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[en] This paper discusses the prospects for some of the leading options that could help deliver 20% of UK electricity from renewable energy by 2020, with a detailed focus on wind, wave and tidal stream. The paper discusses current and future costs, market development and technological challenges. It also discusses some of the main system costs (such as balancing intermittency and transmission upgrade) associated with such changes
[en] This article focuses on the design of balancing markets in Europe taking into account an increasing wind power penetration. In several European countries, wind generation is so far not burdened with full balancing responsibility. However, the more wind power penetration, the less bearable for the system not to allocate balancing costs to the responsible parties. Given the variability and limited predictability of wind generation, full balancing exposure is however only feasible conditionally to well-functioning balancing markets. On that account, recommendations ensuring an optimal balancing market design are formulated and their impact on wind generation is assessed. Taking market-based or cost-reflective imbalance prices as the main objective, it is advised that: (1) the imbalance settlement should not contain penalties or power exchange prices, (2) capacity payments should be allocated to imbalanced BRPs via an additive component in the imbalance price and (3) a cap should be imposed on the amount of reserves. Efficient implementation of the proposed market design may require balancing markets being integrated across borders.
[en] The literature on public attitudes to wind power is underpinned by key assumptions which limit its scope and restrict the findings it can present. Five key assumptions are that: (1) The majority of the public supports wind power. (2) Opposition to wind power is therefore deviant. (3) Opponents are ignorant or misinformed. (4) The reason for understanding opposition is to overcome it. (5) Trust is key. The paper calls for critical reflection on each of these assumptions. It should not be assumed that opposition to wind power is deviant/illegitimate. Opposition cannot be dismissed as ignorant or misinformed instead it must be acknowledged that objectors are often very knowledgeable. Public attitudes and responses to wind power should not be examined in order to mitigate potential future opposition, but rather in order to understand the social context of renewable energy. Trust is identified as a key issue, however greater trust must be placed in members of the public and in their knowledge. In sum, the literature must abandon the assumption that it knows who is 'right' and instead must engage with the possibility that objectors to wind power are not always 'wrong'.
[en] Wind power has been identified as one of the most promising sources of renewable energy. However, its diffusion has not been as rapid as anticipated. The objective here is to analyse attitudes towards wind power among Finnish local residents and owners of second homes. First, we assess their existing knowledge of and level of interest in energy issues and wind power. Second, we analyse potential differences in attitudes between the two stakeholder groups when it comes to wind power in general and the proposed wind farm in particular. The study draws on both quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data. One of the key findings concerns the different perceptions among locals and owners of second homes in a rural area. Both groups were interested in questions of energy production and accepted wind power in general. Nevertheless, the proposed project in Ruokolahti seemed to polarize attitudes. This paper offers new insights into attitudes to wind energy among Finnish locals and owners of second homes in the same area. - Highlights: • Studies acceptability of wind power between local residents and owners of second home. • Survey data complemented with semi-structured interviews. • The attitudes differ between locals and owners of second homes in a rural area. • New information regarding differences in wind energy attitudes between Finnish second home owners and locals
[en] We develop a metric to quantify the sub-hourly variability cost of individual wind plants and show its use in valuing reductions in wind power variability. Our method partitions wind energy into hourly and sub-hourly components and uses corresponding market prices to determine variability costs. We use publically available 15-min ERCOT data, although the method developed can be applied to higher time resolution data if available. We do not estimate uncertainty costs though our metric can separate integration costs into variability and uncertainty components. The mean variability costs arising from 15-min to 1-h variations (termed load following) for 20 ERCOT wind plants was $8.73±$1.26 per MWh in 2008 and $3.90±$0.52 per MWh in 2009. Load following variability costs decrease as capacity factors increase, indicating wind plants sited in locations with good wind resources cost a system less to integrate. Twenty interconnected wind plants had a variability cost of $4.35 per MWh in 2008. The marginal benefit of interconnecting another wind plant diminishes rapidly: it is less than $3.43 per MWh for systems with 2 wind plants already interconnected, less than $0.7 per MWh for 4–7 wind plants, and less than $0.2 per MWh for 8 or more wind plants. Highlights: ► A new metric for evaluating the cost of wind power variability is presented. ► In ERCOT, wind plants with higher capacity factors cost a system less to integrate. ► The marginal benefit of interconnecting wind plants in ERCOT decreases rapidly. ► Integration cost depends more on power produced than on ancillary service prices.
