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There is in fact more wind energy resources than we need, and the largest wind turbines can produce electricity at a competitive price.
However there are problems:
- the onshore resources are limited for environmental reasons
- the electricity is generated as the wind blows – sometimes when it is not needed and it can not be stored
Our solutions can overcome these problems, namely offshore wind farms based on our experience from offshore oil and gas and district heating systems with CHP, heat pumps, electric boilers and thermal storages. Therefore Denmark may increase the share of wind for electricity from 20 to 70% in a few years. Ramboll is a leading consultant in both solutions.
Although offshore wind farms are more expensive than onshore farms per. installed megawatt, they are of special interest because:
- the environmental/visual impact is less
- the wind is stronger and more constant
- the wind farms can be larger and benefit from effects of scale, and
- the total wind resources are much larger in countries with coast lines.
In order to reduce the construction and maintenance costs our experience from offshore oil platforms is utilized, e.g. for the foundation and the precautions to meet the harsh offshore environment.
In order to reduce the costs in the power system for integrating the wind and in order to avoid waste of wind energy, the water based district heating systems are vital.
- Electric boilers and heat pumps closest to the wind farm can utilize all the peak production and thereby reduce the costs and environmental impact of power transmission lines
- Electric boilers and heat pumps can operate only in periods with surplus wind energy
- Efficient CHP plants can supplement the wind energy when the demand exceeds the wind energy
- In order to compensate for unforeseen fluctuations in the wind energy, CHP plants and running heat pumps (a quick stop) can up-regulate, whereas electric boilers and heat pumps can down-regulate (a quick start)
- Finally huge thermal storages can compensate for long-time fluctuations in wind as well as in hydro energy
More info at the Ramboll profile and