C. (Kees) le Pair has added to his research on industrial wind turbines' ability to reduce fossil fuel use/CO2e emissions. His recently posted research looks primarily at data (not models), and includes references to other data-intensive studies.
Facts About the Savings of Fossil Fuel By Wind Turbines in the Netherlands:
Renewables are being introduced into electricity generation in order to save fossil fuel and to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. In an early stage of this process a simple supposition convinced authorities and the public at large of the effectiveness of using renewables. A kWh of electricity produced free of CO2, would replace a kWh conventionally produced. It would therefore save the amount of the fossil fuel otherwise needed to produce that same quantity of electricity.Continue reading at clepair.net:
This simple notion has been criticized. The renewable electricity generation influences the way conventional units operate which in turn reduces their efficiency, and actually results in less savings. Conventional units are necessary when some of the renewable resources like wind and PV solar, are not available. They come when the wind blows or only during daylight hours. Electricity storage, which would alleviate this problem, is only feasible in very special situations. Otherwise it is too expensive.
World wide, a debate has evolved between the protagonists of large-scale renewable systems and critics who argue that the systems do not function as promised. Because quite substantial amounts of money are involved, there is a lot at stake.