Study: Wind Power Increases Dependence on Fossil Fuels in EU;
JUNE 25, 2018 | instituteforenergyresearch.org
A study analyzing energy supply in the European Union shows that increasing the level of wind-generated electricity also increases the level of fossil fuel-generated electricity, the opposite outcome suggested by those who argue that renewable energy is necessary to “get off carbon-based fuels.” This is because, at times of insufficient wind, fossil-fuel plants generating plants are needed to provide back-up to the wind units. Further, the study found that increasing the number of power plants (whether wind or fossil-fuel) increased the power plant capacity that is idled, making the entire energy system less efficient and more costly. Wind turbines are idle when there is insufficient wind and fossil fuel plants are idled when the wind is blowing.
As renewable energy resource deployment increases, the idle capacity of the renewable energy sources increases by the same amount. Electricity production systems have to maintain or increase the installed capacity of fossil fuels to back up the renewable energy sources, thus also generating installed overcapacity in fossil fuels.
A study of the wind industry in Europe has shown that wind energy produces idle capacity and expensive electricity as duplicative power sources must exist to provide power when the wind is not blowing and when wind capacity is not operating.
The situation in Europe will likely become worse as the population continues to expand and more nuclear plants are phased out.