Flexible Power Generation – ETN Webinar Series – final episode
“R&D for flexible power generation: today’s and tomorrow’s challenges and pathways“, the 7th and final episode of ETN’s webinar series on Flexible Power Generation, took place on 20 April 2021.
Between 2017 and 2020, about 50Million euro funds have been allocated to make fossil fuels power plants highly flexible and efficient through the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. These funds have helped researchers all around Europe develop and improve solutions that can help us reduce our carbon footprint by retrofitting and leveraging existing reliable assets, thermal power plants.
These investments highlight the importance of developing solutions for a deeper integration into an advance energy system with a higher shares of renewable energies, where thermal power plants shifts their role from base-load to fluctuating power sources, to meet unpredictable and short-noticed demand peaks and avoid disruption in the electrical grid.
The 5 EU-funded projects have focused their efforts in developing a broad array of solutions to increase flexibility while lowering GHG emissions: power-to-x-to-power solutions, low-carbon gasses combustion, Heat pumps supercritical CO2, components and machine optimisations. All of those solutions will respond to the different needs across the whole continent, supporting and strengthening the energy system in the short, medium and long-term. In this episode, we discussed with the 5 project coordinators what they think the next steps and research direction are, as well as the challenges still to be addressed.
Project coordinators from H2020 projects:
Alexander Wiedermann, MAN Energy Solutions – Chair WG3 Flexible Generation, ETIP SNET – slides here
Thomas Schleker, Policy Officer, European Commission – slides here
Ugo Simeoni, Senior Research and Innovation Manager, ETN Global
On the Flexible Power Generation webinar series:
To achieve the EU 2030 and 2050 Climate and Energy goals, a high penetration of renewable energy sources (RES) into the grid is required. In this context, the role of the fossil fuel power plants will have to increasingly shift from providing base-load power to fluctuating back-up power (i.e. ramping up and down) in order to control and stabilise the grid. However, this poses several challenges in the operation due to increased wears and tears of the power plants components, as well as a reduction in efficiency and increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of produced electricity.
The objective of this webinar series is to shed the light on the actions taken by the EU and the industry to meet these challenges and pave the way for a carbon-neutral energy system that would ensure at the same time secure and affordable energy supply. The series is organised by ETN Global, with the support of ETIP SNET and in cooperation with five EU Horizon 2020 projects: FLEXnCONFU (grant agreement n. 884157), HYFLEXPOWER (grant agreement n. 884229), PUMP-HEAT (grant agreement n. 764706), sCO2-flex (grant agreement n. 764690), and TURBO-REFLEX (grant agreement n. 764545).