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Given the current levels of wind power connected to electricity systems, it is clearly feasible to integrate wind power to a significant extent without major system changes. The 60 GW of wind power already installed in Europe shows:
- Areas of high, medium and low penetration levels;
- Where different conditions exist;and
- Where bottlenecks and challenges occur.
Wind power as a generation source has specific characteristics, including variability, geographical distribution, favourable economics and, above all, abundance and environmental benefits. Large-scale integration of both onshore and offshore wind raises challenges for the various stakeholders involved, ranging from generation, transmission and distribution, to power trading and consumers. In order to integrate wind power successfully, a number of issues need to be addressed in the following areas:
- Design and operation of the power system: reserve capacities and balance management, short-term forecasting of wind power, demand side management and storage and optimisation of system flexibility;
- Grid infrastructure issues: optimisation of present infrastructure, extensions and reinforcements, offshore grids and improved interconnection;
- Grid connection of wind power: grid codes and power quality and wind power plant capabilities;
- Market redesign issues: market aggregation and adapted market rules increasing the market flexibility particularly for cross-border exchange and operating the system closer to the delivery hour; and
- Institutional issues: stakeholder incentives, non-discriminatory third party grid access and socialisation of costs
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