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Renewable Energy penetration: the upcoming challenges for TSOs April 4, 2008

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in grids, reliability, renewable electricity, wind.
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40.8% of the overall electricity demand was supplied on real time basis by wind power some days ago in the Spanish electricity system. This record constitutes a real challenge for transmission system operators (TSOs).

In more general terms, renewable energy penetration strongly depends on the ability of TSO to evolve towards a new way of operating the system: dedicated predictability for renewable generation, voltage dip management and managing the power balance.

The big issue for the coming years (especially taking into account the targets set by the EU Directive on the use of energy from renewable sources) is balancing the transmission system in the presence of high renewable power penetration. This not only requires to redesign grid codes, but also a deep revision of power reserve policy. Along with renewable sources growth, a market for upgraded reserves is becoming necessary.

This paper shows some good practices from the Spanish TSO, REE, leading to better integration of renewable generation: commissioning a dedicated centre for renewable energy management, grid code evolution, development of specific applications to maximize renewable generation and provide production limits to each renewable energy plant, voltage control and congestion management.


Finding good sites for wind turbines is not so easy January 5, 2007

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in renewable electricity, wind.
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Wind farms in England and Wales are failing to generate the predicted amount of electricity

A study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that England and Wales are not windy enough to generate electricity at the rates projected for them. Government targets are based on wind farms running at 30% of capacity. But most farms in England and Wales are generating only around 25%. The two poorest performers have rates of no more than 7.7% and 8.8% respectively.

In the UK, only the wind farms in Scotland and those on the Orkney and Shetland isles run above 30% of capacity. But those sites face other problems. They are far from the main consuming areas, so significant amounts of electrical power are lost in transmission. Moreover, they are often located in ecologically sensitive areas. One example is the projected wind farm on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer-Hebrides. The site is controversial since it is located near important bird sanctuaries (see article in the Sunday Times).

This illustrates how difficult it has become to find acceptable sites for wind farms in Europe. The Renewable Energy Foundation has concluded that the most effective sites for wind energy are off-shore near major cities.


Article on Telegraph.co.uk