• Printable Version
  • Bookmark and Share

Changes in the Economic Value of Variable Generation at High Penetration Levels: A Pilot Case Study of California

Changes in the Economic Value of Variable Generation at High Penetration Levels: A Pilot Case Study of California

Date: 6/30/2012

Location: CA

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's new report, Changes in the Economic Value of Variable Generation at High Penetration Levels: A Pilot Case Study of California, evaluates how a subset of the benefits and costs of variable renewable generation changes with increasing penetrations on the electric grid. Researchers used a unique investment and dispatch model that simulates long-run investment decisions while also incorporating detailed operational constraints and hourly time resolution over a full year. The model is applied to a case study that is loosely based on California in 2030.

The primary findings of the analysis include that the value of wind is largely driven by energy value and is lower than solar at low penetration. The value of wind is found to drop with increasing penetration, but at a slower rate than the drop in value of PV and concentrating solar power without thermal storage. Hence, at high penetration, the value of wind can exceed the value of PV and CSP without thermal storage. This report was funded in part by the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. A PowerPoint presentation that summarizes key findings is also available.

This information was last updated on December 13, 2013