dimanche 12 juillet 2020

Wind turbines in Denmark

Wind turbines in Denmark

Intermittence and hydraulics

Focus on the Danish case

Jean Pierre Riou

English translation Bernard Durand

Avertissement : cette série d'articles en anglais reprend des articles du Mont Champot en français afin d'étayer une publication ultérieure.
Cet avertissement explicatif sera rapidement supprimé.
Why the development of intermittency in France will impose additional load monitoring on its nuclear reactors, which deteriorates their profitability and compromises their safety, without participating in the decommissioning of any of them.

Costa Rica, Uruguay, Quebec and Norway generate more than half of their electricity from hydro power. A good part of this energy, stored in dams, allows them all the fantasies of production with intermittent means such as solar or wind.
But the problems raised by the Sivens dam project painfully remind us that this model is not universally applicable.
However there is no other mean of storing massively electricity than using hydraulic reservoirs. This is the reason why countries not having such an asset cannot reduce the installed power of their dispatchable power plants by a single MW in return for the development of intermittent resources, whatever their power.
This power of intermittent sources is likely to fall to less than 1% of its installed power when the wind drops, as this March 12, 2018 in Denmark.

"High pressure potatoes" can, however, fall on an entire week in Europe, while regularity of electricity supply to the network is essential. This explains why Germany has still not reduced its controllable fleet by 1 MW in return for 100,000intermittent MW. Similar is the case of Spain. The French are mistaking  if they believe that the closure of 3 GW of coal is due to  any reason other than the economy in electricity consumption due to the commissioning of the Georges Besse 2 plant for the manufacturing of nuclear fuel.
 The Danish case
The case of Denmark requires special attention since it has succeeded in 25 years in reducing its  fleet of coal-fired powerplants by 2 GW, from 10,214 MW in 1995 to 8,141 MW in 2015, in parallel with the development of 5 GW of intermittent  wind power. And that, without having hydraulic reserves allowing to cushion the vagaries of the wind production. The table below details this development

This evolution of the Danish electricity fleet can only be understood within the Nordic network with which it is closely connected, mainly with Sweden and Norway which supply it with almost all of its imports, and with Germany to which it exports its surpluses, as shown in the graph below which illustrates the development of its cross-border trade since 1990.

The red line drawn on this graph shows the evolution of the trend of these exchanges. Denmark was a net exporter in 1995. The exports/imports balance gradually decreased, until it became negative from 2011, and represented up to 17% of Danish consumption in 2015.
Nordic and Baltic hydraulics
The Nordic electricity network, which connects Sweden, Denmark Norway, and further on, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is characterized by a considerable hydroelectricity input, with the exception of Denmark and Estonia. Hydraulic power provided, in fact, 96.3% of Norwegian electricity consumption in 2016 and half that of Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries are largely using this facility to open or close their floodgates to regulate the network, as shown by the sudden variations in Lithuanian hydraulic production, below.

All Denmark’s eggs in its neighbors' hydraulic / nuclear basket
Nuclear energy also characterizes the electricity mix in Finland, where nuclear / hydro power accounted for 83.4% of electricity production in 2016 (excluding cogeneration), and  in Sweden for 80.3% of production (87% of consumption).
It is in fact the Swedish and Norwegian hydraulic reserves which allow Denmark to have power when the wind drops. And assure him a possible outlet for its excess of wind production, because these neighbors have no more difficulty opening floodgates for export than closing them to absorb surpluses.  Imports by Denmark are all the more important as its wind turbines produce less, and it becomes an exporter when the power of its wind farm exceeds, roughly speaking, 2800 MW. This is shown in the graph below, which also illustrates the strict correlation between the amount of wind power produced by Denmark and the amount of power it exports, or is forced to import.

Such behavior with such accommodating neighbors more than makes up for its lack of hydraulic storage capacity, and avoids having to subsidize emergency thermal power plants when wind is lacking,  as Germany does.

The hinge 2005 2015

Between 1995 and 2005, 2.5 GW wind turbines were added to the Danish electricity park almost without reducing the thermal park (minus 0.3 GW). This increase in installed capacity was, however, accompanied by a decrease in exports, due to an increase in consumption over the same period, as we can see in the graph below.

The horizontal red line highlights the similarity of consumption between that of 1995 and that of 2015, which frame this study, and without which any comparison would be biased.
It is the period 2005 2015 which is significant, since it was then that Denmark made most of the reduction in its thermal fleet. But also, from a net exporter, it has become an importer of 17% of its electricity needs, while its consumption fell regularly, from 34.2 TWh in 2005, to 31.7 TWh in 2015.


