Renewable power generation growth will drive the demand for frequency regulation services

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Renewable power generation growth will drive the demand for frequency regulation services

Greentech Lead America: Worldwide frequency regulation
market, in terms of delivered capacity, will grow from 45 gigawatts (GW) in 2012
to more than 55 GW in 2022 driven by the growth in renewable power generation,
according to Pike Research.

The electric power grid is required to maintain a near
real-time balance between supply and demand. Frequency regulation services
manage the minute-to-minute fluctuations in load by absorbing power from the
grid or providing small surges of power in response to tiny changes in system
frequency. Such fluctuations are expected to increase as intermittent,
renewable energy sources account for a larger percentage of total power
generation.

“The value of the frequency regulation market is directly
tied to the level of government regulation in a given market,” says research
analyst Anissa Dehamna. “For vertically integrated power utilities in regulated
markets, these services are simply a cost of doing business. However, in
deregulated markets, frequency regulation falls under the category of ancillary
services, and can be provided as a high-value service either by power
generators or independent service providers, using a variety of devices.”

While frequency regulation has traditionally been
provided by power generation assets such as coal and natural gas, the
technology mix of assets delivering frequency regulation services will continue
to diversify, according to the report.

In more developed markets in North America, Europe, and
Asia Pacific, utilities and grid operators are becoming more open to
alternatives such as energy storage.

By 2022, energy storage systems will be delivering
between 3 GW and 7 GW worth of frequency regulation services, according to the
report.

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