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UK PM stresses strategic key role of offshore wind energy with announcement at Crown Estate

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  • William Ernest Schenewerk, PhD 5 years ago

    Large wind farms average 20% utilization according to USE DOE, CA ISO and Spanish data. If we assume offshore wind has 35% utilization (an unproven assumption in my opinion), then backup airplane motors run at 65% utilization. Airplane motors running at 65% utilization at 35% efficiency use roughly the same amount of natural gas as CCGT running 100% of the time at 55% efficiency. Large CCGT tend to turn into "parts eaters" when forced offline suddenly. Any windmill system that falls below 35% utilization becomes a net consumer of natural gas. Larger "airplane motors" have higher efficiency but are more likely to operate at part-throttle which lowers efficiency. Apparently there is no published research on optimum "airplane motor" size to back up wind energy. Perhaps nobody has done any analysis of these concepts, perhaps because the answer is very unpleasant. While pumped hydro can back up wind energy, very few are planned. Pumped hydro loses roughly 1/3 of the energy.

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