On the way to efficiently supplying more than half of Turkey’s electricity from renewables

Costs and Benefits of Options to Increase System Flexibility

  • Partner Publication
  • Study
Costs and Benefits of Options to Increase System Flexibility

The use of renewable energy resources, primarily wind and solar, is expected to grow significantly within Turkey’s power system. There has been rapid growth in the installed renewable electricity generation capacity in recent years and Turkey saw a record year in 2017. As deployment of renewable electricity generation technologies is on the eve of acceleration, there is a need to better understand how the rising share of wind and solar will affect Turkey’s power system.

In previous analysis, SHURA showed that tripling the planned wind and solar capacity to 60 GW by 2026 (supplying 30% of Turkey’s total electricity demand) is possible, but integrating this capacity would require a more flexible power system.

Without increasing system flexibility, share of redispatch volumes would need to be nearly doubled with respect to the current pathway, and a share of more than 3% of the total renewable power would need to be curtailed, increasing system costs subsequently.

In this analysis, the costs and benefits of increasing system flexibility are estimated assessing the following options: energy storage enabled by (i) 600 megawatts (MW) of distributed battery storage (in total 11 battery storage technologies have been investigated mainly from electro-chemical and electro-mechanical types), (ii) 1.4 GW of pumped-hydro storage, (iii) demand response mechanisms that can shift load by 5% at any given time and (iv) retrofitting old coal-fired power plants to standard levels prevalent in OECD countries.

Key outcomes of the cost-benefit analysis include:

  • Demand response does not require large specific investments, which makes it an interesting flexibility option, with, however, high activation cost. The large electrical load due to steel production in electric arc furnaces and cement grinding can serve as a starting point for demand response since the load in such plants can be more easily shift ed and controlled.
  • Pumped-hydro storage capacity can be one of the most attractive flexibility options with installed capacities offering a long lifetime of operation.
  • Battery storage systems can provide flexibility, but the initial capital costs of most technologies are still too high compared to the benefits they bring to the system. Thus, the required storage capacity should be planned in conjunction with large shares of wind and solar capacity to minimise additional system costs and to bring the most benefi ts where needed. One possible way forward for the deployment of these systems is to start with smaller scale installations, provide niche services and complement other flexibility options.
  • Retrofitting old coal-fired plants to increase their flexibility is estimated to have the largest benefits. If flexibility requirements are adequately reflected in the (short-term) markets, increasing flexibility would allow coal-fired power plants to provide electricity also in times of high ramps and low residual demand from non-renewable generation. From a public policy perspective, however, climate impacts of such a development should also be considered.


Bibliographical Data

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  • Authors

    Değer Saygın (SHURA Energy Transition Center), Erkut Cebeci and Osman Bülent Tör (EPRA Electric Energy), Philipp Godron (Agora Energiewende)

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