German chancellor Scholz pushes back against ban on ‘essential’ Russian energy imports –

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is announcing a “trailblazing” greener way of generating inertia in the electricity grid, to make the UK less reliant on gas supplies, including those from Russia, my colleague Rob Davies writes.

If all goes to plan, it could also reduce carbon emissions, rein in household bills and recoup the £336m investment funding it.

In the electricity system, inertia is crucial in maintaining a stable electrical frequency on the grid, keeping the lights on. In August 2019, more than 1 million people across the UK were plunged into darkness during one of the worst power blackouts in more than a decade, after the frequency of the grid fell from its usual 50Hz to 48.88Hz.

That unprecedented loss of power generation was caused by a lightning strike, but outages can happen for other reasons too, causing a sudden shortfall that knocks the system’s frequency off kilter.

As things stand, the grid system usually balances itself automatically thanks to the inertia held in massive spinning turbines at coal and gas power stations – much like a spinning top, but 19.5 metres (64ft) long and made of 300 tonnes of steel and aluminium.

They respond instantaneously to a power outage happening elsewhere, spinning ever so slightly slower to offset the disruption and keep the system stable.

However, these giant turbines are not a feature of wind or solar power generation, meaning that as the UK aims to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2025 as part of efforts to hit net zero, inertia needs to come from somewhere else.

The solution, according to National Grid ESO, whose job it is keeps the electricity network in check, is a series of green turbines created to mimic the effect of their cousins at carbon-emitting fossil fuel plants.

With only a small amount of energy fed into them, they can spin at the required rate of 3,000RPM, the speed that ensures synchronicity with the 50hz Grid system.

The result, in theory, is a solution to the problem of creating inertia in an increasingly wind- and solar-powered electricity system, allowing for a faster push away from fossil fuels that emit carbon and line the pockets of countries such as Russia.

Here’s the full story:

Read More: German chancellor Scholz pushes back against ban on ‘essential’ Russian energy imports –

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