by Jerome a Paris
Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 10:46:52 AM EST
I've discussed the merit order effect and its economics before (see also here, here or this article for the New Scientist), but it's good to get - again - confirmation from the real world that it's real:
Irish wind generation costs analysed
Wind generation in Ireland does not increase wholesale electricity prices and in fact, the trend is that it lowers them. This is according to a study by Eirgird, the Irish grid operator and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
(...) The report found that although wind generators have high capital costs, they have no short-term costs as they do not consume fuel.
By displacing higher cost fossil fuel generation, wind energy tends to reduce the wholesale cost of producing electricity.
When balanced against other costs, the overall cost impact of wind is less than half of one percent, which is within the study's margin of error.
It concludes that the increased use of wind energy on the Irish electricity system increases Ireland's security of supply and ensures a more diverse fuel supply in the long-term.
Ireland is one of the countries with the highest penetration of wind in its electrical system (more than 10% of total production as of end 2008, and increasing), and as an island, it has to deal with the supposed problem of wind intermittency on its own, something that its grid company, which prepared this report, appears perfectly able to do...
Part of the Wind power series...