US Wind Power Output Collapse: What Happens When the Wind Don’t Blow

Aeolus1

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

When your power generation ‘system’ depends on the whim of the Wind Gods, results can differ from the operators’ professed claims.

In the US, the Gods haven’t blessed the wind industry with much fortune of late: despite a rapid increase in (massively subsidised) wind power capacity, wind power output has slumped (and babies nesting in treetops can sleep easy).

States subsidized for wind power saw decline in production
Andrew Follett
The Daily Caller
21 April 2016

States with lucrative subsidies for wind power such as California, Oregon and Washington saw huge decreases in the amount of wind power generated during 2015, according to a Thursday report by the Energy Information Administration.

The only major state to see large increases in its wind power capacity in 2015 was Texas, the EIA report found. Wind power generation in America grew slower last year than at any time since 1999, and produced a mere 4.7 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. during 2015.

US wind power capacity

Experts broadly agree that the wind industry is growing at it slowest rate in years, in part because of low wind speeds, but also because of changes in the structure of subsidies, issues with reliability, and consistently high prices. Investment in wind power is expected to decline substantially due to slowing growth, according to a 2015 International Energy Agency report.

Wind power is infamously unreliable and intermittent as less than 30 percent of total wind power capacity and 20 percent of solar capacity are actually used on average. Wind power still isn’t capable of providing electricity at predictable times. The output of a wind power plant is quite variable over time, but the times when wind power generates the most electricity don’t coincide with the times when power is most needed.

EIA-Wind-Decline

Much of the decline was due to a 20 percent drop in average wind speeds relative to the previous year, and the trend appears set to continue in 2016, according to a February report by New Scientist. As a result, the amount of electricity produced by wind turbines dropped 6 percent even though lots of new turbines were built, according to the EIA.

Meteorologists say that unusually slow winds are due to a persistent high pressure system that is diverting storms into the Arctic which is not linked to major climate events.

Since the output of wind turbines cannot be predicted with high accuracy, grid operators have to keep excess reserve running just in case. Adding power plants which only provide power at intermittent and unpredictable times makes the power grid more fragile.
The Daily Caller

rockabyebaby

Results depend entirely on the weather …

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    The inability of those in Governments who can stop this nightmare form continuing to grasp the concept that wind cannot be controlled and timed/ordered to be available when needed, because it is a force of nature and not a manmade product or thing that can be collected and stored for later use is astounding.
    Surely even the most infantile minded adult can grasp it.
    The question is WHY do they continue to put good money after bad and WHY do they continue to support this industry. Obviously the previous STT article answered this question, the next question’s should be: When are the bodies who are their to fight corruption going to take an interest and investigate?
    And when are the economic gurus going to stand up and speak out about this outrageous and foolish investment of public funds.

  2. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    shock news.

  3. Following another excited announcement in Scotland that turbines produce energy for 79% of homes. a local campaigner wrote: Principally, the intermittency of generation does not match demand patterns and electricity generated when you don’t need it is as bad as none generated when you do need it. This analogy might help to put things in perspective: You engage a milkman to deliver 2 pints a day. He delivers 2 on Sunday, none on Monday, 1 on Tuesday, 3 on Wednesday, 1 on Thursday, 3 on Friday, and 4 on Saturday. Job done, you have had your weekly ration of 14 pints. An average of 2 pints a day. You would sack your milkman after week one. You wouldn’t pay him extra for being unreliable, and you wouldn’t pay for the surplus milk on the days there is too much and you wouldn’t pay him more to take the surplus away when you can’t use it either. But that is exactly what we do when we rely on wind generated electricity.

  4. Mark Hatherly says:

    Ganggreen energy schemes are killing the Ontario economy. Feel good progressives are running the asylum.

  5. 4TimesAYear says:

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

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