Pointless Part-Time Power: Germany’s Readily Available Wind Power Capacity Less Than 1% of Total Installed Capacity

Zephyr in a thimble: total German wind power
output March 2011 to October 2017.


When it comes to actually delivering wind power, the real and the ideal are a gulf apart. In Australia, the average capacity factor (the ratio between actual output and nominal capacity) is just on 28% across the Eastern Grid, where 1,800 turbines with a total capacity of 5,100 MW have been speared across four states.

Actual output depends, of course, on the attitude of the Wind Gods, on any given day. Then there’s mechanical failures, maintenance and downtime, which increases pretty rapidly as these things age.

In Germany, the total number of turbines is pushing 30,000, with a total capacity of 56,000 MW. However, it turns out that those thousands of units are rarely available, at all.

The Truth About Wind Energy: The Readily Available Wind Power Capacity in Germany is Less Than One Percent of Installed Capacity
The Global Warming Policy Forum
Klaus Stratmann
28 September 2018

Berlin — The numbers are impressive: according to the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), 29,900 wind turbines have been installed in Germany.

Their share in German electricity production amounts to a considerable 18.8 percent. Their installed capacity is 56,000 megawatts (MW). Thus, within just over two decades, wind power has developed from a niche market to a pillar power generation.

On closer inspection, however, a blatant weakness is evident: Although 56,000 MW of installed capacity corresponds to 56 large coal power plants, the decisive contribution for the entire power generation system, namely the reliable contribution of wind turbines to electricity production, is disappointing: “The actual production figures show that the readily available wind power capacity in Germany is less than one percent of installed capacity,” says Oliver Then, Managing Director of the VGB PowerTech Association.

The association sees itself as a neutral technical discussion platform for planners, manufacturers and owners of all types of power plants. Oliver Then relies on recent research findings.

They have been seen by Handelsblatt and will be presented shortly. VGB PowerTech has analyzed in detail the real wind power production in 2016 in Germany and other European countries like Great Britain, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.

The message of their findings is clear: even if the expansion of wind power is going to progress rapidly, there will always have to be back-up capacity, e.g. by fossil power plants. “Wind power inevitably requires system partners who together ensure supply and grid stability,” says Then.
Global Warming Policy Forum

Wind Energy Won’t Function For Supplying Germany With Power, Experts Say
No Tricks Zome
Pierre Gosselin
9 October 2018

As Germany moves to phase out coal power, more focus is being placed on relying on wind energy to fill in the gap.

Recently German business daily Handelsblatt here reported that despite the country adding more wind energy capacity, “the latest figures show that only a little wind power is available at any time.”

According to the German BWE wind energy group, 29,900 wind turbines are currently operating in the country with a total capcity of 56,000 megawatts. Wind energy makes up 18.8% of the country’s power supply.

Glaring weaknesses
But the Handelsblatt reports there are “glaring weaknesses” and that wind turbines cannot be relied on to deliver steady power when it’s needed.

According to Oliver Then, Managing Director of the VGB PowerTech Association, citing recent research results which the Handelsblatt has obtained: “The actual production figures show that the readily available wind power capacity in Germany is less than one percent of installed capacity.”

Back up absolutely necessary
According to the Handelsblatt, VGB PowerTech evaluated 2016 data from a number of European countries, and reports that the message is clear:

“Even if the expansion of wind power progresses rapidly, there will always have to be back-up capacity, for example in the form of fossil power plants.”

VGB Director Oliver Then says that as more and more green energies get fed in, the less gas and fossil fuels plants operate, and thus making them no longer profitable. Yet they remain absolutely essential to keep the grid stable.

Can rely on neighboring countries?
Proponents of green energies who support a rapid fossil fuel phaseout insist that it can be done, and that Germany would only need to rely increasingly on a power supply from neighboring countries. When the wind is not blowing in Germany, power could be imported from another country where the wind is blowing.

But VGB Director Oliver Then says the data do not support this claim in any way, adding, “Power production is strongly synchronous over great distances.”

This means that if wind lacks in Germany, it often lacks in Poland as well and so neighbors cannot be relied on to provide electricity.

Pump storage not feasible
Pump storage as a way to store energy is also not feasible says Then, saying it would need to be increased 1000 fold, which would entail enormous costs. Then notes that periods of no wind extending two weeks are not uncommon in Germany.
No Tricks Zone

Who would have thought, hey?!?

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Son of a goat says:

    Will those crazy Germans never learn and end up left in the dark again?

    Sometimes we need to learn the lessons from our past.

    One of my neighbouring farmers is of Irish ancestry, a man of diminutive statue which is more than compensated with a wild temper.

    In the early 90’s he, at considerable expense bought the latest and greatest combine harvester, a German made Deutz Fahr from his local agent.

    Harvest is a stressful time for any farmer, one’s livelihood is dependent on getting the crop off as quickly and efficiently as possible before weather damage can occur.

    Unfortunately this one particular harvest, the combination of a hot Australian summer, inclement weather and break downs with his new harvester was little too much for my neighbor.

    Having done his block at the local Deutz Fahr agent at the lack of spare parts in Australia for his machine, this one afternoon he have had enough and decided to give the boss of Deutz Fahr in Germany a serve.

    I enquired tentatively several days later how this conversation had ended, my neighbor replied, “I told this Fritz it’s no wonder you bastards lost the war with the fricken lights you have on this thing, you wouldn’t have even seen the fricken enemy coming.”

    Might be a lesson in there for all……….Angela, Angus and Audrey?

    God they are like a AAA battery……

  2. On Feb 13, 2018: The judge dismissed all charges in the lawsuit brought against Dr Tim Ball by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. It is a great victory for free speech.
    ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.

    “Human Caused Global Warming”, ‘The Biggest Deception in History’.


    • Thank you Dr. Ball for the enormous amount of work you’ve done to educate the public. Would you believe that in Ontario we still have an Environment Commissioner who speaks as if she is completely unaware of the IPCC deception and errors? She was on CBC just last week using alarmist propaganda as she lambasted the new government for their decisions to take the very actions they were recently elected to take. The previous government for whom she was the Environment Commissioner was decimated. They lost their party status and still Commissioner Saxe is refusing to acknowledge that the people of Ontario are finally waking up to the truth about climate change. So much money has been wasted. So many peoples’ lives are still in serious distress because of the industrial scale wind turbines that were forced on rural communities.

  3. bugsbunny4pres says:

    “Pump storage not feasible
    Pump storage as a way to store energy is also not feasible says Then”

    Says who?

  4. I am very impressed with this post. If you could send me data source links I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  5. Andy Demmig says:

    Nevertheless, the eco-terrorists and the politicians in Germany ignore the relentless reality. Again and again, obscure studies are still claiming: 100% RE work.
    Rather, it is funny, if they point out again the next keypoint project, where the households will be completely supplied by RE – as if there are not enough failed examples (my opinion: there are still enough stupid falling on it, so the Zealots get their money at the expense of the customers)

    With google translate you may read this:

  6. And still the ‘true believers’ in this scam insist that renewables are the future of energy.
    I wonder what they will be saying when they are reading by candlelight when the grid is not able to supply the power?

  7. 4TimesAYear says:

    Reblogged this on 4TimesAYear's Blog.

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