Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
European Tribune - Is nuclear energy more expensive than offshore wind?
offshore wind, which currently benefits from tariffs in the 120-130 GBP/MWh range in the UK

That's ~160€/MWh. Is the French Senate estimate of 220€/MWh realistic? Are there reasons why UK offshore would be cheaper?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 08:44:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't the UK have access to the North Sea resource?

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 Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 09:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True - the UK has better offshore wind resources than France.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 09:54:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome can confirm, but I'd assume that the main drivers for differences in cost per MWh are in the denominator ~ say, (arbitrary figures) average 40% yield vs average 30% yield. Though there'd also be an establishment cost, which could result in a country with more installed capacity being further down a degressive feed-in tariff schedule.

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 Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 10:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the wind levels on one side, and the balance of project depth and distance to shore (which depends on what your coastal areas is like). The North Sea is unique in not being deep (not beyond 40m and often quite less) over hundreds of square miles. So you don't need bigger foundations as you go further out, only a longer cable. That has a real impact on the cost side.


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 12:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well... the French government is trying to kick-start a homegrown offshore wind industry (against the spirit of the EU which forbids industrial policy of course). They apparently didn't have any such concern in the UK. This presumably adds a bit of cost, because you're talking about creating an industry practically from scratch.

The UK now presumably has a certain amount of sunk-cost infrastructure for servicing the building of offshore farms, lowering the cost of additional farms. I guess.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 09:53:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
220 EUR/MWh is on the high side, given that bids were supposed to be below 175 EUR/MWh in most zones (200 EUR/MWh in a couple) and that you need to add about 20 EUR/MWh for transmission costs.

But yes, the wind resource is not as good off the French coasts as it is off the UL coasts.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 10:02:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the technical side, how are the measurement campaigns set up when the masts should be offshore? Do you build a platform just of the mast offshore or do you trust data points in the vicinity (lighthouses?)?

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 02:57:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't actually need onsite data offshore - correlation with met data from not-too-distant sources is good enough - offshore wind is predictable over long distances and you can use mesoscale studies (modelisation done using NOAA data for instance).

The one tricky issue offshore is wake effect (i.e. the impact of one row of turbines on the production of the row "behind" them) as it can be quite significant (10-30% for individual rows) in some wind directions - both from the wind fair itself as from neighboring ones.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 04:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Some further questions if you have the time...

Do you use raw NOAA data or GFS + validation using other meteorological models? GFS afaik underestimates wind speeds, especially for higher speeds, so I would be curious to see how one corrects for that.

As far as wake losses are concerned, I suppose your regular 2.5/5 diameter rule does not apply... but why is that? Is it because wake effects do not move linearily with rated power?

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 04:27:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What 2.5/5 diameter rule?

Spacing is determined by the energy-weighted wind rose.  But it takes anywhere from 12 to >20 diameters before upwind turbulence has decayed and boundary layer mixing has replenished the energy taken out by the upwind row.

No project developer uses such spacing today, which puts extra load cycles on the downwind turbines in any direction.. There should be a happy medium, with well understood tradeoffs between energy capture and excessive load avoidance. But proper spacing greatly increases cable costs as well, so... it's often not under major consideration.

We'll have to wait for more operational data from the low rpm greater diameter WTs to see how great the problem is before there's a chance of establishing a rule of thumb. This can also be an underestimated problem between projects, when they are clustered with a narrow shipping lane between.

The science is obtained incrementally.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 08:06:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Offshore these days is typically spaced 7 diameters apart in the prevailing wind direction and 5 in the other direction.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 12:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do get higher correlation by having a mast to use as a base station. The most expensive ones are complete research stations, which can be used for wave and current measurement and environmental issues. They can run over €3M, which can be shared between projects. Germany has built two in the North Sea and one in the Baltic. FINO 1 was operational since 2003, and FINO 3 since 2009.

You can visit FINO 1, 2, and 3 on the web, starting in english HERE.  You can get live speed data and images. FINO 3 cost €12M which includes years of research and measurement projects. It measures to 105m, with a 15m lightning rod taking it to 120m.

There are less expensive versions primarily aimed and wind and wave measurement. The technology of floating stations is gradually gaining acceptance as well, or at least entering the market, usually LIDAR or SODAR based. Here's a test of one model:

I believe many of the larger projects will need to have a station, because there is no substitute for onsite data. This can help with power curve verification as well as wake analysis, so should prove cost effective, especially if shared.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jul 19th, 2012 at 05:03:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes - which means you don't need wind masts at every project location, which is what I meant.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 12:19:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. And the FINO masts are a perfect example of valid government funded infrastructure (which you comment on often), which provides significant value to project financing. The German masts were funded by the government, the EU, and private research groups on the studies.

When such base stations are established, then short-term floating LIDAR and turbine sited measurements can be very well-correlated.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jul 20th, 2012 at 01:01:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Impeachment gets real

by ARGeezer - Jan 17
24 comments

A Final Warning

by Oui - Jan 10
112 comments

Environment Anarchists

by Oui - Jan 13
4 comments

More Spanish repression

by IdiotSavant - Jan 6
8 comments

Occasional Series