OT - Wind Turbines

It just occurred to me after reading of a local utility wanting to erect a wind turbine on its site:
As we have a National Grid, why do organisations see a need to have their own turbine on their own property? Why don't they sponsor a large and efficient one elsewhere.
I guess the answer is to look good to the local green people.
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John wrote:

It might be too complicated to sort out the buying and selling of kWh units the sponsored one would generate. If they have their own, then all the kWh it generates which they use themselves is free, and if they generate more than they need, they can sell it back to the grid (making the meter run backwards).
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Ronald Raygun wrote:

There is no point in using the electricity themselves. It is worth three times or more as much if sold to a unsuspecting grid. Its cheaper to buy nuclear and resell it as wind.
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I suppose the answer is locally produced locally consumed. But you are right in that the investment payback time reduces quickly as the turbine size goes up.
My niece who is keen on these things and works in that business says that the 200k people to be supplied by the new Thanet offshore jobby is about right and based on about a 30% load factor. I've asked her to quote me a business case that one might make to build such a setup - i.e. all the figures involved so we can see how it stacks up. She also said that the cost of Thanet (about 750M, as I recall) was a bit high but not too far off (I think she was expecting about 600M).
She also made the point that:
It is often said that as wind is intermittent, we need backup for all wind sourced electricity. But gas/nuclear have non-100% load factors too, so there is extra capacity to cope with that. She felt that the backup issue wouldn't become significant until such time as 15% or so of our leccy came from wind.
My feeling is having built e.g. Thanet we can then see how it works, whether 30% is reached and whether it costs trillions in ongoing maintenance. Point is that bullshit greenwash will - if it exists in a particular case - be found out in the long run. Just saying "No more boom and bust!" don't actually make it so.
--
Tim

"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
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Tim Streater wrote:

Your niece needs to study some engineering.And get a new job. Nuclear is 95% or more uptime and load factor, and it rarely suffers unscheduled downtime. Ditto CCGT etc etc.
Wind is always unscheduled downtime, every minute of every day. Means the backup plant has to be at least partly spinning reserve. Burning gas, going nowhere.

And carbon fuel to put in the helicopters ad boats. And backuyop generators.
The experience of Denmark is with 100% plus wind CAPACITY, at best they are generating 6-10% AVERAGE from windpower, and burning MORE gas to do it than if they had no sodding mills at all.. And electricity is 2-3 times the price it is anywhere else.
Total disaster on cost, carbon reduction and efficiency.
Point is that bullshit greenwash will - if it exists in a

But far too late to save a nations power supply sadly.
Just saying "No more

Renewable energy is a complete waste of time and money, and should be banned.
Apart from waste burning, which makes complete sense.
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember The Natural Philosopher

<listens for sound>
Ah yes, the NP's drum.
Istr that Denmark uses Norway's and Sweden's hydro schemes as pumped storage. Did you just forget that little snippet?
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Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Indeed they do. It STILL doesn't make for any useful carbon reduction.
If they can't do it, we haven't a cats chance in hell.
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On 01/10/2010 15:25, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Can you tell me where you got those numbers from?
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Clive George wrote:

