Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wind Energy Fact Sheet


96 Comments:

At 3/22/2012 11:23 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I disagree with number 4: they aren't really that noisy. Not much different from a fan, really.

 
At 3/22/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

They account for 20% of Electricity Production in Iowa, and S. Dakota,

and produced 8.5% of the Electricity in Texas last year.

I saw some numbers from Kansas, yesterday (if I can find the article I'll post it) that show the Turbines, there, are operating at about 40% efficiency.

Now, the system will become even more efficient when they start adding Solar into the grid to cover the Summer afternoon "peak" periods.

It's silly to keep railing against something that is clearly going to be a big part of the future.

 
At 3/22/2012 11:55 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

you ever been near a farm of windmills with 40 meter blades?

they are noisy and it's a low frequency noise that really carries and penetrates.

you can hit 45db quite easily and it's a really low hertz throbbing sound. i sure would not want to sleep near it.

http://www.acousticecology.org/wind/

bottom of page 5.

45 db is normal conversation level.

that is a lot of noise to have in your home.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

rufus-

wind can never be a real prat of the future. it's non economic, unreliable, and that is not going to change.

wind power over sweep is a 3rd power equation.

thus, 10mw at 20mph becomes 2.5mw at 15 and is barely worth running at 10.

that's why wind farms generate 15% of faceplate power.

worse, because they are unpredictable and inconsistent, they ALWAYS need some other power plant running to take up the slack when they drop off. they cannot replace ANY existing stations as a result.

wind is NEVER going to be real for baseline power.

PS.

those iowa numbers are total nonsense.

"As of January 2011, IUB staff estimates that 19-20% of all electricity generated in Iowa now comes from wind. This output is generated in Iowa but may be consumed outside of the state. This reflects the expected annual performance of all wind generation installed in Iowa to date, not historic performance. The estimate is based on the following assumptions: Currently installed wind capacity of 3,675 MW in Iowa, per AWEA's web site; Iowa average wind capacity factor of 33.3%, per industry consultant Tom Wind; and current U.S. DOE-EIA figures for electricity generated in Iowa (from all/other sources)."

they are an estimate based on bad numbers. 33%? not a chance in hell. no one even hits 20%. they will be lucky to do half of what they claim.

http://www.state.ia.us/government/com/util/energy/wind_generation.html

 
At 3/22/2012 12:09 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Okay, Morgan, U.S. DOE, EIA, and AWEA are "all" wrong. gimmee a break.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:24 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Based on a four-model study of electricity used in some 130 countries in the past 50 years, York found that it took more than 10 units of electricity produced from non-fossil sources – nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar – to displace a single unit of fossil fuel-generated electricity.
"When you see growth in nuclear power, for example, it doesn't seem to affect the rate of growth of fossil fuel-generated power very much," said York, a professor in the sociology department and environmental studies program. He also presented two models on total energy use. "When we looked at total energy consumption, we found a little more displacement, but still, at best, it took four to five units of non-fossil fuel energy to displace one unit produced with fossil fuel."

"I'm not saying that, in principle, we can't have displacement with these new technologies, but it is interesting that so far it has not happened," York said. "One reason the results seem surprising is that we, as societies, tend to see demand as an exogenous thing that generates supply, but supply also generates demand. Generating electricity creates the potential to use that energy, so creating new energy technologies often leads to yet more energy consumption.""

 
At 3/22/2012 12:24 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

you ever been near a farm of windmills with 40 meter blades?

Admittedly, I have not been near a windfarm. Growing up, Mass Maritime Academy had a windmill on their property. I lived right across the Canal from them and it never bothered us.

Again, granted, that is one windmill.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:29 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

wind is NEVER going to be real for baseline power.


And sails are never coming back to ships, for full power.

But, if an autmatically launched kite can save a ship $1800 a day in fuel cost, then it may still be a useful partial answer.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:31 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The wind turbine at Mass maritime is a subscale demonstration unit.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:36 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

rufus-

read the comment.

they assume 33% per an industry consultant.

unlike you, i have a great deal of real world experience with wind farms from companies that make the parts and mine the metals all the way up to the operators (mostly as shorts and very successfully. i make a living betting against clown like these.).

NO ONE gets 33%. 15-17% is typical.

the number you cite is the output of a model using bad assumptions.

if it's really so good, why do they NEVER include historical data? surely they have data from 2010 and 2011. why is that info still output from a model? because the reality is much worse and would not work yo justify all the additional money they want.

iowa itself tells you so on their website.

the third power wind velocity equation is what is called HARD SCIENCE. go can't model gravity on earth's surface at 4.5m/s2 and get meaningful answers.

your appeal to authority is just a weak and lazy argument. if you had an even rudimentary understanding of wind farms, you'd know that 33% faceplate yield is an unrealistic assumption.

even holland, with it's long history of windmills and excellent siting gets only .186 yield from its wind farms, many of which are offshore, which tend to get better yield. germany gets .167.

i suggest you get some info before relying so blindly on "authorities" that have told you up front that they are not giving you real data.

