Biospherica is my technical blog.  It covers a range of topics including climate science, energy policy, agriculture, geo-statistics, finance, history, computing. Some of the topics derive from my past activity as a physicist or as an interest rate derivatives dealer. Others derive from research undertaken for my company Biospherica Risk. A common thread, if there is one, is some element of statistical computing.

Most of the data used here are publicly available, and most software is open-source, for example the statistical computing platform R. Hopefully this means that much of what appears in Biospherica can be replicated by anyone with a laptop and internet access. I post code snippets too but unfortunately cannot guarantee to answer all your coding queries.

I try to ensure that only views expressed here are those suggested with the empirical method. Of course that does not guarantee that they are right. Errors are inevitable and corrections welcome. This site is not supported by any external organisation.

Joe Wheatley



  1. Greetings Joe

    Many thanks for your insights into CO2 savings from the wind.
    I am retired from 40 years of chemical engineering in the process/petrochemical/oilgas areas and have some interest in the ongoing debate around the usefulness and contribution of windpower to our power generation.

    Now, I notice from the limited publications on real data that most, if not all, the CO2 savings result from simulations on the data supplied by our grid operator. The grid operator, as I understand it, measures the power at the HV terminals of its various power plants and uses a heat rate to calculate the fuel consumption on the plant. Heat rate curves are generated for the different plants. Heat rate is an efficiency metric and is good for a point in time when the plant was new or recalculated on a plant energy/mass balance. However, degradation on equipment takes place soon after operation commences and so the metric continues to be indicative, but not accurate. On plant turndown,when the wind starts to blow, the efficiency drops a lot and I presume this must enter into the grid published data. Of course, the CO2 is not directly measured, but based on factors from IPCC sources or others.

    Other emissions such as NOx increase significantly as the gas turbine plants move off the design point and contribute to the GHG emissions. And, the grid operator admits that there is no consideration in its published data to account for ramping the plants up and down.

    In short, Joe, I suppose it all boils down that nothing is measured apart from the power generation at the plant terminals. Even in the Middle East, the large process plants which are major emitters of CO2 are obligated to measure, real-time, the CO2 emissions which are generated within the process and in the power/heat generators on the plant. The power plant is simple in comparison.

    Anyway, Joe, if you know things are different from what I have outline above, you could enlighten me appropriately and thanks again for your worthwhile contributions on the topic.




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