Dramatic cost reductions mean wind and solar can now compete on price with conventional sources of energy in many parts of the world, including the UK. This turns the spotlight onto the so-called “whole system costs” of integrating renewables into the electricity system, which include backing up intermittent generation and strengthening grids. In a report published this week, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) reviews the latest evidence, finding that these costs are “modest” – probably of the order of £10 per megawatt hour (MWh), even if wind and solar double their output from today. But the UK needs to keep investing and upgrading its electricity grid, regardless of the mix of generating technologies. A more flexible grid would help secure electricity supplies and keep the integration costs of renewables to a minimum, offering savings of up to £8bn per year by 2030.
Carbon Brief 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
The UK government must act urgently to support greater flexibility in the country’s power system or risk escalating system costs, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has warned. The UKERC has today updated a decade-old report assessing the added costs and impacts that variable electricity generators such as wind and solar have on the grid, concluding that those costs stand to be restricted by greater network flexibility. The centre’s initial report in 2006 found that network costs for renewable penetration of around 20% would be minimal at an estimated £10/MWh in 2015 terms. But these estimates have looked increasingly out of date as countries are forced to adopt more ambitious renewable energy targets. The UK has repeatedly set new records for renewable generation in recent quarters.
Solar Portal 21st Feb 2017 read more »