Storage and balancing as key elements for future network planning and electricity markets design

The aim of this report is to analyze the flexibility contribution that identified resources could provide as a contribution towards the achievement of efficient and cost-effective dispatching of the electric system, in presence of an ever increasing penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) which are characterized by a variable generation pattern.

Higher flexibility in network dispatching can be achieved either by increasing the deployment of bulk storage in the transmission network, or by widening the set of resources available as a base for energy balancing. The latter strategy could potentially be actuated by allowing reserve procurement across transmission operator jurisdictions.

In a European context this strategy would be referred to as trans-national balancing; and could also be relevant to procurement across different Regions and Balancing Authorities in North America. A further positive could be achieved through participation in the balancing mechanism from generators and loads located in distribution networks. Beyond supporting dispatching efficiency, these flexibility elements make it possible to deploy a sustainable expansion strategy of the trans-national transmission corridors, taking into account the current difficulties faced in achieving public consensus for the building of new overhead lines. This report illustrates the potential of these strategies by referencing the results achieved in a number of important and ongoing European research projects.

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