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Offshore Wind Turns a Corner
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  • Andrew Allison

    The wholesale market prices referred to are among the highest in Europe thanks to existing subsidies.

  • markterribile

    Denmark and Norway combine to use Norway’s easy-to-throttle hydropower as a virtual battery. Very few places provide this arrangement.

    • CaliforniaStark

      And also Sweden’s nuclear power.

      • markterribile

        Nuclear cannot be throttled to ‘peak’ opposite the intermittent wind, thus cannot act as ‘virtual storage’ or a ‘virtual battery’. Wind and nuclear are a lose-lose combo, absent some kind of massive energy storage. (See the aborted Storm King) project.

        • CaliforniaStark

          Agree with you, meant the reference to Sweden’s nuclear power, which represents 40% of its electricity generation, to indicate it serves as a large baseline power source, which underlies the ability to shift hydro power to Denmark on an intermittent basis. Dong Energy actually buys nuclear power from Sweden regularly on the energy market days in advance of its use to make up for expected shortfalls in wind energy — about 12% of Denmark’s power is Swedish nuclear.

          • markterribile

            But it can’t buy more than a small fraction of the nuke plant’s output without creating the peaking problem. Does Sweden use gas turbine plants to take up the peaking load?

          • CaliforniaStark

            Am not sure, believe Denmark use waste heat and coal as Germany does in peaking, and buys additional hydro and nuclear days in advance from the Nord market based on weather forecasts. My impression is the whole system has become so complicated, and the cost of electricity so prohibitively expensive as a result of the cost of wind, that Denmark finally decided to give up and end wind subsidies in 2016. Believe several planned wind farms were cancelled. Now, Dong Energy is proposing to move ahead without subsidies, will be interesting to see how far the proposal gets.

    • Angel Martin

      Hydro is unique in that it can be used for storage as well as straight energy production. B.C. and Alberta used
      to do this via electric power from Alberta coal-fired plants running BC generators in reverse at night to pump up the water level. It was to increase capacity in peak hours beyond normal hydro+coal, as the surplus power was sold to USA west coast.

      Something like that could work with erratic output renewables.

      • markterribile

        Con Ed tried that in NY and was shot down by the greens. The Storm King hydrostorage plant would have been a perfect complement to Indian Point (now scheduled for early and total decommissioning).

  • Fat_Man

    Dong Energy should merge with ding.com.

    • ——————————

      Ding recently merged with bat.com…the company is now run by blonds, and doesn’t know how to produce anything…..

  • ——————————

    I didn’t realize that supply intermittency wreaks havoc on grids. That seems like a tough hurdle to overcome for renewables.

  • CaliforniaStark

    “With all of those caveats still in mind, let’s give credit where credit is due: given the right set of conditions, offshore wind isn’t far from becoming a viable energy option.”

    To say this proposal is a viable option is premature. The Dong Energy project only pencils out if the costs of building wind projects falls substantially, and the amount of energy the projects produce substantially rises. More importantly, the Dong Energy project assumes the price of electricity in Denmark, which are already the highest in Europe, will continue to rise. One reason the Danish government indicated it was ending wind subsidies in 2016 was because of the too high cost of electricity in Denmark.

  • Angel Martin

    “Dong Energy, the largest offshore wind company on the planet, announced its intention to construct a pair of wind projects off the coast of Germany without any government subsidies.”

    Step One is to make sure you are not spoiling the view for any wealthy liberals.

    http://www.capecodtimes.com/news11/20170119/cape-winds-88k-lease-payment-shows-project-still-alive

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