How can security of supply be maintained with renewable energies?
The volatile generation character of many renewable energies challenges the security of the energy supply. This is because, at any point in time, generation must be in balance with demand to guarantee the stability of the power supply. Therefore, in this context, it is often discussed whether the security of supply can be guaranteed even with high shares of renewable energies, or whether thermal power plants should continue to be held in reserve to be able to step in if electricity generation from renewables is too low. Alternatively, security of supply can also be ensured through increased flexibility, for example, through sector coupling, storage (e.g., large battery storage), and European electricity market coupling. Through good European interconnection, spatial differences in generation, for example, due to large-scale weather conditions, can be balanced. Therefore, how the balance between generation and consumption – with high shares of renewable energies in the European energy system – can be maintained in the future is one of the main focuses of our research.
Specifically, we consider the following questions:
- Do we need so much renewable electricity generation? Can’t we also use hydrogen?
- How can we store renewable energies?
- Can renewable energies guarantee the security of supply?
- What do we do when neither the sun is shining, nor the wind is blowing?
- How much backup capacity will be needed in the future?