BALANCING THE Model
BALANCING THE EXCEL MODEL
This Tool, unlike Markal, is not an optimization model, but an accounting framework to balance the energy numbers arising out of various combinations of demand and supply choices. The Calculator in the Excel algorithmically balances the demand with supply on a five yearly interval (consistent with the five year Plan periods) upto 2047. The demand is summed up as per the user choice (out of the four choices) in each of the demand sector. Thereafter, the user has to choose as to how he would supply the energy. Once the user has exercised his choices, the Calculator draws imported supplies of fossil energy to balance the demand and supply sides.
BALANCING FOR FOSSIL FUELS
The demand sectors comprise demand for specific fuels (as is the case with some industries and transport sectors, and others) as well as electricity. Hence, the demand for specified fuels is determined by user choice in those sectors in the demand side itself. However, as regards fossil fuels that go into power generation (coal and gas), the demand is derived after taking the user choices on the supply side into account as well. This is because the supply side offers separate choices for generation from coal, gas, nuclear and others on one side, and domestic production levels, on the other. Therefore, if the generation of electricity from a fuel (let us say coal) is opted for a higher level than its domestic production (coal production level is at a lower level), then the Calculator would automatically draw imported coal to meet the coal demanded by the level of generation. The same analogy works in the gas and oil sectors. In case, if the fossil fuel demanded is greater than what is produced due to imbalance between the demand and domestic production levels, then imports would kick in. Even the reverse situation would be true, with the excess fossil fuels shown as potential exports in the calculator. This would happen if the user chooses to keep power generation lower than the fuel availability from domestic production. Hence, while the Calculator is algorithmically geared to draw imports, it is not programmed to either produce lesser than what is ordered by the user, or adjust the exports of a fuel with another one which may be getting imported, and could be a substitute.
While fossil fuels being used as a specific fuel (petroleum products in the transport sector) or as a feedstock (gas in urea manufacture) would have no substitutability, this is not the case with electricity. The electricity demand can be met by renewable energy sources or by fossil fuel based generation. Here again, there may be a case of the user inadvertently or consciously supplying lesser electricity, leading to imbalance. The principle for balancing electricity is similar to that for fossil fuels, discussed above. Indian economy is highly likely to be dependent on Coal as a dominant source of energy and importing coal is less infrastructure - intensive than gas. The latter requires massive LNG terminals to import, handle and re-gasify natural gas into the economy. Thus, imported coal based electricity has been considered to be a residual fuel rather than imported LNG based electricity for the purpose of balancing the calculator. As is the case with fossil fuels, if the demand for electricity is less than its production from various electricity sources, the excess electricity is shown as exports. The calculator gives a suggestion ‘pop up’ up to the user to tone down either conventional or renewable sources of electricity to reduce the electricity exports being generated in the chosen pathway.
The Energy flow diagram in the webtool is the key to viewing the energy balance in the India Energy Security Scenarios, 2047. It guides the user as to how the demanded energy is being supplied – source wise. And, also whether there is surplus or deficit. This diagram can help the user to calibrate his choices to either ramp up domestic fuel choices to reduce imports, or change his demand choices. The ‘pop up’ mentioned earlier also provides the quantum of electricity/energy which is surplus and can be curtailed by changing the choices.
Finally, it may be added that the energy balancing feature of the IESS, 2047 is, perhaps the most useful aspect of this tool, as without the balancing function, there would be no ‘energy pathway’. A combination of demand and supply choices comprise an ‘energy pathway’. Choices around demand would remain theoretical unless the user can also choose from a set of options of supply to meet the demand. This is the balancing operation. Further, the critical balancing instrument is the import ‘pulling’ feature, which kicks in automatically as a derived number. This tool is, therefore, most amenable to use as an energy security enhancement exercise. Once the import numbers are generated by the balancing algorithm, the user can make his choices as to how to reduce import dependency by calibrating the demand or supply, or both of them.
The IESS 2047 model was also subject to several Stress Tests by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to to assess the preliminary technical feasibility of some of the key energy pathways identified in the model and broadly identify the storage and balancing electricity requirement for the grid integration of renewable energy. For more details, click here.
The added feature of electricity balancing, for which the IESS, 2047 generates separate graphs, is a key input for another important objective – deriving levels of renewable energy supply. Once the electricity demand has been created, the user can see how the same can be met first by RE, and then the domestic sources of fossil fuel could be considered. It is proposed to further build in the tolerance levels of intermittency of variable energy in the IESS, 2047 in subsequent versions, so that a rational choice around RE can be made by the user. Therefore, the balancing function of the IESS, 2047 is a unique feature.