By Miranda de Ruiter - Van Hoof | Februari 2022
Energy Storage and Power Quality: essential for the Energy Transition
"Demand for electricity varies continuously. In the healthcare and service industries, demand is highest during the day, while at home demand is highest in the evenings. In addition, industrial production plants experience huge peaks in energy demand during the day and at night. This causes large fluctuations on the demand side. However, the more we use non-fossil fuels, the more we see fluctuations on the supply side. The amount of energy produced by solar and wind sources varies greatly, not only from hour to hour, but also between seasons."
"To meet the targets set in the Paris climate accord and the recent Glasgow climate accord, it is essential that the use of renewable energy sources compared to fossil fuels is increased. This means generating and supplying more and more renewable energy, as well as an increase in the total consumption of electricity. Matching supply and demand is, therefore, becoming an ever-greater challenge."
"The power grid is becoming full. A congested grid makes it more difficult to optimally deploy wind turbines and solar cells, or possibly hydroelectric power stations. Increasingly, generated energy can’t be provided to the grid operator because there is no capacity to process it. In the Kempen region of Brabant, for example, many sustainable initiatives are 'on hold' for this reason. We’re seeing this on the power supply side. What’s more, when the maximum capacity of the grid on the demand side is (almost) reached, it becomes difficult to attract new businesses - or even to retain established companies, for example because there are no possibilities for expansion."
"In short: the electricity grid needs to provide a continuous, uninterrupted supply of energy to offices, businesses, homes and institutions. At the same time, it must also be able to cope with huge fluctuations in supply and demand, enable large-scale electrification, and be capable of integrating energy produced by renewable sources. This requires construction of new infrastructure, which will take a long time. It also requires an enormous workforce of technicians - who are increasingly hard to find - and substantial investments."
Awareness and possible solutions
"The energy transition cannot be realized if the availability, storage and quality of electricity are inadequate. Changes to electricity generation and consumption also affect the quality of electricity (Power Quality). Awareness and knowledge about this is often lacking, which can lead to problems. As an external advisor on finance and the energy transition, I work together with electrical experts (at HyTEPS) to increase awareness among parties involved in energy transition. As a risk manager and financial controller, I know that a good problem analysis beforehand is required to arrive at the best solution and prevent problems at a later date. HyTEPS has considerable expertise when it comes to measuring and subsequently optimizing existing installations. It is often possible to increase the capacity of the existing installation with limited investments, making expansion unnecessary. The government and business community are still insufficiently familiar with these quick wins, even though their added value is becoming increasingly greater as the electricity network becomes more congested."
"Another solution I am actively working on with HyTEPS is the storage of sustainably generated electricity. Introducing storage, for example in the form of battery systems, plays an important role in facilitating the energy transition. Battery systems store electrical energy for use at a later date, thus relieving the burden on the electricity network and also providing greater flexibility and reliability. Supply and demand can be matched in a way that is as energy-efficient and efficient as possible. In business parks, for example, storage can ensure continuity of power supply during disruptions. In solar parks, inefficient peak loads can be counteracted by peak shaving. Energy generated by wind turbines can be stored and sent to the grid when demand is highest. The possibilities are endless, but it is very important to take the right approach. This also includes financial solutions, such as leasing constructions."
"Energy storage and Power Quality issues call for the development of a vision and concrete action from policy makers - who generally have no technical background. Therefore, close cooperation between (local and national) government, industry, grid operators and electrical engineering experts is essential. Only through smart policy and targeted investment will it be possible to move away from fossil fuels and make electrification possible on a large scale. Time for joint action!"
Knowledge and solutions
Our highly trained, qualified and enthusiastic team of technicians help our clients to improve energy efficiency and optimize electrical energy quality. We do this by means of measurements, analyses, knowledge, services and technologically innovative solutions. In this way, we help our customers navigate the energy transition, get much more out of existing installations, achieve their own sustainability goals and make a contribution to meeting national targets.