In order to effectively develop a future European energy system based on variable renewable energy systems (VRES), the probabilistically-occurring low generation periods from wind and PV generators must be better understood. However, little explicit information on these VRES lulls is currently available in relation to: how long these VRES lulls could last, how often they could occur, and how these qualities vary between differing regional contexts. This work, therefore, addresses these issues for wind and PV generation in the context of an exemplary future European energy system. To accomplish this, future-oriented wind and PV generation is recreated at high spatial and temporal resolution from the basis of a literature-derived European energy system scenario in 2050. The occurrence of VRES lulls are then observed in the resulting generation profiles over a 37 year time frame for the whole of Europe and several nations. The likelihood of observing a lull spanning X hours at least once in a randomly selected year is then found. Results of this work can be used by energy system planners and researchers to estimate minimal backup and storage needs in future VRES-prominent European energy systems.
Keywords renewable energy, renewable energy intermittency, power generation, energy system design