"This reflects the expected annual performance of all wind generation installed in Iowa to date, not historic performance. The estimate is based on the following assumptions:"

when someone refuses to give you historical data and wants you to rely on a model instead, do you really want to trust them? ask yourself: is that the action of someone interesting in conveying truth or of selling you a line?

the industry loves to talk about "wind generation capacity" but leaves out that pesky fact that real output is 80-85% lower.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:45 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

hydra-

"
And sails are never coming back to ships, for full power.

But, if an autmatically launched kite can save a ship $1800 a day in fuel cost, then it may still be a useful partial answer."

first off, they never left. lots of people have sailboats.

second, it's not a good analouge.

a kite is cheap and pays for itself in very short order.

a windmill is not.

a windmill costs $2.5 million per MW of faceplate.

so, at 16% efficiency, you get 160kw x 24 hrs X 365 days = 1400 MWH a year.

that sells wholesale for $30 X 1400 = $42,000.

42,000/2500000 = 1.68% that's 60 year payback assuming ZERO maintenance and line loss.

that's a money waster, not a good partial contributor.

 
At 3/22/2012 12:55 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

regarding mass maritime, that's a 660 kw vestas turbine.

big commercial scale windmills are 5-10MW, 10-20 times more powerful.

the balde tips at 22 rpm move at over 90m/s. that's 185 mph.

believe me, that makes some serious noise.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:11 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

believe me, that makes some serious noise.

Then I do stand corrected.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:22 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Noise isn't an issue. Masses of wind turbines aren't going to be anywhere near people. Kansas, Iowa, S.Dakota and the likes aren't exactly populated. I have stood in the middle of a wind farm, and the noise they generate wasn't louder than the cars driving by on the highway next to it.

These things make sense only in very specific circumstances, in very specific areas, and under specific conditions. For most places, they make no sense. The problem is that those places and circumstances are typically where people don't live. 20% of installed capacity (which translates to far less in actual production) in S.Dakota...means very little.

Even if we were to assume that all the concerns over GHG etc were valid, these things still make little sense outside of those specific circumstances, certainly not when the entire grid and their integration into the grid is considered.

Environmental activist should not be pushing for such solutions if they were really concerned about GHG emissions, since the argument can be made that gas power-plants produce considerably less GHG emissions than coal, are much more flexible than both coal or wind, and are more scalable than wind. if you can be flexible, you can adjust your production to when you need it, and scale it back when you don't. Wind isn't adjustable...and when one takes into consideration the real GHG emissions of building and operating, you're probably not getting any savings (I think studies have been done that show just this).

Form an economic perspective, they make no sense (as others have commented here). One operator of a wind turbine I have talked to a manufacturing business which bought a single turbine for their plant, and they said they were expecting a payback in about 14 years. And they were located on the shores of a very windy great lake. Not exactly the best use for your money.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Morgan, this Data (not estimates) from Kansas says You Don'
t Know What You're Talking About.


Electricity "Production" in the High 30's/Low 40's.

And, almost all of the turbines installed in the last few years have been in the 2MW range, Not 5-10MW.

And, the cost is running about $2.00/MW, not $2.50/MW.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

And, when the State of Texas says they got 8.5% of their electricity from Wind in 2011, do you really think they're using "estimates?"

 
At 3/22/2012 1:37 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Also, you have to take "historical" data with a grain of salt. The older windmills were smaller, and much less efficient.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:37 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Lots of people have sailboats, but not too many people make money under sail power alone. There is at least back up power, and morelikely there is full power with sail assist.

The kite I mentioned is a very large peice of canvas. It is launched from a tower on the boat and it is computer controlled to fly in a figure eight pattern to maximize thrust.

It is nowhere near as heavy and complex as a wind turbine, and I agree the analogy is not perfect.

But just because they can never pull the full load doesn't (by itself) mean they cannot contribute.

From long experience I can tell you that even sailboats suffer from similar issues. If I can keep the cost of operating mine at under $2 a mile, I'm doing pretty good.

A set of sails for my little thirty footer is probably $15,000 today, and that would be modest sails, not high tech racing sails. You can buy a lot of fuel for that kind of money, and you still have to buy a mast and all the rigging to operate the sails.

And pay for the back-up engine.

I understand your point, and sailboats will never replace power boats any more than wind turbines will replace fossil fuels plants. but augmentation and replacement are two differnt things.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:40 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

There have also been ships built with wind turbines on them that power conventional propellers, such that they can propel themselves straight into the wind that is moving them.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:48 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Rufus makes a number of excellent points.

