Eco Power grid under the North Sea
germany, UK, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands Ireland, luxemburg
on 9th february the coordinating meeting is to be held
for the "North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative".
In Autummn 2010 the contracts will be formulatted and a
concrete time-plan will be fixed.
Right now a 580km DC cable connects nehterlands and Norway.
The Dutch can buy cheap water-power from norway and
store surplus windpower in norway's "pump-storage-lakes"
Fossil powerstations can be made obsolete earlier than thought.
It will be financed by private power-corporations and offer
them a way to get eco-prestige
UK Enters into North Seas Countries. Offshore Grid Initiative
Posted on: December 8th, 2009 by Samantha Donovan
Lord Hunt announced today the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration fund recipients in the second set of grants being given out. The UK, and eight other countries, signed on to compete in a bid for funding which would be granted to the country which developed the best integrated offshore grid for the North and Irish Seas.
Additionally the government just recently announced an additional £5 million in new grants to be given to those developing offshore wind technology and research. The Low Carbon Energy Demonstration fund recipients have also been encouraged to develop transmission of offshore wind-power generation.
In Brussels, an Energy Council meeting saw the signing of an agreement between Lord Hunt, and minsters from France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and the Netherlands in an initiative entitled The North Seas Countries. Offshore Grid Initiative.
The declaration will define the breakdown for offshore wind energy and how it can be used to help the EU meet its 2020 renewables targets. The declaration also explains the benefits of offshore integrated grid technology in relation to security of supply and market penetrability.
The agreement is hoped to encourage a strategic working plan in which these countries will coordinate to develop offshore infrastructure as early as next year. Mainly, the goal is to develop a grid spanning the European continental coastlines connecting supplies of electricity among participating countries.
Lord Hunt said that the agreement would aid in contributing to important issues which will discussed at the Copenhagen talks including the decarbonisation of energy supplies which build up emissions when moving energy around the continent. He added that the UK is the world leader in offshore wind supply and connecting supplies between countries will only aim to expand the industry in a positive direction.
demonstrating offshore wind power feasibility
to renew the energy policy in europe
Commissioned by Greenpeace, the 3E report A North Sea
Electricity Grid [R]evolution provides an original contribution to the
energy debate by showing how a massive expansion of offshore wind
power by 2020-2030 will work in practice.
Although wind is a variable energy source, this is less the case over a
large area like the North Sea.Variations in production at one wind
park can be partly balanced by that of another park several hundreds
of kilometres away.This report studies this .balancing. effect in detail
for the North Sea. It also shows how the large hydro-energy capacity
in Norway can complement the remaining variations in wind power .
Calculations were performed using wind speed measurements across
the North Sea. Based on actual wind speed data, the report proposes
the creation of an offshore electricity grid to enable the smooth flow
of electricity generated from renewable energy sources into the power
systems of seven different North Sea countries: the United Kingdom,
France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
Advances in weather forecasting have already made the fluctuations
of wind and solar energies very predictable. Fluctuations in the
electricity output of energy sources like wind can be further levelled
out. In an interconnected offshore grid, a lower level of electricity
output at a single wind farm can usually be balanced against a
simultaneous high output from another wind farm several hundred
kilometres away or from another energy source. A system of this
nature with many thousands of wind turbines is more reliable, and
energy production more secure because the impact of maintenance
or defects will be negligible.
Another contribution of the offshore electricity grid would be to
combine the production of a fluctuating renewable energy source
(e.g. wind) with dispatchable sources of renewable energy, such as
the large hydro-energy capacity in Norway.
the real challenge: ambitious policies
Greenpeace strongly encourages political decision-makers and
investors to take these key findings into consideration.
The creation of an interconnected offshore grid would give Europe
an efficient and appropriate answer to climate change by relying on
renewable energy sources (both variable and dispatchable) and
abandoning polluting and inefficient production systems based on
coal and nuclear power .
A flexible production system based on renewables better answers the
demand for energy and avoids the huge loss of efficiency specific to
large-scale power plants.
a vision of offshore wind po
.THE CREATION OF AN INTERCONNECTED OFFSHORE GRID WOULD GIV
TO CLIMATE CHANGE BY RELYING ON RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
The 3E report assumes a total installed capacity of 68.4 GW.Locations
of more than 100 offshore wind power farms have been identified based
on lists of envisioned projects.The totals of installed power per country
have been cross-checked with national and international targets.
Before the publication of this report, Greenpeace has been developing
regional, national and global energy scenarios that define practical
pathways to cut global CO2 emissions in half by 2050 (compared to
1990 levels) and to phase out nuclear power through massive
investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.The 3E report
shows that wind power can offer a significant part of the solution.
Greenpeace recommends that the seven North Sea countries
coordinate their investments in an offshore electricity grid and
facilitate its implementation. Large, outdated coal and nuclear
plants have to be phased out and replaced with a more renewable,
efficient and intelligently-managed power system.
