All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Cost and Emissions Implications of Coupling Wind and Solar Power

DOI: 10.4236/sgre.2012.34041, PP. 308-315

Keywords: Wind Energy, Solar Energy, Air Emissions

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


We assess the implications on long-run average energy production costs and emissions of CO2 and some criteria pollutants from coupling wind, solar and natural gas generation sources. We utilize five-minute meteorological data from a US location that has been estimated to have both high-quality wind and solar resources, to simulate production of a coupled generation system that produces a constant amount of electric energy. The natural gas turbine is utilized to provide fill-in energy for the coupled wind/solar system, and is compared to a base case where the gas turbine produces a constant power output. We assess the impacts on variability of coupled wind and solar over multiple time scales, and compare this variability with regional demand in a nearby load center, and find that coupling wind and solar does decrease variability of output. The cost analysis found that wind energy with gas back-up has a lower levelized cost of energy than using gas energy alone, resulting in production savings. Adding solar energy to the coupled system increases levelized cost of energy production; this cost is not made up by any reductions in emissions costs.


[1]  NREL, “Wind Technologies Market Report,” 2010.
[2]  US DOE, “20% Wind Energy by 2030: Transmission and Integration into the US Electric System,” 2008.
[3]  A. Fernandez, S. Blumsack and P. Reed, “Evaluating Wind-Following and Ecosystem Services for Hydroelectric Dams,” Center for Research in Regulated Industries Eastern Conference, Skytop, May 2011.
[4]  E. Fertig and J. Apt, “Economics of Compressed Air Energy Storage to Integrate Wind Power: A Case Study in ERCOT,” Energy Policy, Vol. 39, No. 5, 2011. pp. 23302342. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2011.01.049
[5]  E. Hittinger, J. Whitacre and J. Apt, “Compensating for Wind Variability Using Co-Located Natural Gas Generation and Energy Storage,” Energy Systems, Vol. 1, No. 4, 2010, pp. 417-439. doi:10.1007/s12667-010-0017-2
[6]  NREL, “Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States,” Renewable Resource Data Center (RReDC) Home Page, 2002.
[7]  University of Oklahoma, Environmental Verification and Analysis Center.
[8]  Idaho National Laboratory, “Wind Turbine Power Curve Data,” 2012.
[9]  J. Apt, “The Spectrum of Power from Wind Turbines,” Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2007, pp. 369-374. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2007.02.077
[10]  FERC, “Form 714-Pre-Electronic Filing Data: 1993-2004,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 2011.
[11]  Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, “The Smart Grid: Sorting the Reality from the Hype,” 2009.
[12]  Price data from US Energy Information Administration, 2012.
[13]  W. Katzenstein and J. Apt, “Air Emissions Due to Wind and Solar Power,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2009, pp. 253-258. doi:10.1021/es801437t
[14]  A. Mills, R. Wiser, M. Milligan and M. O’Malley, “Comment on ‘Air Emissions Due to Wind and Solar Power’,” Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 43, No. 15, 2009, pp. 6106-6107. doi:10.1021/es900831b
[15]  S. Stoft, “Power System Economics: Designing Markets for Electricity,” Piscataway, IEEE, 2002.
[16]  Energy Information Administration, “Updated Capital Cost Estimates for Electricity Generation Plants,” 2011.


comments powered by Disqus