Keywords: wind power, grid integration, international collaboration, renewable energy, intermittency
International energy technology collaboration: wind power integration into electricity systems
A rapid growth of wind power since the 1990s has led to notable market shares in some electricity markets. This growth is concentrated in a few countries with effective Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) programmes and with policies that support its diffusion into the market place. The speed and depth of its penetration in these electricity markets have amplified the need to address grid integration concerns, so as not to impede the further penetration of wind power. Research on technologies, tools and practices for integrating large amounts of wind power into electricity supply systems is attempting to respond to this need. In recent years, existing international collaborative research efforts have expanded their focus to include grid integration of wind power and new consortia have been formed to pool knowledge and resources. Effective results benefit a few countries that already have a significant amount of wind in their electricity supply fuel mix, as well as to the potential large markets worldwide. This paper focuses on the challenge of bringing significant amounts of intermittent generating sources into grids dominated by large central generating units. It provides a brief overview of the growth of wind power, mainly since 1990, the technical and operational issues related to integration and selected collaborative programmes underway to address grid integration concerns.