EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Wind-solar-storage trade-offs in a decarbonising electricity system

Anasuya Gangopadhyay1, Ashwin K. Seshadri1,2, and Balachandra Patil3
Anasuya Gangopadhyay et al.
  • 1Indian Institute of Science, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Bengaluru, India (
  • 2Indian Institute of Science, Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Bengaluru, India
  • 3Indian Institute of Science, Department of Management Studies, Bengaluru, India

In a steadily decarbonizing electricity system, it becomes increasingly important to explore cost-effective wind-solar-storage combinations to replace conventional fossil-fuelled power generation without compromising grid reliability. For a renewable-rich state in Southern India (Karnataka), we systematically assess the economics of various wind-solar-battery energy mixes given decreasing fossil-fuelled base generation and hydropower availability using Pareto frontiers. Our approach considers hourly load data, simulates generation based on hourly weather reanalysis products, and models the effects of battery charging and discharging on battery lifetime. We find that the allowed curtailment level limits the achievable grid reliability. Given declining baseload generation and available hydropower in the state electricity grid, the wind-solar-battery combined system can provide limited reliability, which declines as the grid is progressively decarbonized. A fully decarbonized grid with 2 GW of hydropower and a stringent 10% curtailment threshold can achieve maximum reliability of 66%. These values are sensitive to available hydropower capacity, baseload generation from fossil fuel, and the curtailment threshold. For a fully decarbonized grid, increasing the allowed curtailment threshold of renewable generation (during times of excess) to 80% would ensure 99% grid reliability. However, such a solution would be costly, requiring large wind-solar installations that exceed officially assessed potential, constrained by land allocation. Furthermore, these calculations show that adding storage capacity without concomitant expansion of renewable generation capacity is inefficient. The findings highlight the importance of a fresh examination of curtailment thresholds, renewable potential, and possibilities of demand-side management to evaluate pathways to the decarbonization of the electricity grid while maintaining reliability.

How to cite: Gangopadhyay, A., K. Seshadri, A., and Patil, B.: Wind-solar-storage trade-offs in a decarbonising electricity system, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-500,, 2023.