Three new policy briefs from the HydroBalance research project

 Publisert 25.11.2016

CEDREN has issued three policy briefs that synthesize findings of the HydroBalance research project highlighting the relevance of the research on hydrobalancing to policy and offering recommendations for change.

CEDREN has issued three policy briefs that synthesize findings of the HydroBalance research project highlighting the relevance of the research on hydrobalancing to policy and offering recommendations for change.
CEDREN has issued three policy briefs that synthesize findings of the HydroBalance research project highlighting the relevance of the research on hydrobalancing to policy and offering recommendations for change.

HydroBalance Policy Brief 1/2016:

Hydrobalancing challenges on three levels

CEDREN-HydroBalance-policy brief 1-2016 Hydrobalancing challenges on three levels

Conclusions:

  • Hydrobalancing services from Norway will largely depend on the EU development of a system for exchanging and valuing balancing services from renewable sources such as hydropower
  • The right drivers need to be in place at the Norwegian national level
  • A major barrier is currently the need of comprehensive political strategies and necessary measures to realize increased hydrobalancing from Norway
  • Measures such as community compensation and early involvement may enhance community acceptance

In sum, it is recommend to formulate a policy strategy that encompass and balance different societal interests. This should be done both at the national and local levels with provisioning of guidelines for coordination of different plans, regulations and interests of relevant water resource and grid development needs. Such a comprehensive strategy should further address the political-, economic-, societal- and technological trends, which will impact upon relevant European countries’ demands. 

National stakeholders, who potentially could influence the national policies on hydrobalancing, did not at a large scale demand such a development beyond the interconnectors that currently are realized. Given the number of barriers, extensive hydrobalancing from Norway appears to be an unrealistic idea in the near future.

Download HydroBalance HydroBalance Policy Brief 1/2016: Hydrobalancing challenges on three levels (pdf) >

HydroBalance Policy Brief 2/2016:

Cost of flexible generation and storage 

CEDREN-HydroBalance-policy brief 2-2016 Cost of flexible generation and storage.png

Main findings:

This work has analysed the cost of providing flexible generation from Norwegian pumped hydro plants as an alternative to thermal “backup” power plants in a European power system with high penetration of wind and solar power. The well-established method of Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) has been applied with some modifications to represent pumped hydro in a realistic way. 

The results from the case study gives clear indications that building new reversible pumping stations between existing reservoirs in the Norwegian hydro system can be economical advantageous over new flexible thermal generation in Northern Europe, even when including additional costs of subsea cables across the North Sea and corresponding reinforcements of the mainland grid. 

Key take-away from the cost analysis are: 

  • Conventional hydropower is cheapest flexible generation technology 
  • For a combination of unfavourable pumping price and load factor, pumped hydro becomes more expensive than gas power. Otherwise, pumped hydro from Norway is preferable, even when taking into account sea cables and grid upgrades for connection to the European market
  • The cost of electricity from coal power plants with carbon capture and from nuclear power has a high spread due to big uncertainties in investment and decommissioning costs

As with all types of economic analyses and comparisons, the results are of course determined from the assumptions and data that have been used. To build confidence in the method and results, it is necessary to perform sensitivity analysis on critical parameters and let the model simplifications and presumptions be as transparent as possible. With respect to this work, the interested reader can use the developed Excel model herself, adjusting any parameter to see the effect on LCOE. 

Download HydroBalance Policy Brief 2/2016: Cost of flexible generation and storage (pdf) >

HydroBalance Policy Brief 3/2016:

Evolving European electricity markets, and possibilities for flexible hydropower

HydroBalance Policy Brief-CEDREN-Evolving European electricity markets, and possibilities for flexible hydropower

This policy brief describes the integration process for electricity markets in the EU. New regulation (partly adopted, partly in process) exist for various electricity market types.

Studies within the HydroBalance project have shown that both electric energy and ancillary services are important when considering the utilization Norwegian hydropower for balancing of variability of European wind- and solar-power generation.

In the following, we start by giving a brief introduction to why we need the different electricity product types.

Thereafter we shortly introduce the corresponding EU-processes in the evolution of new regulation, and we discuss specific regulation. Finally, we discuss possibilities of utilizing hydropower for new value-creation, and which factors that are important for the realization of this.

Download HydroBalance Policy Brief 3, 2016: Evolving European electricity markets, and possibilities for flexible hydropower (pdf) >

Contact

Atle Harby,  Michael Belsnes

Oddgeir Andersen (HydroBalance Policy Brief 1/2016), Magnus Korpås (HydroBalance Policy Brief 2/2016), Ove Wolfgang (HydroBalance Policy Brief 3/2016)

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