Somewhere out there, there does exist an objective truth. starting the search for it with an established dogmati position, (either pro or con), does not help converge on that truth any sooner.

If it develops over time that Rufus truths are more accurate than morganovich truths then their positions will begin to converge.

I just don't see much progress being made by starting from the position that says it will never work, can never work.

 
At 3/22/2012 1:53 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"But just because they can never pull the full load doesn't (by itself) mean they cannot contribute."

i understand what you are saying, but i think wind cannot even contribute.

at sub 2% annual ROI even before maintenance and line loss, you are looking at a net loss over useful life for sure.

spending $100 to create $30 in npv's electricity over useful life is not a contribution.

it's not a kite, it's an anchor.

a kite pays for itself quickly.

even at $180k, you are looking at 4 month payback if you use it every day. that's far better than 60 years which exceeds a turbine's useful life.

 
At 3/22/2012 2:03 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Here is a Texas Wind Farm with 278 MW max capacity that puts out over 750,000 MW hrs/yr. That's over 30% Efficiency.

King Mountain Wind Farm

 
At 3/22/2012 2:09 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

And, that is an older farm with smaller, 1.3 MW Turbines.


I'm sure of one thing. I know within a few dollars what the electricity from one of those wind farms will cost in the year, 2033.

Can anyone say the same about any fossil fuel-generated electricity?

 
At 3/22/2012 2:11 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

I say "within a few dollars" because,

although the Wind will continue to be "no charge,"

a maintenance worker will be required for approx. every six, or seven turbines. The salary of that maintenance worker can only be predicted within certain parameters.

 
At 3/22/2012 2:13 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Also, it's not a slam dunk that the worker/turbine ratio won't decline as the technology improves, and matures.

 
At 3/22/2012 2:22 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Here is a Texas Wind Farm with 278 MW max capacity that puts out over 750,000 MW hrs/yr. That's over 30% Efficiency.

Question:

This particular wind farm, at peak, has 30% efficiency.

Gas plants, at peak, have about 50% efficiency. Coal and oil plants about 35-40%.

Why is wind a viable alternative if it produces less efficiently?

 
At 3/22/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

This is from one of the Iowa Wind Farms:

For example: Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative's 14 wind turbines have a nameplate capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW). Hypothetically, if all 14 turbines operated non-stop for the entire month the energy produced for the month would be: (14 turbines x 1.5 MW) x (31 days x 24 hours) = 15,624,000 kWh. The actual energy produced for the month of January was 8,848,141 kWh (8,848,141/15,624,000 kWh = 57 percent capacity factor).

 
At 3/22/2012 2:27 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

 
At 3/22/2012 2:30 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Jon, "efficiency" is, mostly, a red herring. What matters is "Cost/Output."

And, with "Cost," you're looking not just at Today, but at a point fifteen, twenty, maybe thirty years down the road.

 
At 3/22/2012 2:38 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon, "efficiency" is, mostly, a red herring.

Maybe, but it has been brought it up by both Morganovich and yourself. I think the question still stands.

Secondly, I'd like to challenge your point about knowing the costs of wind going into the future. I'll agree that, given current circumstances, we can make a prediction about costs going forward, but it's impossible to "know" the future. What if the government passes a law regulating the amount of noise the turbine can make? Or it's profile in the sky? Or the types of metal used in them? Will not that change the costs? Could raise or lower them. Who knows?

One other concern I have regarding wind power is the amount of land needed to effectively generate electricity. Let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that all else is held equal between wind and fossil-fuel plants: they operate at the same efficiency, no impediments to getting the power where it needs to go, etc. In order for a wind farm to generate the same amount of electricity as a power plant, it needs to occupy more ground (doesn't matter if it's on dry land or the ocean). That means less land for farming, fishing, building, natural parks, ocean life, etc. Is that a problem? I'm asking, not preaching.

 
At 3/22/2012 2:54 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Ah, Jon, a wind turbine takes up 1,600 sq ft (40 X 40) on average.

By contrast, there are 43,560 sq ft in an acre.

You're talking about 1/27th of an acre for 5,256 MW Hrs/annually. (figuring a .30 Conversion Factor)

Or, 141,912 Megawatt/Hrs annually for an acre.

Not much of a deal, I think.

 
At 3/22/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Ah, Jon, a wind turbine takes up 1,600 sq ft (40 X 40) on average.

Right, but don't you need many wind turbines to generate enough electricity for a community? Doesn't a power plant generate more power per unit of land than a wind turbine?

