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WindPower
growth, not to the amount of wind
addedtothesystem.
Taketheargumenttoitsextreme.Ina
system with no wind power, adequate
reserve capacity and no demand
growth,anyproportionofwindcanbe
introduced with no need for any
additional fossil fuel powered
generation.At100%windpenetration,
the non-wind plant would still be
needed for low or zero wind days.
However,peakingplantwouldbeused
muchlessandbaseloadplantwouldsee
sustained periods of potentially below
costprices–aparticularnightmarefor
thenuclearindustry.
Assuch,theproportionofwindthat
can be incorporated into a system is
bothanengineeringchallengeandan
economic one. The conundrum that
wind poses is not just technical i.e.
organisingtheelectricitygridinsucha
wayastocopewithincreasinglylarge
risesandfallsinsupplyfrommultiple
anddecentralisedsources,althoughthis
tooisasignificantchallenge.Itliesin
the fact that wind does not directly
displacefossilfuelgeneratingcapacity,
but will make this capacity less
profitabletomaintain.
Mitigating Intermittency
Thereareanumberofwaysinwhich
wind’s intermittency might be
mitigated. The organisation of
electricitysystemsisbeingrethoughtto
incorporatedecentralised,diffusedand
intermittentsourcesofenergy.Demand
response programs are aimed at
shavingoffpeaksindemand,butalso
mightbeseenastoolsinrespondingto
sudden losses of wind power. Any
innovation that increases flexibility
within the system should enable the
accommodation of higher proportions
ofintermittentpowersources.
The problem of wind producing
surplus power when it is not wanted
148 worldPower2009
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