Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The share of energy produced from renewable resources is growing rapidly. The output of wind and solar power is highly variable, and depends of factors such as weather conditions and time of day. With this growing share of renewable power, in particular when having priority access to the grid, fossil fuel power plants will have to increasingly shift their role from providing base-load power to providing fluctuating back-up power to meet unpredictable and short-noticed demand peaks, in order to control and stabilise the grid. Plants should be able to run both at the lowest part load possible at the highest possible efficiency. Moreover, plants will be required to operate across the entire load range with high load-change velocities, and even operate in start/stop mode with full turndown and very fast re-start, all at minimal fuel consumption. This forces base-load plants to operate closer to their design limits and through significantly more thermal cycles, leading to increased rate of wear on plant components. Operational flexibility therefore presents a significant challenge for fossil fuel power (and CHP) plants.

Scope: Focus on progressing solutions that already reached TRL 3 to TRL 4-6 (please see part G of the General Annexes) and offer the highest potential for full integration into an energy system with ever higher shares of renewable energies. Solutions with lowest greenhouse gas emissions per energy unit are preferred. Collaboration with power plant operators and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Projects should lead to new and cost-effective solutions for highly flexible new and existing fossil fuel power plants (including those using dispatchable renewable fuels), capable of meeting demand peaks and renewable output reductions, at minimal fuel consumption and emissions, while mitigating the effects of cycling operation to avoid excessive service life expenditure, and not impeding the potential CO2 capture readiness of the power plants.

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions


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