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News & Articles on Grid Integration

Grid integration of renewable energy, especially wind energy, is a controversial topic--and has been for nearly three decades. Frankly, I think the subject has been beaten to death and for my part the questions answered many times over. Nevertheless, those opposed to renewable energy continually raise the subject in the hopes that this is some silver bullet that will put wind and solar energy in its grave. As a consequence, renewable energy advocates ask me for help to rebut the common myths about wind energy's "unreliability". For this reason, I occassionally post articles or reports on the topic of grid integration.

Are solar and wind really killing coal, nuclear and grid reliability?

May 11, 2017,   by Joshua D. Rhodes

So, are wind and solar killing coal and nuclear? Yes, but not by themselves and not for the reasons most people think. Are wind and solar killing grid reliability? No, not where the grid’s technology...

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Sub-Surface Pumped Hydroelectric Storage

March 24, 2017,  

Another interesting concept being considered is to locate one or both reservoirs below ground (sub-surface).

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Another Proposed Mine Conversion to Pumped Storage: Marmora

March 24, 2017,  

A proposal by Northland Power for a project in Ontario, Canada.

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Germany Is Converting a Coal Mine Into a Massive Renewable Energy Battery

March 24, 2017,   by DAVID NIELD

Gemany is turning one of its old coal mines into a giant 'battery station' that will store hydroelectric power and provide energy to around 400,000 homes, with hopes of launching similar facilities...

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Denmark's Agricco: History’s First Interconnected Wind Turbine

April 14, 2016,   by Paul Gipe

In 1919 the utility installed a wind turbine at Buddinge and connected it to its lines—a first worldwide, a full two decades before the Smith-Putnam machine in Vermont was connected to the grid.[more]

Category: History of Wind Power, Grid Integration, Book Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

Dispelling the nuclear 'baseload' myth: nothing renewables can't do better!

March 10, 2016,   by Mark Diesendorf

But not only can renewables supply baseload power, they can do something far more valuable: supply power flexibly according to demand. Now nuclear power really is redundant.

Category: Grid Integration, Nuclear Power

Grid Integration of Renewable Energy: Flexibility, Innovation, Experience

March 2, 2016,   by Eric Martinot

Experience with measures and innovations for grid integration in all these categories is given, from several jurisdictions like Germany, Denmark, and California, where renewables already provide...

Category: Grid Integration

What happens during windstorms in Germany?

December 23, 2015,   by Craig Morris

This year, it will have closer to a third renewable power, close the new target for 2020, which now stands at 35 percent. Moreover, the level of 20 percent – once thought hard to reach by 2020 – has...

Category: News on Large Wind, Grid Integration

German grid operator sees 70% wind + solar before storage needed

December 7, 2015,   by Giles Parkinson

The company responsible for more than one-third of Germany’s electricity grid says there is no issue absorbing high levels of variable renewable energy such as wind and solar, and grids could absorb...

Category: Grid Integration

The untold story of how windfarms help keep the lights on

November 5, 2015,   by Dave Toke

In fact, buried deep inside regulatory reports there is official recognition that wind power does have substantial equivalent firm capacity.

Category: Debunking Myths about Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Renewable energy and the need for storage: Lessons to be learned from the situation in Germany

November 5, 2015,   by Martin Tampier

“Up to a renewable electricity share of 60%, the addition of power storage devices is not a condition for the addition of solar PV and wind power plants… Even at high degrees of penetration (90% in...

Category: Grid Integration

Germany: Operating reserve shrinks during Energiewende

August 13, 2015,   by Craig Morris

Fluctuating wind and solar power are expected to increase the need for dispatchable generators to ramp up and down quickly. So why has the operating reserve shrunk in Germany?

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: Backing up wind and nuclear power

March 26, 2015,   by Bernard Chabot

Nuclear power covered a whopping 87.2 percent of power demand in France and 73.3 percent of power generation in 2013 (the difference stems from power trading). But because France’s nuclear fleet is...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: Solar eclipse: how big was the success?

March 23, 2015,  

Category: Grid Integration, News on Solar Energy

Boell: “Seasonal storage not needed for now”

March 10, 2015,   by Craig Morris

In line with previous investigations, such as the one by Fraunhofer ISE, the AEE finds that storage across weeks at a time will “not become relevant until renewables make up at least 60 to 80 percent...

Category: Grid Integration

Boell: How is Germany integrating and balancing renewable energy today?

February 19, 2015,   by Eric Martinot

The answer is that Germany has so far managed to integrate and balance high shares of renewable energy with very modest changes to its power system. Bigger changes will be necessary in the future,...

