A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Negative Prices and the High Price of Windpower (AWEA's distorting product)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- October 3, 2012

This month, unity was shattered within the wind industry when energy-giant Exelon Corporation broke ranks with other renewable-energy developers and asked Congress to let the production tax credit (PTC) expire in December. Exelon rightfully argued that the subsidy was distorting competitive wholesale energy markets and causing financial harm to other, more reliable clean energy sources.

In a fit of fury, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) voted Exelon “off the island” for insubordination and dismissed their complaint as self-serving, aimed at protecting Exelon’s fleet of Midwest nuclear power plants. AWEA insisted that wind was benefiting ratepayers by driving down consumer electricity prices in the face of “expensive, inflexible generation” like nuclear and coal.

As usual, AWEA positionĀ is easily rebutted. Yes, Exelon is concerned about (bizarre) wind pricing on the rates received by its nuclear power plants.

Overestimating Wind Power Generation: From the UK to New York State

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- June 6, 2011

Wind generation as an intermittent power source adds to the total variability of a regional grid system. A number of studies have been completed that model and analyze wind profiles by region with the intent of better understanding how high penetrations of wind energy might impact system reliability and what steps could be taken to minimize the impacts.

In most cases, these studies are based on available wind data (speed, direction, timing) collected over many years–the type data used by developers forecasting project performance prior to construction. These wind studies are also used by legislators and regulators when evaluating policies that mandate renewable energy development.

Growing evidence from both sides of the Atlantic indicates that performance models based on wind data often promise levels of generation substantially above actual wind power output.