|Title||Improving Pumped Hydro Storage Flexibility in China: Scenarios for Advanced Solutions Adoption and Policy Recommendations|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Nibbi L, Sospiro P, De Lucia M, Wu C-C|
The decarbonisation targets of the People’s Republic of China are ambitious. Their achievement relies on the 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, which can be compensated by increasing the shifting flexibility capacity of the system by integration with energy storage, e.g., by 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 already has the highest PHS capacity installed worldwide and plans to increase it strongly before 2030. The present study, based on the data from the “Pumped Storage Tracking Tool” of the International Hydropower Association, investigates the potential for technological improvement of the existing and future PHS fleet in China. The aims of adopting advanced PHS solutions allow China to better cope with the task of balancing the VRES production. The potential for adopting advanced PHS solutions is evaluated through five different intervention possibilities (here referred to as scenarios). These scenarios consider revamping part of the operational Pumped Storage Plant (PSP) fleet and redesigning future installations that are already planned. As a result, considering all the major technical and authorisation process constraints, 4.0% (5.2 GW) of the 132 GW fleet expected to be commissioned before 2035 could additionally adopt advanced PHS in a high-potential scenario. Meanwhile in the medium and low potential scenarios, the quota can reach 11.1% (14.6 GW) and 26.2% (34.5 GW), respectively. Furthermore, policy recommendations are elaborated to promote, facilitate, and support the adoption of these advanced PHS solutions.