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Wind Power could be Competitive with Coal, Gas, and Nuclear by 2016

Since 2005 the global capacity of installed wind power has quadrupled, due to a variety of factors such as improved technology, large scale investment, and incentive programs designed to encourage industry growth.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, in 2011 the global installed capacity increased by 21 percent on the previous year, with China alone accounting for 43 percent of total installations, the US for 17 percent, India seven percent, and Germany five percent.

Whilst installing by far the largest capacity of wind power, China is having difficulty using all of that capacity. Due to an old, in-efficient energy transport grid, much of the electricity produced cannot be used.

Mark Konold, the Worldwatch Climate and Energy Program Manager said that “because of grid connection challenges and other issues, China is struggling to use all of the electricity generated by its turbines.”

Several Chinese provinces, such as Inner Mongolia and Gansu, have lost large portions of their generation capacity due to technical problems with the energy transport infrastructure. China has already started making improvements to its energy infrastructure, and has plans to invest more than $400 billion in order to connect all of its installed wind capacity to the grid by 2015.

The costs of wind power have fallen dramatically in recent years which has helped lead to its current popularity. Constantly improving technologies entering the market are expected to reduce the costs of wind energy by a further 12 percent by 2016, at which time it will be competitive with other popular energy sources such as coal, gas, and nuclear power.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

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  • Stan B on June 06 2012 said:
    So the problem is "location, location, location." For whatever reason, humans have not congregated where the wind blows, and now massive and highly inefficient "energy transport" systems must be built to move the energy to the people.

    Combined with reliability issues, and that no wind strategy has ever produced a reliable "base load" let alone a proper "peak response" strategy, and you get middle ages power at 21st century prices!

    Wind should get off the public teat and either stand or fall on its own. We've been suckling this white elephant for 30 years now, and it's still as weak and anemic a power source as it was when we gave it up in favor of the steam engine!
  • Heber Rizzo on June 06 2012 said:
    Dear Sir:

    Have you ever heard or read about reliability and stability?

    Is wind power reliable and stable?

    Does it need or not an installed power back up that equals the production capacity of wind power?

    You always need energy, so what do you do when wind doesn´t blow, or when it blows too strongly or too weakly and you are forced to shut down the windmills? Or when there is a peak in consuming and you need a rapid response?

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