Volume 24: Sustainable Energy Solutions for a Post-COVID Recovery towards a Better Future: Part VII

Improving Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) Flexibility in China Leonardo Nibbi, Paolo Sospiro, Maurizio De Lucia



The decarbonisation targets of the People’s Republic of China are ambitious, and their achievement relies on large-scale deployment of variable renewable energy sources (VRES), such as wind and solar. High penetration of VRES may lead to balancing problems on the grid, that can be compensated by increasing the shifting flexibility capacity of the system, i.e. installing additional electricity storage. Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) is the most diffused electricity storage technology at the global level, and the only fully mature solution for long-term electricity storage. China has already the highest PHS capacity installed worldwide, and it is planning to strongly increase it before 2030. The present study, based on the data available from the “Pumped Storage Tracking Tool” of the International Hydropower Association, investigates the potential of technology improvement of the existing and future PHS fleet in China, aiming to the adoption of advanced PHS solutions able to better cope with the task of balancing the VRES production. Furthermore, policy recommendations are elaborated to promote, facilitate and support the adoption of these advanced PHS solutions.

Keywords Pumped hydro storage, grid balancing, flexibility, variable renewable energy sources, China, curtailment

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