Friday, 28 September 2012

Lynas & Goodall's Guardian Piece On Wind & OCGTs

In an article in the Guardian's online "Environment Blog" section, posted a couple of days ago, the journalists Mark Lynas and Chris Goodall wrote...
"The essence of the wind sceptics' case is that a scaling up in wind power will have to be "backed up" by massive investment in gas-fired open cycle turbine (OCGT) plants..."  "Their arguments are not borne out by current statistics, however."
The emphases are mine.

The problem is that the UK's installed wind capacity has not yet been scaled up - it is still only 4 GW or thereabouts - so looking at current statistics is not going to prove anything, since drop offs in electricity production from wind turbines due to intermittant wind are going to be trivially within the Grid's reserve capacity anyway.

You would think that, having accurately described the argument of Matt Ridley and others that a scaling up in wind power will require a scaling up in reserve capacity, that they would actually understand it. One of the two authors even quotes somebody from the National Grid by the name of Gillian West saying that...
"As more wind connects, there will be a need for additional back-up for that intermittency..."
Lynas and Goodall get a much more thorough going over at Bishop Hill. My favourite comment was this from the interestingly named "Heide De Kline"...
"So, now that we have established that 1GWh = 1GWh, what I would like to know is:

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