Wind turbines: the whole truth.
VI1. The major risks of wind energy for our electricity supply.
On page 3 you have seen the graphs that show, that even in the case of large and widely dispersed groups of Wind turbines, how inevitable and above all how unpredictable the sharp variations of the aggregate power will be. As you see, throughout the year, this aggregate power will swing many times between the maximum power and zero or only a negligible amount. This is, again, a consequence of that intractable law of nature on the kinetic energy of the wind. Something nobody can do anything about. No matter whether it concerns onshore or offshore Wind turbines.
In order to cover the national electricity requirements, the total amount of kilowatts fed into the grid, the total input, must be exactly the same as the amount delivered, the output. The tiniest imbalance between demand and supply will undoubtedly cause the network to collapse, and thus lead towards a major black-out. This even may happen in case of an imbalance of a few tenths of a second duration! The sharp fluctuations in the mains supply by the aggregate wind farms, whether they are located on land or sea, will have to be compensated for by up or downward exact adjustment of the total power of all electricity plants. And for technical reasons this will not be feasible when the total installed power from all connected wind farms becomes too large. This is due to the fact that steam turbines of the kind used in power plants can only be adjusted to a higher or lower power at a limited rate of kilowatts or megawatts per minute. These limits to the adjustment rate (adjustment gradient) range from 11 to approx. 14 MW per minute depending on whether the adjustment is upward or downward. If this maximum adjustment rate is surpassed, the turbine will undoubtedly be severely damaged. This is why the power of steam turbines must be adjusted up or downwards with extreme caution, and cannot compensate for enormous and unexpected swings in a large aggregate rate of change of power from wind energy.
Therefore, it is not at all true that the very considerable rapid fluctuations of aggregate change in power rate from wind energy, between zero or practically zero, with insufficient wind, and the contrary as the wind speed suddenly rises, can always be compensated for by correcting the power rate of conventional power plants. This is certainly not always the case! This is another truth on which the promoters of wind energy remain silent. As was visualised by the graph on page 3, the total power of large groups of Wind turbines can rise or drop very fast by hundreds of megawatts. At the moment when it becomes impossible for plants to compensate for such harsh swings of the wind power, the immediate consequence will be a failure in the grid, resulting in a black-out.
The additional adjustment of the plant power rate that is available through importation from hydro power plants from abroad is insufficient. The transmission capacity of the connections between the Netherlands and the "hydro power countries", like Norway (or Sweden) is much too weak for that purpose. Apart from the question whether these hydro power countries would be willing to keep available for delivery an enormous amount of hydropower, just in case that foolish Holland suddenly needs considerably more imported power. That is highly unlikely. And that is why, as explained earlier on, something like 90 per cent of the total installed wind power will have to be kept available permanently in the form of conventional power in order to be able to compensate for those variations of wind power.
Many other serious disadvantages and risks of wind energy for a safe electricity supply have not yet been considered here.