I am asking. Energy is not my specialty

 
At 3/22/2012 2:59 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Maybe "red herring" isn't the, exactly correct term, but I only addressed it because Morgan was spreading some very bad info.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:01 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Yeah, Jon, I suppose that would be correct, but in any energy generation calculation that I'm aware of "the cost of land" is, basically, an afterthought.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:03 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Ok, thank you. I think I am done with my questions for now

 
At 3/22/2012 3:04 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

As long as you don't come back insisting on "correct" answers we'll be fine. :)

 
At 3/22/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

*Imitating Columbo*

Oh, just one more thing.

Why is efficiency, for lack of a better word, a red herring?

 
At 3/22/2012 3:13 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Wind and solar subsidies are stupid. Still, the solar and wind guys are pikers next to the corn growers and mandated use of ethanol.

The solar and wind guys should have said they are harvesting sunlight and wind in rural areas, and gotten under the USDA wing, where subsidies are permanent.

The solar and wind guys had bad business models of one-off subsidies. What a bunch of rank amateurs. Idiots!

Look at ethanol for a green program that became so deeply embedded into our economy and created so many dependent voters, that we will never eradicate it.

Ethanol is another permanent federal pillar in the Red State Socialist Empire of knock-kneed, enfeebled, subsidized pink rural economies, propped by federal mandates or subsidies.

The stupid solar and wind guys should have enmeshed themselves into the permanent federal rural lard-train.

Being progressive liberal types, they obviously didn't know the ropes. What a bunch of weenies.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:26 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

No One buys "efficiency," Jon. We buy electricity. We don't care if the electricity comes from a super-duper, highly efficient windmill, or a horse turning a crank; we just want to know "What does it cost me?"

If I'm going into the electrical generation business, I'm not interested in duelling salemen hyping their "unique," patented, special sauces; I want to know:

what will the plant cost (capital cost/labor/feedstock/etc

how much will it produce

and, for "how much" can I sell the product?

 
At 3/22/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Thank you, Rufus.

As an economist, I get caught up in efficiency. It's what we do: how can we allocate these resources in order to maximize their usefulness?

 
At 3/22/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Still, the solar and wind guys are pikers next to the corn growers and mandated use of ethanol."

And your boyfriend is a huge advocate for solar, wind, AND ethanol.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

BTW, Benji, Ethanol is Not subsidized, and is selling, today, on the CBOT for $2.28/gal (compared to $3.34 for gasoline.)

 
At 3/22/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The ethanol subsides expired at the beginning of the year, I believe.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

I understand, Jon. "Economics" has problems with two things:

anything of "finite" supply (such as coal, oil, gas, etc,)

and Time.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I understand, Jon. "Economics" has problems with two things:

anything of "finite" supply (such as coal, oil, gas, etc,)

and Time.


Lol well, I'll have to disagree with you on that, but that is a discussion for another place and another time.

 
At 3/22/2012 3:50 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"They account for 20% of Electricity Production in Iowa, and S. Dakota, and produced 8.5% of the Electricity in Texas last year"...

You have something credible to back up those numbers rufus?

"Okay, Morgan, U.S. DOE, EIA, and AWEA are "all" wrong. gimmee a break"...

That's right rufus, those parasitic bureaucrats aren't pushing Obama hates fossil fuels agenda, right?

 
At 3/22/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ethanol use is mandated at about 10 percent o gasoline nationally. The lobbyists want it to go to 15 percent. Ethanol was subsidized for many decades, and may be again, but right now use is "only" mandated by federal bureaucrats.

What if Obama mandated to use of fuels in automobiles--at 10 percent of volume---that were derived from urban wastes, and produced in factories where inner-city types were employed.

Oh, the outrage, the outrage.

But the GOP drinks ethanol.

Yeah, we all believe in free enterprise, except when we don't.

 
At 3/22/2012 4:13 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Let's see--Rick Santorum thinks the federal government should mandate--force you--to buy ethanol. Everytime you fill up your car, the feds should make sure there is ethanol in the gasoline.

Here is Rick speaking--

"Across Pennsylvania, farmers are also digging and planting corn and other crops that will be turned into ethanol that can replace gasoline in our cars. Most cars in America can’t run on ethanol, however, so who is going to install ethanol pumps at the gas station without the cars to run on it? At this point I would say to all of my hard-core conservative friends: Hold on to your hats.
What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be “flex-fuel vehicles” – that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil."

Gee, no right-wing ridicule of Santorum and his mandates for ethanol or methanol. Gee why not?

Next we will hearing the evangelicals bashing money-lending and quoting Jesus to the effect that a rich man can get into heaven the way a camel can get through the eye of the needle.

Is this really stuff we want to teach to children?

 
At 3/22/2012 4:15 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Here, Juandos

 
At 3/22/2012 4:18 PM, Blogger Ye Olde Wielder O' Projects said...

That's not a "wind energy fact sheet". It's a "wind energy hyperbole sheet".