Cant remember now..some danish reports on average actual windpower generated in the last three years, taken up by the danish grid. ad their actual last 5 years gas imports.
here we go CEPOS Center for Politikishe studier WIND ENERGY THE CASE OF DENMARK Sept 2009
"The claim that Denmark derives about 20% of its electricity from wind overstates matters. Being highly intermittent, wind power has recently (2006) met as little as 5% of Denmark’s annual electricity consumption with an average over the last five years of 9.7%."
"Over the last eight years West Denmark has exported (couldn’t use), on average, 57% of the wind power it generated and East Denmark an average of 45%.The correlation between high wind output and net outflows makes the case that there is a large component of wind energy in the outflow indisputable."
"The wind power that is exported from Denmark saves neither fossil fuel consumption nor CO2 emissions in Denmark, where it is all paid for. By necessity, wind power exported to Norway and Sweden supplants largely carbon neutral electricity in the Nordic countries. No coal is used nor are there power-related CO2 emissions in Sweden and Norway."
Or if you prefer the German viewpoint:
RUHR economic papers Economic Impacts from the Promotion of Renewable Energy Technologies The German Experience NOV 2009
"Although renewable energies have a potentially beneficial role to play as part of Germany’s energy portfolio, the commonly advanced argument that renewables confer a double dividend or “win-win solution” in the form of environmental stewardship and economic prosperity is disingenuous. In this article, we argue that Germany’s principal mechanism of supporting renewable technologies through feed-in tariffs, in fact, imposes high costs without any of the alleged positive impacts on emissions reductions, employment, energy security, or technological innovation. First, as a consequence of the prevailing coexistence of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the increased use of renewable energy technologies triggered by the EEG does not imply any additional emission reductions beyond those already achieved by ETS alone, if the two instruments are not coordinated. This is in line with Morthorst (2003), who analyzes the promotion of renewable energy usage by alternative instruments using a three-country example. If not coordinated, this study’s results suggest that renewable support schemes are questionable climate policy instruments in the presence of the ETS. Second, numerous empirical studies have consistently shown the net employment balance to be zero or even negative in the long run, a consequence of the high opportunity cost of supporting renewable energy technologies. Indeed, it is most likely that whatever jobs are created by renewable energy promotion would vanish as soon as government support is terminated, leaving only Germany’s export sector to benefit from the possible continuation of renewables support in other countries such as the US.     Third, rather than promoting energy security, the need for backup power from fossil fuels means that renewables increase Germany’s dependence on gas imports, most of which come from Russia. And finally, the system of feed-in tariffs stifles competition among renewable energy producers and creates perverse incentives to lock into existing technologies. Hence, although Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits. As other European governments emulate Germany by ramping up their promotion of renewables, policy makers should scrutinize the logic of supporting energy sources that cannot compete on the market in the absence of government assistance."
The most tragically telling comes from this scholarly Estonian study
"The following questions are analysed: - How much wind power capacity will it be technical possible to inte grate into the Estonian power system and the Baltic power system? - How to deal with uncertainty about forecasting of the wind power production? - What are the additional costs for the system of wind power integration? - How does wind power deployment influence the electricity prices in the region? - What is the role of the electricity market in the integration of wind power?
Other aspects regarding wind power integration are the technical requirements for connection of wind power to the grid (grid code issues), and the economic viability of wind power deployment from a socio economical viewpoint and from a stakeholder viewpoint (economic evaluation). These aspects are not dealt with in detail in this study."
Note that nowhere is the question ASKED, let alone answered 'what impact on fossil fuel use (if any) will all this windpower have?
Ther are so many studies I have read, that its hard to track down any given factoid out of the miles of verbiage. Suffice to say the most optimistic estimate was irish, that you might be able to use half teh windpower you generated to save fossil fuel. The most pessimistic was that you would in fact burn more fuel backing up windmills than not having them at all. I think that as in the context of Lithuanian oil shale existing plant, which does not dispatch well. Alternatively they could install new gas turbine plant, and become dependent on Russian gas...
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On 01/10/2010 19:54, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Right, so we're talking about different things. They're generating 20% of their capacity from wind, but other countries are using a significant proportion of that.

And when the wind is lower, is there inflow from Norway and Sweden? Coz that would support the idea that the wind generation is doing well.
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Clive George wrote:

yes, but not nearly enough. And it doesn't save any carbon there anyway, because they aren't using any (much) to start with.
So you have the position that an excess of windpower is thrown away or exported, subsidised heavily by the Danish consumer, and saves no carbon. It doesn't even generate DANISH carbon credits
A lack of windpower causes new expensive fast start gaq turbines that never were used or needed before, to be swung in.
meanwhile Denmark's base load CHP kit, which really works and is very efficient, would have to be replaced by something no ones invented yet, and a load of heatpumps that probably would require completetely new buildings to take advantage of the, and yet more expense.
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Source pls. And is that on or off-shore wind they have. I'll see what she says about it :-)
--
Tim

"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
  Click to see the full signature.
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Tim Streater wrote:

see earlier posting. For sources.
The MORE gas comes about because they aqre running into issues: a lot of Denmark uses CHP for district heating. This cant use electricity offpeak or otherwise, so they cant eat into that, nor can the switch it off when the windblows cos they need the HEAT it produces. So although they can ramp down coal, they have to then backup with gas instead, because they need a LOT of backup. Essentially what happens is that when the wind DOES blow, they either simply dump the electricity, because no one wants it at all, or sell it at uber low prices to Norway and Sweden, who simply switch off a few hydro plants, which doesn't save any carbon either.
So no possible savings in carbon there, anywhere,.
When the wind doesn't blow, they have to import shitloads of hydro from the interlinks, which is fine, but there isn't enough hydro to fully back the sodding mills up, so they end up pusging the go button on some gas turbine kit. And running that at part load and crap efficiency, and Russian gas.
It's what happens when you let marketing dictated engineering policy mate. A complete balls up.
Twas ever thus.
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On 01/10/2010 20:48, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

That's not true. Hydro is one of the more effective ways of storing energy, either via pumped storage, or just not running the thing and letting the reservoir fill up.
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Clive George wrote:

that isn;t actually what I disputed.
I merely noted that a surplus of windpower exported into a 100% hydro country saves no carbon in that country. And saves no carbon in the country of origin either.
It merely displaces a cheap efficient form of carbon free energy (hydropower) with an expensive inefficent one (wind power) run across long expensive and not 100% efficient interlinks.
It's a lose lose situation really.
It would be nice if the hydropwer could then be used to back the windmills up, but there isn't enough interlink and besides, the Swedes and so on rather want to use it themselves, especially in dry (and rather windless) years.
And don't probably see why they should turn it into pumped storage at their expense merely to make Danish stupidity seem less so.
The Danes are free to make their electricity only 4 times as expensive as they need be, and rent a bit of Sweden to build a measly couple of gigawatts pumped if they want, I suppose, and their two billion Euro interconncetor to it, but it's not the Swedes problem, really it's not.
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On 01/10/2010 21:47, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Until it gets sent back again or used in place of a local fossil plant.

