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Providing 99 percent renewable energy on an hourly basis can be achieved at cost-competitive rates, while reducing emissions and providing wider benefits to the electric grid, according to an new 24/7 renewable energy modelling tool and analysis developed by Peninsula Clean Energy.
The new Matching Around-The-Clock Hourly Energy (MATCH) modelling tool was built, tested and used over the past two years to help determine the optimal 24/7 renewable energy portfolio, including how much it will cost, the level of emission reduction benefits and the impacts on the broader energy system. The MATCH modelling shows matching customer electricity demand with renewable energy supply 99 percent of the time achieves the ideal balance of being cost competitive, reducing portfolio risk and reducing emissions. The cost associated with that “sweet spot” goal of providing all-renewable energy on a 99 percent time-coincident basis can range between being slightly less expensive to only 2 percent more expensive compared to meeting the far less-ambitious baseline goal of matching renewable power supply with demand on an annual basis.
The MATCH model finds diminishing returns in trying to match the last 1 percent of customer demand on an hourly basis, with a 10 percent increase in portfolio cost needed to go from 99 percent time-coincident to 100 percent time-coincident all-renewable power. The model results validate and will guide Peninsula Clean Energy toward its utility-sector leading goal of matching customer demand with all-renewable power 99 percent of the time by 2025. As emerging technologies such as offshore wind and non-lithium storage mature and play greater roles, matching customer demand with all-renewable power 100 percent of the time may become the most cost-beneficial option post-2025.
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