People's Daily: Integration into the Large Grid is the Priority

????Wind power, depending on the weather, is very unstable. In one place, the more the wind power is developed, the more unbearable the grid is. Peak shaving is always hard to realize in the places of large installed capacity of wind power. Integration into the large grid will solve all these problems.

????The Abandoned Wind

????In wind power concentrated areas in the Northeast, Northwest and North China, abandoning wind is common. However, the newly installed capacity is still in large-scale development.

????The Production Department Director Li Bajun of Batou Wind Power Plant was not happy to see the roaring wind??the money resource. But this plant with nearly 200MW-installed capacity only can be half used. The other half just blows in the wind.

????This was a scene witnessed by the reporter when investigating Hebei wind power base. Tan Chaoyun, the manager of State Grid Jibei Zhangjiakou Power Supply Company, said the situation like Batou was common here. Nearly 50% of Zhangjiakou??s wind is abandoned.

????From Zhangjiakou to Inner Mongolia, the situation remained so or even worse. Chen Yusheng, the deputy chief engineer of the East Inner Monolia Electric Power Company said that in 2012 the average utilization hours of local wind plants were about 1600 and the lowest were only 1300.

????Li Jun, the general manager of State Grid Inner Mongolia New Energy Company said reluctantly that Inner Mongolia had very favorable wind resources. A wind power plant was built in 2010 in Hinggan League and the utilization hours were more than 2000 hours at the start. But from the year before last, the utilization hours began to drop significantly and last year reduced to 1357.

????The increasingly severe abandoned wind made companies hard to continue. Li Jun said, according to the investment, they could only break even with 1800 utilization hours. Now, 1300 hours utilization hours just gave them a reputation but the business was run at a loss.

????However, the severe abandoned wind is not unique in Jibei and Inner Mongolia. SGCC Spokesman Zhang Zhengling said this phenomenon was common in the Northeast, Northwest and North China where wind power was abundant.

????Zhang said that in 2012, the national average utilization of wind power equipment was 1890 hours, decreasing by 30 hours than 2011. On the one hand, the installed capacity??s utilization was reducing; on the other hand, the newly installed capacity was developing rapidly. The newly installed capacity in 2012 was 14.6GW and in 2013 another 18GW installed capacity has been proposed by the National Energy Work Conference. The expected total installed capacity till the end of this year will reach 78.83GW. If no measures taken, the problem of abandoned wind will further aggravate.


????The unstable wind power and difficulties in peak shaving are the important reasons of abandoning wind

????In the electricity field, especially the new energy field, wind power grew absolutely the fastest in recent years. Zhang Guobao, the former Chairman of National Energy Administration, said: ??When I worked in the NEA, the national installed capacity of wind power was almost zero. But after just a few years, China's installed capacity of wind power has become the world??s largest, exceeding the United States.??

????Some experts believed that China develops its wind power industry by constructing large bases. In North China, from Xinjiang, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, northern Hebei Province to the Northeast, six large bases with over 10GW installed capacity were planned at the same time. The massive centralized development model will inevitably lead to the power accommodation difficulty, which caused the phenomenon of abandoning wind.

????But Zhang Baoguo, who has led China??s wind power development, disagreed. He thought it was unilateral to blame the rapid wind farm construction to pay for the abandoned wind.

????New energy development is not only a strategy for China, but also for other countries about the globe, undoubtedly representing the future of energy development. Considering the whole power system, wind power development is not enough and there is still a huge space in the future. In 2012, China's installed capacity of wind power was 60.83GW, only 5.3% of the total capacity. Wind power generation was only 2% of the total. While in Europe and the United States, the proportion has exceeded 20%, even 40% in some countries.

????Why western countries did not abandon large-scale wind?

????Zhang Zhengling said that wind power was very unstable and dependent on the weather. In one place, the more the wind power was developed, the more unbearable the grid was. Such as in Zhangjiakou, the installed capacity of wind power has reached over 50% of the local total. The number was even greater than some European countries with substantial wind power. But the local grid cannot accommodate it all. As power cannot be stored and the load needs to be balanced timely, the common model is to use the power straight away while being generated. So thermal power plants have to give way to wind farms when wind is abundant, and thermal power plans have to generate more power when wind is scarce. Therefore, it is hard for peak shaving in areas like Zhangjiakou with a heavy proportion of installed wind power capacity.

????While in the North with rich wind power resources, wind resource has the reverse relationship with the power load: wind is abundant at night, but the night power load is the lowest. Therefore, peak shaving becomes more difficult. More seriously, the windy places are always the alpine cold region where the heating demand is high in winter. In order to reduce scattered small boiler heating, the cogeneration of heat and power is commonly engaged. So the thermal power plants cannot give way to wind farms. Thus, wind has to be abandoned. This is why in the windy winter, the abandoned wind phenomenon aggravates in these years.


????Constructing long-distance transmission channels to deliver the wind power is the fundamental way to solve the abandoned wind

????It is hard for wind power accommodation and peak shaving. So is there any solution to this problem? Zhang Guobao wasn??t so pessimistic. Integrating the wind power from these bases to the large grid would easily solve the problem. But this involved the channel issue.

????Zhang said, in fact, the real reason for today's abandoned wind was the lagging construction of transmission channels. For a long time, China has been focusing on power generation while neglecting transmission. Now new energies such as the wind power suffer from the same problem: wind farms are constructed but not their transmission channels. In order to fundamentally solve the problem of abandoned wind, the power grid construction must be accelerated, thus can transmit the wind power over long distances from the northern bases to the coastal load centers.

????Yin Jijun, General Manager of Jibei Electric Power Company, said: ??The long-distance, large-scale power transmission should depend on UHV, which is in dispute for a long time. Only UHV can transmit the power from Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang to the East. Some people disapproving of developing UHV are mainly considering the cost and security. But in the new energy development, these are only details. The key question to be asked is: do we have to develop new energy, or do we have to develop large-scale new energy bases? If the answer is yes, UHV is the inevitable choice; if the answer is no, then it is another matter. "

????Yin said: "Frankly speaking, for the grids around the world, they??ve got only one thing to deal with: balance. Generate the needed amount so that production and consumption can be realized at the same time for power cannot be stored. If the wind power from the bases cannot be accommodated locally, there are only two ways??abandoning or delivering. No other ways around. New energy generation is different from the thermal power generation. In the traditional way, it can be chosen to deliver power or deliver the coal to the load areas. But in wind and solar power, there is no such a choice??you cannot deliver wind or sunlight. So, accelerating the construction of long-distance UHV transmission channel is the most important means to solve the problem of abandoned wind.??

????Zhang Zhengling introduced that SGCC had already planned three vertical and three horizontal UHV channels. The starting points of three vertical channels (Xilin Gol league ?C Nanjing in the east, Zhangbei ?C Nanchang in the middle and western Inner Mongolia ?C Changsha in the west) are all 10GW-level wind power bases. The channels can not only find a way for the green power in the North, but also improve the air quality in Beijing, Tianjin and the eastern region. The western region's economy will be further developed. It is expected that till 2017, the East and Central areas will receive 160TWh of cross-regional wind power, avoid burning 72 million tons of coal and reduce 110 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 75,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions. Of course, while implementing this fundamental solution, wind power bases can open minds to provide some useful supplements, such as expanding the local accommodation channels and building some distributed energy stations.

????Source: People's Daily

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