Case Study for Denmark1In the early 1970s imported oil supplied 92 percent ofDenmark’s energy. 2Thefist oil crisis in 1973-74 changed this perception.
Highly dependent onimported energy, the crises of the early 1970s lead to increasing electricity costsin Denmark and as a result, wind energy as well as other alternative energysources re-emerged. The wind industry that arose in the late 1970s was a resultof a large public engagement and political goodwill towards the development andexpansion of wind energy. The share of wind in the Danish electricityconsumption has increased steadily during the last years: 18% in 2004, 33% in2013, 42% in 2015 and 37.6% in 2016. By 2021, it is expected that wind energywill cover over 50%.
The Danish wind industry employs more than 31,000 people andthe industry’s turnover was EUR 11.8 billion (DKK 87.7 billion) in 2015.According to a study by the Danish Energy Agency, onshore wind energy hasbecome one of the cheapest energy sources for new electricity generation inDenmark, undercutting coal and natural gas.As the first country in the world, Denmark has decided tolead the transition and become entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.One element in reaching this target is to expand the share of renewable energyharnessed from wind, and this encompasses driving the development of anintelligent energy system capable of managing the fluctuations of renewableenergy.Denmark was the first country to install a commercialoffshore wind farm 30 years ago and has been first mover in the wind industryfor decades. In 2016, onshore and offshore wind turbines provided around 40% ofDenmark’s electricity consumption and we plan to go further with over 50% ofelectricity consumption to be generated by wind energy by 2021.
Approximately 4,750 turbines supply more than 5 GW ofelectricity to Denmark. The 5 GW constitute more than a third of the overallDanish production capacity. The large-scale wind energy integration is madepossible by a well-developed transmission infrastructure, capable of handlingthe fluctuating wind energy resource. The Danish grid is connected to theneighboring countries, enabling the import and export of energy during peakperiods.In a search for even more efficient and lower costs ofenergy, the size of the turbines has grown steadily over the years and whilemost turbines in the early 1990s had sizes of up to 225 kW, the newestgenerations of wind turbines now reach 9 MW.
The larger turbines make iteconomically feasible to harness wind offshore, where the higher wind speedsmake up for the larger costs. The upcoming Danish offshore wind farms, HornsRev 3 and Kriegers Flak, will reach sizes of 400-600 MW.We were once afraid of what would happen when wind energygeneration reached 5% of the total consumption. We then worried aboutapproaching 10% – would the system be able to cope? Some years later, we saidthat 20% had to be the absolute limit! However, in 2016, Danish wind turbinesproduced more than the total electricity consumption for 317 hours of the year,and we barely give this any thought.We are reminded of the extraordinary success of Danish windenergy generation when, year after year, we ascertain that it has increased to33, 39 or 42% of total Danish electricity consumption. This makes the world situp and take notice.Denmark is part of a well-functioning Nordic and Europeanelectricity market. Danish producers sell electricity to consumers inneighboring countries when they can generate electricity at favorable prices –often in windy conditions.
And we import Norwegian hydroelectric power, Germanwind and solar energy, Swedish nuclear power etc. during hours in whichproducers in our neighboring countries have the best prices.Distribution grids are rarely the center of heated publicdebate. However, they have a crucial role in facilitating a transition towardscleaner and more distributed energy sources. Over half of the Danishelectricity production is now delivered at lower grid levels directly into thedistribution grid from wind turbines, CHP plants and solar cells.
And thevolumes are increasing year on year. Danish distribution system operators(DSOs) have enabled the smooth integration of this rising level ofdecentralized production.All electricity systems transitioning away from fossil fuelswill experience tremendous upheaval and to handle it, the DSOs must participatein innovation projects with their expertise in grid operation and with newtechnical installations. Grid companies are the only ones who can test new ideassuch as flexible electricity consumption close to the customers, which isessential in bringing research results out of the laboratory and into realapplication. In this context, Danish DSOs are at the cutting edge of this transition.Less is more when it comes to suppliers and in reaction tothis relatively new tendency, Danish suppliers are teaming up to pool servicesand products into actual systems. By delivering a complete technical system orpackaged solutions to end consumers such as wind turbine manufacturers or windfarm owners, collaborating companies can strengthen their own strategicposition. This entails an even closercooperation between Danish wind turbine manufacturers and the clusteredsub-suppliers, enhancing maneuverability in technological innovations and theability to bring down costs.
