Give It Away Now: Wind Power and the Price of Electricity

Michael Giberson

Forbes recently ran a story by Jonathon Farey, “Wind Power’s Weird Effect,” about how sometimes high wind power output and limited transmission capability combine to produce wholesale power prices dropping to zero or below.  (Of course regular readers here have been aware of the issue at least since last November.)

Much more informative was Farey’s story on inventor Leif Hauge and the energy-saving pressure exchanger he invented for use in desalination plants. UPDATE ADDED: (Of course, if I were a better reader of Aguanomics, I would have been aware of the issue at least since last September.)

One thought on “Give It Away Now: Wind Power and the Price of Electricity

  1. It is very hot in Texas this summer. How has that impacted wind generation?

    “Texas Heat Offers No Relief on Electric Bills: Break From Lower Natural-Gas Prices Fails to Materialize as Air Conditioners Keep Humming During Stretch of 100-Degree Days” by Rebecca Smith & Tom Benning in the Wall Street Journal on 26 August 2009 at p. A3:

    Record-breaking heat in parts of Texas is causing electricity bills to soar, just when most consumers were expecting some relief from sinking natural-gas prices. The protracted heat wave — Austin on Monday recorded its 64th day of 100-plus degree weather since June 1 — has pushed electricity demand up to record levels, as air conditioners run overtime.

    * * *

    The average, around-the-clock temperature in San Antonio this summer has been 87.9 degrees, beating the old record set in 1980 of 86.2 degrees. Houston, at 86.6 degrees, averaged over a 24-hour period, is slightly above the old record of 86.4 set in 1980. In Austin, the average temperature has been 88.6 degrees — the hottest since records began in 1898 — beating the prior record of 86.7 degrees in both 2008 and 1998. The average household in Austin consumed 2,157 kilowatt hours of electricity last month, costing $235. Roughly 8% of households are delinquent with utility payments.

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