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In the context of the climate discussion the 2-degree-target is often quoted. In order to reach this target, it will require substantial changes of our current energy supply systems.

The transformation of today’s energy supply from fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation towards broad use of renewable energy sources is an essential element of this energy transition.

The share of intermittent renewable energy feed-in of electricity increases therefore steadily. Short-term deficits are currently compensated by easy-controllable conventional power plants. To achieve a full transition of the energy system towards renewable energy sources, fluctuations have to be adjusted by storage, distribution and controllable renewable energy sources to fit the current load of the system. The electricity generation will form the backbone of the future system, while other sectors get more and more tied together and energy is transformed from electricity to synthetic fuels and gas. The heating sector will be transformed from the use of coal, gas and oil towards higher shares of heat pumps, integrated heat and electricity generation and solar-thermal heating. In the transportation sector electrification can be expected by strong increase of battery electric vehicles and further electrification of highways for heavy load transportation.

If electric utilities (generation, transmission and storage) are allocated within Europe, locally different weather conditions can help to compensate fluctuations. This will require tremendous efforts in further expansion of cross-border transmission capacities.

The program GENESYS-2 which is developed within this project is able to find the optimal configuration for a given target year, taking into consideration the then existing power plants. It can furthermore calculate an optimal transformation pathway to decarbonise today’s system following roadmap boundaries like the EU targets.

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About

In order to achieve our main objective, which is the determination of a future optimized energy supply system, it requires the simultaneous consideration of some important aspects such as: generation, transmission and storage of electrical energy. Each of the above named sub-areas represents in its own an independent research area, which makes the modeling and simulation of the overall system a very hard and complex problem. That is why in order to process all of the above questions, it is necessary to include experts from several different disciplines of communication between them.

The Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics (IAEW) and the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) of the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH) have many years of experience and gathered knowledge in the technical and in the economic evaluation of electrical storage systems, electricity power grids and in power generation. Besides the scientific work and the training and formation of young scientists, both institutes employ also as adviser for different industrial companies and for some federal subordinate agencies (e.g. Federal Network Agency) of the German Ministries, in the fields of electrical networks, energy storage and electrical vehicles.

Institute: IAEW

The Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics (IAEW) belongs to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the RWTH Aachen University. The institute headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. A. Moser works actively in the area of simulation, optimization and evaluation of the technical and economic expansion of power systems. Also, the institute is in particular interested in the electric power generation, transmission and distribution, with its priorities in the research and teaching field.
Through several completed and ongoing Diploma, Bachelor and Master Theses of its own employees, the institute has gained in the course of the years a general recognition in the energy industry and expertise in the analysis, evaluation and integration of distributed and renewable energy systems in electricity supply systems. Profit maximization, supply quality and environmental care are at the same time key targets and constraints of the analyses the IAEW does.
The investigation and development of current and future energy supply concepts requires many mathematical models of the main components (such as inclusion of heating and pumped storage power plants, wind turbines, fuel cells, electricity and gas heating networks, power exchange and congestion auction) and their interaction in the system. The tools developed at IAEW used for the assessment, planning of transmission and distribution networks, consider not only the conventional technique, but also the benefits of a targeted integration of “smart” technology and the additional potential of superimposed HVDC network structure to the existing transmission grid.

Institute: ISEA

The Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems group at the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) at RWTH Aachen University has been working and researching for more than 40 years following research areas: power electronics, power electronics devices, electrical drives, electrochemical energy conversion and storage system technology. In addition to publicly funded research projects the institute focuses also its work, in the areas listed above, in other research and development activities, mostly in close cooperation with national and international companies.
The research group has an extensive expertise not only in the development and evaluation of storage systems, but also in the modeling of energy supply systems. The group Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems is, with more than 40 scientists and engineers, with more than 50 students, the largest university research group in Germany in storage technology.
Professor Sauer is a member of the scientific council of the European Academy Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler and he is developing a comprehensive book about saving in power supply systems with a high share of renewable energy in an interdisciplinary working group. Prof. Sauer is also scientific director of the international conference series “International Renewable Energy Conference (IRES)”, which will be organized this year for its 8th time, and it brings together more than 600 scientists and experts from around the world. Over and above that, the staff members of the research group also participate regularly in meetings, workshops, hearings and in preparations of studies on energy storage and its integration into power systems with high shares of renewable energies.
It is particularly significant to name the VDE study “Energy storage in power supply systems with a high share of renewable energy sources – meaning, technology state and action requirement,” which has been substantially co-written by Prof. Sauer. Currently, the group is working on the project “Scientific support for the further development and implementation of the energy strategy of the federal government”. This project is led by the “Öko-Institut” on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Project

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The central target of the project is to develop a program, which optimizes a future European power system with high shares of renewable energy sources. The program „GENESYS“ (Genetic Optimization of a European Energy Supply System) is developed to plan an economically optimal energy supply system with focus on the EUMENA region (Europe, Middle East & North Africa). Different boundary conditions will be considered to allow simulation of different scenarios. The variables to be optimized will include energy generation, transmission and storage capacities. National grids will be represented in terms of additional costs at certain shares of renewable energy sources. Conventional power plants are not to be optimized since the construction of new conventional power plants is not the main focus of the project. Existing and currently planned conventional power plants are considered. Technical constraints like run-up times of thermal power plants and economical and political restrictions like CO2-Certificates will also be considered.

