‘Cheap’ & Nasty: Never-Reliable Wind Power No Match for Ever-Reliable Coal, Gas & Nuclear

Dead & buried: it ain’t cheap if you can’t get it on demand.


Of the more ludicrous claims doing the rounds post coronavirus, the line that the economic recovery depends upon throwing more subsidies at chaotically intermittent wind and solar, takes the cake.

Renewable energy rent seekers have been telling us how cheap wind and solar are compared to ‘evil’ fossil fuels – coal and gas – for years. Now ranting about the cost of wind and solar power has reached fever pitch.

‘Cost’, ‘price’ and ‘value’ are not the same animals. What we pay for something and what it’s worth depends entirely upon what we get. And, in relation to the consumption of electricity whether or not we get it, at all.

Wind power might be ‘free’, but try purchasing it, at any price, when the wind stops blowing. And the same applies to solar power when the sun drops over the horizon.

Comparing weather dependent wind generation with sources available, around-the-clock, irrespective of the weather, is a game played by intellectual pygmies. There is, of course, no comparison.

So when you’re faced with a pile of numbers said to show how wind or solar stacks up against conventional generators, the obvious retort is, ‘when’? When I need it, or when the wind is just right? Or when the sun is at its zenith on a cloudless day?

Thanks to a slip by GE, Donn Dears is able to run the numbers on claims that wind power is cheaper than gas-fired power in the USA, with the rather unsurprising answer.

Analyzing GE’s Annual Report
Power For USA
Donn Dears
19 May 2020

A look at what the GE annual report says about the wind turbine business.

Annual reports very often have important data in them that can be used for analysis.

The GE 2019 report is no different, though GE used to be very careful to omit data that competitors could use to determine important strategic information. Under the prior CEO, GE became careless.

Four interesting items of data for wind turbines in this annual report were:

  • Number of units sold: 3,424
  • Total MW of units sold: 9,525
  • Average size of unit sold: 2.8 MW
  • Revenues for units sold: $12.3 Billion

From this information it’s possible, by adding some other key information, such as the tons of concrete used when installing a wind turbine, to determine the estimated cost per KW for a wind turbine.

In this case, it is approximately $2,000 per KW.

Some analysts, when calculating levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), have been using $1,500 and even as low as $1,000 per KW. This means that their LCOEs are too low, and make wind turbines appear more competitive than they actually are.

Using a capacity factor (CF) of 32, probably close for this size unit, it’s also possible to determine how much electricity could be produced by these units.

We can then compare how many NGCC power plants it would take to replace all 3,424 wind turbines.

According to the EIA, the average size of natural gas combined cycle power plant was approximately 800 MW.

Based on a CF of 82 for an 800 MW, NGCC power plant, it would only require 4.6 NGCC power plants to replace all 3,424 GE wind turbines installed in 2019.

In addition, it only costs $1,000 per KW to install a NGCC power plant, so it cost 5 times more to install all 3,424 wind turbines as it would have to install 5 NGCC power plants to get the same amount of electricity.

This would save over $15 billion of investment.

Wind turbines are a terrible waste of money. They are also unreliable, while NGCC power plants operate 24/7 year round.
Power for USA

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    The above is evidence of the misinformation that this industry continues to push and unfortunately far too many believe it without examining what is being said. A good dose of Critical Thinking is needed for people to understand what is being said by these wasters.
    Another aspect of figures they roll out is sadly missing – how much room/land does a fossil fuel fired generator or even a nuclear one take up in comparison to a comparable Wind or Solar project? Where do these companies provide this information and where/when have our Governments provided such information?
    Are we selling/donating/renting our precious land to these companies who are cossited away overseas, and gaining nothing of value in return?
    Are we doing it even though we need land for food production, housing etc, and are we doing it even when these land grabbing money hungry wasters harm human health AND the environment for all creatures large and small?
    When are our Politicians going to do the reading themselves rather than leaving it to mindless advisors who have no sense of the damage their advise is causing, or if they do – don’t care?
    There is nothing right/worthwhile with any of these projects, at every stage the companies work to maximize their profits, no matter what damage they are doing and our Politicians are sitting back blind to the truth and extent of the damage being imposed on our lives, livelihoods, environments and future.
    The damage goes beyond the fields and mountains they destroy, they are also destroying our Nations prosperity and future for our children and their children.
    We should be wanting to leave better environments and prospects for those coming after but all we’re doing is allowing a senseless desire of power hungry people to destroy what future we could have provided.
    We are sending our children’s future down the drain where they will end up at the bottom of the pile when we have nothing left to offer the world, after our land and environment have been destroyed and we have no industry and no prospects of providing for our own needs, let alone helping anyone else.

  2. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

  3. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  4. Bill Quinn says:

    As I have posted on other media there is an old adage that goes something like this: One would expect to pay a fair price for good oats but they are worth considerably less after they have been through the Horse. The claims that Wind and Solar are cheaper than fossil fuel Fired Generation is a good example. All Horse Manure.

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