The wind sector has adopted many standards and bestpractices from other sectors. In recent years, the matter of standardization inthe wind industry has taken a big leap forward in Denmark and companies andbusiness organizations are coming together to form standards that are designedspecifically for application within the wind industry alone. By adhering tocommon standards, suppliers need fewer manufacturing and quality controllingprocesses, leading to fewer product failures. Standardization can be expandedto numerous areas within the wind industry and the development and deploymentof standards is expected to increase in the coming years. In this process, thestrong tradition for cooperation in Denmark will be very relevant. Having a well-functioning supply chain is ofparamount importance when it comes to making wind energy even more competitivein the race to be first with the newest, best and most competitive products.
Case Study for USAThe U.S. wind industry reported 29,634 megawatts (MW) ofwind capacity under construction or in advanced development as of the end ofthe third quarter of 2017, a 27% year-over-year increase and the highest levelreported since AWEA began tracking both categories at the beginning of 2016.
Utilities announced new plans to develop and own 3,040 MW ofwind capacity during the third quarter, and project developers announced 1,337MW of power purchase agreements (PPA) signed. Six corporate customers signedPPAs during the third quarter, accounting for 62% of total project capacitycontracted.Project developers installed 534 MW during the thirdquarter, bringing year-to-date installations to 2,892 MW. There are now 84,944MW of installed wind capacity in the United States.3Some of the most common questions about renewable energyfocus on how wind and solar can be reliably integrated into the power system.Many people are unaware of technological advances that allow wind and solar toprovide grid reliability services as well as or better than conventional powerplants. The following report answers 14 of the most frequently asked questionswith lessons learned from grid operators’ experiences reliably integratinglarge amounts of renewable energy.
U.S. wind energy provides enough electricity to power theequivalent of over 25 million homes. Iowa and South Dakota reliably producedmore than 30% of their electricity from wind last year, and a total of ninestates are above 15%. At times, wind has supplied more than 60% of theelectricity on the main utility system in Colorado, and more than 50% of themain Texas power system and the Southwest Power Pool system. These powersystems have seen electric reliability increase.While U.
S. and European grid operators have already reliablyintegrated large amounts of wind energy, studies indicate that we can go farhigher. Studies examining obtaining 50% or more of our electricity from windand solar have found no major obstacles to doing so. Ten years ago, someutilities and grid operators were concerned about reaching 5% wind; thetechnology advances and lessons learned that have allowed that to be exceededover the last decade are likely to continue in the future.Instead of using the term “baseload,” it is more accurate totalk about the three main services the grid needs to operate reliably: energy,capacity, and flexibility. Energy is the production of electricity, capacity isthe ability to produce power during periods of high demand, and flexibility isthe ability to change output to keep supply and demand in balance.
Cost-effectively obtaining all three services requires a division of laboramong a diverse mix of energy sources, as no resource excels at providing allthree. For example, coal and nuclear plants typically do not providesignificant flexibility, and other resources can provide energy and capacity atlower cost. Wind energy fits well into this mix as a low-cost source of energy,though it also provides some capacity and can provide flexibility when it iseconomic to do so.
Other plants provide energy at those times, in the same waythat all power plants back up all other power plants. Portfolio diversity isthe key, as no resource is available 100% of the time. All power plants havereduced output at times, and grid operators plan for wind’s contribution usingthe same tools they use to evaluate the contributions of other resources.Adding wind power never increases the need for power plant capacity, but ratherreduces it. During a number of events wind has demonstrated its contribution toa more diverse and resilient energy portfolio by stepping in when otherresources failed unexpectedly.
Cheap natural gas, not renewable energy, is the primaryfactor undermining the competitiveness of coal and nuclear plants. Wind and theproduction tax credit (PTC) are compatible with well-functioning electricitymarkets. Wind’s impact on other generators is market-driven and the same asthat of any low-cost generator, and small compared to other factors.
