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Future developments

As noted above, as wind penetration increases future technical requirements may well become more onerous.  

One possible requirement is for an inertia function. The spinning inertias of a conventional power plant provide considerable benefit to the power system by acting as a flywheel, and thereby reducing the short-term effects of differences in supply and demand. Variable speed wind turbines have no such equivalent effect, but theoretically their control systems could provide a function that mimics the inertia effect.

There may also be a move towards markets for control services, rather than mandatory requirements. This would make sense economically, as the generator best able to provide the service would be contracted. Also, due to the very low marginal cost of renewable energy sources, such as wind energy, it would be more environmentally and economically effective. For example, if a wind farm provided a useful service to the network operator in terms of voltage control (i.e. it did more than just make up for its negative effects), then the wind farm could be paid for this service. This may be cheaper than other options available to the network operator.

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