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On Much Talked About Myths about Renewable Energy

Frank's results are driven by his use of wildly incorrect figures for wind and gas plant capacity factors, obsolete data on wind energy costs, and an incorrect understanding of the economic value of capacity. Once those errors are corrected, his methodology shows wind to be a cost-effective way to reduce emissions, as explained here.

http://aweablog.org/blog/post/fact-check-wind-power-is-a-costeffective-way-to-reduce-emissions


Michael Goggin,

American Wind Energy Association

June 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

Please explain how any of the passages from the NERC report contradict what I said.

March 4, 2014    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

Yep, I'd already read all of that. None of it contradicts what I said.

March 4, 2014    View Comment    

On Can You Make a Wind Turbine Without Fossil Fuels?

Robert, all of your attacks on wind energy were comprehensively rebutted in this literature review of every peer-reviewed publication on the lifecycle CO2 emissions of every energy source. The result? Wind energy's lifecycle impact is a fraction of all fossil-fired energy sources, and significantly lower than almost all non-emitting resources, including nuclear power.

http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html


Michael Goggin,
American Wind Energy Association

February 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

No answer? I'll take that as a concession that you were wrong.

January 10, 2014    View Comment    

On Study: Wind Energy Needs Controls to Minimize Risk of Instability on the Grid

Christina, you should take this article down or significantly revise it immediately, as NC State has taken down their press release to correct the errors in how it presented the study's findings. In personal correspondence with the study author yesterday, he acknowledged that wind energy's variability had nothing to do with the study's results, which is the central claim you make in your article. Wind energy variability is simply too small and slow to have that type of impact. I'd be happy to forward those emails to you if you'd like. NC State is working to correct their press release, which when corrected I expect will highlight what were actually the study's positive findings about how wind energy can further contribute to reliability by mitigating grid disturbances.


Thanks,

Michael Goggin

American Wind Energy Association

January 4, 2014    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

I'm still waiting on an answer, Kevon. You do realize that it is OK to admit that you were wrong?

December 18, 2013    View Comment    

On How Effective are US Renewable Power Policies?

John, thanks for the post. The data make clear what is causing the current uptick in electric sector emissions in 2013. You hit on it in your post:

"Recent increases in coal consumption could be related to the increase of natural gas prices 2012-13.  Not only have natural gas prices increased, but coal market prices have also been in decline.  These market cost factors directionally reverse the attractiveness of fuels switching from coal-to-natural gas."

Some of the emissions reductions observed in 2012 were fleeting because they were driven by natural gas being cheaper than coal, so many gas plants were dispatched before many coal plants. Gas plants ran at much higher capacity factors than normal, while coal plants produced less energy, which unsurprisingly drove emissions down. Because gas has returned to being more expensive than coal, those emissions have also returned. Wind and solar have been consistently driving emissions down throughout this time period, and will continue to do so. I run through the data here: http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=5748

Separately, your claim that there could be "carbon leakage" from non-renewable states is not supported as more than a dozen studies demonstrate that wind energy actually drives electricity prices down, which would cause industry to relocate to states with larger amounts of wind energy:

http://www.synapse-energy.com/Downloads/SynapseReport.2013-05.EFC.Increa...,

http://www2.illinois.gov/ipa/Documents/April-2012-Renewables-Report-3-26-AAJ-Final.pdf, http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/doer/publications/electricity-report-jul12-2011.pdf, http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/publications/reports/MeritOrder.pdf (lists 6 studies), http://www.crai.com/uploadedFiles/RELATING_MATERIALS/Publications/BC/Energy_and_Environment/files/Southwest%20Power%20Pool%20Extra-High-Voltage%20Transmission%20Study.pdf,

http://www.synapse-energy.com/Downloads/SynapseReport.2012-08.EFC.MISO-T-and-Wind.11-086.pdf, http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/www.seealliance.org/ContentPages/824124081.pdf, http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Publications/Program-Planning-Status-and-Evaluation-Reports/~/media/Files/EDPPP/Energy%20and%20Environmental%20Markets/RPS/RPS%20Documents/rps-performance-report-2009.ashx, and

http://variablegen.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/newis_report.pdf

Michael Goggin,
American Wind Energy Association

December 5, 2013    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

That's the best excuse you can come up with for not answering my question? "Young man?" Since when was age a qualification for discussion here? Keep digging that hole, my friend. Let me know when you are ready to answer my simple question or have a substantive discussion of the points I made in my post.

December 3, 2013    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

I don't see anything in that report that contradicts anything I've said below, let alone "virtually everything" as you claim. Please explain and provide specific citations to sections that contradict what I've said.

