Ready to Rely on Wind & Solar For Your Power? Then Get Ready to Freeze or Boil in the Dark

In their more deluded moments, wind and sun worshippers claim that, if only fossil fuel guzzling, climate-deniers would shrivel up and die, nature’s ‘wonder fuels’ could easily provide 100% of everybody’s energy needs, now and until kingdom come – and do so absolutely free.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, even on their best days, the contribution from wind and solar power barely bumps the energy production register and, even after 30 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, their combined global output still amounts to little more than an accounting rounding error.

Ironically it’s those dastardly ‘extreme weather events’ that demonstrate how ridiculous is the idea that one day the world will get all its electricity from the wind and the sun.

Whether it’s scorching, breathless summer weather in Australia when wind power output collapses leaving thousands boiling in the dark, or still, frosty nights in North America, wind and solar power are guaranteed failures.

Here’s an example of the latter from Canada.

Renewable energy in the Ontario cold snap: a technicolour dream, debunked in grayscale
Canadian Energy Issues
Stephen E. Aplin
4 January 2018

Can renewable energy based mostly on wind and solar meet 100 percent of our energy needs? Bearing in mind the data presented in this article, the answer is an obvious and emphatic NO.

Much of North America was in a deep freeze as 2017 waned and turned into 2018. Across Ontario temperatures two hours from midnight on New Year’s Eve in the relatively populated “south” part of the province ranged from minus 31 (Kirkland Lake) to minus 13 (Sault Ste. Marie, which was actually warmer – by one-tenth of a Celsius degree – than Windsor).

The residential heat demand across the “relatively populated” part of the province at that time was in the neighbourhood of 25 million kilowatts; the electricity demand was roughly 17.2 million on top of that.

Contrary to the highly misleading impression given out by our electricity system operator, heating and electricity describe two (mostly) separate energy systems. The IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator), which along with managing the day to day operation of our grid oversees contracts for power generation and conservation, publishes a web page that confuses energy with electricity.

Please bear in mind that the heating demand is a quantity that is (mostly) in addition to electricity demand. Both have to do with energy, and though they are related and integrated they are distinct. This distinction carries global billion dollar implications. Many people are unaware of this distinction.

Among those who are unaware, either honestly or dishonestly, are mainstream environmental groups and the political groups that have tied their fortunes to the environmentalist mindset. From this crowd you often hear confident predictions that in some few decades all of our energy will come from renewable sources; wind and solar are the most touted. You sometimes even hear such predictions coming straight from high levels of government.

How credible are such predictions? They clearly lack any and all credibility, and not only for the simple reason that the sun goes down every night, raising the vexing question of what non-fossil-fuel energy source is going to power homes, hospitals, schools, and the Internet between seven p.m. and seven a.m.

Have a look at the figure below. It shows the output of Ontario’s wind and solar generators against provincial electrical and (most) residential heating demand over the 96 hours from December 30 through January 2.

Note that at the time that combined electricity plus residential heat demand were highest, wind and solar production were at their lowest. This is typical for Ontario in the winter, and a big part of the reason is that nighttime temperatures tend to be lower than daytime, and at nighttime there is no solar power at all.

For the professional renewable energy salesman, the solution to this is easy: just expand the amount of wind and solar capacity so that the probability of achieving enough generation to meet demand becomes greater – i.e., “buy more of my inferior product.” Leaving aside the obvious issues implied by the operative word probability in the preceding sentence, here’s how the situation from December 30 through January 2 could have been different had the wind and solar generation fleets each been ten times its current capacity:

As you can see, in almost all hours (86 out of 96) wind and solar generation fleets ten times their current capacities would still have failed to collectively produce enough power to meet the demand for electricity and residential heat.