 
At 3/22/2012 4:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

The sad fact is that wind generated energy is another stupid leftist/socialist idea and a taxpayer supported scam...

We could learn the lessons from Europe though: here and here...

 
At 3/22/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger Mace said...

Re: Rufus

What this 30 second video of a turbine killing a bird and tell me how wonderful wind power is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwVz5hdAMGU

And then your comment about economics:

"Economics" has problems with two things: anything of "finite" supply (such as coal, oil, gas, etc,) and Time.

You strike me as a person who has no knowledge of economics.

 
At 3/22/2012 4:31 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

If I show you a video of a car crash are you going to insist I walk to work?

 
At 3/22/2012 4:33 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

I have "enough knowledge of economic" to not let it override my "common sense" (something that can't always be said for some of those who call themselves "economists.")

 
At 3/22/2012 4:42 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Come on rufus, I asked for 'credible' and you link to a progranda sheet...

Interestingly but not suprisingly there's no mention I could find regarding toxicity of the rare earth elements used in power generating windmills...

Mind you rufus I would love to see that there is some useful need for windmill generated juice but the technology isn't there yet otherwise real companies would be producing them without the need for taxpayer subsidies...

 
At 3/22/2012 4:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"That's not a "wind energy fact sheet". It's a "wind energy hyperbole sheet""...

Not really...

 
At 3/22/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rufus: "I saw some numbers from Kansas, yesterday (if I can find the article I'll post it) that show the Turbines, there, are operating at about 40% efficiency."

Yeah, please do. That would be the best number ever in the entire history of wind energy, anywhere in the world. I can hardly wait to see it.

 
At 3/22/2012 6:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rufus: How are you able to turn this:

"This reflects the expected annual performance of all wind generation installed in Iowa to date, not historic performance."

- into this:

"They account for 20% of Electricity Production in Iowa, and S. Dakota"

Perhaps you could consider using actual information, instead of rosy projections by people who have much to gain from the promotion of wind energy.

Your wishing doesn't make it so.

 
At 3/22/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Gee, no right-wing ridicule of Santorum and his mandates for ethanol or methanol. Gee why not?"

While I don't agree with Santorum here, he's just calling for another regulation. Your boyfriend has issued a mountain of them in the past 3 years. Not the same as the unprecedented requirement for every American to purchase a product as mandated in Obamacare.

"Is this really stuff we want to teach to children?"

Yeah, I agree but tt's just one of the many aspects of the Critical Race Theory that guides your boyfriend's policies.

 
At 3/22/2012 6:33 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Note the links to government sources in this IER article: On a Btu Basis, Renewable Subsidies are 49 Times Greater than Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Is it merely some clever manipulation of numbers or is there something substative to it all?

 
At 3/22/2012 6:36 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

actually rufus, it shows that you do not read carefully.

those are still estimates.

let's take gray county:

"It produces 112 MW of electricity from 170 Vestas V-47 wind turbines"

a v-47 is a 660 kw turbine. 170 X 660kw = 112mw, so that's vace, not output.

i suggest you go read the EIA methodology.

http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/eia906_920.html

nowhere do they actually measure power put into a line.

it's all estimates. you are validating a 30% estimate with a 30% estimate.

they work like this:

"he Form EIA 906/920 data for 2004-2006 have been updated.

A new method of allocating fuel consumption between electric power generation and useful thermal output (UTO) was implemented for 2004-2008. This new methodology proportionally distributes a combined heat and power (CHP) plant’s losses between the two output products (electric power and UTO). In the historical data, UTO was consistently assumed to be 80 percent efficient and all other losses at the plant were allocated to electric power. This change results in the fuel for electric power to be lower, while the fuel for UTO is higher than the prior set of data as both are given the same efficiency. This results in the appearance of an increase in efficiency of production of electric power between 2003 and 2004."

it's all models and assumptions.

the NEVER measure power coming out of a plant nor the inputs going in.

you are using assumption to back up assumption.


also note:

even at 30%, these farms lose money hand over fist.

330 mwh a year sells for about $10k wholesale.

let's use your (low) number of $2 million per mw.

this plant cost 112 X 2 = $224 million.

let's cut that in half, just for fun.

112 million in costs.

now lets assume that the 330mwh the site points to is a typo and it's really 1000 times that. (that they meant mwh, not kwh)

that's still $1 million a year in wholesale power for over $100 million in investment.

that's sub 1% return even before line loss and maintenance.

it's a massive loser even at their assumptions.

generation over the useful life of the turbines is going to be maybe 30% of what they cost if we are really generous.

so how is that the wave of the future?

it's an economic disaster.

 
At 3/22/2012 8:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the balde tips at 22 rpm move at over 90m/s. that's 185 mph."

