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The impact of different PV module configurations on storage and additional balancing needs for a fully renewable European power system

: Chattopadhyay, K.; Kies, A.; Lorenz, E.; Bremen, L. von; Heinemann, D.


Renewable energy 113 (2017), S.176-189
ISSN: 0960-1481
Fraunhofer ISE ()

To ensure reliable energy supply from power systems with high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) sources like solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind, it is essential to include balancing options like storage and backup from dispatchable resources. In this work, we have quantified these balancing requirements for Europe and analyzed how they are influenced by different PV module configurations. We found that a favorable choice of module configuration with respect to balancing reduction is very sensitive to the shares of PV and wind. For high solar shares, highly inclined modules with a less pronounced annual course are favorable, if a storage with a capacity to cover at least 6 h of average hourly load (6 h storage) is available to compensate for the day-night cycle of PV. In a wind-dominated scenario, however, lowly inclined East/West facing modules are most suitable to reduce balancing needs. In absence of storage, a combination of highly inclined East and West facing modules reduces balancing needs as long as the solar share is high enough to distinguish between the contributions from different module configurations, although the price of such configurations in terms of additionally required installed PV capacity can be quite large.