Designing Resilient Decentralized Energy Systems: The Importance of Modeling Extreme Events and Long-Duration Power Outages

Ryan Hanna, Jeffrey Marqusee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Mitigating and adapting to climate change requires decarbonizing electricity while ensuring resilience of supply, since a warming planet will lead to greater extremes in weather and, plausibly, in power outages. Although it is well known that long-duration outages severely impact economies, such outages are usually not well characterized or modeled in grid infrastructure planning tools. Here, we bring together data and modeling techniques and show how they can be used to characterize and model long-duration outages. We illustrate how to integrate outages in planning tools for one promising mode of resilient energy supply—microgrids. Failing to treat these extremes in models can lead to microgrid designs (1) that do not realize their full value of resilience, since models do not see the benefits of protecting against extremes, and (2) that appear reliable on paper yet do not actually protect against extremes. Although utilities record power interruptions, lack of access to that data is hindering research on resilience; making datasets available publicly would substantially aid efforts to improve grid planning tools.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 103630
Number of pages11
JournaliScience
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5C00-81915

Keywords

  • Energy policy
  • Energy resources
  • Energy systems

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