We’ve discussed the complicated relationship between wind power and the net reductions in greenhouse gas and other emissions here previously. Industry viewpoints come to expected conclusions – it is no surprise that the Colorado oil and gas industry promotes the view that wind is less special than claimed, nor that the American Wind Energy Association argues wind it better than the oil and gas industry says.
Among the things that makes the issue complicated is that the answer will depend on a lot of factors – the power system that the wind is connected to, what other generators are doing, how the power system chooses to manage wind power’s variability, just how variable the wind power is, and when it is generated. Answers can vary depending on how you frame the question and what data you turn to for analysis.
Into the mess wades F.P. Shioshansi, and he does a pretty good job of sorting through conflicting claims in a post at the EU Energy Policy Blog. For more, Shioshansi recommends Ross Baldick’s article in the recent USAEE Dialogue, “Wind and Energy Markets: A Case Study of Texas.”