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Wind Integration Realities: The Netherlands Study (Part II)

By Kent Hawkins -- May 24, 2010

[Editor’s note: This is the second part in a four-part series on two new studies examining the negation of windpower emissions savings from fossil-fuel firming. The Netherlands study below, which is found to be consistent to Mr. Hawkins’s calculator approach, indicates a total negation of emissions savings from fossil-fuel fill-in.]

Windpower has traditionally been considered a substitute for carbon-based energy and thus a strategy for reducing related emissions, including that of carbon dioxide (CO2). However, reality is more complicated. Either natural gas-fired or coal-fired power must rescue wind from its intermittency problem, a role that creates incremental fuel usage and emissions compared to a situation where the conventional capacity could operate on a steadier basis.

Previous studies have highlighted this unsettling tradeoff for proponents of windpower. And a new study by C.

Wind Integration Realities: Case Studies of the Netherlands and of Colorado, Texas (Part I: Introduction)

By Kent Hawkins -- May 22, 2010

There is no convincing proof that utility-scale wind plants reduce fossil fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. Although there are are a number of reports claiming gains can be made that will combat climate change, free us from fossil fuel “addiction,” provide energy independence and needed 21st century industrial development, such reports are not substantiated by definitive and comprehensive analyses.

To determine the actual effects will require long-term time series, at intervals significantly less than one hour, of wind production and fuel consumption due to fast ramping of fossil fuel plants to compensate for wind’s volatility in an electricity system where wind represents approximately at least 1-2% of production.

As opposed to wind proponents’ claims, studies based on actual experience with wind integration are emerging  that demonstrate the fossil fuel and CO2 emissions gains are not valid.…