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The Wind Energy Delusion

  • 07-03-2011 11:22am
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    This issue will move to centre stage over the next year or two. I thought I would summarise the issues. The contra case is put rather well here.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/innovation/2011/0225/1224290376016.html

    The problem with wind is that we need 100% redundancy ( more or less)

    If we install 40% wind as a % of generation capacity we need to install an EQUAL amount of backup , typically Gas. This Gas costs a fortune because it is not guaranteed a grid slot save when the wind does not blow. Then it is ordered online as a backup.

    Currently we have 1700Mw of wind. Wind operates at 35% efficiency on AVERAGE and 60% at PEAK but in high pressure conditions like we have at present it can be as low as 0.1% . On Saturday morning 05 March 2011 at 9.45am this wind plant produced a grand total of 8MW across the island, 0.5% Efficiency. Had this slump in output occured during a peak demand event ....around 6PM on a Cold Thursday evening in January we would have spun up 100s of MWs of Gas and paid handsomely for every Kilowatt.

    The detailed case referred to in the irish Times link is in this document here
    http://www.iae.ie/site_media/pressroom/documents/2011/Feb/28/IAE_Energy_Report_Web_17.02.2011.pdf

    The case FOR wind is that it is 'free' . I left the telly on last night and along came Duncan :( Thankfully he reminded me of why we got rid of Eamon Ryan and company.

    http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1092913

    The grow and digest grass idea is fairly risible but the case for wind is even more so. Nor is there a consensus as Duncan says. The only consensus is the one between the Greens and Siemens who get to sell their generation product at the double when the greens meddle in the market. How Siemens must miss Eamon :(

    Duncan peddles ultradaft green myths such as us exporting "€50bn" of electricity ( 3 mins 30 in) a year to Europe. This will not happen...end of :(

    We may find that offshore ( floating) wind will deliver a more reliable baseload of wind energy in future...some 5 years plus down the line.

    However for now we have gone as far as is prudent and if we continue down this line we will find ourselves in more than just a spot of bother.


«13

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    I don't think anybody is advocating 100% wind generated power. It's included in the production mix to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

    We should be building wind turbines as a part of policy and there is an opportunity to export the excess production. Wind is unpredictable as you correctly say but "smart grids" should allow us efficiently switch between power sources.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    damn you SpongeBob i was going to start a thread regarding the document few days ago but got carried away with work :)

    the Conclusions and Recommendations section at the start is damning and has given weight to what I have been suspecting for some time now, we are all being taken for an expensive ride by vested interests (sounds familiar?).


    @BrianD interconnection does not lead to more independence

    In 2010 as per Eirgrid figures (download and see yourself) at any point of time during the year (the data is at half hourly intervals) wind was generating on average of 300MW out of an average of 1500MW installed in 2010

    thats a dismally small 20% availability

    now consider that all existing windfarms are the low hanging fruit at some of the best sites spread all over country, basic statistics would tell you that even if we increase wind generation 10 fold the availability figure wont improve much


    aside: at the time of this post only 45MW is being generated out of installed 1800MW :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    But ultimately does it make any difference?

    Wind is just one available energy production source. The reality is that with the eventual demise of fossil fuels that electricity production is going to become more expensive. At the moment we still have the luxury of available fossil fuels that can be burned on demand in as established production pattern. This won't last for ever.

    This is where the nuclear option comes into focus!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    There's a number of howling errors in the case put forward by the Engineers group, not least around gas prices (now vs two years ago), around the impact of shale gas on prices now and in the future (developers are betting on higher prices, not lower), and around the link between gas and oil prices. Gas prices have been climbing steadily over the last while, and are significantly higher than they were two years ago (even before the recent spike due to the middle east difficulties - 59p/therm at 11:50 on 7/3/11) - similarly, the report takes no account of how the gap between UK and Irish gas prices has changed over the last while, and how that will affect electricity price dynamics in the coming years. This will have an effect on our retail electricity prices in the medium term. Moreover, while Corrib may have an effect on our physical security of supply, it will have little or no effect on prices (prices will still be determined by the p/therm rate in the UK market, but gas will be available less the interconnector charges).

