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For consumers wanting to generate their own green power, installing a small wind turbine may be an option. Small wind turbines are electric generators that use the energy of the wind to produce clean, emissions-free power for individual homes, farms, and small businesses.

It must be remembered, though, that wind power is intermittent and variable, so a wind turbine produces power at or above its annual average rate only 40% of the time. That is, most of the time.

Figures & Captions

A wind turbine may be “available” for 90% or more of the time, but its output depends only on the wind. Without the wind, it is like a bicycle that nobody rides: available, but not spinning.

A beautiful flower vase.

Wind power has a very low “capacity credit,” its ability to replace other sources of power.

What is w ttind power’s capacity credit?

Two studies in Germany projected that 48,000 MW of wind power will allow reducing conventional capacity by only 2,000 MW, a 4% capacity credit (as described in “Wind Report 2005,” Eon Netz).

Similarly, the Irish Grid calculated that 3,500 MW of wind power could replace 496 MW of conventional power, a 14% capacity credit. See some of these and other documents here at National Wind Watch.

Figures & Captions

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A beautiful flower vase.

Wind power has a very low “capacity credit,” its
ability to replace other sources of power.

For example, in the U.K., which boasts of being the windiest country in Europe, the Royal Academy of Engineering projects that 25,000 MW of wind power will reduce the need for conventional power capacity by 4,000 MW, a 16% capacity credit.

What is wind power’s capacity credit?

Two studies in Germany projected that 48,000 MW of wind power will allow reducing conventional capacity by only 2,000 MW, a 4% capacity credit (as described in “Wind Report 2005,” Eon Netz).

Similarly, the Irish Grid calculated that 3,500 MW of wind power could replace 496 MW of conventional power, a 14% capacity credit. See some of these and other documents here at National Wind Watch.

Heading 1

According to Eon Netz, one of the four grid managers in Germany, with 7,050 MW of wind power capacity installed in its area at the end of 2004, the amount of back-up required was over 80%.

Heading 2

Which was the maximum output observed from all of their wind power facilities together.

Heading 3

That is, for every 10 MW of wind power added to the system in this case, at least 8 MW of back-up power must also be dedicated.

Heading 4

Two studies in Germany projected that 48,000 MW of wind power will allow reducing conventional capacity by only 2,000 MW

Heading 5

According to Eon Netz, one of the four grid managers in Germany, with 7,050 MW of wind power capacity installed in its area at the end of 2004

Heading 6

According to Eon Netz, one of the four grid managers in Germany, with 7,050 MW of wind power.

Normal Lists

According to Eon Netz, one of the four grid managers in Germany, with 7,050 MW of wind power capacity installed in its area at the end of 2004

  • Aliquam erat volutpat
  • Exercitation photo booth stumptown tote bag Banksy
  • Tempor duis single-origin coffee
  • Magnis dis parturient montes

Numbered Lists

According to Eon Netz, one of the four grid managers in Germany, with 7,050 MW of wind power capacity installed in its area at the end of 2004

  1. Aliquam erat volutpat
  2. Exercitation photo booth stumptown tote bag Banksy
  3. Tempor duis single-origin coffee
  4. Magnis dis parturient montes

Doesn’t a unit of electricity produced by wind turbines reduce a unit from another source? If there is hydropower on the system, that is the most likely source to be reduced, because it can be switched on and off the most readily. Some natural gas plants can also switch on and off quickly (though at a cost of efficiency, i.e., burning more fuel). Otherwise, the output from fuel-burning plants is ramped down or it is switched from generation to standby. In either case, it still burns fuel.

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