Distributed generation, based on the exploitation of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), has increased in the last few decades to limit anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, and this trend will increase in the future. However, RES generation is not dispatchable, and an increasing share of RES may lead to inefficiencies and even problems for the electricity network. Flexible resources are needed to handle RES generation in order to support the delicate electricity generation and demand balance. Energy conversion technologies (P2X, Power to X) allow the flexibility of energy systems to be increased. These technologies make a connection between different energy sectors (e.g., electricity and gas) possible, and thus create new synergies within an overall multi-energy system. This paper analyzes how the P2G technology can be used at the distribution network level (both gas and electricity) to optimize the use of RES. In fact, in order to coordinate P2X resources, it is necessary to take into account the whole multi-energy scenario, and not just the electrical side: it therefore becomes fundamental to recognize the pros and cons that Balancing Service Providers (BSPs), composed of a number of P2G plants (representing the Balancing Responsible Providers, BRPs), may have when offering services to an electricity network. Moreover, the convenience of the decarbonization of the gas grid has been evaluated through the calculation of the levelized cost of Synthetic Natural Gas (LCSNG) for cost scenarios for the years 2030 and 2050, considering different assumptions about the cost of the surplus utilization of RES. The results show that LCSNG may vary from 47 to 319 €/MWh, according to the different configurations, i.e., only in the best-case scenario is the SNG cost comparable with the cost of natural gas, and hence does the P2G technology result to be profitable.
- Electrical distribution system
- Gas distribution system
- Levelized cost of energy
- Multi energy system
- Renewable energy integration