An inconvenient truth - wind power

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A two-fer. I had touched on the problem yesterday in part of this post: And another one bites the dust

Now these two - first, from CNBC/Financial Times:

US clean energy suffers from lack of wind
A lack of wind is making the US clean energy sector sweat, with consequences for investors from yield-hungry pensioners to Goldman Sachs.

Electricity generated by US wind farms fell 6 per cent in the first half of the year even as the nation expanded wind generation capacity by 9 per cent, Energy Information Administration records show.

The reason was some of the softest air currents in 40 years, cutting power sales from wind farms to utilities. The feeble breezes come as the White House is promoting renewable energy, including wind, as part of its Clean Power Plan to counter greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, from FierceEnergy:

Slowing wind production blamed on, well, wind
Wind production is dropping across the west coast, but it's not for a lack of trying by the industry. Wind speeds have been slowing down in the region, leading to the reduced generation.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), average wind speeds in the region dropped in early 2015, and wind plants in California, Oregon, and Washington saw a decrease in generation due to the drop. In the first five months of 2015, wind plant utilization rates were well below the previous five-year average.

"Capacity factors for wind turbines are largely determined by wind resources," EIA explained. "Because the output from a turbine varies nonlinearly with wind speed, small decreases in wind speeds can result in much larger changes in output and, in turn, capacity factors."

Relying on computer models only gets you so far, eventually, the real world rears its ugly face. No use wishing for something that just ain't so...

As I said yesterday:

Promoting nuclear (especially liquid salt Thorium reactors) is  the only viable solution. That we are not promoting this technology is criminal. 

Here is a link to the kind of reactor I am talking about - LFTR - and here is a link to a great five minute video of the technologies involved.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on September 3, 2015 8:49 PM.

Cool tool - repurposing 20 year old technology was the previous entry in this blog.

Truck v/s Tree is the next entry in this blog.

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