Stochastic simulation-optimisation framework for the design and assessment of renewable energy systems under uncertainty

G.-K. Sakki, I. Tsoukalas, P. Kossieris, C. Makropoulos, and A. Efstratiadis, Stochastic simulation-optimisation framework for the design and assessment of renewable energy systems under uncertainty, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 168, 112886, doi:10.1016/j.rser.2022.112886, 2022.



As the share of renewable energy resources rapidly increases in the electricity mix, the recognition, representation, quantification, and eventually interpretation of their uncertainties become important. In this vein, we propose a generic stochastic simulation-optimization framework tailored to renewable energy systems (RES), able to address multiple facets of uncertainty, external and internal. These involve the system’s drivers (hydrometeorological inputs) and states (by means of fuel-to-energy conversion model parameters and energy market price), both expressed in probabilistic terms through a novel coupling of the triptych statistics, stochastics and copulas. Since the most widespread sources (wind, solar, hydro) exhibit several common characteristics, we first introduce the formulation of the overall modelling context under uncertainty, and then offer uncertainty quantification tools to put in practice the plethora of simulated outcomes and resulting performance metrics (investment costs, energy production, revenues). The proposed framework is applied to two indicative case studies, namely the design of a small hydropower plant (particularly, the optimal mixing of its hydro-turbines), and the long-term assessment of a planned wind power plant. Both cases reveal that the ignorance or underestimation of uncertainty may hide a significant perception about the actual operation and performance of RES. In contrast, the stochastic simulation-optimization context allows for assessing their technoeconomic effectiveness against a wide range of uncertainties, and as such provides a critical tool for decision making, towards the deployment of sustainable and financially viable RES.

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Our works referenced by this work:

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Tagged under: Determinism vs. stochasticity, Renewable energy, Stochastics, Uncertainty