Norwegian hydropower schemes linked to Europe’s large wind farm projects could successfully act as a backup when wind power fails to deliver enough energy, according to SINTEF, the largest independent Scandinavian research organization.
With both on- and off-shore wind power being seen as key to reducing the EU’s carbon emissions by 80-95% by 2050, a big hurdle for the technology is solving the problem of intermittent power production. Sometimes there will be too much power on offer, and at others too little.
A northern European offshore power grid is being developed to link wind farms and carry the electricity to population centres where it is needed in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. But the key problem remains how to maintain a regular supply of energy.
If the existing Norwegian hydropower schemes were refurbished and updated and connected to the same grid they could act as a giant “blue-green battery” for the system and provide all the necessary backup power, according to SINTEF.