energy load. We develop and use CRE-mix, a suite of models able to convert meteorological conditions into CRE time series. It gives an assessment the spatio-temporal fluctuations of power production and energy demand, resulting from the multi-scale hydro-climatic variability. For a set of European regions, we assess the ease of integration of CRE sources, regarding their temporal consistency with energy demand. For each CRE source and multiple CRE mixes, we consider in turn (i) the mean penetration rate (PE), which quantifies the proportion of satisfied demand over a long period and (ii) the characteristics of low penetration periods, defined as sequences of days for which the penetration rate is lower than a given threshold. This study proves that single CRE sources have difficulty to meet the energy demand and suffer from long low penetration periods, due to their multi-scale temporal variations. However, using some integrating factors (multi-sources, storage systems, inter-regions electric power transmission), efficiently improves the reliability of CRE-based power systems with PE rates close to 100% and rare low penetration periods.These analyses, based on a 30-yr period, are extended to the entire 20th century in order to assess the low frequency fluctuations of CRE sources resulting from the internal variability of climate. Long regional series of production and demand, were generated thanks to the development of a statistical downscaling method based on atmospheric analogues (SCAMP). It simulates physically-consistent multivariate series of meteorological parameters. The results demonstrate that these fluctuations are related to some large scale oceano-climatic oscillations. Moreover, the multi-decennial variations of hydro power are particularly large: changes in PE rates exceeding 15% from one decade to the other and uneven energy droughts characteristics.Finally, we evaluate the relevance of the CRE sources under future climate conditions. SCAMP is used to produce downscaled projections of meteorological drivers of CRE sources for the 21st century from a selection of CMIP5 climate models. The resulting scenarios for precipitation are not consistent with other studies focusing of the future modifications of this variable in Europe. The application of SCAMP in a perfect-model approach seems to indicate that the large-scale-meteorology/local-precipitation relationship is changing in the course of the 21st century, for all total, convective and stratiform precipitation.
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Damien Raynaud. Hydroclimatic variability and the integration of renewable energy in Europe : multiscale evaluation of the supply-demand balance for various energy sources and mixes. Earth Sciences. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAU036⟩. ⟨tel-01663708⟩

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