Library filed under Energy Policy

Many Questions about Wind Must be Answered

All too often I hear an enthusiastic statement that wind generators will replace the power plant and become the singular source of our energy supply. Despite what the infrequent visitor to western Kansas may think, the wind does not always blow. Consumers want to turn on the television or do the wash at any time, illustrating that the demand for electricity is present even when the wind is not blowing.
1 Nov 2004

Danish wind power – a personal view

Referenced_w.da%c3%89_experience_thumb Denmark (population c. 5.4 million) is a leading pioneer in renewable energy. Since 1985 it has set up about 3,100 MW of wind capacity. Of this 420 MW are sited offshore (Nielsen, 2004), and more is planned for the near future (Bendtsen and Hedegaard, 2004). Over the same period many small gas- or bio-fuelled CHP plants were deployed, primarily for local district heating but also to produce electricity. Interest in solar power is also considerable.
22 Sep 2004

Renewable Energy Foundation Briefing on UK Energy Polcy

Ref_briefing_doc_1__thumb REF encourages the development of renewable energy and energy conservation whilst safeguarding the landscapes of the United Kingdom from unsustainable industrialisation. In pursuit of this goal, REF highlights the need for an overall energy policy that is balanced, ecologically sensitive and effective. REF is a not-for-profit foundation formed by individuals concerned by the uncontrolled growth in proposals and planning applications for power stations in inappropriate rural areas. We are part of a growing national consensus that the United Kingdom’s energy policy is unbalanced, and that the drive for renewable energy generation has been inadequately planned, a fact that has resulted in a developer-led industrial feeding-frenzy that is neither green nor sustainable. It is improbable that this current broad-scale industrialisation of the countryside will bring about any significant reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases or meet the long-term energy needs of the UK (as laid out in the Feb 2003 Energy White Paper). We aim to raise public awareness of the issues and encourage the creation of a structured energy policy for the UK, which is both more ecologically sensitive and effective.
15 Jul 2004

Danish Wind: Too Good to be True?

White-denmarktoogood_thumb Appearing in the July 2004 issue of "The Utilities Journal", author David White responds to Steffen Nielsen's article appearing in the May 2004 issue extolling the success of wind generators in Denmark. White contends that Nielsen tells only half the story by omitting many important aspects of the Danish program particularly the cost, annual availability and operability of wind generation. White concludes: "it makes no economic sense to progress an expensive and unpredictable power-generating technology in order to see a parallel carbon dioxide reduction goal when the evidence clearly indicates the objective will not be met."
1 Jul 2004

An Economic Analysis of a Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound

Written by Douglas Giuffre, Jonathan Haughton, David Tuerck and John Barrett, this report analyses in economic terms the costs and benefits of a proposed 130 turbine wind plant in Nantucket Sound. It concludes that the economic costs substantially exceed the associated economic gains. This is a follow-up study to one published by Beacon Hill in October 2003 entitled "Blowing in the Wind: Offshore Wind and the Cape Cod Economy"
15 May 2004

Integrating wind power in the European power systems

Ucte-integratingwindpower_thumb This position paper examines the profile of wind power, its impact on the network, security of supply and the quality of the energy delivered. It further deals with the reasons to establish certain technical requirements for the connection of wind power generation to the network. Editor's Note: This is a worthwhile read in its entirety (attached pdf file). Selected extracts appear below.
1 May 2004

Perspectives from Abroad: Assimilation of wind energy into the Irish electricity network

Sei_grid_report_thermal_and_wind_credit_thumb This paper examines a number of issues associated with the introduction of increasing amounts of wind energy into the Irish electricity network. It draws upon international experience and, in particular, operational data from western Denmark, where wind produces 21% of total electricity consumption. Particular characteristics of the Irish network are identified and a mixture of empiricism and "first principles" analysis is used to derive estimates of the capacity credit of wind plant, the extra costs of operational reserve and the total extra costs of operating with increasing quantities of wind energy. It is concluded that the total extra cost to the electricity consumer of installing enough wind to provide 10% of electricity consumption may be around €0.7/MWh, but much depends on timing (as wind costs are falling rapidly), and the mix between onshore and offshore wind. The need for market mechanisms to be cost-reflective and promote technical efficiency in electricity networks is emphasised, recognizing the advantages of integrated electricity systems. It is noted that this is not in conflict with the requirements for efficient assimilation of wind energy.
12 Apr 2004

Are Electricity Capacity Margins Really Growing? New England's experience may redefine the term.

During the 1990s, capacity margins in the United States declined almost one third, falling from 21 percent in 1991 to less than 15 percent in 2001. In some regions, margins shrunk to less than 10 percent. Concerns grew over electricity reliability and possible upward pressures on electricity prices. However, as new gas-fired power plants began to come on line in the late 1990s, the developing electricity generation capacity surplus began to raise concerns. The U.S. capacity margin growth of 2002 should have eased upward pressures on electricity prices. However, electricity prices surged in many areas, such as New England, where surplus electricity capacity has developed. This suggests that the standard definition of capacity margin may not be appropriate in the context of current market realities.
1 Apr 2004

Tilting at Windmills: An Economic Analysis of Wind Power

David_hume_institute_thumb This paper, “Tilting At Windmills: An Economic Analysis Of Wind Power”, presents the results of a research project conducted by Professor David Simpson on behalf of The David Hume Institute. The aim of this research is to investigate the underlying economics of wind power. From being a source of energy that until recently appeared only on the fringes of the energy supply system, wind power has, over recent years, moved centre stage in the government’s energy policy. This paper asks whether the economic analysis of this source of energy really justifies such a major role and whether alternative policy options should be considered.
1 Apr 2004

Tilting at windmills

The hostility aroused by the Parham project is not unusual either. Some locals complain that wind farms are noisy, ugly and (citing estate agents) that they reduce property prices. Others, like John Constable, who lives 700 metres away from the airfield, say they are just inappropriate. “I happen to like the Chrysler building,” he says, “but I don't want it near my house.”
18 Mar 2004
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