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Concise and to the point. Kudos.

I would like to bring up a point sure to spark debate at New Scientist.  You say here at ET:

"going on to suggest that established producers are hostile to further penetration of wind in electricity generation because it deprives them of windfall gains on high spot prices."


So the MOE is good for consumers - but what about the big picture? We believe that, paradoxically, it spurs opposition to renewables among energy companies, and discourages investment in them.

Imagine you run a utility company with coal-fired or nuclear plants. From your perspective, wind power is causing you to lose out on the windfall cash previously provided by high spot prices at times of peak demand. Will you be inclined to look favourably on plans to increase the share of wind power in total electricity generation?

Many of the prime investors and project developers in offshore wind are indeed the very utility companies, with coal and other fossil fuels as well as substantial nuclear facilities, who take on the higher costs and risks.  RWE, E.On, Vattenfall, SSE (Scottish & Southern), Stadtoil, Dong, and onward... it seems you're inviting some backlash.

Figuring out the relative benefits and negatives regarding wind for a coal-heavy utility like RWE is complex.  I don't disagree that these utilities may at the top be somewhat hostile (or worse) to wind in general.  At the same time, they are often our current employers.

I'm meeting with one in less than an hour.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jul 29th, 2010 at 09:42:56 AM EST

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