I never thought I would be referencing Bob Dylan about the realities of technology. But, the wind industry released a statement that says it all: Read what Wind Watch has to say.
Anyone who is technically versed in power system dynamics knows just how hard it is to keep the lights on. It is not simply about having sources of energy… it is all about ramping sources up and down to keep the voltage and frequency within the specifications required for our motors, lights and equipment to operate.
Batteries have been a part of the renewable dream and are certainly a key feature of making PV solar panels and wind work (the other solar renewable source – remember friends that wind is a result of solar energy hitting our planet). But, the scale of this requirement is staggering for batteries alone to make a dent… staggering… especially when wind is priced in to the mix without regard for these balancing costs.
Balance… something designed into the system a hundred years ago… assumed centralized generation. Yes, that balance has shifted with new sources of energy distributed through the system. But, the essence of the balancing model has never changed: select all sources of energy based upon the costs and benefits.
Wind may appear inexpensive from a source perspective … but it consumes balancing energy out of proportion to any other renewable energy source. It is time to put balance in the equations again.