Origin gets serious about wind generation

The cost impact of wind energy outside the broader energy market should
be considered, Origin Energy said in its submissions on the Victorian
Department of Infrastructure issues paper on “Driving investment in
renewable energy in Victoria – Options for a Victorian market-based
measure”.

Valid part of sector: Origin said wind energy represented a
steadily growing component of renewable generation in Australia, and
therefore a valid part of the sector’s capacity to abate greenhouse gas
emissions.

Two forms of support needed because of intermittent nature: It
said extra wind capacity would require two forms of generation support
because of the intermittent nature of the underlying energy source:

• variability outside 5-minute dispatch intervals – gas turbine
generation, which can take between 15 and 30 minutes to reach maximum
output, was either required to run to adjust for wind generation
variability or to stand idle as back-up support ; and

• variability inside 5-minute dispatch intervals – ancillary services
generation was required, sometimes at significant extra cost, to cater
for wind generation variability.

Consumers pay for extra support: Origin said energy consumers
ultimately bore the costs of both forms of generation support.
Moreover, these costs were magnified as greater amounts of wind
generation were connected to the system and more generation support was
required.

Different situation overseas: In a footnote, Origin said that in
countries where a substantial proportion of the energy supply mix was
wind generation (such as Denmark and Germany) the effects of
intermittency could be minimised as the number and spread of wind farms
increased. Australia’s wind industry was not of a comparable diversity
and magnitude, nor was the interconnectedness of the National
Electricity Market (NEM) as advanced as it was in Europe.

Reference: Submission by Origin Energy on Department of
Infrastructure issues paper on “Driving investment in renewable energy
in Victoria – Options for a Victorian market-based measure”. 1
February. Address: Level 21, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Vic.
3000. GPO Box 186C, Melbourne. Vic. 3002. Phone: (03) 9652 5555. Fax:
(03) 9652 5553. Department of Infrastructure address: Level 14, 80
Collins Street, Melbourne. Vic. 3000. GPO Box 2797, Melbourne. Vic.
3001. Phone: (03) 9655 6666. Fax (03) 9655 6752.

http://www.originenergy.com.au

Erisk Net, 23/2/2006

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