Wärtsilä modeling: EU must reform energy market and install 1.1 TW of renewables

Finnish energy technology company Wärtsilä Corporation has submitted a study (»Energy Market Redesign: For a Decarbonised Europe«) in the context of the European Commission’s public consultation on EU electricity market reform. The company, itself a supplier of power plant technology for operation with natural gas and natural gas/hydrogen mixtures, concludes here that such plants play a central role in achieving the EU’s climate protection targets.
The creation of a capacity market as an investment framework for flexible plants is therefore one of the study’s key recommendations. Wärtsilä sees an EU-wide need for 1.1 terawatts of renewable generation capacity by 2030, mainly from wind and solar power plants, »to continue decarbonization journey and ensure energy security.« However, with such a fleet of plants, the actual available capacity can vary by as much as 500 gigawatts (GW) over the course of a year, according to the study’s modeling. Therefore, the system would need to be supported by 19 GW of capacity from new, grid-stabilizing gas-fired power plants and 50 GW of capacity from storage facilities. For a 100 percent renewables-based power supply, »the grid balancing gas engines can be converted to run on sustainable fuels such as hydrogen, when these become readily available.«

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