Category: Grid Integration

Power Grid Integration and Balancing of Renewables–Cases of Germany, California, Denmark

January 15, 2015,   by Eric Martinot

Many power grids around the world are already transitioning to high shares of renewables. The cases of Germany, California, and Denmark are among the leading examples. Germany has already reached a...

Category: Grid Integration

Boell: German grid more stable in 2013

August 25, 2014,   by Craig Morris

In other words, since 2006 we have witnessed a stabilization of Germany’s impressively reliable grid even as some 35 gigawatts of solar and 35 gigawatts of wind were installed on a grid with peak...

Category: Grid Integration, Renewable Energy

Renewables International: The value of wind power - balancing costs

August 20, 2014,   by Jérôme Guillet and John Evans

This is what feed-in tariffs do, fundamentally, by setting a fixed price for wind production which is high enough to reassure producers on their initial investment, and low enough to provide a hedge...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: The cost of wind

August 19, 2014,   by Jérôme Guillet and John Evans

That is the point of feed-in tariffs, which provide stable, predictable revenue to wind producers, and ensure that their maximum production is injected into the system at all times, which influences...

Category: News on Feed in Tariffs, Grid Integration, News on Large Wind

ReNewEconomy: Wind energy to rescue as EDF takes part of UK’s nuclear fleet offline

August 12, 2014,   by Giles Parkinson

According to the FT, National Grid said the closures should not affect the UK’s energy supply. “Demand is low at this time of year, and a lot of wind power is being generated right now,” it said.

Category: Grid Integration, Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power

Baseload Nuclear Plants?

February 11, 2014,   by Glen Estill

But today, 5 out of 16 of the nuclear plants are off line (source: Sygration ). That is 27% of our nuclear capacity, or 3400 MW. The nuclear units that are off line are 50% more than the total...

Category: Nuclear Power, Grid Integration

ABS: Renewable energy plants to soon plug power shortage

February 9, 2014,  

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has finally approved the Feed in Tariff (FIT) Disbursement and Collections Guidelines, which will pave the way for an additional 320 megawatts of much needed...

Category: Philippines FIT, Grid Integration

Elia: Belgian Wind-power generation data

December 9, 2013,  

You can find here wind-power generation forecasts, real-time estimates of actual wind-power generation, and historical wind-power generation data.

Category: Grid Integration

PJM Grid Integration Study

October 28, 2013,  

Even at 30% penetration, results indicate that the PJM system can handle the additional renewable integration with sufficient reserves and transmission build out.

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: German wind + solar push power prices way down on Sunday

October 1, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

Based on our best estimate, Germany managed to get 34 percent of its electricity from wind and solar over a 24-hour period on Sunday – measured in gigawatt-hours, not gigawatts. Prices on the...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: How Wind and Solar PV Production Complement Each Other from Winter to Summer and How to Improve this Advantage? Analysis and Conclusions for France and Germany

September 23, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

Sustainable renewable energy (RE) policies must be based on a wise mix between technologies and applications. In the case of variable but predictable RE technologies such as wind power and solar PV,...

Category: Grid Integration

Esperance Wind farms take precedence in utility generation

September 11, 2013,   by Neville Selby

Most of the time, Esperance uses all the electricity the wind farms produce, and the power station makes up any shortfall so that a reliable supply of electricity is always available.

Category: Debunking Myths about Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Renewables International: Renewable Energy for Electricity in California in 2012 and its Future Role

August 19, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has published on August 1, 2013 the 2012 data for the whole California power system [1]. This analysis completes the preliminary analysis from the California...

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Baseload power is a myth: even intermittent renewables will work

August 10, 2013,   by Mark Diesendorf

In a previous article for The Conversation I reported on the initial results of computer simulations by a research team at the University of New South Wales that busted the myth that renewable energy...

Category: Grid Integration, Renewable Energy

Low Wind Speed and Medium Wind Speed Turbines or New Large Diameter Turbines with Low Generator Ratings

August 9, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

Long awaited, low specific capacity-high specific area turbines are the kind of technology needed to make wind energy an essential low-cost component of moving society toward 100% renewable energy.[more]

Category: Grid Integration, News on Large Wind, FloWind

Windpower Monthly: Power system reserve - No need to build wind back-up

August 1, 2013,   by Lyn Harrison

Addition of wind generation to a large power system does not require construction of back-up generating capacity.

Category: News on Large Wind, Grid Integration

LA Times: Putting more wind power on the grid

July 22, 2013,   by The Times editorial board

Wind turbines tend to be overshadowed by solar power projects, which get most of the attention from the public and policymakers. . . Despite its second-class status, wind is a much bigger producer of...