    Probably most importantly, the report fails to mention the fact that we have binding targets for 2020 in terms of renewable energy penetration (at least I couldn't find any mention of 2009/28/EC?). So essentially the IAE has completely ignored the fact that failure to meet these targets will result in fines being levied against the State, and chosen to concentrate entirely on GHG emissions targets. 'Evidence based policy making', my bottom!

    There are some very valid points made - the point about exporting electricity is well made - we already do on a small scale, but any large scale exports are at least a decade away - we have more immediate problems, and the cost of jumping before we have a guaranteed market could be huge. The same applies to offshore wind, ocean energy stuff, and the digestion of grass in AD plants - nice ideas lads, but we have much cheaper ways of bringing electricity to market.

    The actual effect of wind on electricity prices is well examined here;

    http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_Modelling_Group/Impact_of_Wind_Generation_on_Wholesale_Elec_Costs/Impact_of_Wind_Generation_on_Wholesale_Electricity_Prices_in_2011.html

    Also, before you embark on a politicised rant Spongebob, perhaps you might consider who stands to gain from the IAE piece? Y'know companies that sell gas, gas generation equipment, or electricity generated from gas, and that employ lots of members of professional organisations? It smacks of naivete to suggest that the IAE are entirely neutral participants in this.

    Also, terminology - the 'availability' or 'efficiency' of wind plant referred to here is more properly referred to as the 'capacity factor'. Our CFs are generally far better than elsewhere in Europe (averaging at around 32%, but much better in some areas. Similarly, this;

    "If we install 40% wind as a % of generation capacity we need to install an EQUAL amount of backup , typically Gas. This Gas costs a fortune because it is not guaranteed a grid slot save when the wind does not blow. Then it is ordered online as a backup."

    is misleading (even if the backup piece is theoretically the case, you have to consider the role of EWIC too). There is little need to 'install' new gas plant - the IAE report already states that there is sufficient capacity for the next 10 years, due in part to the large scale investment in the recent past. Existing plant can be retained; it'll just use less gas as more wind comes on stream. Also, it doesn't 'cost a fortune' - plants bid in for the required pool market capacity - if they can't compete, they don't run.

    In reality, you've already undermined your own position. Wind is producing very little this morning, and yet the lights are on. So there is sufficent capacity. The same applies at periods of peak demand. So, unless demand spikes (highly unlikely), there is sufficient conventional generation capacity to cover requirements. Without wind on the system, we would be paying 'handsomely' for imported gas all the time, instead of some of the time.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    BrianD wrote: »
    But ultimately does it make any difference?

    Wind is just one available energy production source. The reality is that with the eventual demise of fossil fuels that electricity production is going to become more expensive. At the moment we still have the luxury of available fossil fuels that can be burned on demand in as established production pattern. This won't last for ever.

    This is where the nuclear option comes into focus!

    Yes it does make a difference since people and businesses of this country are subsidising the wind industry to the tune of several billion a year, directly and indirectly

    this leads to a less competitive economy based on expensive and unreliable energy source, which leads to higher prices for all and less jobs

    last i checked the economy is on its knees, why self inflict expensive and unreliable energy on us at a time when gas is so cheap and nuclear looks like a more practical alternative from both cost and carbon reduction angles

    As for demise of fossil fuels. what demise? gas reserves have been revised upwards with the recent gas revolution giving the world few hundred more years of gas (hey maybe we crack fusion by then) with prices for at least the next decade guaranteed to be cheap

    wind is not cheap, here is from a report by our own Eirgrid

    sxn4.png



    @Aidan1

    you are placing more weight on a report from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (no vested interest there no?)
    yet are trying to dismiss reports from Eirgrid and now a report from Engineering body?


    What's next you be waving newspaper articles from estate agents telling us that there has never been a better time to buy.

    How many reports from various bodies and past experience in other countries would you need to realise that we are being politically directed (while ignoring demand and existing infrastructure) on an expensive one way bet on wind.

    Sure a politically created and grown bubble in construction has worked out great for this country :( lets repeat our mistakes again

    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Also, terminology - the 'availability' or 'efficiency' of wind plant referred to here is more properly referred to as the 'capacity factor'. Our CFs are generally far better than elsewhere in Europe (averaging at around 32%, but much better in some areas.

    nope: under 20% in 2010, less during December when we needed energy the most


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Dismissing Nuclear from the mix...as we did in the 1990s...has really tied our hands. However I have long advocated a particular strategy there and Nuclear has its own thread...lets keep this for wind shall we ????

