Europe’s Fossil-Fuelled Future: Winter Wind & Solar Collapse Means Coal & Gas Here to Stay

Just don’t expect power as and when you need it.


The zealots that pump up the future for wind and solar power are programed to ignore the present and bound to ignore the past.

For a few centuries in human history, windmills were the only game in town.

Then, in the 18th Century, the captains of British scientific and engineering endeavour harnessed thermal power, the Industrial Revolution followed, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Except that a deluded band of halfwits are determined to take us back to an age the developed world was happy to see the back of. One entirely dependent upon the weather.

Among their more fanciful claims, wind and sun worshippers assert that nature’s wonder fuels are already making an outstanding contribution to satisfying the world’s energy demands; and go further by gushing that a world run entirely on sunshine and breezes is not only inevitable, but a heartbeat away.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the RE numbers are a lot less impressive, and the ‘all renewables’ future that’s promised, looks more like a damp squib. Here’s the view from Europe.

Western Europe Power Mix In January
Not a Lot of People Know That
Paul Homewood
3 February 2019

“Hydro 15%, Coal 12%, Gas 21%, Nuclear 29% totalling 77%. Time to turn these off?”

There is a useful site for collecting data on the European power sector, called Energodock:

It gives a variety of data by country. I have used it to analyse generation data across Western Europe for last month. (I have ignored Eastern Europe at this stage).

Some observations:

  1. Fossil fuels still account for 33%, despite the dominance of nuclear in France (73%), and high renewables share in Germany.
  2. Solar is to all intents and purposes irrelevant in winter months, even with some output from Spain. Total solar capacity for Western Europe is 98GW. Output of 3049 GWh in January equates to just 4% of total capacity.
  3. Wind at 16% is very similar to the UK level. About half of the total comes from Germany and the UK.

4) As in the UK, wind output is extremely intermittent in Germany. Notably, output was very low in both countries for several days around 20th January, running at 38% of the average for the month as a whole. According to BP, wind power capacity in the UK and Germany amounts to 75.7GW. With output down to 1575 GWh between 19th and 25th Jan, utilisation would have been down to 12%.

5) Nuclear generated 65 TWh during the month. France accounts for 40 TWh of this, and Germany a further 7 TWh.

With Germany already committed to close their nuclear capacity in the next few years, and uncertainty around French policy, it is evident that Western Europe as a whole will remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.
Not a Lot of People Know That

Where Germany’s power comes from, whatever the weather.

About stopthesethings

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

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