Bioenergy's role in balancing the electricity grid and providing storage options - an EU perspective

Antti Arasto, David Chiaramonti, Juha Kiviluoma, Eric Heuvel van den, Lars Waldheim, Kyriakos Maniatis, Kai Sipilä

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Low carbon energy targets and policy are driving renewable energy to markets. Widespread solar and wind electricity penetration of the energy system drives market change. The energy market transformation from an energy optimized to capacity optimized system is expected when the share of intermittent or uncontrollable electricity becomes large enough. Conventional dispatchable energy production will be pushed out of the market due to higher operational costs. Bioenergy is currently the major source of renewable energy in the world, while wind, solar and geothermal are the fast growing alternatives. The role of wind and solar in electricity production will increase more rapidly compared to other renewable sources. However, bioenergy will continue to provide the bulk of heating and transport fuels for decades to come. Bioenergy is already used for balancing and it could be used more extensively in the future as fossil generation is phased out. In this respect, bioenergy has potential to play a focal role as a flexible resource in the renewable power supply system. While bioenergy could certainly contribute in a significant way to balancing future grids, especially in seasonal balancing, it can also be expected that competition between different forms of flexibility will occur. Gas and heat networks can and should play a bigger role in balancing the electricity grid. With the advent of electric vehicles the transport sector is also poised to become more integrated with the power system and, if implemented with price sensitivity, could bring considerable flexibility to balancing the power grid. In all these, bioenergy can play a central role.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesIEA Bioenergy: Task 41P6


  • bioenergy
  • grid balancing
  • energy storage

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