By Pete Danko/EarthTechling
We’ve long known wind power’s flaws – produces inconsistently, can’t be economically stored, kills birds – but along with those came an obvious, sparkling virtue: It runs clean, helping drive down carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a big way.
But a Colorado-based energy research firm is challenging that last assumption, asserting that analysis of real-world data shows in most areas of the country the CO2 savings from wind “are either so small as to be insignificant or too expensive to be practical.”
Bentek Energy calls this “the wind power paradox,” and says the issue is what happens when wind power comes onto the grid. “When power plants on a regional power grid are ‘cycled’ to accept wind energy, the plants run less efficiently, leading to significant emissions and higher plant maintenance costs,” the firm said.
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