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Balancing potential of natural variability and extremes in photovoltaic and wind energy production for European countries

The increas­ing use of wind and solar pow­er requires inter­ven­tions to bal­ance the asso­ci­at­ed vari­abil­i­ty in ener­gy pro­duc­tion. One option to reduce the cost­ly inter­ven­tions is to exploit the nat­ur­al de-cor­re­la­tion of wind and irra­di­ance. This study char­ac­teris­es the bal­anc­ing poten­tial of the nat­u­al vari­abil­i­ty in wind and pho­to­volta­ic ener­gy pro­duc­tion with­in and across eleven Euro­pean coun­tries. We use 20 years of high­ly resolved mete­o­ro­log­i­cal data from a post-processed region­al reanaly­sis with a 6 km hor­i­zon­tal grid to cal­cu­late dai­ly pho­to­volta­ic and wind pow­er. Our results sug­gest a coun­try-depen­dent reduc­tion of the day-to-day vari­abil­i­ty in ener­gy pro­duc­tion by 29%–42% due to installing both PV and wind pow­er capac­i­ties, com­pared to wind pow­er only. The opti­mized pho­to­volta­ic to pho­to­volta­ic plus wind pow­er gen­er­a­tion ratios are 45–57% for max­i­miz­ing bal­anc­ing effects asso­ci­at­ed with the chang­ing weath­er. We fur­ther iden­ti­fy on less than 10% of the days a simul­ta­ne­ous occur­rence of extremes in pho­to­volta­ic and wind pow­er across Euro­pean coun­tries. The cross-bor­der bal­anc­ing poten­tials for the extremes in renew­able ener­gy pro­duc­tion are there­fore high due to the spa­tio-tem­po­ral dif­fer­ences of the local weath­er.

Christo­pher­Frank, StephanieFiedler, Susanne Crewell (2021) in Renew­able Ener­gy, Vol­ume 163, Jan­u­ary 2021, Pages 674–684

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