Re: NREL reports says alternative energy can supply 80% of US energy needs by 2050, but...
Now looking at the Operations and Transmissions planning:
The report notes not only the variability problems associated with wind power, but adds that it isn't just backup capacity but also ramp up and curtailment (ramp down).
Essentially the profile of wind energy (data on solar is minimal) is far sharper than existing modes - thus from a transmission network management standpoint, not only is backup capacity required but the waveform/mode of said capacity coming online must also change. This problem also goes for fossil fuel capacity being taken offline in the face of incoming wind energy rampup.
The report then goes on to assert that large wind installations show far less variability than smaller ones.
Logically this should be true to some extent, but the problem I have with the extent of the assertion (sigma of 0.1 to 0.15 - very low) is that the report comes from GE Energy.
It would be nice to have a more independent data set from some institution that doesn't stand to make billions from wind turbine sales.
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