The number of integrated micro-installations has exceeded one million. Their capacity is higher than Poland’s energy policy for 2030 for all renewable energy sources. The bottleneck of the transformation is an unprepared power grid that cuts photovoltaics due to excessive voltage. According to Eaton experts, we urgently need to modernize the network, as well as remotely control the power supply and adjust energy consumption to its production.
- The current generated in micro-installations is transmitted to low-voltage networks with limited power. A sharp increase in energy production on sunny days leads to an increase in voltage in the network and technical problems.
- The energy produced by large solar and wind farms also varies greatly. In November 2021, they accounted for 10% of the energy market in Poland, and in February of this year during strong winds. even covered 25%.
- Such high variability threatens the stability of the network – when the voltage rises above the allowable value, operators have to disconnect photovoltaic devices. It also has an increasing impact on large RES farms.
- The stabilization of the system is further hampered by the growing demand for power and the uncertain political situation.
The current generated in micro-installations is transmitted to low-voltage networks with limited power. A sharp increase in energy production on sunny days leads to an increase in voltage in the network and technical problems. The energy produced by large solar and wind farms also varies greatly.
In November 2021, they accounted for 10% of the energy market in Poland, and in February of this year during strong winds. even covered 25%. Such high variability threatens the stability of the network – when the voltage rises above the allowable value, operators have to disconnect photovoltaic devices. It also has an increasing impact on large RES farms.
– Unfortunately, the opportunities for cooperation between our transmission and distribution networks and RES sources are very limited. The main reason is the instability and inability to maintain the excess of green energy. Conventional sources, such as coal-fired power plants, cannot be put into operation quickly when energy demand increases or the wind stops. Therefore, to stabilize the network, operators allocate RES, but do not stop the operation of solid fuel power plants – explains Mariusz Hudyga, product manager of Eaton.
Thousands of kilometers of network require billions of zlotys to invest
In order to bring energy from renewable sources into the Polish network, a serious transformation of the system is needed: the construction of power plants and the adaptation of existing ones, the construction of new transmission and distribution lines. Receive green energy.
In addition to infrastructure, control systems, continuous monitoring of energy consumption, preparation of simulations and forecasts, as well as intelligent control of energy flow should be developed.
All over Europe, immediate action is needed – in Ireland, by 2030, networks will be unstable for up to half the time unless steps are taken to synchronize energy flows.
– Most of the sources of electricity due to coal and lignite reserves are still concentrated in the southern part of Poland. The growing share of renewable sources has shifted the “burden” of energy production to the north, where conditions are better, e.g. for wind farms. This is an additional problem for operators. Depending on weather conditions, RES may not generate electricity at all or may produce too much. The network should be designed for remote, automatic switching of power supply sources and directions. It is also necessary to maintain adequate energy resources or invest in energy conservation, says Mariusz Hudyga.
Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne plans to modernize or expand more than 5,000 km of lines to 14 billion PLN. However, the needs are greater. For economic reasons, power transmission and distribution companies are often forced to choose cheaper technologies that cause problems during operation.
Will there be no electricity in the sockets day and night?
The role of energy consumption control can be important in stabilizing the network. If electricity consumers are equipped with smart meters, it will be possible to monitor electricity demand in real time and forecast changes and manage energy consumption to balance the system.
According to the French energy group Engie, even 15-20-minute interruptions in heating and hot water supply can save an average of 5-8% of daily electricity consumption, for example, on days of power generation from RES. is low.
– Adaptation of energy consumption to the amount of energy in the network is a new concept, especially for consumers accustomed to the unlimited availability of energy 24/7. However, this may be beneficial for them, because electricity will be consumed when the tariff falls. This will reduce your energy costs. Along with the development of technology, it is important to show social dialogue and buyers that they are part of the energy transformation – concludes Mariusz Hudyga.
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