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/