Skip to comments.Power Struggle
Posted on 01/21/2009 5:42:21 PM PST by Lorianne
Will the green energy dream come to fruition? This week NOW explores obstacles to the promise of renewablesenergy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, and rain.
As America looks to dramatically increase its use of renewable energy, an inconvenient reality stands in the way: the need to upgrade the country's antiquated electricity grid. Part of that overhaul involves the construction of gigantic and expensive long-distance transmission lines to carry clean energy from remote sites to population centers.
NOW travels to California, which has the most ambitious clean energy plan in the nation. But the state's efforts face stiff opposition from property owners and conservationists who prefer renewable energy from "local sources," such as photovoltaic rooftop solar panels.
Complicating the matter are claims that the transmission lines are not actually carrying renewable energy at all, but represent a thinly-disguised strategy to stick to old energy practices.
The green energy dream: Why it may not happen.
.... watch video at source
(Excerpt) Read more at pbs.org ...
Sounds as though BO will have to confiscate the conservationists property to build his green energy lines. How delicious!
It is going to be fun to see the unions and environwacks battle amongst the dem party over fossil fuel jobs vs green energy
Despite their being cited as the shining example of what can be accomplished with wind power, the Danish government has cancelled plans for three offshore wind farms planned for 2008 and has scheduled the withdrawal of subsidies from existing sites. Development of onshore wind plants in Denmark has effectively stopped. Because Danish companies dominate the wind industry, however, the government is under pressure to continue their support. Spain began withdrawing subsidies in 2002. Germany reduced the tax breaks to wind power, and domestic construction drastically slowed in 2004. Switzerland also is cutting subsidies as too expensive for the lack of significant benefit. The Netherlands decommissioned 90 turbines in 2004. Many Japanese utilities severely limit the amount of wind-generated power they buy, because of the instability they cause. For the same reason, Ireland in December 2003 halted all new wind-power connections to the national grid. In early 2005, they were considering ending state support. In 2005, Spanish utilities began refusing new wind power connections. In 2006, the Spanish government ended -- by emergency decree -- its subsidies and price supports for big wind. In 2004, Australia reduced the level of renewable energy that utilities are required to buy, dramatically slowing wind-project applications. On August 31, 2004, Bloomberg News reported that "the unstable flow of wind power in their networks" has forced German utilities to buy more expensive energy, requiring them to raise prices for the consumer.
A German Energy Agency study released in February 2005 after some delay stated that increasing the amount of wind power would increase consumer costs 3.7 times more than otherwise and that the theoretical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved much more cheaply by simply installing filters on existing fossil-fuel plants. A similar conclusion was made by the Irish grid manager in a study released in February 2004: "The cost of CO2 abatement arising from using large levels of wind energy penetration appears high relative to other alternatives."
This is great info thanks. Where did you get this info from?
That would be the laws of physics, but then I don't think those are the obstacles they want to be talking about.
You might like to read this one also.
Here is just a sample from it
Thermal power stations
Conventional power stations fission a material or burn a fuel to obtain heat that is used to boil water and superheat the resulting steam which is fed to the steam turbines (some power stations also use gas turbines in combination with steam turbines). The turbines drive turbogenerators that make electricity.
A power station takes days to start producing electricity from a cold start. Time is needed to boil the water, to superheat the steam, to warm all the components of the power station, and to spin the turbogenerators up to operating speed.
Each power station is designed to provide an output of electricity. It can only provide very little more or very little less than this output (i.e., a power station has a "low turndown ratio").
Electricity demand matching
Electricity is wanted all the time but the demand for electricity varies from hour to hour, day to day, and month to month. The electricity grid has to match the supply of electricity to the demand for it at all times. This is difficult because power stations cannot be switched on and off as demand varies.
The problem of matching electricity supply to varying demand is overcome by operating power stations in three modes called "base load," "generation," and "spinning standby."
Some power stations operate all the time providing electricity to the grid, and they are said to provide "base load."
Other power stations also operate all the time but do not provide electricity all the time. They burn (or fission) their fuel to boil water and superheat the resulting steam which is fed to the steam turbines that are thus kept hot and spinning all the time. Of course, they emit all the emissions from use of their fuel all the time. But some of this time they dump heat from their cooling towers instead of generating electricity, and they are then said to be operating "spinning standby."
One or more power stations can be instantly switched from spinning standby to provide electricity to match an increase to demand for electricity. It is said to be operating "generation" when it is providing electricity. Power stations are switched between spinning standby and generation as demand for electricity changes.
Thus the grid operator manages the system to match supply with demand for electricity by switching power stations between "generation" and "spinning standby."
Windfarm input to electricity
Windfarms only provide electricity when the wind is strong enough and not too strong. So, they suddenly provide electricity when the wind changes. The grid operator must match this changed supply of electricity to the existing demand for electricity. Of course, the grid operator achieves the match by switching a power station to spinning standby mode. That power station continues to operate in this mode so it can provide electricity when the windfarm stops supplying electricity because the wind has changed again.
Windfarms only force power stations to operate more spinning standby. They provide no useful electricity and make no reduction to emissions from power generation. Indeed, the windfarm is the true source of emissions from a power station operating spinning standby in support of the windfarm.
Windfarms have capital, maintenance and operating costs that add to the cost of electricity. These costs are their only contribution to electricity supply.
‘zackly. For every 100 MW of wind, another 85 MW of spinning reserve from coal or gas has to be there. In Texas, the figure is 91 percent backup.
There are a whole bunch of turbines in southwest Wyoming just east of Evanston.
They have all been idle for over a week because there has been no wind.
Even when there is wind, no more than about 25% are turning at the same time because the electric line that takes the power into Utah, does not have any more capacity.
EnvioWacko political coup.
Was that link over there on PBS where you got this article from???
NOVA has far more credibility than the lame NOW propoganda barrage by LBJ's aging Press Secretary/Chief Propogandist!!!
No I haven’t seen the NOVA show. I’ll check it out.
No I haven’t seen the NOVA show. I’ll check it out.