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See detailThe role of flexibility in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: Contributing to a sustainable and resilient energy future in Europe
Heffron, Raphael J.; Körner, Marc-Fabian; Schoepf, Michael UL et al

in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (2021), 140

The energy sector provides fuel for much of everyday life, particularly economically and socially. Fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, a well-functioning and resilient energy sector is vital for ... [more ▼]

The energy sector provides fuel for much of everyday life, particularly economically and socially. Fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, a well-functioning and resilient energy sector is vital for maintaining the operation of critical infrastructures, including, most importantly, the health sector, and timely economic recovery. Notwithstanding its importance in everyday life and crises, the energy sector itself is currently in a complex and far-reaching transformation to combat climate change whilst supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and society, mainly through the development of variable renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind and solar photovoltaics. This paper highlights the need for energy resilience as countries face the triple challenge of the COVID-19 health crisis, the consequent economic crisis, and the climate crisis. Focusing on Europe, it is advanced here that with the ability to balance fluctuating electricity generation and demand, flexibility allows the energy sector to utilise low-carbon RES reliably, ensuring a more resilient and sustainable energy future. This paper derives five urgent policy recommendations for Europe that address possible impacts of COVID-19 on the economic and societal prerequisites for flexibility in energy systems. [less ▲]

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See detailElectricity Spot Market Design 2030-2050
Novirdoust, Amir Ashour; Bichler, Martin; Bojung, Caroline UL et al

Report (2021)

Driven by the climate conference in Paris in December 2015 countries worldwide are confronted with the question of how to shape their power system and how to establish alternative technologies to reduce ... [more ▼]

Driven by the climate conference in Paris in December 2015 countries worldwide are confronted with the question of how to shape their power system and how to establish alternative technologies to reduce harmful CO2 emissions. The German government plans that even before the year 2050, all electricity generated and consumed in Germany should be greenhouse gas neutral [1]. To successfully integrate renewable energies, a future energy system must be able to handle the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. One important means to address such electricity production variability is demand-side flexibility. Here, industry plays a major role in responding to variable electricity supply with adequate flexibility. This is where the Kopernikus project SynErgie comes in with more than 80 project partners from academia, industry, governmental, and non-governmental organizations as well as energy suppliers and network operators. The Kopernikus project SynErgie investigates how to best leverage demand-side flexibility in the German industry. The current electricity market design in Germany is not well suited to deal with increasing levels of re- newable energy, and it does not embrace demand-side flexibility. Almost 6 GW of curtailed power in 2019 provide evidence that changes are needed with respect to the rules governing electricity markets. These rules were designed at a time when electricity generation was concentrated on a few large and dispatchable conventional power plants and demand was considered inelastic. The SynErgie Cluster IV investigates how a future-proof electricity market design should be organized. The corresponding Work Package IV.3.1 more specifically deals with analyzing and designing allocation and pricing rules on electricity spot markets. The resulting design must be well suited to accommodate demand-side flexibility and address the intermittent nature of important renewable energy sources. This whitepaper is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the partners involved in SynErgie Cluster IV which include Germany’s leading research organizations and practitioners in the field. The collaboration led to an expert workshop in October 2020 with participation from a number of international energy market experts such as Mette Bjørndal (NHH), Endre Bjørndal (NHH), Peter Cramton (University of Maryland and University of Cologne), and Raphael Heffron (University of Dundee). The whitepaper details the key recommendations from this workshop. In particular, the whitepaper recommends a move to a locational, marginal price-based system together with new bidding formats allowing to better express flexibility. We argue in favor of a one-step introduction of locational, marginal prices instead of repeatedly splitting existing zones. Frequent zone splitting involves recurring political debates as well as short- and long-run instabilities affecting the basis for financial con- tracts, for example. Importantly, the definition of stable prize zones is very challenging with increasing levels of distributed and renewable energy sources. The recommendation is the outcome of an intense debate about advantages and downsides of different policy alternatives. However, such a transition to locational, marginal prices is not without challenges, and it is a call to arms for the research community, policymak- ers, and practitioners to develop concepts on how to best facilitate the transition and ensure a reliable and efficient electricity market of the future. We’d like to thank all the project partners and are grateful for the financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the Project Management Jülich. Hans Ulrich Buhl (Cluster Lead) Martin Bichler (Work Package Lead) [less ▲]

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See detailHow Different Electricity Pricing Systems Affect the Energy Trilemma : Assessing Indonesia?s Electricity Market Transition
Heffron, Raphael J.; Körner, Marc-Fabian; Sumarno, Theresia et al

Report (2021)

Many countries have a clear policy objective of increasing their share of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, a major impediment to higher RES penetration often lies in the historically grown ... [more ▼]

Many countries have a clear policy objective of increasing their share of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, a major impediment to higher RES penetration often lies in the historically grown structures of a country’s electricity sector. In Indonesia, policymakers have relied on cheap fossil fuels and state control to provide the population with access to both reliable and affordable electricity. However, this focus on only two of the three horns of the energy trilemma, namely energy security and energy equity (and not sustainability), may put Indonesia at risk of missing its ambitious RES targets. In this context, a number of small- scale reform attempts to promote RES integration in recent years have proved to be relatively unsuccessful. Like many other countries, Indonesia needs clear policy directions to avoid an unsustainable lock-in into a fossil fuel future. In the last decades, several other countries have successfully restructured their electricity sectors, for example by introducing a wholesale market for electricity under different electricity pricing systems, including nodal, zonal, or uniform pricing. These countries may hold valuable experiences of overcoming the historically grown barriers to successful RES integration through a greater role for market mechanisms. This paper develops three generic models that allow policymakers to analyze the impact of introducing either a nodal, a zonal, or a uniform pricing system on the three horns of the energy trilemma in their country. We evaluate our model using a simplified network representation of the Indonesian electricity sector. Our results indicate that each of the pricing systems is able to foster specific horns of the energy trilemma. Considering that any major reform intended to improve energy sustainability in Indonesia will only be a success if it also addresses energy security and energy equity, we also discuss our results from the perspective of energy justice and the need to balance the country’s energy trilemma. Ultimately, we illustrate a transformation pathway for a more sustainable and just transition to a low-carbon economy in Indonesia. [less ▲]

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See detailIndustrial demand-side flexibility: A key element of a just energy transition and industrial development
Heffron, Raphael; Körner, Marc-Fabian; Wagner, Jonathan et al

in Applied Energy (2020)

In many countries, industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity. Given the special importance of electricity for industry, a reliable electricity supply is a basic prerequisite for further ... [more ▼]

In many countries, industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity. Given the special importance of electricity for industry, a reliable electricity supply is a basic prerequisite for further industrial development and associated economic growth. As countries worldwide transition to a low-carbon economy (in particular, by the development of renewable energy sources), the increasing fluctuation in renewable energy production requires new flexibility options within the electricity system in order to guarantee security of supply. It is advanced in this paper that such a flexibility transition with an active participation of industry in general has unique potential: It will not only promote green industrial development, but also become an engine for inclusive industrial development and growth as well as delivering a just transition to a low-carbon economy. Given the high potential of industrial demand-side flexibility, a first monitoring approach for such a flexibility transition is illustrated, which bases on a flexibility index. Our flexibility index allows for an indication of mis-developments and supports an appropriate implementation of countermeasures together with relevant stakeholders. Hence, it holds various insights for both policy-makers and practice with respect to how industrial demand-side flexibility can ensure advances towards an inclusive, just, and sustainable industrial development. [less ▲]

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