Wind Power: Facts & Figures

energy

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Wind power facts and figures

This thread is strictly facts only to establish the cost-effectiveness of the Irish energy wind programme in displacing conventional fossil fuel plant and reducing CO2 emissions.

Rules:
• All data must be backed by a reputable source (IEEE, SEAI, Eirgrid etc etc) - not from an industrial lobby site or a newspaper clip.
• No anecdotes.
• No posting of opinions from blog sites or youtube clips
• No mention of pumped storage & interconnectors.
• No mention of nuclear.
• No mention of future tidal/wave energy.


The actual figures for wind power from the CSO (Table: Fuels Used in Electricity Production (ktoe) by Fuel Type and Year) show it increased it’s share in the fuel mix for Electricity Generation from 0.43% to 4.03% between 2000 and 2008.

During this time the installed wind capacity increased from 125MW to 1264MW.

Acoording to SEAI (SEAI - Financing Wind Farms

Ballpark figures for wind farm development would be in the region of €1.6 to €2m
So between 2000 and 2008 approximately EUR1.8bn to EUR2.2bn has been spent on wind power to achieve a 3.6% increase in the fuel mix for electricity generation.


From SEAI SEAI - Energy in Ireland Key Statistics booklet

From 1990 to 2000 when there was a miniscule amount of wind power on the grid the overall CO2 intensity of electricity generation fell from 896 to 771gCO2/kWh – a reduction of 13.95%

From 2000 to 2008 the overall CO2 intensity of electricity generation fell from 771 to 581gCO2/kWh – a reduction of a 24%.

We know from the same report that Natural Gas increased from 27.3% to 54.7% (1990-2008) of the primary fuel mix for electricity generation.

We also know from the IEA (IEA - CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion: Highlights) that carbon emissions from Natural Gas in electricity and heat generation in Ireland decreased from 499 to 413 gCO2/kWh from 1990 to 2007 - a decrease of 17.23%

According to SEAI
The reason for the increase in efficiency and the decrease in CO2 emissions is the result of higher efficiency natural gas plants and the increase in production from renewable sources. The closure of old peat fired stations has also contributed in recent years.
In light of the above figures above is it reasonable to state that investing in higher efficiency gas plants is a far more cost effective means of reducing CO2 emissions rather than installing wind power? How much of the % carbon reduction from 2000 to 2008 is attributable to wind power ?
 


energy

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As highlighted above the major investment in the wind programme began in 2000.

“The Irish Academy of Engineering - Irish Energy -Policy - Update on Electricity Price Competitiveness - December 2009" clearly shows that since 2000 we have been paying much higher prices over the EU average for electricity.http://www.iae.ie/site_media/pressroom/documents/2009/Dec/18/Irelands_Energy_Policy_-_Competitiveness_Update_Dec_09.pdf

They state
At present Ireland is one of the countries in the EU most dependent on natural gas fired generation, with 55% of the country’s electricity being produced from this source. This is ten times larger than that produced from oil .Yet the very rapid increase in electricity prices in recent years has been attributed to rising oil prices. This is due to the fact that, to date, natural gas prices in Europe have been closely linked to oil prices but, with a time lag of approximately nine months. Ireland’s electricity and gas customers should, in 2010, benefit from the substantially lower gas prices now obtaining on the international market.
It is clear our electricity prices are governed by fossil fuels and that the massive investment in wind power has made no impact on price.


So in summary
1. Wind has a minimal impact in reducing CO2 emission for Irish power generation.
2. Massive investments in wind have made little inroads in the generation fuel mix.
3. Wind does not reduce electricity prices.


EDIT from IAE
Relative to EU average prices the general competitiveness of the Irish electricity industry has considerably worsened over the year. A composite "Price Competitiveness Factor" (PCF) based on weighted averages of industry and household prices shows an alarming deterioration from a 40% to a 50% premium over corresponding EU average prices (see Fig 2.1 below.)
 
Last edited:

goosebump

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SEAI - SEAI reports reveal growth in renewable energy and fall in electricity and gas prices

SEAI’s report reveals that the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in 2009 was 14.4%, two-thirds of which was wind, ensuring that Ireland is well on track to fulfil Government targets on renewable electricity this year."