The exciting possibilities of a system that combines all of these
elements are realistic and practical and involve only existing and
cost-efficient technologies.The challenge is not a problem of
technology, but rather in putting policy in place to combine these
technologies in an efficient, renewable and intelligent system.
towards a new european energy policy
wind energy in europe: a growing success story
The world today is confronted with dangerous climate change and
nuclear proliferation. Experts warn that fundamental changes must
be made to energy production and use within the next ten years to
avoid the worst effects of climate change.
The energy revolution is already underway, and the renewable energy
industry is booming. In Europe in particular , solar and wind markets
have been growing by about 20 per cent each year . In 2007, the
renewable energy industry in Europe achieved a turnover of .30 billion
and employed at least 350,000 people. In 2007, about 8550 MWof
wind turbines were installed in the European Union (EU), generating
enough electricity to meet the needs of 5 million EU households.
These new wind turbines account for 40 per cent of all newly-installed
power capacity last year . an impressive growth figure,which leaves
the coal and gas industries far behind,with nuclear power growth
lagging even farther behind as the industry continues its decline.
The growth of wind power is expected to continue at an even faster
pace.Greenpeace and the EuropeanWind Energy Association (EWEA)
predict that based on the steady market growth over the last decade, the
annual growth of wind power will more than double,with total installed
capacity increasing five-fold to 300,000 MWby 2030.According to
these projections,wind turbines would comprise more than one quarter
(up to 28%) of all installed electricity capacity in the EU.
Despite the healthy growth of the wind industry, the EU power
system today is still dominated by large coal and nuclear plants.
These large-scale power plants are not designed to be switched on
and off according the rise and fall of electricity demand; they are
inflexible when it comes to our needs.
A power system dependent on big power plants is also inefficient; about
two-thirds of the energy generated is lost in heat,which is discharged
into the environment.What.s more, to shut down such a large plant for
maintenance or refuelling requires back up.Unexpected circumstances
can also lead to loss of electricity in whole cities or regions. For
example, in July 2007, an earthquake in Japan knocked out all seven
large reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant.
a more efficient decentralised system
Generating power close to where people live is far more efficient as
energy loss during the transport from the source to consumer is
reduced; in small plants, heat losses can be directly recovered to
heat up local houses, offices or hospitals.
In a decentralised system, buildings (from homes to industrial units)
have their own wind turbine, and solar panels or co-generation units and
smaller-scale power plants generate electricity closer to communities.
more intelligent management of demand
A highly efficient household consumes only one quarter of the
energy of the average household. Demand can be greatly reduced
with general energy-efficiency measures, such as using better
appliances. Improved management of demand includes creating
closer parity between electricity supply and consumption periods;
electrical appliances for domestic and industrial uses, for example,
can be devised to consume more when supply is higher .
and all with clean renewable sources
Fluctuating renewable energy sources can be combined with
dispatchable renewable sources like stored hydro, geothermal or
biomass. Hydro plants can be switched on easily to deliver immediate
power to the electricity grid. For some hydro plants, excess power
(when the wind blows and sun shines) can even be used to pump
water back into the lake, working like a huge water-battery.
a north sea electricity grid [r]evolution
For the seven countries that surround the North Sea, offshore wind
would play an essential role in the make up of any renewable mix.
The 3E report details their simulation of the power output of a
large-scale development of offshore wind power .
The technical study proposed by 3E assumes a total of installed
offshore wind capacity of 68.4GW, based on a list of 118 envisioned
projects and taking national and international targets into account.
Emerging technology solutions, like floating wind turbines on the
open sea, were omitted.The envisaged time frame for the
development of the installed offshore wind capacity of 68GW is
between 2020 and 2030.This capacity of wind power would
represent a crucial intermediate step towards the recent EWEA
2030 target of 120,000 MW of offshore wind in the EU (of which
some 100,000 MW in the North Sea).
Forwind, a specialist German firm, developed a database of wind
speeds across the North Sea.Using historical satellite observations of
wave heights and real wind speed measurements from platforms in the
North Sea, they calculated wind speeds for every nine square
kilometres of the North Sea every hour for three years (2003.2006),
creating a massive database of 1.6 billion data fields.These were then
applied to the precise locations of the planned offshore wind parks.
This wind speed data enabled 3E to simulate the electricity
generation of a single turbine and that of a wind farm.The
electricity production for all wind farms on the continental shelves
of each country and for the whole North Sea could then be
calculated.This simulation makes it possible to plan the technology
needed to integrate a large-scale development of offshore wind over
the next twenty years.
The graph below compares the electricity generation of Belgian wind
farms over a sample period of two days to the output of all the wind
farms in the North Sea over the same sample period.We can see
from this that at a certain point there is no output from Belgium.
However , at the same time, the wind speeds over the North Sea are
sufficiently stable to guarantee a continued power supply if the
sources are combined.
Furthermore, wind energy fluctuations can be calculated.The output
of a single wind turbine fluctuates a great deal, but the electricity
output for a single wind farm of about 100 turbines over 50km2, is
already considerably more stable. If wind farms were then connected
over a larger geographical area, for example, across the east coast of
the United Kingdom or the German Bight, this .balancing. effect
would make the electricity output even more stable.
