Despite rapidly changing prices for solar
photovoltaic energy, new wind power installations remain the most
cost-effective source of clean electricity. With production costs (excluding
subsidies) varying between $ 33 and $ 77 / MWh, wind is often the most
economical of all sources of electricity.
Two problems remain:
intermittency of wind electricity production.
2- Many other
sources of greenhouse gas emissions are inadequately accessible to clean
energy. (Air or sea transport, cement production,
etc.) The heating of houses and buildings, which is
mostly produced by combustion, is an easy target for wind energy.
economical wind energy, these two problems can be work out together.
Historically, all the energy produced by
wind turbines must be sold at high prices to ensure the profitability of a
farm. This business model is represented by the first graphic of the attached
image where we have a wind farm that delivers electricity to the grid with a
yield of 30 to 40% of its nominal capacity. If the cost of producing
electricity is $ 40 / MWh, a sale price of $ 50 is likely.
In the second graph, we reduce the power of
the grid connection to deliver only 75% of the electricity produced. For
example, a wind farm with a nominal power of 100 MW would only have a
connection of 40 to 50 MW with the network, in this way the yield offered could
reach 50 to 70% of the nominal capacity.
There are three important advantages to the network:
1- A connection
of 50 MW is less expensive to install, and its utilization rate is doubled,
which give a significant reduction costs of the interconnection.
2- The power density offered is
higher; the need for ancillary services and its associated costs is greatly
3- A larger
clean power density will allow network operators to achieve more easily their
greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Various business models can be associated
with this electricity generation structure.
a) If the upper part of the electricity production (in green) is not
used, the cost of producing electricity sold to the grid increases from $ 40 to
$ 53 / MWh, and the selling price must be around $63 / MWh. It is therefore necessary that the electric operator
grants a value of more than $ 13 / MWh to the three advantages mentioned above.
b) Some of the electricity surplus could be stored in batteries and
sold to the grid at peak times. For example, electricity could be available to
the system at $ 75 / MWh at peak hours and at $ 57 for the rest of the day. An
interesting alternative for the electric operator that would have an
availability of 70 to 90% at peak hours. The value of the electricity stored
would present a cost-effective business model for the use of batteries.
c) Another solution would be to use locally the electricity that is not
delivered to the grid. The easiest way to store these peaks of energy would be
to turn them into heat.
We can decide that the value of electricity transformed into heat is $ 15 /
MWh, which would allow, with an efficient heat storage system, to offer heating
at $ 25 / MWh, a very competitive price. If this heating system replaces a gas
one, a carbon credit of $ 10 / T of CO2 would result in a cost reduction of $ 6 /
MWh, and a $ 50 / T of CO2 credit would result in zero heating costs.
By giving a value of $ 15 / MWh to electricity surplus, we reduce the
increasing of the cost of electricity delivered to the grid. The cost reach now
$ 48 / MWh and the selling price may be $ 58. A win / win solution.
To achieve and eventually exceed our greenhouse gas
reduction targets, overcapacity of wind power generation must be achieved,
which should lead to the diversification of the use of clean energy.
For the wind, the cost reduction is not
finish. Our goals in the fight against climate change are still achievable and
wind power will count for a lot of.