    Our problem with wind is that it is utterly unreliable and requires full backup. Therefore we replace say 1000Mw of reliable fossil with 1000mw of wind + 1000Mw of Fossil backup for wind.

    To make matters more complex that 1000MW is at 30% efficiency and we have insufficient Interconnects to dump a surplus 1000MW at 60% efficiency ....as can happen on a blowy day. Scratch that plan too. :(

    The Floating Offshore wind case is being made at present, the first significant installation was the Hywind turbine off Norway ( 2 full winters back and i stated a thread in here at the time) and this recent article covers some aspects of the technology.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/11/floating-turbines-reliable-wind

    Including this fascinating looking yoke

    http://www.nova-project.co.uk/

    However large scale floating wind deployment is 5 years away right now and the Engineers report suggesting we stall for 5 years dovetails with that timescale. We already know that onshore wind is utterly unreliable.

    For the moment I understand that proposed large offshore 5MW+ ( not floating) turbines are to be manned...a la lighthouses.

    This is simply in order that they can deliver adequate uptimes and therefore RoI and Grid Planners are working these factors in when considering connections. :)

    As I write this our entire installed 1700MW of Wind Capacity is banging out a whopping 45MW, less than 3% of nominal capacity.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    The most interesting part of this report is the arguments for gas

    hydrocarbon will run out someday arguments is no way to run an economy when in the real world the last few years there has been a revolution in gas extraction with gas reserves being revised upwards and cheap gas being available for at least the next decade, to dismiss gas is silly when at the time of us writing these posts the energy powering our computers is gas

    we should be making use of this cheap energy to rebuild the economy instead of making the economy more uncompetitive

    as for nuclear (we already have threads on that, dont need another one!) the report doesnt go into it, but the graph on page 12 is interesting, we would be mad to ignore nuclear if we seriously wish to reduce carbon, so does the whole world as per IEA's 450 scenario


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    cheap gas being available for at least the next decade, to dismiss gas is silly when at the time of us writing these posts the energy powering our computers is gas

    No one is dismissing gas, it's a critical part of our energy mix, it's clean, it's efficient, it can be used in a variety of different applications, it's relatively plentiful, and will remain so for at least 30 years.

    The cost of it is a different matter - futures prices are rising, and we are very heavily dependent on it. As we saw in 2008, we really feel the impact of gas prices in our electricity sector. Wind is a hedge against that, as well as a means of delivering our renewables targets. It's not a panacea either, and it brings real capacity costs, particularly in terms of capacity prices in the SEM. But it's a lot better than some seem to give it credit for.

    The nuclear discussion should really be had around the future of coal - they would share the same place on the dispatch/schedule.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    I totally agree that Nuclear and Coal should together. Nuclear is about replacing Moneypoint. However we are installing Gas ANYWAY as a backup for wind but we must pay marginal prices on Gas burned in that plant not long term prices which are more predictable.

    Furthermore we are committed to add more of this uneconomic marginally priced gas as we add wind. Do we even have sufficient interconnection to bring the Gas in to handle a winter peak....when no wind is blowing for days in cold weather and we spin up Gas instead???

    Has this interconnection been costed ??? That Shannon LPG terminal is a dead duck as I understand it. The state would not issue them a foreshore licence and the finance people involved pulled out because of the uncertainty...as well as the IMF landing.

    If they can't get a foreshore licence and them fully cleared with An Bord Pleanala what chance does a gas pipe on the east coast have ??


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭✭ luohaoran


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    This issue will move to centre stage over the next year or two. I thought I would summarise the issues. The contra case is put rather well here.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/innovation/2011/0225/1224290376016.html

    The problem with wind is that we need 100% redundancy ( more or less)

    If we install 40% wind as a % of generation capacity we need to install an EQUAL amount of backup , typically Gas. This Gas costs a fortune because it is not guaranteed a grid slot save when the wind does not blow. Then it is ordered online as a backup.

    Currently we have 1700Mw of wind. Wind operates at 35% efficiency on AVERAGE and 60% at PEAK but in high pressure conditions like we have at present it can be as low as 0.1% . On Saturday morning 05 March 2011 at 9.45am this wind plant produced a grand total of 8MW across the island, 0.5% Efficiency. Had this slump in output occured during a peak demand event ....around 6PM on a Cold Thursday evening in January we would have spun up 100s of MWs of Gas and paid handsomely for every Kilowatt.