Its electrical system gives Denmark the most expensive electricity in Europe for households, with 0.3088 € / kWh in 2016, while its Nordic and Baltic neighbors benefit from a kWh 2 times cheaper: 0.12 € in Estonia, € 0.16 in Latvia, € 0.12 in Lithuania, € 0.15 in Finland, € 0.18 in Sweden and € 0.15 in Norway.
But at least the wind industry, with 25,000 jobs in Denmark, represented 8.5% of total exports, while the internal wind market represented less than 1% of activity in this small country in 2011, before China took over the market.

The other point of view

These figures were indicated in the letter sent by the industrial sector to the Minister of the Environment at the time, to remind him that the place of Denmark as European leader in this industry attracted the eyes of the whole continent on Denmark's wind energy regulations, and that plans to take into account the nuisance caused by their low-frequency noise risked being copied by other countries.
And that it would cause considerable damage to the Danish economy if the regulations concerning the protection of local residents were to be tightened.
This is roughly the content of this edifying letter, a sworn translation of which was published in a Finnish report (p 73/74 via Waybackmachine).

This letter is dated to the time when Professor H. Møller, undisputed acoustics specialist in Denmark, fought for wind turbines very low frequencies and infrasounds to be measured in homes and not just calculated. It was the time when he was sacked from the University of Aalborg where he professed. At which time this University spoke, on its own site, of the mafia practices of this dismissal on economic pretext, and the press also denounced these practices and paid him a vibrant tribute.

The price of intermittency

Jean Pierre Riou

English translation Bernard Durand

Avertissement : cette série d'articles en anglais reprend des articles du Mont Champot en français afin d'étayer une publication ultérieure.
Cet avertissement explicatif sera rapidement supprimé.

As of 11/30/2016, 11,292MW wind turbines were connected to the grid.

Almost all of these wind turbines are connected to the distribution network, medium and low voltage (MV and LV between 20,000 and 230 volts) which is managed by ENEDIS (ex ERDF).

Some 637MW are however connected to the public electricity transmission network (RPT), composed of very high and high voltage lines (THT and HT between 400,000 and 63,000 volts) that RTE manages.
Transformer stations located at the interconnection between these networks.

ENEDIS, publishes its network data in real time: at http://www.enedis.fr/le-bilan-electrique-erdf
Which indicates, in particular, wind production on its network:

Which, logically, slightly lower than the RTE figures.

The large random variation in wind power, however, prevents most of their production from being consumed locally, as appears from the comparison of this production with the power delivered at the same time by ENEDIS to the RTE network. 

 These two variables are strictly correlated.

The more one considers wind energy on a local level, the greater the amplitude of the variation in its power.
Thus, even on the scale of a territory like Ireland, wind power can fall strictly to 0 ... and even to negative figures,
since the servitudes of the machines (extractors, hydraulic pumps, heating of the blades in cold regions ...) operate permanently. As illustrated by Irish wind turbines on October 20. 

Their power "curve" hardly took off from 0 MW that day, with even a foray into negative values ​​(minus 2 MW) at the end of the afternoon! It is because of this great variability in its production that wind power is anything but local energy and that it requires thousands of additional power lines to allow its overproduction to be pushed back ever further, by making them go up to lines of higher voltage. This is what highlights the Derdevet report ,  which analyzes the constraints to come for energy transport networks.

The following graph illustrates this phenomenon at a German transformer station. With the connection of photovoltaic power stations, the dimensioning factor is no longer the peak of winter consumption, but the peak of summer photovoltaic production for much higher power flows. And it is no longer a question of routing current to local consumers (positive flow on the graph),
but to push it towards higher virus tension levels to spread it over all the territories

This report draws attention to the case of Germany alone, which requires, according to the scenario envisaged, between 132,000 km and 280,000 km of new power lines and between 43 GW and 130 GW of transformation capacity in order to allow forcing back more and more these random surpluses towards higher voltage lines. (p 45 of the report)
Currently, it is the safety margins that are reduced by network congestion due to the unexpected transit of these unwanted flows. In particular the German flows (not nominated, or loop flows) which reduce the available capacities of our lines by dumping their surplus wind turbines coming from the north to transport them towards the south of their territory. 

The appearance of loop flows such as those caused by the massive installation of wind turbines in the North of Germany, and the delay in the construction of high voltage lines towards the South, sometimes saturate the electrical networks of neighboring countries and weaken them (see figure). These countries are not paid for the services they render to Germany, the balance of transits being zero at their borders.

To avoid the risks of blackout, the Czech Republic has  warned that it plans to be able to block any new influx of renewable electricity likely to cause a failure of its network thanks to the construction of a giant phase -shifting transformer setting the admissible incoming power, which was to be commissioned in 2017.Poland also plans to install such equipment at the border with Germany.
The need to deploy protective means such as these phase-shifting transformers can be taken as a demonstration that the presence of interconnection lines has not always had a positive effect. These have various interests, which shows, if this were still necessary, the need for appropriate technical and economic studies in each case.

