IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017 - 19

400
300
(MW)

additional reciprocating engine to meet the reliability standard. With regard to flexibility characteristics, reciprocating
engines could provide
✔✔ higher efficiency than OCGT and ADGT (up to 48%)
✔✔ higher part-load plant efficiency and very low minimum output, given that the plant (20-200 MW) is
based on small units (<20 MW)
✔✔ very quick startup time (a few minutes) and good ramping.

200
100
0
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
2005

2012

Electricity Market Design to Reward Flexibility
From an economic perspective, increasing levels of variable renewable energy penetration may reduce the running hours for these gas generators. Modeling based on the
United Kingdom's system indicates that the capacity factor of
CCGTs could drop from around 45% today to as low as 10%
in 2050. Additionally, the more frequent startups and higher
ramps result in higher cycling costs, which potentially raises
economic concerns for such gas plants as the result will be a
reduction in revenue and an increase in cycling costs. This
challenge has contributed to an extensive global debate about
designing electricity markets that reward flexibility and maintain adequacy.
For example, in Europe many state-of-the-art gas plants
have been mothballed as they are no longer in the merit order
(a problem caused not only by increased variable renewable
generation but also by the relative market prices for coal and
gas), and many others are struggling to continue to operate.
This has led to the development of capacity mechanisms
and other market measures for some of these gas plants. In
Ireland, new ancillary service products are being defined to
reward flexibility, and gas plants are potentially providers of

figure 3. A comparison of the operating schedule of the
same Italian CCGT owned by Enel in 2005 and 2012.
(Source: Enel.)

these services. New market products are also being developed in some parts of the United States, notably in California and by the MISO system.
Determining the best type of gas plant to have in scenarios with a high penetration of varRE depends largely on local
circumstances. OCGTs are more flexible than CCGTs but
less efficient; therefore, there is a market tradeoff between
energy and flexibility. Other designs, such as ADGTs and
reciprocating engines, combine flexibility and efficiency,
but they do so at the expense of additional capital expenditure.
Economic profitability, based mainly on market revenues and
technology cost, will also define how gas power plants perform against other flexibility sources in the electricity system
(e.g., interconnection, demand-side control, consumer interaction) and in the wider energy system (heat, water). The most
economic form of flexibility will be system specific. However,

6,000

4,000

4,000

2,800

4,000

78

80

5,100

2,000

2,000

2,200

1,000

Startup Rates (Starts per TWh)

Full Load Hours (h)

5,000

90

71

70
60

55

50
37

40
30

28

20
10

0

2007

2011 2012
(a)

2013

2014

0

2007

2011

2012

2013

2014

(b)

figure 4. (a) The equivalent operating hours and (b) startup rates (starts per TWh) for an Italian CCGT plant owned by
Enel. (Source: Enel.)
january/february 2017

ieee power & energy magazine

19



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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