So here it says in 2009 the world produced 209 billion kWhrs. (that's a period not a comma)
that's 209 million MWhrs, in a year, divide by 8760 hrs in a yr.
that's 23,858 MW's of power going 24/7. About 10 Berwick Nuclear Plants.
that's about 65,000 1.5 MW turbines operating at 25% (US ave)
note: I know you might hate when I convert from kWhrs and from billions to millions, but it makes it easier to look at the numbers. If you want to learn about wind and energy, the first thing I suggest you do is learn how to move around decimal points with simple math.
then look at hydro, the total energy that all the wind turbines in the world produce is just shy of that one dam in China will produce, although it's a pretty big dam.
About 10 niagara falls or 12 hoover dams or 65,000 wind turbines or one big Chinese dam.
Take your pick! Not really. Because for sure in the US, and likely around the world, the wind blows more at night than during the daytime when we really need it. Also there is the matter of "firming" the wind with conventional sources. Firming the wind means that because the output is so variable a certain amount of coal or nat gas must be "wasted" to make sure the power is available as the wind turbines output constantly varies. The amount of waste is debatable.
But one fact we can be certain of, is that the turbines don't replace any dams, because some days the wind just doesn't blow. So as the worlds need for electricity continues to increase, we will need to build more power plants - and turbines need 100% backup from conventional, reliable sources. Look at the International Energy Statistics again, scroll to the bottom, world electricity generation keeps going up year after year.
The world generated 209 million MWhrs of wind in 2009.
In 2009 the total of all generation was 19,103 million MWhrs.
So wind energy was about 1% of all electricity throughout the world.
Of course, it was actually less than that when you take in a few factors we won't get into right now, like the firming I mentioned above.
Also, we have to consider that electricity production is only a part of our energy useage. We use mostly fossil fuels for heating, transportation and industrial production. In the US electricity is only 30% of our total energy consumption, so wind energy only at most creates .3% of world energy. It's actually much less than that, because the US has a relatively high amount of wind compared to the world average. So if the "experts" expect wind turbines to save us from ourselves, maybe its' time they move on to Plan B. The world has a long, long way to go before wind provides any meaningful contribution to our worlds needs.
Go Ahead! Just call me a "negative thinker".
Let's look at some facts. How much electricity is this project (aka boondoggle) going to make and what is it going to cost. To understand electricity you need to understand a few conversions which only require basic algebra. 3 MW refers to maximum power output of the project, this would occur only midsummer when the sun is at it's most direct angle to the solar panels with a cloudless sky. Capacity factor refers to the average power output over a year. Most typical electrical plants, like coal, nuclear and natural gas, have capacity factors of 80-100% per year. Meaning if the power plant is rated as a typical medium-sized 1,000 MW, it will have an average output of about 800 MW per year. Solar in the Northeast US has a capacity factor of 12-15% according to this Wikpedia article, scroll to the bottom.
At 13% average output, on a yearly basis this 3 MW facility will produce a "paltry" .4 MW (400 kW) of electricity, or about as much one 2 MW wind turbines operating at 25% capacity. The wind turbine will cost about $3 Million while the solar farm costs about $18 million or 6x as much in capital construction costs!!!
How much electricity will this Pocono solar actually make? We must convert power to energy, which means we must convert MW to MWhrs or kWhrs which is how electricity is bought by the consumer. Here in Pa we pay about 11 cents per kWhour for electricity. There are 1,000 kWhrs in one MWhr. There are 8760 hours in a year.
3 MW maximum power output times 13% actual output times 8760 hours in a year = 3,416 MW hours per year times 1,000 = 3,416,000 kWhrs per year. That is the amount of electricity this farm will create in a year.
What about the cost? The Scranton Times gives the cost as $18,000,000. The solar panels will last between 20 and 30 years, let's use 25 years as the expected life of the farm. We will not consider decommissioning and disposal or cleaning costs. Solar panels must be regularly cleaned or the buildup of dirt will significantly decrease their efficiency. Read this article to get the dirt on solar panel dirt.
Most people have no understanding that there are no private solar farms. No one person would ever be so stupid to construct a solar farm and then sell the electricity (although there certainly could be value to solar if you live far from the grid and have no other choice). Only a Government would be so dumb to do something stupid like building a solar farm to supply commercial electricity! Here is why.
If the Pocono Raceway built this solar farm they could take out a 18 million dollar loan at 6.5% for 25 years. Of course no bank would ever loan anyone money for this boondoggle. So the Government will, in the form of Federal and State tax credits and renewable energy mandates. An 18 million dollar loan at 6.5% for 25 years would create a yearly payment of 1.45 million dollar per year to pay off the loan, that is without the maintenance costs.
So we will pay 1.45 million dollars per year to create 3.4 million kWhours per year. Divide 1.45/3.4 to result in a cost of 42 cents per kWhour. This 42 cents is not the final cost, because there is the maintenance costs, and new transmission lines which must be constructed and also we must consider this plant will only have an average output of 13%, because it never works at night, it will only have full output when the sun is directly overhead, and the frequent clouds even on sunny days will decrease its' output, that's how you get to 13%.
What that means is that the farm will need constant backup from the reliable, traditional power sources. I can absolutely guarantee there will not be even one PennaPower&Light employee laid off due to the kWhrs created here, in fact there will likely be extra employees hired to administrate the new solar department. In addition to paying the costs for the solar farm, we will have to pay the construction costs and salaries of the traditional power plants. There may be a savings in fuel, but even that is disputable because of integration issues, which are beyond the scope of this posts. Look here for more on integration.
Average solar output(capacity factor) is only 15% per year across the US.
Go Here and click on the Electric Capacity and find that for 2009 there was 603 MW's of installed Solar.
Then go back and click on Electricity Net Generation and you will that the 603 MW's produced 808,000 Thousand kWh's which is 808,000 MW's. Note: You will often see Renewable statistics in kWhs instead of MWhs because the output is so tiny.
There are 8760 hours in a year. So 808,000 MWhrs per year, divide by 8,760 hours to yield = 92 MW's. That is what the output of all those solar panels would be if they were working 24/7, like a nuclear plants of just about what other forms of traditional generation output. Now divide the 92 MW output by the 603MW "rating" of all solar plants and your get a pitiful 15%! So another way of looking at it is the solar plant only works at full output about 1 out of every 7 hours through the year. And the price is at least 6x more than traditional.
And what about the 25 acres of land to produce .4 MW's of electricity yearly. The Susquehanna Nuclear plant at Berwick that powers this computer is on about 200 acres of land. (they list it as much higher but that includes an enormous vegetated buffer zone). The green solar produces .016 MW/acre while the nuclear plant produces 12 MW per acres, or 750 times as much electricity per acre as the solar.
