Philpott, Andy

100% renewable electricity generation

Andy Philpott1, Anthony Downward1, and Michael Ferris^2

1. Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland

2. Department of Computer Science and Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, University of Madison, Wisconsin

Using data from New Zealand, we discuss models of the national electricity system that are aimed at delivering 100% renewable electricity. Wind and solar energy are intermittent, and run-of-river hydroelectricity plants convert uncertain inflows into uncertain levels of energy, so the planning problem must account for these uncertainties. To compensate, hydroelectric reservoirs provide a means of storing energy, and geothermal power provides a predictable base-load energy source. Our model maximizes risk adjusted social welfare. This is compared with a competitive equilibrium with risk-averse investors.