Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wind energy, hopes, nightmare and bluff

By Gjergj Erebara in Tirana

Eurus, the antique Greek god of East Wind, had been sometime helpful and sometime cruel with Ulysses. But with humans of our times, seems that he is ironical and very mocking, with our deplored attempts to control and benefit from Eurus power.

Trying to understand the world of energy as a necessity for mankind, I have discovered that Wind Energy is a mockery at all.

According to an environmentalist campaigner that I met in Berlin last April, wind is the only hope of humanity, despite huge costs. But according to an analyst who deals with energy market, “wind produce energy when you do not need and does not produce when you need”. At the time, I had not fully understood the meaning of this quote. What I had understood was that German Government is paying with the money of taxpayers, 18 cents of euro for every kilowatt hour produced by wind plants, while average market price is just 5 cents. But the dream of pure energy is not just costing a lot.

According to an Albanian expert in trading energy, wind energy is also a nightmare for engineers who deal with coordination between market demand and supply. “It increase or decrease abruptly the amount of electricity in the grid, and planers should change their calculations according to the unknown will of God of Wind”, - he told me yesterday. He sleep when we need him, and he wake up when we want to sleep.

This creates to me the perception that Eurus is a very funny and faddish greybeard.

Electricity is not such kind of good which can be stored. Electricity is consumed immediately after the production. Peoples consume electricity as their wish when their wish. Producers and suppliers increase or decrease the level of production according to empirical methods, having in hand the possibility to switch off or on electricity generators, according to the wish of peoples. When electricity supplied is higher than demand, that electricity will be lost. It seems that campaigners of wind electricity think that consumers should switch on or off their equipments in coordination with the will of faddish Eurus.

This is not all! I have listen in a radio program at BBC about another problem linked with energy of wind. According to BBC reportage, a fake market of producing electricity who no one consumes is created by CO2 trading system, founded by Kyoto protocol. The system of trading carbon emissions means that someone who produces electricity with high carbon emissions should pay for those emissions to another one who produces clean energy. BBC had found at least one project of a hydropower plant in India, who really cannot be feasible as electricity producer, but it is making money by selling CO2 credits. And energy of wind is in the same business. They are not producing electricity. Actually they are producing papers.

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