>

Hang on, there's enough interlink to send 50% of the wind power over, but that's not enough to provide any backup?
> and besides, the Swedes and so on rather want to use it themselves, > especially in dry (and rather windless) years.
Hang on, you just said it saves no carbon, which implies the Swedes have a surplus of hydro, rather than a shortage. I suspect the latter, but that would render your earlier comment about it not saving carbon in Sweden wrong. But you carry on with your internal contradictions if it makes you happy.

Their expense? They get some nice cheap electricity from Denmark. You really reckon they'll complain?

And it's not the energy vanishing into thin air you claim it is either.
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Clive George wrote:

Well by and large yes, the swedes will take as much subsidised windpower below the cost of their hydro as they can. Not all Danish wind goes there though. Some goes to germany as well. Where it also doesn't earn Demark any carbon credits.

That's a moot point. Because they have lots, but in dry years the dams may empty. That is not something they want, so in dry yearsas they take the danish windpower when they can. In wet years I think the study I cited says in much nicer ways, the swedes tell them to piss off unless they want to sell it so cheap its basically free. Because in a sense. if the swedes have the hydro, maintenance apart it IS free. Why pay to displacee it?
I suspect the latter, but

No, there is no contradictio.
Whichever way it works, the swedes wont be using much fossil. If its a wet year they wont buy any windpower If its a dry year they will buy danish windpower rather than risk the dams emptying.
In any case they have some nuclear as well IIRC, so worst case I suppose in a really dry year they might have to fire up an old coal plant a couple of weeks before the dams emptied, which would run nice and efficiently, as solid extra baseload, if the wind wasn't there from Denmark. Which they would have to do anyway because they cant rely on the fact that the wind from denmark WILL be there. With all that hydro they can balance their baseload and known dam levels very efficiently,. Wind just complicates things, but if its cheap, and it looks like a dry year, well why not. Gives them a little bit extra in hand on the dams. Still use the same amount of fuel though. Just increase safety margins a bit I reckon.

Of course. Are you really that stupid? Swedish electricity is hydro and nuclear and cheap. They dont NEED damnish wind power. Why should they build something at their expese that only helps Denmark?
Why indeed should the UK government fund massive intervconnects to scottish windfarms that only benefit scottish landowners, and cost the UK taxpayer more in terms of overall electricity and do nothing to reduce English carbon consumption, since the backup wont be done in Scotland.

Oh yes it is. If 50% of the energy is exported, and only 10% goes into the Danish grid, that's 40% that is literally thrown away because its produced when no one wants it. Well I am not sure those percents are percentages of the same total, but yes, danish windfarms are often switched off(IIRC they still get PAID) because no one wants the bloody power.
And if it is exported and merely ends up in a sudden storm overfilling the hydro well that's a waste as well.
And that's before we look at the waste of power pumping puped storage. That's 25% of the power wasted right there.
Then we can look at the power wasted pushing all that electricity up the interconects to Sweden and then all the way back again when the wind drops again.
Waste. Waste of power, waste of grid network, waste of time, waste of money, waste of space.
"Hence, although Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits. As other European governments emulate Germany by ramping up their promotion of renewables, policy makers should scrutinize the logic of supporting energy sources that cannot compete on the market in the absence of government assistance."
RUHR ECONOMIC PAPERS #156 Manuel Frondel Nolan Ritter Christoph M. Schmidt Colin Vance
Economic Impacts from the Promotion of Renewable Energy Technologies The German Experience All rights reserved. Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Germany, 2009 ISSN 1864-4872 (online) – ISBN 978-3-86788-173-9
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And for those who though otherwise, all this "free" generation doesn't make Swedish domestic electricity cheaper than here. IME it is more expensive.
tim
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tim.... wrote:

Is *anything* cheaper in Scandinavia than here?
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Rent!
Reindeer meat, cured Elk :-) (Don't worry, you really haven't missed anything).
Possibly professional services. Scandinavia has a more equal society than the rest of Europe, so salaries of the highly qualified [1] are not the huge multiples that you see elsewhere. Consequently, I would guess that if you did need to hire the time of such a person it is competitively priced (but never having the need, I don't actually know).
tim
[1] I sub-let one of my residencies from a hospital consultant whilst he was temporarily overseas. He earnt no more than an average wage.
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