Victoria’s windfarms have saved virtually no coal from being burnt.
South Australian windfarms have saved 4% of their rated capacity in fossil fuels at a cost of $1,484 per ton.
That’s only $1,474 above the current price of carbon credits per ton in the EU. They are 96% useless, and cost 150 times more than necessary for what they do (except for the times they are more useless and more expensive).
The point of a windfarm is not so much to produce electricity but to reduce greenhouse emissions.
If we built windfarms for the electricity they generate, we’d be better off paying for reliable electrons from cheap brown coal, and using the savings to research a cure for cancer. The point in putting up expensive, infrasonic thumping towers of steel and concrete that kill eagles and explode bat lungs is because it reduces our carbon dioxide emissions, except that it doesn’t really.
Mechanical engineer Hamish Cumming has written a whopper of a report (though I can’t find an online copy of it). Because Victoria doesn’t have much of a gas powered grid, it can’t take advantage of the odd intermittent peaks of wind power. Like a huge car, the big coal fired plants run best at a steady pace, and all the switching up and down just reduces their mileage so they need more coal per kilowatt.
South Australia does have some gas power, but don’t get too excited, even there, wind farms reduce CO2 statewide by about 1%.