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The 23.5% figure in the Wikipedia article comes from the same REF 'report'. Note that anti-wind spin by the REF propagandists came up on ET before (see here, here and here); and a 'report' by another anti-wind belief tank based on basically the same data for the UK also came up (see here).

Utility firm reports alarming drop in renewable power output > National News > News | Click Green

It said this finding is consistent with data from Ireland and Northern Ireland which showed output in 2010 was approximately 23.5%, as compared to 31% in the previous year, and the average figure of 32.3% for the years 2002 to 2009.

I haven't been able to double-check the 23.5% figure itself yet, but it is suspect: say, if they divided annual generation with year-end capacity, that would be a big underestimate due to the significant capacity added last year.

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

by DoDo on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 10:27:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interannual wind resource can vary 20% or more as well. But thanks for digging.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 10:52:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't find a source with detailed stats, but it seems RES didn't invent the number, because Ireland's grid operator writes the following in its 2010 Annual Report:

However 2010 was a highly unusual year with a wind
capacity factor of 23%, significantly lower than the comparative figure of 29-31% over the previous 10 years.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:09:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is well within the realm of the possible. A 30% reduction (30/23-1=30%) in NCF represents a 16% drop in wind speeds (7.3/6.3-1=16%).

Numbers are from the model of my latest project adjusted to get comparable NCFs...

by jam on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 03:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where does the 7.3 and 6.3 come from?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 04:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like 2010 is an outlier compared to previous years if you accept the accuracy of the figures.  This year has been exceptionally windy to date and global warming is predicted to increase wind - bet REF don't factor that in!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 11:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will global warming increase usable wind, or will it increase storms - hurricanes and tornadoes, or will it do both?
 

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 12:45:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Short Answer: nobody knows.

Meso-climate processes, such as El Nino, will obliterate GW affects, increase GW affects, or have no affect on local weather.

'bout the only safe prediction:

Climate is what you expect.  Weather is what you get.

:-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:15:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect it will be different in different parts of the world - Ireland tends not to get Hurricanes and Tornadoes, although we tend to get the the storms to which Hurricanes reduce once they cross the Atlantic - with wind speeds up to c. 100 - 150kph although the latter end is a once in a decade event and the absolute sea level record is a gust of 200KPH in 1974.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Generally known Emergent Properties are an outlier compared to historic data.  What is not generally known is the data gathered in a system with Emergent Properties can be identical with historic data.

This is a real pain when you're trying to Model what's going on.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:24:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Click Green article doesn't bother to link to REF, but the source is here, with this interesting introduction:

Low Wind Power Output 2010

In today's Times (02.02.11) it is reported that Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has published data confirming that its wind turbine fleet has reported a 20% reduction in energy generation in the last year. SSE is said to have released this data in response to requests from concerned shareholders.1

This is consistent with data examined by Renewable Energy Foundation at the request of the Sunday Telegraph, which resulted in a report by Andrew Gilligan to the effect that the UK wind fleet load factor in the year October 2009 to September 2010 was very low in comparison to previous years.2

"Concerned shareholders" and Andrew Gilligan of the Telegraph only have to ask...

REF says it derives its 23.5% number from Eirgrid (no comment on the extremely narrow scale used to provide a dramatic graph - well, that's a comment...):

A footnote refers to:  Eirgrid (Jonathan O'Sullivan), "Facilitating the Transition to a More Competitive, Sustainable, and Low Carbon Electricity Future". Presentation to the Irish Renewable Energy Summit, 20th January 2011, Dundalk.

That presentation isn't online. The Summit has a site where Jon O'Sullivan is mentioned as doing a presentation with that title; but in fact the Speakers' Panel doesn't contain Jon O'Sullivan, and in the PDF brochure the presentation is down to Dermot Byrne, also of Eirgrid. But let's suppose the presentation was done for the conference (where it was followed by REF boss John Constable on wind variability).

Eirgrid offers system data on its site, with a page for Wind Generation. You can download generation stats (at quarter-hour intervals) for the dates you choose. But you don't get (or I didn't find) electricity delivered in MW/h.

As to capacity, the Wikipedia article is weird, since its own reference states:

Irish Wind Energy Association - Wind Energy in Ireland

The current* grid connected and operational installed wind capacity on the island of Ireland is 1746.7 Megawatts (MW) which will on average generate 4,743,339 Megawatt hours (MWh) in a year given a 31% load**or capacity factor.

... *Figures correct on 19/07/10.

According to a report (pdf) by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Eirgrid, total island capacity (NI included) in 2011 is 2,163 MW.

That report is well worth reading in itself (it's quoted in the Wikipedia article re wind lowering costs in such a way as to cover FIT costs). But it doesn't give 2010 capacity. So the 23.5% still needs more digging to be validated.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coincidentally I've been looking at the same site and managed to crash Excel by downloading a years data and trying to graph it!  I suspect most of the confusion is because the situation - both installed base and weather - is changing all the time and the data is therefore very variable.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:37:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I got the 2010 data into Excel - but I don't think it helps to get to the capacity factor.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 02:29:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was more trying to establish was there a secular downward trend which might validate the very low 23% Capacity factor for 2010, and whether the trend for 2011 was upwards of that.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 02:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you make monthly sums? Here you can find end-of-month installed power capacity data from April 2010, monthly capacity factors can be approximated with less uncertainty than annual ones.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 03:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's not MW/h. And the sum is huge. The mean over the month is more like it. So, for April 2010, with an installed capacity of 1308 MW, average production was 239 MW, which (with a few ifs) would correspond to a capacity factor of 18.3%.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 04:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This compares monthly average generation (from Eirgrid data) with capacity as per the pdf you link to.

The colour schemes has nothing to do with the Irish flag, just my fear we may be comparing apples with oranges.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 05:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent work!  I don't see any sign of declining output there - I suspect the production trend line would be slightly upward.  My visual guess would be the average capacity factor is about 25% - higher than that given for 2010, but still below the average of previous years.  Can you confirm?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 06:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IF these are the relevant generation figures to the capacity figures, the percentage varies from 14.6% (June 2010) to 35.6% (Feb 2011), with an average of 23% and a rising trend.

But I'll try to get a longer view if I have time.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 04:32:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The wind generation page at Eirgrid seems currently unobtainable.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 08:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably storm damage - it's pissing rain here at the mo!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 08:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no comment on the extremely narrow scale used to provide a dramatic graph

That isn't even the worst visual spin in it. It's the background image. Look at that subconscious suggestion of a trend.

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

by DoDo on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 02:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 02:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is nothing inherently wrong with a non-zero baseline. The background graphic, any background graphic, is "chartjunk" and shouldn't be used.
by jam on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 03:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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