Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Clearing Hurdles

For all the talk about generating electricity from renewable/sustainable sources, not a lot of development has occurred in the US. At least in part because government policy hasn't forced it to, and because so many are saying each pet technology can't do it. Its been suggested recently that combining various generating types into a complementary system that can quickly and easily handle fluctuations in wind and solar PV generation, such as hydro with relatively ease of use for on demand handling is the way to go.

Enter the University of Kassel in Germany that has a demonstration project linking wind, solar, biomass and hydro generating stations into a 'Combined Power Plant'. Essentially, they've built a smarter generating infrastructure where each generating type provides at its ability and the whole is blended to meet demand. Not much different than how electric markets already work.

As a hurdle, however, this does show that integrated management of each station can be made to work, and makes it easier for scaling up as well as deployment elsewhere.

Take a look, including the video and system flow diagram on Gristmill.