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The third report in as many weeks to dismiss variability as an obstacle to large scale deployment of wind energy was published by a coalition of environmental NGO’s.
BWEA welcomed the findings of ‘Managing Variability’, which resonate with the conclusions of two other independent studies published in June this year by National Grid, and earlier in July by Poyry. As strong evidence accumulated from grid operators across Europe that it is within existing technical capabilities to manage input from wind farms in real time, the report noted that “thermal plant breakdowns generally pose more of a threat to the stability of electricity networks than the relatively benign variations in the output of wind plant.” The report also noted that “contributions of up to 40% or more of electricity consumption can be managed with quantifiable – and modest - ‘variability costs’.” The report quantified the total costs of variability to the electricity consumer at just £2 per MWh or 2% on electricity bills at penetration levels of 20%, with cost at £5 to £7 per MWh at deployment levels of 40%. The report also looks at further mitigating these costs by having increased demand-side management, as well as smart and super grid integration.
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