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1 comment

There's better solutions than this! (1)

Kanel (1105463) | more than 3 years ago | (#32956500)

This is a well known problem but the article dosn't even beginn to discuss the solutions. Which is very convenient for the windmill owners.

The wind goes on and off and so do their delivery of power when you'r running a windmill. That's a fact of life.
There's basically two solutions: Either you store the extra power for later in some kind of battery, or the grid has both windmills and some other kind of renewable power that can quickly step in when the windmills stop producing electricity. The textbook example is hydro power. The output from a hydro plant can be planned in advance since you have a reservoir you'r tapping from and how much electricity you produce can be changed by the flick of a switch. Unlike coal and nuclear powerplants, hydropower can in principle respond to an unanticipated demand in a matter of seconds.

Fascinatingly, a hydro power plant can also act as a battery. When windmills are producing excessive amounts of electricity at low prices, the electricity can be used to pump water back up into the reservoir, to be depleted later when the price is higher.

If you don't have a hydro power plant nearby, it's possible to store electricity in other ways, both in special batteries designed for windmills, pressurised air in underground caves, e.t.c. But this article only mention one solution: Build more grids. Why is that? So that grid owners will have to make the needed investments and the consumers will ultimately have to pay for it, while the windmill owners get all the benefits.

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