Irish power ‘hedgehog’ poses puzzle for power policy makers

Irish power hedgehogThis picture shows the spikey ‘Irish hedgehog’ – an image of what will happen to baseload electricity generation if the Republic of Ireland meets its government’s official target of doubling wind energy.

The “Irish hedgehog” shows what happens when the volatile wind output is subtracted from electricity demand. The baseload will disappear. Only sharp load spikes are left for thermal generation, which needs to ramp up and down 1-3 GW constantly.

Award-winning author Jacob Klimstra reveals the stakes of the renewable energy gamble in Power Supply Challenges – Solutions for Integrating Renewables, a new book being published  today by Wärtsilä at Power-Gen Europe 2014.

Combining empiric country data with theory of power engineering, the new book considers the boom of wind and solar energy continues, despite the economic downturn. When the share of wind and solar power grows to more than 15%, serious risks arise. If proper action is not taken soon, the surge of intermittent generation can cause blackouts and double electricity bills.

Prior to book launch, Vesa Riihimäki, President of Wärtsilä Power Plants and Executive Vice President of Wärtsilä, is due to give a presentation on power system optimisation.

 Watch the review of the book here:


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