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Wiring up the Wind: long wires, short wires or no wires at all? > ESRC Seminar Series Pushing the limits of wind power University of St Andrews 6 th May.

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Presentation on theme: "Wiring up the Wind: long wires, short wires or no wires at all? > ESRC Seminar Series Pushing the limits of wind power University of St Andrews 6 th May."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wiring up the Wind: long wires, short wires or no wires at all? > ESRC Seminar Series Pushing the limits of wind power University of St Andrews 6 th May 2009 Dr Dick Birnie The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute Aberdeen, Scotland Are centralised, distributed or off-grid solutions the best way forward?

2 THE LONG WIRE SOLUTION 16,850 pylons Is grid connection the best option?

3 THE LONG WIRE SOLUTION Wind energy debate in UK is mostly about electricity supply Should be seen in the wider context of our total energy economy What are its key features?

4 © BERR Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Affairs

5 UK ENERGY FLOWS 2007 Primary SupplyMillion tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) Conversion and distribution losses (mtoe) Petroleum products 173 Natural gas101 Coal40 Electricity(16) %

6 ENERGY USE Main energy use sectors Million tonnes of oil equivalent Notes Transport60 Domestic4482% space heating & hot water Industry32 Others20 Conversion & Distribution losses related to electricity 70

7 KEY POINTS Centralised generation is about 40% efficient CHP is about 85% efficient Problem of being locked into a centralised grid infrastructure: take opportunities now! Domestic heat is an important use Argument for a more distributed energy system in the UK is more to do with heat than power

8 KEY POINTS Potential for regional CHP solutions with smart grid technologies? Wind fits within this more distributed approach

9 THE SHORT WIRE SOLUTION 16,850 pylons Opportunities for more localised approaches? Should every house have a wind turbine? Scope for microgeneration?

10 THE SHORT WIRE SOLUTION 16,850 pylons Microgeneration generation of electricity and/or heat on a small scale using technologies with zero or low carbon dioxide emissions (SE 2007)

11 COSTS & PAYBACK PERIODS 16,850 pylons TechnologyTypical costs (£)Payback period (yrs) Wind - roof1, Wind - mast11, , Solar PV7, , Hydro20, ,000n/a Solar hot water3, , Heat Pump - ground6, , Heat Pump – air7, , Biomass – stove2, , Biomass- boiler5, ,

12 KEY POINTS Wind does not stack up at a domestic level unless other actions are taken Payback periods are relatively long and roof mounted systems are unlikely to be cost-effective Scaling is critical with wind energy

13 LOCATION & SIZE Power is a function of the swept area and the cube of the wind speed. Double the wind speed: eight times the power output

14 LOCATION & SIZE Turbine at site with 5 m/s average wind speed will produce twice as much power as site 4 m/s average. Location and size matter! Golding, E. W. (1961) Wind as a source of energy in Scotland. pp In: Natural Resources in Scotland, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Constable, Edinburgh

15 KEY POINTS Use of hot water systems: fits much more with domestic energy demands Scaling is critical with wind energy. A few larger turbines would potentially be far more energy efficient Potential for local co-operatives or energy companies?

16 THE NO WIRE SOLUTION 16,850 pylons Scope for off-line thinking?

17 LINKING HEAT, POWER & TRANSPORT Opportunities for connecting distributed CHP with transport solutions? Regionalised power points

18 KEY POINTS ARGUMENT for seeing our energy economy in an integrated way Not one solution: different solutions in different places Regionalising the energy economy opens up new possibilities for CHP and integrated low carbon transport solutions Challenges are both technical and behavioural

19 LOOK FOR INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS The right wind, in the right places for the right reasons! © Marsailidh Aspinall


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