Transit flows in the neighboring countries of Germany in 2011-2012 (MW)

Phase-shifting transformers
Transit volumes
Loop flows
Source France Strategy:  Union of energy

The advantages of this race towards ever more pooling of resources, needs, but also of problems, seems very limited by an inescapable parameter: the absence of benefit from a pooling of resources. The amplitude of variation of wind power remains considerable, even at European level.

To cope with the "high pressure potatoes" which deprive Europe of wind, it remains necessary to keep all the dispatchable power stations, ie those which supply current when a button is turned. But conversely, increasing intermittent energies productions results in the big difficulty of getting rid of their random surpluses as soon as the wind blows, even if it means paying for it, as demonstrates the correlation between German wind production and the price of MWh, which shows negative values ​​during wind records. 

But if these useless overproductions break prices on the MWh market, the various compensations paid to producers (purchase prices, additional remuneration, capacity mechanism, etc.) are added to the consumer's bill to the additional costs of the restructuring of the network allowing it to repress intermittent production. This explains the strict correlation between installed wind / photovoltaic capacity per capita and the retail price of electricity, as shown in the graph below.

Regarding the media bludgeoning on the virtues of renewable energies, it is disturbing not to find a word in the French press to salute the feat of the WEST reactor which has just obtained its 1st plasma in France, as part of the project ITER nuclear fusion industry. The silence is just as deafening on the entry into commercial operation of the Russian reactor of 4th generation "BN 800", crowned with the price of the best nuclear power plant in the world by the American press and ... which derives from the technology of Superphenix , arrested after its best year of operation for electoral reasons. Moreover this reactor offers considerable progress in the management of nuclear waste. So,  is it so obvious that the energy of tomorrow will not be dispatchable that  such a share of public money is injected in the creation of infrastructures whose sole purpose is to try to bear the effects of intermittence? In any event, these considerable additional costs must currently be taken into account when comparing the value of an intermittent MWh with that of a dispatchable MWh.

vendredi 10 juillet 2020

The CSPE or the 3 CSPEs

The CSPE or the 3 CSPEs 

Jean Pierre Riou 
English translation Bernard Durand 

Avertissement : cette série d'articles en anglais reprend des articles du Mont Champot en français afin d'étayer une publication ultérieure.
Cet avertissement explicatif sera rapidement supprimé.
Analysis of the financing of Renewable electric Energies (ReEn) and of the costs induced by their production.
Tomorrow we shave for free

 The professional representatives of renewable energies had answered before theSenate in 2007 that the additional cost of renewable energies would weigh only a few years on the consumer, through the "Contribution to the public service of electricity" (CSPE) by affirming: " By counting on a regular price increase of 5%, the contribution to the CSPE is positive until 2015. Consumers will therefore be forced to pay more for the development of wind power. Then the contribution becomes negative. The wind producers will then generate a rent for the community ”
 We now know that the reality is quite different. However, after a spectacular surge, the CSPE has now stabilized for 3 years at the same level of € 22.5 / MWh.
Each year in July, the Commission for Energy Regulation(CRE) deliberates  on the provisional assessment, for the following year, of the levies (CSPE) on electricity, as due for the so-called public electricity service. For the year 2019, these levies are estimated at € 7.7 billion. With 5.3 billion euros, the additional cost linked to the obligation made to Electricité de France (EDF) to purchase renewable electrical energy (ReEn), which is essentially windpower and photovoltaics, represents 68% of these levies, as the infographics of the latest CRE deliberation shows.

This additional cost represents the difference between the evaluation of the remuneration by feed-in-tariffs of these ReEn with what the same amount of electricity would have cost at market price.

CRE also specifies the average price for these purchases, for each sector, in Annex 1 to each deliberation.

The surge in levies and the substitution of the CSPE

This is how the rapid development of renewable energies resulted in an increase of the CSPE from 4.5 € / MWh in 2010 to 22.5 € / MWh in 2016. Nevertheless this increase, which was limited by law, was not sufficient to compensate the entire additional cost for EDF, towards which the State's debt was therefore increasing each year, reaching 5.7 billion euros at the endof 2015.

Finally, it should be noted that this CSPE tax is itself taxed by a 20% VAT, which brings the amount for the consumer to € 27 incl. Tax / MWh.

At the same time, the amendment to the finance act No. 2015-1786 of December 29, 2015 replaced this method of financing - which was beyond the control of parliament and did not comply with European Directive 2003/96 on the taxation of energy – by  the “Energy transition special account (CAS TE)”
This special account is also intended to clear the State debt to EDF by 2020. Initiated in 2016, this repayment represented 1.9 billion euros for 2019, as decided by the deliberation of the CRE already mentioned.
This is therefore added to the 5.3 billion 2019 expenses linked to ReEn, making a total of 7.2 billion €.

