Exactly how much storage and back-up does renewable energy need? It’s a question at the heart of electricity planning and the subject of many of the myths peddled by vested interests in the fossil fuel lobby and the gullible media. The answer is: not nearly as much as the naysayers would have you think. According to the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia, which own the local and interstate grids, a level of between 30 and 50 per cent share of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar can be easily accommodated without any further back-up. That’s because there is so much back-up built into the system already to support coal and gas-fired generation, either to meet peaks in demand, or to fill in gaps when coal and gas plants fail, as they do quite regularly, particularly in hot weather. The estimate also reflects the changing view of technologies and how grids are managed. It was not so long ago that most engineers would have thought 10 per cent was the absolute maximum. The Murdoch media has been misquoting an old report saying that 20 per cent is the level at which problems occur. Some network operators think 60 per cent is the level. The CSIRO and ENA says the amount of storage needed beyond that 30 to 50 per cent continues to be minimal until much greater levels of renewable energy are introduced, and then the extent of that back-up is largely dependent on local weather and climate, and their natural renewable energy sources. The roadmap released by CSIRO and ENA on Friday, following nearly three years of work, includes an appendix on the levels of storage and/or peaking plant back-up needed, and how this might affect individual states.
Renew Economy 28th April 2017 read more »
A London-based renewable every developer has won planning permission for a new 19.8MW gas peaking plant and 20MW battery storage plant in Fife. The £28 million development in Glenrothes will bring significant investment to the local area and utilise local resources, promote energy independence and generate sustainable long term jobs in the energy sector. Set up in 2013, Sainc Energy also intends to launch a research and development centre for innovative energy technologies. In addition, the project will be a significant production facility to the UK energy capacity market as the energy it produces will contribute to the services needed for the smooth operation of the national grid and the stability of power supply. The plant will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A spokesman for Sainc Energy said: “With a combined value of £28m, the battery power portion of the project will be the first energy storage facility of its kind within Fife.
Scottish Energy News 28th April 2017 read more »