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I’ve been digging through some statistics for my own benefit. When you read or hear a statistic that country X is generating Y% of electricity via renewables it can sound wonderful, but the headline number can conceal or overstate useful progress. A few tips for readers new to the subject: Energy is not electricity. So […]

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In a few large companies I observed the same phenomenon – over here are corporate dreams and over there is reality. Team – your job is to move reality over to where corporate dreams are. It wasn’t worded like that. Anyway, reality won each time. Reality is pretty stubborn. Of course, refusal to accept “reality” […]

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About 100 years ago I wrote Renewables XVII – Demand Management 1 and promised to examine the subject more in a subsequent article. As with many of my blog promises (“non-core promises”) I have failed to do anything in what could be even charitably described as a “timely manner”. I got diverted by my startup. However, in a […]

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The respected Gratton Institute in Australia hosted a discussion of energy insiders – grid operators, distributors, the regulator. It’s well worth reading for many reasons. When I was thinking about this article I remembered the discussion. Here are a few extracts: MIKE: Andrew, one of the elements in the room here is the growth in […]

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A while back, I had a chat to Cory Budischak, lead author of the paper we looked at in XIV – Minimized Cost of 99.9% Renewable Study. He recommended a very recent JP Morgan document for investors in renewable energy – Our annual energy paper: the deep de-carbonization of electricity grids. And it is excellent. Best to read the […]

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In a number of earlier articles we looked at onshore wind because it is currently the lowest cost method of generating renewable electricity. The installed onshore wind capacity (nameplate) in Europe at the start of 2015 was 121 GW. By comparison the offshore wind capacity (nameplate) by comparison was 8 GW. (Both figures from EWEA). […]

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Budischak et al (2013) is a very interesting paper (and free). Here is the question they pose: What would the electric system look like if based primarily on renewable energy sources whose output varies with weather and sunlight? Today’s electric system strives to meet three requirements: very high reliability, low cost, and, increasingly since the […]

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In earlier articles we looked at wind power, what it costs, what it does to the grid, and what to do when the wind is not blowing. Now a frequent comment – which conceals more than it reveals – is: “the wind always blows somewhere”. This is true – if you have lots of wind […]

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Recap In Part I and IV – Wind, Forecast Horizon & Backups we looked at a few basics, including capacity credit which is basically how much “credit” the grid operator gives you for being there. If you are a 1GW coal-fired power station you probably get around 850MW – 900MW capacity credit. This reflects the availability that your power […]

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In IX – Onshore Wind Costs we looked at the capital and O&M costs of building onshore wind power. We stayed away from converting the numbers into “Levelized Cost of Energy”, or LCOE, because it obscures too much – instead we just tried to get a rough idea of the costs. The data presented in the article was […]

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