Maximizing use of green power generation

A Lastest News about Electricity Generation and Distribution in Finland

Posted on: 10 Aug 2012

A new solution shifts electricity consumption away from peak times, balances the grid and maximizes the use of wind and solar power generation.

9 August 2012 Maximizing benefits of renewable energy resources A new solution shifts electricity consumption away from peak times, balances the grid and reduces the need for increased energy production. By adjusting consumption to match fluctuations in renewable energy generation, the solution maximizes the use of wind and solar power generation. Less transmission capability is needed and capital tied-up in reserve energy resources can be directed towards smart energy development. Photo: Fingrid Fluctuations in energy consumption increase energy costs and emissions in a traditional energy system. In addition, the grid can't work unless production and consumption are equal at all times. Ensuring feasible costs and maintaining security of supply make it paramount to balance energy production and consumption. Traditional power plants ensure balancing by employing automation or professionals in the control room to make sure that the level of production matches the level of consumption. This model is unsustainable because centralized solutions do not scale into an environment of distributed renewable resources. Growing by utilizing traditional energy sources is not feasible because of depleting fuel supplies or growing emissions. To solve this problem, Empower IM, Elenia, There Corporation, Helen, Fortum, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Tampere University of Technology and VTT set out to build Demand Response - a complete solution that would enable energy consumption to follow market signals, making previously static metering points behave in an active way. The solution was developed in the Smart Grids and Energy Markets (SGEM) program under the CLEEN Ltd (Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation for Energy and Environment). "Demand Response combines everything, from metering points to electricity suppliers and all the parts in between, into a complete value chain. It is soon going to be piloted with specific energy suppliers and networks," says SGEM Program Manager Jani Valtari from Cleen Ltd. Creating a solution like this has been discussed in the academia and energy industry for years but before recently it remained on the level of theoretical papers or was implemented manually in large volume instances. Creating multiple benefits Demand Response can be used in the real world of dynamic energy markets, distributed roles and large numbers of customer sites. It elevates customers today to be real participants in the future smart grids and energy markets developing right now. The solution is most beneficial on the market- and national-level scope. Implementing it into energy systems would enhance planning and implementation of the balance in production and consumption. As a result, the market would not need to provide as much transmission capability as it does today and national capital tied-up in reserve energy resources could be directed elsewhere. In addition, the solution would enable new production resources to be connected to the distribution grids that would otherwise not be able to sustain such distributed two-way energy flows. Maximizing renewable energy generation The solution is highly beneficial especially for maximizing the benefits of renewable energy generation because it adjusts consumption to the fluctuations in generation associated with renewable energy like wind and solar power. Since there are practically no marginal costs for producing solar and wind energy, the solution © Tomgriger enables the full use of this energy at all times and allows us not to limit solar and wind production. Without the solution, renewable energy production needs to be limited as has been done in previous implementations around Europe. The solution manages to combine balancing of the electricity system and maximum use of renewable energies at all times by shifting consumption to make use ofthe extra production. It can also be used to shift usage of stored energy in EV batteries, supercapacitors or other storage solutions. “The solution enables us to achieve balance in the electricity system in a way otherwise impossible without limiting the energy production of renewable resources,” says Development Director Jan Segerstam from Empower IM. "The solution is key in making full use of renewable energy resources that will become the backbone of production in future energy ecosystems." Improving SMEs competitiveness The solution also allows for better planning of interim production for small and medium sized industry sites. For example factories that produce an interim product like sawdust for particle boards can reduce the cost of the final product by shifting production of sawdust towards the night, when energy demand is smaller and therefore cheaper. Thus, the solution would help shift interim production based on market information with less overhead than before. As a result, options previously open only for large market players are opened up for smaller companies. Automated Demand Response processes can also benefit smaller industries through aggregation and single-site installation. Market signals to shift home consumption For instance, Empower IM together with There Corporation are developing a solution that incorporates a device that would enable shifts in a household’s energy consumption based on the market signals. This would deliver efficient heating or air conditioning with less emissions. 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Posted: 10 August 2012

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