EUMENA will be cut into different regions, for which aggregated weather- and consumption data will then available for the simulation. With this data, the energy production and storage pool can be determined for each region. Additionally, inter-connection transmission lines will be modeled as HVDC lines. The core of the program is a genetic algorithm which composes new systems randomly (evolution) and evaluates the systems by simulation (evaluation). Iterations of evolution and evaluation are executed until pre-defined termination conditions apply. These both modules are embedded into a program-framework which also does the error-handling and contains IO-routines. Parallel programming will be used to enable the use of high-performance-computing clusters. The program will contain a normal-runmode and a cluster-runmode which also makes use of special parallel-programming-interfaces. At the end of each optimization, geographical and temporal resolved result data of the found energy supply system are available and can be visualized and analyzed by a separate tool.
Modelling of the energy supply system

The evaluation of the found solutions is of great importance for the optimization by the genetic algorithm. The quality of the optimization depends basically on the simulation of the power systems and the employed models. It is also important to find a good balance of simulation precision and speed in order to maintain acceptable computation time. The usage of different electric utilities to cover the load is simulated temporally resolved. Planning of this electric utility usage, which is also sometimes compared to the so-called merit-order, can also done hierarchically, which then leads to an (partially) fixed order of operation, e.g. to give priority to electricity generation from renewable energy sources. Storage facilities can be summarized to classes of storage to achieve further simplification. With the resulting hierarchical system management the energy flux in the system can be calculated geographically and temporally resolved. From these results the operating costs of the found systems can be calculated for different scenarios and considered for evaluation.
Results

Within the project, different scenarios shall be simulated. To ensure the comparability with exisiting and future studies, a base scenario will be developed, simulated und analyzed. The found energy fluxes will be graphically illustrated for which a visualization tool will be developed, that is able to show the electric utilities which have been dimensioned by the genetic algorithm and energy fluxes inside the system from the simulations.
Publication

GENESYS will be published during the project using an Open-Source-License. Publication includes the code, simulation results and a set of input data of the base scenario.

Publications

Here you find publications which are related to the GENESYS-1 & 2 projects:

2018

Moraes Jr. L, et. al: Comparison of long-term wind and photovoltaic power capacity factor datasets with open-license, doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.109

2017

Bussar C, et. al: First exemplary results of transformation “The Long-Term Power System Evolution – First Optimisation Results” IRES 2017 Proceedings

2016

Bussar, C. et. al:Large-scale integration of renewable energies and impact on storage demand in a European renewable power system of 2050—Sensitivity study, Journal of Energy Storage ISSN: 2352-152X, Vol. 6, May 2016, Pg 1–10

Bussar, C. et. al: Concept of Transformation ” Calculation of Large Scale Long-Term Power System Evolution, IRES 2016 Proceedings

2015

Bussar, C. et. al:Large-scale Integration of Renewable Energies and Impact on Storage Demand in a European Renewable Power System of 2050, Energy Procedia ISSN: 1876-6102, Vol. 73, June 2015, Pg 145–153

Michels A.: Stromnetz mit starker DNA – Mit einem Computerprogramm zeigen Forscher, wie die Stromversorgung im Jahr 2050 möglichst günstig sein kann, FIZ Karlsruhe, BINE Projektinfo 15/2015 ISSN 0937-8367 (only in German)

2014

Bussar, C. et. al: Optimal Allocation and Capacity of Energy Storage Systems in a Future European Power System with 100% Renewable Energy Generation; Energy Procedia Volume 46, 2014, Pages 40–47

GENESYS I Project-closure report (only in German!)

2013

Alvarez, R. et.al.: Optimal Allocation and Capacity of Renewable Energies, Storage Systems and Transmission Grid in the Future European Power System, ETG Kongress 2013 Berlin

Thien, T. et.al.: STORAGE DEMAND IN A 100%-RES-POWER SYSTEM FOR EUROPE WITH DIFFERENT PV INSTALLATION LEVELS, PV-SEC 2013, Paris

Moos, M.: Simulation und Visualisierung eines europäischen Elektrizitätsversorgungssystems der Zukunft mit hohen Anteilen Erneuerbarer Energien, Masterarbeit Aachen, 2013

Jacqué, K.: Potentialanalyse und Modellierung von Lastverschiebung durch Demand-Side-Management und Elektromobilität im Kontext des Energiesystems der Zukunft, Bachelorarbeit Aachen, 2013

2012

Thien, T. et al.: Storage- and Grid Expansion Needs in a European Electricity-Supply-System with a High Share of Renewable Energy; 7th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference, Berlin, 2012

GENESYS Software Documentation:

README zum Starten der Software, Philipp Wolf ISEA, 2013

GENESYS Workshop, February 2014, Frankfurt a. M.

Materialien des Workshops