Exploring the complementarity of renewable energy sources and climate change in New York State

Nicholas Rossi, Daniel Pellegrino, Juan Felipe Henao

Business Administration & Accounting, College of Business, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica, NY, USA

In the past decade, the installed power capacity of renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar, has experienced a remarkable surge, surpassing that of traditional energy sources. This upward trend is credited to advancements in technology efficiency, cost reduction, and the imperative to mitigate the environmental impacts of the energy sector related to climate change. Decision-making regarding renewable energy infrastructure, including source selection, size, and location, relies heavily on the concept of complementarity among variable renewable energies, aimed at mitigating production variability. For example, in different countries solar and wind resources have been used to complement traditional hydropower plants to produce a consistent flow of energy. However, the literature lacks clarity on how climate change will impact these renewable energies, particularly concerning assumptions about their complementarity. Addressing this gap, this paper assesses the complementarity of different renewable energy sources in New York State (NYS) using historical data and projections of climate variability derived from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 6 (CMIP6) via wavelet analysis. This methodology offers insights into how climate change may alter the complementarity of renewables in the future, thereby shedding light on significant complementarities in NYS, a state poised for substantial renewable energy expansion. The findings provide valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of variable renewable energy (VRE) complementarity under the influence of climate change and offer crucial data for decision-makers involved in renewable energy infrastructure and energy planning.