The impact of short-term variability and uncertainty on long-term power planning

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Traditionally, long-term investment planning models have been the apparent tool to analyse future developments in the energy sector. With the increasing penetration of renewable energy sources, however, the modelling of short-term operational issues becomes increasingly important in two respects: first, in relation to variability and second, with respect to uncertainty. A model that includes both may easily become intractable, while the negligence of variability and uncertainty may result in sub-optimal and/or unrealistic decision-making. This paper investigates methods for aggregating data and reducing model size to obtain tractable yet close-to-optimal investment planning decisions. The aim is to investigate whether short-term variability or uncertainty is more important and under which circumstances. In particular, we consider a generation expansion problem and compare various representations of short-term variability and uncertainty of demand and renewable supply. The main results are derived from a case study on the Danish power system. Our analysis shows that the inclusion of representative days is crucial for the feasibility and quality of long-term power planning decisions. In fact, we observe that short-term uncertainty can be ignored if a sufficient number of representative days is included.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Pages (from-to)199–223
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Generation expansion, Investment, Power planning problems, Uncertainty, Variability

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