Renewables for Power Generation: Status and Prospects - 2003 by Published by : OECD Publishing

By Published by : OECD Publishing

Generating electrical energy from renewable power assets has indisputable allure, either for environmental purposes and for decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. This e-book assesses the outlook for 6 prime renewable strength applied sciences: small hydr

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New techniques to reduce erosion, and new materials to lower costs have been developed. Operation and Maintenance O&M costs can be reduced by using standard industrial components, standardised modular equipment and highly automated monitoring devices (remote control, web cams and microphones). Generally speaking, costs are predicted to fall faster for low-head and supplemental plants due to the significant cost share and reduction potential of the electrical equipment in these systems. Costs of high-head plants will decrease less, mainly because in such plants the civil engineering costs – with smaller cost-reduction potential – represent about 60% of the total costs, compared to 50% for lowhead plants and 30% for supplemental plants.

This explains why electricity costs tend to be lower for low-head and supplemental SHP plants. Although high-head SHP plants tend to produce more expensive electricity, its value can be higher as these plants often have greater storage capacity and can inject power in periods of higher demand, charging higher tariffs. Figure 12 Average SHP Related to Capacity Installed Costs for Turbines from the Most Important European Manufacturers Costs [€/kW] 2000 1500 1000 500 0 500 1000 Power [kW] 1500 2000 Source: EurObserv’ER, Hydroelectricity barometer - Energy in rushing water, 1999.

Low-head power plants also run more slowly and thus cannot be connected directly to the generator. Electrical equipment (which includes the generator, the transformer, the controller, the protection system and the access lines) represent about 25% of the total plant cost for both high and low-head plants. For supplemental hydropower systems, energy production is only a secondary purpose. Therefore, civil engineering plays a less important role because the most significant construction is already in place.

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