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Overlooked Environmental Cost of a Wind Generation Portfolio  

Author:  | Environment, Grid, Washington

“Accounting for energy, it is likely that there is no significant environmental difference between a resource portfolio adding wind generation and one adding high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbines. It is also likely that the wind-based portfolio results in little reduction, if any, in the need for fossil fuels and therefore little reduction in the exposure to their price swings and environmental consequences. That is, the emissions and fossil-fuel impacts of a wind-based portfolio appear little better than a non-wind-based portfolio. …

“Having to plan and operate for the real-life need for power may cause greater problems for the environment with a wind portfolio than without it, because the residual may be very difficult to serve without extensive use of combustion turbines. …

“There may be diversity in large numbers of wind resources from different geographical areas to help offset the impact of any single wind resource on the residual need for power, but the ability to use that diversity depends on the current and potential future transmission system. …”

Download original document: “Overlooked Environmental Cost of a Wind Generation Portfolio

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