We propose a system level approach to value the impact on costs of the integration of intermittent renewable generation in a power system, based on expected breakeven cost and breakeven cost risk. To do this, we carefully reconsider the definition of Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) when extended to non-dispatchable generation, by examining extra costs and gains originated by the costly management of random power injections. We are thus lead to define a ‘system LCOE’ as a system dependent LCOE that takes properly into account intermittent generation. In order to include breakeven cost risk we further extend this deterministic approach to a stochastic setting, by introducing a ‘stochastic system LCOE’. This extension allows us to discuss the optimal integration of intermittent renewables from a broad, system level point of view. This paper thus aims to provide power producers and policy makers with a new methodological scheme, still based on the LCOE but which updates this valuation technique to current energy system configurations characterized by a large share of non-dispatchable production. Quantifying and optimizing the impact of intermittent renewables integration on power system costs, risk and CO
emissions, the proposed methodology can be used as powerful tool of analysis for assessing environmental and energy policies.
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