Wind Energy Trends and Applications Podcast

by , , | Aug 1, 2022 | Sustainability, Sustainable Energy

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Worldwide, wind farms are growing in number and size as global demand for renewable energy increases. This is true, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Emerson’s Shubhi Goel and Andy Wang join me in this Asia Pacific Sustainability and Decarbonization podcast to discuss the trends, challenges, and solutions to more effectively manage and control wind farms with integrated monitoring, supervisory control, and asset management.

Visit the Sustainability & Decarbonization section on Emerson.com or connect with a local expert in your country in the Asia-Pacific region.

Partial Transcript & Conversation Notes

Jim: Hi everyone. This is Jim with another “Emerson Automation Experts” podcast. Globally, we are seeing an increasing emphasis on sustainability & decarbonization as countries, corporations and communities further define and implement their roadmaps to achieve net zero / carbon neutrality and operate in a more sustainable way. Today we’ll explore the role of Wind Energy with Andy Wang & Shubhi Goel.

Welcome Andy and Shubhi!

Andy and Shubhi: Thanks Jim

Jim: Thank you for sharing your background. Let’s jump into this. Shubhi I’m going to pick on you first for a little bit on the trends and developments. Why is Wind energy important for the sustainability-driven transformation of the energy sector?

Shubhi: Wind power is one of a popular sustainable renewable energy source. You WILL agree that at this moment, we are consuming a lot of natural resources that isn’t sustainable and this is leading to environmental issues, such as greenhouse emissions, pollution, and climate change… AND all of these is actually causing harm to the environment, wildlife and humans.

But the Good news is that people have started realizing that we need to become more sustainable to protect the Earth for future generations. Also, we can see countries, Governments, businesses, corporations around the world who have also begun to realize the same need for developing Renewable resources to help reduce emissions… AND Yes, There is a clear understanding on the role of wind energy in the whole Decarbonization movement.

Within Renewable Energy, Wind has a great role to play. Wind power generation is considered one of the most attractive energy sources when it comes to alleviating Climate changes and the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions concerns. I can say Wind power is not just doing its part in reducing carbon emissions, it is doing so at an impressive rate.

Also, with Wind Energy if used along with Solar in Hybrid projects combined with efficient storage can improve the Plant Load factor and also improve Plant efficiencies. In addition to this Wind Energy will have critical role to play in growth of green hydrogen and green ammonia. So, Yes, Wind energy is definitely enabling the transition to clean energy, Green Future and is poised at the cusp of unprecedented opportunities…

Jim: That’s an interesting point about hydrogen and ammonia in the context of energy storage. What are the latest trends, and new patterns in the Asia-Pacific Wind Energy Market that are influencing the sustainability-driven transformation of the energy sector?

Shubhi: At present Asia accounts for almost half of global energy demand. According to the bp Statistical Review of World Energy 2021 data: with increasing demand Asia has the highest emissions overtaking historical emitters: North America and Europe.

A host of countries in Asia like China, Korea, and India have recently announced major commitments to significantly cut their carbon emissions, promising to reach “net zero” in the coming years… And if we see Wind is shaping a forward Path playing a Vital role in this mission at Asia.

Let me share some of the data around wind energy based on market surveys conducted in year 2021 -22:

  • In 2021, Global Wind Installed capacity has reached 837 GW with annual growth rate of 12%.
  • Out that 93GW are new Wind Power Installations added in Year 2021 itself …
  • And Asia contributed to 59% from that …that means 55GW wind Power is produced by Asia itself which is 59% contribution to Global Wind Energy.
  • The Growth rate is exponentially high compared to years before 2021
  • After China, it is Vietnam, Australia and India who are the Top wind producing countries in Asia during last year…

Jim: That’s nice to know about wind energy Growth in this region.

Shubhi: Yes, Jim…in Asia Pacific, the intention and purpose have reached a handshake, and transformation in Wind Sector is inevitable. Even GWEC Market Intelligence expects ~more than 110 GW of new Wind installations each year and out of which ~70GW is projected to be added annually in Asia itself until 2026.

Jim: Can you share which are the Enablers/Growth Contributors necessary to support the scale-up of Wind in the Asia-Pacific region?

