Two Critically Important Limitations of Electricity from Wind Energy

  • First, wind turbines have little or no “capacity value”; i.e., they are unlikely to be producing electricity at the time of peak electricity demand. Therefore, wind turbines are not a substitute for reliable generating capacity needed to provide reliable electric service for electric customers.
  • Second, a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity from a wind turbine has less value than a kWh of electricity from a reliable (“dispatchable”) generating unit; i.e., from a unit that can be called upon to produce electricity whenever the electricity is needed by electric customers.

These issues are important because “wind farm” developers and lobbyists have mislead the public, media and government officials by making false claims and by using terms intended to confuse their listeners.  Read full paper by Glenn R. Schleede.

4 thoughts on “Two Critically Important Limitations of Electricity from Wind Energy

  1. This paper , for most of us is a difficult read. I had to force myself to read it over & over until I had a basic understanding of the math and widely misconstrued terms that the wind industry deceives us with. No wonder the general public and our politicians have been hood winked.

    I believe that this paper needs to be printed out and sent to our Ombudsman and to our members of the Legislative Assembly at Queen’s park. Our MPP’s need to read this honest explanation of the terms of electricity production. If we all printed this paper out , highlighted the obvious deceptions by the wind industry and then mailed each member a copy and asked that they reassess their commitment to wind in a more realistic light . This paper could be the beginning of truth that will seep through the public sector in a ripple effect. If you do nothing else today , please do this. Perhaps you can title your letter… “Have we been told the truth by the wind industry?” I know that you will need to make about 113 copies and pay the postage but the sacrifice of time and money in my opinion is worth it.

  2. Please remember, that an email often times gets ignored or discarded. A real letter received from the public in the mail must be dealt with. It is tangible, it is like toilet paper on your shoe, you have no choice but to ‘deal with it’ and a politician must answer your concerns to keep your vote. Ask him or her if they will please make comment on these terms the next time issues with wind is brought up on the floor. Ask them if they will inform their constituents of the subtle misrepresentations by the wind industry who stand to gains billions through your hard earned tax dollars in the form of subsidies and colossal hydro rate increases that will come out of wind power. Not because they can deliver more than a low percentage of electricity to the grid but because of the high cost of installations and wiring , substations and huge built in profits.

  3. If I may come in and comment again.
    The perceived ‘problem’ with electrical power generation is that it is ‘always there’ and has now become a staple of life, like water when you turn on the tap. Because it is now looked at in that manner, people have no ‘real need’ to know how, as long as it’s always there, if you can see that.

    In actual fact it is something that is quite technical, just to try and understand the things that might actually ‘seem’ simple to understand, again, because it just ‘always there’.
    From my perspective, the problem I have is to try and make it so that it can be understood by people not actually trained in that area, and that is sometimes not very easy.

    I don’t want any of you to think that I’m trawling for people to visit the site where I submit my posts, but I would like to draw your attention to one important diagram in one of those posts.
    This is the link to that post:
    http://papundits.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/nuclear-electrical-power-generation-%e2%80%93-why-the-fuss-part-2/
    Now just because the heading mentions nuclear power, and I understand how some may feel about that, the main intent of this post is to highlight that load curve.

    After looking at the curve and reading the text, I would further like to make a couple of points.

    1. As there is an absolute requirement for at least 65% of all electrical power being generated to be there for 24 hours of every day, it becomes obvious that Wind can NEVER be relied upon to supply that level of power.

    2. The periods when Peak Power are required are known, early AM, late afternoon and into the evening. Again as these times are rigid, Wind cannot even be relied upon to fill those needs, because the wind does not blow according to a time schedule.

    3. The power that is generated is made available to the grid , and consumers draw that power down from the grid, so enough power always has to be available at that grid to cover every demand. Hence those plants that supply the bulk of the power (coal fired and nuclear) run all the time. When those extra demand periods approach, then smaller peaking plants run up and add power to the grid so it is available for consumers at those designated times.
    Those in planning know how much power needs to ‘be there’ and plan each power plant accordingly. They just ‘CANNOT’ say , well the wind towers may or may not be running to a set level of capacity, and add them into the mix, because if they go down, then there is no power to cater for what is required.

    Again, it’s a technical, and sometimes difficult thing to perceive, and I understand this explanation may be long winded so I apologise for taking so much space.
    Tony.

  4. Thank you Tony for your valuable insight. I am just a mother and homemaker but the desire was there to TRY and understand so I can address comments made by pro wind people that think that wind turbines will replace Oil, Gas, Nuclear and Hydro dams. Children are being taught in our schools that this is so. It must feel so good to most people to think that man has come up with a miracle in the form of wind power that will save the world from depleting natural resources but in fact the opposite is true . Germany has had to build 26 new coal plants to supply power to wind turbines. We in Ontario are trying to build new Gas Plants so as to be able to supply the ever growing wind turbine bombardment in Ontario.

    Everyday people are so bogged down with causes and problems that they hold on to the myth about wind power and refuse to let go of this false security blanket.
    I just can not believe that David Suzuki is remaining mum on the invalidity of Wind power, especially after Spain spoke up and was covered up by American government! Perhaps David Suzuki has received pay outs or shut up money from the wind Industry that perhaps donate to the Suzuki Foundation. ??? In Fairness though Mr Suzuki has commented strongly on the proper placement of wind turbines, as wild life is greatly threatened, but where is his concern for the health of people??? Note: Suzuki, IS concerned about Bat mortality as without bats in our eco system we are in major trouble! Hope he is silently doing research on that in Alberta and will surprise us with a warning to the government. I sure hope so for all our sakes. The Elections are coming soon and I for one will not miss one minute, one hour, one day, at Queen’s park to help bring this fascist Liberal Majority government to it’s knees!

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