Germans Blame “Missing Wind” for their Wind Power Debacle

Is this just poor planning? Or is it the government’s fault?


Germany’s Debacle: 2/3 Of Wind Projects “Running Badly To Very Badly”… Case Of The “Missing Wind”
P Gosselin
20 September 2014

Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here brings up a television report on the disappointing returns from wind parks, recently appearing on SWR South German public television.

The days of the media not questioning green energy are over.

Wind parks experienced a gold rush atmosphere, with thousands of turbines being erected over the last 15 years. Now the data are coming in on their real performance, and it looks bad. The German SWR TV report (can be viewed at Youtube) first presents the background on wind energy development in Germany and tells the story of “disappointed investors”, especially in the western German state of Rhineland Palantinate.

Initially investors’ expectations of getting rich on wind were high, the report says. Big returns were promised (between 400 and 800% in 2006). But for a wide majority that dream has shattered violently as losses mount.

“2/3 of all projects are running badly to very badly”

The SWR report at the 1:20 mark says the promises of huge returns were based on overly optimistic wind model forecasts. Werner Haldorf of the pro-wind-energy German Association of Wind Energy analyzed wind park performance and sums up the “surprising” results at the 1:38 mark:

We can say that one third of all projects have pleased the investors, or at least have been satisfactory – depending on how high or low the subjective expectations were, satisfied also with respect to the planning results. And two thirds of all projects are running somewhat badly to very badly.”

In his summary report he concludes:

SWF wind report

The origin of the plight for commercial windparks in Germany is the excessive “planning optimism” (Garrad Hassan) that was created among investors.”

Unexpectedly high repair, maintenance and insurance costs

At the 2:06 mark Daldorf tells SWF that the cause is “the missing wind, too much wind was planned, shoddy planning, improper planning, and unexpected (or falsely expected) high repair, maintenance, and insurance costs“.

These are the results of Daldorf’s nationwide windpark analysis. More and more it is becoming obvious that many of the investors were conned to some extent by Big Wind.

The missing wind

The report then focusses on the wind parks in the German state of Rhineland Palatinate. There the picture is even worse. The problem is that the necessary amount of wind needed to make the projects profitable there often just does not materialize. At the 2:51 mark economist Uwe Pilgram tells viewers that a turbine must run a minimum of 1700 hrs at full capacity each year in order to make a profit. But Pilgram says the average in 2013 was barely over 1400 hours.

Mainz Public Utility Director Detlev Höhner sullenly says that his community’s 20 wind plants put into operation between 2005 and 2010 so far have not made any profit and has made a “light loss”.

In the city of Trier (3:55) the result for its public utility is also disappointing. Public utility manager Rudolf Schöller:

We planned for average wind conditions, but in the first years we had relatively weak winds, and that’s why the wind yields were not so high.”

The reporter tells viewers that some years saw as little as 80% of the expected wind. The reporter adds: “That’s a disaster, experts tells us. A privately run company would certainly have gone bankrupt.”

The problem, the SWR reporter says (5:15), lies in false wind projections. Often times the planning goes out of control and is thus too costly. For the city of Mainz the new wisdom has become: “Don’t trust any planning office“.

Wind index adjusted downward three times!

At the 6:30 mark SWF brings in a wind energy expert Prof. Uwe Leprich, who warns that wind turbines “are not money printing machines” and says that the last years have seen weak wind conditions, yet hopes that will change in the years ahead. Interestingly he says that future wind conditions are based on data from the past and from these data a wind-index is computed for future planning. Here he admits (7:00 mark) that the wind index has been “adjusted three times” downward. Leprich blames the unpredictable weather conditions specifically in Rhineland Palatinate for the wind park profit problems.

The moderator then asks why that had not been foreseen (7:27 mark). Leprich replies that data from the previous decades were used, and blames “changes in wind conditions over the last few years”, adding that the wind index had to be adjusted nationwide. He repeats that especially in Rhineland Palatinate the wind conditions are especially difficult.

Skeptics’ warnings were ignored

Later Leprich says that “new framework conditions” have since been drawn up for planning future projects and that planners will need to be extra careful when siting wind projects. Readers here need to know that wind-park opponents and skeptics provided plenty of warnings on the poor profitability of wind parks, but in the mad and blind gold rush, no one heeded the warnings. Skeptics were branded crackpots, naysayers and complainers.

And what about the communities that have already falsely speculated (8:40) and lost money? Who pays for the losses, asks the moderator? Leprich doesn’t answer the question, making a huge circle around it. It was a rhetorical question anyway.

