In the first HydroFlex newsletter, the project coordinator, professor Ole Gunnar Dahlhaug, NTNU presented his vision for the project. In this issue and coming newsletter we will challenge each of the work package leaders to present their vision for the HydroFlex project. Here is Bjarne Børresen, section leader for mechanical hydropower at Multiconsult Norge as and Hydroflex leader of WP 6 - Communication, dissemination and exploitation:
The goals of the HydroFlex project – increased flexibility of hydropower plants and focus on system services while ensuring good environmental design in a market-based power system, epitomize the change in the industry in the three decades that I have been engaged in hydropower. As a young turbine designer, I believed that peak efficiency was the ‘holy grail’. So did the clients. At the time, the specifications hardly contained any details regarding off-design conditions or number of start-stops. The main system requirement was the ability to operate on an isolated grid. In 1990, the liberalization of the Norwegian and later Nordic power market started. In the following decade, there was a gradual realization that there were relations between market designs, operating pattern, requirements for the power plant design, and wear and maintenance cost.
For many, the first EU climate and energy package (20-20-20 targets), launched in 2007, was the first proof of a radical change in the European power system. A decade later the headlines exemplifying the worldwide change is quite striking:
• Denmark has a share of 41% from wind power (2018)
• April 22. 2019 – 77 % of the power production in Germany comes from renewable energy
• The net installed capacity of wind power in Europe in 2019 is expected to reach 189 GW
• Falling RE costs: How Can Modellers Keep up? (title of IRENA workshop, May 2019)
When Norway, as part of the EEA agreement, decided to adhere to EU’s 20-20-20 goals, ambitious goals for private transportation was put forward. By 2020, the number of electric vehicles should be 70 000. The combination of very good incentives based on cross party agreement, active lobbying of NGOs and business associations combined with prominent technical developments, have resulted in a striking success of the electrification of private transport (with the current prediction reaching 210 000).