As wind energy has grown to provide a larger share of ourelectricity mix, renewable energy technology has matured so that modern windand solar plants are able to provide the same grid reliability services asconventional generators, including voltage and reactive power control, frequencyand inertial response, active power control, and voltage and frequencyride-through. In some cases, the reliability services provided by renewablesexceed those of conventional generators, while in other cases conventionalgenerators can provide those services more economically than wind generators,but wind generators can provide those services if it becomes economic to do so.Variability and uncertainty are nothing new for gridoperators, as they have always dealt with large and unexpected fluctuations inelectricity supply and demand by changing the output of power plants. Mostchanges in wind output are canceled out by other offsetting changes inelectricity supply and demand, and any remaining variability is accommodatedusing the same flexible reserves that grid operators have always used. In fact,because changes in wind output occur gradually and can be forecasted, they areless costly for grid operators to accommodate than the abrupt failures of largeconventional power plants. Contrary to most people’s intuitive experience thatwinds are variable and electricity demand and supply is stable, the opposite isactually true at the grid operator scale.Grid operator data show that increasing the use of existingflexible resources to accommodate wind and solar amounts costs only pennies ona typical electric bill. In fact, the cost of accommodating the unexpectedfailures of large conventional power plants is far higher.
No. One of main reasons why an integrated power system wasfirst built more than 100 years ago was so all power plants could back up allother power plants. Because most sources of variability cancel each other out,having a dedicated backup source for each would be highly inefficient andcounterproductive.Market-based grid operating reforms and transmissionupgrades are by far the lowest hanging fruit for making the power system more efficientby using more of the flexibility that already exists on the power system. Thesegrid operating reforms provide major net benefits to consumers and improvereliability even without renewable energy on the power system, so they shouldbe implemented anyway.No, but it can be helpful. Very large amounts of wind energycan be reliably integrated at low cost without a need for energy storage.Energy storage provides a variety of services and is therefore best viewed as asystem resource and not a resource for renewable energy.
Energy storage istypically a more expensive source of flexibility than grid operating reformsthat allow greater use of the flexibility that already exists on the powersystem.In some areas the growth of wind energy has outpaced theaddition of transmission. At times this has required reducing, or curtailing,the output of wind plants until new transmission is added. However, aslong-needed grid upgrades are completed, wind curtailment is being virtuallyeliminated, as are occurrences of negative electricity prices. Wind energyalways has high economic value, particularly once the environmental and publichealth costs of fossil fuel generation are taken into account.European nations have demonstrated that wind energy canreliably provide a large share of our electricity, with Ireland, Spain, andPortugal obtaining around 20% of their electricity from wind on an annualbasis, Germany at 25% from wind and solar, and Denmark at nearly 35% wind.Carbon emissions have fallen drastically in all of these countries, whileelectric reliability has been maintained at world-leading levels and in manycases improved.Wind energy greatly reduces emissions of carbon dioxide andother pollutants after all impacts on other power plants are taken intoaccount.
4Pros and Cons of Wind EnergyPros and cons of Wind Energy have been discussed above inCase Study for USA. Further they were discussed in earlier report andreproduced hereunder;CostOften, we compare the unit cost of electricity produced fromwind versus conventional sources like oil. Although technological advancementsand economy of scale has significantly reduced the cost of wind energy andalmost make it comparable.
In fact, if we talk about Pakistan then wind energytariff is less than conventional power sources. Economical electricitygeneration is more a regional matter than a global. For example, some regionmay rich in oil and therefore, they naturally are inclined to produce energyfrom oil than any other source. However, when we talk about cost then we are not used toconsider the hidden costs associated with thermal generation like airpollution, T costs, climate change, health impacts on local and globalcommunity. These hidden costs are difficult to assess however, carefulestimates have revealed that cost of per unit electricity shall be almostdoubled if accounted in tariff petitions. 5Conventional thermal plants emphasize central generation andthen distribute to small and large consumers through transmission anddistribution system. Whereas wind energy has induced a unique concept ofdistributed generation. Wind plant can be standalone for largely dispersedcommunities and therefore do not required extensive T system.
Further, as per recent report published by NREL, sciencedriven innovation can reduce the cost of wind energy further to 50% by 2030. Itis in addition to previous cost reduction of 66% with current technology since2009.6Intermittency and Grid Issues Intermittency with wind energy has always remained achallenge, resulting utility operators to argue for thermal plants so thatdemand of base loads can be fulfilled 24/7.