[en] This article looks at ways of bringing about a shift in technological regime away from hydrocarbon based energy technologies, in order to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. With specific reference to windpower as one innovation that represents a more environmentally friendly energy generating activity, the potential for a technological shift is examined in terms of factors facilitating/inhibiting the diffusion of windpower, and the technology and policy drivers involved. It appears that, although windpower cannot replace the carbon economy by itself, there are no obvious technical reasons why it cannot form part of a combination of renewables which make a significant contribution to our electrical energy. However, windpower - and other renewables - are providing energy which contributes to the existing structure of energy distribution, and thus any change in technical regime is occurring within the system of power generation rather than within the whole energy system. (Author)
[en] This work examines the effects of large-scale integration of wind powered electricity generation in a deregulated energy-only market on loads (in terms of electricity prices and supply reliability) and dispatchable conventional power suppliers. Hourly models of wind generation time series, load and resultant residual demand are created. From these a non-chronological residual demand duration curve is developed that is combined with a probabilistic model of dispatchable conventional generator availability, a model of an energy-only market with a price cap, and a model of generator costs and dispatch behavior. A number of simulations are performed to evaluate the effect on electricity prices, overall reliability of supply, the ability of a dominant supplier acting strategically to profitably withhold supplies, and the fixed cost recovery of dispatchable conventional power suppliers at different levels of wind generation penetration. Medium and long term responses of the market and/or regulator in the long term are discussed. (author)
[en] Average market prices for intermittent generation technologies are lower than for conventional generation. This has a technical reason but can be exaggerated in the presence of market power. When there is much wind smaller amounts of conventional generation technologies are required, and prices are lower, while at times of little wind prices are higher. This effect reflects the value of different generation technologies to the system. But under conditions of market power, conventional generators with market power can further depress the prices if they have to buy back energy at times of large wind output and can increase prices if they have to sell additional power at times of little wind output. This greatly exaggerates the effect. Forward contracting does not reduce the effect. An important consequence is that allowing market power profit margins as a support mechanism for generation capacity investment is not a technologically neutral policy.
[en] Presently, less than a handful of papers have analysed the attitude towards offshore wind farms in a population living in an area with offshore wind farms. This leaves the experience-based attitude and demographic relations analysis relatively unexplored. The present studies aims at covering some of that seemingly uncharted territory by analysing attitudes from a sample of more than 1000 respondents. Applying an Ordered Probit Model, the results show general positive attitudes towards offshore wind farms and that the attitude formation seems to be a function of the gender, income, level of education, visit frequency and type of visit to the beach and the view to on-land turbines from the residence. Interestingly and perhaps the most interesting results, the observed relations between demographics and attitude are found to be dependent on the type and frequency of usage of the beach among the respondents. Attitudes towards offshore wind farms and demographic associations are thus found to be more evident in the case that respondents do use not the beach for walking on a relatively frequent basis but much weaker if the respondent use the beach on a frequent basis. However, these results are sensitive to the type of beach usage. This suggests that attitude formation towards offshore wind farms appear to be dependent on a combination of the type and frequency of use of the beach. To the author's knowledge these findings are novel, as such relation has not yet been identified in the literature. As such, the results shed light on a new angle in both the literature focusing on the opposition formation towards wind power projects in general and offshore wind farms in particular.
[en] A challenge relating to the development of renewable energy in the UK concerns how large companies can foster positive relationships with local communities. The concepts of 'trust' and 'fairness' are central to debates around proposed renewable energy developments, however, these concepts are complex, ambiguous and interrelated. In the UK the provision of community benefits stemming from the development of renewable energy projects remains a voluntary activity. This paper presents the findings of a case study of one wind power development and how community benefits associated with this were perceived by the local community throughout various stages of the case study (notably during planning, construction and operation). The case study highlights the challenging nature of community benefits from wind power developments. Important decisions regarding who the relevant local community is or what form community benefits should take present opportunities for disagreement between conflicting interests. It is argued that institutionalised guidance would serve a number of worthwhile purposes. Firstly, they would provide greater clarity. Secondly, they would give developers greater confidence to discuss the community benefits package in the early planning stages, and thirdly, they would reduce the likelihood of community benefits being perceived as bribes.