21st Century Climate Change Impacts on Key Properties of a Large-Scale Renewable-Based Electricity System

Elsevier, Joule, Volume 3, Issue 4, April 2019, pages 992- 1005.  
Authors: 
Smail Kozarcanin, Hailiang Liu, Gorm Bruun Andresen

Falling prices and significant technology developments currently drive an increased weather-dependent electricity production from renewables. In light of the changing climate, it is relevant to investigate to what extent climate change directly impacts future highly weather-dependent electricity systems. Here, we use three IPCC CO2 concentration pathways for the period 2006–2100 with six high-resolution climate experiments for the European domain. Climate data are used to calculate bias-adjusted 3-hourly time series of wind and solar generation and temperature-corrected demand time series for 30 European countries using a state-of-the-art methodology. Weather-driven electricity system analysis is then applied to compare five key metrics of highly renewable electricity systems. We find that climate change changes the need for dispatchable electricity by up to 20%. The remaining key metrics, such as the benefit of transmission and storage as well as requirements for balancing capacity and reserves, change by up to 5%.