Relax, only one day in the year without wind power

Interesting information about the supply of wind power over a 12 month period. Good news everyone! as Professor Farnsworth would say.

The fleet was never totally becalmed, but the lowest recorded day in the year saw output of just 2.7%.

So there was only one day in the year when windpower was effectively zip and we had to live on old fashioned coal and gas. What if one of the old boilers went down? Ask the South Australians.

Not to mention the 29 days when the wind delivered less than 10% of capacity. How much capacity required to meet the 18GW minimum baseload? And the 28+GW at the high point on a hot summer working day.

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13 Responses to Relax, only one day in the year without wind power

  1. Mark M

    The world’s first wind farm.

    Towards 2000 captured the birth of modern renewable wind power in 1981.

    Yes, there was a wind band … it was the only wind, ironically …

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/07/30/4282474.htm

  2. v_maet

    Interesting that they focus on 2015.
    2017 had some terrible reliability issues which I captured here: https://imgur.com/a/TtsmNM0

    Note these were the multi day events, there are plenty of single day events too but the green left say we can get by with storage for a single day so they write them off……….

  3. Tezza

    John Morgan’s post carries all sorts of interesting messages which the average punter doesn’t yet understand, including:
    The wind fleet has to be very widely dispersed to reduce the risk of being becalmed, but that increases grid connection costs and transmission losses, and will hugely increase the amount of landscape despoiled as renewables increase.
    Information about wind is quite good, so the best sites are already taken. Incremental capacity will have less capacity.
    “As more wind is added, the flexibility of the rest of the grid will have to increase proportionately – double the wind energy would require about 40 MW/min ramp rate. But this additional ramping ability must be delivered by the shrinking dispatcheable generator sector. So the intrinsic flexibility of the rest of the grid must increase, and faster than in simple proportion to wind penetration. Practically that means increasingly strong pressure to shift from coal generation to gas as wind share grows.”
    These and other factors mean the economic devastation by renewables has barely begun.

  4. RobK

    Tezza,
    These and other factors mean the economic devastation by renewables has barely begun.

    Unfortunately the zealots see they have a bottomless bucket of money and are profiting well from an economy sized experiment.
    I know they will not reach their nirvana of 100% RE with our economy intact. But their profiteering means it wont be for the lack of trying.

  5. not a flutter!

    The Donghai Bridge offshore wind farm in the sea (harbour) outside Shanghai has 20 to 40 or massive windmills (the blades are humongous). As I was flying into the airport I tried to count them and also counted how many were turning. Alas, literally only a few!

    Bemused.

  6. wal1957

    Belief will always override reality.
    The reality is that without so-called ‘firming’, renewables are basically useless.
    Firming is the zealots term they now use for reliable fossil based 24/7 power generators.
    The country is being led over the cliff by our incompetent politicians.

  7. Biota

    I know they will not reach their nirvana of 100% RE with our economy intact.
    Meaning that nirvana can’t be reached because as the economy retracts so do the subsidies.

  8. RobK

    Biota,
    Presently RE is parsiting by a forced impost on coal power. When coal is gone it will need to find some other subsidy. Wind turbines only last around twenty years.

  9. braddles

    Averaging outputs over 24 hours is also misleading. It is the minimum output on any given day that is critical, since that determines the amount of spinning backup that is required that day.

  10. Kneel

    “How much capacity required to meet the 18GW minimum baseload?”

    Obvious, really – somewhere between 180GW (assume 10% capacity) to 720GW (assume 2.5% capacity).

    On the plus side, no-one will complain they have been forced to endure a wind farm when others don’t, because if we need >720GW of wind turbines, there’ll be one on every corner…

  11. hzhousewife

    The country is being led over the cliff by our incompetent politicians.

    and being advised by the most uneducated scientists ever produced.

    Rafe, please keep going with your short articles, I find them very handy to share and print out. We have to dispel ignorance even if it is one person at a time.

  12. Rafe Champion

    Thanks braddles, that is the point I have been pushing, averages fail to convey the essential message, I came down to days to get away from weeks, months and the whole year but you are right, the critical period depends on the storage, for example the Elon Musk battery attached to one wind farm in SA will last about 2 hours (I think).
    This is sort of academic as long as the spinning reserve is there to maintain the illusion that all is well (barring brown outs and instructions to big users to cut back etc).
    So even with massive replication of that battery, there is only two hours grace. Of course the battery is only there to allow some time to phase in power through the interconnector, not as a serious backup for the system.

  13. Rafe Champion

    Thanks, I will have to work on that to get straight on the details. Still the point is that all the bells and whistles attached to the grid to facilitate the energy revolution are just expensive ornaments at best until the storage problem is resolved and we are freed from the absolute requirement to maintain coal for 90 to 100% 9f the baseload.

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