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https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/wind/the-hidden-costs-of-wind-power/amp/

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I am asking if any of this makes sense. If their estimates are valid.

closed as too broad by Jan Doggen, Fred, LShaver, THelper Oct 18 at 4:38

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    That articles has references that you can follow. I suggest you read those first (do some further research), then come back here if you have a specific question. – Jan Doggen Oct 16 at 7:33
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    The original article on which this was based can be found here. – THelper Oct 16 at 9:10
  • They underlying research is also from 2012. Since then, wind prices have fallen, and natural gas has stayed level. And of course, no one is building coal plants anymore. – LShaver Oct 16 at 14:43
  • A few years ago I read that China will build 2 coal fired plants a week until 2025. – blacksmith37 Oct 16 at 15:22
  • @blacksmith37 not sure if that's correct or not, but given references to EIA and DOE, the question seems to refer to the U.S. only. – LShaver Oct 17 at 2:51
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This isn't really enough for an answer, but it's too much for a comment. Sorry about the lack of numbers, but the IER (Wikipedia) put out a lot of "studies" which agree with the vested interests of the people who pay for them. Here's a hint of some issues in just that table:

The assumptions behind cost of keeping primary fossil plants available are themselves the subject of a lot of research - I've seen (not read) multiple PhD theses on the subject. Capacity factors for wind keep increasing, i.e. the amount of backup power needed keeps reducing (partly because offshore wind is a fast-growing sector and the wind is more reliable off shore). Many of these thinktank studies use old capacity factors The cost and availability of battery storage is improving fast, but this is still a small factor. This affects the fuel consumption of the fossil plants as well.

They've grouped an "implicit subsidy" and a lifetime estimate in one item. Have they offset the implicit subsidies for fossil fuels?

  • And it seems no negative externalities were taken into account. The costs for the ones for fossil fuels are much larger than for wind; air pollution, climate change, environmental damage from extraction. – THelper Oct 16 at 15:16
  • @THelper almost certainly true; I couldn't face reading the whole thing (again, this isn't the first time I've seen it) – Chris H Oct 16 at 15:20

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