Demand for economically feasible energy storage technologies

Experts in the field of renewable power generation development took part in the workshop regarding wind power development in the Republic of Belarus within the framework of the project “Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus”, which was held in Minsk on November 17, 2016.

In the course of the workshop the international consultant of the project Yevgeny Nadezhdin did a presentation that reveals the main trends and problems of wind power development worldwide.

Let's consider the keynotes of the presentation.

Modern trends of wind power development:
• Wind is the main source of RES for today (without hydropower).
• The installed capacity of wind farms worldwide as of 2015: 370 GW. Not less than 35 GW of new capacities per year since 2009.
• Electricity is generated by wind power on a commercial basis in 85 countries.
• The leaders are China (91GW), the USA, Germany, Spain, and India.
• In 2014 China installed 20.7 GW of wind farms = 3 Sayano–Shushenskaya hydroelectric power stations.
• Employment in wind power is 800 thousand people.
• Wind power covers 4% of global electricity consumption.
• Denmark (2014) - 39.1%, Spain - more than 20%, Germany – 8% (4 northern federal states in Germany provide themselves with more than 50%).
• The largest wind farm is Gansu, in the northeast of China, the IC is 6 GW; in 2020 the capacity should reach 20 GW.
• The largest offshore wind farm is in the UK with a capacity of 0.63 GW. The designed capacity is 2.4 GW.

RES are actively replacing conventional power generation by shares in power balances.


Various instruments of renewable power generation support are observed worldwide.

Cost-based instruments:
  › Investment subsidies and grants (46 countries);
  › Fiscal (tax) incentives (61 countries);
  › Fossil fuel taxes;
  › Subsidization of cost of debt;
  › Compensation of part of investment costs.

Instruments based on price:
  › Fixed tariffs (more than 50 countries);
  › Price premiums;
  › Capacity charge.

Instruments based on volume (quantity):
  › Quotas for renewable energy /”green” certificates (15 countries);
  › Tender procedures (23 countries);
  › Balanced energy accounting (13 countries).

The consultant drew attention to the fact that in the current economic context an emphasis should be put on the policy of support of competitiveness, job creation and reflation.

Today the price is becoming the main matter of concern for the EU countries in the field of power generation. The crucial point in the revision of the EU strategy for the development of RES has become the summit of the European Council, which was held on May 22, 2013, which at the political level declared shift of emphasis energy policy of the EU: instead of “sustainable energy”, “competitive energy” was put in the forefront.

The main current problems of modern wind power development are:

The appreciation of energy for an end-user.
Overall the accumulated experience shows that at the current technological level power grid can be adapted to receive power generated from RES, if its share does not exceed 30%, but such an adaptation means a significant increase in energy prices for an end-user. The share of RES, which power grid can receive without prejudice to the prices is several times less.
The represented graphs graphically display the price behavior for the end-user:

High investment in network and other infrastructure.
All costs are eventually shifted to the consumers, who actually pay twice – first to directly stimulate generation from RES, and then to adapt the power grid.

Unbalanced model of the operation of energy companies.
› The expansion of power generation from renewable sources (mainly state-subsidized) and weak involvement of conventional energy companies in this business.
› The slowdown of economic growth and demand for electricity as a result of the global financial and economic crisis.
› Wrong estimate of the prospects of demand, which led to excessive investments in generating capacities (all-European capacities increased in the 2000s by 16%, and in some countries, e.g., in Spain – well in excess of 90%).
› The making of economically unexpected, contradictory and large-scale at their consequences political decisions in energy sphere (first of all, on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Germany after the disaster at NPP “Fukushima” in Japan in 2011).

Yevgeny Nadezhdin drew the main conclusions at the end of his detailed presentation:

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