Cost of Wind Power

Winky,  I've give you that they have a certain elegance within a well posed photo,  but I might reverse that opinion when viewed from another angle and/or at a distance.   My attached pic is what (IMO) gives wind farms a bad name;  its an area just outside Palm Springs & its located in a desert/mountain wind tunnel valley so in some respects its not horizon view polution.   But the pic is just a small snapshot of a minute fraction of the whole farm,  its the view from a main road as you drive in/out of Palm Springs.   The farm has more than 4000 turbines compressed into a 70sq mile area & provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs.   Its fascinating, its eye catching but the unacceptable face of renewable energy. 

Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:

I personally don't find wind turbines to be an eyesore. To me, they look like the future.

Landscapes are almost all shaped by human interference; at least wind turbines look better than power stations and coal mines.

We obviously disagree on this one winky.

I can cope with a few power stations on the Yorkshire coal fields and a few on remote coast lines such as Dungeness, but wind turbines on every hill in southern England and the Borders in southern Scotland, plus that mass between the Prairies and the Rocky Mountains - no thank you.

I can also cope with Abbot's Hut even though it "intrudes" in the landscape both from the Lake Louise side and the Lake O'Hara/Oessa side of Mt Victoria. man's footprint between Banff and Siccamous and from the 49th to the Arctic between those longitudes is pretty insignificant in terms of visual intrusion. Put a few wind farms in there and I bet you wouldn't be the most popular environmentalist in BC !

Nice picture BTW

I prefer the look of wind farms to strip malls, freeways and housing estates. These are far, far greater in impact than wind farms will ever be.

A big problem for wind, is prediction of when it's going to occur.  

But when it is going, how long is it going to keep going and at what rate ?  As pointed out, there is no 'short term' storage, electricity is 'on demand' use. So if you are using wind power, you have to ramp down the coal/nuclear depending on time of day - current usage et al.  It's a real balancing act.

In addition to the other issues of 'eye soar', noise of the turbines, space needed and the killing of birds.

I personally see in our province, more use of solar occurring. Currently wind provides 4% of power need in Alberta http://canwea.ca/wind-energy/alberta/

Guy007 posted:

A big problem for wind, is prediction of when it's going to occur. 

........ true of offshore & high altitude onshore,   but going back to the post I added on the Palm Springs farm; this is a low altitude mountain/desert solar wind valley.  It blows a hoolie each & every day, it might be less so when the sun don't shine but it still blows enough to power Palm Springs. 

Mike-B posted:
salmon runs can be a built in as part of the construction - OK they take a few years with active fish mngt to become established

Mike,

I trust you forgot the winking emoticon  with that statement, otherwise it comes off as a naïve and gross oversimplification of a very complex problem. In the Columbia River Basin alone federal expenditures on salmon and steelhead population restoration, habitat improvement, and research totals more that $120 million annually and there are currently 13 salmon populations listed as threatened or endangered. Besides the more direct riverine issues dams and reservoirs present to fish populations, land use management and agricultural practices related to irrigation drawn from the hydroelectric reservoirs have indirect adverse effects on fish. Add to that the fact that dams present barriers to downstream movement of the streambed and woody debris, increase sedimentation, increase water temperatures, can supersaturate dissolved gasses, reduce Spring flows, and inject artificial large-scale pools in a river environment, and you begin to get a sense of just a few of the complexities. This without even addressing upstream access by spawners above dams or downstream migration of juveniles below dams. Then there's wildlife, vegetation, recreation, and flood management concerns to be incorporated as well. And there are literally hundreds of hydroelectric dams on salmon accessible rivers in the western US. These having existing, indigenous populations.

