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The Role of Supply-Following Loads in Highly Renewable Electricity Grids

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Published on Apr 5, 2013

Speaker/Performer: Jay Taneja, UC Berkeley

Lecture: i4Energy seminar: i4Energy Center Initiative | April 5 | 12-1 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, 310, Banatao Auditorium

Sponsors: CITRIS (Ctr for Info Technology Research in the Interest of Society), i4Energy Center

Driven by renewables portfolio standards and emissions limits, electrical grids are phasing in renewable electricity generation at an unprecedented rate, primarily displacing traditional fossil fuel-powered sources. Most electricity generation by renewables is non-dispatchable, meaning that it often fluctuates unpredictably and cannot be scheduled or shifted. This makes matching supply and demand to ensure electrical reliability a fundamentally new challenge as the proportion of renewable sources increases.

To overcome the challenges of fluctuating renewable generation, I study the use of supply-following electrical loads that are responsive to grid conditions such as energy availability or electricity price. This talk presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of three supply-following loads: a home heater, a refrigerator enhanced with thermal energy storage, and a heat pump for cooling a room or house. I assess to what extent these supply-following loads can improve supply and demand matching by using a model of the California electrical grid at different levels of renewables penetration. Using what remains after applying supply-following loads, I analyze the requirements for energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and seasonal energy storage to further improve the match in future, sustainable electricity grids.

Bio: Jay Taneja is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science, advised by Professor David Culler and expecting to finish in May, 2013. His primary research interests are in applications of information technology to societal-scale challenges, particularly in energy systems. He received his B.S. from The Ohio State University and his M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has accepted a Research Scientist position at the new IBM Research lab in Nairobi, Kenya.

Webpage: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~taneja/

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