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A study of wind energy, power system balancing and its effects on carbon emissions in the Australian NEM

Lyons, Selina (2014) A study of wind energy, power system balancing and its effects on carbon emissions in the Australian NEM. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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With the increasing installation of wind power around the world the questions surrounding its benefits and issues are also growing at the same rate. This paper analyses the wind energy in the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) using actual data from 2012 and 2013 and attempts to answer some of the pressing questions around how variable the wind output is, its impact on carbon emissions, and its influence on other generators especially those balancing the power system. Starting with a static study of generation half hour data, the report then looks in more detail at the 5-minute variability experienced across the NEM, and the corresponding impact on frequency and time error for large excursions. Notably the largest variations experienced in wind power are during wind storms in the wind power zones of South Australia and Victoria. Three of these storms are analysed in detail looking at the individual performance of the wind farms and their contribution to the variability. Lastly, the effect of the wind variations on the regulation or balancing generators is studied – in particular with large increases in wind power that causes fossil-fueled generators to decrease their output and hence efficiency. Using the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) planning assumptions, the carbon emissions for each of the fossil-fueled generators providing balancing are estimated to show the trends in emissions, intensity and clearly show the effects directly caused by wind power.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Whale, Jonathan and Wood, Justin
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