I know that a true greenie will never get this far and will never open up excel to check the math, who cares about a few details when saving the world and following the crowd is all that matters. The costs? We'll just let our grandkids worry about the cost and the clean up of this enormous mess.
Here is what is real crazy about all this. We have the capital costs for the solar plant at 42 cents/kWh, and we have to add yearly maintenance on that. The payment is 1.42 million dollars per year, you would think maintenance is at least $100,000/year. That is probably low, because you probably need almost 2 full time men, so let’s go with 150K/year which adds another 5 cents/kWhr to yield 47cents/kWh.
But that is only the start. Because the solar plant does not replace any REAL power plant, the only costs savings are in fuel, and that is arguable. Coal costs about 2-4 cents per kWh, while NatGas about 5-8 cents per kWh. So that is all you are “saving” (except dearest Mother Earth of course). So in essence you are paying 47 cents to “save” 2-8 cents or 5 cents average, MEANING Solar is about 10x more expensive than an average of coal and nat gas!!!
Yet, go to theoildrum.com and you will find posts and comments, written by seaminly intelligent people, that state that solar just keeps coming down in price and VERY SOON will be competetive.
Now here is the real problem. Say your electric bill is $130/month. Most people have no understanding that in actuality their household electricity usage is only 1/3 of what they use in actuality. Because in actuality, 1/3 of electricity produced is for residential, 1/3 commercial (stores and building) and 1/3 industrial. We ALL use services and products that are created from electricity. So in reality, your electric bill is not $130/month, it is actually 3 times that or about $400/month. So when people think they are willing to pay a little more for green energy (i have no idea why anyone would want to, and it ain’t green), they are confused, because the GREENIES only talk about “we are the world” when in there interests, but when talking electricity they only talk household, they always leave out the important facts! But who cares, the liberal environmentalists aren’t fact checkers anyway.
One of the greatest misconceptions of wind energy is we can build turbines to replace conventional, traditional coal power plants. Now why would anyone ever think a completely moronic stupid thought like that? Maybe you heard one of the highest energy officials in our country saying that we may not need to build ANY new coal or nuclear plants, not any never! That was stated by our the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Joel Wellinghoff, as quoted in a 4/22/09 new article. That is completely insane and sadly, President Obama has surrounded himself with complete nitwits who know little or nothing about the real world practicalities of wind energy.
Let’s look at real-time output of wind farms that are in operation right now. Click here to see Irish Wind. In Ireland I estimate there are about 600 wind turbines with a maximum output of 1,000 MW, which is the size of an average moderately large coal power plant. The chart below plots the wind turbine output of the entire island on 1/1/2010. Look at 9:00am when the output was about 35 MW or about 3% of the potential total output of 1000 MW. Click the link above and then click previous day to see how variable wind power is, even when there are 500 turbines, many of them on coastal locations spread throughout the relatively large island of Ireland. Click backwards to December 30th and you can see the results of a very windy day when the output was over 900 MW, but for a very short period of time. How could wind power replace any power plant, when just about every day there are period of time when the output is less than 10% of maximum?
Here is another very sad example. Bonneville Power in Oregon. Click here to go to their company site. At the link, below the graph, Bonneville states they have 2680MW of installed wind. Likely most of these turbines are the older models rated at 1.5MW, with a few more rated 2.0MW and the very newest turbines rated at 3.0MW. With an average of 1.75MW the 2680 MW equals a guess of 1500 turbines. How much do they cost? Go to the cost section of WindIndustry.org web site and they write “The costs for a commercial scale wind turbine in 2007 ranged from $1.2 million to $2.6 million, per MW of nameplate capacity installed.” If we used $2.0 million per MW as middle ground then the total of the Bonnevile turbines are $3 BILLION DOLLARS. The chart below show the latest wind output and energy production in MW’s. As you can see on January 1st there was a spike of wind and the average of Jan 1st to Jan 2nd would be about 30% of the possible 2680 MW’s. Now, look at the rest of the week, on December 31st and the three days from Jan 3rd to Jan 6th there was almost NO OUTPUT from these 3 BILLIONS DOLLARS WORTH OF JUNK. Complete JUNK. Not only that, the turbines suck energy from the system even when they are not running! They often use the grid power to turn in low wind because if they are still for too long the blades could deform. It is so simple to see, wind power can not replace ANY CONVENTIONAL POWER PLANT, EVER. Now some would say, we should put them where they work better, the sad fact, is that there is no place(or very very few) where their output is more than 40% of their possible capacity. This is how it is, everywhere. Yet, our energy experts in Washington do not have a clue, or else there are simply deceiving us.
Let's use a little bit of Common Sense. If you are green, you should stop reading right here, because Common Sense does not work in your tiny, little minds.
Residential heating oil makes up only a small percentage of oil use, but can anyone come up with a better idea to heat my house? I am not familiar with geothermal to consider it, but I presume geothermal is only viable for new home construction, not happening lately, and likely geothermal is another green energy that is only built because of lavish tax breaks. A lavish tax break means that we will place the burden of paying for it on our children and grandchildren while we sit back and grin because we are using expensive, green energy without paying for it now.
Let's get to the point. Most of our oil is used to drive our cars and trucks! Now how about a little simple logic. What do we expect to replace our traditional vehicle. Oh, let me guess, the electric car. YOU ******** FOOL!!!!!!!!
Here is a nice list of electric cars that were available last year. No one has "killed" the electric car. There are dozens of these toys for you to choose from. Click here.
The article starts with the words, "It’s official: Green car madness has taken over." And to that I can surely agree! What you will find is that these cars resemble a golf or go-kart more than the vehicle you currently drive. They are likely as expensive or more expensive and instead of having a limit of about 300 miles typical of a gasoline powered vehicle they are limited to much less.
Oh terrors, I admit I drive a gasoline powered vehicle, I am sooo ASHAMED.
These vehicle are in general much smaller, slower and with a limited range. They are DANGEROUS in an accident. They might be just fine for driving around town as a second car, but they will suffice as a first and only car for only a very, very small segment of our population. Seriously, not that many people would be so stupid, because you can buy a high MPH Toyota Prius, Honda Insight or Ford Fusion for absolutely less than $25,000 and get more than 40 mph. My neighbor bought a Toyota for $13,000 that gets 40 mph. It is roomy and comfortable inside. Of course, inexpensive and green are never uttered in the same sentence, because where would they make the profit, or shall I say, how would they FLEECE you!
So instead, you purchase an electric car as your second car, so you can have that big green smile while you go for a loaf of bread. You created a green job. Green jobs simply mean it is a dumb way of doing things so it takes more people to do it. Somehow there is a saving there? DUH?
