November 16, 2005

Wind power increases emissions from fossil-fuel plants

On May 14, the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia, carried a story that began, "Could wind power actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria?":
Andrew Richards, external affairs manager for Australia's biggest renewable energy company, Pacific Hydro, ... rejects outright claims that wind farms can increase greenhouse gases because they cause existing brown coal generators to "throttle back" and produce higher emissions.

"Coal-fired power is at its most efficient at maximum load, there is no doubt about that," said Mr Richards, who also sits on the board of the Australian Wind Energy Association.

"But it is a bit of a furphy to say that wind power is causing greater emissions at this stage.

"With the current state of output from wind in Victoria, we are just background noise compared to demand fluctuations."
"At this stage." That is to say, it appears, that as wind power becomes more than just "background noise" it does indeed cause greater emissions.

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