One of the main disadvantages of renewable energy sources is that the energy produced depends on weather conditions and it is difficult to predict its continuity. For this reason, wind and solar energy, as well as, energy obtained from sea currents, are called “renewable energy sources of variable efficiency”. Such RES sources are not preserved in any way in their original form before being converted into electricity.
SHORTCOMINGS IN ENERGY SUPPLY
At a time when RES constitute a significant part of energy systems, frequent drops or lack of voltage in the network should be taken into account. To ensure constant and uninterrupted access to electricity for all consumers, they should be supplemented with conventional power plants. However, they are not adapted for permanent compensation of damages. The mode of operation of coal-fired power plants is not focused on flexibility and one-time replenishment of temporary shortages. Such cases are associated with increasing operating costs and working on unfavorable parameters. The solution should be sought in other methods – gas power plants, energy storage, as well as highly efficient cogeneration.
COGENERATION IS THE ANSWER ON INSTABILITY SUPPLY
Cogeneration plants produce electricity and heat in one technological process. Low fuel consumption and cost-effectiveness of this process make it the most effective way of energy production today. It also has an important place in the EU’s policy regarding the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
CHP (Combined Heat and Power) systems are characterized by high flexibility of operation even with variable load, which ensures stable support of RES.
Importantly, this can be done without losing the purity of the energy produced – cogeneration has great potential to become as clean as renewable energy sources. Fuels such as hydrogen or biomethane can already be used for combustion. Therefore, a large number of unstable RES sources in energy systems can be very well compensated by highly efficient cogeneration.
Photo belonging to ZGO Sp. z o.o. in Jarocin – Wielkopolskie Centrum Recyklingu