Abstract:Wind power can make an important contribution to the goal of reducing emissions of CO2. The major problem relates to the intrinsic variability of the source and the difficulty of reconciling the supply of electricity with demand particularly at high levels of wind penetration. This challenge is explored for the case of the ERCOT system in Texas. Demand for electricity in Texas is projected to increase by approximately 60% by 2030. Considering hourly load data reported for 2006, assuming that the pattern of demand in 2030 should be similar to 2006, and adopting as a business as usual (BAU) reference an assumption that the anticipated additional electricity should be supplied by a combination of coal and gas with prices, discounted to 2007 dollars of $2 and $6 per MMBTU respectively, we conclude that the bus-bar price for electricity would increase by about 1.1¢/kWh at a wind penetration level of 30%, by about 3.4 ¢/kWh at a penetration level of 80%. Corresponding costs for reductions in CO2 range from $20/ton to $60/ton. A number of possibilities are discussed that could contribute to a reduction in these costs including the impact of an expanded future fleet of electrically driven vehicles.
Final Manuscript in DASH
This is from a series of papers investigating and comparing the prospects for low- and non-carbon power generation in China and the U.S.