Smart Cities

The Smart Grid ‘Acid Test’ – Accommodating Variable Renewable Energy (VRE)

In the previous posts, we have discussed the need for the regulators and policy makers to develop a new framework on which to build Smart Grid. The next stage is to investigate how much VRE can be accommodated through Smart Grid. Maximising the amount of VRE that can be accommodated is the 'Acid Test' for Smart Grid. We are moving from a central system that provides consistent power quality that can quickly cycle load up and down, to a decentralised one with variable on / off power from many different distributed sources. The thinking in the US is that it would require conventional spinning reserves to be operational to accommodate VRE and that in the case of wind power the tipping point for benefitting CO2 emissions could not exceed 20% of the total central power generated. Over this limit spinning reserves will create more CO2 emissions and nullify any benefits which are the sole reason […]

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