Balancing Renewable Electricity. Energy Storage, Demand Side Management and Network Extension from an Interdisciplinary Perspective
by Bert Droste-Franke, B. Paal, C. Rehtanz, D. U. Sauer, J-P. Schneider, M. Schreurs & Thomas Ziesemer
Publisher: Springer Verlag, Berlin
Current images of our future energy system include the assumption that a high proportion of renewable energies will be used. Relevant scenarios assume that by 2050 anywhere from 80 to even 100 percent of our electricity will be generated from renewable energy sources. In addition to power generating systems, the necessary ingredients for a working system with a high proportion of renewable energy sources include climate-friendly technologies for balancing the supply and demand of electricity. This is of particular importance with regard to wind turbines and photovoltaic systems whose supply often plummets due to adverse weather conditions. The Europäische Akademie has now published an interdisciplinary study entitled “Balancing Renewable Electricity. Energy Storage, Demand Side Management and Network Extension from an Interdisciplinary Perspective”. It provides a comprehensive overview of the use of energy storage systems, demand side management and extended networks for balancing supply and demand within systems which have a high proportion of renewable energy sources. Based on the results of a threeyear research project at the Europäische Akademie, researchers from the fields of power engineering, technology assessment, political science, economics and law are making recommendations in a joint effort for the development and implementation of climate-friendly strategies for balancing supply and demand within the electricity system. It will prove challenging to provide power according to different time scales – since it must be available within fractions of a second and continue to be available for several hours or days. Because of the challenge this task represents, the authors predict that a mixture of suitable technologies will eventually prevail. They have also come to the conclusion that significant development needs exist regarding energy storage, demand side management as well as electrical transmission and distribution networks. Promoting innovation in these areas requires, amongst others, a concept aimed at removing obstacles which arise from existing financial support of other energy technologies. So as to create a better basis for political measures, systems studies and scientific policy advisory work should also be expanded. Moreover, the authors perceive a need for amendments to be made in the legal field. Some important keywords in this context include: legal assignments of storage applications to the level of the generator or network, planning processes, how to deal with the large amounts of regularly generated sensitive data and the regulation of the manifold new business relationships which arise.