Renewables ‘Transition’ Terminated: With Their Subsidies Slashed, the Honeymoon for Wind & Solar is Over

Wind and solar honeymoon is over before it began.


Like a bride jilted at the altar, the wind and solar ‘industries’ are moaning about what could have been. Plenty of RE zealots managed to convince themselves that these so-called ‘industries’ were actually sustainable; that the subsidies that created them would ultimately prove unnecessary, or if not, taxpayers and power consumers would merrily pay them, until kingdom come; and that power consumers would tolerate the chaotic, occasional delivery of electricity, dictated by where the Sun sits in the sky and/or the weather.

It was, of course, a ‘green’ wet dream.

Now, reality has started to bite. With an inevitability, all of its own.

For some strange reason, the places that led the charge with mandates, targets and massive subsidies to wind and solar, all appear to be the first to unwind those very same policies – simply because they were never sustainable, in the first place.

Faced with rocketing power prices and grids on the brink of collapse, European states have slashed subsidies and are building new coal-fired plants and refurbishing old ones. [Note to Ed: is this what they meant by the ‘inevitable transition’?]

Twelve countries in the European Union (EU) failed to install “a single wind turbine” last year.

And, as a result, the manufacturers of turbines and solar panels are dropping like flies, as subsidies are rolled back across Europe.

Who would have thought? It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy against heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar!

Andrew Montford picks up the ‘tragic’ theme below.

Chill wind of reality blows through the green power lobby
Conservative Woman
Andrew Montford
6 June 2019

In recent weeks, some observers of the energy scene have been wondering if the long honeymoon of the renewables industry might finally have come to an end. EU renewables capacity additions have been falling for years, and have now declined to less than half of their 2010 peak. Meanwhile, a wave of insolvencies is sweeping the wind industry as a result of the sharp scaling back of subsidies.

This is all very different to a couple of years ago when the wind industry and newspapers started shouting, in unison, that a new era of offshore wind was on the way. Costs, we were led to believe, were falling precipitously. They would halve in coming years, or so we were told. While a few spoilsports pointed out that there was almost certainly less to these announcements than met the eye, and wondered how exactly these alleged cost savings were to be achieved, the hype continued unabated.

Now the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has poured further cold water on the idea of rapid cost reductions offshore. While couched in the usual over-optimistic terms, its annual report on renewable energy costs around the world confirms that the contrarians were right.

That’s not to say that it is all bad news. Solar prices have continued to fall, although most obviously for concentrating solar power, a technology that is mostly used in deserts, and is therefore of little relevance to the UK. The era of rapid cost reductions for the solar panels we use in this country now appears to be largely over, and IRENA sees no significant falls after 2019. And even if further cost reductions could be produced out of nowhere, the fact remains that solar power is so demanding of space that the technology is simply impractical for us. Unfortunately, it’s the same story for onshore wind. IRENA reckons that cost reductions have now mostly reached their limits. And being just as land-hungry as solar power, it is equally impractical.

All this means that many environmentalists have pinned their hopes on offshore wind. There’s plenty of space out at sea, there are no neighbours to object, and the industry is saying that prices are going to drop through the floor.

Unfortunately, though, IRENA’s report shoots down this idea too, observing that far from falling, prices of electricity from offshore windfarms have been steady for the last few years. Indeed it is predicting a sharp cost increase for windfarms commissioned this year and only a gradual decline thereafter. The electricity produced will therefore remain far, far more expensive than that derived from fossil fuels, and unreliable to boot.

Offshore wind, like all the other renewables technologies that are alleged to be on the brink of transforming the economy, thus looks as if it is just another expensive white elephant. Suggestions that the renewables honeymoon is over therefore look to be on the mark. It’s time to think again.
Conservative Woman

Broken-hearted bride wore white: now the honeymoon is over.

3 thoughts on “Renewables ‘Transition’ Terminated: With Their Subsidies Slashed, the Honeymoon for Wind & Solar is Over

  1. About time but we still have to be wary here in Australia, after conducting a search of ALL (that I could find details off) wind and Solar projects with a capacity of 5MW+ in Australia I am appalled at just how many there are and just how much land is being taken over.
    One project that caused me a severe shock is one proposed in WA’s Pilbara region. For those interested in viewing this proposal just Google ‘Asian Renewable Energy Hub’. You will see it is proposing 2,743 turbines 200mt to blade tip height (no MW capacity has been provided) and 2000 MW of solar panels – batteries included, of course.
    With 11,962 hectare of vegetation is to be permanently cleared.
    Who’s to benefit from this, mining maybe if they take up the offer of electricity and the remaining well its not going to Perth or even Darwin, it’s intended to go off shore to Indonesia and Singapore. Comment is being sought by the WA Government’s EPA which is due on the 24th June 2019. It was sent to the EPBC in 2017.
    No it’s not in the middle of the Pilbara but on the edge towards the RAMSAR designated Eighty Mile Beach.
    Lets hope our Federal Government gets its act together before its too late for our coasts and deserts to be stopped from being strewn with these nightmarish projects.
    We’ve already destroyed many of our beautiful vistas and the peace of our rural and regional areas let alone the environment where many of our native flora, fauna and avian species used to live in peace with a hope of establishing larger colonies of endangered creatures, due to this nightmarish useless onslaught.
    Land is precious for them and for our needs so to is the ocean.
    The Pilbara project could see the demise of the coastal RAMSAR area as well as the nearby RAMSAR swamp.
    The UN doesn’t care nor does WHO, who are meant to ensure the safety, health and welfare of the peoples of this world. Instead they have wasted time and money encouraging an unhinged dream that never had a chance to be anything but a money spinner for investors.
    Now things are turning in the ‘homeland’ of the UN and WHO perhaps we’ll begin to see them accept their mistake and encourage a stop the the hell they have been supporting and a return to sanity.
    But until then, come on our Federal Government and all the States and Territories open your eyes and see there are better ways to reduce emissions that will not send this Nation broke and downgraded from a First world Nation to a Third World one with a dying land that’s unsuitable for crops, grazing and human habitation.

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