Any typical American regularly uses his vehicle to drive more than 150 miles in a day. Only a fool would buy an electric car when they know they can't drive more than one hour away from home.
Here is the real kicker. It's a cold early December day across most of the US. It is snowing right now along the coast of Southern California. Some would probably say this is climate change and the "weird weather" means something must be done, HERE IS MY MONEY SAVE ME. A very simple law of chemistry. What happens to your cell phone battery or any battery during cold weather? Simply, they don't work, or work for a very short period of time. The same thing happens with an electric car battery, their performance is decreased. So now instead of having a range of 100 miles your range is likely to be much lower. How can you possibly consider taking your electric car to the mall, shopping for 2 hours while it sits in 20F weather, and then driving home. What if you get stuck in traffic? Then if you are one of those MORONIC greens, (let's start calling them who they are, they want to ruin our country) who live in Southern California, can you imagine the electric cars stalling out on the freeway stuck in an unexpected traffic jam.
Seriously and sadly, electric cars will only be only of limited use for special applications. They will NEVER EVER IN THE NEAR FUTURE replace the traditional gasoline powered, (oh my I said it again) vehicle.
Could someone tell ME why I'm a moron why I don't understand how we are going to get off foreign oil? Please help me. You FOOL GREENS get a $7500 TAX CREDIT (again, let me kids pay for your foolishness) to buy your toy cars and I still almost never, ever see an electric car while driving around here in Pennsylvania. Like only a FOOL would consider a wind turbine supply the electric needs of a city, only a fool would consider purchasing an electric car as their only vehicle. Just like I only have one vehicle. We have 5 in our family and each has their own vehicle because all of us take longer trips regularly. The GREEN FOOLS think I should have 10 cars in my family with >$30,000 just so we can drive around on sunny days, going for ice cream with a big green smile on our faces!
Of course the laptop I am writing on only works for about 30 minutes without the plug anymore. I was at a business meeting Saturday and I didn't see any electric cars in the hotel parking lot, but I can tell you, everyone had their laptops plugged in after about the first hour!
The battery I have now is worn out like all my laptop batteries are after six-nine months or so. Now I know the new ones have many more hours of life(I'm hopeful), but sorry for being a skeptic, I wonder how long they will hold that long charge. I will believe it when I see it.
Excuse me for being a ranting skeptic, but what other plan do you have for getting off foreign oil but making my kids owe some foreign country for our Group Think folly? I pay me debts and don't buy things I know I can't afford in the near future.
Of course those of you who are praying for success at Dopenhagen right now. What you are praying for without even knowing it, is hoping that the Dopenhagen Dopes make your gasoline so expensive that your gasoline powered car that you drive everyday, everywhere, will be so expensive to do so that you will have no choice but to have the Government buy one for you, tax break or credit otherwise not even a fool would buy one!, so that instead of buying foreign oil you can have foreign debt that will go on forever and ever. Sort of like being a poor person and racking up a huge credit card bill that you will never repay.
Let's look at this juggernaut in action.
July 12th, 2009 - Austin's clean energy program costing more, selling less
It is the ambition of Austin, Texas to be the clean energy capital of the world. The have a voluntary program where customers can purchase expensive green energy. The problem is only a small percentage of customers want it. Residential customers must pay an additional $58/month to belong to their Green Choice program. That is a whopping 58% more than the average US residential electrical bill!
May 27th, 2009 -Bills to rise for wind power; Consumers Energy surcharges OK'd
Charges approved so that Michigan consumers will extra for state mandated renewable energy.
July 12th, 2009 -State green power plan will cost consumers billions
This California couple already pay $170/month for their modest 2,000 sq ft Cali home. Officials say that rates are going up another 27%, with half of that rise due to renewable energy. Trust me, the price tag will be much, much more! California has the goal of tearing up the country with wind turbines and transmission lines then raising electrical rates through the roof. The new plan seems to be for California to turn into a drug dealer to help pay for the mess they have put themselves into. They don't have the money to pay their state employees nor pay for innumerable other necessary services. But they want to suck your money out of the economy for Green energy.
March 4th, 2009 -Kauai residents face electricity rate hike
It is the same in Hawaii.“For now, we just want everyone to know that we are officially going to begin the process,” Hee said. The utility is studying how to determine a rate structure that will assist it in shifting its reliance away from fossil fuels, continuing to promote energy efficiency, investing in renewable energy, and fulfilling the objectives and goals of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. What they means is they are going to raise rates for Clean Energy.
The oxymoron is that they are going to promote energy "efficiency" by making their energy company more inefficient by making it more expensive to do the very same thing. Oh, I guess you can put a green sticker on your window.
June 27th, 2009 - UK - The Price of Going Green
The UK are well ahead of us in diving into the loony bin. They are rushing to destroy their countryside and make the prices of electricity skyrocket. Rates have already gone up and they predict a 10% rate rise this year, and that will only be the start. Last year their energy bills increased by 40% and they paying higher energy bills to meet mandates of green energy. They even coined a new term called "fuel poverty". They say energy companies are investing, I call it throwing money out the window! At least one person in the UK has some sense left, "How Can Wind Turbines Generate So Much Lunacy?"
The example above are only the front end of increased costs, what you will pay directly in your month electrical bill. But there is even a darker side to consider. That is the acceptance that the turbines are built ONLY because of enormous Federal subsidies or tax credits and then ongoing Federal Production Tax Credit(PTC) for each kilowatt hours of electricity produced. In fact for every kWh of green energy that you receive the US Treasury will pay on average an additional 20% behind the back credit, it will just be added to your childrens IOU to China.
You never see these credits, they are directly added to the federal deficit. The UK has the same lunatic structure in their company. In fact around the world Alternative Green Energy and Wind Turbine are ONYL build because the Government pay for most of the cost of construction, then forces the electric companies to purchase their power at inflated rates. Bulldoze a couple acres of forest or farmland, dig a hole in the countryside, fill it with millions of pounds of concrete and steel and then erect an ugly monstrosity. The Government directly pays most of the cost in tax credits and then the wind spins, when it wants to, and produces what amounts to a minuscule amount of electricity. It takes 5,000 of these 3-4 million dollar spinning machines to produce the same amount of kwh's as one Nuclear Plant that runs 24/7 365 days per year. You probably don't even know where your electricity comes from, because the coal/gas/nuclear plants only take a couple dozen acres and are often tucked away out of site.