Shubhi: Let me first cover the Enablers or as you rightly said Growth Contributors to support the scale-up of Wind Energy in Asia:

  • Wind energy avoids significant carbon dioxide emissions annually and is helping to displace the generation from fossil fuel power plants.
  • Wind Energy consumes less or essentially no water during electricity Generation. So, implementing wind energy is a means to address the global challenge of water resource management.
  • Wind Energy has shown better PLFs & Opportunities for Hybridization with Solar, integrating energy storage systems(eg: BESS, pumped hydro) that is another big Enabler for wind power generation.
  • Another Growth contributor is yes, Offshore Wind Power Plants which are set to Expand:
  • Next enabler is Wind Energy becoming Cost competitive: Although costs vary strongly from country to country, this is true for a majority of countries (at a scale 10 out of 14 as per Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US findings)
  • Lastly, Wind Turbine Control systems suppliers continue to Increase Value Proposition by providing the best technology solutions. And I am very excited to mention here that Emerson has acquired Mita-Teknik in Dec 2022. Mita-Teknik, headquartered in Denmark, is a leader in control automation solutions for wind turbine and wind farm operations, with expertise in control design of over 400 wind turbine models and an installed base of more than 60,000 systems worldwide.

Jim: Shubhi, India is another country that is quite active on the wind energy front. What policies have they established?

Shubhi: Sure Jim. As said earlier climate action is gaining momentum worldwide and I must say India is at the forefront of this transition and strongly committed to the Wind energy growth.

  • To share a few Market drivers: The Govt. of India’s Cop-26 commitments includes reducing carbon intensity by 45%,
  • meeting 50% of energy requirements from Renewable energy, deploying 500GW of Renewable energy capacities by 2030 as we all know India has pledged for Net zero by 2070, and also pledged to cut projected emissions by 1 billion tonnes between now and 2030 …So these all initiatives and policies strongly support the growth of Wind in India.
  • Out of 159.1GW Renewable energy installed capacity in India, Wind is 38% contributor
  • There is an exemplary effort and policies pushed by local govt. where they have set short to medium-term 2030 targets that will actually act as stepping stones towards “India’s Wind and decarbonization journey”.
  • The Indian Wind Industry has achieved substantial make in India effort … working on some of the initiatives like Atmanirbhar bharat, Make in India and Performance linked Incentives scheme (PLI) that makes India a strong contender for Wind Energy in the Asia Market.
  • There are few more Market drivers like ongoing ambitious scheme for the development of offshore winds, clean hydrogen and storage that will further support India’ commitments to work towards achieving the target.

Jim: Andy, now let me turn to you. Could you tell us a bit about Emerson’s approach to Renewable Energy and especially the Wind Market?

Andy: There’s several approaches into renewables. Your immediate thought may take you to controls on new and retrofits. While we have a great solution for controlling wind, solar, and batteries, what we find is that often the first discussion with owners/operators of PV and Wind sites revolves around a common renewable SCADA that can be used across all renewables and all models of turbines. There are several SCADA companies out there, but often focus on one type of renewable or don’t have good interfaces to the assets. The other thing is, those same companies may not have a good control product to complete the solution.

Jim: That makes sense that more often than not, there is a mix of energy sources that benefit from common SCADA and control systems. Andy, can you share with us more about Emerson’s Wind Turbine Solutions and the value this acquisition brings to Wind consumers?

Andy: Mita-Teknik has nearly everything for wind. Turbine control, pitch control, SCADA, and most importantly, engineering skills that know the industry and the application. They can customize solutions to improve AEP or hardware life. It makes them unique in comparison to our competitors. We expect to be able to combine their products and skills with our global sales and project engineering to reach much farther than they dreamed possible. The potential is very exciting. Let me add that similar to our fossil customers, renewable owners/operators value aftermarket support. We have been learning that they haven’t been getting what they expect from OEMs and PPC providers. Emerson is known in the industry for this and I think it will be a differentiator for us in this market.

Limited access to data generated by the wind turbine generator (WTG) / Little insight into operational data / Elongated wait times for service/response from OEMs for troubleshooting are common challenges for Wind Operators and Plant Owners.

