Temporary power is now a trend
There is a global trend emerging for the urgent need of temporary power plant solutions for power utilities in developing countries who have invested heavily into hydro-electric power plants for their base-load capacity. This would seem a sensible move as once the hydro-power plant has been built and is operating there are virtually no fuel costs so the power being generated is fed into the national grid at a low cost. However, recent years have seen low rainfall and drought affecting the dam levels in many hydro-power dams.
The reduced water levels in a dam’s reservoir reduces the power being generated or in some extreme cases curtails power generation altogether which means that power utility must impose strict power rationing to spread its base-load available. Increasingly, the utility will then call upon a temporary power plant provider, such as Aggreko, to supply a power plant in as short a time as possible to feed the much needed power into the national grid.
With the environment and the rising costs of fuel for their thermal power plants in mind, many governments are planning to increase the levels of ‘clean’ energy into their power generation mix. China is an excellent example of this developing trend into renewable power resources as it is reported that China’s Central Government may lift its 2020 target for wind power by 50 percent to 150 GW which represents a 20 percent annual growth rate from 2009. Wind power capacity requires heavy investments into transmission and distribution grids to handle the intermittent power output from large wind farms that are located far from the demands for power in developed areas.
As with hydro-power’s dependence upon water, it is more than likely that during certain seasons wind strength will not generate enough power for the grid’s needs as during this season demand is rising. This critical scenario may well happen during a summer’s hot and humid months when the wind’s strength reduces significantly and air-conditioners and fans are being switched on. It is at moments like these when temporary power will offer a speedy and cost effective solution to the ‘no wind – no power’ problem.
Article source: Public Service Review: Central Government, Issue 20