In a recent article contributed to EnergyTech, Wärtsilä Energy’s Karl Meeusen, Director of Markets, Legislative, and Regulatory Policy, and Bhawramaett Broehm, Energy Market Analyst, outline the importance of portfolio diversity in enabling the renewable energy transition.
As noted in the article, the increase of renewable resources on the grid, like wind and solar, is a big and important step toward a sustainable grid, but it also creates significant operational challenges. It is particularly challenging when considering the increase in extreme weather conditions like droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires that threaten grid reliability.
“The grid requires flexibility and firmness from other resources to balance the real-time variability in wind and solar output,” according to the article. “When the sun sets, for example, other resources must be ready to come online quickly and ramp up to replace vanishing solar output.”
That needed flexibility is usually provided by thermal power plants and battery storage, though current battery storage technologies are limited to durations of about four hours. That underscores the importance of thermal power plants that can ramp up and down quickly when needed.
“Grid planners must pursue no-regrets solutions that address the reliability problems of today without compromising the decarbonization goals of tomorrow. New, fuel-flexible thermal resources that can efficiently operate on gas and hydrogen blends and are designed for future conversions to 100 percent sustainable fuels provide one such solution,” according to the article.
Read the entire article here.
For more on the importance of sustainable fuels, read here.