K2M is launching the service after identifying the important role project hybridisation could play in realising the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan.
At present, very few hybrid wind and solar projects exist in Europe, but K2M sees some of the challenges that prevent future hybrid project development as capable of being addressed through new ways of looking at site design, grid management, construction management and investment optimisation.
Currently, many of the impediments to wider hybrid project development concern a lack of clear understanding as to local grid management, and restrictions on the proximity of solar panels to wind turbines. Owner operators also need to be confident in calculating whether the interplay of resources on an existing site are complementary enough to provide a return on investment for installing additional clean power generation.
Despite these challenges, hybrid systems are expected to become increasingly cost competitive in the coming years, particularly owing to the opportunity for such systems to increase power system efficiency and ensure a greater balance of resources in the energy supply.
To encourage early-stage investment in hybrid European projects, K2M suggests that smaller scale sites may prove easier commercially, owing to the fact they reduce grid connection risk and can utilise smaller batch equipment currently present on the overstock market.
“With Europe in energy crisis, we have to maximise every possible Megawatt of locally sourced clean energy” said Cristina Fernandez, European Sales Director, K2 Management. “Hybrid projects really are an open goal not just for increasing renewable energy capacity, but for helping to stabilise the entire European renewable energy supply chain, as we can work to overcome bottle necks in permitting, or the delivery of wind turbines or solar panels. By diversifying the energy mix in specific locations we can also better balance renewable energy resource, addressing intermittency from existing project sites, and providing wind investors with more predictable revenues.”
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