An increase in the RES (Renewable energy sources) share in the Belarusian energy sector requires effective new approaches to grid management. Among the most effective ones: implementation of smart grid, the feasibility of application of which is being analyzed by the UNDP/GEF Project “Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus” in partnership with the Austrian Energy Agency.
Smart Grid is a complex of interconnected modern digital technologies in the field of power supply, production, distribution and consumption, using digital data to improve autonomy, predictability and environmental performance of the grid.
The integration of smart grid is crucial for the shift to green and high-tech energy future in terms of increasing the RES share in the national power grid, supporting decentralization of the power generation, creating new generation and consumption business models, as well as data monitoring and efficiency.
One of the important results of the “Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus” Project implementation was the strengthening of cooperation between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus and the Austrian Energy Agency in terms of RES sector digitalization.
The idea of introducing a smart grid system with a view to support the development of wind power in Belarus have developed as the result of the participation of the leadership of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus and Belarusian experts in the Belarusian-Austrian business forum in November 2019. Whereby the Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the forum by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Khudyk and Managing Director of the Austrian Energy Agency Peter Traupmann.
The Memorandum will help to advance cooperation between Belarus and Austria in matters of climate change mitigation and adaptation, green economy development, including energy development via the introduction of digital technologies.
The first step towards the study and subsequent application of the Austrian experience in the development of smart grid was the joint work of Austrian and Belarusian experts in studying the national conditions for RES development and preparing recommendations for smart grid development in Belarus with a view to increase the RES share, including wind power, in energy balance of the country.
The recommendations suggest a systematic approach to the optimal use of digital technologies for integrating renewable sources into the national power grid. The first results of the study were presented at a round table held on February 25, 2020 in Minsk. A series of webinars with the participation of Austrian experts is to be held in the second half of 2020.
Today IT may prove to be a strong support for the wind power development and to meet the growing needs of the industry in the future. The implementation of IT could assist in upgrading, modernizing and diversifying national power systems to meet the growing demand for green energy. At the same time, smart grid opens up new opportunities for innovative solutions in the field of green energy and is attractive for investors.