Pramod Jain's blog

Portugal achieves 100% RE for 4.5 days

Between May 7 and 11, wind and hydro contributed about 45% each of the total domestic demand of 632.7GWh.  Rest of the demand was provided by solar and biomass.  An additional 153.7 GWh was exported, which included some non-renewable energy.

More details are available at: http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1395419/portugal-powered-renewab....

 

Successful integration of 30% wind energy in Germany

I am directly quoting from this very informative article:

"Renewables now provide close to 30% of Germany’s power on an average basis.  And on some peak days in 2014, solar and wind supplied close to 80% of peak power demand at specific times of the day.  In the future, Germany is targeting a 35% average share by 2020 and a 50% average share by 2030.  Because of the feed-in tariff law (EEG), renewables have dispatch priority, meaning they are always used first, sometimes leaving very little power demand left to be supplied by coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants. So how is Germany integrating and balancing renewable energy today?  What has Germany needed to do so far?

The answer is that Germany has so far managed to integrate and balance high shares of renewable energy with very modest changes to its power system.  Bigger changes will be necessary in the future, certainly, including new market frameworks that are currently under active discussion.  But today, Germany has managed quite well to reach close to a 30% share, for seven main reasons, which are discussed below.

The two most important reasons are: (1) the existing strength of its power grids; and (2) flexible operation of coal and nuclear plants (and to a lesser extent gas and pumped hydro).  In addition, Germany has managed quite well because of: (3) better design of the balancing (ancillary) power markets, to make them more effective, faster, and open; (4) better system control software and day-ahead weather forecasting; (5) modest technical improvements to local-level distribution systems; (6) exports of power to neighboring countries; and (7) solving the “50.2 hertz” inverter problem."

For more details see http://www.martinot.info/renewables2050/how-is-germany-integrating-and-b...

 

Wind auction rates in Canada come in below Feed-in tariff

Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has selected 300 MW of wind power in a reverse auction with an average price of C$0.0859/kWh.  In 2009 the wind feed-in tariff was C$0.135, which was lowered to C$0.115.  

In the same auction IESO bought 140 MW of solar power for C$0.1567/kWh.

For details see http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1386944/ontario-wind-auction-pus...

Repowering and decommissioning of Altamont Pass wind project

One of the oldest wind farms in US, Altamont pass wind project, is being partly repowered and partly decommissioned.  It has 828 Kenetech 100kW turbines with lattice towers, something unimaginable today.  The project was controversial because of the number of raptor kills, which is primarily due to the wind farm's location on major migratory route of raptors.  Mitigation measures like curtailment during November to February, the high season for birds, were in place.  A few turbines were the source of majority of the bird kills, in addition to the high density of the 100kW turbines.

A repowering plan has been proposed which replaces 828 turbines with 27 turbines with rated capacity of 2.1MW.

For more details see this source.

Wind energy statistics by states in the USA

The following is useful data about wind energy in US in 2015:

  • Iowa is the first state to reach the 30% milestone; it generates 31.3% of total in-state energy from wind
  • Other states that generate more than 20% of energy from wind are: Kansas and South Dakota
  • Wind energy contributed 4.7% to the total electricity generation in US in 2015, while solar was at 0.94%
  • 8.6 GW of wind power was installed in US, which was the largest source of generation capacity ahead of Solar (7.3 GW) and natural gas (6 GW)
  • Electricity rates in US ar 5.5% lower compared to 2009
  • US power sector emissions fell to the lowest level since 1995
  • At 7.1 cents per kWh, the retail price of electricity to the industrial sector in US is the lowest compared to major economies like Germany, China and India.
  • Wind power supports 73,000 jobs across US

The following graphic illustrates the percentages, http://www.windpowerengineering.com/featured/business-news-projects/u-s-... 

 

US State Wind Energy production

US is number one in wind energy production, but China is number one in wind power installation

A very interesting fact was published today by GWEC regarding wind energy production in 2015:

  • US produced 190 million MWh from 74.5 GW of wind power installations
  • China produced 185.1 million MWh from 145.1 GW of wind power installations
  • Germany produced 84.6 million MWh from 44.95 GW of wind power installations.

This implies that the effective capacity factor of Chinese wind farms is about half of US wind farms.  This can be attributed to a) better transmission infrastructure in US while China faces shortage of transmission from wind producing areas to load centers, and b) higher productivity due to higher wind speed and focus on bottom line in the US.

Comments:

Additional information from WindPower Monthly--As of December 2015, in China 14.8 GW of wind was not connected to the grid. The article also mentions that China has 20% exposure to curtailment.

 

Cost of wind energy worldwide, 2015

Wind energy costs for 2015 are compared to 2014 costs in WindPower Monthly.  It also compares with costs of nuclear and fossil-fuel based generation.  Following is a tabular representation of the low and median costs for onshore and offshore.

  

    Onshore Offshore
    Low Median Low Median
2015 Turbine, $/kW    $ 1,070    
  TIC, $/kW  $ 1,200  $ 1,700  $ 4,000  $ 5,000
  O&M, $/MWh    $       19    $       40
  GC, $/MWh  $       50  $       78  $     150  $     192

TIC: Total Installed Cost

O&M: Operations and maintenance cost

GC: Generation cost (assuming it is same as levelized cost of energy

No data is available for the empty cells

 

I always enjoy this graphic from David Millborrow's article, it encapsulates total installed cost and capacity factor (wind speed):

Comparison of cost of generation

 

Another record wind energy penetration in US grids

The following report from AWEA reveals high penetration of wind energy into the grid--from high of 66.4% in Colorado to above 40% in ERCOT and SPP.  These are all records set in terms of wind production and wind penetration.  This is notable because it shows that the US grid is able to safely and reliably handle large amount of wind energy. This text is taken from the AWEA blog:

  • The day after ERCOT’s record, the Midwest grid operator (MISO) hit a peak wind generation of 13,084 MW, surpassing its previous peak of 12,720 MWon January 28.
  • The same day, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) also set its record for wind penetration at 43.9 percent on February 19. This was SPP’s third record this month. Two days prior, on Feb 17, SPP set a new wind generation peak of10,439 MW, breaking into the 10 GW of instantaneous output club, and reached a wind penetration of 43.3 percent.
  • On February 18, MISO, ERCOT and SPP simultaneously reached wind outputs above 10 GW.
  • MISO, ERCOT, and SPP all sustained high levels of wind for the entire day on February 19. MISO and ERCOT both sustained average hourly wind output above 11 GW all day, while SPP stayed above 8,400 MW all day. Combined, these three grid operators stayed above 30 GW all day.

 

Also see a previous blog about record wind energy production: http://i-windenergy.com/content/records-set-wind-production-usa-2015 

 

Regional penetration of wind energy in Feb 2016