The potential assessment of pump hydro energy storage to reduce renewable curtailment and CO2 emissions in Northwest China

Jianling Li, Ziwen Zhao, Dan Xu, Peiquan Li, Yong Liu, Md Apel Mahmud, Diyi Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) can effectively alleviate the renewable curtailment and resource waste caused by expansion of wind and solar-based renewable energy (RE) sources. However, the influences of regional hydrological characteristics, operational characteristics of PHES units, and power supply-demand balance on the regulating effect of PHES have been neglected. In this paper, an improved hybrid power system dispatch model (Dispa-set) that considers regional hydrological characteristics, unit operational characteristics, and RE curtailment penalty is proposed. The potential and limitations of PHES on reducing renewable curtailment and carbon emissions in four Northwest provinces (FNP) during the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) are evaluated through 6 sub-scenarios. Studies have shown that increasing PHES can effectively reduce renewable curtailment and carbon emissions, but uncoordinated development of PHES and RE results in resource waste and slows down carbon reduction. For example, a 10% increase in PHES during the 14th FYP could increase renewable curtailment in Qinghai by 1.1% and CO2 emissions in Gansu by 0.05%, due to uncoordinated development, demand for electricity supply, and regulated power sources. Therefore, combining PHES development with regional hydrological and operational characteristics is essential to achieve coordinated development with RE and unlock technology, economic, and environmental benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-96
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Early online date6 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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