Library from Colorado
Xcel says wind power will mostly supply intermittent and peak power - energy demands that fluctuate day to day or even hour to hour. Unfortunately, that means it still must rely on coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, supplemented by natural gas, the most expensive fossil fuel, for its base load (the kind of electricity that's always on).
In this report we discuss some recent studies that have occurred in the United States since our previous work [2, 3]. The key objectives of these studies were to quantify the physical impacts and costs of wind generation on grid operations and the associated costs. Examples of these costs are (a) committing unneeded generation, (b) allocating more load-following capability to account for wind variability, and (c) allocating more regulation capacity. These are referred to as “ancillary service” costs, and are based on the physical system and operating characteristics and procedures. This topic is covered in more detail by Zavadil et al. .
"These studies will provide rural communities with the necessary tools to utilize this emerging industry and build a diverse economic base," said Brian Vogt, director of the OEDIT and acting secretary of technology.
Another energy cooperative has opted out of Amendment 37, the year-old initiative that requires large Colorado power providers to increasingly use renewable sources for their juice.
In the next two years, a Virginia company hopes to pump upward of $400 million into what could be Colorado's largest wind farm on private grazing land near Grover.
Representative Mark Udall, D-CO, has criticized the mixed signals being generated by Congress on the importance it places on renewable energy research during a debate on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, HR 2419.
Wind energy is environmentally harmful and costly to taxpayers. Furthermore, its expansion could adversely affect the nation's electricity transmission system.
If renewables were indeed less expensive than conventional alternatives as suggested by the Public Policy Consulting Report, why mandate their purchase and set a minimum market share?