Article

Net load variability in Nordic countries with a highly or fully renewable power system

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Abstract

Increasing the share of intermittent renewable energy (IRE) resources such as solar, wind, wave and tidal energy in a power system poses a challenge in terms of increased net load variability. Fully renewable power systems have previously been analysed, but more systematic analyses are needed that explore the effect of different IRE mixes on system-wide variability across different timescales and the optimal combinations of IRE for reducing variability on a given timescale. Here we investigate these questions for the Nordic power system. We show that the optimal mix of IRE is dependent on the frequency band considered. Long-term (>4 months) and short-term (<2 days) fluctuations can be similar to today’s, even for a fully renewable system. However, fluctuations with periods in between will inevitably increase significantly. This study indicates that, from a variability point of view, a fossil- and nuclear-free Nordic power system is feasible if properly balanced by hydropower.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Division of Electricity, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, PO Box 534, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden

    • Jon Olauson
    • , Mohd Nasir Ayob
    • , Mikael Bergkvist
    • , Nicole Carpman
    • , Valeria Castellucci
    • , Anders Goude
    •  & Rafael Waters
  2. School of Mechatronic Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, 02600 Arau, Perlis, Malaysia

    • Mohd Nasir Ayob
  3. Built Environment Energy Systems Group (BEESG), Division of Solid State Physics, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, PO Box 534, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden

    • David Lingfors
    •  & Joakim Widén

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Contributions

M.N.A. and V.C. performed the modelling, developed the scenarios and wrote the text on wave energy. D.L. did the same for solar energy, N.C. for tidal energy and J.O. for wind energy. J.W. wrote the introduction. J.O. did the analysis of the combinations of sources and wrote most of the paper. All authors participated in meetings, discussed the methods and the scope of the paper, and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jon Olauson.

Supplementary information

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    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures 1–11, Supplementary Notes 1–4, Supplementary Tables 1–4 and Supplementary References.