Contains the full lesson in 2 formats A4 and A3 along with a supporting toolkit, including a powerpoint slide deck and teachers’ notes.
It takes many hours to start up coal-fired power stations and get them to full capacity. For this reason they are generally left running at low levels as much as possible. Gas-fired and hydroelectric power stations can get to full capacity in minutes and so they can be used to meet anticipated peaks in demand.
The supply of electricity from renewable energy sources (particularly wind) can be forecast to some extent and where possible it is added to the grid so that the use of non-renewables (especially gas) can be reduced.Balancing the supply and demand for electricity for the whole island is therefore a complex task which requires constant adjustment. This is carried out jointly by the National Control Centres (NCCs) in Dublin and Belfast where electronic systems process large amounts of data in real-time. Ireland and Northern Ireland have agreed an ambitious target of meeting 40% of the electricity demand from renewables by 2020. Targets for 2030 are more ambitious, with an expected 70% of the electricity demand coming from renewables in Ireland. As fossil fuel systems are increasingly replaced with renewable power plants, the task of matching demand and supply will become more complex. Smart technologies will provide part of the solution.