the Answer to Climate Change Blowing In the Wind?"
Joseph DeCarolis, David W. Keith.
The use of fossil fuels to produce electricity generates significant
environmental impacts, and has led to an intense interest in a cleaner and
more affordable electricity supply. Electricity from wind power provides an
alternative to conventional generation that can yield significant reductions
in carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel use. Discussions of large-scale
wind must address the problems posed by the spatial distribution and
intermittency of the wind resource. The greenfield analysis presented in this
paper provides a first-order economic characterization of wind in a baseload
system in which long-distance electricity transmission, storage, and backup
gas capacity are used to supplement the variable wind power output to meet a
fixed load. The utilization of wind to help meet a fixed load simplifies the
analysis and provides a useful proxy for a model that incorporates the complex
supply and demand dynamics that characterize electricity markets. The results
of this preliminary model indicate that baseload wind is capable of effecting
deep cuts in carbon emissions at a cost competitive with other zero emissions
energy technologies such as nuclear or coal with carbon capture.
For a copy of this paper please contact David