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Risoe to take part in huge EU project aimed at significantly increasing the use of wind power

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 6:23am
EurekAlert

This will contribute to the EU objective for 2020: a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions; a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, and a 20% share of consumption from renewable energy sources. Risø DTU is going to lead the research activity of this project and assess the consequences of these solutions for the European electricity supply in 2020.

Risø DTU will also participate in conducting a demonstration ? led by Energinet.dk ? to show how we, in case of storms, can address the imbalance that occurs when an offshore wind farm stops or reduces production during stormy weather with high wind speeds.

The Twenties project will last 3 years and will count on a total budget close to 60 million Euro, of which 32 million will be financed by the European Union, in this way becoming the fifth largest project within the EU seventh Framework programme and the largest industrial energy project ever.

Red Eléctrica de España, Transmission System Operator (TSO) of the Spanish electricity system, is Project Coordinator of this initiative which brings together 26 EU countries.Risø DTU's part of the budget is Euro 1,5 million. Participants from Denmark are Risø DTU, DONG Energy, Energinet.dk and SIEMENS Wind Power.

When a storm front hits an offshore wind farm, production may fall in 3-5 minutes from full production to zero. To predict when this is going to happen is very difficult. Together with DONG Energy, SIEMENS Wind Power, Risø DTU and SINTEF Energy Research in Norway, Energinet.dk is going to demonstrate how to cope with the reduction in production, so that it does not happen suddenly, is easier to predict, and also is coordinated with a reduction of the export to Norway. The lost wind energy production is to be replaced with Norwegian hydropower production.

Our electricity system can cope with these abrupt stoppages in wind energy production, because the quantity of electricity from offshore wind farms, after all, accounts for a small part of the total electricity supply. But according to plan several large wind farms will have been constructed by 2020, e.g. in the North Sea. The consequences for the electricity supply would be dramatic if the large wind farms stop almost simultaneously because of heavy storms.

"This could affect the stability of the grid causing it to be blacked out at worst unless the system is ready to handle these situations and can provide the lost production from elsewhere," says Poul Sørensen from the Wind Energy Division at Risø DTU. He is leading Risø DTU's research activity in the TWENTIES project.

The demonstration led by Energinet.dk intends to perform tests and calculations on a 200 Megawatt wind farm. Subsequently Risø DTU will upgrade the results so they can be used in systems for wind farms of many Giga Watt scheduled for 2020.

The kickoff meeting for TWENTIES took place in Madrid on 6 -7 May 2010 and was attended by Stefan Tostmann, Head of Unit Energy Technologies and Research Coordination DG TREN, European Commission. "It is rare for the head to participate in kickoff meetings. In his own words, this shows how much importance the EU attaches to this project," Poul Sørensen says.

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