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Seems to me that the problem is not so much in getting wind penetration above 30 percent, as in what to do with the over-production that will become increasingly more common then. Spillage is not nice, and you can only export so much to neighbouring countries (where there will tend to be high winds at the same time).

Actually it's an interesting situation: "free" electricity nowhere to go. In Germany (where the same problem is already seen due to grid limitations) they are experimenting with electrolytically producing hydrogen, to be added to the natural gas network. Hmm.

by mustakissa on Mon Oct 22nd, 2012 at 09:54:26 AM EST
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In a broader regional grid, where the "need to spill wind" is a net over Northern and Western Europe, and so a fraction of the "need to spill wind" in the UK alone, time-shifting Scandinavian conventional hydro-power and a modest amount of added reverse pumped hydro capacity seems like it could cope with quite a lot of storage capacity.

And then there are consumer side technologies to take advantage of a smart grid, which would all kick into top gear when "surplus" power is offered for little more than a transmission infrastructure surcharge.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Oct 22nd, 2012 at 12:06:58 PM EST
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What's wrong with spilling a bit of excess wind?

Suppose the wind segment cost was zero; in that case, whether you spill or not doesn't matter at all, right? So the importance of utilizing every Watt of wind blowing by is going to depend on the relative cost of the total wind infrastructure compared to the conventional infrastructure...

by asdf on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 11:46:59 AM EST
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