When a CSPE replaces another

On the other hand, the CSPE disappeared on January 1, 2016, by being absorbed by the Internal Tax on the final consumption ofelectricity (TICFE), collected on behalf of Customs, then integrated into the State budget.
But, at the same time, this TICFE saw itself renamed CSPE, which could not fail to maintain lasting confusion and suggest that the increase in levies of the public electricity service (CSPE) linked to renewable energies finally stopped since the contribution to this public service (CSPE) has not increased for 3 years on electricity bills, after having quintupled in 6 years.

The supply of CAS TE

The Court of Auditors notes, however, that for its first year of operation, in 2016, this special account remained mainly suppliedby taxes on electricity (TICFE, renamed CSPE).
But confirms however that "as of financial year 2017, the financing of the CAS has been profoundly modified since it would be the TICPE which would take over, essentially through  a climate-energy contribution (CCE)" . That is to say, the carbon tax.
The Court confirmed "an almost exclusive supply of the CAS with TICPE in 2017" (formerly tax on petroleum products), "the rest of the resources coming from TICC (tax on coal) up to 1 M €".

Electricity bills are therefore no longer affected by this funding.

To continue to understand

The benchmark estimate for the additional budget due to purchasing ReEn, remains that of the public energy service charges (CSPE) appearing in each CRE annual deliberation. To anticipate their evolution, the Court of Auditors estimates in its report ofApril 2018 that there remain 121 billion euros to be paid for the only contracts already committed before 2018. It distributes the annual forecast of these charges until 2044 in the table below, and separates, in blue, the charges to  be paid before 2011. It then stigmatizes the poor appreciation of the financial consequences of these ReEn support mechanisms.

Thus, the commitments made until the end of 2017 will represent 121 billion euros - in current euros - between 2018 and the expiration of these contracts, the latest being in 2046. The annual burden of commitments made before 2018 will only decrease significantly after 2030, when the weight of commitments prior to 2011 will fade (see graph n ° 3)

Graph n ° 9:
forecast of future expenditure for commitments made up to the end of 2017 (support for ReEn and injected biomethane)

Subsidies and social justice.
 This financing of renewable energies by a « carbon » tax  feeding an account of the national budget  is contrary to the principles of efficiencyand social justice of  a carbon tax as defined by economists. Economists indeed agree on the need to fully use of the strength of its price signal by  the redistribution of all of its product to households in order to avoid its punitive effects on purchasing power and their harmful consequences on the  economy. 3,589 American economists, including 27 Nobel Prize winners, signed a declaration considered the widest in the history of economics to recall the basic principles of an effective carbon tax. The 5th principle states: « To maximize the fairness and political viability of a rising carbon tax, all the revenue should be returned directly to U.S. citizens through equal lump-sum rebates. The majority of American families, including the most vulnerable, will benefit financially by receiving more in “carbon dividends” than they pay in increased energy prices. This is why the majority of economists agree, more explicitly, "that an effective tax is also characterized by:" ... (3) the prohibition on subsidizing alternative energy sources, including renewable sources such as than wind and solar power. "
By funding renewable energies through a carbon tax feeding a budgetary account, and  by the CSPE as well, the french Government is not raising public money for its energy policy by an egalitarian tax controlled by Parliament, but by a tax which  flouts this principles at the expense of social justice. The Yellow Vests are the consequence of this lack of social justice. Subsidizing with this tax wind and solar power flouts these principles as well.
Moreover, claiming, as does the french Government, that wind and solar power will be very effective in decarbonizing the french electrical system, that has already been decarbonized for now ¼ century is a political swindle.
The unnamed tax.

There remains, however, a hidden tax which continues to place the burden of renewable energy on electricity bills: it is the tax linked to the necessary restructuring of the electricity network intended to enable it, not only to supply the consumer, but also to drive back local renewable electricity surpluses towards the main electricity transport system. New role which now requires the network to be dimensioned in all points to be able to manage each record of random production.
Although its name does not appear on most invoices, this TURPE (Tariff for the Use of Public Electricity Networks) is included in the subscription and paid for by the consumer.

Intermittent renewable electricity (wind power and photovoltaics) financing mechanisms represent only the visible part of the additional costs they generate with respect to other sources of electricity.
Indeed, the impossibility of storing their production on a large scale at a cost acceptable to the community, prevents them fromparticipating in the sizing of the electrical system by replacing any installed dispatchable power whatsoever.
However, these dispatchable power units, responsible for compensating for windless or sunless periods, must be curtailed as soon as the weather conditions become favorable.
And the reduction in production thus imposed onnuclear power plants at each good performance of the wind turbines represents a considerable shortfall compared to the approximately 10 euros / MWh of fuel saved.
In one way or another, this loss of profitability can only be billed to taxpayers / consumers since EDF belongs to the State, for 83.7% (as of December 31, 2018).

Obviously, there is little hope that wind power and photovoltaics will soon become economical !