Monday Study – New Energy 24/7 Is Within Reach
Achieving 24/7 Renewable Energy By 2025
Jan Pepper, Greg Miller, Sara Maatta and Mehdi Shahriari, January 2023 (Peninsula Clean Energy)
Peninsula Clean Energy is leading the charge to fight climate change by radically transforming the electricity sector. We have one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the world: Providing our 310,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers with renewable energy on an hourly basis by 2025.
Over the last two years, we have built, tested, and leveraged a new 24/7 clean energy procurement modeling tool, MATCH (Matching Around-The-Clock Hourly energy), to answer the critical questions: What is the optimal 24/7 renewable energy portfolio, how much will it cost, what are the emissions reduction benefits, and what are the impacts to the broader energy system?
Our MATCH modeling shows that 24/7 renewable energy can be achieved at costcompetitive rates, while achieving the expected benefits of reducing emissions, and providing wider benefits to the grid. That includes reductions in long run emissions by building new supplies and storage that will displace methane gas generation.
Specifically, our MATCH modeling finds that providing 100% renewable energy implemented on an approximately 99% time-coincident basis achieves the ideal balance of being cost competitive, reducing portfolio risk, and reducing emissions. Time-coincident or 24/7 renewable energy means matching customer demand with renewable energy supply in the same hour.
The cost of 24/7 renewable energy varies depending on how perfectly supply and demand are matched. We find that a “sweet spot” goal of providing 100% renewable energy on a 99% time-coincident basis results in only a 2% cost increase relative to our baseline, while achieving critical emission reductions and providing other benefits to the grid.
Our model also found there are diminishing returns in trying to match the last 1% of customer demand, with a 10% increase in portfolio cost needed to go from 99% timecoincident to 100% time-coincident.
While there are some benefits in matching that last 1% of customer demand, 100% time-coincident hourly matching will likely not have zero carbon intensity due to trace emissions from beneficial geothermal supplies.
The optimal 24/7 renewable energy portfolios are characterized by significant excess supply, especially at the higher levels of hourly matching. Excess supply is necessary to ensure that customer demand is met by renewable energy, even in the hardest-to-serve times like cloudy, windless days. Seasonal storage could help to reduce excess supply, but no cost-effective seasonal storage is yet available.
There are wider grid benefits that result from our 24/7 renewable energy portfolios, including reducing the system net peak demand and improving the system ramp. Our 24/7 portfolios are also estimated to result in some renewable curtailment which could reach up to about 3% of our renewable supply under certain market conditions.
Over the next decade, as demand-side resources become more prevalent for load shaping and shifting, they will become a critical part of our 24/7 renewable portfolio.
We also expect emerging technologies such as offshore wind and non-lithium storage to mature and play a significant role in our portfolio in later years. As we continue to study and implement 24/7 renewable energy, we will explore how to operate a 24/7 portfolio. Specifically, we are interested in evaluating how to best operate our portfolio to optimize cost, grid impacts, and emissions reductions.
We are confident that these results and the release of our new MATCH modeling tool can guide Peninsula Clean Energy’s path toward 100% renewable energy on a 99% timecoincident basis in 2025 and inspire and empower other California Community Choice Aggregators, load serving entities and utilities, and clean energy buyers in their efforts to achieve 100% clean energy around the clock…
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