    The detailed case referred to in the irish Times link is in this document here
    http://www.iae.ie/site_media/pressroom/documents/2011/Feb/28/IAE_Energy_Report_Web_17.02.2011.pdf

    The case FOR wind is that it is 'free' . I left the telly on last night and along came Duncan :( Thankfully he reminded me of why we got rid of Eamon Ryan and company.

    http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1092913

    The grow and digest grass idea is fairly risible but the case for wind is even more so. Nor is there a consensus as Duncan says. The only consensus is the one between the Greens and Siemens who get to sell their generation product at the double when the greens meddle in the market. How Siemens must miss Eamon :(

    Duncan peddles ultradaft green myths such as us exporting "€50bn" of electricity ( 3 mins 30 in) a year to Europe. This will not happen...end of :(

    We may find that offshore ( floating) wind will deliver a more reliable baseload of wind energy in future...some 5 years plus down the line.

    However for now we have gone as far as is prudent and if we continue down this line we will find ourselves in more than just a spot of bother.

    This has to be the weakest post I've ever read from you SB.
    Such a lame effort at stating the "FOR" side.
    This kind of input offers nothing like an intelligent debate on the subject.
    I know you can do better.

    The problem with wind energy as you rightly point out is a lack of storage.
    Storage requires investment, and also , better interconnection with the UK and Europe.
    Nuclear is not politically feasible, even though it should have happened years ago.
    Lets not make the same mistake by allowing vested interests continue to slander the wind option, by failing to recognize the full benefit of home grown energy and the solutions that are there for storage and distribution.

    Wouldn't it be better to discuss how we can best utilize the energy sources at our disposal, rather than find excuses to allow us to cling on to energy sources that most countries now realize are in their twilight.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    No one is dismissing gas, it's a critical part of our energy mix, it's clean, it's efficient, it can be used in a variety of different applications, it's relatively plentiful, and will remain so for at least 30 years.

    The cost of it is a different matter - futures prices are rising, and we are very heavily dependent on it. As we saw in 2008, we really feel the impact of gas prices in our electricity sector. Wind is a hedge against that, as well as a means of delivering our renewables targets. It's not a panacea either, and it brings real capacity costs, particularly in terms of capacity prices in the SEM. But it's a lot better than some seem to give it credit for.

    The nuclear discussion should really be had around the future of coal - they would share the same place on the dispatch/schedule.

    Oil prices rose in 2008 due to speculation
    Oil prices are rising now due to long overdue political revolutions in Middle east and Africa


    To point at prices rising for a variety of reasons and say oh the oil is running out is disingenuous


    BTW all those wind-generators require tons of rare earths which are 95% controlled by China and are not environmentally friendly to extract
    We will not become less dependant but more and on a single authoritarian regime with complete disregard for its peoples health and the environment


    aside: I am not against wind power, i am against distorting policies and multibillion euro subsidies direct and indirect


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    luohaoran wrote: »
    This has to be the weakest post I've ever read from you SB.
    Such a lame effort at stating the "FOR" side.

    Duncan it was who battered my intention to state FOR case out of me last night so I linked it and left him to do it for me...starting with €50bn of exports a year and then it only gets better and better. :) Rare earths are currently controlled by China but that can change EI and you should admit that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,072 ✭✭✭ Heroditas


    €50bn?
    Not even Steorn of Ireland make claims as wild as that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,750 ✭✭✭✭ bnt


    Well, I've never expected wind power to be a total solution, but if it leads to a major drop in the use of fossil fuels, that's a good enough reason to investigate it. Hydroelectric capacity could do with being increased, and that can also serve to fill in the gaps when the wind isn't sufficient.

    The big point that some commentators seem to be missing is this: renewables can't seriously be expected to fully replace the sheer quantity of energy being used today. Energy use must be reduced, all cross the board. Better-built houses, more efficient appliances and transport, lower transmission losses, and so on - whatever it takes. We can argue over whether the hydrocarbons are going to run out in 2030, 2112 or 2525, but they're going get too expensive long before they run out, so we may as well make plans to use as little of them as is reasonably possible.

