Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “grids”

Exploring the Power Grid of the Future

EU Grid – The Largest Machine in the World

German language video

Google Translate:

In order for Germany to become climate-neutral on its own, the proportion of renewable energy must be increased fivefold. The documentary shows what difficulties this brings and how our network has to change in order for it to work.

The exit from coal is a done deal. The large power plants will be phased out step by step in the coming decades and will be replaced by solar and wind power. But that is exactly what could jeopardize the stability of the power supply. In the worst case, there is a risk of a blackout. “We cannot determine when the sun is shining and when the wind is blowing, but exactly as much electricity has to be produced as is used,” explains Dr. Konstantin Wiegandt, physicist and head of algorithmic electricity trading at Europe’s largest provider of renewable energy.

The central problem of the energy transition is the storage of regenerative energy and the compensation of fluctuations. So far, the so-called “dark doldrums” have threatened if solar and wind power fail due to the weather. Prof. Joachim Seifert is therefore researching decentralized solutions for the energy transition in the Combined Energy Lab at TU Dresden: “Security of supply must not be played off against the energy transition. Our job is to develop techniques that meet both criteria.”

The film presents current lighthouse projects of the energy transition, from the largest solar and battery park to future hydrogen storage. He accompanies experts and researchers in their race against time. “The challenge in the energy transition is the speed,” explains Volker Quaschning, Professor of Renewable Energy Systems. That is why scientists across Germany are not only researching new ways of generating and storing energy, but also completely new approaches for our entire energy network.

With the so-called “cellular approach” renewable electricity and heat are to be generated locally, stored and also used again directly on site The cell itself is supplied and the larger network only taps to compensate for fluctuations. But does that also work in cities and rural regions? The scientists from the TU Dresden are testing this not only in Berlin, but also in Lusatia, where the energy transition is tantamount to a turning point in any case.

Author Marcel Kolvenbach is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. For several years he has dealt with the attack on the power grid by hackers. During the research, it became clear that the energy transition can destabilize the power grid, but that a decentralized, cellular network could also offer new stability and security – against hacker attacks and power outages.


Dutch Grid Running into Renewable Electricity Overload

Updated my curve from 2016. ZonPV follows this curve perfectly. Next year will be exciting: can the electricity system still handle all the solar energy on peak days in 2022? I do suspect that it won’t on weekends and on windy working days. What do you think?

More indication that storage is currently more pressing than new capacity. Perhaps time for the Dutch government to start a campaign for domestic batteries.

[] – Martien Visser

The Netherlands Sets Another Crucial Decarbonization Step


The Dutch grid operators have announced a rigorous renewal and reinforcement of the national grid to the tune of 40 billion euro until 2030, to deal with larger amounts of (renewable) electricity.

[] – Netbeheerders presenteren definitieve investeringsplannen: elektriciteitsnet wordt rigoureus verzwaard

Netherlands to Double Capacity Electricity Grid in a Decade


…to accommodate for the energy transition.

The Dutch minister of Economic Affairs Wiebes wrote this in a letter to parliament on June 8, 2020:


Zoals eerder aangekondigd heb ik een aantal maatregelen op korte en lange termijn genomen. Met deze maatregelen kan ik verlichting bieden, maar zullen het gebrek aan capaciteit niet structureel kunnen verhelpen. Netuitbreiding en – verzwaring blijft vooralsnog nodig als structurele oplossing. Netbeheerders investeren dan ook fors om de transportcapaciteit uit te breiden.

De transportcapaciteit die we in afgelopen tientallen jaren hebben opgebouwd zal in de komende 10 jaar worden verdubbeld. De regionale netbeheerders verwachten circa 30 miljard euro te gaan investeren tot en met 2030 en TenneT 12 miljard euro op dezelfde termijn. Deze uitbreidingen vergen enkele jaren aan realisatietijd, met name als gevolg van procedures met betrekking tot ruimtelijke inpassing en bijbehorende vergunningsprocedures.

[] – Kamerbrief vervolg toezeggingen gebrek transportcapaciteit elektriciteit
[] – Onshore projects Netherlands
[] – Detailed grid map Netherlands

[source] The Netherlands and Germany can exchange 5 GW of electricity. For the moment it is mostly German wind energy, but that doesn’t need to be the case for all eternity, with the realization of one Dutch offshore wind project after another.

Breakthrough Grid Expansion in Germany

Recently there were headlines about the stagnation of the renewable energy transition in Germany, mainly due to the resistance of the population, not against the transition itself, but against too visible consequences for the local environment (“not in my backyard”). However, a breakthrough seems to have been achieved and new major grid lines, connecting the offshore wind parks in the north with the southern German states. The emphasis will be on underground power lines.

[] – Stromnetz-Ausbau: Wirtschaftsminister Altmaier erzielt Einigung
[] – Bundeswirtschaftsminister und Länder einigen sich bei Ausbau von Stromnetzen
[] – Power line expansion deal
[deepresource] – Energy Transition in Germany Stagnating

China Proposes GEI Global Electricity Grid

[] – China Rolls Out Proposal for Worldwide Grid
[] – Does the path to a low-carbon future run through a global grid?

Live Energy Production Data

[] – UK

German Grid Still Reliable Despite Growing Renewable Energy

Despite a growing share of renewable energy in Germany, the grid remains as stable as ever: the average German has on average to endure a 11.5 minute/year blackout. Although grid stability will become an increasing challenge, for the moment everything is still fine.

[] – Duitse stroomnet ondanks pieken windenergie superbetrouwbaar

“Don’t Worry About Intermittency Under 30-40% Renewable Energy Share”

Paul Graham, Chief economist, CSIRO energy, studied the Australian electricity grid

The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems… Graham said the challenges could start to emerge when the penetration of wind and solar move above 40 per cent –as it has in South Australia, which explains why it is focusing on storage and is finally getting traction on its call for changes to energy market rules.

“When we do modelling where we increase the renewable penetration above around 40 per cent of the energy delivered (where South Australia is now) that starts to force out some of that existing dispatchable generation, and then we find that you need to add other technologies to support renewables,’ Graham said.

[] – CSIRO says Australia can get to 100 per cent renewable energy
[] – Paul Graham, CSIRO
[] – CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
[] – Paul Graham, Australians can have zero-emission electricity, without blowing the bill
[] – Baseload power is a myth: even intermittent renewables will work

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