The role of energy storage in deep decarbonization of electricity production
Deep decarbonization of electricity production is a societal challenge that can be achieved with high penetrations of variable renewable energy. We investigate the potential of energy storage technologies to reduce renewable curtailment and CO2 emissions in California and Texas under varying emissions taxes. We show that without energy storage, adding 60GW of renewables to California achieves 72% CO2 reductions (relative to a zero-renewables case) with close to one third of renewables being curtailed. Some energy storage technologies, on the other hand, allow 90% CO2 reductions from the same renewable penetrations with as little as 9% renewable curtailment. In Texas, the same renewable-deployment level leads to 54% emissions reductions with close to 3% renewable curtailment. Energy storage can allow 57% emissions reductions with as little as 0.3% renewable curtailment. We also find that generator flexibility can reduce curtailment and the amount of energy storage that is needed for renewable integration.