California’s 100% Renewables Claim ‘Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics’

Now, did I tell you about all my wins?

***

On a train bound for nowhere, I met up with a Gambler…

A little while back, that great philosopher, Kenny Rogers spelt out the rules for Gamblers in clear and simple terms:

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,

Know when to walk away and know when to run.

You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.

There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

That sound advice honoured only in the breach by renewables rent-seekers and their parasites, around the world.

The moment that the planets align, the sun’s up, the clouds disappear, the wind hits the perfect pace and wind and solar output approaches anything like the notional capacity of the generators concerned, wind and sun worshippers start crowing about the colossal effort that their beloveds have just managed. (A bit like the wild and emotional cheers for the handicapped kid who manages to limp across the line on school sports day.)

But just as quickly as the sun goes down and the wind drops, the acolytes disappear into the ether and happily ignore the fact that the wind or solar output they were crowing about yesterday amounts to little more than a doughnut, today.

Like the Gambler, these characters are always ready to tell you about their ‘wins’, but never about their ‘losses’.

When he’s down on his luck, the Gambler happily lies to himself, friends and family about his failing fortunes – the wind and sun worshipping greentard Gambler is no different.

And so it is in sunny California.

California Renewables Dream’n
Master Resource
Lisa Linowes
30 May 2017

“It’s no wonder there’s increasing debate over expanding California’s grid into a regional system. Meanwhile, the economic viability of traditional generators will continue to suffer unless they, like their renewable energy counterparts, can derive benefit from above-market power contracts. Ultimately, it will be California ratepayers that pay the steep price for this impossible dream.”

As California considers a 100% renewable-energy mandate, the state’s legislators should be asking what happens to California’s energy profile when the sun doesn’t shine and the winds don’t blow.

This month, the national press hyped how California renewables met a record-breaking 67% of the state’s electricity generation. It happened during the 3 pm hour on a Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day. We checked the numbers, and sure enough wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewables had a combined output of 14,215 megawatts out of a total generation of 21,390 megawatts in that hour. It was discernibly a sunny day with the hours of highest penetration of renewables between 8 am and 7 pm.

No doubt, the timing of this impressive event was opportune. This month California’s Senate is considering passage of SB 100, a bill which seeks to accelerate the state’s renewables mandate to 50% by 2026, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2045.

What better way to convince idealistic legislators to enact a 100% mandate, than declare the state has already skipped past the current 50% by 2030 threshold? At this rate, why not mandate 110%, 200%, or better?

Not so fast. The bigger question state legislators should be asking is what happens to California’s energy profile when the sun doesn’t shine and the winds don’t blow. We looked at the energy production figures for the available days in May (1-28) and compared them to the same period in January of this year. The aggregate data shows California is nowhere near meeting its lofty goals.

Fuel Type January 1-28, 2017 May 1-28, 2017
Wind 5% 8%
Solar 5% 15%
Other Renewables[1] 7% 7%
Non-Renewables[2] 83% 70%
Total 100% 100%
[1] Includes geothermal, biomass, biogas and small hydro[2] Includes imports and large hydro

 

Of the 672 hours represented in January (28 days x 24 hours), 73% or 489 hours showed renewables producing less than 20% of the total generation.

In May, performance was much better, with most hours producing more than 20%; however when we  omit solar from the mix in each month, renewables (including wind) produced less than 20% in all but 7 hours in January and less than 20% in most of the hours of May.

January 1-28, 2017 May 1-28, 2017
Renewables Generation (MWh) Hrs Generation <20% Generation (MWh) Hrs Generation <20%
WITH Solar      2,818,892 489 Hrs (73%)   5,204,519 195 Hrs (29%)
NO Solar      1,895,072 665 Hrs (99%) 2,670,267 483 Hrs (72%)

 

Obviously, policy debates cannot be based on the renewable energy performance in one hour of one day when demand is low. Sacramento could vote all-day-long to raise energy mandates, but none of those votes will make renewables perform at the levels now being discussed. Banking on storage technology might make up for some of the difference, but that’s not proven at the scale needed and the cost will be exorbitant.

Meanwhile, the push for more transmission is becoming urgent in order to export generation to neighboring states rather than the other way around. As excess megawatt-hours of renewables during the daylight hours collapse real-time market prices, utilities in other states are looking to join the California ISO so they can buy the cheap power — that is, power that’s heavily subsidized by California ratepayers.

It’s no wonder there’s increasing debate over expanding California’s grid into a regional system. Meanwhile, the economic viability of traditional generators will continue to suffer unless they, like their renewable energy counterparts, can derive benefit from above-market power contracts. Ultimately, it will be California ratepayers that pay the steep price for this impossible dream.

California Senate President Pro Tem, Kevin De León, touts his bill as a jobs creator. Maybe so, but before he and his fellow legislators ram this policy through, they owe it to their constituents to wake up from the renewable energy fantasy and recognize the truth right in front of them.
Master Resource

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. estherfonc says:

    Hi,

    Here’s the link to the Petition on the Federal Government website for Australia to Withdraw from The Paris Climate Agreement.

    Please Sign it by clicking on the link below and please also share it with everyone you know. There are only 1497 signatures to date, so it needs to move FAST !

    Closing date for petition is 19/7/17.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Petitions/House_of_Representatives_Petitions/Petitions_General/Sign_an_e-petition?id=EN0264

    Thankyou.

    Esther

  2. drgenenelson says:

    With the firm rebuke of Jacobson et.al. of their “100% renewables” fantasy in the 16 June issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Clack et.al, the California Assembly amended S.B. 100 on 26 June 2017 to include non-carbon- emitting generation such as nuclear and large hydro. 🙂 That isn’t stopping a group of investors, etc. from proposing a new disaster in the form of large (616 feet to tip of the rotor) offshore wind turbines off California’s central coast. Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. at CGNP dot org is supporting the inclusion of nuclear in S.B. 100 and strongly opposing the offshore wind turbines! BTW, the first large Vestas V164 wind turbine was installed offshore in the U.K. less than 10 months ago, making this an experimental prototype. You may learn more about this new boondoggle by searching for the term “Trident Winds.”

  3. You’re good…..whoever you are! Kenny Rogers…sums it up alright!

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