Why wind power’s variability isn’t a problem

Chris Varrone, Founder and President of Riverview Consulting and former Chief Strategist, Technology R&D, for Vestas Wind Systems, did a nice takedown over at Cleantechnica yesterday of various wind naysayers, including Fox Business News’ Stuart Varney and the Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce. His focus? Wind energy’s variability and why it is not a serious problem.

Mr. Varrone explains in very simple terms how the electric utility system works and how it deals with the addition of a variable energy source like wind energy. Key takeaways:

Energy markets are already accounting for the extra cost of handling wind’s variability.

That cost is modest–about 4/10 of a cent per kilowatt-hour of wind-generated electricity.

The European electric utility system is dealing with large amounts of new wind turbines generation without adding fossil-fueled generating capacity to "back it up."

By Tom Gray, www.awea.org/blog/