The Weather: Why Wind Power Will Always Be Hopelessly Intermittent & Unreliable

Here’s the news: wind power critically depends upon the wind, without which there ain’t no wind power. Simples.

Beyond seven days meteorologists are little more than glorified soothsayers when it comes to predicting the weather. How many times do we see revised forecasts given the day before, when only a week before that, the maximum temperature, wind and prospects of rain were predicted with, oh so much, certainty?

For a sailor or kite flyer, none of this is news at all. Being stuck in the doldrums for weeks on end was the bane of global explorers and sailors of all descriptions.

So why, oh why did anyone think that we should ever attempt to power modern civilisations with a force so fickle?

Over the last few months, STT has focused on the calamitous wind drought that struck Europe, starting in September last year. But, as Parker Gallant points out below the wind gods have been just as cruel in Canada’s wind power capital, Ontario.

Industrial Wind Turbines Once Again Demonstrate their Unreliability
Energy Perspectives
Parker Gallant
30 December 2021

The unreliability of those industrial wind turbines (IWT), touted as a key ingredient to save the world from “global warming” by eco-warriors and obtuse politicians, once again demonstrated their uselessness!

Here in Ontario on December 28, 2021 at 4 AM (the middle of the night) they were cranking out power (when demand was low) generating 69.4% (3,072 MWh) of their rated capacity but by 4 PM in the afternoon when demand was much higher their output was a miserly 1.5% (65 MWh) of their rated capacity. To add further context to the foregoing at 4 AM IWT were generating about 22% of total Ontario demand but by 4 PM when demand was much higher those IWT were generating 0.004% of Ontario’s demand.

IWTs bad reliability habit means our grid operator, IESO, has a much more complex system to operate with a transmission grid connecting all of those IWT and requiring gas plants to remain “at the ready” when the wind dies down or picks up. Those manipulations add costs to our electricity system thereby helping to create energy poverty by driving up the per kWh (kilowatt hour) costs for households. It also serves to drive our manufacturing companies to other provinces and U.S.A. states with lower electricity prices meaning job losses are one of the outcomes.

As if the foregoing isn’t bad enough if one looks at just 9 hours starting at 10 PM (when Ontario demand falls) December 27th through to 7 AM (when electricity demand starts its daily increase) on December 28th we learn we exported 23,514 MWh to our neighbours in Michigan, NY, Quebec, etc. as that IWT generation was surplus to our needs.  We sold those 23,514 MWh for the average price of $17/MWh (1.7cents/kWh) during those 9 hours.  Co-incidently those IWT generated 22,617 MWh during the same timeframe and it also appears we curtailed another 1,100 MWh meaning Ontario’s ratepayers picked up the costs for 23,717 MWh of wind which highlights them as the cause of the exported power at the miserly price of 1.7cents/kWh.

The all-in costs (including curtailed) for the IWT generation over the 9 hours was approximately $3.2 million but we received only $400K in payment for selling a like amount of their generation to our neighbours so; Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers picked up the loss of $2.8 million ($311K per hour). Please note the foregoing loss is from only 9 hours out of 8,760 hours in a full year.

Perhaps, as a UK website “Net-Zero Watch” recently suggested to the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith should take heed and do as they recommend and; “compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.”

Ontario’s electricity sector needs to rid itself of the costs of IWT’s unreliable and intermittent supply so now is the time to bring in some new regulations to stop the bleeding!
Energy Perspectives

Not cool: never reliable & hopeless in icy winter weather.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Thank you STT for publishing Parker Gallant’s article! Parker Gallant is a hero to us. He’s able to analyze the numbers and like a forensic investigator, is exposing the waste of money that is occurring and will continue to occur in Ontario, if the 20 year subsidized industrial wind turbine contracts are fulfilled. In the case of the largest project in Ontario, that means another 15 years! There has to be a way to invoke ‘force majeure’…….especially in light of the damage to the economy brought about by the current governments’ management of covid. Please follow the crisis that is occurring in Ottawa, Canada for more context.

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    Bioclimatoligists & the rest of the ‘ologies’ do not understand why ice ages & polar reversals happen. This makes it is easy for vested interests to manipulate public opinion under the continually dumbed down compulsory education system.

    Postulated is the universe provides ‘life’ to the electromagnetic activity of Earth that is reflected in man’s existence. Some call this life-force god.
    Since Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote In Defence of Poetry, it has also been postulated that an earthen mental interaction exists; such as birds believed to follow electromagnetic forces to migratory destinations. And, that a mental majority of belief can be countered by other majority forces, that today are controlled by leaders of the cult of celebrity that in modern history, is controlled by the inheritors of the Holy Roman Empire; the Anglo-Dutch monarchy.

    Objectively observed, the RE industry is a means of distributing taxpayer funds to a greedy and incompetent industry with no interest in support and preservation of planetary life beyond their own.
    How can politicians support such a situation?
    They are financially complicit in an antiquated means of human social control but in the main, ignorant of it.
    An AU example was the privatisation of Telstra making possible promotion of pornography & obscenity prohibited over a public network. Now estimated at some 50+% of internet access for porn & being accessed by kids in order to further destroy the fabric of society.

    RE is a tip of an iceberg.

    Swearing, sex and other obscenities are rife, in what is laughingly referred to as the Westminster system of democracy.

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