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Paul Neetzow is a researcher at the Resource Economics Group at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where he also pursues his PhD in the economics of power system infrastructure. Specifically, he is interested in the system influence of power storage and the interdependencies of storage and grid. Before starting to work in Berlin he was a researcher in the energy transition related project de.zentral at University of Oldenburg. Furthermore, he conducted a research stay at the Mathematical Optimization for Decisions Lab at Johns Hopkins University in Balitmore, USA.
He revieced a BSc in Biomimetics from University of Applied Sciences in Bremen and a MA in Sustainability Economics and Management from University of Oldenburg. During that time, he also studied and did research at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and at École Polytechnique de Montréal in Canada.
The economics of power system infrastructure: Techno-economic interdependencies of storage and grid
The transition to renewable energy systems introduces a multitude of challenges towards the deployment of power system infrastructure. The reduction targets for CO2 require large-scale deployment of wind and solar plants, which are intermittent, seasonally and statistically volatile as well as site dependent such that their highest potential is often at a distance to, as well as temporally deviating from the loads. The two apparent options to achieve the necessary balancing are the transmission and storage of electricity. It is therefore crucial how these technologies interact from a techno-economic perspective. Depending on the characteristics and operation of storage and grid as well as the institutional design, the interaction might be beneficial or adverse to the overall system. As an example, additional storage capacities may increase or decrease necessary grid investments. However, the key factors in the power system that drive the underlying dynamics are not sufficiently understood. As a consequence, current market designs, e.g. in Germany, do not incentivize system beneficial storage deployment and use. Especially for the rapidly increasing emergence of small scale home storage appliances (and electric vehicles), a regulatory frame that guarantees system friendly use is challenging. Yet, there is also a vast potential, which should be utilized.
My dissertation aims at closing the knowledge gap by providing an in-depth analysis of storage-grid interactions including an empirical analysis for Germany as well as a number of more general approaches incorporating strategic interaction as well as uncertainty. Using this as a foundation, I aim on providing novel and innovative impulses for a revised market design that takes the interdependencies of storage and grid into account.
A smart integration of storage in power systems will allow to achieve a high penetration of renewables as well as to reduce the need for backup capacities and grid investments. Therefore, it is a crucial corner stone for advancing the transition of the power system. In the future, a cross-sectoral use of electricity might allow to fully abandon fossil fuels and achieve a carbon neutral society.