December 2, 2013    View Comment    

On Limitations of Unreliable Energy Sources, aka 'Renewables'

Rod, each of your attacks on the efficiency of wind is factually incorrect, and most actually highlight ways in which wind energy is superior to other energy sources. I'll take them one by one here:

 

  1. Recent analysis of the impact of wind on the efficiency of fossil-fired power plants found that at 33% renewables, the impact was only 0.2%. So wind produces 99.8% of the expected fuel use and CO2 emissions savings, or 1190 pounds of CO2/MWh, after accounting for all cycling impacts at a high wind penetration. This analysis is based on real-world hourly emissions data for all fossil-fired power plants in the Western U.S. http://www.nrel.gov/electricity/transmission/western_wind.html
  2. Almost all line losses occur on low-voltage distribution lines, and thus apply to all energy sources evenly. (http://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/sustainable/efficiency/scheme/submissions-2008/sustain_neet_lend_lease.pdf, page 30). The attempt to add transmission costs to wind’s costs actually becomes a benefit for wind, as numerous studies show that grid upgrades more than pay for themselves through the reliability and economic benefits they provide to consumers.http://www.spp.org/publications/Benefits_of_Robust_Transmission_Grid.pdf, http://www.crai.com/uploadedFiles/RELATING_MATERIALS/Publications/BC/Energy_and_Environment/files/Southwest%20Power%20Pool%20Extra-High-Voltage%20Transmission%20Study.pdf, http://cleanenergytransmission.org/uploads/WIRES%20Brattle%20Rpt%20Benefits%20Transmission%20July%202013.pdf
  3. Adding wind energy to the grid does not cause any need for new power plant capacity, and actually significantly reduces the total need for power plants. Every wind integration study has found that there is more than enough flexibility on the power system today to accommodate very high levels of wind energy. http://variablegen.org/resources/ In contrast, the need for contingency reserves to accommodate the sudden failure of conventional power plants is far larger and about 40 times more costly.  (http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Testimony-Gramlich-EP-Energy-Security-Grid-Reliability-2013-5-9.pdf, see calculations in footnotes 6 and 7) Regardless, capacity is cheap, with the total cost of capacity in the PJM market accounting for only 1/8 of the energy cost in the PJM market. Regarding the false claim about a need to add inefficient power plants, Spain is able to obtain around 20% of its electricity from wind while accommodating any incremental variability using a gas generating fleet entirely made up of highly efficient combined cycle power plants.
  4. Wind energy curtailment has only occurred due to localized transmission constraints, and never because the amount of wind output exceeded total demand on the power system. Even the curtailment caused by localized transmission congestion is being eliminated as long-needed grid upgrades catch up with wind energy’s rapid growth, with curtailment cut in half from 2011 to 2012. (http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-6356e.pdf, page 44) Further declines are occurring in 2013, with curtailment in ERCOT now approaching zero.
  5. The “parasitic losses” are far higher at conventional power plants, on the order of 7-15% of power plant energy production. http://www05.abb.com/global/scot/scot221.nsf/veritydisplay/5e627b842a63d389c1257b2f002c7e77/$file/Energy%20Efficiency%20for%20Power%20Plant%20Auxiliaries-V2_0.pdf  In contrast, the figure for wind plants is typically far less than 1%. barnardonwind.com/2013/03/02/parasitic-power-and-wind-turbines-sounds-scary-but-whats-the-real-story/ A comprehensive literature review of all peer-reviewed studies on the lifecycle carbon emissions impacts of all energy sources demonstrates that wind’s impact is a fraction of all conventional energy sources, and is also much lower than most other renewable energy sources. http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html
  6. Energy storage is not needed for wind energy. The U.S. has added 60 GW of wind, and Europe even more, with zero need to add energy storage. As explained above, there is plenty of flexibility on the existing power system. Interestingly, nearly all of the 22 GW of pumped hydro energy storage in the U.S. was added to help accommodate the inflexibility and additional reserve needs imposed by large nuclear power plants. http://www.awea.org/Issues/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=5452

 

Finally, it seems strange to talk about the efficiency of different energy sources without discussing the fact that most fossil and nuclear power plants immediately waste 2/3 of the energy in their fuel as waste heat at the power plant, while most modern wind turbines capture around 50% of the energy available in their fuel. DOE’s data on the average efficiency of different types of power plants is here:

 

Coal: 32.7% efficiency

 

Gas: 41.9% efficiency

 

Nuclear: 32.6% efficiency

 

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_01.html (divide 3412 Btu/kWh by the numbers provided by EIA to get efficiency)


Michael Goggin,
American Wind Energy Association

 

 

December 2, 2013    View Comment    

On A More Realistic Cost of Wind Energy

Here's the rebuttal to this fossil fuel industry propaganda:

http://aweablog.org/blog/post/fact-check-american-tradition-institutes-taylor-and-tanton-blowing-smoke-on-wind-incentive


Michael Goggin,

American Wind Energy Association

December 2, 2013    View Comment