Markets - 31/January/2019

Fail safe renewable energy power systems

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany is testing how a 100% renewable power system can be achieved with internal low voltage distribution networks, flexible consumption and generation from local production points

The linked power systems of western Denmark and northern Germany are innovative testing grounds for how to achieve reliable and affordable supplies of electricity entirely from renewable energy. Strong cross-border grids, new types of system technology and platforms for local energy exchange are all in the mix. Europe’s regulator is keeping a close eye on progress.

Challenge: Renewable energies do not cause disturbances, but change electricity system behaviour, demanding new approaches to daily operations
Answers: Denmark is boosting the capacity of its cross-border high voltage wires and embedding technology to recreate the system inertia lost when renewables replace central generation. Schleswig-Holstein, Germany wants internal low voltage distribution networks to contribute to security of supply with flexible consumption and generation from local production points

Concern: The European power system is, in some areas, increasingly being operated closer to technical limits

Key quote: “Politicised and state-driven national energy policies inhibit the necessary formation of trust between countries to allow them to successfully engage in cross-border energy security”

Bottom line: Every TSO should be able to restore its power system to a robust state if hit by rolling blackouts triggered elsewhere ...

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