To the right is a quote from Barack Obama, video and text found here, where he states in 2008 that his policies would make energy prices “skyrocket” as the energy industry passed along the exorbitant costs of his plan. This his one campaign promise that he is absolutely following through with. First, find your electricity rate by state here. As of April 2009 the average US rate is 11.59 cents per kWh. In 2001 according the Energy Information Administration statistics, here, the average household use almost 1,000 kWh per month which results in an average electric bill per household of $116 per month. Now here is something critical to our future discussion regarding how much you pay for electricity. Your residential bill only represents one third of your total electrical share of your total energy use. Electricity consumption is divided almost equally between residential, commercial and industrial. You pay your residential bill directly, but in actually your share is triple that amount. The other two thirds you pay for in good, services and taxes to government agencies who use electricity. Above is the chart showing the division in Pennsylvania for 2007. Go here and click on table 8. At the bottom of that link you can find a link for State Energy Profiles to find your own state. (however that link is not working right now).
So in reality your electric bill is actually roughly three times $116 or $348 or $4176/year. That is no chump change! So when electrical rates go up by 10% you pay $11.60/mo in your own bill, but there is also another $23.20/mo that is passed on to in by higher prices and taxes. The understanding of the 1/3rd residential concept is vital to understanding the gravity of the situation when Obama states "your electricity rates will skyrocket".
edit: Did anyone catch an error to my 3x your residential electric bill logic? The error is that raising our industrial electricity rates will serve to force many companies overseas to China/India/Etc where they don't have these ridicuous energy policies!
That is not the case for wind turbines. The energy they create does not even pay for the costs of obtaining that energy, therefore they do not create energy. Energy in our society is represented money. Each dollar represents a certain amount of energy.
A 2MW turbine costs $3.5 million dollars according to wind turbine sources, windustry.org/how-much-do-wind-turbines-cost seen on the right. The lifespan of turbines is estimated to be about 20 years. If you financed the entire $3.5 million at 7% it would be require a payment of $330,000 per year. This does not include the cost of maintenance, transmission line or back-up conventional power plants to balance the fluctuating output.
If we construct the 2MW turbines in a favorable position it will produce an output of 30% of 2MW or .6MW over the entire year. There are 8760hr in the year yielding a production of 5300 MWhours. Multiply by 1,000 to convert to kWh's and the yield is 5,300,00 kWhs.
Each kWh is worth about 5 cents wholesale for a total production of $262,000 per year, yet the owner will have a payment of $330,000 per year to cover capital costs. I give a rough estimate of at least another $70,000 per year to cover maintenance, landowner leases, local government kickbacks, transmission lines and extra costs of conventional power plants backup and "following". I know workers from a wind farm in my locale and there is approximately 1 full time worker for every 4 turbines. Even using the gross UNDERESTIMATION of $70,000 per year of ongoing costs the investors would need $400,000 per year to yield only $262,000 in electricity payments.
But obviously, the investors are making a profit somehow. With double-accelerated capital appreciation, Federal Production Tax Credits and various other Federal/State and Local tax credits and breaks we actually pay the Wind Farms to place these wheels up so we can watch them spin. Also they seriously harm the environment, our scenic beauty and residents in close proximity to the turbines.
Today we look at how the wind output is not in sync with the users demand. The line is an hourly demand curve I found for the PJM customers. It is quite typical of how electricity demand varies throughout the day. Demand is lowest at about 4am, then begins to rise as civilization wakes up between 5-6am, rises throughout the morning, levels off and then decreases as business and industry closes at 6pm. It sharply declines after 9pm as we shut off our electricity and prepare for bed. You can view daily updated curves for California here and Ontario here. The problem with wind in Pennsylvania and many locations worldwide is that wind speeds tend to run in exact opposite to the consumer and business demand. The green curve I plotted a PJM hourly output spreadsheet for 2008 found here. If wind output was equal throughout the day it would be about 4% of the total daily output for each hour. You can easily see that wind output varies by about 35% from the low at 3.4% to a high of 4.6%.(those % are the hourly contribution of daily output). When we need the wind the most it is not there, and when we need it less at night, it is blowing more. This created a very interesting scenario for base load coal and for some natural gas plants. Many of the larger plants run at 100% all day long. I would think that for many power grids, with a large amount of wind installed, if the wind output is large, there is more wind power than is needed because demand is low and nuclear, some nat gas and base coal are always running at 100%. This scenario is also more likely during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when our air conditioning and heat is off, yet the wind output is higher because seasonally there is more wind in the seasons when we don't need it! This is even more likely to occur on a weekend when many industries are closed. Our total electricity demand is 1/3 residential, 1/3 business and 1/3 commercial or industry. Do you get it?
The demand affects price. Many grid pays their electrical power plants less for power created during the night because supply is there but demand is less. So when a state created a Renewable Energy Standard forcing the grid and their customers to purchase wind power at a certain price, at any time of the day, then we are paying much, much more for night wind than we would for coal or other traditional. The chart to the right shows you power is more expensive during the summer and less expensive in March and October when wind output is at its' highest. You can see that in the Alberta daily wind charts where there is a rough in of hourly price data for electricity, also discussed on the above referenced youtube video.
I can promise you, if they had the choice your electrical company would never consider putting up turbines and then forcing you to buy the power. Wind power always costs more. Usually those costs are hidden in Federal and state tax subsidies and by the fact that wind is only a small percentage of total electricity generation, even though in many locations they are putting up turbines everywhere, destroying our precious landscape, scenic beauty and natural habitat.
Yes I do. They have to be my most favorite company in the world. In fact, they pay for just about everything I do. They never send me money, but they give me time, loads and loads of it everyday and for that I am thankful. Unlike the WACKO FOOLS who have driven hundreds of thousands of miles gladly using their product, and unlike the WACKO FOOLS who have never ever sat through a winter night warmed by wood they cut with a hand saw. (no no no, chainsaws run on gas). These WACKO FOOLS hate the company that provides the most for their money of ANY OTHER COMPANY or ENTERPRISE. Nothing comes close to what Exxon Mobile and the other oil/real energy companies give us in value for our dollars. I can't imagine walking to work 14 miles each way, and I often come home for lunch. Yes, I'm a bad boy polluter, I should eat a cold sandwich instead I guess. I live in the country and not one neighbor has a windmill up to supply electricity. Why would they? Only a fool would consider such an idea, but these fools have no problem in forcing their fool ideas upon us.
Not one person I know in my entire county has been affected by global warming. There has been a one degree rise in temperature this century, maybe?, but now they want to tax each and every one of us, maybe thousands of dollars, either that or send us back to the impoverished Stone Age. I read per capita like the civil war era, that won't happen, instead they will just take our money and spend it on FOOL IDEAS that no sensible person would ever consider spending money on himself.
