FLEXIBLE ENERGY ALLOWS EFFICIENT AND COST EFFECTIVE INTEGRATION OF RENEWABLES INTO POWER SYSTEMS


Flexible-Energy-Allows-Efficient-and-Cost-Effective-Integration-of-Renewables-into-Power-Systems
Fig. – A way of creating reserves with plants in the spinning mode.

A recent Wärtsilä study in UK study provides strong evidence that by introducing flexibility into power systems that have increasing levels of solar and wind sourced generation, system efficiency can be increased and consumer costs can be lowered.

THE CHANGING ENERGY MARKET ENVIRONMENT

The generation mix in electricity markets around the world is changing. Governments are putting policies in place that address the energy ‘trilemma’ facing their countries, often in response to national or regional targets that mandate a change in one or more areas. This trilemma is widely accepted to consist of:

  • Environmental sustainability: countries need environmentally sustainable ways of generating electricity, without long term dependence on burning fossil fuels that have associated carbon emissions.
  • Security of supply: countries are seeking ways to ensure that ‘the lights stay on’ in the midst of either growing demand or old generating capacity shutting down, which can be exacerbated by the intermittency of renewable generation.
  • Affordability: increasing electricity prices are a concern for all consumers, and have the potential to disrupt economic growth and throw households into fuel poverty.

Efforts to de-carbonise and improve security of supply often need to be balanced with affordability. Policies for supporting domestic industries, especially in times of economic downturn and recession, are often necessary. Renewable and low carbon forms of generation have a vital role to play in the sustainability effort, and, often, in security of supply. The key focus for the deployment of renewables in a 2020 timeframe is wind and solar generation. In 2010, wind and solar’s contribution to the world’s gross electricity production stood at just under 3%, and the IEA estimates that wind and solar would have to grow by 16% and 21% respectively by 2020 in order to follow the pathway required under its 450 scenario.



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Melle-Kruisdijk - Contact

  Melle Kruisdijk
   Vice President Europe
   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
   
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