Category: Grid Integration, Renewable Energy

Renewables International: Renewables and California's heat wave

July 2, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

Just as power demand is peaking in the area, California is losing its nuclear plants. At the beginning of June, a decision was made not to reopen the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant, and just this...

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Sunny or Cloudy weather: which impact on electricity from wind and solar?

June 17, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

From January to May 2013, Germany weather was very different from other years, mainly with less sun than average. To assess if those exceptional conditions had an important impact on electricity...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: The "technical maximum" of wind power – in 1995

April 30, 2013,   by Craig Morris

18 years ago, a skeptic of wind power reviewed a German book on the history of wind power in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ). The journalist still publishes for the paper. His comments...

Category: Renewable Energy, Grid Integration

Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time

April 8, 2013,   by Willett Kempton

At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90%e99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable...

Category: Grid Integration, Renewable Energy

The new economics of the [wind] power sector

March 25, 2013,   by Jérôme Guillet

There's naturally a push to stop further investment in renewables - but here's the second hard truth: the cat is out of the bag: once renewable energy reaches a critical mass, its impact on power...

Category: Grid Integration

Carbon Brief: "We've managed these things in the past, and managed them quite well" - an interview with Richard Smith of National Grid

March 8, 2013,   by Robin Webster

Dismissing this as one of the "flakier arguments" in the renewables debate, Smith points to a recent analysis National Grid undertook for the Scottish Parliament. It concluded that over an 18 month...

Category: Grid Integration, Debunking Myths about Wind Energy

Renewables International: Spain sets record for wind power production

February 5, 2013,   by Craig Morris

Since the beginning of November, wind power has been the largest source of electricity within Spain – ahead of even nuclear and coal power – according to the Spanish wind power association's blog....

Category: News on Large Wind, Grid Integration, Spain FIT

Renewables International: A lot of common ground despite criticism

January 16, 2013,   by Craig Morris

Germany likes to sell itself as a leader in environmental protection, but not everyone is convinced. In particular, the Anglo world remains devoted to nuclear power and criticizes Germany for not...

Category: Nuclear Power, Grid Integration, Renewable Energy

Renewables International: How wind and solar complement each other in California

January 9, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

For the first time ever, power production from PV and CSP were separately reported in December for California. French energy expert Bernard Chabot took a look at the figures, especially to determine...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: 25% wind and PV in December

January 2, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

As French energy expert Bernard Chabot explains, December was a strong month for wind power in Germany, and in the last week of the month, when power demand was low because of the holidays and...

Category: Grid Integration

UK Wind Power "Debate" : Latest Debunking

October 23, 2012,   by Jérôme Guillet

The deceptively-named Global Warming Policy Foundation (often mentioned on ET, try here and here) think-tanks on climate change (obfuscation), renewable energy (opposition), and conventional energy...

Category: Debunking Myths about Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Reuters: Europe Power-French spot up on record nuclear outages

October 17, 2012,  

French electricity spot prices rose on Wednesday, decoupling from lower German prompt prices, boosted by a sharp decline in French nuclear power capacity caused by a series of unplanned outages,...

Category: Nuclear Power, Grid Integration

Renewables International: Warnings about possible power outages in Germany overstated

October 12, 2012,   by Craig Morris

An article today in German weekly Die Zeit reveals how completely overblown the likelihood is of power outages resulting from the country's Energiewende. . .

Category: Grid Integration, Debunking Myths about Germany's EEG

Greenpeace: Record wind power generation in Spain

October 9, 2012,  

During September Spanish tubines generated so much wind power that coal use in Spain crashed, reducing emissions from fossil fuels. . .

Category: News on Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Renewables International: German baseload power cheaper than French 12 months running

October 5, 2012,   by Craig Morris

The news is especially important because nuclear power, which provides slightly more than 75% of France's power supply, is often held to be an especially inexpensive source of baseload power....

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: Denmark already has 40% renewable power

October 3, 2012,  

One reason why Germans believe they can switch to renewables so fast is that one of their neighbors, Denmark, proves that it can be done. At the end of September, the Danish Energy Agency announced...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: More onshore wind needed

September 5, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

French energy expert Bernard Chabot takes a look at German power production over the past 12 months and finds that an increase in onshore wind would make the supply of renewable power more reliable....

Category: Grid Integration, News on Solar Energy

Renewables International: German grid reaches record reliability in 2011

September 5, 2012,   by Craig Morris

Last spring, when the German government resolved to shut down eight of the country's 17 nuclear plants within a week, there was concern about whether the country's grid would remain reliable. Not...

