Author Topic: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid  (Read 9664 times)

Offline dep190

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U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« on: January 22, 2010, 10:52:03 AM »
 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wind energy could generate 20 percent of the electricity needed by households and businesses in the eastern half of the United States by 2024, but it would require up to $90 billion in investment, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

Green Business  |  COP15

... modified to comply with fair use by LvsChant ...

Sen. Byron Dorgan said on Tuesday he thought the Senate would forgo dealing with climate change legislation this year after going through the contentious health care debate and instead focus on passing an energy bill that, in part, requires U.S. utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2021.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by David Gregorio)
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60J37V20100121?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&rpc=22&sp=true
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 07:26:35 AM by LvsChant »

Offline Buzz

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 11:36:47 AM »
In the spirit of having less government control of our life, I would like to point out that wind and solar power are expensive.  Government requirements unnecessarily drive up the price of power for electric customers and taxpayers subsidizes alternative energies roughly $20 or more per MWH. 

As a bulk power supply, wind and solar do not displace coal, oil, or gas power stations.  A power company is required to acquire electric generation sources to meet the projected customer load and without some type of storage, solar and wind is not a reliable base load.  In other words traditional power plants will have to be built in reserve for times when the wind's not blowing or the sun's not shining. 

Wind and solar bulk power is too costly and it doesn't really lead to any "Greening" of the power system.  Let capitalism rule.  Put windmills in your yard or solar panels on your house if it makes sense for your situation.  I think that it's a good idea to have control of your own sustainable power.  Just don't force artificially high prices on the ratepayer and increased burden on the taxpayer.   


Offline Sid

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 02:49:27 PM »
I have some serious doubt that large scale wind farms on land will solve the energy problem.

Here is an article describing how a wind farm in Texas which had 9,700 megawatts capacity only could generate 500 megawatts at peak time in the summer heat when the power was needed the most.

http://www.slate.com/id/2264111

Quote
They like everything big in Texas, and wind energy is no exception. Texas has more wind generation capacity than any other state, about 9,700 megawatts. (That's nearly as much installed wind capacity as India.) Texas residential ratepayers are now paying about $4 more per month on their electric bills in order to fund some 2,300 miles of new transmission lines to carry wind-generated electricity from rural areas to the state's urban centers.

It's time for those customers to ask for a refund. The reason: When it gets hot in Texas—and it's darn hot in the Lone Star State in the summer—the state's ratepayers can't count on that wind energy. On Aug. 4, at about 5 p.m., electricity demand in Texas hit a record: 63,594 megawatts. But according to the state's grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's wind turbines provided only about 500 megawatts of power when demand was peaking and the value of electricity was at its highest.

Put another way, only about 5 percent of the state's installed wind capacity was available when Texans needed it most. Texans may brag about the size of their wind sector, but for all of that hot air, the wind business could only provide about 0.8 percent of the state's electricity needs when demand was peaking.

Offline Stein

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 09:49:59 AM »
Google "spinning reserves".  Under current technology and status quo, when a big wind or pv installation goes in a traditional plant also goes in to pick up when they sputter out.  The current thought is that energy storage is the solution and many companies are working on this.

Nothing is a magic bullet, but solutions will likely present themselves.

Offline IKN

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 09:57:12 AM »
Currently, commercial wind energy is the most expensive per kW electricity to generate.
Why some many wind farms going up ???
Simple, governmental subsidies !!! They couldn't come close to compeating without them.
If you don't believe me, just watch open market electricity prices. Wind farm operations will under bid going rates even selling it for FREE because they are then subsidized by the government (your tax dollars) for every kilowatt they produce.
Just Google wind energy subsidies. You'd be suprised at how much of our tax dollars goes to subsidize this.
Take away the subsidies and what happened in California will happen all over the US.
The companies will go bankrupt, abandon the windmills to the property owners whos property they rent to erect these, and then the local governments will tax the land owner for the upraised value of the windmill.
Just look at the cost of a small wind turbine a Menards or Lowes. A lot of money for very little potential power generation.
There are people who live by me who bought one of these and installed it spending over $10,000 for the windmill, tower, wiring, etc.
It lasted about 2-3 years before it tossed a blade and now it sets idle too expensive to repair.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 10:09:38 AM »
I echo these sentiments. At current electric rates, (or even double) wind farms are not economically feasible.

"Follow the money."

Look at who is promoting this, how much money will be thrown at it, and who ends up getting the money.

~TG

nelson96

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 10:10:31 AM »
But they are so beautiful scatterd across our landscape.


Offline TexasGirl

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 10:13:42 AM »
But they are so beautiful scatterd across our landscape.



And they screw with our radar defense systems.

~TG. (I'll shut up now)

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 10:30:11 AM »
And they screw with our radar defense systems.

~TG. (I'll shut up now)

They also tend to be located in major migratory flyways. Major bird killers.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-many-birds-do-wind-turbines-really-kill-180948154/

Follow the subsidies and follow the political connections of the corporations and people involved.

General Electric took subsidies and then shut down its turbine manufacturing in the USA, sent jobs to China.  Boone Pickens has ridden the energy subsidy gravy train for decades; first with oil, then tilting windmills, now seeking subsidies for CNG stations. That's just a  couple.

Online David in MN

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 10:36:53 AM »
I always thought the problem was the limit on transmitting power over distance. The highest energy need just isn't where the wind is...

The depreciation schedule on turbines seems to be bogus. Without the gov propping up the industry it probably wouldn't exist. That's not to say it's a bad idea or will never work, it's just not there yet.

