[ RadSafe ] World's Biggest Wind Park -Capacity Factor vs. Nuclear

James Salsman james at bovik.org
Wed Feb 22 12:12:40 CST 2006

Jim Dukelow wrote:

 > Another mitigating factor: On many days the wind will be sporadic.
 > With the wind turbines spread over hundreds of square miles,
 > sporadic wind means some of the turbines are delivering power all
 > the time.

The means of compensating for sporadic wind power output, called
shaping, is well understood, usually just involving a large
national grid, but in isolated areas it can be done with pumped
hydro storage alone.  Shaping adds about 20% to the cost of wind

New wind power installations with shaping currently cost, on a
per-kilowatt-hour basis, about the same as new coal plants,
within a cent.

Both wind and coal are substantially less expensive than new
nuclear plants on a cents/kWh basis, in some cases by half, and
that's not even counting the externalities of Price-Anderson
indemnification, toxic waste storage, and toxic byproduct disposal.

The choice is clear.

James Salsman

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