I was so happy to see Obama win. I hated that fool war in Iraq form the very beginning. Now we aren't even out of there and don't have time to catch our breath from that disaster, when we have an entire new set of FOOLS trying to ruin our lives. Can you believe they wanted to make the polar bear endangered when there is no proof that the stupid bear is even in danger? We are supposed to worry about some dumb island supposedly sinking in the Pacific when I have bridges and roads that haven't been fixed in years. I would much rather give health care to every poor or even lazy persons, before I would give these BILLIONS or TRILLIONS to the band of ruffians that has taken our country over.
Give us back the 90.'s when the money flowed freely. why did it? I'll tell you why. Because all we cared about was watching Geraldo and laugh at poor Bill for Monica and watch the shenanigans of the OJ trial. That was good fun at someone else's expense and folly. Our government was gridlocked and WE CITIZENS got to keep our money while government was at a standstill. That was when computer geeks actually did something for us. Now they just sit at their screens and create models so they can steal us blind. And most of the sheep in this country don't have ANY clue what THEY are trying to do to them.
Recycling was the start of the stupidity. What could be more STUPID than getting people to save a big box of plastic or glass that is worth either Nothing or 10 cents. Then sending an enormous truck around to pick it up. I am not totally against recycling, because likely newspaper or office has some value. I recycle newspapers at home for convenience and drop them off to get them counted for office paper to skirt around the Mandatory requirements of my offices. A few weeks ago, I followed this enormous truck with black stinky smoke gushing out of the tailpipe, two guys on the truck, picking up containers of plastic that are worth nothing or 10 cents! Two guys getting paid $35,000/year with benefits on a $40,000 truck. Two guys getting paid $500/day or $70/hour riding around a truck that costs almost $100/day to run =$600/day or $90/hour to pick up stuff worth nothing or 10 cents.
Now they say we are running out of landfill space. Another complete idiotic, moronic JOKE. BECAUSE guess what, we just found space for 10,000 or more wind turbines(USELESS TO OUR FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS). I live in Pennsylvania and we have SO MUCH space for landfils that we have two located right in our city boundaries, we accept trash from the heavily populated NJ & NY & Conn and we haven't even started to consider building a landfill on the never ending rural land I have right around me. But no, there is no landfill space, so you have to be a MORON and save your little 10 cents worth of trash. Why? I'll tell you, JOBS. Just like Obama says. We are going to find someway, any way will do, to get another $2 a week from a million people = $2 Million dollars and that equals $100 Million/year and that equals 2,000 jobs and that equals 8,000 or more voters.
This reminds me of the other stupidity I see practiced with GLEE. The saving of aluminum can TOPS! Seriously, there is some value to saving aluminum cans, what, you save a big trash bag and at least you get about 30 cents pound. But they have STUPID PEOPLE running around saving the teeny tiny tops. If you do that all year, then the 100 STUPID people all meet, you end up with $20, get 200 STUPID people to do it and you get $40. SEE. If enough STUPID PEOPLE do enough stupid things, you get a STUPID RESULT. So since we HATE EXXON MOBILE, that's obvious, we would rather cut wood with a saw or ride a shitty horse all over, we will do anything STUPID to fit in with the crowd.
Hats Off to PJM for posting their wind output data online for the public to find. We pay for electricity and these companies are highly regulated semi-public companies. PJM is more honest than Basin Electric in North Dakota who were posting their weekly wind data, until a little over a month ago they stopped. It might be just a coincidence, but after I created a youtube video and analzed their data, they stopped updating their weekly wind output charts. Better to stay hidden so the public can continue to remain ignorant!
Here is a very interesting news article discussing what it is like in the heat of the summer when our electricity needs are the greatest. PJM which supplies me electricity here in Pennsylvania is our WORLD's fourth largest power grid. The journalist is inside the nerve center of electricity supply and captures the tension as the grid managers try to supply our needs so that a brownout or blackout does not occur. You can be sure that on this hot, summer day that the wind was not blowing and the wind turbines were sitting idle and useless!
In 2007 Pennsylvania used 152,000,000 MWhours of electricity. How much did our 5 nuclear plants contribute to our electricity needs? Convert the 76,000 million kwh nuclear generation by dividing by 1,000 to convert to MWhours and then multiply by 1,000,000 to convert from million MWhours to simple MWhours and the result is 76,000,000 MWhours. Almost half of the electricity needs of Pennsylvania were produced by 5 nuclear plants.
How many wind turbines would we need to replace these 5 nuclear plants? Most of the turbines in Pennsylvania now are rated at 1.5 MW, however the new ones constructed are rated at 2 MW. The wind turbine only produce electricity when the wind blows greater than 12 mph making their average output somewhere between 25-30%, we will use 27%. This means that a 2 MW tubines with a 27% output yields an average of .54 MWhours throughout the entire year. To find out how much electricity that is we must multiply by the hours in a year which is 8760. One 2 MW turbine makes about .54 MW x 8760 = 4,730 MWhours per year. We would need 76,000,000 divided by 4,730 or 16,000 large turbines to replace our 5 nuclear plants.
The United States Department of Energy wrote a report that stated that wind power could supply 20% of the United States Electricity by 2030. How many wind turbines in Pennsylvania would it take to to do that right now? Since it would take 16,000 turbines to replace the nuclear plants which supply 50% of our electricity, it would take at least 6,000 turbines to satisfy 20% of our needs right now.
But we could NEVER EVER replace 5 nuclear plants with 16,000 turbines, because the nuclear plants run almost all the time producing a constant output, while the wind turbines only produce when wind speed is greater than 12 mph. And their output is only a trickle until the wind is over 20 mph. I refer you to the post below which explains why turbines don't even produce their maximum power until the wind speed is greater than 25 mph.
Our electricity needs have grown about 1.7% per year these past ten years. At that rate in 2030 we will need 50% more electricity or 9,000 turbines. For simplicity, let's use 2007 energy statistics. Each wind turbine needs about 4 acres of clear cut so we would need to bulldoze and clear over 36,000 acres which is 56 square miles of turbines, if they were put in one place. But the wind in Pennsylvania is weak except on our ridges which are generally narrow. Turbines too close don't operate at maximum efficiency so they are spread out at about 6 per mile, resulting in a line of turbines 1,000 miles long stretched out along our ridge tops.
Then the problems begin. Our electricity needs are greatest in the summer when the wind speeds are at a minimum with many days of very little or no wind, meaning no electricity produced. Also, statistics clearly show that the wind tends to blow more at night than during the day when our electricity needs are the greatest. And the conundrum that we face is that our electricity need are greatest during the night and in the summer, just when the wind DO NOT BLOW!!!
This 20% of wind power would need 100% of backup at all time because it is not uncommon for turbine output to go from close to 80% output to less than 10% output in six to eight hours, even when spread out over a wide area such as Pennsylvania. Look at the Alberta post below or look at the wind power output right now in Ireland. Irelands maximum output if over 725 MW and keep clicking the previous day button and note that there are very few days when maximum output is achieved. Also, for further confirmation, read my study of Texas wind power below, which is claimed to be the second best state for wind power.
