Despite all the hitches that I have been experiencing in these days, of course my research project continues. The topic on which I have been focusing after my return to Berkeley is the improvement of WITCH.
In particular, after completing the system integration part in the first half of the year, we have now started working on storage. I say “we” because during my period at FEEM in June/July I began to work as mentor of two students, Marco and Simone, who are developing the final project of their Master’s Degree under the supervision of Prof. Tavoni in this very research field. I find this activity really valuable, since it allows me to acquire experience as a supervisor and to widen the scope of storage modeling in WITCH.
Electricity storage is already modeled in WITCH, but in a very simplified way: it is basically an undefined technology that is helpful in the flexibility and capacity constraints perspective, but that does not directly appear in the electricity system.
The plan is to:
1) fully integrate the storage technology in the electricity production system, describing the charge and discharge phases from and to the grid, also taking into consideration curtailment from the plants fed by Variable Renewable Energies;
2) introduce technology differentiation, at least for short-term storage, allowing for a competition between explicitly described storage technologies, i.e. Pumped Hydroelectric Storage (PHS), Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), and batteries.
This activity is likely to take a couple of months. In the next weeks, however, I will resume my work on the SWITCH side, and in particular I will continue working with Juan Pablo on the dynamics of decarbonization issue that I mentioned more than once in my old posts.