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Robin, "CCGT and hydro were ramped up to compensate" begs the question as to why they'd use wind at all if it has to be backed up by the best renewable of all, hydro? I'm assuming hydro can't provide full back up.

A few days ago I asked you if you knew if there was an engineering road map to get to the target reductions in the CCA. I can't find anyone who owns it, or anyone who has the big picture, and was wondering if you knew if there was a costed plan. If there isn't, unless we're running with massive overcapacity in the grid I think we're in big doo doo.

Mar 16, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

SandyS / Martin A / Skiphil:

For an excellent overview of Spain’s mix of electricity generation, see this site. As can be seen, Spain has an interesting mix of hydro, nuclear, coal, CCGT, wind and solar (part of “Other”). Note how yesterday evening (the site is interactive – see the bottom LH corner) when wind was light, CCGT and hydro were ramped up to compensate. On other occasions (e.g. early August 2012), coal came to the rescue – in late February 2012, it was coal and gas. One conclusion: Spain could cope very well without wind power – but not without coal and gas. There’s more data here.

Also you may recall that a couple of days ago Alex Cull mentioned this interesting report about a resurgence of coal and gas in Spain. An extract:

Analysts also say reform is needed to protect the power grid from a possible collapse as it copes with increasing capacity of renewables, whose output varies depending on the weather.

"The long-term situation in Spain is to manage their debt, but also for utilities to come to grips with the mismatch between an oversupply of renewables during a time of falling demand," said Michael Bret at AXA Investment Managers. "They should be worried about their energy security."

A final thought: given the extent of Spain’s use of renewable energy, it’s interesting that its per capita emissions are nonetheless 6.8 tonnes, little different from the European average of 7.2: link.

Mar 16, 2013 at 7:39 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Sandy S and Martin A,

IIRC, Spain is in the top 4-5 countries on earth for amount of installed wind turbine capacity (theoretical), and has also had one of the more perverse subsidy incentive systems which did encourage operators to feed more power to the grid via diesel generators etc. Don't have time to search for links right now but I think I read about that....... that some number of wind operators there install diesel generators b/c they can make money feed any power into the grid. They are now rolling back the subsidies b/c the country is broke, but I don't know if they can reverse existing subsidies or only for new installations?? ..... Anyone know for sure?

Mar 16, 2013 at 2:27 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

I'm now puzzled as to why Spain should generate between 3 and 10 times as much from wind as either France or the UK. Spain is never given as the country with lots of installed wind.
Mar 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM SandyS

Does Spain have many diesel powered wind generators?

Mar 16, 2013 at 12:21 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@Alex Cull
Thanks, just scrolled back a couple pages, I have a link to the French Electrical generation in real time now.

I'm now puzzled as to why Spain should generate between 3 and 10 times as much from wind as either France or the UK. Spain is never given as the country with lots of installed wind.

Mar 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

jamesp
Super article.

I wouldn't give credit to Mr Morningstar for 'avatar'. It is a Sanskrit word.

Mar 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM | Registered Commentershub

Tropical rainforests WILL survive global warming
http://www.express.co.uk/news/science-technology/383469/Tropical-rainforests-WILL-survive-global-warming

It [a British-led study of rain forests] found that tropical forests are more likely to survive global warming than previously thought, (assuming that it hasn't already ended, of course!)

Mar 15, 2013 at 9:39 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

This is from the latest Climategate titbit at WUWT. (No point in commenting there - everything gets lost, and their clocks are nine hours out).
Briffa to Fred Pearce:

Incidentally, a pedantic point, but where you refer to a tree with rings about 30 microns wide being equivelent to a tree increasing its GIRTH by one centimetre in 100 years, should this not be 2 cms? Assuming the tree has a starting diameter of about 15 cm , after 100 years its diameter will be 15.6 cm (the rings occur on both sides of the tree).

Well spotted Keith! Apparently Fred hadn’t worked out that the rings go right round the tree..

Mar 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

My pleasure. I knew as soon as I read it who might appreciate it!

His writing style reminds me of our host's - both express themselves eloquently in relatively simple terms, while the academics and their hangers-on use as many syllables as possible...

Mar 15, 2013 at 7:56 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Thanks, jamesp - nice one!

Mar 15, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

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