In the second half of 2009, SEAI reports that Irish electricity and gas prices fell for all consumers.
Electricity and gas prices for householders, when adjusted for affordability differences (‘Purchase Power Parity’) between EU countries, were cheaper than the EU average by an average of 13% for the typical consumer.
For business, electricity prices declined, ranging from a 5% to 10% drop for small and large business consumers. While electricity prices to business remain above the EU average, they did move closer to this average for most business energy users. Gas prices fell for all business consumers, up to 26% in some instances. For most business consumers, Irish gas prices were below the EU average.
 

goosebump

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In light of the above figures above is it reasonable to state that investing in higher efficiency gas plants is a far more cost effective means of reducing CO2 emissions rather than installing wind power? How much of the % carbon reduction from 2000 to 2008 is attributable to wind power ?
No. We to reduce our use of Natural Gas because we import 80%+ of what we use.
 

energy

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No. We to reduce our use of Natural Gas because we import 80%+ of what we use.
Correct - Using more efficient plant reduces our use of natural gas and CO2 emissions - the stats supports this.

The investments to date in wind power do not appear (I maybe wrong !) to produce any substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.
 

miclin

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The actual figures for wind power from the CSO (Table: Fuels Used in Electricity Production (ktoe) by Fuel Type and Year) show it increased it’s share in the fuel mix for Electricity Generation from 0.43% to 4.03% between 2000 and 2008.
How does this 4.03% square with the SEAI http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/SEI_Renewable_Energy_2010_Update/RE_in_Ire_2010update.pdf which shows 8.1% of electricity sourced from Wind in 2008 and 10.1% in 2009? (Section 4, Table 5, p.18). Is the ktoe figure based on input energy sources while the GWh figure based on output production or something?

So between 2000 and 2008 approximately EUR1.8bn to EUR2.2bn has been spent on wind power to achieve a 3.6% increase in the fuel mix for electricity generation.
See above - should this be 8.1%?

In light of the above figures above is it reasonable to state that investing in higher efficiency gas plants is a far more cost effective means of reducing CO2 emissions rather than installing wind power? How much of the % carbon reduction from 2000 to 2008 is attributable to wind power ?
How is it possible to know which has been more cost effective without seeing the cost of installing new gas power stations?

How much is a MW of new gas power electricity generating capacity? The ESB recently added new gas pwer capacity to Aghada for 872K/MW but this was to an existing plant so it piggybacks on existing infrastructure. ESB announces official opening of its new gas fired power plant at Aghada, Co. Cork

Current wind turbines are far more efficient to those deployed even 5 years ago, so the cost/benefit for new windfarms coming online will have changed.

I would expect that installing gas turbine power stations was the best way to improve electricity generating efficiency from 1990-2005. I would also expect that wind will now be the best way to reduce the carbon intensity of electricity generation for the next decade.

Also it's not an either-or situation. Gas provides predictable baseload power which wind can't and modern gas stations can complement wind by dispatching quickly when winds are blowing strongly.
 

energy

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How does this 4.03% square with the SEAI http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/SEI_Renewable_Energy_2010_Update/RE_in_Ire_2010update.pdf which shows 8.1% of electricity sourced from Wind in 2008 and 10.1% in 2009? (Section 4, Table 5, p.18). Is the ktoe figure based on input energy sources while the GWh figure based on output production or something?

See above - should this be 8.1%?
see http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/EPSSU_Publications/Energy_in_Ireland_2009.pdf table 6 page 25.

How is it possible to know which has been more cost effective without seeing the cost of installing new gas power stations?

How much is a MW of new gas power electricity generating capacity? The ESB recently added new gas pwer capacity to Aghada for 872K/MW but this was to an existing plant so it piggybacks on existing infrastructure. ESB announces official opening of its new gas fired power plant at Aghada, Co. Cork
That's what I'm trying establish but wind does appear to be an incredibly expensive method (compared with gas) with minimal gain (see OP).

