Wind Power Cuts CO2 Emissions Considerably, Even At High Penetration Levels

by Zachary Shahan

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New empirical research out of Spain shows that wind power is very effective at cutting CO2 emissions, even at quite high penetration levels.

This is, of course, what many of us would expect, but some people have had the odd idea (or have at least claimed) that wind power plants require such a large amount of backup power that they are useless in making such cuts. Absurd… as this new research shows. Unfortunately, the myth proposed by the confused or biased commenters that most likely stimulated this research has been spread pretty far and wide. Media agencies with a weird bias against wind power, or simply looking to stir up controversy and counterintuitive claims, have been keen to present the myth noted above. Will this research put an end to that? One can only hope so.

The specific findings of the researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid were as follows:

  • “Every wind MWh introduced in the network allows us to avoid all the CO2 of each displaced thermal MWh at a low penetration.”
  • “When penetration levels are as high as 50%, the wind effect is accumulative and reductions would reach just 80%. However, this reduction is still significant and there are no negative cases…”

The researchers also note that the usefulness of wind turbines can be further improved by developing wind turbine technology and modeling, management of the electricity system, and use of energy storage technologies — all of this is already well known and there is a great deal of research and development going on in these arenas. In other words, wind power’s tremendous CO2-cutting effect is only going to increase in the coming years.

With wind power being the cheapest option for new electricity in many if not most regions of the world, this is of course great news, even if it is (unfortunately) intuitive and will not be covered by much of the media for that reason, including the same media outlets that have repeatedly covered the counterintuitive myth.

Just be sure to bookmark this article for the next time you see a story or comment that betrays the purported intelligence of the human species.

 

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This article, Wind Power Cuts CO2 Emissions Considerably, Even At High Penetration Levels, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

 

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Renewable Solar and Wind Energy Produced As Much As 60% Of German Electricity on October 3rd

by Nathan

German electricity production
German electricity production 1-3 October. Image Credit: BCCONSULT

Solar and wind energy production accounted for as much as 60% of Germany’s electricity use on October 3rd, according to a new study from energy consultant Bernard Chabot.

At peak production — right around 12pm that day — wind energy and solar energy were producing about 59.1% of that northern country’s power.

Part of the reason for the relatively large percentage was down to especially sunny and windy conditions, according to the research. While renewables certainly did produce a large percentage of the electricity used by the country that day, they, of course, were still eclipsed by the total production of non-renewable energy produced that day. For the day as a whole, “only” 36.4% of the electricity production was via solar energy and wind energy.

PV Tech notes: “The contribution was large enough to reduce the European electricity price index (ELIX) during the day with power at 1400 as cheap as it was at 0600.”

This is clearly a very notable contribution, and one which will no doubt continue to grow in the coming years. Though, it probably will not grow as fast as it has during the last couple of years, thanks to the stair-step lowering over the past couple of years of Germany’s FiT program.

On a related note — it was just a few months ago, in August, that Germany last broke its monthly solar energy generation record, producing about 6.5 times more energy via solar than the US has during its best month. That’s in spite of the fact that the US is a far sunnier country than Germany is. :/

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This article, Renewable Solar & Wind Energy Produced As Much As 60% Of Germany’s Electricity October 3rd, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Nathan For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. – Ecclesiastes 3:19