Category: Grid Integration

IPPR: Beyond the bluster: Why wind power is an effective technology

August 30, 2012,  

It shows unequivocally that wind power can significantly reduce carbon emissions, is reliable, poses no threat to energy security, and is technically capable of providing a significant proportion of...

Category: Debunking Myths about Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Renewables International: How Wind and PV Productivity Complement Each Other

August 10, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

French energy expert Bernard Chabot updates his analysis of the German intermittent power sector with data from July. . . the variability of the productivity ratio of the combined [Wind + PV]...

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: From winter to summer: a well balanced and increasing combined [wind + PV] production in Germany

August 8, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

French energy expert Bernard Chabot investigates the changes in wholesale power prices in Germany stemming from the increase in green power production. . .

Category: Grid Integration

Renewables International: German wind and PV lower European market power prices

July 24, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

In countries with a large penetration rate of zero fuel cost renewables (wind power in Denmark and Spain, wind and PV in Germany), the “merit-order effect” (avoiding the most costly means of power...

Category: Grid Integration, News on Solar Energy

Renewables International: The "softening effect" of wind and solar on Grid Integration

July 16, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

French expert Bernard Chabot explains another benefit from a balanced mix of wind and solar: their combined daily maximum outputs are lower than the addition of their installed capacity, allowing for...

Category: Grid Integration, News on Solar Energy, News on Wind Energy

Renewables International: How wind and PV complement each other

July 6, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot and Craig Morris

From January to June 2012, data published on the EEX web site show that, if well balanced, PV and wind production can complement each other along the seasons, leading to an easier to manage...

Category: Grid Integration, News on Solar Energy

Scenarios with High Shares of Renewable Energies

July 2, 2012,   by Dr. Carsten Pape

Summarizes the German Leitstudie (2011) that found 60 TWh of storage would be needed to meet Germany's 2050 renewable targets.

Category: Grid Integration, News on Large Wind

Bloomberg: Renewables Make German Power Market Design Defunct

June 26, 2012,  

Electricity generation from renewable energy in Germany is reducing power prices and has left the country with a market whose design no longer works, according to Stadtwerke Leipzig GmbH. Renewable...

Category: Germany FIT, Grid Integration

Renewables International: PV system size still diverse in Germany

June 25, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

French consultant and sustainable energy expert Bernard Chabot updates Germany's PV installation data in terms of system size vis-à-vis market share, compares it with the 2009-2011 distribution and...

Category: News on Solar Energy, Grid Integration, Germany FIT

Renewables International: We need a mix

June 15, 2012,   by Bernard Chabot

French consultant and sustainable energy expert Bernard Chabot analyzes Germany's PV and wind power installations performance “from power to energy and to percentage of electricity production” and...

Category: Grid Integration

Wind Generation Also Good Match with Peak Demand Says Northern Power

March 30, 2012,   by James Jennings

  One of the persistent comments about wind vs. solar is that solar has a better fit with time of use both time of year and time of day. Most everyone seems to repeat the same phrase that PV has a...[more]

Category: News on Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Europe Power-More wind power supply curbs spot price

March 28, 2012,  

Category: News on Wind Energy, Grid Integration

Why power generators are terrified of solar

March 27, 2012,   by Giles Parkinson, of RenewEconomy

Here is a pair of graphs that demonstrate most vividly the merit order effect and the impact that solar is having on electricity prices in Germany; and why utilities there and elsewhere are desperate...

Category: News on Solar Energy, Grid Integration, Germany FIT

Energy & Environmental Science: The carbon abatement potential of high penetration intermittent renewables

December 18, 2011,  

At very high penetrations, combining wind and solar power improved renewable portfolio performance over individual build-out scenarios by reducing curtailment, suggesting that further reductions may...

Category: Grid Integration

The Dangerous Power of Wind

November 11, 2011,   by Robert Freehing

A November 5, 2011 article in the New York Times emphasizes the “danger” of excess wind generation in Bonneville Power Authority’s service territory. A perfect storm last year poured heavy rain in...[more]

Category: Grid Integration

Merit Order Effect: Impact of Wind Generation on Wholesale Electricity Costs in 2011 in Ireland

February 1, 2011,   by Dr. Eoin Clifford (EirGrid)

"The analysis showed that wind generation lowers wholesale prices by over €70 million, which almost exactly offsets the costs of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy and other costs associated...