Lastly, I get rather pissed off when my government comes up with schemes to save energy. They want to save energy? End a war or two. I'm not sure about the gas mileage on an M1A1 Abrams, but it ain't a Honda Civic. Maybe shut down those big gov motorcades? Does the presidential limo conform to CAFE? How about some telecommuting instead of flying back and forth from a home state to Moscow on the Potomac? Maybe the NSA could turn off a computer or two. Maybe the Library of Congress doesn't need to record every tweet. I'd love to know the annualized energy costs for the white house, congress, senate, capital, pentagon, Air Force 1, Marine 1, Camp David, and every building housing the FBI, CIA, NSA, EPA, FCC, FDIC, FED, etc.

I'm sick of these asshats trying to make me feel guilty about using my toaster while they squander energy constantly.

nelson96

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 10:47:11 AM »
Good point David.  Before they strap me with a "carbon tax" they damn well better have their own house in order.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 02:00:35 PM »
I always thought the problem was the limit on transmitting power over distance. The highest energy need just isn't where the wind is...

The depreciation schedule on turbines seems to be bogus. Without the gov propping up the industry it probably wouldn't exist. That's not to say it's a bad idea or will never work, it's just not there yet.

Lastly, I get rather pissed off when my government comes up with schemes to save energy. They want to save energy? End a war or two. I'm not sure about the gas mileage on an M1A1 Abrams, but it ain't a Honda Civic. Maybe shut down those big gov motorcades? Does the presidential limo conform to CAFE? How about some telecommuting instead of flying back and forth from a home state to Moscow on the Potomac? Maybe the NSA could turn off a computer or two. Maybe the Library of Congress doesn't need to record every tweet. I'd love to know the annualized energy costs for the white house, congress, senate, capital, pentagon, Air Force 1, Marine 1, Camp David, and every building housing the FBI, CIA, NSA, EPA, FCC, FDIC, FED, etc.

I'm sick of these asshats trying to make me feel guilty about using my toaster while they squander energy constantly.

I think affordable small wind and solar makes more sense than Big Wind and Big Solar.  Of course, those give too much self-sufficiency to individuals and communities while cutting into the profits of Big Utilitiesa d their Big Influence on K Street.  Just my $0.02

Offline V8vega

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2014, 12:25:24 PM »
I think affordable small wind and solar makes more sense than Big Wind and Big Solar.  Of course, those give too much self-sufficiency to individuals and communities while cutting into the profits of Big Utilitiesa d their Big Influence on K Street.  Just my $0.02
I agree.
It's interesting to me how this Dinosaur technology is touted as a modern alternative energy source.

Offline Comrad

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Re: U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 08:09:19 PM »
I find myself partially agreeing with a bunch of different points made in this thread.

Firstly, wind absolutely has the potential to provide a large proportion of electricity for a properly developed grid - just not yet. I'm not a huge fan of wind turbines, simply because they're a pain in the ass. They require so much more maintenance and don't have the same reliability as other types of turbines. The fact that wind power isn't consistent in both power and direction isn't just problematic for power production consistency, but also a problem for wear on the machines. I work as an asset engineer for a power production company, working on gas turbines, coal plants, wind farms, solar thermal and PV arrays, the wind farms are mostly just a publicity thing, we get "green-credits" (its a thing in Australia) which gives us better tax breaks when using our fossil fuel plants, as opposed to any real power production profits. 

The idea that renewables can't be used as a base load system is mostly true (except for solar thermal, that's functionally the same as any fossil fuel burning steam turbine). However, I recently attended a Power Productions User conference, and there was some very interesting presentations about the development of batteries, and their feasibility as an industrial electricity storage device. The general opinion is that in the next 7 years, it will be a practical business model for people to simply be able to sell power from very large scale battery banks during peak demand (There are markets here where you get charged different amounts for drawing power at different times of the day). The idea was that you charge your batteries from the grid during the off peak period, and then sell it during the peak periods for a higher price. Kind of a dick move, if you ask me, you're not producing power, just on selling other people's production, but, I suppose, business is about making money, fundamentally. The point is that as greater investigation is made into battery development and manufacture, its looking to be a feasible idea to implement battery storage of renewable generated electricity to sustain the grid when demand increases or generation drops. This is especially true as you see the greater stability of interconnected smart grids, and consider that just because wind isn't blowing where you are, wind can be blowing a couple of hundred miles away, where the systems can be connected to the same grid - the production would almost never stop, just have rises and dips, which would have to be dealt with by having a spinning reserve of gas and hydro peaking stations, battery banks and load shedding banks.

In terms of transmission, that's not too much of a hurdle. HVDC transmission systems are being used more and more frequently, and being found to have really good results. I'm a big fan of Tesla, and AC has a very special place in my heart, but the efficiency of new HVDC systems is undeniable.

Also, in terms of the small scale renewables, they're cool, I like them a lot, I find something really romantic about the idea of having a completely off-grid RAPS system. The truth of the matter is that its simply not as reliable and consistent as a smart-grid connection system, for the fact that consistent generation in one place isn't ever going to happen, and you don't have the same spinning reserve reliability in an off-grid system. A single back-up generator is not the same as 25 gas turbines which can come on almost instantaneously if any other fails.

Finally, about the turbines killing birds. I read that article, I'm not convinced of the evils of gas turbines. It was talking about google results of birds dying near turbines, in particular with collisions. That's birds being stupid and flying into the things. It makes them no different than birds flying into any building, or tree for that matter. You have to remember, a typical rotational velocity for an industrial wind turbine is 17 RPM. They're not chopping birds up as they fly pass, the things are just flying into the towers. I think the reason that you can see the amount of birds that fly into turbines, and not hear about bird fatalities in the woods is because no-one is out in the forrest with a clip-board counting all the birds that fly into trees. When you only have one set of data with nothing to compare it to, its irresponsible to make conclusions from it.