Feasibility of pumped-storage hydraulic systems based on hourly variation of electricity prices

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2019
Barbaros, Efe
Global energy demand increases every day due to growing needs. The ideal of eco-friendly, sustainable and low cost energy generation relying on countries’ own domestic sources increases the interest in renewable energy in the 21st century. However, the intermittent nature of the renewable energy brings the importance of and the need for energy storage to surface. Pumped storage hydroelectricity (PSH) has been in use worldwide for a long time with this purpose thanks to its large scale storage capacity and proven technology. Unlike many countries with pumped storage, Turkey has not needed a PSH facility until very recently in virtue of its significant hydropower capacity. Wind and solar power share in Turkey’s electrical grid has increased so far and the first nuclear power plant of the country is planned to start operating in 2023, thus leading to advancement in energy storage and PSH. The high investment costs and long construction period of PSH lead to some significant questions for a projected pumped storage facility in Turkey: technical features, location, investment costs, model, operation initiation day, etc. In this dissertation, potential profitability/unprofitability of a projected PSH facility in Turkey is examined. Within this scope, in order to analyze the requirement for PSH in Turkey, the country’s electricity system and market are discussed in detail and compared with countries that have pumped storage. Evaluations are made using real time electricity prices and generation-consumption values through the perspective of both public and private sector. Results show that the current prices in Turkish electricity market are not profitable enough to attract investment by the private sector.