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Policy, Press2005

No technical barriers for large-scale integration of wind power in the european electricity grids, says IEA study

27.09.2005

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) welcomed the conclusions of a working paper on renewable energies published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which investigates whether there are technical limits to the market penetration of renewable energy technologies, and wind more specifically. According to the IEA study, "the extent to which the intermittency of natural resources will become a barrier to renewables is mainly a question of economics and market organisation".

The IEA study draws together the existing literature from a number of countries and presents the current thinking on the technical and policy implications of variable electricity supply.

“The IEA report concludes that the natural variability of wind does not present a barrier for significant market penetration in electricity markets”, said EWEA Chief Executive Corin Millais. “In fact wind is disadvantaged by faulty market conditions. There are known solutions - better grid integration, better market rules, improved weather forecasting techniques and geographical diversity. Wind is variable, and so is the entire electricity system - predictability is one key to variability”.

The integration of larger amount of renewables will become an increasingly important issue for the management of electricity grids. The World Energy Outlook 2004 expects all renewables to account for 19% in world electricity generation by 2030 in the reference scenario, and up to 24% in the alternative policy scenario (IEA 2004 b).

Currently, wind power provides 2.6% of European electricity needs, and is forecast to rise to 5.5% in 2010 and 12.1% in 2020. National variations are wide around this average.

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