Using a high-resolution planning model of the Great Britain power system and 25 years of simulated wind and PV generation data, this study compares different methods to reduce time resolution of energy models to increase their computational tractability: downsampling, clustering, and heuristics. By comparing model results in terms of costs and installed capacities across different methods, this study shows that the best method depends heavily on input data and the setup of model constraints. This implies that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the problem of time step reduction, but heuristic approaches appear promising. In addition, the 25 years of time series demonstrate considerable inter-year variability in wind and PV power output. This further complicates the problem of time detail in energy models as it suggests long time series are necessary. Model results with high shares of PV and wind generation using a single or few years of data are likely unreliable. Better modeling and planning methods are required to determine robust scenarios with high shares of variable renewables. The methods are implemented in the freely available open-source modeling framework Calliope.
- High-resolution energy modeling
- Modeling methods
- Time series data
- Variable renewable generation