Modern wind power has become an attractive source of electric energy, and many countries have ambitious plans for expanding wind power to cover a major part of their electricity consumption. To assist countries in preparing the grid for the expansion of wind power in the coming decades, Vestas has prepared this grid policy, which specifically addresses two major challenges:
- Ensuring sufficient new transmission capacity; and,
- Ensuring dynamic support to the grid.
This grid policy does not address other important challenges such as handling power and energy balances and issues related to the electricity market.
The recommendations in this grid policy will be applicable in many countries, less so in others, depending on the specific state of development or local requirements. In the next 10-20 years large-scale integration of wind power will enter a new era. The recommendations should be seen as a broad set of issues that must be addressed to facilitate the integration of large-scale wind power.
Many different measures must be used to address the technical challenges in large-scale wind power integration. It is important to keep in mind that adapting the grid to the modern wind power takes longer time than building wind farms. As a result, long-term planning and early action is essential, as is a readiness to take more immediate measures where these are called for.
Building the necessary transmission lines, for example, takes time and must be started early on in order to assist in implementing large scale wind power. Widespread use of electrical vehicles as controllable load devices, or even storage devices is another example of a measure to support large-scale wind penetration that takes time to realize.
As countries start to adapt their grids to modern renewable energies, they should recognize that new transmission facilities are required not only to pave the way for large-scale wind power integration, but also due to the extensive need to refurbish, upgrade, renew or restructure existing transmission facilities. In short, independent of modern renewable energies, many countries need to invest in developing their grids. This grid policy advocates that they do so with modern renewable energy technologies in mind.