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Wind turbines and grid stability

Can assure you all that the renewables whether intermittent or periodic are economically and sustainably more viable than the current alternatives.

The crux of the matter is solely to do with the management of the national grid. Historically there has been no way round the fact that we need a continuous base generation by conventional power stations. Our debate should not include or confuse this essential requirement with sustainability.

The grid is managed between off peak and peak load by adding or subtracting electricity to maintain the voltage and frequency limits (otherwise everything would trip out).

The awkward aspects are how to manage this addition and subtraction efficiently. In general the load profiles of the UK are well defined seasonally. What currently happens is that generators are switched on and off line to maintain stability (but they are still kept running). This also applies to wind farms except when excess energy can be
exported to the EU (the time zone peaks also help).

If there is no export opportunity excess generation has to be "spilled" which becomes counter productive. This is where storage mediums come in and any excess energy can be used
to bulk up capacity for peak lopping. At the moment the very best in the UK by far are the pumped storage and hydro systems. But we have many opportunities for other systems and these include using old mines to store compressed air and tidal hydro pumped schemes (other options exist too).

So with any increase in intermittents and periodic renewables a corresponding increase in storage is required to help the grid stabilise and also to reduce the peak generation capacity required to be installed ie less coal or nuclear power stations. Now if I can do this in a pico scale in the shed and get 60% efficiencies it surely must be a no brainer.

I appeal to the all ( SDC / OFFGEN / National Grid / Utilities / UK gov & the banks) to promote and build the sustainable generating infrastructure the UK needs as a whole with a much higher mix of macro and micro renewable solutions with storage.

If any one out there has a big hole in the ground or an unused bunker or a lagoon by the sea we would be happy to collaborate.

I believe the figure is currently over £9 billion for the national grid infrastructure improvements the UK is funding (cables and distribution). I have not discovered any evidence of this including substantial distributed generation or storage systems yet.

My view is that there is still insufficient holistic thinking at local and national grid levels and the various factions are actually inhibiting change. The UK has to be brave and forge new arrangements not keep shuffling around the same pieces.

Regards

Paul Johannsen

Thames Renewables
www.thamesrenewables.com

"Delivering sustainable solutions across the UK"