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Output Control Rate of 5% or Less, Real-time Control Are Essential, Expert Says (page 3)

2019/06/24 20:28
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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ICT function essential for 10 years

Q: The policy of keeping the output control rate to several percent while introducing large-scale renewable energies is completely different from the stance of Japan, which is "to increase the rate to a certain level when the amount of renewable energies increases to a certain level."

Yasuda: The concept is different between Europe and Japan. In Japan, the logic of "setting a limit to the introduction of renewable energies based on conventional grids and operation" is in the mainstream, while new grid operation technologies and methods are searched for in Europe to find out measures "to improve the grids and operation methods, aiming to keep the output control rate below 5% on the premise of large-scale introduction of renewable energies."

The gap between the concept of Japan and that of Europe is that Japan is in the 20th century while Europe is in the 21st century. It is apparent which will lead the world in the future in power systems and grid technologies.

Q: What kind of technical innovation made it possible to keep the output control rate at about 5% in Europe, where renewable energies have been introduced on a larger scale than in Japan?

Yasuda: No special measures are taken, but the ICT (information communication technology) is always introduced to renewable energy equipment for real-time control. It is common practice throughout the world. In Spain, for example, mounting of the ICT function was made compulsory for connection of wind power facilities to grids in 2006, more than ten years ago.

Real-time control of wind power and solar power by ICT is not a very sophisticated method in terms of technologies and is made possible by systems and laws.

The large-scale introduction of solar power was started in Japan without establishing a system of this kind, which was a big mistake. The developers finally noticed the mistake and began to mount remote control systems. Trial and error are always required in establishing systems, and it is natural that pioneers of renewable energies such as Denmark and Spain go through a trial-and-error process. Japan, which was behind other countries in introducing renewable energies, did not try to learn from the pioneers.

However, the introduction of real-time control will be accelerated in Japan in the future. Then, the output control rate will be 5% at maximum and will drop to 2 to 3% if normal efforts are made for grid operation. Problems will occur if the rate exceeds the range, but such situations will be caused only when the efforts are insufficient.