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Europe-wide blackout hints at renewable cause  

The Renewable Energy Foundation is claiming that uncontrolled renewable energy in the form of wind power was a key factor in the grid disturbance and blackout that affected millions in Europe. They write:

‘ Europe’s principal grid authority the “Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity” (UCTE) has published a detailed interim report into the grid disturbance that left 15 million households without power, and came close to resulting in a pan-European blackout.

The report reveals that the causes of the event were multi-factorial, but that the key trigger was an unexpected rise in the load on the Landesbergen-Wehrendorf grid link, which joins the grid control areas of E.ON Netz and RWE.

The precise causes of this increase are at present not clear, or have not yet been published, but the role of an unpredicted rise in wind generation (documented by E.ON Netz) appears to be a potentially important feature.

Moreover, UCTE makes it clear that the subsequent behaviour of uncontrollable wind generation was a significant factor in the development of the crisis and the difficulties that the grid operators experienced in restoring the service.

UCTE notes (p. 25) that 60% of wind units tripped in response to the emerging crisis, and then began automatically reconnecting (p. 26ff) exacerbating an already grave situation (p. 30).

John Constable, Director of Policy and Research at the Renewable Energy Foundation said: “The regrettable part played by uncontrollable renewable generation in the European grid crisis of 4th November graphically illustrates the need for scrupulous engineering in UK renewable energy policy.

“At present too much is being left to politics and to chance. This is bad for everybody, and particularly bad for the renewables sector itself.”


Renewable Energy Foundation

Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity” (UCTE) interim report into the grid disturbance

For additional information see the report of E.ON Netz on http://www.eon-netz.com/


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