Skip to comments.Wind Energy Reaches 43 Percent Of Spain's Electrical Demand
Posted on 11/25/2008 9:55:16 AM PST by Uncledave
Wind Energy Reaches 43 Percent Of Spain's Electrical Demand by NAW staff on Tuesday 25 November 2008
At 5 a.m. Central European Time (CET) on Nov. 24, wind power reached a new record of meeting 43% of Spain's electricity demand - with 9,253 MW of wind energy in operation - of the 21,264 MW total demand.
The previous record was broken March 22 at 6 p.m. CET, with 40.8% of the demand, or 9,862 MW. At 12:30 p.m. CET on Nov. 24, 10,263 MW were being produced simultaneously. The previous record of 10,880 MW of wind production was reached on April 18 at 4:50 p.m. CET, representing 30% of the peninsula's demand.
According to La Asociacion Empresarial Eolica, wind energy prices could drop to 6 euros per MWh. Wind energy has experienced a savings of 2.077 billion euros for the electrical system (4.50 euros of savings per citizen).
SOURCE: La Asociacion Empresarial Eolica
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Surely only at peak output.
I can’t believe this statistic.
“According to La Asociacion Empresarial Eolica, wind energy prices could drop to 6 euros per MWh. Wind energy has experienced a savings of 2.077 billion euros for the electrical system (4.50 euros of savings per citizen).”
Very nice to see that they have made this actually save money. Not much per person but I do like to see green energy when it is cost competitive.
Has it saved them any money? Are the just comparing Wind power rates vs Conventional, without the costs of building infrastructure?
And, at 5am - minimal demand.
It powered 43% of Spain's glowing alarm clocks.
I’m just going by the quote.
The previous records were at noon and 5 pm though. So it has been handy at other times.
It’s good that they get some significant power from the wind. The problem is, if they can’t rely on the source, they still need to have the redunant suppliers online at all times. Kinda minimizes the positive impact outside those brief gloriously windy moments.
Computerization of both the electric power supply systems, and of individual households can deal with this problem. Say you’ve got a plug-in car, it can be set to charge up at the time when power is cheapest to generate, and that might be around 5 AM.
Wind is unreliable and cannot be more than a small fraction of US supply given our grid requirements. Too much wind power in a grid will cause it to crash. Ideally we sshould have nuclear power covering majority of the baseload and a few gas plants taking care of the peak demand.
The percentage would be expected to be highest at night, when the wind speeds typically are highest and when demand is lowest. Without any data showing how these figures compare with other time of day/time of year figures, this is only a “feel good” report.
Nuclear and wind don’t mix well, because it is difficult to alter the output of a nuke plant. So wind really needs to be backed up with coal or gas.
What this deceptive news article doesn’t say is for how long did wind power hit 43% of base load? Was it 5 minutes or one hour or what? Let’s give it the benefit of doubt and say it was one hour - that’s still a very very small amount of electricity production compared to total demand in one day (1.8% of daily demand). Also, you can’t predict when this 43% of electricity will be available. And you still have to pay conventional energy suppliers (coal, gas, nuclear) to generate backup power (which has to be paid for) because wind power is so unreliable. Forty three percent of pure redundant power is not much to brag about.
Tennessee was using 28,000 MW last week.
“I cant believe this statistic.”
I was just in Spain (briefly) a few weeks ago & took a tour to a little town called Mijas about an hour’s drive from Malaga on the coast. We were told Mijas got electricity finally in 1996. So how many other towns are not on the grid yet? And I doubt they’re as wired in as we are. Maybe wind is enough...for awhile.
I’m curious as to the cost,today,of one killowatt hour of electricity generated by wind vs one generated in more conventional ways.And assuming wind power is a *lot* more expensive than traditional power by how much can wind power be made cheaper over time...if it can be made at all cheaper?
Why is it difficult to regulate the power on a nuke?
Where in the world is the average wind speed higher at night than day?
This sounds very low. Too bad it isn't mentioned whether this includes any capital, installation or maintenance costs.
In an area with a strong wind resource and with modern equipment, wind energy can be generated near par with coal/nat gas (but nuke is the cheapest which I also support).
Wind costs are being driven down as the industry continues to develop.
People here mention the problems with wind’s intermittent nature. It’s a valid point but not a problem to the degree people here are saying. When you have thousands of wind farms scattered across a region of the country, coupled with modern wind forecasting techniques which are remarkably good, you’re then able to forecast wind energy across a region’s portfolio of assets rather well and schedule peak plants accordingly. You don’t look at wind energy grid issues as the output and intermittency of ONE wind turbine — you look at a portfolio of hundreds and hundreds of them. More and more operators are able to use wind to chip away at base load.
About 9-11% of Spain’s power is wind generated.
The problem with wind power is actually power storage. Thermal generating plants have a consistent power output which is not the case for wind power.
