Harmonised and clear rules for the connection to the electricity system are necessary due to the dramatic increase in wind power penetration across Europe, says the wind industry. Harmonised rules will lower wind energy production costs, contribute to an efficient management of the system, and lower the cost of the electricity for consumers.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) published a Generic Grid Code Format for wind generators today. The initial challenge is not necessarily to fulfill certain technical requirements, but to ensure all stakeholders share the same understanding of the requirements.
Accordingly, EWEA welcomes ENTSO-E’s ongoing work on a pilot code for wind generation. This project is a first step towards developing network codes across Europe, which is part of the remit of ENTSO-E under the EU’s continuing efforts to liberalise and create a single European electricity market. ENTSO-E is expected to publish a first draft in spring 2010.
“Wind power currently provides over 4% of the EU’s electricity. We expect wind power’s share of electricity demand to increase from 4% in 2008 to 16% in 2020. In order to ensure that such future penetration levels are manageable from a technical perspective it is important to develop clear rules across Europe”, said Paul Wilczek, EWEA’s Regulatory Affairs Advisor.
In Europe, each country currently sets out its own technical specifications for power producers to connect to the electricity system.
“The way in which grid code requirements in Europe have developed has resulted in gross inefficiencies and additional costs for consumers, manufacturers and wind farm developers”, added Wilczek. “Streamlining the functioning of the system through harmonisation and greater transparency clearly creates a win-win situation for turbine manufacturers, developers and system operators”.
EWEA published a concept of “structural harmonisation”, proposing a two-step approach:
- A structural harmonisation exercise, as proposed today, with the aim of establishing a grid code template with common definitions, parameters, units and figures, as well as a common structure. To be followed by:
- A technical harmonisation exercise, with the aim of adapting existing grid code parameters to the new grid code template.
For more information and a copy of EWEA’s proposal for a Generic Grid Code Format please see the EWEA briefing: Harmonising Europe’s Grid Codes for the Connection of Wind Power Plants to the Electricity Network