    Parvi enim sunt foris arma, nisi est consilium domi.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    Ei.Sdraob,

    I've explained this to you before, but apparently I have to do so again. fair enough.

    Firstly, how long do oil prices have to stay above $100pb before you accept that high energy prices are here to stay? The present high is due to difficulties in the middle east, but they had gone to $90+ on the basis of pure demand, and that was before the recent figures on the US recovery. I'm not saying the stuff is running out (it is, of course, but very slowly). Instead I'm saying it (and gas) is getting increasingly expensive, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, driven largely by increased demand in the BRIC countries. This is real, and it is happening.

    This is the gas price graph for the last 18 months;

    https://www.theice.com/marketdata/reports/ReportCenter.shtml?reportId=90&productId=236&hubId=377

    Again, 60% of our electricity is produced from gas. Can you see the risk associated with this? For the record, it shows a rise from 22.5p/therm in Oct 09, to 56p/therm last Friday (it's over 59p today). So prices have increased by nearly 2 and a half times in the last 18 months, but the IAE seem to have missed this completely, what with all of their talk about the '5 year period of low gas prices'? Curious, no?

    You will note that the report published by SEAI was co-written by someone from Eirgrid? Again, capacity factors for Irish windfarms are around the 32% mark - higher in some places.
    How many reports from various bodies and past experience in other countries would you need to realise that we are being politically directed (while ignoring demand and existing infrastructure) on an expensive one way bet on wind.

    This woolly allegation that there is somehow a politically driven bubble in wind is very interesting. True, there is a potential bubble there, (what with the tens of GW stacked up in the queue), but right now, with our present penetration, it doesn't exist. To be clear, the State (both the taxpayer and consumer) is effectively 'de-risked' by policy measures like REFIT. If wind farms cease to become profitable, they cease to operate - the State is not bound to give operators a livelihood, all it has done is guarantee a price (which is probably going to be below the SMP by mid year).


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭✭ luohaoran


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Duncan it was who battered my intention to state FOR case out of me last night so I linked it and left him to do it for me...starting with €50bn of exports a year and then it only gets better and better. :) Rare earths are currently controlled by China but that can change EI and you should admit that.

    Sigh.., with friends like Duncan and Eamonn...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Ei.Sdraob,

    I've explained this to you before, but apparently I have to do so again. fair enough.

    Firstly, how long do oil prices have to stay above $100pb before you accept that high energy prices are here to stay? The present high is due to difficulties in the middle east, but they had gone to $90+ on the basis of pure demand, and that was before the recent figures on the US recovery. I'm not saying the stuff is running out (it is, of course, but very slowly). Instead I'm saying it (and gas) is getting increasingly expensive, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, driven largely by increased demand in the BRIC countries. This is real, and it is happening.

    This is the gas price graph for the last 18 months;

    https://www.theice.com/marketdata/reports/ReportCenter.shtml?reportId=90&productId=236&hubId=377

    Again, 60% of our electricity is produced from gas. Can you see the risk associated with this? For the record, it shows a rise from 22.5p/therm in Oct 09, to 56p/therm last Friday (it's over 59p today). So prices have increased by nearly 2 and a half times in the last 18 months, but the IAE seem to have missed this completely, what with all of their talk about the '5 year period of low gas prices'? Curious, no?

    You will note that the report published by SEAI was co-written by someone from Eirgrid? Again, capacity factors for Irish windfarms are around the 32% mark - higher in some places.



    This woolly allegation that there is somehow a politically driven bubble in wind is very interesting. True, there is a potential bubble there, (what with the tens of GW stacked up in the queue), but right now, with our present penetration, it doesn't exist. To be clear, the State (both the taxpayer and consumer) is effectively 'de-risked' by policy measures like REFIT. If wind farms cease to become profitable, they cease to operate - the State is not bound to give operators a livelihood, all it has done is guarantee a price (which is probably going to be below the SMP by mid year).