We keep hearing about the green jobs that will be produced with alternative energy and that is a correct statement. Because there will not be one single traditional power job lost with the introduction of wind power, because wether wind power is 2% of the total or 20%, the traditional power plants will need to be fully staffed at all times. In fact, they will need more workers and a new wind integration department and likely more plant maintenance to integrate the wind and maintain their equipment as fights the never ending battle to increase and decrease output in synch with the vagaries of the wind. We haven't even mentioned the hundreds or maybe thousands of extra miles of clear cut power lines that we will need for this energy to reach its' customers.
This is GREEN ENERGY. The National Audubon Society, which I have been a member of for many years, supports and promotes this green energy, all because of the threat of climate change. Since the late 1880's our planet has been recovering from the coldest temperatures in over 2,000 years. Those lower temperatures created the glaciers which have been receeding for over 130 years. The warmer climate we are experiencing has led to enormous benefits to our agriculture and society as a whole. Yet the global warming we have experienced has been less than 2 degrees fahrenheit over the past century. Why would anyone want colder temperatures than we have now?
But for now we will forget about global warming the theory of complete destruction of our planent and way of life that is promoted by the media and some climate scientists. On our next post we will further evaluate the enormous damage to the environment those thousands of turbines are sure to cause. And what is so intriguing about this folly, is that those turbines are going up because the environmentalists, like National Audubon Society, Sierra Club and MANY other of our groups formed to protect our environment are promoting and demanding green energy. Green Energy is NOT GREEN. We are now facing the greatest environmental crisis of our time, completely and 100% caused by so-called ENVIRONMENTALIST.
Let's look at the week of April 5th. The top blue line represents the load or demand of electricity and is scaled on the right. You can see the daily needs vary between about 6600 MW and 8200 MW. The peak needs are during the middle of the day and the demand crashes down at night. Alberta has a significant amount of wind power in their grid. From these charts it appears the maximum wind input is 500 MW(the left Y axis scale) or about 6% of peak demand in April.
Look at how the peak demand is much lower on April 10th & 11&. April 10th was Good Friday and I assume there was a holiday which closed industries and decreased demand. Most demand graphs show a decrease use of electricity on weekends.
The chart of the next week April 12-18th shows that the demand on Friday April 17th, normalized to the weeday output. Electricity needs are less on Sunday April 12th than on Saturday April 18th. There is almost no wind power production on April 16th. Notice that in all these Alberta graphs the wind power can easily double or half in just a few hours, in fact that would be typical.
Click here to look at the next week of April 19th. There are even more erratic with enormous swings seen each day. On April 22nd at about 2am we are at peak wind of 430MW, then it quickly crashes to about 60 MW at 1pm, only to rise back up to 400 MW at 6pm and then crashes to 0 MW at midnight.
These enormous fluctuations of power all contribute to the electrical grid but the question we have to ask is Alberta able to follow that dramatically fluctuating wind input with an equal, exact and instanteous decrease or increase of fossil fuel consumption. AESO produces almost all of their electricity by either coal or natural gas, with only small contributions from nuclear and hydro.
The company slide to the right is from California ISO presentation, found here, and reveals how Cali handled these huge swings on March 23, 2005. Look at the left up arrow when at 1:30am wind is producing 1000 MW, that is a tremendous amount of power, equal to a medium sized power plant. The forecast is for the wind to die and by 10am that 1000 MW is now ZERO. There is no wind power for four hours until 2pm when the wind power steeply builds until it reaches 800 MW output at 10pm. These dramatic changes are typical for not only Alberta and Cali but for anywhere where turbines produce power.
The question we all have to ask, was the wind power to the right of the up arrow and to the left of the down arrow wasted, or did a natural gas plant follow this change in output instantaneously. Another very important question. The steep decrease in output occurred exactly as the morning demand was rising, causing the power plants to actually have to work twice as hard to follow the, Increased Demand + Decrease Wind Power = VERY FAST RAMPING, which is defined as change in output. Natural gas plants are better suited to change power output quickly because their output can be quickly changed by simply varying the amount of natural gas burns. A natural gas plants could follow this load change, if they wanted to. But the problem is the unpredictability of the wind.
In the evening as wind output was increasing, the needs curve of California ISO consumers were decreasing. The traditional power plants has to suddenly and quickly decrease their power output to match this. Look here for the daily California ISO demand curve.
Cali ISO likely forecasted a decrease in wind speed, but they would have difficulty in determing how quick would the power output change would occur. Remember, as discussed in post below, wind output does not vary equally with change in wind speed but Energy=xVel3, as a cube of wind speed. What if the wind decreased by 500 MW and then spiked up 200 MW for an hour or two, only to quickly spike down to zero. By looking at the Alberta output and any other outputs you can see that is the daily reality. This is not a problem when wind represents a small percentage of the total grid, because the power company has plenty of excess to make up for any shortfall in wind, they always have about 10% excess capacity to handle a short spike in demand. But we pay for this difficult to measure and unpredictable wind energy either way. When their predictions are inaccurate, that is what causes a blackout. A few posts below I stated RELIANCE on wind power will cause a blackout. I didn't say that wind power will cause blackouts, just a RELIANCE on wind will. We can't rely on wind!
Finally, there are two conclusions of this post. One - it is quite obvious that wind, even dispersed over a wide geographical area like Alberta, regularly falls to zero output. The Alberta grid is almost 50% coal. Do you think they will ever shut down a coal plant in Alberta, no matter how many wind turbines they build? President Obama mistakenly thinks that by raising taxes on coal that we will be able to put coal out of business and substitute wind? How can we possibly do that unless we either want blackouts a couple times per week or want to substitute reliable but expensive natural gas or nuclear for those coal plants. YOUR ELECTRIC BILLS ARE GOING UP!
Point two is that it is obvious that because of these very steep changes in wind output and input, traditional power plants are not able to act as a complete substitute. Instead there is a partial duplication of the wind energy with fossil energy. According to this slide from Cali ISO, they duplicated all of the wind output with traditional power between the left up arrow and the right down arrow. The real question is how much duplication is there averaged out? Is it only 5% or 20% or even 40% as calculated in this paper from Germany on page 6. (3.2 TWh of compensation and regulation by fossil for 8.3 TWh wind feed-in). Other papers put this figure to be much lower and I would hope so.
Again, this is not an extreme example, but typical of all wind farms, no matter how widely dispersed over a geographic region. America meet your new power supply, it is expensive, ugly and damaging to the environment. Take a look at the daily updated total wind output in Ireland and you will see it is the same. Click previous day and it is easy to get the message.
