Calibration of grid models for analyzing energy policies




Duan, Jon
van Kooten, G. Cornelis
Islam, A. T. M. Hasibul

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Intermittent forms of renewable energy destabilize electricity grids unless adequate reliable generating capacity and storage are available, while instability of hybrid electricity grids and cost fluctuations in fossil fuel prices pose further challenges for policymakers. We examine the interaction between renewable and traditional fossil-fuel energy sources in the context of the Alberta electricity grid, where policymakers seek to eliminate coal and reduce reliance on natural gas. We develop a policy model of the Alberta grid and, unlike earlier models, calibrate the cost functions of thermal generation using positive mathematical programming. Rather than employing constant average and marginal costs, calibration determines upward sloping supply (marginal cost) functions. The calibrated model is then used to determine an optimal generation mix under different assumptions regarding carbon prices and policies to eliminate coal-fired capacity. Results indicate that significant wind capacity can enter the Alberta grid if carbon prices are high, but that it remains difficult to eliminate reliable baseload capacity. Adequate baseload coal and/or natural gas capacity is required, which is the case even if battery storage is allowed into the system. Further, significant peak-load gas capacity will also be required to backstop intermittent renewables.



climate change, calibration of electricity grid model, intermittency and storage, wholesale power market, fossil fuels and externalities


Duan, J., van Kooten, G. C., & Islam, A. T. M. H. (2023). “Calibration of grid models for analyzing energy policies.” Energies, 16(3), 1234.