Las islas, de dependencia energética…

…a independencia o interdependencia?

El 5 de Noviembre en Lanzarote, tuvo lugar el Foro 2nd Clean Energy for EU Islands, sobre incrementar las energías limpias en las islas.

Uno de los objetivos de muchas islas, especialment en las estrategias compartidas por las regiones ultraperiféricas es la «independencia energética».

Es verdad que el objetivo 100% renovable puede ser más “fácil” en islas. Pero es la independencia energética el mejor escenario?

Arrecife desde el Charco de San Ginés, iluminado sobre todo por combustibles fósiles… pronto más por renovables con la interconexión con Fuerteventura

Veamos algún ejemplo:

 

…sería más efectivo para la isla de Mallorca ser independiente energéticamente, que tener la interconexión eléctrica con la península?

O tendrían un futuro más próspero las islas Cíclades intentando ser energéticamente independientes que interconectadas con el Peloponeso?

No. Es obvio que las interconexiones eléctricas (cuando son técnicamente viables), combinadas con generación renovable local, elecrificación del transporte y electrificación de la economía en general, puede ser el acelerador más eficiente hacia la descarbonización.

La interdependencia energética mediante interconexiones es en muchos casos más sostenible, económica, social y medioambientalmente.

Por qué? La penetración renovable se maximiza, la fiabilidad puede aumentar y los precios energéticos pueden ser menores.

La interdependencia tiene que ver con las sinergias, con la colaboración. En el caso de las islas, ser capaz de sobrevivir solos, pero prosperar conjuntamente.

Si quieres ir rápido, ve sólo. Si quieres llegar lejos, ve acompañado. (Proverbio africano)

En conclusión, las islas deberian apuntar a la interdendencia energética sostenible.

Si no es posible con interconexiones eléctricas, mediante el comercio de otros vectores energéticos neutrales en carbono, o mediante sea energy harvesting por ejemplo

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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)

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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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