Jim: How does Emerson’s Wind SCADA Solutions help to increase operational visibility, flexibility and performance with OEM-Independent asset management solutions?

Andy: A typical Wind OEM only permits the owner to access a limited subset of the data usually through an OPC output from their SCADA server. This might be 30-40 values, where the unit might actually have 1000s of data points the OEM can see and use for themselves. It’s like the difference between the Engine Light on your car dash coming on telling you the problem versus getting the exact fault itself and all the underlying issues that created the event. The access we provide empowers the owner to truly own their data and make use of it. MiScout can directly interface to over 750 wind turbine models using native, proprietary protocols. With it, owners can not only operate and monitor their units, but access the data to perform more diagnostics or understand failure modes in more detail. MiScout has tools that allow an owner to analyze the data. Now, some owners have LTSAs with the OEMs or extended warranties where the OEM supplies the SCADA and provides services through it. MiScout can be independently installed in parallel with the OEM SCADA allowing the owner to get that data and not impact their OEM agreement.

Jim: Retrofits offer a large opportunity for end-to-end monitoring & control providers (controller, SCADA, CMS, performance monitoring, protocols, communications, support, trading, reports, etc.) Can you share more insights on Emerson Wind Solutions aimed at streamlining retrofit projects and optimizing repowering costs that will hold a notable market advantage?

Andy: Mita has done a tremendous job of simplifying control replacements. From a logic standpoint, they have libraries of proven operating logic to draw from and simply customize the parameters when going to install. From a hardware perspective, they create kits that can quickly replace the legacy system in less than a day. They often install the first kit, and the rest either the customer or a third-party installs. From order to install usually takes only 3 months. For units they have not yet developed, they have the engineering talent to develop retrofit solutions. We are doing that today on GE SLE units, the largest fleet in the US. The prototype was installed earlier this year and in May we are installing the remaining units.

Emerson’s strategy is to be ahead of the changes happening in the industry and to be the go-to automation partner for delivering power-to-X, single resource, and hybrid solutions that provide more value to Renewable customers.

Jim: How do you see this as a growth opportunity and are we able to support our customers to incorporate wind /solar hybrid projects combined with energy storage in the new hybrid renewable energy mix—for example, Wind/Solar Hybrid with Green Hydrogen?

Andy: Consider that there are a lot of similarities between Solar PV and Wind. The real value to the customer is not always at the site level, but at the remote operations center where the data is leveraged to make operating decisions. A unit out of service or a failed inverter rarely draws a fast action response from the owner as a boiler feed pump failure would in the thermal world. Instead, they quantify the failures or impending failures and then address in batches of maintenance. Another way to look at it is, renewable companies try and keep their “truck rolls” down. Most sites are remote, so driving 300km to a site to return a 1MW inverter to service impromptu is probably not worth it. Just as important, when that “truck rolls” to site, the owner needs to know what to put on that truck (parts) to fix the problem on that one dispatch.

Jim: What’s different about renewable SCADA versus just an HMI?

Andy: HMIs were originally developed around the process world where operators are sitting in front of them 24/7 and actively changing settings, turning pumps, opening valves, recovering from upsets, and all of that. They are not necessarily looking at KPIs or making cost-based decisions. Whereas in Renewables, there’s not a lot of operation going on. It’s a lot of monitoring and occasionally troubleshooting issues. You will often see the control room empty or no control room at all, where operators respond to text messages when something needs to be addressed. But touching on that other point, cost-based decisions and KPIs are a huge component of what SCADA and by extension, APM, provide to the owner/operators. The data from the field, combined with the market, weather, and other information empower them to make decisions to best use their assets. As an example, on a low-dollar day, a wind operator may choose not to dispatch their units and subject them to wear & tear.

Jim: That’s an interesting distinction between the two, thanks for that. Let’s wrap up this podcast by asking you to share with our listeners where they can go to learn more.

Andy: So Jim, you can go to Renewable Power on Emerson.com including a link to the Mita-Teknik site.

Jim: I hope our listeners learned as much as I did in this podcast and make sure you check out other ones in our Asia-Pacific Sustainability & Decarbonization podcast series. Also, we have a link to the Asia-Pacific Sustainability & Decarbonization experts in your country for more. Bye for now!

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.