Exploration of development of zero-carbon flexible energy technologies

Under the terms of the Dutch Climate Agreement electricity from solar, wind and other renewables is set to grow dramatically, while today most is fossil fuel derived. More renewables mean a power supply increasingly dependent on the weather, at times creating surpluses, but also periods when demand is far higher than solar and wind can provide. Flexible technologies are then required to ensure supply and demand are matched, since the grid needs to be balanced at all times.

According to the Climate Agreement solar and wind are to provide 88 TWh in 2030, with projected demand then at 118 TWh. Annually, this means 70% of demand will be covered by renewables. In the current grid configuration a surplus of renewables (12 TWh) eventually leads to these being taken off-grid, while shortages are resolved by firing up carbon-emitting conventional plant.

Continuing this strategy means climate targets will not be met. Flexible technologies are therefore needed to balance supply and demand, with the bulk of these technologies zero-carbon. This study seeks to identify such zero-carbon flexible energy technologies.


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