With the development of wind energy throughout the European Community there is a continuing need to assess the technical problems of windfarm assimilation and to determine the scope, limitations and cost of windfarm penetration into European electrical networks.
Most electrotechnical constraints can be dealt with through statutory guidelines, especially as control systems are developed. It was also found that although landscape is often considered in planning, more work is needed for controlling noise emissions, electromagnetic interference and bird strikes. Due to improved technology, the costs of wind energy are falling all the time. Production predictions have been shown to be relatively accurate. Through modelling, it is expected that wind energy will have penetrated to gain 30% of conventional electricity generation by the year 2005. Information generated in these detailed studies accelerates the take-up of renewable wind energies by utilities. One of the tools used to model co-generation and external costs was developed during the project. It is a deterministic model of power flow demand for grid integration. It will allow SMEs to better tackle new projects in this general area of co-generation of wind energy.
Building on two earlier CEC funded penetration projects this study will focus on a number of key areas as follows :
- Electrotechnical Issues - Electrical disturbances caused, or experienced, by a windfarm on a utility network could penalise, or restrict, windfarm energy generation. Relevant experience will be reviewed to quantify the relative importance of such factors.
- Planning Constraints - Factors such as visual intrusion are identified as constraining elements in the planning of windfarm developments. The significance of various factors, in selected EC countries, will be compared and their impact assessed.
- Energy Production from Windfarms and the Cost of Energy - Existing windfarm performance databases will be expanded, validated and processed. The correlation of actual energy production figures with predictions, and actual energy costs, will be identified. Production discrepancies for individual windfarms and cost variations between windfarms will be examined and, where possible, the causes identified.
- Effect of External Costs and Co-Generation - Possible effects (such as those resulting from pollution by fossil fuel generating plant) on the economics of electricity systems with wind generation will be determined. These will include future fuel price rises, changes in generating plant characteristics, load management and improved predictability of wind generation. The techno-economic effects on electricity supply of renewable energy sources in combination, particularly wind, photovoltaics and biomass, will also be assessed.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
OX11 0QX Didcot,harwell,chilton
SO4 5PB Southampton