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Strange bedfellows may provide a new supply option.
Fortnightly Magazine - March 2004

plant ramping capabilities.

Given the high capacity factors associated with coal-fired generation (80 to 95 percent), the modest capacity factors realized by even the most favorable wind farms (30 to 40 percent), and the wind farm size limitations imposed by coal plant ramping capabilities, it is likely that the share of wind energy in a joint coal-wind system will be less than 10 percent of total system output. This means that the realized reduction in environmental emissions of a joint coal-wind system relative to a standalone coal plant will be modest, and that joint coal-wind development is not a good greenhouse gas reduction strategy. If carbon limits are imposed on the U.S. electric sector at some future date, nuclear power may be the only viable option for satisfying the country's growing appetite for electricity.


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