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A formula for statistical change

Huw Smallwood's letter (NCE last week) states that all forms of electricity generation require backup. Now how much backup should be provided?

This issue is not new of course. From one convention held at the Open University a little while ago there is a particular formula that professor Denis Anderson from Imperial College London illustrated in his address: "A Revisit of Statistical Principles."

Anderson demonstrated that statistical tools are essential for the task of forecasting. Especially, the standard deviation of conventional generation and demand (d) with wind (w) is the square root of the sum of the variances of demand and wind, that is,
 = (d 2 + w2).

Response and fast reserve requirements are therefore ±3 x (sd2 + sw2) for the current situation.

The formula was developed after sufficient monitoring of the supplying technologies.

It gives much less than an equal amount of backup and should be more generally understood.
Would future monitoring vary that formula when very large changes to existing generating technologies occur, and in which way?


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