Growth in new renewable energy over the next two years will increase the number of wind farms and solar which would have to curtail their production in some areas of the network due to saturation of nodes, increasing the amount of renewable energy wasted.
The strong penetration of renewable energy in Spain is driving a significant increase in green energy discharge to guarantee the electricity supply in the country. This situation occurs when Red Eléctrica is forced to disconnect some renewable plants, which they have to stop their production (known as curtailment) to areas of the network where you want to inject more energy than the network can support under conditions of safety and stability.
Specifically, in Spain discharges have gone from 0.1% to 1.2% of energy, Although still far from 5% of an efficient network Which marks the European regulation. However, these reductions are not evenly distributed, as there are regions of Spain that exceed this percentage, even reaching values close to 10% in some specific wind nodes of the network. Their cost would be around 25 Euros per house, as technical restrictions amounted to 1,104 million Euros, a modest cost compared to the rest of Europe.
“In the wind sector we have seen how reductions have grown exponentially in the last three years,” says Tomas Romagosa, technical director of the Wind Power Business Association (AEE). , There was a significant increase from 2020 to 2021, In 2022, the upward trend continues and in the first three months of 2023, there is an increase of 500.14% compared to the previous year,” he explains.
Specifically, renewable energy limited or curtailed in 2022 was 82.6 GWh, of which 78.5 GWh was wind power. Photovoltaic solar was cut by 0.2 GWh. By March 31, 2023, 113 GWh of renewables has already been committed, of which 106 GWh is wind. Of those 113 GWh, 72 GWh is not remunerated, “What has a significant economic impact “On the financial model of the parks,” Romagosa says. “Commercializing in the market, it must be generated through other fossil technologies in other parts of Spain that are not collapsing to compensate for the balance between production and demand,” says the technical director of the wind association.
Curtailments are particularly affecting older wind farms. “There’s no electronics in these wind turbines of power that allows them to stop progressively, so that when the system operator imposes a stop command on them, they have to do it immediately, and this causes breakage, breakdown and significant wear and tear on some components, leading to They are forced to invest in themselves. replacement”, added PREPA’s representative.
The problem it faces is so big, “that even with storage it won’t be able to solve it completely,” confirms Romagosa. “The progressive reduction in electricity demand that we are experiencing, combined with the high surplus of a photovoltaic generation that will enter the system, may cause the batteries to be unable to deplete all stored energy at other times of the day”, “Between us all – he says – we need to be able to phase out the facilities so that all new renewable energy is not installed at the same time, but rather it is installed gradually and in coordination with the planning actions of the transmission network. , without it penalizing companies, or taking away their access”.
Mytco is aware of the problem. “Furthermore, from AEE We are preparing a series of analyses, With data, scenarios, and simulations. Right now the ministry is in the process of updating the PNIEC and we think the time has come to revisit it in detail,” Romagosa concluded.
From the photovoltaic solar sector, they also note with concern how the problem of outages is becoming more acute with increasing frequency in some nodes. “the discomfort is already here”, Jose Donoso, General Director of UNEF, explains. “The problem is that as time goes on and more power is involved if demand doesn’t keep up, we’ll find this situation happening more frequently,” he says. The truth is that there are several generations already given access that has managed to exceed the milestone of a Positive Environmental Impact Statement (DIA).