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Without grid interconnections to move power away on windy days, or storage facilities to hold the power for weeks, at that point if you add more renewable capacity, you are at best throwing away electrons, at worst, you are blowing up your grid. And this happens at a point where at the very most than a third of all electricity is green. And everything else is gas.

The argument against wind which uses the problems of 100% wind penetration when we are at 5-20% today is a bit unfair. While I understand that we need to think about where we are going in the long term, we can't look at that endpoint on the basis of toddy's system - it will adapt as wind penetration increases and will be a very different animal.

Also, it is highly unlikely that we'll ever get to 100% wind alone - there will be solar, and quite a lot of biomass (which, if you look at statistics, represents a significant chunk of renewable energy generation in a lot of countries), and more than a few countries have more than a bit of hydro to play with. Between that diversity, more grid interconnection and storage (and I fully agree with you that these need to be encouraged) and the residual assets of the current systems, we'll go a long way.

And, ultimately, if you have to curtail wind now and then, it is a pity, but it's not the end of the world either, and it won't represent a material cost unless you've really messed up your system altogether.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 03:55:51 AM EST

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