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Coordinated Operations of Flexible Coal and Renewable Energy Power Plants

Published: December 2017

Coordinated Operations of Flexible Coal and Renewable Energy Power Plants: Challenges and Opportunities
ENERGY SERIES No. 52

This report argues that coordinated operations of renewable energy and fossil fuel- red power plants could help increase reliability and eciency of the whole system. At the same time, given the inherent variability of renewable energy, increasing the exibility of coal power plant operations could also allow for a faster deployment of renewable energy sources. This is an important concept because the share of fossil fuels in total primary energy supply in the ECE region is still around 80 per cent. Under any plausible long-term scenario fossil fuels will remain a critical part of the energy mix in the coming decades. Sustainable management of fossil fuels in electricity generation is key to achieving the developmental, societal and environmental objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report provides several case studies on coupling solar thermal energy with coal-red power plants and on coupling wind energy with integrated gasication combined cycle coal plants, including carbon capture and storage. The report concludes that with proper design and operating procedures, it seems possible to support broader renewable energy integration using coal as a exible balancing resource.