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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 143736, 10 pages
Research Article

An Analytical Model for Optimizing the Combination of Energy Sources in a Single Power Transmission Network

Department of Engineering and Management, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy

Received 27 May 2014; Revised 9 October 2014; Accepted 9 October 2014; Published 18 November 2014

Academic Editor: Jing Shi

Copyright © 2014 Massimo de Falco and Nicola Mastrandrea. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The increasing amount of renewable energy currently being added to distribution networks presents new challenges and opportunities to system operators. This situation further complicates the operators’ tasks in dealing with changing net loads and balancing. The current work provides an analytical model to assist systems operators in stabilizing power generation and lowering total costs, through optimization of choices in the combination of programmable fossil sources and nonprogrammable renewable sources. The study first examines the various programmable and renewable energy sources that appear broadly suitable and economically appealing for combination. Next we identify the most important factors determining the potential integration of the sources in the system. Based on this introductory information we then develop the model for the selection of the appropriate mix of sources to achieve stable production. In developing the model we define indicators to evaluate and select the best configurations of the sources included in a particular combination. Next we apply the model to a specific case study and finally reexamine the interdependencies among all the variables of the model, to provide a better understanding of its dynamics and results.