Sunday, August 9, 2015

From 140% Wind Power Record to Calm

Several international media reported enthusiastically about the 140% wind power record in Denmark during the night of 10th July. However, the wind dropped already the next day
I've not visited Paul-Frederick Bach's blog for a while. This report (.pdf) can be a great introduction to the analysis there or, as it was for me, a reminder to keep going back.
The happy message that Danish wind power production reached 140% of the electricity demand was distributed by several international media, for instance with these headlines:

The Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) boosted the success by claiming that wind has covered 140% of Denmark’s energy demand...

On the other hand some people have claimed that the surplus electricity was exported at very low prices, while Denmark had to pay high prices for the import. This note presents facts on production and exchange of electricity in Denmark from 9th to 11th July 2015. The note is based on data, which are published daily by and

The entire piece (.pdf) is very worthwhile reading. In most communication on energy there's not enough mention of capacity value, or capacity credit, which is the supply that can be relied upon to meet peak demand from a resource. The graphs above demonstrate this value is near zero in Denmark (too).
PF Bach's work also deals with heating as Denmark has a strong history with combined heat and power (CHP).
To Danish consumers of heat and electricity there must be an optimal policy, but this consideration has been ignored in favour of a policy aiming at reducing the use of fossil fuels. The result is a decreasing use of CHP and a rapidly increasing cost of subsidies for renewable energy (the PSO tariff).
Related:  Will Denmark phase out CHP? (.pdf)

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