Distribution and transmission operators could trade for flexible capacity at the same time
The secret of systems that are user-friendly and simple is they are often the result of complex mathematical calculations. This is particularly true of the trials for a Local Energy Market (LEM) in southwest England, which sought to prove that decentralised renewables generation assets within the region could provide the grid with sufficient flexibility to self-balance the bigger swings in demand and supply that accompany a shift to localised clean power. ...
CASE STUDY: Technologically, microgrids are relatively simple to establish. It is the business case that is complex and can make or break a project
As technology costs come down and microgrids become increasingly “smart” using more advanced digital tools, their role in integrating distributed energy resources is set to expand. By providing flexibility to the local distribution system and deferring the need for expensive transmission upgrades, microgrids are facilitating the electrification and decarbonisation of the energy networks
Building solar and wind projects without subsidies is seen by many as the solution to the energy transition. But falling costs can create their own problems, especially without the right regulation and continuing financial support for fossil fuels
As economic activity declined under the pandemic so did demand for electricity. Fossil fuel generation was squeezed off the grid by renewable energy projects with lower marginal costs. Fears that the higher proportion of fluctuating supply would destabilise power systems proved unfounded and grids remained stable. If renewables are to be tasked with keeping the grid secure, alternative mechanisms, already available, must be introduced soon
No matter how much wind and solar power is generated, the energy transition cannot be achieved without a built-for-purpose electricity infrastructure. Gaps in the interconnections of Europe’s grid network and lack of capacity on the wires where it is needed most will halt green electrification of energy.
Network operators tasked with managing the steadily bigger swings in demand and supply that accompany greater uptake of solar and wind energy have had to choose between constraining clean generation, which adds to operating cost, or increasing grid capacity requiring capital expenditure. A less costly way is to buy system flexibility in a competitive but carefully coordinated process. Trials in areas of Britain challenged by grid constraints are producing encouraging results