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I started to read into the Fake Fire Brigade series. My first criticism is regarding this intermittency analysis. They want to represent geographical variation in wind power across Europe by combining Spanish, British and Danish data. IMHO this is improper for multiple reasons:
  • First, unlike the other two, Denmark is small. The effect of this is quite visible on the month-long power diagrams they show: Denmark's variation is by far the strongest. "Normalising" this, instead of gauging North German production, doesn't appear proper.
  • Second, for a full coverage of the time lag of an Atlantic weather zone, you would also need France, Ireland, and Norway or Sweden.
  • Third, all three choices are more influenced by Atlantic weather, but for an all-European grid, Mediterranean weather also counts, e.g. the capacities in Italy, Greece and southeastern France.

Their cross-compatibility analysis is of more interest.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The European grid of the near future will not look like the grid built to accommodate the monopoly/monopsony, centralized technologies and companies of the past. Assuming intelligent choices are made.

The grid will be designed to handle intermittency both in generation and demand, and to handle renewables with both spatial and technological diversity. It will make far more efficient use of accurate weather/generation prediction, as well as advanced notification of load-shedding on the demand side. All compensated with appropriate pricing.

Such a reconception of the grid is already underway, though without enough pressure because of the faults of market-driven decision-making. The complete reconfiguration could easily be done in 20 years, during which existing plants continue their gradually diminishing functions.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The linked post is a comprehensive dismissal of all individual carbon-free balancing options (including geographic and natural balancing, hydro, as well as smart grid), and their combination. I didn't have time for a complete read, but, I saw:

  • They dismiss natural balancing between PV and wind with a sleight of hand, rather than attempting a correlation simulation as they did for geographic balancing. (There is a sea of difference between the ability to provide a perfect balancing and zero contribution.)
  • In the 'combination of all' (which must cobine their earlier errors), it seems they have an exclusive focus on wind power (on proving that high wind power penetration is problematic). They come down to the conclusion that it goes only with gas. I find the argumentation that this is the case only with wind in the mix bizarre. They also wonder what to do with excess wind, as if turbines cannot be stopped when needed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as if turbines cannot be stopped when needed.

And as if there are no accurate wind forecasts on which to base scheduling.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They also wonder what to do with excess wind, as if turbines cannot be stopped when needed.

Pay people to use it. At least that is what Germany did.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:13:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do the windmills take the blame if there is too much electricity? Seems to me that the weatherman must have been wrong, because the day's supply prediction was off. Shouldn't have brought the coal plant up so high today...
by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the owners of the coal plants who say who is to blame...

But soon, these coal-plant owners will own more offshore wind than coal plant capacity...at least in Europe.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  • gas and hydro are compatible with pretty much everything
  • base load technologies are not compatible with each other (direct substitutes)
  • more interesting: wind and solar are seen as neutral

Which points to the logical solution: put as much wind and solar, balance it with demand management, hydro when you can, and gas for flexibility.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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