The Effect of Price-Based Demand Response on Carbon Emissions in European Electricity Markets: The Importance of Adequate Carbon Prices: Article No. 117040

Gregor Henze, Markus Fleschutz, Markus Bohlayer, Marco Braun, Michael Murphy

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77 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Price-based demand response (PBDR) has recently been attributed great economic but also environmental potential. However, the determination of its short-term effects on carbon emissions requires the knowledge of marginal emission factors (MEFs), which compared to grid mix emission factors (XEFs), are cumbersome to calculate due to the complex characteristics of national electricity markets. This study, therefore, proposes two merit order-based methods to approximate hourly MEFs and applies them to readily available datasets from 20 European countries for the years 2017-2019. Based on the calculated electricity prices, standardized daily load shifts were simulated which indicated that carbon emissions increased for 8 of the 20 countries and by 2.1% on average. Thus, under specific circumstances, PBDR leads to carbon emissions increases, mainly due to the economic advantage fuel sources such as lignite and coal have in the merit order. MEF-based load shifts reduced the mean resulting carbon emissions by 35%, albeit with 56% lower monetary cost savings compared to price-based load shifts. Finally, by repeating the load shift simulations for different carbon price levels, the impact of the carbon price on the resulting carbon emissions was analyzed. The Spearman correlation coefficient between carbon intensity and marginal cost along the German merit order substantially increased with increasing carbon price. The coefficients were -0.13 for the 2019 carbon price of 24.9 Euro/t, 0 for 42.6 Euro/t, and 0.4 for 100.0 Euro/t. Therefore, with adequate carbon prices, PBDR can be an effective tool for both economical and environmental improvement.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Energy
Volume295
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-80126

Keywords

  • carbon price
  • European electricity market
  • marginal emission
  • merit order
  • price-based demand response
  • time-dependent carbon emission factor

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