Future Swiss Electrical Infrastructure
The stability and reliability of the energy system are of critical importance for all aspects of modern life. These issues encompass the electrical infrastructure, but also other energy carriers like gas, heat and water. Recently planned energy policies encourage increasing the share of renewable energy sources (RES) to reduce the dependency on fossil and nuclear sources, alleviate global warming and ensure the long-term sustainability of our society.
The variable nature of RES represents a challenge to the fundamental power system stability requirement of matching consumption and generation on a second-by-second basis. Solution approaches to address this volatile behaviour include network expansion, more flexible operational procedures and the use of storage. Another key element that can be leveraged to increase the security of the overall energy supply lies in the synergies between different energy forms. The benefit deriving from the smart operation of energy conversion and storage components is not systematically exploited in today's energy infrastructure, neither on the regional nor on the national level. One key issue to be addressed in order to enable the global energy transition lies in the properly coordinated modification of both regional and bulk grid infrastructure, where the latter in particular is critical for increased international integration and market liberalisation.
Results and Outlook
The SCCER-FURIES work package Bulk Multi-Energy Grids (WP2) focuses on the design, operation and practical market integration of the future energy system in Switzerland, while also accounting for regional and international constraints. An electrical model of the Swiss transmission system has been implemented and is currently being extended to an optimization platform suitable for large scale multi-energy grids. The model uses the energy hub and power node modeling framework and includes operational limitation as well as national boundary constraints. The goal is to integrate the electrical grid with gas network in order to identify potential synergies and account for the seasonal characteristics of the different hydro energy sources in Switzerland.
Based on the bulk multi-energy grid model, upgrade strategies for the transmission system will be developed and analyzed while accounting for technical, economical and regulatory feasibility constraints. Furthermore, the strategies are then coupled to the existing energy market in order to identify possible further developments of the market structures.
The project involves a number of interdisciplinary research groups, combining expertise on electrical grids, geographical planning, economical aspects and meteorological simulations. Furthermore, the results are integrated with other SCCER-FURIES work packages and across other SCCERs.