If nuclear was cheaper…

If nuclear power was cheaper,

we could obviate the fact that it leads to a centralized power generation model instead of a more valuable democratized power generation.

If nuclear power was cheaper,

we could neglect the fact that it leads to an unflexible power generation model instead of a flexible, adaptive and future-proof system.

If nuclear power was cheaper,

we could try to neglect the risks that this source of energy entails.

If nuclear power was cheaper now,

we could try to neglect the fact that it takes very long to build and that cost overruns and delays are very common (just read about the Olkiluoto story).

If nuclear power was cheaper now,

we could try to neglect the fact that the energy situation changes faster every day so it would no longer be cheap compared to other sources when it sells it’s first kWh after a decade (if you are lucky) of construction…

nuclear-power-plant-1314782 stop

No need to ban them, really. (Image by Nathaniel Dodson on freeimages.com)

However… Sigue leyendo

Capacity first?

…then Reliability, then Efficiency?

Developing an electrical network is a question of priorities. As is developing anything I guess… Which priorities do you think are most important?

You probably agree that the first step in building an electrical system is bringing access to electricity to most of the population, right?

Capacity to efficiency

This might seem solved, but in reality, access to electricity is still far from being universal. Still 1,2 billion people don’t have access to electricity. It’s in fact part of sustainable development goal 7, and, actually, the road to SDG7 is the road to Energythaca.

While building additional lines and power generation units to solve access to electricity, the values of reliability and efficiency are normally not on the top of mind for system planning. What if access to electricity is provided by renewable microgrids, would values like reliability and energy efficiency be achieved at the same time? Sigue leyendo

Smart Grid Reliability! …or Efficiency?

One of the main benefits of the Smart Grid is increased reliability. Investing in Smart Grid technologies that improve reliability may have a good benefit-to-cost ratio or not, it will depend on the value of the improvement and the avoided outage or interruption costs. Examples of such technologies are; automatic outage restoration systems, Wide Area Monitoring, energy storage at distribution level, geographic information maintenance systems, advanced protection systems, etc.

The cost to improve reliability follows an somewhat exponential curve, as having a 100% reliable system is close to impossible, the cost is close to infinite. This leads to an asymptotic curve towards the end. Something like this:

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Research article: Asessing Islanding Microgrids

The article we recently published, presents a method to assess the most appropriate microgrid configuration, depending on the costs of grid energy, renewable prices, storage, islanding conditions, etc:

Article Microgrids

Our definition of microgrid includes any network on household or building when including control, generation, storage or islanding capabilities. These microgrids must ask themselves what configuration is their best option, from full utility dependence to off-grid… The thing is: You ARE a microgrid, so what kind of microgrid is best for you to be?

Timer Plug off-grid TICTAC

Image from newkemall on freeimages.com

Actually, to turn every household and every residential, industrial or commercial building into a microgrid, with a Home – Building Energy Management system, with renewable generation (and storage) is the way of implementing the Smart Grid bottom-up and also Democratizing power generation.

It also pushes the system towards net-zero energy buildings which is the way forward pointed out by the EC, for example.

You also wonder what the Grid Independence Cycle is?

Read the article and take a look at Spain, where the menace for a toll on self-consumption and the fact that fixed costs are higher than variable costs may lead the system into the circle, with increasing partial or complete islanding (even with an additional toll, who knows) from the network.

Interconnections and the road to 100% renewable

Last week, ADMIE signed the contracts for the 1st phase of the Cyclades interconnection Project, consisting in 150 kV AC three-phase sea cable from the mainland to Syros island, and from there to Mykonos, Paros and Tinos (see the picture below).

The business case for the interconnection project is impressive. We are talking about an investment of roughly 232 M€ that will save approximately 100 M€ per year, and will avoid the emissions from fuel fired power plants in the islands, increasing the reliability of the grid and the power quality.

Cyclades Project

Why are interconnections important for the sustainability of the grids?

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Movilidad eléctrica interurbana – Artículo

Recientemente publicaron un artículo parte de mi doctorado, algo que llevaba intentando desde hace tiempo y que aprovecho para explicar también en el blog.

El artículo completo está disponible en la red en open access.

El ejercicio de investigación que planteamos consistió en elaborar un método para planificar la infraestructura de movilidad eléctrica interurbana.

Source: sxc.hu, Axonite (www.pavelmatousek.cz)

Source: sxc.hu, Axonite (www.pavelmatousek.cz)

¿Qué quiere decir esto? Significa determinar cuantas “electrolineras”,

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Jornada AEEE – Jóvenes y no tan jóvenes del sector

Organiza: Sección de estudiantes y jóvenes de la AEEE y Enerclub

Fecha: 19/09/2013

Lugar: Club Español de la Energía

cabecera AEEE

Resultó una jornada muy entretenida, e interesante, por las diversas opiniones que se defendieron en las mesas redondas. Incluida una anecdótica intervención que recojo como insólita; Una persona, explicando la tendencia hacia mayores costes fijos en la factura, indicó a los asistentes que quizás “estamos yendo hacia un nuevo concepto de eficiencia energética, en la que un padre no le dice a su hijo que apague la luz para ahorrar sino que le dice; niño, enciende más luces” Desde luego un nuevo concepto, tan nuevo como contrario al significado de eficiencia energética…

Aparte de esta “genialidad”, quiero resaltar en mi blog la participación de Miguel Ángel Fernández-Ordoñez, que con claridad y autoridad defendió las bondades de la competencia y de la huida de la competencia, para acabar con los problemas actuales del sistema energético español. La regulación debe fomentar la competencia, para lograr una mayor eficiencia en el sistema y que ésta se traslade al consumidor. Esta regulación debe ser realizada por las personas con mayor cualificación y con independencia del poder político. Además, la política de “campeones nacionales” es ineficiente y según se ha demostrado, una política que defienda un mejor mercado hace empresas más competitivas y más grandes. Es decir, obtiene mejores resultados que la defensa de las grandes empresas. En concreto en el mercado eléctrico, la integración también equivale a competencia, es decir, un operador/planificador de infraestructuras de red único europeo y la ampliación de las inteconexiones.

No fueron estos los únicos comentarios relevantes, por eso tan pronto tenga el link a la transcripción, la colgaré en este post.