The purpose of this Web Site and its many reports is to inform the public about the actual physical performance of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT). We have data from locations installed as early as 2006. With this data we can see if the many claims from the wind lobby pans out as fact. The entire data is available on-line at the IESO website: http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/pubs/marketReports/download/HourlyWindFarmGen_20100827.csv It is straightforward to import the data to a database or a spreadsheet and perform high school level statistics and mathematics to understand what is actually happening. The one exception to this is the Skew analysis. However it is included as it makes a very important point about wind production in Ontario.
The claim from the wind industry is that wind will be able to provide replacement power for coal-fired plants. The reason for the switchover is that wind is “cleaner” than coal. Though the price charged to consumers for wind power is much greater than coal power, it’s the price we have to pay to “save the planet”, or so the claim goes.
This site is going to challenge the following:
- That Wind is a viable source of power;
- That the wind industry is telling the truth on their stated claims;
- That Wind can replace other sources of energy; and,
- That Wind will save the planet.
As you read through this you will likely come to the same conclusion as the authors. If you are dedicated believer in the need for “renewable” energy it is unlikely that we will change your mind on most issues. However, maybe we can cause you to acknowledge that wind power siting is much more important that currently believed. We may also be able to show you that at least in Ontario that despite wide geographic dispersal the power output is still highly correlated amongst all turbines. We will show you that wind production in Ontario is unsatisfactory at best, and that it is not economically viable, and that it is driving up the energy rates for consumers.
Wind Power does nothing to “save the planet”. When the wind blows we often do not need the power as demand is low. When the wind is low, such as on hot summer days, is when we need usually need it the most.
It seems that Ontario is not the only place in the world where these observations are being made. See the chapter on other places to read what others are thinking and writing.
Before you begin you may need to learn some basics about wind power, see that chapter here. If you already know the basics then it is still useful as you can learn our approach to analysis.
The wind industry is using a value known as the Capacity Factor, the average of the output compared to the name plate capacity. But this analysis will show that that number is meaningless. The number closest to what the physical output of wind is the Median Capacity Factor, a value often less than half the Capacity Factor the wind industry uses.
We recognize that there are some who may not like what is presented in this report. They will question the analysis and claim the authors do not know what they are talking about. We will explain how the analysis is done, and you can make your own judgment as this is basic statistics that is taught in high school. Thus if anyone wishes to challenge what is presented here then we expect an evidence based approach. We welcome any genuine debate or attempt to challenge the facts and figures that we present. In other words, come armed with facts and figures — not vitriol!
As you think of challenges, remember that we are simply presenting the actual data from the wind turbines as gathered by IESO. Realize that IESO does an exemplary job of organizing and presenting the data. It makes it easy to get the analysis correct!
Please keep any commentary civil. All posts are moderated! Any derogatory or insulting comments will be removed.
Thank you for taking the time to read our work and to present your ideas.
If you wish to use this analysis as a reference please do so in the following format:
Wakefield, J.R., et al (2010), Ontario Wind Performance. http://ontariowindperformance.wordpress.com/
Some of the chapters are not yet written, keep tabs on the TOC for new links.
Update 22 March, 2011:
New Chapter: 9.2 Wake of Japan, Wind to Replace Nukes?