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Energy Storage Needs in Interconnected Systems Using the Example of Germany and Austria

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 2, Issue 3, September 2014, pp 296-308
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2014.02.0024
Thomas Weiss1 , Karl Zach2, Detlef Schulz1
1 Electrical Power Systems, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany
2 Energy Economics Group, Technical University of Vienna, Austria


The share of renewable energies on the net electricity consumption is rising steadily. Especially intermittent, non-controllable sources like wind and sun are gaining importance. With an installed amount of non-controllable power that exceeds the yearly peak load, situations can occur with a surplus of energy in electricity supply systems. This surplus will rise strongly with the share of fluctuating renewable energies on the net electricity consumption. A lot of studies and experts come to the conclusion that energy storage will be needed to handle these surpluses. The questions that still have to be answered are when and how. Especially the German electricity system will have very high storage needs because of a very strong and fast development of wind and solar power. There are a lot of technologies and approaches to overcome this problem. However, Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) systems are up to date the most efficient and economic bulk energy storage technology. On the one side there are no high potentials in natural sites for the installation of PHES schemes in Germany. On the other side the Austrian PHES system has still a very high potential. Up so far, the prospects are used just to a small amount. Especially the seasonal Hydro Energy Storage (HES) still holds a very high potential. In this paper the combination of the Austrian and the German energy supply system will be investigated with respect to the development of renewable energies. The overall energy storage needs are evaluated for each country as well as in the combined system, taking also into account the development and the influence of the transmission system capacity between the two countries.

Keywords: Energy storage, Energy storage needs, Renewable energies, Energy system modelling

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