The 3E report proposes a realistic design for an interconnected
6,200-kilometre-long offshore electricity grid that would connect
wind farms with the seven coastal countries.
power output of offshore wind power over two days
ALL WIND FARMS IN THE BELGIAN EEZ AND ACCUMULATED FOR ALL
OFFSHORE WIND FARMS IN THE NORTH SEA
b) All offshore wind farms in the North Sea: 68.4 GW
a) All offshore wind farms in Belgium: 3,846 MW
The benefits of such an interconnected grid would be many, and
would significantly reduce the cost of integrating wind energy into
current systems. A grid designed in this way could:
. deliver more predictable offshore wind power into national power
systems after the variability of production had been reduced;
. connect the large Scandinavian hydro power capacity with those of
Germany,Denmark, the Netherlands,Belgium, France and the United
Kingdom to balance out low wind speed periods in the North Sea;
. connect other offshore renewable energy sources such tidal and
. integrate other (land-based) technologies, such as onshore wind,
solar , geothermal, biomass or even electricity from efficient gas
plants such as Combined Heat and Power plants (CHP);
. use the remaining capacity for general commercial trading, which
improves the utilization of the lines and helps to finance the
connection of wind farms to the grid.
facts and figures from the north sea electricity
grid [r]evolution report:
. Between 2020 and 2030, offshore wind in the North Sea
can generate 250 TWh of electricity per year , about 13
per cent of the annual electricity supply3 of the North Sea
. The average single wind farm produces electricity for more than
90 per cent of the year . However , there is always enough wind to
generate electricity somewhere on the North Sea. Eighty per cent
of the time, the power output would vary between 10 and 68 GW.
. In an interconnected offshore grid,wind power in the North Sea is
very stable.The hourly variation (difference in power between one
hour and the next) is less than 5 per cent for 94 per cent of the year .
. An interconnected offshore grid would be highly cost-efficient. It
could be used for both offshore wind energy and the commercial
trading of electricity from other (land-based) technologies, such
as hydro, onshore wind, or even electricity from efficient gas
plants such as Combined Heat and Power .
European electricity companies such as EDF , E.ON, RWE or Suez
are fiercely opposing the closure of their ageing nuclear power and
coal plants and are pushing for new ones to be created.These
inflexible, inefficient plants are incompatible with the large-scale
integration of renewable energy sources. Every new, large fossil fuel
or nuclear power plant installed will operate for forty years or more,
locking us in to massive environmental problems and blocking the
transition to an efficient, flexible and renewable electricity system.
Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC)
commissioned the DLR Institute (German Aerospace Centre) to
develop a global sustainable energy pathway up to 2050.This
Energy [R]evolution scenario is a realistic blueprint that shows that
it is feasible to phase out nuclear power and fossil fuels for a
sustainable and equitable energy future through renewable energy
and energy efficiency.
It is clear that for Europe, and especially for the North Sea
countries, offshore wind power will play a significant role in a flexible
and efficient power system as part of a mixture of renewable energy
sources.The 3E report shows how the reliability of the offshore wind
electricity production can be improved considerably by
interconnecting the wind farms in the North Sea and by envisaging
its combination with dispatchable renewable sources (e.g. hydro in
Norway).The report shows how, with the right decisions, the large-
scale development of offshore wind would really work, once an
offshore grid had been developed to enable the power to flow
smoothly from the wind turbines into national power systems.
The European Commission and the seven North Sea countries
should build a coordinated European approach to the planning
of offshore wind development in the North Sea.
. There should be strategic and coordinated grid
planning on EU and regional levels that is consistent
with ambitious short- and long-termscenarios for
offshore wind energy development. The guidelines for
Trans-European Energy Networks should be revised to facilitate
the large-scale integration of renewable energy and already-
planned bilateral offshore interconnection projects (such as those
between the UK and Norway, the UK and Belgium, and the UK
and the Netherlands) should be made compatible with the large-
scale integration of offshore wind power .
. National offshore wind policies or initiatives such
as in the German Bight, the UK (3rd Round) and
Belgium(.Printemps de l.Environnement.) should
be further developed to provide an integrated
approach across the seven North Sea countries.
. European guidelines should support the
identification of suitable areas forwind farm
construction based on geographical, economic and technical
data, including wind availability, sensitive and protected habitats
and species, shipping routes, fishing activities and grid connections.
. The power systemmust be flexible to allow large-
scale integration of fluctuating renewable energy.
No new, large coal or nuclear power plants should be licensed,
and existing plants must be replaced progressively with flexible,
highly efficient and more decentralised plants.
. Offshore wind power, and renewable energy in
general should be granted unambiguous priority
access to the grid.
. Authorisation and licensing procedures for offshore
wind farms across Europe should be streamlined,
transparent and efficient.
. Offshore interconnections should enable the
exploitation of the large storage capacity of hydro
energy in Norway to complement the variability of offshore
wind power and other variable renewable sources.
2 EWEA, PURE POWER. 2008
3 EU ENERGY IN FIGURES 2007/2008, EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG TREN