Wind farms turn in record growth in 2012

February 11, 2013
Moroccan guards ride past the Dahr Saadane wind farm in Tangiers. Wind farms added a record 44.7 GW of electricity production last year, increasing capacity 19% to 282.5 GW, the Global Wind Energy Council said Monday.

Wind farms added a record 44.7 gigawatts of electricity production last year, increasing capacity 19 percent to 282.5 gigawatts, the Global Wind Energy Council said Monday.

The trade body said the United States had a record year, adding more than 13 of wind capacity due to tax incentives, helping it nearly tie China where growth in the construction of slowed.

"While China paused for breath, both the US and European markets had exceptionally strong years," said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council.

"Asia still led global markets, but with North America a close second, and Europe not far behind," he added in a statement.

China added 13.2 gigawatts of wind generation capacity last year, while India added 2.3 gigawatts, but the GWEC said it expected a rebound and Asia to once again dominate the market.

In terms of installed capacity, the EU is still top with 37.5 percent of the total at 282.5 gigawatts.

China follows with 26.8 percent of installed capacity, then the United States at 21.2 percent.

India has 6.5 percent of installed wind capacity and Canada 2.2 percent.

Europe also remains top in with 90 percent of the 1.3 gigawatts installed last year.

With each wind turbine producing about 2 megawatts of electricity, around 22,350 were installed last year, according to AFP calculations.

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1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 11, 2013
a study of the production from 21 farms spread out over the grid for eastern Australia which is described as, geographically, the largest, most widely dispersed, single interconnected grid in the world. Unlike many studies, such as the ones by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) which relied on computer models, this study relies on hard data. The results are grim, but not unexpected.

1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2013
The study focuses on the year 2010, which was, apparently, not significantly different from other years. The study uses an unusually low standard of 2% of installed capacity for the Minimum Acceptable Level (MAL). It relies on data provided by the grid operator that covers average power output over five minutes. Shorter time periods are preferable and instantaneous output is ideal.

For 2010, the entire fleet (the combined output of all wind farms) failed to produce 2% of installed capacity 109 times. The longest period was for 70 minutes. One wind farm, described as typical, failed 559 times in the six months. The longest period was for 2.8 days. Not only does the entire fleet fail frequently, but also it fails throughout the year. Clearly, such performance would be unacceptable for any traditional method of generating electrical power.
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 11, 2013

After analyzing the data, the authors state that wind cannot be used for base load, the daily minimum requirement, and that the installed capacity of required back-up must be at least 80% of installed wind farm capacity. In eastern Australia the required back up is open cycle gas turbines (basically jet engines) which far less efficient than closed cycle gas turbines. But the closed cycle systems cannot react sufficiently quickly to variation of wind power output. Further, the open cycle turbines must be operating constantly on stand-by mode, wasting energy when the electricity is not needed.

Wind power promoters, and their supporting politicians, are leading the public into an expensive wind trap.
2 / 5 (8) Feb 11, 2013
Add solar, and you'll have wind and mirrors.
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2013
That study was funded by the coal industry and was submitted to the Australian parliament as part of a campaign to subsidize coal fired power plants.

What is interesting is if you look at the actual data, it is actually strongly supportive of wind power as a significant proportion of the national grid. "The LONGEST failure to supply power was 70 minutes" Add solar and use existing natural gas stations for buffering and renewables can supply as much as 90% of Australia's electrical needs by 2025, Without technical innovations such as effective storage.

New Zealand, with significant hydro, can go 100% in as little as 5 years and if the U.S. could sort out its national grid, could go 100% renewable by 2025 as well.

Further, the cost of NEW renewable power generation sources is actually LESS than the equivalent cost of NEW fossil fuel sources. The current price advantage of fossils is actually a result of extensive govt subsidies and the use of old and paid for plants.
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 11, 2013
Wind plants may affect the local climate in quite observable way and contribute to global warming and droughts (image)
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2013
Nice response Yarkin - I was hoping someone would have the time to check out the actual report. Will this stop people like FrankHerbert from jumping on every article and posting rubbish? Sadly not - I sometimes wonder if they are getting paid to do it.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2013
"In terms of installed capacity, the EU is on top with 37.5 percent of the total at 282.5 gigawatts, China follows with 26.8 percent of installed capacity. Europe also remains on top in offshore wind farms with 90 percent of the 1.3 gigawatts installed last year."

Not bad for the EU having almost 50% more installed then China while having only roughly 1/3 the number of people compared to China (though if Europe never had WW1, WW2, etc and the black plague and other plagues it would probably have 2 Billion people by now).

And that while China with it`s economic boom can still afford it`s aggressive installation policies for wind, solar, nuclear, bio, coal expansion Europe still has 6 times as much per capital and continuing large scale expansion not least with solar and bio energy.
2 / 5 (4) Feb 12, 2013
I once ordered a pizza and it didn't show up for 45 minuts. It was equally a disaster for the pizza industry.

"For 2010, the entire fleet (the combined output of all wind farms) failed to produce 2% of installed capacity 109 times. The longest period was for 70 minutes." - Whiner
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2013
Trees have similar effects.

"Wind plants may affect the local climate in quite observable way" - ValeriaT
5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2013
The established power industry will stop at nothing to spread lies and red herrings to impede the ascendance of green energy. What's good for the people is not so good for the oil/coal/gas industries.

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