February 10, 2003
Wind Power Comes Wrong Time Of Year

Wind power isn't there when its most needed.

"We do want to include wind in the mix. Wind is becoming more price competitive at 3 to 5 cents per kilowatt," said Koszyk, noting coal generation costs about 3 cents per kilowatt and nuclear, 3 to 5 cents. "But the size of the farms is of concern to us. Electricity cannot be stored. We need the right amount of energy at the right time."

He also noted winds typically blow hardest at times of lower energy demand - spring and fall. Peak usage occurs in summer and winter.

Wind power needs to become much cheaper to compensate for its inconsistent availability.. Since its not always there when most needed then additional non-wind generating plants must be built and maintained for use when the wind isn't blowing. If wind power fell enough in price then it might become justifiable to convert electricity to another form of energy and then convert it back to electricity when needed. The development of cheap methods of storing mass quantities of hydrogen would be an obvious enabling technology for wind power. Electricity could be used to generate hydrogen by the electrolysis of water. Then the hydrogen could be used to run hydrogen fuel cells. Of course, that approach would also require a reduction in the cost of hydrogen fuel cells as well.

When hydrogen fuel cells become cheap and dependable enough for vehicle use then wind power could be used to generate hydrogen to power cars. This would be a more attractive proposition than the use of wind power to generate home and industrial electricity since the vehicles would need stored hydrogen anyhow.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 February 10 01:11 PM  Energy Wind


Comments
Hong Wang said at September 11, 2004 6:05 PM:

I have just read your article on wind power coming at the wrong time. My son's school project is relating to the power produced by winds as an alternative energy resource for cars. He would like to know how much power is produced from 0-90 mph winds. I would greatly appreciate it if you can reply.
Thank you,
Hong

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