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WWEC: Hydropower offers flexibility and storage for wind power

WWEC: Hydropower offers flexibility and storage for wind power

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As renewables take up a larger share of the electricity mix, demand for the flexibility services offered by hydropower is expected to grow, said IHA President Roger Gill at the 18th edition of the World Wind Energy Conference WWEC 2019. 

Hydropower, including pumped hydropower storage to a greater extent, provides essential grid services and will make significant contributions to future clean energy systems as the ‘world’s water battery’, Mr Gill told the conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week. The event, held between 25 to 27 November, brought together more than 300 people from over 20 countries.

Presenting on the topic of ‘renewables working together’, the newly elected IHA President said the world’s renewable energy associations, including solar, geothermal and bioenergy, should continue to promote discussion on how renewables can best support the energy transition and achievement of sustainable development goals. 

The portfolios of hydropower facilities in many power systems of the world are already capable of providing services that support the increasing contribution of wind and solar. “Hydro equipment is able to operate flexibly to accommodate the variability of wind and solar in the short and medium term and existing large storage reservoirs can contribute to provide energy supply security over longer time scales,” Mr Gill said.

Mr Gill cited the example of Brazil, where hydropower is a key part of the energy mix. The country has the second largest fleet of hydropower facilities in the world. Its portfolio of hydropower provides vital energy supply and, as wind and solar power are added, can deliver power system services to stabilise the grid. 

“With the modernisation of Brazilian hydro plants already underway, the facilities should be upgraded to even more efficiently meet Brazil’s future energy and power system service needs,” Mr Gill said.

Under the theme of ‘Large-scale integration of wind power generation’, WWEC 2019 highlighted how wind power generation can be integrated with other renewable sources to reach 100 per cent renewable energy supply and how integration is important as end-use sectors switch from fossil fuels to electricity, such as with electric vehicles. 

The conference programme included presentations in the areas of wind, solar and other renewable energy, energy storage technologies, energy in transport, power generation by communities and emerging renewable markets.

Visit www.world-wind.events for more information.