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I didn't want to answer Starvid and his bias, so i'll put it here.

On the day we dedicated the new wind tunnel, there was enough wind in Schleswig-Holstein that some 120% of the entire Land's energy came from wind.  The rest was either exported or dumped, because the grid is not yet reinforced.  In a sane future, north Germany would have exported southwards a huge slice of the country's needs.  What happened last week was not an anomaly.

Grid balancing with the addition of other technologies, both future renewables and existing plant, is not magic.  Rather, the new paradigm of grid management using existing technology goes up against entrenched archaic views, hence Australia's "25%" number, which comes out of thin air.

The entire Spain has been over 100%, as has Denmark.  This does not mean that wind alone is a solution, for there are times when there is no wind.  But such occurrences point out that we're not talking about technical problems here.

In terms of cost, should we check wind v. natural gas in a few years, since every wind turbine that has paid its debt produces electricity for about a cent and a half... for the next 15 years.

The intermittency argument is a sham red herring from the opposition, period.  No one intends to live with existing grids into the future, because smart grids and cross-border wheeling have already proven themselves.  The E.ons of the world just need a bit of prodding as it were... with some firebrands if necessary.

ferchrissake, there are wind turbines which can black start.

Wind reinforces the grid.  Wind minimizes voltage fluctuations.  Wind diminishes transmission losses.

And wind keeps both local and international economies humming, including all levels of real jobs, from the truck drivers and service techs to the data crunchers to bankers and lawyers.

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

by Crazy Horse on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 06:10:36 PM EST
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OK, you can have much more at times. But you still need significant other sources for when there is no wind, and he was explaining that there was an issue with the speed of ajustment when new power was needed.

What percentage could we have for the whole of Europe (wind and solar combined) in terms of capacity?

Before my friend gets some abuse about this 25%, may I say that he is trying to get his State (Tasmania) to invest more in renewables (combining with hydro would seem to be a good idea there). He would welcome more wind!

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 06:24:46 PM EST
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PS: I don't know about Starvid's bias in that respect, but it seems to me that he was pretty much in agreement with you that wind would have to become much bigger for excessive density to become a problem.

By which time technology may have evolved to make it not a problem at all.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 06:26:27 PM EST
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It's already not a problem where annual incursion is over 20%.  All the short-term backup in virtually all modern grids is already built in.  Demand side management is the new technology which allows for intermittent generation such as wind to co-exist beautifully.

Just think for a moment, over 100% of all electricity in Schleswig-Holstein (which probably includes most of Denmark as well) was for a period from wind.  Not one disco was shut because the turntables revolved too slow.

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

by Crazy Horse on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 06:46:34 PM EST
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if the turntables slowed I would simply change from electronic dancing style to hip-hop dancing style.

The stage 1 and stage 2 energy alerts in California (voluntary energy reduction) have worked in the two years I've lived here. So much of it is purely cultural. Low wind and high temps? Just require commercial lighting to turn off at night so the air conditioners can run.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 07:15:09 PM EST
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Crazy Horse:
ferchrissake, there are wind turbines which can black start.

What do you mean? That they can start without power?

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 07:06:22 PM EST
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Remarkable how optimistic you are, even after living some time in the land of the bread. ;-)



Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 09:03:40 PM EST
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LOL

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 7th, 2008 at 03:40:35 AM EST
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