How windfarms burn money to generate energy

How windfarms burn money to generate energy

Dr Gordon Hughes

The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark

Executive Summary

1. Onshore wind turbines represent a relatively mature technology, which ought to have achieved a satisfactory level of reliability in operation as plants age. Unfortunately, detailed analysis of the relationship between age and performance gives a rather different picture for both the United Kingdom and Denmark with a significant decline in the average load factor of onshore wind farms adjusted for wind availability as they get older. An even more dramatic decline is observed for offshore wind farms in Denmark, but this may be a reflection of the immaturity of the technology.

2. The study has used data on the monthly output of wind farms in the UK and Denmark reported under regulatory arrangements and schemes for subsidizing renewable energy. Normalized age-performance curves have been estimated using standard statistical techniques which allow for differences between sites and over time in wind resources and other factors.

3. The normalized load factor for UK onshore wind farms declines from a peak of about 24% at age 1 to 15% at age 10 and 11% at age 15. The decline in the normalized load factor for Danish onshore wind farms is slower but still significant with a fall from a peak of 22% to 18% at age 15. On the other hand for offshore wind farms in Denmark the normalized load factor falls from 39% at age 0 to 15% at age 10. The reasons for the observed declines in normalized load factors cannot be fully assessed using the data available but outages due to mechanical breakdowns appear to be a contributory factor.

4. Analysis of site-specific performance reveals that the average normalized load factor of new UK onshore wind farms at age 1 (the peak year of operation) declined significantly from 2000 to 2011. In addition, larger wind farms have systematically worse performance than smaller wind farms. Adjusted for age and wind availability the overall performance of wind farms in the UK has deteriorated markedly since the beginning of the century.

5. These findings have important implications for policy towards wind generation in the UK. First, they suggest that the subsidy regime is extremely generous if investment in new wind farms is profitable despite the decline in performance due to age and over time. Second, meeting the UK Government’s targets for wind generation will require a much higher level of wind capacity – and, thus, capital investment – than current projections imply. Third, the structure of contracts offered to wind generators under the proposed reform of the electricity market should be modified since few wind farms will operate for more than 12–15 years.

Windenergy really really isn’t cost effective by any standard (PDF)

 

Germany’s Unsustainable “Green” Jobs “Miracle” Collapses

Germany’s Unsustainable “Green” Jobs “Miracle” Collapses

Reality catches up faster then expected, glad they took the bullet so the rest of the world doesn’t have to.

STOP THESE THINGS

angry german kid

The Germans went into wind power harder and faster than anyone else – and the cost of doing so is catching up with a vengeance. The subsidies have been colossal, the impacts on the electricity market chaotic and – contrary to the purpose of the policy – CO2 emissions are rising fast (see our post here).

Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel poverty”. In response, Germans have picked up their axes and have headed to their forests in order to improve their sense of energy security – although foresters apparently take the view that this self-help measure is nothing more than blatant timber theft (see our post here).

One justification put up by the wind industry for the social and economic chaos caused by spiralling power costs was the claim that investment in wind power would…

View original post 1,455 more words

German power grid at risk of widespread blackouts


Yet another example of reality meeting wishful thinking. If only they hadn’t bet their entire economy on ‘alternative’ energy… Now they’re just without anywhere to go but onwards on this wasteful path. The incredible disregard for laws of nature is stunning especially since Angela Merkel has a beta background. Perpetual motion machines are just not possible so obviously there is a huge price to pay for inefficient unreliable energy production. It boggles the mind how delusional an entire population can become. Luckily they serve as a good example on how not to do it. For that non-germans can be thankful

Tallbloke's Talkshop

[image credit: Wikipedia] [image credit: Wikipedia]
Pierre Gosselin at Notrickszone reports:

‘There was a time when Germany’s power was mostly generated by the traditional sources of coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas and hydro. These sources were reliable and keeping the power grid under control was a routine matter. Germany’s power grid was among the most stable worldwide. But then came Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, and with it the very volatile sources of sun and wind.’

‘As a result, today’s German power grid has become a precarious balancing act, and keeping it from collapsing under the load of wild fluctuations has become a real challenge.’

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Germany, wasting 130 billion $ on ‘alternative’ energy. Guess who pays the price.


Goodnight Sunshine
Germany is cutting solar-power subsidies because they are expensive and inefficient.

In the words of the German Association of Physicists, “solar energy cannot replace any additional power plants.” On short, overcast winter days, Germany’s 1.1 million solar-power systems can generate no electricity at all. The country is then forced to import considerable amounts of electricity from nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic.

Indeed, despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3 percent of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world (exceeded only by Denmark, which aims to be the “world wind-energy champion”). Germans pay three times more than their American counterparts.

Moreover, this sizeable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

Using solar, Germany is paying about $1,000 per ton of CO2 reduced. The current CO2 price in Europe is $8. Germany could have cut 131 times as much CO2 for the same price. Instead, the Germans are wasting more than 99 cents of every euro that they plow into solar panels.

It gets worse: Because Germany is part of the European Union Emissions Trading System, the actual effect of extra solar panels in Germany leads to no CO2 reductions, because total emissions are already capped. Instead, the Germans simply allow other parts of the EU to emit more CO2. Germany’s solar panels have only made it cheaper for Portugal or Greece to use coal.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/project_syndicate/2012/02/why_germany_is_phasing_out_its_solar_power_subsidies_.html

Wind power has been proven to be a disaster


In Germany at high wind electricity has a negative price, they have to pay their neighbors to please take the overload of their grid.

Windmill Boom Cuts Electricity Prices in Europe

However at low wind they have to buy electricity at spotprices and crank up coalfired powerstations on standby to produce power.

It’s all completely absurd.

Nice, especially if you have sunk 140 billion euro’s in your windfarms and now have to pay to get the electricity taken of your hands. Not exactly the smartest investment in the world.

Even more grating when your neighbors start to refuse to accept your electricity:
Poland closes border for German Electricity

Its a total mess, considering that Germany is in big trouble with their ambitious windprogram Germany’s Offshore Fiasco: North Sea Wind Offensive Plagued by Problems but they know where to get their money anyway, just up the price nationally German renewable surcharge to rise by 47 percent so just like Denmark Denmarks problem with wind they are now subsidizing the electricity of their neighbors by taxing their citizens and industry.

The concept of variable energy generation has been conclusively proven to be unworkable. In 10 to 20 years the generators need replacing, but with no revenue coming in they can’t even pay the original investment without supercharging the price rendering their economies incapable to compete with the many nations less obsessed with unreal doom-scenario’s.

Back to the drawing board.