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View Diary: Why wind needs feed-in tariffs (and why it is not the enemy of nuclear) (161 comments)

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    A Siegel, NRG Guy

    "anti-bullshit" you certainly write a lot of crap here. I never wrote that old data should be discarded - there is a lot to learn from it - but it needs to be kept in context in an industry that is rapidly improving.

    Measures of capacity factor more than a few years old are clearly obsolete. I'm not sure how you stretch from that obvious point to claiming I want to "throw away any and all old data" or assume "latest numbers will go on unchanged forever."

    There are wind turbine manufacturers that have a long track record of greater than 95% availability in their production turbines. Past performance is a useful indicator of future reliability, because new designs are based on the experience of previous models and reputations are earned over time. But any measure of capacity factor or cost per MWh that is based on average turbine sizes of a few years ago is obsolete for obvious reasons.

    Finally, regarding "Ask any competent engineer (that is, any engineer who is not in the marketing business) and he or she will tell you this" -- I can assure you that while there may indeed be some correlation, it is lower than you think. As an engineer working on safety-critical systems, I've seen both exceptions: engineers not involved with marketing who lacked the competence required, and engineers given marketing duties who most certainly had it.

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