Zhang, Ning

Zhenyu Zhuo, Ershun Du, Ning Zhang, Chris Nielsen, Xi Lu, Jinyu Xiao, Jiawei Wu, and Chongqing Kang. 2022. “Cost increase in the electricity supply to achieve carbon neutrality in China.” Nature Communications, 13, June, Pp. 3172. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Chinese government has set long-term carbon neutrality and renewable energy (RE) development goals for the power sector. Despite a precipitous decline in the costs of RE technologies, the external costs of renewable intermittency and the massive investments in new RE capacities would increase electricity costs. Here, we develop a power system expansion model to comprehensively evaluate changes in the electricity supply costs over a 30-year transition to carbon neutrality. RE supply curves, operating security constraints, and the characteristics of various generation units are modelled in detail to assess the cost variations accurately. According to our results, approximately 5.8 TW of wind and solar photovoltaic capacity would be required to achieve carbon neutrality in the power system by 2050. The electricity supply costs would increase by 9.6 CNY¢/kWh. The major cost shift would result from the substantial investments in RE capacities, flexible generation resources, and network expansion.
Ning Zhang, Xi Lu, Chris P Nielsen, Michael B. McElroy, Xinyu Chen, Yu Deng, and Chongqing Kang. 2016. “Reducing curtailment of wind electricity in China by employing electric boilers for heat and pumped hydro for energy storage.” Applied Energy, 184, Pp. 987-994. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Accommodating variable wind power poses a critical challenge for electric power systems that are heavily dependent on combined heat and power (CHP) plants, as is the case for north China. An improved unit-commitment model is applied to evaluate potential benefits from pumped hydro storage (PHS) and electric boilers (EBs) in West Inner Mongolia (WIM), where CHP capacity is projected to increase to 33.8 GW by 2020. A business-as-usual (BAU) reference case assumes deployment of 20 GW of wind capacity. Compared to BAU, expanding wind capacity to 40 GW would allow for a reduction in CO2 emissions of 33.9 million tons, but at a relatively high cost of US$25.3/ton, reflecting primarily high associated curtailment of wind electricity (20.4%). A number of scenarios adding PHS and/or EBs combined with higher levels of wind capacity are evaluated. The best case indicates that a combination of PHS (3.6 GW) and EBs (6.2 GW) together with 40 GW of wind capacity would reduce CO2 emissions by 43.5 million tons compared to BAU, and at a lower cost of US$16.0/ton. Achieving this outcome will require a price-incentive policy designed to ensure the profitability of both PHS and EB facilities.