My name is George Wood, formerly a National Grid Power Systems Operations Engineer at both Regional and National Control Centres and latterly the person who developed the contractual and testing parameters of generation operations on the National Grid Network for Ancillary Services which included load management operation specifications for frequency response and reserve strategies. These strategies were carried over to the existing NETA balancing services.
The more you know about wind power the less you like it. George Wood knows the real world of grid power, so he knows the true cost of the consumer-subsidized wind farms. The consumer is just beginning to discover these truths. The more wind is deployed the more costly it is to stabilize the grid against the capricious wind supply. Because wide-scale regional wind outages happen regularly, wind generation has to be backstopped by reliable power, which in practice means fossil-based generating – typically gas-fired CCGT. Snippet:
(…) Wind energy costs twice as much on-shore and three times as much off-shore to that of existing conventional energy power stations and the potential for using shale gas through CCGT’s at much lower costs should become an even lower cost alternative strategy, with lower CO2 emissions. These developments could replace existing power stations on existing sites without the need for new transmission connections. Also, existing nuclear power plants should be replaced by new nuclear developments on existing power station sites and again avoiding the need for new transmission networks.
I do not believe you can escape the double capacity build of power plants through the deployment of wind-turbines in the UK, as the possible huge scale of interconnection builds with Europe will not overcome the fact that in the middle of winter there can be high pressure weather zones over Europe and the UK at the same time. Power systems are designed to meet the highest electricity demand conditions which, as has been mentioned, will undoubtedly often occur at the same time in Europe and the UK. So, all-in-all, I doubt that a true economic case can be made for building many European interconnectors on the grounds of one system aiding the other to avoid capacity shortfalls and there must be a limited number of interconnectors that could be justified through daily transfer exchanges.
(…) If there are minimal or no CO2 emissions savings through the deployment of intermittent wind-turbines, which I believe is nearer the truth, then the vast sums of monies, in the many £-billions per year that would be incurred and charged to the public, cannot be justified.