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GPPS Journal Papers

Operational and financial performance of fossil fuel power plants within a high renewable energy mix

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Patrick Eser1, Ndaona Chokani1, Reza S. Abhari1

Laboratory for Energy Conversion, ETH Zurich


The operation of conventional power plants in the 2030 high-renewable energy system of central Europe with high penetration of renewables is simulated in this work. Novel insights are gained in this work, since the generation, transmission and demand models have high geographic resolution, down to scale of individual units, with hourly temporal resolution. It is shown that the increases in the partload efficiency that optimize gas power plants’ financial performance in 2030 are highly dependent on the variability in power production of renewable power plants that are in close proximity to the gas power plants. While coal power plants are also cycled more, an increased baseload efficiency is more beneficial for their financial viability. Thus, there is a need for OEMs to offer a wide range of technology solutions to cover all customers’ needs in electricity markets with high penetrations of renewables. Therefore there is an increased investment risk for OEMs as they strive to match their customers’ future needs.

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