Renewable energy sources

Table 1.1 lists the main renewable energy sources used for electrical power generation, along with the distinctive types of development for energy conversion and extraction. Apart from the production of heat or chemicals, the generation of electrical energy is the main purpose.

Table 1.1 Renewable energy sources for electrical power generation Renewable resource Municipal solid waste (MSW) Hydro:



• forestry wastes

• agricultural wastes




• photovoltaic Source: Tyndall Centre (2003)

From the viewpoint of a power system operator, some of the difficulties associated with renewable source variability affecting the delivery of electrical power are as follows:

• uncertainties in predictions of power available at any given time, leading to scheduling difficulties, although obviously the degrees of uncertainty vary with the length of forecasting horizon;

• magnitude of fluctuations in power output, where small fluctuations can be accommodated easily, but larger fluctuations require special countermea-sures;

• speed of fluctuations, where slow changes in resource availability and, hence, power output are usually predictable, but fast changes are less so.

In addition, there are generating plant performance abilities to be considered, such as power conversion limits where generating plant can operate efficiently only within certain limits of energy availability.

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