Current wind turbines are far more efficient to those deployed even 5 years ago, so the cost/benefit for new windfarms coming online will have changed.
Source please ..

I would expect that installing gas turbine power stations was the best way to improve electricity generating efficiency from 1990-2005. I would also expect that wind will now be the best way to reduce the carbon intensity of electricity generation for the next decade.
I might expect that too but I would like to see some hard data rather than a hunch.
 

H

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Wind power facts and figures

This thread is strictly facts only to establish the cost-effectiveness of the Irish energy wind programme in displacing conventional fossil fuel plant and reducing CO2 emissions.

Rules:
• All data must be backed by a reputable source (IEEE, SEAI, Eirgrid etc etc) - not from an industrial lobby site or a newspaper clip.
• No anecdotes.
• No posting of opinions from blog sites or youtube clips
• No mention of pumped storage & interconnectors.
• No mention of nuclear.
• No mention of future tidal/wave energy.


The actual figures for wind power from the CSO (Table: Fuels Used in Electricity Production (ktoe) by Fuel Type and Year) show it increased it’s share in the fuel mix for Electricity Generation from 0.43% to 4.03% between 2000 and 2008.

During this time the installed wind capacity increased from 125MW to 1264MW.

Acoording to SEAI (SEAI - Financing Wind Farms



So between 2000 and 2008 approximately EUR1.8bn to EUR2.2bn has been spent on wind power to achieve a 3.6% increase in the fuel mix for electricity generation.


From SEAI SEAI - Energy in Ireland Key Statistics booklet

From 1990 to 2000 when there was a miniscule amount of wind power on the grid the overall CO2 intensity of electricity generation fell from 896 to 771gCO2/kWh – a reduction of 13.95%

From 2000 to 2008 the overall CO2 intensity of electricity generation fell from 771 to 581gCO2/kWh – a reduction of a 24%.

We know from the same report that Natural Gas increased from 27.3% to 54.7% (1990-2008) of the primary fuel mix for electricity generation.

We also know from the IEA (IEA - CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion: Highlights) that carbon emissions from Natural Gas in electricity and heat generation in Ireland decreased from 499 to 413 gCO2/kWh from 1990 to 2007 - a decrease of 17.23%

According to SEAI


In light of the above figures above is it reasonable to state that investing in higher efficiency gas plants is a far more cost effective means of reducing CO2 emissions rather than installing wind power? How much of the % carbon reduction from 2000 to 2008 is attributable to wind power ?
What is more staggering is the amount of "future" money committed for this useless form of energy production that is unsurprisingly supported by the Green party as they have a quasi-religious cult belief in joke "renewables" and whatever other nefarious motives?.

There is zippo evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. Denmark, the world's most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a bloody single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power's unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).
 

charley

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The price per unit of electricity has fallen ,I checked some old bills to be sure. In November 07 a unit was 0.1435 last month it was 0.1241, however the standing charge in 07 was €11.76 it is now €15.30.
So the Green Gob*****'s can claim that the actual cost per unit has fallen and ignore the increase in the standing charge.
 

Agnotologist

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You will find here most of what you will want to know about the economics if Wind Power generation. The rapidly increasing efficiency and size of installations is shown and the reducing costs. Now, 80% of the cost is in the construction of the turbine and that is dropping dramatically as a portion of unit cost.

There is little doubt that this form of power is increasingly important in the development of renewable energy.

http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/press_releases/factsheet_economy2.pdf
 

energy

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You will find here most of what you will want to know about the economics if Wind Power generation. The rapidly increasing efficiency and size of installations is shown and the reducing costs. Now, 80% of the cost is in the construction of the turbine and that is dropping dramatically as a portion of unit cost.
YELLOW CARD for Agnotologist ! - not allowed to quote industrial lobbies in this thread.
 

Agnotologist

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Football has been destroyed by this idiotic card system. (And a few other changes from the days when it was a real sport with sportsmanship.

Why ruin a perfectly good discussion?
 

energy

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Football has been destroyed by this idiotic card system. (And a few other changes from the days when it was a real sport with sportsmanship.

Why ruin a perfectly good discussion?
Quoting wind lobbies and unverifiable blogs is what ruins discussions. They just confuse the debate.

