Recent studies show the growing importance of wind and solar energy in the US state of Texas. One of the main issues is the timing of the installation of wind and solar power plants, which is in many ways an unacceptable factor for local suppliers of fossil electricity. Researchers at the Rice Institute have proposed their own version of how to more quickly and efficiently integrate various sources of alternative energy.
Environmental engineer Daniel Cohen and Rice student Joanna Slyusarevich analyzed recent peaks in renewable resource production in West and South Texas. They hypothesized that making the right adjustments to where and when to use resources would make the whole system more reliable and efficient.
The research results were published in open access on the information resource “Renewable Energy Sources: Wind, Water and Sun”. Scientists believe that while steady winds and a growing number of solar plants provided about 18% of Texas’ power generation in 2017, smarter use could help the industry grow much larger as the state’s fossil-fueled power plants are phasing out. work. So, this year alone, three coal plants were closed and a fourth is expected soon.
Researchers looked at weather information from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, raised archives that contain data from 2007 to 2013 on wind tracking in the Western and Southern parts of the state, as well as information on commercial solar energy production. As a result, it was concluded that for the most reliable and maximum production of electricity in the future, it is worth paying attention not only to the combination of the sun and westerly winds, but also winds from the coastal zone, since these are one of the most active air currents at that time of the year when the demand for electricity is at its maximum.
Also, the student identified some shortcomings in the movement of solar panels along the axis during the day and found ways to improve them. The main task of the project is the need to optimize the existing wind and solar power plants as much as possible, to take advantage of all the climatic benefits that the territory of the state offers.
Environmental engineers believe Texas provides a unique opportunity to learn how to balance energy resources through several factors:
- most of the power grid is autonomous;
- the presence of a huge territory with a wide range of climatic conditions.
An important point in the arrangement of highly efficient stations for the extraction of inexhaustible sources of wind and sun is the exact choice of location. However, this still needs to be worked on in order to maximize the integration of clean energy production.