The balancing act of renewable transitions: Modelling demand response programs to facilitate variable renewable energy integration at the city-scale




Seatle, Madeleine

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Evolving technologies and ambitious decarbonization policies require a shift away from carbon intensive fuels and, if the electricity grid is decarbonized, the path forward is heavily reliant on electrification. Besides the effectiveness in emission reduction, electrification offers opportunities to increase grid flexibility through programs such as demand response (DR). Despite being widely seen in literature that DR programs are beneficial to the grid, there are limited, if any, DR programs available. As DR programs span sectors, building and transportation demand models are linked with an electricity system model for the purpose of determining the viability of city-scale decarbonization policies, in which DR programs play a role. Further, this work outlines two approaches to modelling DR programs, iterative and non-iterative. The iterative approach is found to be a viable option for situations where scenario feasibility is being assessed, though the solution may end up being non-optimal. In contrast, the non-iterative approach is found to be effective at assessing the value of DR to the grid and to the consumer as the optimal solution for the scenario is determined. Key insights from this research extend further than the Canadian context; as decarbonization is an urgent goal at the global scale, these modelling approaches can be applied to any international jurisdictions considering leveraging the advantages of DR programs.



demand response, electricity system modelling, model linkage, variable renewable energy, electrification