Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:08 pm
There is a report out today that it is estimated that there is a 20% subsidy being paid by the domestic consumer to cover Remewables.
The facts are that windpower and solar power are uneconomical as regard the high captial charges for installation.If it was not for financial incentives given by HM Government,then none of the projects would see the light of day.Further the dynamic control may give some concern in maintaining a healthy grid system.It will be difficult to operate if the generation mix is such that windpower generation takes up a large percentage of the system generation.There will have to be a healthy ratio between windpower and solar generation and that of steam plant(conventional and nuclear) and gas turbine plant.
But of course, there are those "entrepreneurs" who can see a way a generating income with their own particular business model.Take the solar incentives,the HM Government allocated £380 million as an incentive for domestic comsumers to install solar panels with the very very attractive infeed tariff of 41 pence/kwh (unit).British Gas took advantage of the schemme and applied a BOT to it.(Build Operate Transfer)With BOT,British Gas would install solar panels in domestic premises without charge but then would receive the tariff infeed rate for a given length of time and finally transfer the equipment to the domestic consumer.Some BOT contracts may run for as much as 15 years. Why the Government did not think that industralists would take advantage of it and insert provisions in the bill to prevent it, is beyond me.The British Gas initiative,I noticed,ceased when the Government became aware of the business initiative.
Coming to windpower,there are huge subsidies to be had for installing windpower.Little wonder that every landowner is trying to take advantage,The Crown Estates are one of the leading players and I see that that the Government has finally decided to curb the total level of subsidies being paid to this organisation.As it is, every North Sea bank will be one huge off shore windpower centre of generation.
Technically, what are the problems?
Low utilisation due to the uncertainty of wind speeds.
Constraints. Generating capacity low,ie maximum of about 5mws per wind generator.Generating voltage relatively low leading to the requirement of an extensive electrical system such as sub stations for wind farm generation and the step transformer system to connect the power infeed to the various levels of transmission voltages.Off shore generation is particular expensive with cabling about 10 times,the cost of overhead lines.New substations are required adjacent to the windpower generation and windpower projects are remote from the existing grid connections having no existing grid connections.
Windpower units have a short life compared to conventional operation.While windpower generation might be good for 120.000 hours generation life.Steam plants, conventional and nuclear including gas turbine plant will have a life,more than double.There will be component changes neccessary through the life cycle and there will be a time reached when further investment becomes uneconomical.
Windpower as all renewables will be embedded,generating into their particular system as base load.Generation will be taken by the Grid System as and when it is availble.Dynamic control for Grid Systen regulation will not be available from these plants and day to day planning from these plants will be poor.No doubt,after some years experience there will be the advantage of mathematical models availble for sytem control.Renewables will be side by side,base loading as will nuclear plants.Nuclear plants are not flexible and will uneconomical to two shift them.They will be required to be base loaded as they have since the first nuclear plants have been commissioned throughout the world.
Does not help having technical philistines as energy ministers with sole motivation focused on climate change and the low carbon economy.Funny,the dogs are all barking it.