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Wind Power Contribution to System Adequacy

This chapter discusses the extent to which installed wind power capacity statistically contributes to the guaranteed generation capacity at peak load. This firm capacity part of the installed wind capacity is called 'capacity credit', and is relevant since total wind power capacity will be a substantial fraction of the total generation capacity. At the European level, this will be 30-40 per cent of total generating capacity, corresponding to the wind power targets for 2020 and 2030. However, in 2008, wind power capacity only represents around 10 per cent of European generation capacity.

Substantial amounts of new capacity need to be built in the coming decades to meet increasing demand in Europe and to replace old plants. UCTE estimates that, by 2015, generating capacity in its area will increase by 90 GW, with 60 GW coming from renewables, the majority of which will be wind power.

As for all renewable sources that cannot be stored, wind has a capacity credit that is lower than that of conventional generation technologies. However, there is a certain amount of firm wind capacity that contributes to the adequacy of the power system. Before expanding on the capacity credit of wind power, a brief explanation will be given on the current methods of estimating power system adequacy.

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