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Renewable Energy Plants – On October 8 he gave a speech at the Hybrid Power Plants conference organized by Solar Plaza. The conference focused on hybrid wind/solar and wind/solar/storage plants and how they can accelerate the energy transition.
A hybrid renewable energy plant combines at least two renewable generation technologies, sharing a single point of connection to the grid, and may also include storage. Hybrid designs play a major role in improving power system efficiency and providing greater balance in the power supply.
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Integrating technologies provides both technical and economic benefits. Hybrid plants can help make efficient use of grid-connected areas. If there are good complements of wind and solar sources. Energy production will be more stable and affordable. This can provide new revenue stream opportunities for the project.
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There are currently 22 wind farms in Europe, including 7 combined wind/solar plants. But governments can only speed up their implementation if they establish hybrid plants within their legal framework and provide clear definitions. This will help simplify licensing as it does not have to be handled on a case-by-case basis. supervision; Clear plans for energy traceability and energy labeling are needed.
To make hybrid plants economically viable; Governments must allow more total renewable energy to be installed and connected than contracted energy. Ireland Portugal and Spain already allow installed capacity in excess of contracted connection capacity: more countries should follow suit.
Governments must provide fair markets for hybrid plants and equal access to other ancillary services. And utility PPAs must integrate the total cost of energy supplied to support storage hybrids.
CEO Giles Dickson said: “Hybrid wind/solar plants can play an important role in our future energy system. They generate more wind power and have less variable output on their own than wind or solar power plants. But governments need to start supporting them through regulation, especially to make it easier to get licenses and network connections.” Solar and wind projects abound in California, such as the Pine Tree Wind Farm and a solar plant in the Tehachapi Mountains, but that doesn’t mean fossil fuels are quickly disappearing.
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On Sunday afternoon, California marked a historic milestone in the quest for clean energy. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and on May 8 the state generated enough renewable energy to meet 103 percent of its customers’ needs. This broke the record set a week earlier of 99.9%.
Energy experts say the declining records are a sign of the remarkable progress renewables can make. But this does not mean that fossil fuels are excluded.
Despite the dramatic increase in renewable energy, shutting down natural gas remains impossible in California. The reason is that the sun goes down and that’s when solar farms stop producing. California needs to quickly and seamlessly replace that energy with other sources like hydropower and natural gas.
The nation is rapidly building large battery projects for this purpose, so that energy generated during the day can be stored for use at sunset. But so far only a few parts are needed.
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California and more than a dozen other states are working toward long-term goals of achieving 100 percent clean energy year-round, but it’s a sign that getting off fossil fuels is no simple task.
“As long as they don’t replace natural gas as a service provider, their role is not going away,” said Arne Olsen, senior fellow at Energy + Environmental Economics. “The good news is that just adding wind, solar and batteries to our existing grid can go a long way.”
Spring is the best time of year for renewable energy in California. As the days pass, so does the solar energy. Wind and hydropower from the dams are noisy, and because of the mild temperatures, electricity demand is still low because the air conditioners have not yet been turned on.
For about an hour on April 30, grid operators at the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which serves about 80 percent of the state, will use solar, solar and electric power to meet all the demand in their region. air, Sufficient electricity was obtained from geothermal and small hydropower. Because it produced more energy than was needed at the time, some of it was exported to the West.
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“This is a huge accomplishment because it proves that if you can do it in an hour, you can do it for a long time,” said Mark Rothleder, senior vice president of ISO California.
Due to the dramatic expansion of solar farms, spring records have steadily declined in recent years. Renewable energy, including rooftop solar panels, has tripled in the state since 2005. By 2019, 63 percent of the state’s energy will be renewable; It comes from carbon-free sources, including hydropower and nuclear.
Still, amid record declines, natural gas plants generate electricity on California’s ISO grid, including about 10 percent of the electricity exported out of state. This is because it is important for these plants to be lit all day.
When the sun goes down, solar power is quickly dissipated from the grid; This means that grid operators must provide alternative sources of electricity. Supply and demand must be delicately balanced so that the whole system does not break down.
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When the sun goes down, California uses hydroelectric power to replace solar power. Imports from other states and natural gas plants are often used. But most large natural gas plants are large industrial plants that are not designed to start up quickly. Many take 4-8 hours to open; So to use it at sunset, it must have already worked during the day.
“We support them as much as we can,” Rothleder said. “We have to close anything below that.” But the bottom line is, if you close, you won’t have it when you need it for a few hours.”
This means that even when there is plenty of solar power during the day, natural gas power is still part of the energy mix. Indeed, on some days, Solar Farms have been ordered to shut down because there are too many on the grid.
California is working to store extra renewable energy generated during the day so it’s available at night. Large-scale battery projects are popping up across the state, and California’s energy storage has grown 20-fold in the past two and a half years.
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“The more solar storage we can bring online, the cleaner the nation can be when electricity is needed most,” said Shannon Eddy, executive director of the Large Scale Solar Association.
Still, batteries represent only a small percentage of the energy needed at sunset. So even with the nation’s ambitious climate change goals, the natural gas industry isn’t looking for an exit anytime soon.
“We’re very supportive of new technology and innovation and decarbonizing the grid,” said Alex Makler, senior vice president for the western region of Calpine Corporation, which operates California’s natural gas plants. “But there are things that the natural gas fleet does well that can’t be replaced easily or economically at this point.”
The former natural gas-fired Scattergood Generating Station in Southern California could become a new renewable hydrogen project. As California moves toward clean energy, fossil fuel companies are looking for ways to stay afloat.
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Studies of how California can achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045 have found that natural gas will continue to play a role for decades to come. Even if the goal is met, most natural gas plants will still be operating in 2045, according to the state’s analysis.
That’s because by law 100% of retail sales must be carbon-free and contain only energy that reaches consumers. California can generate more electricity than that because about 15% of the energy generated is lost in transportation before it is sold.
This means that, technically, natural gas plants can continue to operate in 2045, when the nation reaches the 100% threshold, which means that 15% of the energy produced does not have to be carbon-free.
Today, As renewable energy grows in California, fewer natural gas-fired power plants will result in lower revenues for these companies. But in the state’s energy market, plants are paid not just for the electricity they produce, but for making it available when the state needs it. Natural gas utilities are increasingly dependent on this revenue stream.
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“We expect the role of natural gas generators to continue to grow,” Makler said. “I can’t give most of them away.
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