The importance of weather-driven renewable energies for the United States energy portfolio is growing. The main perceived problems with weather-driven renewable energies are their intermittent nature, low power density, and high costs. The Cooperative Institute for the Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado collaborated with the Earth Systems Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to construct a mathematical optimization of a reduced form of the US electric sector. Care was taken to retain salient features of the electric sector, while allowing for detailed weather and power data to be incorporated for wind and solar energies. The National Energy with Weather System (NEWS) simulator was created. With the NEWS simulator tests can be performed that are unique and insightful. The simulator can maintain the status quo and build out a system following costs or imposed targets for carbon dioxide emission reductions. It can find the least cost electric sector for each state, or find a national power system that incorporates vast amounts of variable generation. In the current presentation, we will focus on new results from the simulator. We can now estimate the jobs created by the simulator, the amount of taxes and revenue; we can introduce policies to give an indication of their effect; we can add new technologies and assess their impact on the generation mix; we can alter the HVDC assumptions to obtain the sensitivity of the NEWS simulator to variable resource access. We will show results rather than methods in the presentation.
This publication was presented at the following: