Wind and wind power production is a fascinating research subject. How to take advantage of the power of wind, when it is available and to the extent it is available at each instant. Wind varies all the time. Harvesting wind power from larger areas will help anticipating the production available. Wind has been the starting point of our energy system research, and gradually also other weather dependent components have become in the focus, like solar and hydro power as well as changing demand for electricity and heat.
VaGe stands for Variable Generation and more specifically in this case for our project “Improving the value of variable and uncertain power generation in energy systems”. There is already experience in integrating significant amounts of wind and solar energy to the system. However, larger and larger shares are anticipated and that brings a challenge. The challenge involves managing and planning the operation of the electricity system, and the wider energy system. Simulation models need to include more detail on the forecasts of wind and solar energy, as well as more detail on the flexibility options of the rest of the system. Managing energy systems requires planning in several time scales – weeks ahead to optimise longer storage options for example in hydro power, day ahead to start up slower power plants, minutes and hours ahead to move the generation to reach equilibrium with demand. With larger amounts of wind and solar energy, especially the storage time scales become more challenging and that is one specific objective of our project in improving the modelling.
Our met institute FMI has started on the work to improve the uncertainty estimates of weather related power generation on both medium-term and short-term time scales. At VTT the work on improving the representation and modelling of weather related uncertainties within the energy system optimisation models has also started. We aim to include a new model for the medium-term. Later in the project we use improved model simulations to find solutions to mitigate variability and uncertainty in the energy system: utilizing better forecasts as well as flexibility from biomass, consumer participation and electrification of heat and transport.
text: Hannele Holttinen