 

Joerand,  I was not trying to over simplify this ( & concede my post does that)  I've no experience of anything in North America & am not disagreeing with your post in anyway.  I also concede that the Pacific salmon fisheries are huge in comparison to Atlantic & that the Pacific includes more than one species & not forgetting the many topography variables.  But I have been involved in a few areas in Europe & Africa that involved fish mngt & its more or less as I posted.   Whilst hydro dams do affect the fish populations quite severely they do recover to some extent provided fish mngt is part of the hydro scheme.  Also according to various studies,  North Atlantic fish stock decline in most European areas is caused more by other factors (mostly offshore) over the long term than is caused by hydro schemes.

Mike-B posted:

........ true of offshore & high altitude onshore,   but going back to the post I added on the Palm Springs farm; this is a low altitude mountain/desert solar wind valley.  It blows a hoolie each & every day, it might be less so when the sun don't shine but it still blows enough to power Palm Springs. 

Mike if the wind is 'all bran' regular that's half the battle, and I'm sure it's a lot of A/C it's powering.  I use to work for the electrical operator here and even with the best 'prediction algorithm' company's software it gave the grid operators a headache...

And Joe you are spot on with the issues of Hydro, which BC seem to gloss over in the touting of it being a friendly electrical source...

I think with all renewables nothing is 'perfect', some are better, but there is a lot of downsides too. Everything has to be weighed up.

Guy007 posted:

Mike if the wind is 'all bran' regular that's half the battle, and I'm sure it's a lot of A/C it's powering.  I use to work for the electrical operator here and even with the best 'prediction algorithm' company's software it gave the grid operators a headache...

 The wind farm known as & located in the San Gorgonio Pass was chosen because of the naturally regular & stable wind flows caused by warm desert air mixing with cooler coastal air that give wind speeds averaging 24 to 32km/hr (15 to 20mph). They are strongest during the summer months when electricity demands are at their highest - Palm Springs is a winter resort & the population is at its lowest in summer when temperatures are typically over 40'C - its able to power Palm Springs & Coachella Valley with a population of almost 350,000.

Reflecting on the content of this thread to date, I agree with Mike that fracking is one way forward that we should exploit.

The other is Small Modular Reactors SMRs. The sort of thing Rolls Royce build and put into our nuclear powered submarines. Good by EdF, goodbye China, hello Derby (or wherever it is that RR manufacture these things).

I understand that through-life generating costs are more in line with coal than the subsidised £90 per megawatthour agreed with EdF.

Thoughts ?

A bit of a milestone today:   At the moment - 12 noon Saturday morning - we have zero coal power generation.  Its the first time that I know of during a daytime period.   

The stats also show Wind @ 2.79GW & I consider that a low number considering the general breezy UK @ 14 mph mean speed for the whole country

Nuclear 8.33GW  -  CCGT 11.03GW  -  Wind 2.79GW  -  Coal 0.00GW   

Other power sources are  Pumped 0.30GW - Hydro 0.44GW - Biomass 1.38GW - French ICT 1.80GW - Dutch ICT 0.90GW - Irish ICT 0.00GW - E-W ICT 0.19GW  ...........   to make up a demand of 26.93GW)

Don Atkinson posted:

Small Modular Reactors from RR are the solution. 

100%  ..........  I wonder if the delayed decision on Hinkley Point are considering the same ????   Even better if it is RR or at least british design & built.     http://euanmearns.com/the-uks-...reactor-competition/

Now what about some fracking & freeing up our growing reliance on Russian gas

UK has four pumped storage generation installations.    The most powerful (jnt 7th most powerful on earth) is Dinorwig in Wales with 1.8GW maximum output & a total stored capacity of 9.1GW/hr.  However Cruachan although it has less maximum power with 0.4GW it has the largest UK total stored capacity of 10GW/hr. 

Mike-B posted:

UK has four pumped storage generation installations.    The most powerful (jnt 7th most powerful on earth) is Dinorwig in Wales with 1.8GW maximum output & a total stored capacity of 9.1GW/hr.  However Cruachan although it has less maximum power with 0.4GW it has the largest UK total stored capacity of 10GW/hr. 

Just a minor bit of editing Mike (gawd, I do hope i'm right when I do this !!!!) the stored capacity of these facilities is measured in Giga Watt Hours, rather than Giga Watts per Hour.

