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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This work was conducted within the StandUP for Energy strategic research framework. M. Hedlund and T. Kamf are acknowledged for help with choosing appropriate filters.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Olauson, J., Ayob, M., Bergkvist, M. et al. Net load variability in Nordic countries with a highly or fully renewable power system. Nat Energy 1, 16175 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2016.175
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