    What does the price of oil have to do with Irish electricity generation? most of our electricity comes from gas.

    if you believe so strongly in ever rising oil prices then put your life savings into it and see how that ends up, having a countries energy policy based on this simplism is madness

    and where are you getting 32% from :confused: if you bother to go to the Eirgrid site you would see that in 2010 at any time only 19-20% of the installed wind capacity was producing electricity, the data is all there, go open up excel and see for yourself


    as for subsidies, the single electricity market while a good idea with its half hourly bids, was hijacked by wind interests who get preferential treatment, when the wind blows their electricity has to be bought even if that means switching of a plant which could be costly and lead to equipment wear and tear, that is one way in which we are indirectly subsidising wind

    the market should be setup to reward the cheapest and most efficient generators

    it is not the job of the state to be subsidising the private sector in this manner, like I said this is the same line of thinking that got the country into the mess we are in, sure you can never have enough homes and offices, right? right? and oil property prices only ever go up ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    As usual, in this country we are doing things arseways! In order to reduce energy prices and provide energy security we need to sort out our baseload supply first. Moneypoint will be obsolete in the next 10-20 years it should be replaced with nuclear power (although not necessarily in that location). Wind energy can only ever be a supplementary source of energy, because it is intermittent in nature, yet we are prioritising it over a stable baseload supply. We should focus on providing a number of small nuclear reactors, which would reduce the amount of greenhouse gas we emit faster and cheaper than building wind farms. Once we have a reliable baseload supply in place we should look at wind, wave, etc. but not before then.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    There is a sticky on top for the Coal > Nuclear case Pete take it there. The Wind > Gas case is different and is not really analagous to baseload. In essence Wind is basically a backup for Gas in Ireland for Midmerit capacity.

    The Spirit of Ireland case / Certain types of Gas / Turlough Hill issue is about peaking...the few hours a day..typically 4-7pm weekdays when you KNOW you need extra welly on the grid and when it cannot be imported. It is a short but rather predictable peak. Baseload + if you wish.

    My view is that Wind is a backup for gas...the way we did it. NOT the other way around. I would not allow any further wind onto the grid absent Interconnection and contract for despatch on it OR Gas ( open or closed) but despatchable. Some easy jargon reading here if one wishes.

    By buying into a Gas with Wind backup regime we see the total cost stack. We see the cost of interconnection/contracts for despatch and/or Gas and gas contracts together with wind as a statistically significant panacea for these high costs. We can also work out whether we need to store gas in a despatachable form for cold periods with no wind in winter.

    The current system is to pay top dollar for wind and top dollar for gas when there is no wind. Seimens must have creamed themselves at this fabulous win win scenario where Eamon Ryan would buy twice the grid capacity we needed. It is completely different in Denmark where they can fall back on Norwegian hydro over short interconnectors if required and Siemens don't make much extra dosh on it.

    If we consider this total package is too expensive we have the choice of converting some to a baseload contract ...possibly nuclear and possibly coal ....I know Moneypoint is getting old but there is a lot of coal out there :) Then we can revisit the remainder of the non baseload midmerit again...obviously less of it. If we find more wind blowing than the midmerit contract allows then shucks, let them pay electric car owners to store the surplus in their batteries. :D

    Sadly I hear the same old green bull**** from the new Labour and FG incumbents. We need to revisit the entire mix and we need to make sure that Duncan and his acolytes don't get their chance to bankrupt us like they plan to do if given the chance.

    We need a smart grid with load sheeding and load blocking and starting slots for demand together with granular and dynamic spinup slot bidding driven by the customer. We cannot have that in Ireland now because we have insufficent broadband penetration. A modern low latency broadband always on and ubiquitous network is actually an essential part of a modern energy grid and enables demand management and that dopey green bollix who was voted out last week could never really understand that much less act on it :(

    I would make connection to ANY publically FTTH network contingent on the user adopting a smart meter and standards based SGIP (home-to-grid (h2g) building-to-grid (b2g) industry-to-grid (i2g) vehicle-to-grid (v2g) communications across it) / IEEE1901 inhouse connectivity for Grid to Consumer and Consumer to Grid demand management and predictive near real time grid despatch dimensioning and data collection so that mid merit / expensive gas is not spun up when it is simpler to tell us not to turn the shagging oven on for 10 minutes....and telling the oven itself not to turn on while we are at it :) Then again if you must turn the oven on do be prepared to bid a price for the slot and then it gets the go code.

