The techno-economic impacts of using wind power and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for greenhouse gas mitigation in Canada




Kerrigan, Brett William

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The negative consequences of rising global energy use have led governments and businesses to pursue methods of reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and wind power represent two practical methods for mitigating some of these negative consequences. PHEVs use large onboard batteries to displace gasoline with electricity obtained from the grid, while wind power generates clean, renewable power that has the potential to displace fossil-fuel power generation. The emissions reductions realized by these technologies will be highly dependent on the energy system into which they are integrated, and also how they are integrated. This research aims to assess to cost of reducing emissions through the integration of PHEVs and wind power in three Canadian jurisdictions, namely British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. An Optimal Power Flow (OPF) model is used to assess the changes in generation dispatch resulting from the integration of wind power and PHEVs into the local electricity network. This network model captures the geographic distribution of load and generation in each jurisdiction, while simulating local transmission constraints. A linear optimization model is developed in the MATLAB environment and is solved using the ILOG CPLEX Optimization package. The model solves a 168-hour generation scheduling period for both summer and winter conditions. Simulation results provide the costs and emissions from power generation when various levels of PHEVs and/or wind power are added to the electricity system. The costs and emissions from PHEV purchase and gasoline displacement are then added to the OPF results and an overall GHG reduction cost is calculated. Results indicate that wind power is an expensive method of GHG abatement in British Columbia and Ontario. This is due to the limited environmental benefit of wind over the nuclear and hydro baseload mixtures. The large premium paid for displacing hydro or nuclear power with wind power does little to reduce emissions, and thus CO2e costs are high. PHEVs are a cheaper method of GHG abatement in British Columbia and Ontario, since the GHG reductions resulting from the substitution of gasoline for hydro or nuclear power are significant. In Alberta, wind power is the cheaper method of GHG abatement because wind power is closer in price to the coal and natural gas dominated Alberta mixture, while offering significant environmental benefits. PHEVs represent a more expensive method of GHG abatement in Alberta, since substituting gasoline for expensive, GHG-intense electricity in a vehicle does less to reduce overall emissions. Results also indicate that PHEV charging should take place during off-peak hours, to take advantage of surplus baseload generation. PHEV adoption helps wind power in Ontario and British Columbia, as overnight charging reduces the amount of cheap, clean baseload power displaced by wind during these hours. In Alberta, wind power helps PHEVs by cleaning up the generation mixture and providing more environmental benefit from the substitution of gasoline with electricity.



wind power, PHEV, energy systems modelling, greenhouse gas emissions, GHG abatement