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Wind Power: The Economic Impact of Intermittency

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  • G. Cornelis van Kooten

Abstract

Wind is the fastest growing renewable energy source for generating electricity, but economic research lags behind. In this study, therefore, we examine the economics of integrating large-scale wind energy into an existing electrical grid. Using a simple grid management model to investigate the impact of various levels of wind penetration on grid management costs, we show that costs of reducing CO2 emissions by relying more on wind power depend on the generation mix of the existing electricity grid and the degree of wind penetration, with costs ranging from $21 to well over $1000 per tonne of CO2 reduced. Costs are lowest if wind displaces large amounts of fossil fuel production and there is some hydroelectric power to act as a buffer. Hydro capacity has the ability to store wind generated power for use at more opportune times. If wind does nothing more than replace hydro or nuclear power then the environmental benefits (reduced CO2 emissions) of investing in wind power are small.

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File URL: https://web.uvic.ca/~repa/publications/REPA%20working%20papers/WorkingPaper2009-04.pdf
File Function: Final version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 2009-04.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2009-04

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Related research

Keywords: Wind power; carbon costs; electricity grids; mathematical programming;

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Cited by:
  1. T. Heikkinen, 2014. "A Hotelling model of spatial competition with local production," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 103-120, July.
  2. Narbel, Patrick A., 2014. "Rethinking how to support intermittent renewables," Discussion Papers 2014/17, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  3. G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2011. "Economic Analysis of Feed-in Tariffs for Generating Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources," Working Papers 2011-02, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.

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