    The most complex part of the whole mix is firewalling the shaggin kettle against bill shock :D

    Oddly that tells you that Fibre once provisioned can never be disconnected even if you don't have an IP service over it ....but shucks. This is the modern world guys :)

    Betting the farm on Wind alone, that is utter utter insanity. No matter what Duncan says m'kay !!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,361 mgmt


    I really don't think Wind has much of a place in the future except bankrupting us. Although, I can see a bright future in solar power :). For instance, its been said that at 1$ a watt solar competes with coal production. ATM you can buy solar for less than a dollar. e.g http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=pv_systems&id=1234&type=GT And the cost of solar is coming down with the rise of thin-film solar.

    I certainly don't advocate government intervention. Capitalism will prevail and will provide for the energy security of tomorrow.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Precisely how do you store solar during a winter peak between 4 and 7pm :( How do you 'despatch' solar in Ireland FFS save by robbing car batteries that are hooked to car rooftop panels that were not underground all day ??


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    None of the defenders of Wind have given any real explanation as to how the capital costs of having 100% redundancy in response to calm cold winter days is a viable way forward.

    If you look back at the wind power numbers for the week leading up to xmas when the (pre recession) peak electric demand occurs there have been 3-8 day total calm spells over the entire country. So our peak electric demand is supplied by expensive gas who need to recoup their costs in a very short time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭✭ luohaoran


    None of the defenders of Wind have given any real explanation as to how the capital costs of having 100% redundancy in response to calm cold winter days is a viable way forward.

    If you look back at the wind power numbers for the week leading up to xmas when the (pre recession) peak electric demand occurs there have been 3-8 day total calm spells over the entire country. So our peak electric demand is supplied by expensive gas who need to recoup their costs in a very short time.

    A couple of large hydro-storage projects would go some way to mitigating it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Precisely how do you store solar during a winter peak between 4 and 7pm :( How do you 'despatch' solar in Ireland FFS save by robbing car batteries that are hooked to car rooftop panels that were not underground all day ??

    Spongebob has a point here, I have solar water heater in the roof, it only started working again last week when we got few clear sunny days, last I seen it work was end of October, thats a long time to go smelly if it wasnt for oil :P

    As for solar photovoltaic while I keep reading about all sorts of breakthroughs, but when I tried to get pricing for installation of one the numbers where crazy, no payback time to be seen in sight. Of course we have some vested interests calling for higher subsidies (on top of the existing one of 19c) to make solar and home wind more appealing, tho as seen in Spain once the solar subsidy was removed the market collapsed since it simply made no financial sense.

    I have a windy hilltop site was also looking into home wind generator but again I could not arrive at a payback period on this side of the thing breaking down.

    luohaoran wrote: »
    A couple of large hydro-storage projects would go some way to mitigating it.

    Eirgird put a capital figure of €1,200/kWh for a Spirit of Ireland type vapourware project
    One such proposal is to develop sea water based pumped storage schemes in the U-shaped
    valleys on the west coast to create relatively large amounts of storage capacity and then be
    run to offset the intermittency of wind and marine generation. Plans include up to 2GW of
    generating capacity with up to 200GWh of storage, enough to run the plant at full load for 100
    hours. This compared to the 1.8GWh (6 hours) available at Turlough Hill. Using the sea as
    the lower reservoir could help lower costs – we have based our analysis on capital costs of
    €1,200/kW but in our experience each project has very individual cost characteristics.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    None of the defenders of Wind have given any real explanation as to how the capital costs of having 100% redundancy in response to calm cold winter days is a viable way forward.

    If you look back at the wind power numbers for the week leading up to xmas when the (pre recession) peak electric demand occurs there have been 3-8 day total calm spells over the entire country. So our peak electric demand is supplied by expensive gas who need to recoup their costs in a very short time.

    During my time in the generation business I see project whose aim was trying to predict wind generation from competitors going forward few days

    The aim was to jack up bid prices on the market knowing that the wind generators will not be in a position to be doing any bidding and the country still requires electricity at any price...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    hijacked by wind interests who get preferential treatment, when the wind blows their electricity has to be bought even if that means switching of a plant which could be costly and lead to equipment wear and tear, that is one way in which we are indirectly subsidising wind

    Again, wrong. Priority dispatch is set by EU Directive, and applies all over Europe. Furthermore, operating conventional plant is generally not switched off - just ramped back to 'minimum stable generation'. If all the baseload is at that, then wind is constrained off.

    The reference to oil price was due to the fact that oil and gas prices are generally linked - you still haven't addressed the x2.5 increase in the price of gas btw.
    how the capital costs of having 100% redundancy in response to calm cold winter days is a viable way forward.