Speaking of environment, I have gotten to that yet. So far we have been talking dollars and cents. But environment is what has called me to this cause and we will get there soon. It will start to get bloody.
The American Wind Energy Association makes the claim that Texas is ranked second in the US as a wind power resource. Number one is North Dakota and you can see their recent weekly output under the Wind Output Now link in upper right corner of the blog and on this youtube video.
Texas is Boones Pickens country and we were all bombarded with commercials and television appearances by the legendary oilman who went green and hoped to construct enormous Texas style wind farms and sell us wind --to save the day!!! Let's see how his claims stand up in reality.
Load is the term to describe the demand of electricity at a point in time and the highest load in Texas is during the summer afternoons when the air conditioning needs are the highest. This is the case for almost all of the United States. The companies plan and ensure they have enough capacity to supply the electricity for these few short months. In some areas, they have special peak units that are only used a few times per year on these very special high demand days. The chart to the left, from here, shows that at the time of peak demand only 342MW of 2300 MW of installed wind produced electricity, or 14%. (Double-click any charts to enlarge for better view) 2300 MW represents about 1500 turbines spread out across the enormous state of Texas. It's big they say. Each of these turbines cost approximately about $2-3 million dollars to build or a total of $3-5 billions dollars was spent on these turbines which only produced 7% of their total ability on this day. Please note: without getting too deep into cost detail now, coal plants cost more per MW to construct, while natural gas costs less and nuclear somewhat more, but all in the same ballpark when capitalized over 20-30 years per MW installed. These estimate vary and are increasing rapidly and a separate post is necessary to compare different construction estimates. Texas makes most of its electricity using natural gas, see their profile here.
The slide to the left, click to enlarge, shows you the 2005 annual capacity for those 1500 turbines is 29%. That means that the 2300 MW of potential power referred to in the slide above only averages out to less than 800 MW over an entire year. 667 MW is a ONE small coal or natural gas plant which might sit on 20 to 50 acres, while the 1500 turbines each sit on a large concrete pad requiring 4 acres of clear cut in a forested area, a total of 6,000 acres. If we assume the capitalized cost per MW for construction is similar, then the 30% capacity of the wind means the output cost is almost 3 times as much per unit of electricity.
America paid about three times as much per unit of output to build these beasts and let's see what we got for our money. Our money, because if you are a US Citizen you paid for them in federal tax credits which returned almost 70% of the construction costs to the investors within the first five years.
The slide to left the electricity graphs output for ALL 1500 turbines from January - July 2006. Ercot is the grid manager who provides the transmission of electricity to Texas. Outpout is often close to zero and is never over 1750 MW which means turbine output never breaks 75% of their potential, not even for a moment. The output is completely variable during these seven months of data. Can you see the smoothing of power that is so often referred to?
Electricity grids in the US are strained to provide their highest use in the summer months because almost all most air conditioning is produced with electricity. To the right you can see that there is an enormous daily fluctuation of output and output frequently reaches close to zero for these 3 billion dollars worth of turbines. If we had output graphs for nuclear, coal or natural gas the could be essential flat, however natural gas and some coal plants can be precisely adjusted to match the demand of users.
In the blog post below I address that each 15 minute interval has wide oscillations of output and for wind to work their has to be a substitution of fossil energy. Meaning, for every MW produced their has to be a synchronous and immediate decrease in fuel consumption whether that is nat gas or coal. If the speed of the wind varies even by a couple percent that will drastically alter the MW output because E = xV3(velocity cubed, see below or google it for yourself, that is accepted by the wind industry).
To the right is the wind output for July 2006 but in terms of capacity. The capacity averages about 25% for most of the month with an output rise during the end of the month. Boone Pickens proposes this kind of erratic energy is what America needs and his plan is to construct wind farms then spend billions more to build power lines to supply America with electricity. This might work if we constructed millions of turbines and only needed electricity a few hours per day, when the wind felt like blowing.
Consider that the yearly capacity is 29%, but for that number to be "real" it needs to replace it's output with an EXACT synchronous amount of fossil fuel. That doesn't happen because the grid can't possibly follow those steep curves around. At both the top and the bottom, they would have to be EXACTLY synchronized to wind output and either reducing or increasing the amount of fuel on the fire, and without loss of efficiency. Just like your cars gas mileage becomes less or more efficient at high or low speeds, the same concept generally applies to thermal power plants. Power plants do follow the varying demands of our daily electricity needs, 60% variation in a day is typical, so they are certainly capable of varying their output suddenly, but the fluctuation problem remains. A grid has to ensure that they have an extra reserve so they won't be caught off guard by a sudden unexpected decrease in wind output. The estimates are that anywhere between 20-40% of the wind output is wasted because of a combination of duplication and loss of efficiency of thermal power by the fossil plants. This fluctuation problem is widely discussed in grid company internal documents wherever wind is installed. Look at the charts on my website and you can see this is an universal problem.
Here is another set of slides where ERCOT, the Texas grid company, considers this problem. Just about every line on those slides is considering the fluctuation and intermittent characteristics of wind, which means ERCOT needs to duplicat a small of wind output with fossil to provide reliability also know as robustness to the grid. But even a 20% duplication lowers the true capacity of a turbine. Are you starting to realize why our electricity experts never thought of this before their state legislatures mandated that they are required to play this silly game! They comply because this is a political decision, not what is best for the consumer. We have no choice, we buy it.
This means that instead of the 29% the figure is only 70% of that if we consider that about 30%(ave of 20/40%) of that energy is duplicated by the fossil to compensate for the fluctuating wind so we get only 20% capacity output. To replace ONE medium-sized 1,000 MW coal or natural gas plant you would need 5,000 turbines, however that would not work because quite often there is little output from the turbines as the charts plainly show.
30 miles from me is a nuclear plant(environmentally friendly, on about 30 acres) that is rated at 2400 MW and it ran at that level continuously all last year. The same amount of energy would need over 6,000 MW turbines with 25% yearly capacity and 80% replacement of fossil fuel to match its' output. 6,000 x 2 MW x .25 cap x .80% fossil replement = 2400 MW. But, the charts above demonstrate that the turbines often produce almost nothing in the summer and in the middle of the afternoon when our needs are the highest.
Either Boone Pickens is a great shyster or he doesn't understand wind!!!
You electricity grid is always planning for the worst case scenario and that is the peak electricity use during the hot summer months of high air conditioning needs. Especially in Texas! The chart to the right graphs the wind output at 5PM during the hot month of July. An eyeball average would be 350 MW output with some days only 100 MW produced, out of a possible 2300 MW! On those days billions of dollars of transmission lines will side IDLE, click, yes billions.