Cheers Don (the nit-picker)

Frank F posted:
Dozey posted:

I also quite like the look of wind farms, and don't consider them to be an eyesore.

I pass one near the A1 at Biggleswade every day and I think it looks great. Farmland and wind farms seem ideal bedfellows. 

Donald Trump won't agree with you especially if his hotels can see them.  BUT when he is president he will ban them all.

IMO the problem with wind power is that it is not always there when you need it. Proper storage of energy is part of the solution, we have a pumped water storage system here - pump up to a high level reservoir over night when demand is low THEN - let it go!!

FF

The pumped water schemes were built for a slightly  different purpose. It was to store surplus energy produced by nuclear stations that couldn't be turned off. They were also useful in providing a short-term rapid-response to peak demands, or in the event of partial filure elsewhere in the system.

Today, they are seen as storage to be used when "renewables" ie mainly wind, inconveniently stop generating. Trouble is, wind now generates far more power than we have storage facilities to back it up. And we don't have too many more storage facility sites available for development. So instead we have to have both wind and standby capacity (eg gas) - which is expensive in terms of capital investment and overall cost.

Instead, I think a few more large nuclear sites, lots of RR SMRs and a few large fracking-gas sites would work wonders, together with the odd coal/bio-mass generators for the sake of nostalgia........... and of course, the hydro sites.

Derek Wright posted:

These legendary RR SMRs aren't they the devices that are causing all of the UK's fleet of Type 45 destroyers to be in Portsmouth at the same time.  Are they?

I believe the Type 45's are using a Rolls Royce gas turbine powerplant. The RR SMR's are nuclear reactors used in submarines.

Mike-B posted:
Derek Wright posted:

These legendary RR SMRs aren't they the devices that are causing all of the UK's fleet of Type 45 destroyers to be in Portsmouth at the same time.  Are they?

The problem is the RR WR-21 engines (gas turbines) don't operate in warm water.  They were spec'd by Labour (& particular blame against Defence Sec Geoff Hoon) against all advice.   They entered service starting 2010 & have been non-stop problems,  now its planned for the electric power generators to be replaced with larger size units & that takes some load off the WR-21's.  Then a study is underway to replace the ER-21.  Meanwhile T-45's will not be deploying in the tropics - lets hope the mideast doesn't kick off again.   

.............this is what happens when politicians make decisions...............

look what happened on 23rd June 2016 for more evidence of the same................

......and Hinkley

......and the aeroplanes for a couple of carriers

..............and HS2

.....and.....and,,,,,,,,,and

Cheers, Don (before I get depressed !!)

Look what it cost to change the spec of the planes for the new aircraft
carriers then they realised the new spec was wrong despite being warned of
the fact so basically went back to the original specification which cost us
several hundred millions.
Derek Wright posted:

These legendary RR SMRs aren't they the devices that are causing all of the UK's fleet of Type 45 destroyers to be in Portsmouth at the same time.  Are they?

Sorry folks,  I've deleted the original post & added more info so it's all out of sync.  

 The problem is the RR WR-21 engines (gas turbines) don't operate in warm water.  They were spec'd by Labour (& particular blame against Defence Sec Geoff Hoon) against all advice.   They entered service starting 2010 & have been non-stop problems:  two WR-21 & two 2MW diesel generators provide AC power for the ships propulsion motor & power for the ships weapons, sensors lighting etc.  The turbines themselves are not the problem, but they have an intercooler that recovers heat from the exhaust & recycles it making it more fuel-efficient. The problem is with the intercooler unit.   When the WR-21's go down the electrical load on the diesel generators is too much & the ship has no power or propulsion.     It's now its planned for the electric power generators to be replaced with larger size units & a plan is supposed to be in place to replace or rework the WR-21's.   Meanwhile T-45's will not be deploying in the tropics - lets hope the mideast doesn't kick off again.   

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