And those birds have no historical experience of huge objects approaching them at that speed. It's the same problem they have with airplanes.

Give them a few million years to evolve, and they will learn to avoid them.

Also, all other roadkill will most likely be a thing of the past by then.

 
At 3/22/2012 8:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rufus: "You're talking about 1/27th of an acre for 5,256 MW Hrs/annually. (figuring a .30 Conversion Factor)

Or, 141,912 Megawatt/Hrs annually for an acre.

Not much of a deal, I think.
"

Wait! wait! Is there nothing else? are any access roads required? room for maintenance and repair - and yes there will be some. How about distribution? Do any wires need to go anywhere?

What's this 141,912 Megawatt/Hrs annually for an acre? are you assuming these things can be stacked up front to back and side to side like that?

You need to rethink what you are saying. There is a minimum space required between turbines, to get full use of the wind, otherwise you are just creating wind shadows.

You obviously aren't thinking clearly, and aren't understanding what others are telling you.

And please, try to be more careful with numbers.

 
At 3/22/2012 8:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"a maintenance worker will be required for approx. every six, or seven turbines. The salary of that maintenance worker can only be predicted within certain parameters."

You can predict what a wind turbine maintenance worker will be making in 2033?

Incredible! Where do you get this stuff?

I can predict that such a worker will make $0 in that year, because there won't be any of them left by then. Wind turbines will be a crumbling blight on the landscape.

 
At 3/22/2012 8:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Somewhere out there, there does exist an objective truth. starting the search for it with an established dogmati position, (either pro or con), does not help converge on that truth any sooner.

If it develops over time that Rufus truths are more accurate than morganovich truths then their positions will begin to converge.
"

That's just meaningless nonsense.

Here's an objective truth for you:

Steam powered ships are OK for coastal work, but will never replace sailing ships for intercontinental travel, as a ship can't carry enough wood to make the crossing.

 
At 3/22/2012 9:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"what will the plant cost (capital cost/labor/feedstock/etc

how much will it produce

and, for "how much" can I sell the product?
"

Don't you want to know what it will cost to operate? Are you at all curious about it's overall EROEI?
In other words its "efficiency"?

When morganovich gives you numbers that indicate your payback is 60 years, why don't you refute his numbers with better ones of your own, instead of falling back on that phony operating efficiency number?

Even if you can show operations at 32% of faceplate, twice what M uses, you still have a 30 year payback, and that's with NO MAINTENANCE, and you still haven't accounted for the disposal costs involved for blades and other parts that DO need to be replace eventually.

Where are your numbers, Rufus?

Don't you understand that wind can never be economic?

 
At 3/22/2012 9:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rufus: "Jon, "efficiency" is, mostly, a red herring. What matters is "Cost/Output.""

Er... doesn't that directly relate to efficiency?

Doesn't the cost vary directly with whether you need 10 turbines for the desired output or 20 turbines for the same output?

 
At 3/22/2012 9:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"No One buys "efficiency," Jon. We buy electricity. We don't care if the electricity comes from a super-duper, highly efficient windmill, or a horse turning a crank; we just want to know "What does it cost me?"

And "what it cost's me" depends directly on how efficient the operation is, in terms of cost of inputs to price of outputs, assuming competition.

Electricity from wind power seems to be one of those things that will forever cost more to make, then what you get out.

Negative EROEI isn't a very good business plan.

 
At 3/22/2012 10:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rufus: "Also, it's not a slam dunk that the worker/turbine ratio won't decline as the technology improves, and matures.

There are no slam dunks for the year 2033 or any future date.

If by technology improvements you mean greater reliability of the parts, you could be right. But, keep in mind that there's a certain amount of actually energy available in a given mass of moving air, just as there is a limit to the amount of solar energy available from a given area of surface.

There are no order-of-magnitude improvements in either wind or solar. There is very little improvement possible in the ability to extract energy from moving air.

 
At 3/22/2012 10:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"BTW, Benji, Ethanol is Not subsidized, and is selling, today, on the CBOT for $2.28/gal (compared to $3.34 for gasoline.)"

That's about equivalent considering energy content.

Is corn subsidized?

 
At 3/22/2012 10:48 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rufus says: "Here, Juandos"

Do you really consider a press release from the AWEA a reliable & unbiased source of information?

Get a grip. You're funny.

 
At 3/22/2012 11:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Get a grip. You're funny"...

Oh so true ron h...

I find it hilarious that peope think the energy companies are conspiring against cheap energy...

I mean if the energy companies really thought that building a handful of windmills was a better way to go than the enormous expense and occassional danger of drilling for oil and gas it wouldn't occur to them to go that route?!?!

