Hybridisation would represent savings of 10-15% in future renewables projects

The combination of different renewable technologies would achieve CAPEX and OPEX savings of 10-15% in new renewables projects

Renewable hybridisation enables different yet complementary renewable technologies to be combined, resulting in significant benefits for projects and for the electrical system as a whole. An optimised transmission capacity, savings in CAPEX and OPEX of 10-15% and simplified administrative procedures are just some of the benefits for renewables projects.

Thanks to the increase in hybridisation development, the electrical system would reduce its environmental impact, make savings as regards grid infrastructures, improve the quality and stability of the hourly and seasonal supply, while mitigating the risk of overloads and technical restrictions, as well as the number of applications for access and connection points. These are some of the conclusions of the report “Hybridisation in Renewable Generation Renewable”, presented by APPA Renovables and drawn up by Everis, which sets out the different benefits of hybridisation, as well as the various challenges that this form of generation must overcome for its implementation in Spain.

The energy sector is experiencing a profound transition in which the electricity mix constitutes one of the main exponents. The target of 74% renewable generation by 2030 involves specific challenges, such as the dispatchability of the system and the optimal use of existing networks. Hybridisation represents an excellent tool to bring down the costs of future projects and combine renewable technologies to minimise their environmental impact and reduce the number of connection points.

Numerous benefits for the electrical system

The report released today reviews the different models of renewable hybridisation, the current panorama of hybridisation and offers an economic and regulatory analysis of today’s situation as regards hybridisation.

If there is a mass uptake of hybridisation, Spain’s electrical system will enjoy a host of benefits: a reduced environmental impact by making better use of site terrain; savings in electrical infrastructure (lines, substations, transformers…); improved quality and stability of the supply, both hourly and by season; reduced risk of overloads and technical restrictions in the grid; and fewer applications for access and connection points – a very important factor given the current imbalance between these points and the real needs for new capacity in order to achieve objectives.

A cost-effective commitment for generators

With a view to future projects, the different forms of hybridisation offer clear operational and economic advantages: an optimised transmission capacity that translates into a greater guarantee of available output at the connection point and the possibility of generating additional revenue by taking part in the balancing markets; shorter times and simplified procedures; and savings in CAPEX and OPEX.

The report evaluates the savings using actual projects, obtaining estimates in the range of 10% to 15%. These savings are made in grid connection equipment and infrastructures; in infrastructure and civil engineering costs; the optimisation of O&M costs; and also, in the costs associated with business development.

In the examples analysed, the saving in CAPEX would be 10-12% and OPEX, 10-15%.

The future challenges of hybridisation

Section 5 of the report, which is entirely dedicated to the regulatory analysis, explains one of the main challenges that this form of generation must address: the creation of a proprietary and detailed regulatory framework that simplifies the administrative procedures and facilitates participation in the secondary balancing market or adjustment services, which is a way to increase the revenue from these projects.

Another challenge of hybridisation in future is generation losses where the maximum output assigned to a connection point is exceeded; regulatory security that will enable greater visibility of the return on investment; and the availability of concurrent local renewable resources.