Renewable Energy Rip-off: Wind & Solar Consistently Fail to Deliver the Goods

Adding wind and solar capacity is a bit like pushing on string; the outcome never matches the effort applied.

Across the globe, it’s true to say that there has been a massive expansion in wind and solar power capacity. However, as Rafe Champion points out below, there’s a yawning gulf between the notional capacity of the world’s wind and solar plants and what they actually deliver.

And, of course, where output from the former depends upon ‘just right breezes’ and output from the latter’s determined by the time of day (eg, there’s never much happening at midnight) predicting just when that capacity might be delivered makes betting the house on roulette seem like a canny investment.

Windpower advocates lying with statistics
Catallaxy Files
Rafe Champion
9 April 2020

Windpower Roundup reports.

Roughly 176GW of new renewable energy capacity was added last year, accounting for 72% of global power growth.

Wind (58.8GW) and solar (97.7GW) accounted for about 90% of the new renewable energy capacity added in 2019, according to Irena’s ‘Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020’ report.

So the wind and sun add 176 GW of capacity, with the extra 10% of RE presumably hydro and odds and ends like biomass. The non-RE 28% of global power growth amounts to some 64GW.

That looks like a great advance for RE until you adjust the numbers to take account of the capacity factor – the amount of the plated/installed capacity that you expect to get over year or so that is near 30% for wind and 20% for solar. The delivery comes down to 20GW each from the wind and the sun for a total of 40GW. And don’t mention the choke point!

In contrast to the RE numbers, the delivery from nuclear and hydrocarbon sources can probably approach 100% although the pricing system and the mandates for RE keep the delivery from coal well below capacity in most parts of the western world at present. (Australian black coal has gone as low as 8.1GW and as high as 16.1 GW and it is mostly between 9.5 and 12.5). If you reduce the 64 to 90% you get 57GW that is well ahead of the 40 from the sun and wind.

Despite the expansion of renewable energy outpacing (sic) fossil fuels, Irena director-general Francesco La Camera said, “more is required to put global energy on a path with sustainable development and climate mitigation”.

Catallaxy Files

What? Did you think we’re in the business of actually delivering?!?

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. Paul Miskelly says:

    And, as Rafe continues with this story, the recurring theme of the choke points continues on into April:

    This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

  3. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    This morning at approximately 9.30-9.45 am EST in Australia the following so called ‘renewable’ energy production across the Eastern Grid (Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia) in MW was:
    Wind 637
    Large Scale Solar (roof top) 1,457
    Small Scale Solar 2,011 : Hydro 1,723.
    Totalling 5,828.
    Total Demand for Energy was 20,894.
    So the difference between ‘renewable’ production and requirement was 15,066.
    Following are the registered installed capacity of different energy sources for the Eastern Grid. Small Scale Solar is not included:
    Hydro 7,751
    Wind 6,957
    Large Scale Solar 3,593
    Fossil Fuel 34,385
    In addition there is 216 of installed Large Scale Battery’s. However, while some see these as producers of energy it should be remembered the Battery is not a producer, but a place to store a minute of energy to be used when needed to ‘smooth’ through the many ‘shocks’ to Grid operations through situations such as the vagaries of how the wind, a natural uncontrolled source performs.
    It should also be remembered these are meant to be attached to Wind and Solar projects to store excess energy.
    I wonder many times how they can be booting up at times when they are depleted and there is no Wind or insufficient being produced at the facilities they are connected to, the same goes for those connected to Solar plants.
    The answer seems to be they are attached to the Grid so they can presumably top up from it, which is mainly supplied by those nasty fossil fuels. So even the ‘revolutionary’ energy storage system is reliant on the main energy production from reliable non-renewable sources.
    Oh what fools we are taken for by those who think they are more savvy than us.

  4. ronaldsteinptsadvancecom says:

    Blown away by wind farm capacity versus actual output. The world is on track to rachet up intermittent electricity generation from wind and solar, trying to achieve carbon-free electrical generation by 2050. Since electricity alone is unable to support militaries, aviation, and merchant ships, and all the transportation infrastructure that support commerce, the world needs to use the time to diligently develop new technologies to find an energy source or sources that are similar or superior to what deep earth minerals/fuels have been providing civilization, and hopefully those new sources will be abundant, and affordable.

  5. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

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