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1 1Peter G1  Sep 19, 2014 3:40:06pm

No they don’t. Anybody have a clue how power is dispatched? The base load for any grid is supplied by both the cheapest and most stable source, nuclear if you’ve got it, or hydro electric or fossil fuel powered supplies. But they run pretty close to optimal outputs all the time. As demand increases which is to some degree predictable and sometimes not, other sources are added or their power output increased. Neither wind nor solar is predictable not can it be readily dispatched or increased. Unless somebody knows how to contact god and tell him to make clouds and the night go away or wind speed increase. But not too much since high winds force wind power generator to shut down.

The nameplate of a wind unit is what it can put out under optimal wind conditions and those seldom occur. The best wind produce power about twenty five percent of the time. Most do less. So how many conventional sources can you retire with a wind farm? Why zero. Because when the wind doesn’t blow you still need power. And it doesn’t matter how many of the damned things you build you can’t supply reliable power with either source. You still have to have conventional reliable sources or the grid can collapse. If you don’t believe that you can ask the Europeans what their experience is. In particular ask the Danes . They have the largest per capita wind generated capacity and haven’t managed to shut down a single conventional source. Which is coal by the way. So what do you suppose happened to their power bills when they had to build and operate two different power systems? I’ll let you guess.

I’m really quite amazed how many people claim that facts favor the left when most of them haven’t a clue how anything like power generation works. So the analysis presented by Lazard is absolutely irrelevant. it doesn’t matter what the relative costs are if you have to build both in order to have a functional civilization and power when you need it.

2 Randall Gross  Sep 19, 2014 4:48:05pm

umm. This isn’t about left or right, that’s IEEE spectrum magazine & they know wtf they are talking about. You are too busy spouting last decade’s RW talking points about Solar and Wind to notice I guess.

3 KingKenrod  Sep 19, 2014 5:21:40pm

re: #1 1Peter G1

The report takes into consideration the different technologies being suitable for different power generation needs. At no point does it argue that comparable profitability means you can go around replacing base load plants with renewable energy. Did you read the report?

It’s pretty clear that there is still a substantial amount of fossil fuel generation that can be replaced with non-CO2 polluting alternatives like solar and wind without endangering base load. The usefulness of solar on sunny (and often peak load days due to AC use) days is obvious.


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