To the left is the same MW output but expressed in terms of capacity. The output often stays below the 10% line for much of the month, meaning if the constructions costs were similar, you are getting only 10% of wind for your money compared to coal or gas. ERCOT, the electricity grid company of Texas, needs a margin of safety while planning and originally gave the wind farms a 2.9% capacity credit while planning, which they call their "confidence factor". See page 19 here. (later they considered raising it to between 5-16%).
If you are an American who cares about our deficit, this should bring tears to your eyes. Much of the wasted cost on construction and further production tax credits are piled right on our federal budget. Then the states force the grid companies to purchase the wind output and provide additional state incentives and tax breaks. Finally a federal Production Tax credit of 2.1cents is given for every kWhour produced which for many states is 20% of your per kWh electric bill.
There is no amount of green utopia wishful thinking(ie. their prayers) that will allow Texas to contribute useful energy to our electricity grid nationally. NONE! 3% CONFIDENCE, remember that number, and next time you see Boone tell him you are 3% confident in his Big Man's Plan! Maybe instead of wind farms we should call them swindle farms. And remember, Texas is number two! I couldn't bear the misery of looking at the reality of our other states that are not so windy. The Wind is not FREE!!!
Presentation taken from company slides here.
July 9, 2009 Update: Pickens calls off massive wind farm in Texas
To the left is a power curve of two models of the General Electric 1.5 MegaW turbine which produces 1.5 MW or 1500Kilowatts at maximum power. This chart is directly from the GE turbine literature. GE bought this turbine business from Enron. This turbine is the most commonly used turbine in the US right now.
Look at the bottom axis and you will see at 3.0 m/s the output of power is zero. To convert m/s to the mph divide by .45 and the result is 7 mph. What this means is that the wheel may be spinning somewhat but it isn't producing ANY power until the wind speeds reach 7 mph. We can double that wind speed to 6 m/s or 13 mph and the power output of the turbine is only .3 MW or 1/5 of it's total ability, referred to as capacity. (For our purposes today let's average the two different models). To get to where the turbine is producing 1/2 of it's rated capacity we must have a wind speed of about 7.5 m/s or 17 mph. To reach 2/3 of the turbine output capacity and have an output of 1 MW we must have a wind speed of about 8.5 m/s or 19 mph, which is a very, stiff wind! The turbine only reaches nameplate capacity output of 1.5 MW at 28 mph windspeed.
Wind _____Output_PercentPower__ Beautfort Scale
7 mph____ 0_____ 0% __________Leaves rustle
13 mph __ .3 MW___20% ________Leaves and twigs in constant motion
17 mph___ .5 MW__33%________ Moderate breeze, small branches move
19 mph___ .7 MW__66%________Small trees begin to sway
28 mph__ 1.5MW__100% _______Umbrella use difficult, large branches in motion
Another factor to consider while you watch the wheel spin is that they don't necessarily spin faster as the wind blows stronger. Their power output is produced by torque, not by speed of the wheel. The spinning wheel will look the same if the wind is blowing either at 13 mph or 28 mph windspeed, yet they are only producing 20% power at 13 mph.
Why is this? Well, wind turbines are powered by the sun! The sun is what produces the varying atmospheric pressure gradients and this factor produces moving air or wind. Moving air per cubic inch weighs 900 times less than water so at a very low speed it is not possible for it to produce much power. The kinetic energy of wind is measured as E=MV3 where M=mass of air which is very low and V3= the velocity of moving air cubed. So with all other factors constant, going from 10 mph to 15mph equates to 1,000 vs 3,375 or a 50% increase in wind speed yield a 3.3 fold increase in power! This is how you get the insane fluctuations for wind hourly output pictured to the above right.
Now for the bad news, the output of power is actually much, more variable! Because the Nine Canyon Output chart is hourly and we must consider that the power output of a wind farm actually fluctuates more dramatically when measured for smaller intervals of time. The chart to the left is from a Germany grid study and is found here. It is 12 days of data with the red being the maximum 15 minute wind input to the grid and the green being the minimum for that 15 minute. Look at the enormous fluctuations. This is an enormous grid in Germany and represents THOUSANDS of turbines spread across the country. How can the German grid manager possibly follow this wind and make corresponding cuts to their power burn rate when the wind clearly fluctuates 100% in an 15 minute period!!! Certainly some accommodation is made, but wind energy can't be stored, how could they decrease their fossil fuel burn rate when within a 15 minute time span the wind input to the grid likely to double or half? Click the picture to study it. This study referred to above and demonstrated by this picture concluded that "compensation and regulation" costs were 40% of the electricity generated, meaning 60% of the wind electricity generated was subsittuted 1:1 for fossil fuel. This is a far cry from the 100% 1:1 figure that the wind proponents are so fond of repeating.
The chart to the right is from a small windfarm on the PJM grid in the Northeast USA. There is 15 days of 10-second data that is compressed, but you can tell the dramatic changes that occur just about any day of the 15 day study. Now do you know why our electric companies NEVER thought of this clean, renewable wind energy as a viable source of electrical power until the Federal Government forced them to buy the energy.
What is my point? The point is that for wind energy to be a viable REPLACEMENT of fossil fuel the power company needs to predict ahead of time what the speed of the wind and output of the wind plant is going to be and then they have to instantaneously increase or decrease their fossil fuel burn rate to match the oscillations of the wind plant output. Is this possible, yes it is to some degree. On my web site www.nofreewind.com under the integration tab are many very long and detailed insider white papers where the power companies discuss this factor. It is a universal problem and one they HAVE to adapt because in all countries where wind power is used for commercial electricity it is mandated by the central governments. There are a few excellent editorials which discuss this problem, here, here and here.
Now we must accept the fact that there are power plants called load-follower or peaking units which are built to change their output very rapidly. This ocurrs every single day as as a society's electricity needs ebb and wane dependent on the time of day. But these changes are expected, easily planned for and accomadated by every power grid in the world. Click to see daily electricity demand changes in Ontario and California. Note that those smooth changes in demand look nothing like the power output curves above. You can go to my charts page for even more power output curves and see this is a universal problem.
There is much, much more to this issue. That is one reason the general public is so easily fooled. We must consider the time of day of the wind energy ouput compared to the need. We must look at how a power plant looses efficiency as it's maximum output decreases. AND the one thought that every Grid Manager and Electric Company keeps foremost in is mind is THERE WILL BE NO BLACKOUT!!!! No matter how much extra it costs the public the take in the wind energy to the grid, our electricity suppliers will ensure that their always will be reserves to accommodate this fluctuation of wind energy. THERE WILL BE NO BLACKOUT! To be continued.
NOTE: This video is locking at 48 seconds, try clicking slight ahead at 60 seconds or click right on the video a few times so that you view it directly in YouTube.