The highly variable electrical output of wind power means that the effective usage is low, and the actual replacement of traditional power plants doesn’t take place. The traditional thermal or hydroelectric plants must remain on-line in case the wind power output drops. The lower energy availability of the wind farms determines the reliability of the system as a whole without adequate storage.
Without an adequate storage scheme the utility companies must build more traditional power plants to meet peak demand. Compressed-air storage is the best system so far to achieve this storage. This raises the cost of wind power and reduces its competitiveness against traditional power plants and means a higher utility bill.
If you’re interested in knowing more about leading wind forecasting services, here’s a couple of leaders in the field:
I know these firms well. They have some of the most qualified meteorologists and atmospheric scientists you’ll find.
In other news, the cyclones that appeared Monday morning have finally dissipated...
Of course storage would be a total game-changer, but even now there's effective ways to manage wind farms (see my #22).
I expect in the near future electric plug-in vehicles will be more widely adopted in urban/suburban areas. Millions of vehicles plugging in at night will be a robust and decentralized storage system and will greatly improve the economics of wind energy.
...it was unknown how many birds were killed...
Taken together (demand and wind speed), it's still unsurprising that the highest percentage would have occurred overnight, when power is usually abundant.
I certainly hope we utilize wind power more as well as nuclear. The dependence for energy on something we don’t produce is a vulnerability.
Compressed air storage is a proven technology which we should put to use despite the cost. Nuclear power also needs to be streamlined and states like California which prevent the increase of national energy output should be removed from the national power grid.
The sun generally causes wind (that wind, not associated with weather fronts. Generally, they are higher during the day.
Compressed air storage is tricky and loses a lot of energy in the conversion process on both ends. One area where you gain with it is with capital costs on the turbine — you can directly drive an air compressor vs. using the gearbox/generator within the wind turbine. A couple of firms are working on this but it’s real on-the-drawing-board stuff.
I think at least one Spanish company is serious about wind generation. About four years ago it hired a promising power engineering student from Maine to work for them. If they cast their recuiting net that far they must be serious.
I find this hard to believe.
I have seen many other sources state that wind power, due to the peaks and valleys of production by such an inconsistent source, could never be more than 20% of total supply for any grid. Also, even the 20% figure was theoretical, as even relatively large wind-energy producers such as Netherlands and Denmark have not even come close to that figure.
Any experts out there who can solve this?
Yeah and we should make better use of it as well as the oil shale’s. Retrofitting MHD generator’s into older coal plants is one good idea, as well as coal liquefaction. Oil will rise in price eventually and make this economical.
What they dont tell you is that all that wind power needs back up power called spinning reserves.Spain is right next to France with huge spinning reserves of nuclear power especially at 5am when demand is at its low for the day. France is all to happy to sell its reserve nuclear power at an instant to Spain should the wind stop blowing. It’s a myth that nuclear power cant load follow. modern reactors can and do load follow on a daily basis in France. Who are using American designed reactors i might addm there whole system is based on Westinghouse reactors designed by yup us.
Gamesa, Acciona and Ecnotecnia (just bought by Alstom) are three major wind Spanish turbine manufacturers that do business worldwide and are aggressively pursuing US projects.
Denmark produces about 20% of their power with wind.
Don’t have anything against wind or any other type of viable energy source, but to get a better picture I’d like to know:
1. What is the total installed wind energy capacity for Spain?
2. Per KW of wind energy installed, how much conventional capacity do they have (or should have) on standby to back this up for when the wind don’t blow?
3. How much conventional fuel are they burning to keep the conventional generators spinning while on standby?
“Millions of vehicles plugging in at night will be a robust and decentralized storage system and will greatly improve the economics of wind energy.”
How do you come to that conclusion? What if the wind isn’t blowing tonight?
For a storage system to be reliable it has to be there and have enough capacity when the wind blows. Cars recharging at night is just another usage and to think of it as storage is invalid.
Rapid cycling up and down isn’t possible or desirable with a nuclear plant. Too much stress in expansion and contraction with changing temperatures, changing pressure. Doing this will dramatically shorten the lifespan of a nuclear plant. They usually take quite some time to shut them down for refueling. Several days I think.
I am not a nuclear expert by any means, but I’m sticking with my theory.
I agree about nuclear power, but do not agree about wind power crashing the grid. It does call for more backup, but that would be with existing plants that would operate at reduced power and it would still result in a savings of fossil fuel.
I am at a loss why folks here want to trash wind power. It's not good everywhere in the country, but in the midwest it can generate a lot of power and save fossil fuel for the country.
Let’s not forget that it MUST be dual infrastructure. Wind and whatever else they will use when the wind does not blow.
I thought the earlier thread said 55% was made up of Wave Energy?
Perhaps, but the grid has other problems from time to time also and designs changes can be made to compensate.
Wind can and should have a prominent place in our power future.
Make all the changes to the grid you want but but someone must be on the other end using it or you have a overload...