 
At 3/22/2012 11:55 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Corn farmers alone have received $77.1 billion in subsidies since 1995. And that does not even include the ethanol mandate.

http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=corn

You never hear pompous right-wing pettifogging about that $77.1 billion (growing every year too).

But hey, let some windmills get federal lard......you see, those stupid windmill weenies don't know they are supposed work through the USDA for permanent subsidies, not the Energy Dept for one-time cash giveaways.

Hence the Red States Socialist Empire is going to make sure their dicks get cut off.

 
At 3/23/2012 1:34 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I mean if the energy companies really thought that building a handful of windmills was a better way to go than the enormous expense and occassional danger of drilling for oil and gas it wouldn't occur to them to go that route?!?!"

Ah Yup.

 
At 3/23/2012 8:34 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Come on, Morgan. Someone BUYS the electricity produced. Are you telling me they are "buying estimates?"

You saw where the guy in Iowa said, the unexpected warm weather made us an extra $1.9 Million. That is "money." It's not an "estimate."

And, Ron, you are correct; the access road would add more area than the base of the turbine, itself. But, it doesn't matter. If a turbine ended up taking out an acre it's basically a meaningless factoid in the general scheme of things.

 
At 3/23/2012 9:20 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

you come on rufus.

you sent me a bunch of assumptions on output. those were not real historical numbers. look at the methodology.

the gray country farm claims >30% efficiency using 13 year old small scale vestas v-47 turbines when the dutch are getting barely half that using the huge, modern ones offshore?

it's just not happening.

you are using a bunch of assumptions on output to justify assumptions on output. it's just circular modeling. you are not getting or using real data.

further, as i showed you, even if the info you presented wasn't massively overstated, it's still a massive economic loser.

i laid it out for you in great detail using the rosiest assumptions i could.

the math doesn't lie.

thus, you comment about "
It's silly to keep railing against something that is clearly going to be a big part of the future." is pure nonsense.

if paying $5-6 per $1 of NPV electricity is the future, then the future is going to be a dark place.

 
At 3/23/2012 9:59 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Hence the Red States Socialist Empire is going to make sure their dicks get cut off."

Not if your boyfriend has anything to say about it. He's going to make sure ethanol AND his green jobs crony empire are flush with tax dollars.

 
At 3/23/2012 10:06 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Morgan, your "assumptions" were so far off that I didn't bother checking your math, but here's what I'm seeing.

It costs $2 Million to install a 2 MW Turbine.

Said Turbine operating at 30% efficiency will produce 5,840 MW hrs of electricity, annually.

That's already sold via PPA's (Power Purchase Agreements) for $50.00 per MW hr.

That's $292,000.00 Annual Revenues from a $2 Million investment.

No Feedstock costs, and maintenance is minimal (maybe $20,000.00/annually.)

There's a reason Warren Buffet is buying these things left, and right.

 
At 3/23/2012 10:07 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Excuse me. Before you blow a gasket - $4 Million per Turbine, not two.

 
At 3/23/2012 12:01 PM, Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

MIT has released a study on the effects of wind and solar on the integrity of the power grid:

http://web.mit.edu/mitei/research/reports/intermittent-renewables-full.pdf

Long, technically detailed read (I am still working my way through it). The bottom line is that grid stability has been degraded.

RufusII: If what you are posting is true, then lets remove direct and indirect subsidies of wind power (no grants or mandatory power purchases). If what you are saying is true, people like Buffet will fund wind's expansion. If not, it will die.

 
At 3/23/2012 1:16 PM, Blogger juandos said...

pseudo benny in a rather pompus fashion makes the claim: "You never hear pompous right-wing pettifogging about that $77.1 billion (growing every year too)"...

You have something credible to back that statement up pseudo benny regarding these alledged 'pompous right-wing pettifogging'?

 
At 3/23/2012 2:22 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"lets remove direct and indirect subsidies of wind power"

Why stop there? Remove ALL direct and indirect subsidies from all energy sources, and then compare costs.

 
At 3/23/2012 2:39 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Juandos,

Of course Benji has nothing to back up his nonsense. I could spend all day linking examples of conservatives objecting to the ag subsidies his boyfriend champions, but it makes no difference. He will resume the same idiot talking points next chance he has.

 
At 3/23/2012 5:43 PM, Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

Hydra:

I am all for that, with one Caveat in regards to nuclear: The Feds stop making the approval process so time consuming and expensive. Approval times for the new generation 4 reactors takes a minimum of six years and millions of dollars.

Toshiba has so much confidence in their design (the 4S) that they offered it at no up front cost to Galena AK. Toshiba planned to make its money selling power and steam. Galena would get the power at half or less than what they are paying now.

 
At 3/23/2012 7:30 PM, Blogger juandos said...

hydra can on occassion suprise me: "Why stop there? Remove ALL direct and indirect subsidies from all energy sources, and then compare costs"...

