Library filed under Energy Policy
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.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
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.
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.
Mr. Linderman's presentation to the Annual Conference of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS)
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.”
Topics addressed: (1)uncertainly over future natural gas prices (2)the value of long-term fixed-price contracts for renewable energy (3)what impact do renewables have on gas prices? (4)what impact do high gas prices have on renewables?
Government agencies and the wind industry have successfully portrayed wind-generated electricity as "green" and as a price-competitive, potentially significant alternative source of power which could reduce dependence on 'dirty' fuels. While wind generated electricity may make sense in some circumstances, industry and government claims for its widespread use are not currently supported by sound science or economic analysis of costs v. benefits.
The inventor of the 'Gaia theory' and inspiration for the green movement, Dr James Lovelock, tells Andrea Kuhn why windfarms do not address the problems of global warming
"New York has the potential to generate a significant share of its electrical energy requirements through the use of indigenous renewable resources such as wind."
This study by the Irish grid manager finds that the benefits of wind-generated power are small and that they decrease as more wind power is added to the system and as the system grows itself. Their model assumes that all energy produced from wind facilities would be used and did not consider output fluctuations within a time period of less than an hour. They decribe three problems that mitigate the benefits of wind power: -large amount of extra energy required to start up thermal generators that would otherwise not have been turned off -mechanical stresses of more frequent ramping of production levels up and down -increased prices of energy necessary to pay for any lower usage of thermal plants. They notice that there is very little possibility of closig any non-wind facilities, because their capacity would still be needed to respond to periods of peak demand. Wind plants add more capacity (requiring more infrastructure) with almost no reduction on non-wind capacity, the latter of which must be used more inefficiently than otherwise. As for carbon dioxide reduction-one of the primary arguments for wind-generated power- the study concludes that the cost of carbon dioxide abatement arising from using large levels of wind energy appears high relative to other alternatives.
In this thesis the meteorological effects of a large-scale (9000 km2) offshore wind farm in the North Sea were simulated using the MM5 mesoscale model. The wind farm was simulated by introducing a higher roughness length (0.5 m) in the area of the wind farm. The meteorological effects were examined by comparing model runs with and without wind farm. Turbulent kinetic energy, cloud formation, precipitation and wind speed reduction were studied. Two case studies with westerly flows were performed. The first case study begins at 00 UTC July 1st 2001 and ends at 18 UTC July 3rd 2001. The second is from 00 UTC October 2nd 1999 to 18 UTC October 4th 1999.
Hundreds of thousands of acres spanning 34 states in the US have already been impacted by industrial wind power development. As we speak, thousands of giant turbines grind away, and TOGETHER they'll take the next 25 years to generate electricity that may last for a total of 19 days.
Wind energy is growing rapidly because environmentalists think it has environmental benefits and the government has given it large tax incentives. But electricity consumers who want reliable delivery and who are truly concerned about the environment should question this preferential treatment. Wind energy is environmentally harmful and costly to taxpayers. Furthermore, its expansion could adversely affect the nation's electricity transmission system.
This paper is the explanation provided by Richard S Courtney of why it is not possible for electricity from windfarms to be useful to the UK electricity grid. The explanation was presented at the 2004 Conference of "Groups Opposed to Windfarms in the UK." It includes explanation of why use of windfarms is expensive and increases pollution from electricity generation.
E.ON Netz manages the transmission grid in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, about a third of Germany, hosting 6,250 MW of Germany's 14,250 MW installed wind-generating capacity at the end of 2003. This report focuses on the operational challenges and costs associated with the intensive use of wind power due to wind's variability and unpredictability.
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?
This presentation indicates that for New England the increasing demand for summer-time electricity is greater and increasing faster than winter-time demand. The fast-rising need for power in summer will likely result in construction of new power plants to keep ahead of demand - although inland industrial wind plants will not be able to contribute much to this demand period due to their very low capacity factor during summer months.