Harvesting Renewable Energy: The Grid Integration Challenge

Monday, November 17, 2008
6:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Renewable energy has the potential to simultaneously reduce harmful emissions and improve our security of supply. This presentation will concentrate on renewable energy for the bulk production of electricity. The renewable resources will be introduced and costs characteristics will be compared. These comparisons are limited as they do not take into account the need to harvest this energy via the electricity network (i.e. the grid) and the associated technical issues of integration of these renewable resources. Variable renewable resources such as wind, wave and solar pose particular challenges due to the need to maintain real time supply demand balance i.e. frequency control. These issues will be developed further and the need for reserves and flexible plant will be discussed. In addition the capacity value concept will be introduced and the role of forecasting, storage and inertia will be described. The reasons for curtailing renewable energy resources (i.e. dumping the energy) will be briefly illustrated. Further harvesting challenges e.g. network development will be briefly covered before the results of a full techno economic analysis of grid integrated wind power in Ireland are given and the other relevant renewable grid integration studies will be highlighted. The opportunity for Ireland to lead the world in the development of solutions to the harvesting of renewable energy will be highlighted before conclusions and further work are put forward for consideration.

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Mark O'Malley

University College Dublin