The ambitious goals of the German Federal Government within the framework of the „Energiewende“ lead to an increasingly decentralized generation of power by means of renewable energies. In consequence the residual load fluctuations in the power supply system rise and must be balanced by conventional power plants. Congestions in the grid and the therefore resulting need for extension can only be identified with the integration of regional and geographical data in planning models. Previous work already dealt with the evaluation of feed-ins by renewables. Due to their marginal costs close to zero there is no competition in the merit order between them. This is not the case for conventional power plants.
A hard coal power plant competes in the merit order with conventional power plants as well as with other hard coal power plants. One of the main cost drivers here are the transport costs of coal from the ports to the power plants. These costs consist of freight rates of the barges as well as of trains and differ significantly depending on the region.
The aim of this work is to determine regional transport costs for hard coal power plants in Germany. ... mehrThe geographical resolution for this work is based on 10,878 municipalities, which are characterized by specific costs depending on distance and means of transport. By doing so, a data basis for energy system models was created and the effect of these costs on the merit order can be assessed in further work.
As a result, we have a clear ranking of the most attractive sites for running a hard coal power plant, starting with all locations close to the open sea, which is the North and East Coast of Germany. In this case, no onward transportation by inland waterway vessels or train is needed.
The second-best choice is all inland locations near riverbanks since the inland waterway vessels can be unloaded directly at the power plant site too, but a ship-to-ship handling is needed in advance which increases the costs. Furthermore, inland waterway vessels are more expensive due to their smaller load quantity.
All other locations remote from both sea and river access are the most expensive sites because transport by train is the only option to transport the coal to the power plant site. This leads to a jump in costs as transport by train is usually more expensive than transport by inland waterway vessels.