    Because those capital costs are sunk - and dealt with through the capacity payment system. The SMP (again, MARGINAL price), reflects the variability over time.
    During my time in the generation business I see project whose aim was trying to predict wind generation from competitors going forward few days

    Did it ever work? You do realise that Eirgrid/SEMO also use wind modelling to set the capacity requirements, and so the modelling work you may have heard about would actually have to extract the differential between the two, and set bids into the SEM on the basis of flaws in the weather data? Unless the generators were very careful about their (market gaming) system, it could easily end up costing them money as they are out bid by others on SMP. Of course, were they doing this in conjunction with other generators, it would be collusion/cartel like behaviour, and I'm sure you're not alleging that occurred ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,750 ✭✭✭✭ bnt


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Precisely how do you store solar during a winter peak between 4 and 7pm :( How do you 'despatch' solar in Ireland FFS save by robbing car batteries that are hooked to car rooftop panels that were not underground all day ??
    At the small scale, there are things you can do. There's seasonal thermal storage, the idea of storing heat captured in summer for use in winter. Another is to use the energy as it's captured to do things that aren't time-sensitive e.g. to run a washing machine or cool a deep freezer.

    On the national scale - heard of pumped storage? They're even doing it in Ireland, at Turlough Hill. One of the ideas behind the "smart grid" is to allow usage and rates to be synchronised with peaks and dips in generation. It can be as simple as looking at a wall display and thinking "OK, I'll do that later when the rates are lower".

    I mean honestly: from some of the comments here, you wouldn't believe there are people out there - we call them "engineers" - whose job it is to think about these things, understand how they work, and do the necessary calculations ... :rolleyes:

    Parvi enim sunt foris arma, nisi est consilium domi.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Did it ever work? .

    Judging by the bumper profits... then yes

    Aidan1 wrote: »
    You do realise that Eirgrid/SEMO also use wind modelling to set the capacity requirements
    At the time there was no data available from Eirgrid

    and the wind generators of course keep the data close to their chests..


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Unless the generators were very careful about their (market gaming) system, it could easily end up costing them money as they are out bid by others on SMP. Of course, were they doing this in conjunction with other generators, it would be collusion/cartel like behaviour, and I'm sure you're not alleging that occurred ...
    I am not alleging anything, just commenting on the work that was being carried out few years ago.

    If the country becomes too reliant on wind the times when the wind doesnt blow the country would be held ransom by nonwind operators or operators from abroad such as UK using the inter-connectors, so much for energy "independence"
    Of course all of this can already be observed in Denmark who often have to sell electricity for free.


    bnt wrote: »
    On the national scale - heard of pumped storage? They're even doing it in Ireland, at Turlough Hill. .
    Not only have I heard of it but I have been at the facility which is an impressive piece of engineering, it is also an expensive one, what was being propose with the likes of SoI is several orders of magnitude larger and using salt water, as the long thread on SoI has shown its fud, Eirgrid didnt even bother examining the option much in detail in the above linked report.

    bnt wrote: »
    One of the ideas behind the "smart grid" is to allow usage and rates to be synchronised with peaks and dips in generation. It can be as simple as looking at a wall display and thinking "OK, I'll do that later when the rates are lower".
    I support this technology since it bring better information into the market, but this is a redistributive technology it will not solve generational needs which is what we are talking about, you can not store energy in the grid.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    bnt wrote: »
    I mean honestly: from some of the comments here, you wouldn't believe there are people out there - we call them "engineers" - whose job it is to think about these things, understand how they work, and do the necessary calculations ... :rolleyes:

    Hey if you bother to read the OP you would see that he links to a report by
    The Irish Academy of Engineering

    which is highly critical of the current direction

    :rolleyes:

    few weeks before we had a prime time episode on the farce, with an engineer on one side and "mr i lie while i grin" Eamon Ryan on the other side arguing with him and ignoring the facts and figures.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    bnt wrote: »
    A
    I mean honestly: from some of the comments here, you wouldn't believe there are people out there - we call them "engineers" - whose job it is to think about these things, understand how they work, and do the necessary calculations ... :rolleyes:

    The answer to my question that you quoted is: The sun has gone down by 4pm.

    Engineer that :cool:


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