German green energy companies collapsing

The SWR report also looks at how Germany’s recent cut in subsidies for green energies and on how renewable energy companies are really feeling the pain. At the 9:30 mark the report features German renewable energy company Juwi., which years earlier had boomed mightily in the wind and solar businesses. In 2012 the company even broke the €1 billion mark in sales. But the report continues: “However 2 years later, everything is different“. Today the mood at Juwi is especially bleak as the company lays off its workers: Every third worker is getting a pink slip – 400 in all.

Government to blame…CEO drives expensive sports car

Without the subsidy nipple, the orders disappear and green energy companies die off. At the 12:20 mark the reporter says that the Juwi managing director Matthias Willenbacher blames the government for the misery, just before he is shown cruising in his ultra-high-priced sports car.

Back in the studio at the 14:00 mark, Leprich says the industry grew too fast and was led by inexperienced managers. He says the move into green energies was too rash and uncontrolled. He calls the massive investment in solar energy a mistake and concedes that the industry was too dependent on politics. At the end Leprich still thinks that solar and wind energy are the energies of the future – a seemingly obstinate position in view of the monumental debacle they are turning out to be. Leprich keeps clinging.

Historic industrial debacle

In reality, however, what we are actually seeing is the unfolding of one of history’s greatest industrial debacles, all driven by a fraudulent climate science and a deceptive industry. Slowly realizing they’ve been bamboozled, the German media, government and the numerous green energy promoters are scrambling to save face.

USA poised to follow same ruinous path

With the debacle now clear to the rest of the world, one would think other countries would sober up and be more cautious about following a similar path. They aren’t. Indeed it is truly astonishing that other countries, like the USA for example, are ignoring it all and are now attempting to put themselves on the very same ruinous path to repeat the German debacle, and to do so on an even grander scale.

If there ever was a definition for madness, this is it.

After pouring billions of euros into wind power, the Germans are left with spiralling power prices, energy market chaos (see our post here) and, now, collapsing wind power outfits. In concert with wind industry whining everywhere, German wind power outfits moan that their failing fortunes are all the government’s fault. Never mind that the wind industry circus would have never hit the road without a fat pile of government subsidies and mandated targets.

Irony is a subtle art; and one that the wind industry and its parasites struggle to identify, let alone master. After years of telling us how competitive wind power is with conventional generators, when the subsidies are pulled they yelp and do what any (inherently) unprofitable venture does: sack their workers.

And if the irony of biting the hand that feeds them isn’t enough, why not blame the vagaries of the wind?

STT loves the breezy optimism of Prof. Uwe Leprich, who says that “the last years have seen weak wind conditions“, but hangs on the hope that this “will change in the years ahead“. Although, unless the weather turns on consistently solid blows, the German wind industry could be in more trouble than Ned Kelly.

As Prof Leprich points out “wind park profit problems” are all about “unpredictable weather conditions” and goes on to blame: “changes in wind conditions over the last few years”.

Well fancy that! Who would have thought that wind power output – and, therefore, wind power outfits’ profits – might have a teensy weensy relationship with – ahem, ur – the wind?

That the fortunes of wind power outfits might wane a little when the wind doesn’t blow seems fairly obvious to an adult of moderate intelligence.

STT thinks seeing wind power outfits being done in by the vagaries of the wind is simply the inevitable result of an intellectual mismatch – of the kind that occurs when parents let toddlers play with sharp objects.

Say, Bert do you think this fun will last forever?

6 thoughts on “Germans Blame “Missing Wind” for their Wind Power Debacle

  1. It is very clear that Planning Ministers, Premiers and the leaders of wind farm operators like Acciona are good mates.

    Let me give you an example. You have Acciona who are not compliant with the conditions of their operating permit. But in a letter dated 15 of September 2009, sent by Mr Guy, the planning Minister for Victoria, to Acciona, it was requested that objective testing to be done at 10 houses and to supply additional information. This was because in the Waubra wind farm area, there had been 3 houses where complaints had been received from wind farm hosts, that is the families that get a financial reward from the operation of the Waubra wind farm. Yet Acciona refused to respond to these requests probably on the basis that the information is commercial in confidence.

    Two years later, in September 2013, it appears that Acciona has now offered testing to be done – but their own way – that is no assessment for low frequency sound – which make the testing completely useless.