Category: Grid Integration

Hart & Jacobson: A Monte Carlo Approach to Generator Portfolio Planning and Carbon Emissions Assessments of Systems with Large Penetrations of Variable Renewables

November 30, 2010,  

A low carbon portfolio is produced for this system that is capable of achieving an 80% reduction in electric power sector carbon emissions from 2005 levels and supplying over 99% of the annual...

Category: Grid Integration

Wind Power [Grid Integration] Myths Debunked by IEEE Power & Energy Magazine

November 10, 2009,   by Michael Milligan, Kevin Porter, Edgar DeMeo, Paul Denholm, Hannele Holttinen, Br

Several misunderstandings and myths have arisen due to the characteristics of wind generation, particularly because wind-energy generation only occurs when the wind is blowing. . .

Category: Grid Integration

A Review of Large-scale Wind Integration in the United States by Ryan Wiser, LBNL

July 22, 2009,   by Ryan Wiser, LBL

Category: Grid Integration

The cost of wind, the price of wind, the value of wind

May 4, 2009,   by Jérôme Guillet

An excellent primer on the value and integration of wind into utility systems.

Category: Grid Integration

Wind Power’s Displacement of Fossil Fuels by Charles Komanoff

April 21, 2009,   by Charles Komanoff

[W]hen wind turbines are operated as parts of an interconnected grid for which the dominant share of energy is provided by generators burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), wind power...

Category: Debunking Myths about Wind Energy, Grid Integration, Fossil Fuels

More on the Merit Order Effect by Jérôme Guillet

March 31, 2009,   by Jérôme Guillet

In summary, wind power prices are comparable to those of fossil fuel ppower plants, but (i) that price is guaranteed not to change over the next 20 years, (ii) when wind is blowing, it brings down...

Category: Grid Integration

Some economic aspects of feed-in tariffs and green certificate schemes

January 9, 2009,   by Arne Kildegaard

Arne Kildegaard on the Merit Order Effect

Category: Grid Integration

Towards High Penetration Rates of Renewable Electricity: Solutions, Results of Experience

November 20, 2008,   by Bernard Chabot

Presentation on Integrating Renewable Electricity into the Grid by a French authority on renewable energy. Chabot's conclusion: Think Big! We already have the technology we need to go to 100% RE.

Category: Grid Integration

Grid Integration of Wind Energy

December 20, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

Grid integration of renewable energy, especially wind energy, is a controversial topic-and has been for nearly three decades. Frankly, I think the subject has been beaten to death and for my part the...[more]

Category: Grid Integration

Wind Penetration Update Denmark 2007

January 12, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

At 8 pm on January 12, 2007 Danish wind turbines produced 58% of total Danish consumption or 2725 MW of a 4735 MW load. There is 3,100 MW of Danish wind turbines on line. Danish turbines produced...[more]

Category: Grid Integration

Analysis of the Price Effect of Renewable Electricity Generation on Spot Market Prices in Germany

January 1, 2007,   by Frank Sensuss, Massimo Genose, and Mario Ragwitz

by Frank Sensuss, Massimo Genose, Mario Ragwitz (on the Merit Order Effect)

Category: Grid Integration

Midwest Wind Integration Study

December 15, 2006,   by Paul Gipe

The Midwest Wind Integration Study, which was required by the Minnesota legislature in 2005 to evaluate reliability and other impacts of higher levels of wind generation, found that the total...[more]

Category: Grid Integration

Wind Penetration Update 2006

August 31, 2006,   by Paul Gipe

New Energy reports (2/2006) that on 16 February, 2006 during the peak of consumption in Spain at 9:25 pm, Spanish wind turbines delivered 20% of total generation. This was during a period of low...[more]

Category: Grid Integration

The Costs of Wind's Variability: Is There a Threshold?

February 1, 2005,   by Joseph F. DeCarolis and David W. Keith

Even with the added costs to deal with intermittency, wind is roughly competitive with other generation technologies under a strong carbon constraint.

Category: Grid Integration

The Economics and Environmental Impacts of Large-Scale Wind Power in a Carbon Constrained World

December 2, 2004,   by Joseph Frank DeCarolis

When wind serves upwards of 60 percent of demand, the model chooses to install more GT than GTCC capacity because the lower rates of gas utilization dictate the use of lower efficiency, lower...

Category: Grid Integration

The economics of large-scale wind power in a carbon constrained world

July 31, 2004,   by Joseph F. DeCarolis, David W. Keith

We find that, with somewhat optimistic assumptions about the cost of wind turbines, the use of wind to serve 50% of demand adds ~1-2¢/kWh to the cost of electricity, a cost comparable to that of...

Category: Grid Integration

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