The difficulty associated with integratingvariable sources of electricity stems from the fact that the power grid wasdesigned around the concept of large, controllable electric generators. Intermittentrenewables are challenging because they disrupt the conventional methods forplanning the daily operation of the electric grid. Their power fluctuates overmultiple time horizons, forcing the grid operator to adjust its day-ahead,hour-ahead, and real-time operating procedures. While renewables disrupt thegrid’s operation in a number of ways, it is not impossible to compensate forthe additional intermittency and uncertainty.The key is to have a mix of sources spread over a wide area:solar and wind power, biogas, biomass and geothermal sources. In the future,ocean energy can contribute too. 7Moreover, if we apply the Law of Large Number to renewable energy, it dictatesthat the combined output of every wind turbine connected to the grid is farless volatile than the output of an individual generator. In a studycommissioned by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, General Electriccalculated that an additional 15,000 megawatts of installed wind energy shall onlyrequire an additional 18 megawatts of new flexible reserve capacity to maintainthe stability of the grid.
So, the intermittency issue is often exaggerated outof proportion and it can be coped with additional measures by system operators.8One conventional way of energy storage system is usingbatteries which is still expensive and inefficient from many aspects. Althoughmarket demand is forcing manufacturers to bring innovation and make usage ofbatteries more efficient.
Investment in R&D sector has produced larger sizeof batteries which are more efficient also. Further, many new energy storage methods like pumped water,flywheel, compressed air etc. are under development. 9Itis just a matter of time that these solutions shall be available commerciallyand solve the intermittency issues.Climate ChangeGlobal climate change has already had observable effects onthe environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking upearlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted, and trees are flowering sooner.
Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from globalclimate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level riseand longer, more intense heat waves. 10Pakistan makes a tiny contribution to total globalgreenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, less than 1% (among the lowest in the world)but it is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and it hasvery low technical and financial capacity to adapt to its adverse impacts.11The Paris Agreement’s ratified by 170 countries is tostrengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping aglobal temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius abovepre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increaseeven further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.12It sounds a good commitment, but we cannot achieve it unless we pursue cleanenergy sources and replace the use of oil.Pros of Oil based power PlantsHigh Energy Density – Oil has one of thehighest energy densities which means that a small amount of oil can produce alarge amount of energy.
This makes it very useful as its high energy densityhas made it the preferred choice for use as fuel in automobiles.Easy Availability, Infrastructure for Transport and Use –Oil is widely distributed in almost all parts of the world and one of the mostabundant energy resource13.Also, there exists a massive infrastructure to transport oil to other placesthrough ships, pipelines and tankers. This means that oil is availablethroughout the world.Easy to Produce and Refine – Oil is not verydifficult to produce though most of the low-cost locations have already beendepleted. Now Oil is being mined off the coasts in seas and also tar sands. OilRefinery Technology is also quite old and mature which implies that refining ofoil to get valuable products like diesel, petrol is also quite easy.Constant Power Source and Reliability – Unlikesolar and wind energy, oil can produce power 24/7 and is highly reliable.Oil engines are a mature technology and highly reliable to work with.14 1 https://ipaper.ipapercms.dk/Windpower/Englishpublications/Wind_Energy_Moving_Ahead/2 https://cleantechnica.com/2016/03/09/denmark-the-little-country-with-big-renewable-energy-goals/3 http://awea.files.cms-plus.com/3Q%202017%20AWEA%20Market%20Report%20Public%20Version.pdf4 http://awea.files.cms-plus.com/FileDownloads/pdfs/AWEA%20Renewable%20Energy%20Builds%20a%20More%20Reliable%20and%20Resilient%20Electricity%20Mix.pdf5 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/energyrevolution/renewable-energy-myths/6 https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68123.pdf7 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/energyrevolution/renewable-energy-myths/8 https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/renewable-energy-intermittency-explained-challenges-solutions-and-opportunities/9http://mragheb.com/NPRE%20475%20Wind%20Power%20Systems/Energy%20Storage%20with%20Wind%20Power.pdf10 https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_in_Pakistan12 http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php13 http://homepages.spa.umn.edu/~larry/ADVANTAGE_DIS_ENERGY.pdf14 http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-oil-cons-disregarded-by-powerful-lobbies/