During the EUEA round table «The future of energy storage systems (ESS)», participants had the opportunity to listen to the speech of Ihor Petryk, Director of European Market Development at Wärtsilä Energy Business, regarding energy transition practices and complex solutions using cogeneration.
Such cogeneration systems, which can provide heat supply and power grid support, should be used to develop a decentralized energy system and strengthen Ukraine’s energy security. In addition, several possible sources of income for such an installation, namely: sale of heat, sale of electricity (e/e) and the possibility of supplying back-up e/e to TPPs, make its business model attractive to investors.
In his speech, Ihor Petryk noted the following stages of the energy transition: 1- RES construction; 2- construction of balancing capacities; 3- removal of inflexible stations; 4- transition of balancing capacities to renewable fuel; 5- final abandonment of fossil fuels.
In addition, Mr. Petryk noted the advantages of the Plexos software complex, which allows highly accurate modeling and optimization of energy systems. This software can be used for energy systems of entire countries as well as for heating systems of cities, and allows for considering different options and finding the best combination of capacities to optimize the energy system.
Simplified example of modeling an optimal energy system:
Assuming a traditional energy system with a capacity of 100 MW (thermal, gas), its LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) is approximately 94 euro/MWh. If we want to transition to a carbon-free energy system, there are two options:
- Option with renewable energy sources (RES): to cover the demand of the 100 MW TPP, it is necessary to build almost 7 times more wind power generation, as well as 4.5 GWh of batteries. The total cost of electricity will be 145 euro/MWh, taking into account only capital expenditures.
- Option with RES and maneuverable capacity: it is proposed to build a smaller amount of RES generators (170 MW), fewer batteries (160 MW) and a certain amount of gas piston capacity (74 MW). The total cost of electricity will be significantly lower – 61 euro/MWh. In this case, the energy system will achieve 76% renewable energy.
The second option uses the same technologies that will be used when transitioning to 100% decarbonization. In this case, it will be necessary to build electrolyzers (52 MW) for the production of synthetic fuel. The cost of electricity will be 82 euro/MWh.
This example illustrates the principle of prudence and the importance of considering the total cost of investment when transitioning to a carbon-free energy system.
Mr. Petryk also presented an example of the concept of a dynamic heat supply system developed for one of the regional centers of Ukraine and emphasized the relevance of thermal batteries and cogeneration plants in the construction of a decentralized energy system. Such a system consists of a combination of heat pumps, electric and gas boilers, wind turbines, a gas piston engine and a heat accumulator. This system has several advantages due to the availability of different power sources and electrical grid support functions.
Considering the current problems and needs of the energy system of Ukraine, such systems with a plurality of electric power sources and generating capacities provide an efficient economic model of operation, flexibility of generation and a network of decentralized energy systems.
An example of such a system can be viewed in the video recording of the webinar:
and in Mr. Petryk’s presentation: