Assessing complementarity of wind and solar resources for energy production in Italy. A Monte Carlo approach.
Monforti, F., T. Huld, K. Bodis, M. D'Isidoro, L. Vitali.
Paper International Journal with referee
Wind and solar energy are expected to play a major role in the current decade to help Europe reaching the renewable energy penetration targets fixed by Directive 2009/28/EC. However, it is difficult to predict the actual production profiles of wind and solar energy as they depend heavily on variable meteorological features of solar radiation and wind speed. In an ideal system, wind and solar electricity are both injected in a fast reacting grid instantaneously matching supply and demand. In such a system wind and solar electricity production profiles should complement each other as much as possible in order to minimize the need of storage and additional capacity. In the present paper the complementarity of wind and solar resources is assessed for a test year in Italy. To achieve this goal we employ data at high spatial and temporal resolution data for both solar radiation and wind speed in Italy obtained from running two state of the art models (PVGIS and MINNI). Hourly profiles for solar and wind energy produced are compared in each 4x4 km2 grid cell in Italy for 2005, and hourly, daily and monthly correlation coefficients are computed in order to assess the local complementarity of the two resources. A Monte Carlo approach is also developed to estimate how large-scale wind and solar energy productions could be potentially involved to complement each other in a scenario with up to 100 production sites across Italy. The results show how local complementarity can be very interesting with monthly correlation coefficients reaching values lower than -0.8 in several areas. Large-scale complementarity is also relevant with nation-wide monthly correlation coefficients showing values between -0.65 and -0.6. These model results indicate that in this sample year of 2005, wind and solar energy potential production have shown complementary time behaviour complementary, favourably supporting their integration in the energy system.
Monforti, F., T. Huld, K. Bodis, M. D'Isidoro, L. Vitali. Renew. Energ. In Press. 2013