REDWOOD CITY, CA – Jan. 10, 2023 – Providing 100% renewable energy on an hourly basis can be achieved at cost-competitive rates, while reducing emissions and providing wider benefits to the electric grid, according to an advanced new 24/7 renewable energy modeling tool and analysis developed by Peninsula Clean Energy.
The new Matching Around-The-Clock Hourly Energy (MATCH) modeling tool was built, tested and used over the past two years to help determine the optimal 24/7 renewable energy portfolio, including how much it will cost, the level of emission reduction benefits and the impacts on the broader energy system.
As outlined in a new white paper, the MATCH modeling shows matching customer electricity demand with renewable energy supply 99% of the time achieves the ideal balance of being cost competitive, reducing portfolio risk and reducing emissions.
The cost associated with that “sweet spot” goal of providing all-renewable energy on a 99 percent time-coincident basis can range between being slightly less expensive to only 2 percent more expensive compared to meeting the far less-ambitious baseline goal of matching renewable power supply with demand on an annual basis. That is in addition to achieving critical emission reductions and other benefits to the grid when meeting customer power demand with all-renewable power on an hourly basis 99% of the time.
The MATCH model finds diminishing returns in trying to match the last 1 percent of customer demand on an hourly basis, with a 10 percent increase in portfolio cost needed to go from 99 percent time-coincident to 100 percent time-coincident all-renewable power.
The model results validate and will guide Peninsula Clean Energy toward its utility-sector leading goal of matching customer demand with all-renewable power 99% of the time by 2025. As emerging technologies such as offshore wind and non-lithium storage mature and play greater roles, matching customer demand with all-renewable power 100 percent of the time may become the most cost-beneficial option post-2025.
“Procuring clean and renewable electricity on a 24/7, hour-by-hour basis is the next frontier in clean energy procurement,” said Jesse Jenkins, assistant professor at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center Energy & Environment and an advisory board member for the white paper. “Peninsula Clean Energy’s rigorous new modeling points the way forward.”
“The modeling approach taken by the Peninsula Clean Energy team demonstrates how advanced clean energy procurement strategies can drive down the emissions associated with electricity use, while also supporting the broader transition across California to a carbon-free grid, all while maintaining affordability and reliability,” said Mark Dyson, managing director with RMI’s Carbon-Free Electricity Program and an advisory board member for the white paper.
“These results assure us that our industry-leading goal of providing 24/7 renewable energy by 2025 is not only doable but it clearly provides financial benefits for our customers and emissions reductions for the environment,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said. “We hope it will inspire and empower others to pursue this as well.”
The MATCH model is open source and free for public use.
The white paper was peer reviewed by an advisory board of experts from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Google, Stanford University, World Resources Institute, Zglobal, and M-RETS, Inc.