Saturday, December 10, 2022

Wind Energy Fails Again -- When It Was Needed Most

This was posted on LinkedIn earlier this week. It pertains to the failure of wind energy in extremely cold weather ( -28°C = -18°F) in Alberta. 
"Nameplate capacity" is the amount of energy they write about in the press release when a wind farm is installed. It refers to the amount of energy it produces in perfect conditions, an amount that's very rare. 

In this case, in extreme cold when electric demand was highest, it produced just 3% of capacity. 

The meteorology is that winds are usually calm, or nearly calm, when it is extremely cold and extremely hot. There is a video of wind turbines 'in action' in Kansas on a 100+° day here. The idea that wind energy can significantly assist with decarbonizing energy is nothing but magical thinking. 

Wind works okay on a moderately windy spring day when the temperature is 65°F. The problem is that we don't need much energy at that time. 

If we are serious about decarbonizing energy, nuclear is the only way to go. 

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