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Mileva A.,Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. | Johnston J.,University of California at Berkeley | Nelson J.H.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS | Kammen D.M.,University of California at Berkeley
Applied Energy | Year: 2016

We explore the operations, balancing requirements, and costs of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council power system under a stringent greenhouse gas emission reduction target. We include sensitivities for technology costs and availability, fuel prices and emissions, and demand profile. Meeting an emissions target of 85% below 1990 levels is feasible across a range of assumptions, but the cost of achieving the goal and the technology mix are uncertain. Deployment of solar photovoltaics is the main driver of storage deployment: the diurnal periodicity of solar energy availability results in opportunities for daily arbitrage that storage technologies with several hours of duration are well suited to provide. Wind output exhibits seasonal variations and requires storage with a large energy subcomponent to avoid curtailment. The combination of low-cost solar technology and advanced battery technology can provide substantial savings through 2050, greatly mitigating the cost of climate change mitigation. Policy goals for storage deployment should be based on the function storage will play on the grid and therefore incorporate both the power rating and duration of the storage system. These goals should be set as part of overall portfolio development, as system flexibility needs will vary with the grid mix. © 2015 The Authors.

Fleischman L.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS | Cleetus R.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS | Deyette J.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS | Clemmer S.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS | Frenkel S.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS
Electricity Journal | Year: 2013

The U.S. power sector is in a period of unprecedented change, with record numbers of coal plants being announced for retirement. An analysis of which additional coal units are economically vulnerable and should be considered for retirement shows that these uneconomic coal plants can be replaced with affordable alternatives in each region of the country. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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