1 Department of Engineering, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science and Technology, Aarhus University3 Department of Engineering - Sustainable Energy Systems, Department of Engineering, Science and Technology, Aarhus University4 Department of Engineering - Sustainable Energy Systems, Department of Engineering, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Through a parametric time-series analysis of eight years of hourly data, we quantify the storage size and balancing energy needs for highly and fully renewable European power systems for different levels and mixes of wind and solar energy. By applying a dispatch strategy that minimizes the balancing energy needs for a given storage size, the interplay between storage and balancing is quantified, providing a hard upper limit on their synergy. An efficient but relatively small storage reduces balancing energy needs significantly due to its influence on intra-day mismatches. Furthermore, we show that combined with a low-efficiency hydrogen storage and a level of balancing equal to what is today provided by storage lakes, it is sufficient to meet the European electricity demand in a fully renewable power system where the average power generation from combined wind and solar exceeds the demand by only a few percent.