Here's some interesting statistics from the International Energy Agency.

http://www.iea.org/stats/surveys/mes.pdf

- Electricity production was 2 020 GWh in June 2010.
- This was higher by 36 GWh, or 1.8%, compared to June 2009.
- This was a decrease of 37 GWh, or 1.8%, compared to the previous month.
- Hydro production showed the most significant percentage change compared to the previous month with a decrease of 23.3%, or 10 GWh.

- Total production for the year-to-date was 13 534 GWh. Comparing this to the same period last year shows that:
- Total production was lower by 113 GWh, or 0.8%.
- Geoth./Wind/Solar/Other production showed the largest percentage change by energy source, being 17.9% lower.
- Trade volume increased by 23 GWh, or 4%.
So even though we are adding more and more wind turbines we are getting less energy than was produced last year ! Almost a 5th less !
 

Agnotologist

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Since you are so involved in this, I don't think I need to link to the information about the new Wind Farms starting up in the US. Or the 100 MW first stage of a 330 MW farm in the UK and the thousands more MW farms that are under construction.

You will know that, so what is your point in selecting the past?
 

energy

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You will know that, so what is your point in selecting the past?
Why do you refuse to acknowledge the past/current performance of wind ?
Do you not accept the official data for 2010 that even though the installed capacity of wind has increased that the output has decreased by 17.9% in Ireland ? It's a dismal performance.

Why do the pro-wind lobby simply believe that building more turbines will solve the problem when the current data from 2010 proves otherwise ?
 

Agnotologist

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I doubt that the current data proves anything other than an anomalous weather period. It is not arguable that, not only is installed capacity increasing rapidly but that the newer turbines are larger, more productive, and more cost efficient.

Look outside of Ireland for a while. Texas, for one, is five years ahead of its plans and now has almost 6000 MW of WP installed. Interesting in that the Governor of Texas is a "sceptic" about AGW but is still pushing WP, making Texas the leading state in that area.

The UK is now in the midst of a massive programme

Several other countries are in the same mode.
 

Fabo02

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SEAI’s report reveals that the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in 2009 was 14.4%, two-thirds of which was wind, ensuring that Ireland is well on track to fulfil Government targets on renewable electricity this year."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

2/3 of 14.4% is 9.5%, conventional capacity in Ireland stands @ c 6,000 mw so wind is 570 mw. When the SAEI say 9.5% of our electricity comes from wind, what is that 9.5% off?. Is it load factor or capacity credit? Eirgrid's 2010 report states that at low levels of wind, the contribution in saving fuel is near the load factor but as the percentage increases it falls towards the capacity credit and then to zero. If SAEI's claim is for laod factor, then that is no measure at all. If it is capacity credit that accurately measures it, it means that conventional capacity equal to 9.5% of winds rated capacity was shut down. To calculate the thermal fuel saved as a percentage of all the countries conventional fuel burning you must multipy by the wind penetration. Therefore the contribution made by Ireland's wind farms in 2009 (assuming the figures are correct) is
(credit capacity x wind [penetration) of 9.5% x (6000/570)
9.5 x 10.5 = .99% of rounded to 1%
Contribution in Denmark is 1.3 - 1.7 (Wall Stret Journal in Europe). It is wrong to bunch wind with other renewables (the other renewable is Hydro). Which operates without any back up.
 

Akrasia

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Wind power facts and figures

This thread is strictly facts only to establish the cost-effectiveness of the Irish energy wind programme in displacing conventional fossil fuel plant and reducing CO2 emissions.

• No mention of pumped storage & interconnectors.
Why exclude these from the discussion given that they are an integral part of some of the wind power strategies for Ireland?
 

energy

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Why exclude these from the discussion given that they are an integral part of some of the wind power strategies for Ireland?
It's another red-herring (discussed ad infinitum on another thread) to distract the public from analysing the actual performance of wind power to date in Ireland.

This thread trying to establish the cost-effectiveness of reducing CO2 emissions and fossil fuel usage by using wind power in Ireland from 1990 to 2009.
 


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