For example, Ontario has currently nine operating “wind farms”, each of which has a number of wind turbines ranging from a few to about a hundred with a combined output capacity of close to 1100 megaW. Their output is continuously measured and these data are available, on an hourly basis on the web site of the Independent Electricity System Operator in Ontario. The data show that, on average, the output of these wind farms is in the order of only 8% of the stated or nominal capacity
The Denmark example
Denmark is widely cited as a great example for electricity generation from wind power. Indeed, Denmark creates approximately 20% of its electricity from wind turbines. However, it cannot safely use that amount. In fact, only in the order of 5% of Denmark’s electricity consumption comes from wind. The other part (15% of its total electricity) must be exported to avoid destabilization of the grid. This is possible only because its nearby neighbours (particularly Germany) have much larger electricity needs than Denmark and can absorb that wind generated power into their grids without problem.
Despite all that “free” electricity from wind, the Danes enjoy one of the highest electricity costs in the European Union, approximately double the rate found in most of the other EU countries. In fact, the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament called it “a terribly expensive disaster.” Furthermore, in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, electricity from wind, when accounted for in full, produces more CO2 than other energy sources. Denmark’s CO2 emissions rose well over 30% in the year 2006 alone.