Electricity generated by US wind farms fell 6 per cent in the first half of the year even as the nation expanded wind generation capacity by 9 per cent, Energy Information Administration records show.It may be unreliable, but at least there never will be a wind cartel.
The reason was some of the softest air currents in 40 years, cutting power sales from wind farms to utilities…
“We never anticipated a drop-off in the wind resource as we have witnessed over the past six months,” David Crane, chief executive of power producer NRG Energy, told analysts last month…
Standard and Poor’s put a negative outlook on bonds issued by two wind farm companies as their revenues tracked wind speeds lower.
“Although our current expectation is that the wind resource will revert back to historical averages, at this time it is unclear when that will happen,” the rating agency said.
Wind generated 4.4 per cent of US electricity last year, up from 0.4 per cent a decade earlier. But this year US wind plants’ “capacity factor” has averaged just a third of their total generating capacity, down from 38 per cent in 2014. EIA noted that slightly slower wind speeds can reduce output by a disproportionately large amount.
Should be a short term problem, though, as next year is an election year and there should be no shortage of wind in 2016.