Friday, November 1, 2013

PJM study boosts green power; critics unimpressed

                                                                        Science Daily 

"Green energy is getting a bit of a tail wind now that a major grid operator is saying that the power source can provide clean power without jeopardizing reliability. Critics, though, immediately pounced on the study, saying that it was performed by GE Energy Consulting, whose parent has high stakes in wind production." 

Writing in EnergyBiz, Editor Ken Silverstein continues:

"Specifically, the 
PJM Interconnection that operates the transmission network over a 13-state region primarily in the eastern United States says that if 20 percent of the area’s electricity came from wind or solar then it would cut energy prices by $9 billion. And, if 30 percent came from those same fuels, it would reduce those costs by $13 billion and that it would not have any affect on grid reliability. 

"Meantime, under the 20 percent scenario, carbon dioxide releases are cut by 18 percent while under the 30 percent case study, those emissions are reduced by 29 percent. The study also said that investments would need to be made in the transmission system: If the region obtained 20 percent of its energy from wind and solar then 820 miles of wire would have to be installed for around $3.8 billion. If 30 percent then as much as 2,946 miles of new transmission would need to strung for as much as $14 billion. 

"However, “Expansion from 20 percent to 30 percent does not appear to be economically attractive,” says GE’s findings

"Skeptics of green power remain dubious given that wind and solar are intermittent sources. That makes it difficult for the “traffic cops” to schedule those fuels so that the electricity keeps flowing. Those grid managers’ task is to maintain reliability with the lowest-priced fuels."'

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