Integration of stochastic renewables in the Swiss electricity supply system (ISCHESS)

Scope of project

The recent past has seen an increase in energy and climate policies oriented towards the promotion of renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind and solar. These RES feature a number of advantages as energy generating options: they are inexhaustible, have a low carbon footprint and can operate on a small scale, enabling their usage in the distribution grid. They are however typically variable, producing uncontrollable and partly unpredictable amounts of electricity over time. Since electricity grids have historically required generation to match consumption on a second-by-second basis, a future electricity system with a high penetration of RES will have difficulties in meeting this fundamental stability requirement, unless some form of storage is present. Renewables will challenge the traditional way of continuously matching supply and demand, and peak production of intermittent renewable sources feeding into the low voltage grid could foster the need for specific measures at this level.

The increasing role of such RES within the electricity network has therefore raised concerns about grid reliability and security of supply, and prompts the need for appropriate solutions depending on the penetration level and impact of the RES. Furthermore, system operators will continue to face challenges such as increasing peak loads and more severe power quality requirements. The project will study the impacts of adding distributed stochastic generation to the Swiss electricity system and will be divided in 2 phases. The first phase will focus on evaluating the impact of RES (mainly photovoltaic generation) at the distribution voltage level, while the second phase will extend the study to the Swiss national scale and thus also consider the higher voltage levels of the transmission grid, along with a wider range of RES and additional storage options.


Dr. Turhan Hilmi Demiray
ETH Zürich, Forchungsstelle Energienetze (FEN)
Phone: +41 44 632 41 85