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Global Wind Power Development Lessons For China
Wind power development is not just a simple matter of exploiting an energy source, it requires adjustments to the entire power system and optimized allocation. Here the unique aspects of each nation’s wind power development are summarized in the hopes that it can provide some useful lessons for China.
First of all there are the positive and promoting government policies designed to directly promote the development of wind power. Under the current technological and economical conditions wind power is still not yet fully commercially competitive, therefore, in order to provide the security and profit estimates needed by investors to develop such projects, government policies need to come out to support wind power development.
Most countries implement one or more of the following policy models:
1. Preferential wind power grid feed in policies. All nations, with the obvious stipulation that the power grid must remain safe an stable, use this to help realize wind power grid connection.
2. Feed in policies that offer return on investment. In Denmark, for example, wind power developers can first receive a competitive market price for their power, plus receive a subsidy feed-in-tariff from the government. Every year in Spain, wind power developers decide their market/subsidy ratio, this will determine the upper and lower bounds of their subsidy and guarantee the internal yield of wind power projects stays around 7%.
3. Implement renewable energy quotas in order to achieve government plans and goals. Renewable energy quotas are when the government forceable decides what the minimum proportion of power generation or energy consumption must be renewable energy. As of the end of 2010 Australia, Japan, India, and 36 U.S. States have implemented such policies.
Secondly, strict technological standards and management scopes are important prerequisites for any real wind power development. Large scale wind power development can only be realized by connecting it to the power grid. The safety and stability characteristics of power system operations depend on effective control of the power source and ability to react quickly to litghning fast changes in load and demand, the controllability of the power source is what fundamentally determines technological requirements. After wind power development passes a certain threshold, this principle will hold true for all wind turbines within the power system. Other nations have already fully realized the great importance of technology standards and strict management scopes. When coming out with stimulative policies and measures it is also important to pay attention to wind power standards and grid connection technology management. Denmark’s “Renewable Energy Promotion Law” sets out details for inspection and certification of wind turbines, only those wind turbines that have undergone intensive inspection can be connected to the power grid.The Spanish Power Company intensively reviews power the generation estimates of wind farms, if the margin of error exceeds 20%, then the company must pay a fine, this is in the hopes that it will encourage wind farms to produce more accurate estimates.
Moreover, maintaining a steady pace of development is an effective route to healthy and organized industry development. Wind power is a developing industry, the main concerns the government must consider are how to increase the stimulative effect of policies, maintain stable organized development, avoid exaggerated price rises caused by explosive growth, and solve power grid integration difficulties. Spain uses a wind power pre-allocation model, first deciding on the year’s scale of wind power, and any wind farms not included in the estimate do not get any subsidies. This policy has held Spain’s annual increased wind power capacity at the suitable level of 1GW-2GW per year for almost 10 years. Germany uses rolling adjustments to the power grid feed in price with annually decreasing levels, this has held their development at about 1.5GW-2.5GW per year. India’s wind power industry was also developing very fast between 2005-2010 with annual increased capacity of about 1.4GW-2GW.
Lastly, proper and flexible system operations is an important foundation for large scale wind power integration. The ability of a power system to integrate the intermittent nature of wind power is largely dependent on its flexibility. The flexibility of a power system is primarily realized in 3 areas, its ability to dynamically adjust ratios of multiple power supplies, power grid and communications network, and demand side power management.
Large scale wind power grid connection requires a certain level of dynamic allocation and adjustment. Overall,of the power portfolio of nations like America and European countries, the power systems used in petroleum, gas, and water pump power storage systems usually have relatively flexible and dynamic power systems that accept many power sources, these systems lessen the technological barriers faced in large scale wind power development. The nations that develop wind power fastest are usually the nations also developing peak load management technology. From 2001-2010 Spain’s installed wind power capacity increased by 17.75GW, and gas generator installed capacity increased by 18.01GW, wind power and peak load gas generators achieved roughly equal development, moreover Spain also added over 5GW of very flexible water pump power storage systems.
Strengthening the power grid information network is beneficial to evening out the disparities in wind power across regions, it allows dynamic allocation across the full power grid, and promoted regional wind power development. Germany and Spain use 220KV international lines to connect their power grid and network with surrounding countries, thus allowing them access to the large european power grid. Denmark’s power grid is connected with Norway, Switzerland, and Germany via over over 14 lines totaling capacity estimated at 5GW. Countries like Norway with plentiful hydro power resources have started becoming “power batteries”, providing excellent adjustment and allocation for Denmark’s wind power.