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Topic Date User
No More Overseas Travel? - Running out of oil? 12-Nov-2007 At 1:36:13 PM Dom
On 12/11/2007 evanbb wrote:
>Wendy also said:
>I do have a friend who insists that wind turbines require so much wind
>to get them started that electricity is actually used to keep them ticking
>over in times of low wind and that they really suck as much or more power
>than they create.

Every generator with <50MW of capacity attached to the transmission system has to schedule their output with the industries’ governing body (NEMMCO). If they get the amount they schedule incorrect then they're liable for very large fines and jail time for the people that scheduled the electrical load. This is done to prevent 'gaming' of the electricity markets. Generators can't 'dispatch' less load than they say they would and see the price go through the roof.

Wind generation presents a problem in this area because its very difficult to accurately schedule output because of variations in wind speed. Because of this variability and the penalties associated with 'gaming' the wind generators can sometime build (or buy) supplementary diesel powered generation which would allow them to very quickly make up for any shortfall in their anticipated electricity generation. Its pretty easy to see why people could get the wrong message about some green generation through the grape vine.

As evanbb said; wind powered generators never have draw power from the grid to get the turbines started.

As for The Snowy it's probably a good thing that the amount of permits issued to them was given a base line. The only way green can power compete in the Australian market is to have a carbon trading scheme developed (we’re seeing a poor proxy of it operating at the moment). Right now the government sets a mandatory level of 5% (or something very close to that number) of the total energy sold in National Electricity Grid which must come from renewable energy sources. For every megawatt of electricity a green generator pumps in to the grid they get one Renewable Energy Certificate. These are then sold to the electricity retailers who must meet the 5% level mandated by the government. It's because of the relatively higher price of these Certificates that 'green' power generators are able to compete. If Snowy was given the right to produce these certificates below the base line other green generators would probably become uncompetitive as soon as the drought breaks.

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