A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

OVERBLOWN: Where’s the Empirical Proof? (Part IV)

By Jon Boone -- September 16, 2010


 —Marcello Truzzi

How can an ancient source of energy, which

  • continuously destabilizes the balance between supply and demand,
  • is highly variable and unresponsive, and
  • provides no capacity value while inimical to demand cycles

effectively replace the capacity of modern machines and their fuels, in the process removing significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions that are the by-product of the burning of those fuels?

This final post in our four-part series discusses the nature of the scientific method and shows that there are a number of challenges to the claims wind technology can abate meaningful greenhouse gas emissions–challenges that require access to actual wind performance data showing how wind affects thermal behavior throughout the grid.

Any explanation about causation must honestly and transparently account for all variables at play.…

OVERBLOWN: Further Analyses (Part III)

By Jon Boone -- September 15, 2010


Richard Dawkins

This post in our series  looks at how the integration of wind variability affects thermal activity on the grid, favors flexible natural gas generators, and influences economic dispatch and the spot market. It also examines how estimates of carbon emissions are derived and summarizes the limitations of statistically based knowledge. It concludes with a discussion of what Energy Information Administration (EIA) actually says about the causes of carbon emission reductions in the country over the last three years

It is true, as the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) notes, that any wind production must displace some existing generation, but only in terms of electricity–not any of the underlying energy forms transposed into electricity. It is rather due to the stricture that supply match perfectly with demand at all times (and this is another oversimplification of a complicated situation).…

Big Wind: How Many Households Served, What Emissions Reduction? (A Case Study, Part 1 of 2)

By Kent Hawkins and Donald Hertzmark -- January 27, 2010

In the midst of a bitter winter in North America and Europe, General Electric has announced a large wind project to be built in Oregon. Press reports in the Financial Times and USA Today describe a project of 338 machines of 2.5 MW each, giving a total capacity of 845 MW.

With power grids strained due to heating demand, increments to generating capacity are to be welcomed. But along with the usual hoopla about homes served and CO2 emissions savings, it is time for some “devil’s advocacy” by asking: – how much energy and capacity will this project really create? How much CO2 will be saved? And when the chips are down will consumers and grid operators be pleased that their funds have gone into wind rather than into some other generating source?…