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Further, the problem doesn't show up at 20% in any significant way. In fact, the entire business model is adjusting to variable generation, even if enhanced grid buildout is going slower than planned.

Curtailment is a fact of life in energy generation. There have been periods of wind curtailment in Texas and and the Pacific northwest even with minimal penetration. Mostly due to transmission issues, but in the Bonneville Power Administration, federal regulation just ruled that BPA must not curtail to the extent they have.

Germany has also had minor curtailment periods, and while companies may wish for better efficiency within the system, it gradually changes to meet the circumstances.

We've actually come a long way from 8-10 years ago, when utilities didn't want to hook up more than a few percent, because of perceived problems which turned out not to exist.


or that the entire project gets scubbered when people revolt against ever increasing electricity prices.

Latest surveys here show that Germans willingly would pay more to support a renewable-powered grid.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 09:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Latest surveys here show that Germans willingly would pay more to support a renewable-powered grid.

Not to mention that wind actually lowers prices in Germany, thanks to the merit order effect.

And never mind that onshore wind is now cheaper than new built nukes, as far as can be ascertained by the cost of Flamanville... both technologies are in the 7c/kWh range cost now.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 09:19:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but are they willing to pay increased prices for a natural gas grid? Which is where any actual increase in price is going to come from. Gas is expensive, and going to get more so - the price trend on wind goes the other way. If we fail at building enough storage and connections to phase gas out of the system, then it is a real possibility that the public will simply conclude that renewables are a stalking horse for the gas industry raping their pocket book and throw the baby out with the bathwater.
by Thomas on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 03:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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