Increasing amounts of fluctuating renewable energy lead to decreasing electricity prices and impair security of electricity supply. Consequently, sustainable and economically feasible solutions need to be found to ensure both ongoing renewable energy expansion and stable electricity supply. We examine the impact of batteries on security of the electricity supply and achieving renewable energy expansion. For this purpose we develop an electricity market model that enables the simulation of batteries both as an economic-driven investment option and as a government subsidized option. We present six policy scenarios in which batteries are utilized as an option that is subsidized by the government to secure electricity supply and engender renewable energy expansion. Our simulations, based on empirical data, indicate that, in a free market, battery investments are not profitable for private investors. On the other hand, these six policy scenarios show that by subsidizing investments in batteries governments could ensure a secure electricity supply as well as ongoing renewable energy expansion. A comparison to similar policy scenarios that do not adopt batteries indicates that the total sum of government subsidies and external costs is up to 36% lower when utilizing batteries.

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Applied Energy
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Coester, A, Hofkes, M.W, & Papyrakis, E. (2020). Economic analysis of batteries: Impact on security of electricity supply and renewable energy expansion in Germany. Applied Energy, 275. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115364