Well consider the following from the Motely Fool:

Power Source

Total U.S. Subsidy (millions)

Coal - $1,358
Oil and gas - $2,820
Nuclear - $2,499
Biomass/biofuels - $7,761
Geothermal - $273
Hydro - $216
Solar - $1,134
Wind - $4,986

 
At 3/23/2012 7:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"He will resume the same idiot talking points next chance he has"...

Yeah paul I'm reminded of pseudo benny's endless rant regarding the defense department and the bogus numbers he came up with as far as the yearly budget was concrned...

Almost hilarious!...

 
At 3/24/2012 1:56 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> wind can never be a real prat of the future.

No, no, no, morgan -- wind IS the real "prat" of the future.

:^D

LOLZ -- an astoundingly apt typo.

 
At 3/24/2012 2:03 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> "He will resume the same idiot talking points next chance he has"...

As I have noted elsewhere, you're not arguing to convince him. It's impossible, he's got lockjaw of the brain.

You're arguing to convince anyone foolish and ignorant enough to read his stuff and not ask the right questions and/or do their own homework sufficient to see what a load of crap he's selling.

You're arguing in order to test your own assertions against public scrutiny.

You're arguing in order to practice your own rhetorical skills in refuting charlatans and damnfools, whichever Rufus is doesn't really matter.

So don't think it's a waste of time to refute his folderol. There's a goal, it's just not the one you might think it to be.

 
At 3/24/2012 7:33 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Here's estimates of levelized costs by source:

www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/images/elcngr_tbl1.jpg

from

Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2011

 
At 3/24/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

From the IER: Making Sense of Levelized Costs

 
At 3/24/2012 6:34 PM, Blogger markbahner said...

"It's silly to keep railing against something that is clearly going to be a big part of the future."

Would you like to bet on wind and solar electric being even 15 percent of the total number of gigawatt-hours generated in the U.S. within 20 years?

 
At 3/24/2012 7:08 PM, Blogger markbahner said...

"Here is a Texas Wind Farm with 278 MW max capacity that puts out over 750,000 MW hrs/yr. That's over 30% Efficiency."

The proper term is "capacity factor", not "efficiency."

Capacity factor

 
At 3/24/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger markbahner said...

Hi Jon,

You write, "One other concern I have regarding wind power is the amount of land needed to effectively generate electricity. Let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that all else is held equal between wind and fossil-fuel plants: they operate at the same efficiency, no impediments to getting the power where it needs to go, etc. In order for a wind farm to generate the same amount of electricity as a power plant, it needs to occupy more ground (doesn't matter if it's on dry land or the ocean). That means less land for farming, fishing, building, natural parks, ocean life, etc. Is that a problem? I'm asking, not preaching."

I don't think that starting from an assumption that there are, "no impediments to getting the power where it needs to go" is a good start.

A 500 MW gas turbine power plant can be located very close to a major city. That means that the electrical grid infrastructure doesn't need to be as signficant as if that 500 MW is located several states away. Also, the gas turbine power plant (or the set of gas turbine power plants) can follow the demand for electricity from the city, whereas the wind turbines cannot.

*If* all of the electricity in the U.S. was generated from wind located in rural states (or well offshore...beyond anyones' sight) then the land occupied by wind wouldn't be a big deal. But *if* all the electricity in the U.S. was generated from wind that was in rural states or well offshore, then we'd need huge additional spending on infrastructure to get that power to people, especially in times that they need it.

Also, right now, offshore wind is much more expensive than onshore wind.

It would be very surprising to me if wind ever generates more than 15% of the U.S. electricity production in any year.

P.S. I have much more hope, long-term, for photovoltaics. A house in the Southwest can generate a significant amount of its total energy use right there on the roof. It's just that, at present, it's far more expensive than power from the grid.

 
At 3/24/2012 7:33 PM, Blogger markbahner said...

"Why stop there? Remove ALL direct and indirect subsidies from all energy sources, and then compare costs."

Sounds like a good plan to me!

 
At 3/24/2012 8:00 PM, Blogger Breaker Morant said...

Rufus: "You're talking about 1/27th of an acre for 5,256 MW Hrs/annually. (figuring a .30 Conversion Factor)

Or, 141,912 Megawatt/Hrs annually for an acre.

Not much of a deal, I think."<<<

Ron H beat me to the access road issue. The link below is to an aerial photo of a windfarm. The access roads to the towers require a land base that is orders of magnitude larger than the footprint of the towers.

http://www.adamscountywind.com/Revised%20Site/Windmills/Other%20Issues/Crop%20dusting.htm

 
At 3/24/2012 8:01 PM, Blogger Breaker Morant said...

I see my link doesn't work. Just google aerial view of a windfarm.

 

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