I haven't visited the excellent NETA-bmreports site for a while so I thought I'd have a quick look tonight just to see how much the wind power generation has improved by since my last visit.
I hit the enter key with a great deal of excitement, would it be wonderful?
Would it be, well, at least an improvement?
After all it couldn't get much worse than my last analysis during last winter (See Here)
I waited impatiently while Firefox fired up Java. The seconds ticked away then I watched as all those wonderful little applets burst into life.
My God! NETA is undoubted one of the best and most informative sites on the net!
Here is the one I was hoping to see an improvement in:
Sadly, I was disappointed (again).
Today the whole of the wind turbine fleet was running with a capacity factor of just under 8%. But tomorrow it goes up (wait for it) to 13.5% Woo Hoo!
So today that equates to 1/4 or a single average sized power station for the whole wind turbine fleet. Tomorrow that equates to 1/3 of a average sized power station.
Now I might have incurred the wrath of those who think that the odd snapshot like this is not really indicative of the true output.
To an extent that is true.
But I would like to point out that neither is the so-called capacity factor that windies like to quote. Often blindly quoted at 30% , last year it was 22%.
But whatever the value, Capacity factor is no more worthwhile than my single snapshot.
Because of the nature of wind energy, turbines will be running for most of the time well below their capacity factor,.
They only make up for it due to a few days of high wind.
Most of the time the output of a wind turbine will be less than 20%. For 30% of the time it is less than 10%.
What we need is the most likely output not some dodgy average of power generated from a cube law.
So, are we getting value for money out of these things? Is the irreparable damage done to the countryside and peoples lives worth this pitiful level of power generation?
I think not.
p.s. I must do another 3 or 6 month rolling appraisal again soon.