German Study Proves Its Combined Wind & Solar Capacity Must be 100% Backed by Coal/Gas/Nuclear 100% of the Time

Coal-fired plant, Westfalen: where Germany’s power really comes from.


Amongst wind and sun worshippers, Germany is held in a kind of reverent awe.

However, like everything held dear by the renewables cult, the ideal and the real are worlds apart.

For years we were told that if you kept spearing wind turbines into the countryside and spread them far and wide, we could do away with ‘dirty’ coal-fired power plants, and every other conventional form of generation that had, on their reckoning, been made redundant by the wonders of wind and sun.

No country went harder or faster in its pursuit of wind and solar power than the Germans. The South Australians came close, but that’s an Australian state, home to a mere 1.6 million people, rather than a European nation, home to over 80 million.

Now – shock, horror – a detailed study has shown that the German’s attempt to run on sunshine and breezes is an abject failure. That is, if the objective was to do away with coal, gas and nuclear power, altogether.

New Study Concludes Europe Will Always Require 100% Back-Up By Conventional Energy
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
5 July 2017

This post is one for the wind-energy-clingers, who refuse to admit how bad it really is.

A new German paper assesses wind energy in Europe . The results are devastating. It concludes that wind energy requires almost 100% backup and that the more capacity that gets installed, the greater the volatility.

The paper appearing at the VGB, authored by Thomas Linnemann and Guido Vallana, finds that:

“the total wind fleet output of 18 European countries extending over several thousand kilometers in north-south and east-west direction is highly volatile and exhibits a strong intermittent character.”

In other words the power supply across the European grid fluctuates wildly and thus cannot work well. The paper’s abstract continues:

“An intuitively expectable smoothing of this wind fleet output to an amount, which allows a reduction of backup wind power capacity, however, does not occur. In contract a highly intermittent wind fleet power output showing significant peaks and minima is observed not only for a single country, but also for the whole of the 18 European countries. Wind energy therefore requires practically 100% back-up. As the (also combined) capacities of all known storage technologies are (and increasingly will be) insignificant compared to the required demand, backup must be provided by conventional power plants, with their business cases fundamentally being impaired in the absence of capacity markets.”

Extreme volatility

The paper then provides a solid analysis, and charts showing why this is the case. Below their Figure 1 illustrates the extreme volatility of onshore and offshore German wind energy over the year 2016:

Germany’s wind energy output ranges from over 30,000 MW to almost zero. Source: ENTSO


Germany’s wind parks have produced only a fraction of their rated installed capacity, rarely ever reaching 20% annually with an average of 17% since 1990:

The capacity utilization of German Windparks from 1990 to 2016. Source: BMWi


The paper concludes:

“The available (secured) permanent electrical output of the German wind parks thus remains always below 1% of the installed rated capacity, or expressed in other words: Every year there was at least a quarter hour in which 99% of the rated capacity of the German wind parks was not available and where practically 100% of plannable backup energy dominated.”

Moreover an analysis of weak wind phases over the 2010 to 2016 period shows that “there were at least 160 phases 5 days long or more where the output from German wind parks fell below 5000 megawatts and a 10-14 day phase of weak wind days occurred every year.
No Tricks Zone

And this is a surprise? Fire up the diesel, darling.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. What Germany needs is a great big 100 GwH Battery.That should fix everything Just ask Elon Musk and Jay Weatherill.

    • alacran says:

      Oh yes! Please pile it up just in front of the “Bundeskanzleramt” (Federal Republics Chancellery) so that Merkel can enjoy the gigantic sight! Come on Elon!Burn some more billions and let the battery-miracle happen!

  2. There is a well-funded academic study topic for the notion that larger geographical areas will have smaller wind power fluctuations, but they never seem to mention the fact that larger geographical areas have more consumers, and more transmission loss.

    • sultansofswing2 says:

      This theory does not seem to work ! This winter (e.g. 20-25 January), weeks w/ high electricity demand had quiet weather all over western Europe, and few wind: countries could not compensate for one another, and supply came from nuclear, hydro and fossil fuels

  3. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar and commented:
    Suprize !

  4. Reblogged this on citizenpoweralliance.

  5. Neil van Dokkum says:

    Reblogged this on The Law is my Oyster.

  6. swan101 says:

    Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM.

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