Wind energy and climate change
By Ashwani Kumar
| November 15th 2009 08:31 AM | Print
wind energy and climate change
During 11th plan Government of India has proposed 78,500 MW capacity development out of which renewable energy is to account for 14000 MW including 10,000 MW of wind energy. During 2035 it is proposed that country will need 800,000 MW of electricity of which only 3,50,000 MW could be met by conventional energy sources and rest of it i.e. 4,50,000 could be obtained from renewable energy sources only out of which wind power will have major share. However some the concerns about system stability were raised which included voltage flicker due to wind fluctuation and creation of ‘Intelligent grids ‘which can adjust to climatic changes on load based basis. It is also proposed to have green grid by 2050. These grid designs should also be able to handle wind, solar, hydro, solar PV as it is anticipated that in future substantial use of thermal, photovoltaic, and renewable energy sources is expected to be handled by such grids. One of the suggestions was also that grids could use wind power from March to September when wind is more and during winter months when biogases or other bio fuels are available they could be used. At present 1 MW to 1.5 MW electricity could be generated with single tower which requires an estimated area of 10 ha. This has caused resistance from the land owners and spread of wind energy. However if this demand could be reduced to 5 ha or to 2 ha per I MW. The I MW tower was costing 6.50 crore ( Rs 65 million) and 1.50 MW tower was costing 10.5 crore ( Rs 105 million). Vestas the major player who has 35,000 wind turbines in 63 countries presented paper on cost cutting possibilities and challenges. The prices of steel and copper had a downward trend which was not reflected in the cost of towers. The transmission facility and tariff are two important issues which will determine the future of wind energy. CERC has circulated documents which is open for discussion. Investments in the wind energy shall be determined by the adequate returns. Wind energy incentives are depreciation based while there is need to have incentives on the basis of performance and creation of carbon credits. In order to obtain carbon credits one has to pass through mechanism of clean development mechanism (CDM). United Nations Framework for convention for climate (UNFCC) has been monitoring the climate change. Mr Swaminathan presented an important paper on carbon credits. Carbon credits are measured as certified emission reduction ‘CER’. One CER equals to 1 MT CO2 equivalent. On 16th Feb 2005 Koyoto protocol became operational. It is aimed at reducing the emissions levels to 5.2 percent below the 1990 levels before 2012. CDM for India is project based mechanism and each project has to obtain CDM clearance. Any project with energy efficiency can qualify for the CDM cycle.
It must have one of the following criteria met:
1. If same quantity of fuel can generate better amount of energy.
2. Fuel switch from fossil fuel to biofuel.
3. Waste management: methane is 21 times more harmful then carbon dioxide hence waste management can lead to better carbon reduction.
4. Heat waste reduction during different processes there is considerable loss as heat which if reduced also qualifies for energy efficiency.
The question that wind is not a CDM cycle while Biomass, Bigasse and Co-generation has been answered by the contention that if wind power is not used then fossil fuel might have been used which might have caused pollutions. Hence wind power is also part of CDM.
Mixture of bio fuel/ wind combination could be used i.e. Use of Bagasse and Biofuel seeds from October to March and wind power from March to September.
The other countries can also buy CERs .
Some of the other points importance regarding use of wind energy were
1. Uncertainty of wind power.
2. Point of inter connection and voltage level.
3. Frequency at point of interaction
4. System stability voltage flicker due to wind.
5. Power quality
6. SCADA real time data exchange between the power producer and a GRID
7. Grid architecture towards smart grid.
8. Mix of other renewable energy sources.
A grid must have power lines, consumers, secure quality, reliable and available power.
Social activities : Environemental friendly.
There was a huge exhibition from the manufacturers and representatives of 50 countries/ companies.
Some of other sources of energy were presented at the pavilion of Denmark
Energy efficiency and better environment are interrelated. The biggest environmental concern today is massive consumption of energy by growth economies. Important global