    In a letter dated 15/1/14 Mr Guy accepts this offer, as long as the tests are done subjectively – which means, no measurements just go and have a listen with Acciona. Apparently, this satisfies the so-called ‘independent of the operator’ requirement.

    This assessment was then done – however it was without the turbines operating on one event.

    As this assessment then needs to be audited in accordance with section 10 of the EPA act. This requirement is that it only investigates if the testing was done or not, and it does not consider the results – of which there were none because no measurements were actually taken.

    Now Mr Guy has put Acciona as the front runner in the tenders for the 6 Billion East West link road for Melbourne.

    Acciona has placed turbines outside of best practice guidelines – which are designed for efficient power production and to protect human health. They have broken these rules so sound and air pressure modulation, also referred to as infrasound pressure waves, can now be heard as a swooshing sound. Acciona has not documented nor supplied information to the Planning department to prove they have complied to the operating conditions of their permit at Waubra. These people have also been accused of fraud in the Senate.

    Pity help the people travelling on and living within several kilometers of this road if Acciona has a part of its construction.

    Noel Dean

  2. While watching Jay Weatherill spruik his desire for 50% Renewables for South Australia by 2025, did anyone else note the change in tactics he used to ‘sell’ this to the people of SA?

    No longer was Climate Change used to reason this desire, instead it’s because fossil fuels such as coal and gas are running out, and that will cause the price of energy to rise and he wants us to have cheap electricity!

    He actually said this here in SA, where the price of electricity is higher than anywhere else in the country. Here in SA where the uptake of wind energy has been the greatest – to date. Here in SA where industry is collapsing or moving out of the State with the cost of electricity being a big contributor to their decision making?

    Is Climate Change going off the burner as a reason to install massive numbers of IWT’s, which are now known not to reduce C02 emissions? Or is it just a change in advertising techniques because as all good advertising companies know you have to change sometimes to refresh public interest.

  3. Unfortunately, it’s too late for all the areas, communities, and peoples’ lives that have been absolutely ruined by this FRAUD!

    Environmental Researcher: Wind Industry Riddled with ‘Absolute Corruption’:

    Industrial Wind: The Great American “S-WIND-LE” – Not Clean, Not Green, Not Free!:

  4. Jay Weatherill wants to take South Australia down the same path as Germany, with a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2025.

    One thing for sure, if the Abbott Government cuts or abolishes the RET, the South Australian Government will not be paying the subsidies to the wind energy companies, the SA Government is already broke.

  5. Well, who would have thought that the wind was intermittent??
    I guess that the industrialists of the 1800’s must have known something after all when they transitioned to steam.
    It seems that people remember the odd bout of strong wind but forget the rest of the time when there is nothing.

    On our visit to King Island to address the island folk with regard to their proposed 200 turbine wind farm, the locals insisted that the wind always blows on the island. If they took the time to examine the data from the Andrew Miskelly wind performance web site they would see that the wind performance at the Tasmanian wind farm near Stanley gives lie to their belief. My first statements apply. Even the roaring 40’s didn’t always roar.

    Recently, my wife and I visited Holland and Manchester for a few weeks. There were wind turbines south of us in UK and spent most of their time not turning or at least not enough to generate power.
    The same applied in Holland for 4 weeks. We did notice in UK, supermarkets displayed big posters of two or three wind turbines with blue skies and green pastures. The wind weasels are still trying to soften up the gullible population.

    On behalf of “WIND NEE”, we had discussions with council aldermen of two adjoining councils, an interview with state newspapers, video interview with Wind Nee and the State Minister for energy relevant staffer. The minister himself backed out at the last moment and only had time for a handshake. We made all others in the department aware of the STT site as well as the Wind performance web site. We selected the MacArthur wind farm as an example of just how poorly they can expect their similarly sized and topographically similar proposal, to perform. They were gob smacked when they realised that the graphic data was actually happening NOW and not just some contrived bit of propaganda. The proposed turbines will be 500 metres from many farm and village houses. They were astounded that the overall wind farm performance was extremely poor at its best. The same old spin and outright lies is still the wind weasel main weapon. Too bad they are rapidly beginning to be found out.

  6. Sun News, Canada. TV Bulletin. Presenter describes the wind Industry as,

    “The biggest, biggest, fraud and failure that we have ever seen”.

    Slowly, but surely the people are waking up to the industrial wind turbine disaster.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch in Australia, our Government has ruled out torture for terrorists, due to human rights. It is a funny world we live in, human rights for terrorists, but none for the neighbours of industrial wind turbines, suffering Government-sponsored torture.

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