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  1. #1
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    Cool According to reports US wind energy installations surge in 2012

    US wind energy investments grew by 76% to $25bn in 2012, compared to $14.2bn in 2011, according to a new report published by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

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    Wind projects accounted for 42% of all electric generating capacity in 2012, with more than 6,700 new wind turbines installed, bringing the country's total installation to about 45,100 turbines, enough to power 15.2 million homes.

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    And they still provide a miniscule percentage of the total electricity generated.

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    15.2 million homes is not a minuscule percentage of homes . . but the figure needs verification because for 45,100 turbines to power that many homes it is 337 homes per turbine. That seems a lot, even when the wind is blowing at the correct speed.
    Last edited by Alan; 04-17-2013 at 10:12 PM.

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    Seems you caught your own faux pas. Power=/= energy. They have wonderful power ratings but poor energy generation and gawd-awful reliability.
    The best single indicator for a power system's worth is something called "capacity credit" (not capacity FACTOR, a wind industry ploy). It is basically how much of a current system's generation capacity a rational SysOp would replace with the new capacity. For wind it is usually in the 1% range. A gigawatt of dispersed wind power capacity may displace the need for 10 megawatts of coal plant but only if it is widely dispersed and well sited..

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    One report says Wind energy installations surge in 2012, Now this report says ... the global wind power market will drop in 2013. I think compared to the Nuclear power ... other renewable power will see ups and down ..

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    It should also be noted that at least in the Unites States, a lot of the 2012 capacity was pushed HARD to be completed in 2012 in case the subsidies were axed by budget sequestration. Again, proof that it is a subsidy harvesting industry, not an energy harvesting one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KitemanSA View Post
    Seems you caught your own faux pas. Power=/= energy. They have wonderful power ratings but poor energy generation and gawd-awful reliability.
    The best single indicator for a power system's worth is something called "capacity credit" (not capacity FACTOR, a wind industry ploy). It is basically how much of a current system's generation capacity a rational SysOp would replace with the new capacity. For wind it is usually in the 1% range. A gigawatt of dispersed wind power capacity may displace the need for 10 megawatts of coal plant but only if it is widely dispersed and well sited..
    OK well that appears to be an unduly pessimistic outlook and Denmark for example generates from wind 20% of all electrical energy generated each year. Quiet periods are covered by an exchange with Norwegian hydro power, so it is not the case that every wind turbine must be backed by a waiting coal plant.

    Obviously the market left to itself goes for the least expensive alternative, and with a glut of dirty carbon fuels the choice is obvious at the present time.

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    I'd love to see what the market left to itself would do, but we haven't seen an open market wrt unreliables... ever. There are direct subsidies, mandatory purchase requirement, etc. that spread the cost among the taxpayers and via inefficiencies in grid operations onto the ratepayers of not only their own country but neighbors too.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the Norwegians finally twig to the fact that running hydro-power in surges does nasty things to fish and other wildlife. It is not so bad if the turbines exit into a lower reservoir rather than a river.

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    OK well the Norwegians probably don't need any lessons about conservation and the proper use of hydro power, but why the hostility to hydro as well as wind, both of which avoid the major threat to the environment, CO2? . Fish and other wildlife are under threat from that as well, via acid oceans, if we are concerned about wildlife.