Not only that, but when you look at the summary stats, notice that the minimum value of Wind+Solar times ten does not even come to one-third of the minimum value of Electricity Demand.

i.e., had Ontario had ten times its current wind and ten times its current solar, there were a significant number of hours when the combined generation of that tenfold-expanded fleet could not have even served the electricity component of the electricity-plus-heat energy demand. In fact, the entire bottom quartile of Wind+Solar generation featured output values that were less than the minimum value of Electricity Demand.

Can renewable energy based mostly on wind and solar meet 100 percent of our energy needs? Bearing in mind the above, together with the fact that I didn’t even include industrial, commercial, and institutional heat demand, nor even residential hot water – let alone transportation demand (planes, trains, automobiles) – the answer is an obvious and emphatic NO. Not only that, it is obvious that it would be foolish to even try.

In light of this, another monster-size question is begged. Why do governments all across the world regularly and routinely regurgitate the 100 percent renewables myth?

And why do the media types who interview the government types who regurgitate this nonsense not call them on it?
Canadian Energy Issues

OK, so who’s ready to call 100% RE a 100% FAIL?

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Crispin Trist says:

    The cult of ‘born again’ renewable energy comes down to supply and demand.

    Supply = Wind turbines, solar panels, renewables.

    Generated demand = Climate change.

    This creates expensive and unreliable electricity.

    Thus…

    Supply = Microgrids, roof top solar panels, batteries, etc.

    Generated demand = Unreliable and expensive electricity, blackouts. The very issues created by the rollout of renewables in the first place.

    Consequences = Shared liability and expense. YOU are now implicated if the grid goes down!

    End game…

    The renewables industry rides off into the sunset with all of your money.

  2. Steve Bernard says:

    Why are we relying on 19th Century technology to solve 21st Century problems? Even Henry David Thoreau went into town to buy groceries once in a while. This ain’t gonna work…

  3. william gray says:

    When you consider the world population increased from 3.5 billion to 7.5 billion in just 40 short years it should be a concern to any rational person-this rate is simply unsustainable. If so called climate change ( or disruption/warming) is supposed to be man made then it follows reasonably that there is too much man. Not suggesting a cull but any rational argument seems all too rare . What is it in our collective psych that seems to deny that this is a central and defining world issue. Is it the growth mentality? The inane ‘go forth and multiply’ tenet? More people = more resourse depletion/environmental stresses etc. But the easily led believe all our probs can be solved with useless and sillly wind turbines and solar so we can all ‘keep at it’. Oh dear.

  4. In Victoria after Sunday’s warm day the Labor gov are blaming poles and wires. I think the wind dropped off so quickly they lost all their windpower, which tripped all the connectors. After spruiking how wind supplied 41 percent of power in the last hot day but the wind didnt drop off like Sunday, all of a sudden. Maybe a 150 million dollar battery would of given us another 5 minutes?

  5. Peter Pronczak says:

    I was recently confronted by what I’d heard about but not experienced: The Greenie alternative energy generations, blame baby boomers for the state of the world and the sooner they die the better!

    WOW! Talk about believing that snow is black! How can such deluded people have it explained to them that, “It’s the financial system of the usury casino economy that’s to blame stupid!”
    What else are all the ‘trading schemes’ about if not making money from money that contributes nothing to the future of the physical economy?
    Their answer? – We’re overpopulated! So cull the population and go back to the stone age of sunshine and sails.
    And there’s man-made global warming, and resources are running out, and only the special few can have all the benefits.

    They’ve done research and got the facts; dealing with recycling big batteries, solar panels and end of life wind turbines, hasn’t been solved, yet, but the answers will be found.
    But not really sure about how to deal with the special steels in turbine gearboxes.
    E-waste? That’s all being recycled. Isn’t it?

    Until the mainstream media stop pandering to the minority private financial interests that privatise profits and socialise losses, or going along to get along as it’s sometimes described, the only option is to just keep trying to chip away at the ignorance.

    There’s a lot of things to stop, STT.

  6. Why? Because the voters are stupid. Simple. And they can’t read a graph. Or it’s Donald Trump’s fault. Or…

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