Earlier this year, Platt’s (yeah I know, the oil guys) wrote an interesting article on wind entitled The unbearable lightness of wind:

But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Wind power has its critics and they feel that their reservations have been overridden by policy makers whose imaginations have been captured by a green agenda that downplays wind’s limitations.

Wind’s intermittency cannot be ignored just because it is the most readily available and domestically attractive technology to hand, they argue.

Any electricity system needs a mix of baseload generation power – which tends to be relatively inflexible in terms of switching on and off – and peaking plants, which are more flexible and, as their name suggests, designed to take advantage of high electricity prices at times of peak demand.

Wind falls into neither of these categories because it is essentially unreliable.

Proponents of wind power dislike the negative connotations of the word ‘unreliable’, pointing out that on average the amount of power supplied by a given capacity of wind turbines is reasonably predictable.

But, according to the EWEA, wind turbines produce no electricity at all between 15% and 30% of the time.

And, on average, the load factor for onshore turbines is about 30%.

This means that over 24 hours, 1 MW of wind capacity would provide about 7.2 MWh of power, but there’s no knowing exactly how much or when until the last minute.

As wind provides neither baseload nor peaking plant it has no impact on reserve capacity.

There will always be the possibility that, at some point, no power will be produced at all.

The article definitely raises some good points. Read it and ask yourself why the headlong rush into wind?

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