In the absence of mandates directing grid managers to take chaotic wind or solar power ahead of conventional power and/or massive subsidies directed to retailers encouraging them to take it and/or heavy fines imposed on them if they refuse to, there is simply no commercial market for power which can only be generated occasionally, in ideal wind conditions and/or when the sun is shining, on cloudless days.
Back in 1983 the American Wind Industry Association claimed that wind power would be “competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D”. That was 36 years ago. And there was no lack of assistance in the form of tax credits and federally sponsored R&D, along with a whole bunch of other punitive mandates and targets designed to cripple conventional generators and favour chaotically intermittent wind power.
Now, as then, claims from renewable energy rent-seekers that wind and solar are truly competitive with nuclear, coal or gas evaporate the instant policymakers start talking about removing the subsidies that they depend upon; without which they would be bankrupted in no time.
We are repeatedly beguiled by tales about our ‘transition’ to an all renewable future; and about how wind power is ‘free’ and getting cheaper all the time. However, the ‘transition’ is more like the path the perdition as power prices skyrocket driven there by colossal and seemingly endless renewable subsidies. Moreover, there is the not so minor issue of routine load shedding and blackouts, which has become part of the ordinary daily grind in Australia’s ‘wind power capital’, South Australia.
Then there are ripping little catchphrases such as “battery storage is improving all the time”. There is no such thing as the grid-scale storage of electricity: no such system exists anywhere in the world, nor is any such system being developed.
There is nothing inevitable about the so-called ‘transition’ to wind and solar power – whether with or without the help of mythical giant batteries.
As John Hinderaker points out below, renewables are a road to nowhere, simply because intermittent wind and solar do not work, and never will.
Renewables are Going Nowhere
19 June 2022
The fundamental problem with wind and solar power is that they don’t work. Both generate electricity less than half the time, and this isn’t a question of improving technology, it is inherent in obsolete systems that depend on the weather. As a result, the ballyhooed “green revolution” has fizzled. The Germans, formerly committed to a “green” makeover, are starting to face reality, even if their politicians aren’t quite there yet:
A paltry two percentage points increase in an entire decade: In 2020, only 12.6 percent of global energy demand was met by renewable energies. In 2009, the figure was 10.6 percent. This is the conclusion drawn by the think tank REN21 in a report presented by energy experts on Wednesday.
According to the report, progress is being made in the expansion of power plants that produce renewable electricity, i.e. solar plants, wind turbines, hydroelectric power plants – but fossil capacities are not being reduced. Instead, energy demand continues to grow, eating up the renewables successes.
A two percent increase in a decade, despite trillions of dollars invested, is hardly a “success.” Die Welt has more:
The fact that the share of renewable energy is not growing is bad enough from a climate protection perspective. It is also sobering that the 12.6 percent share of eco-energy is largely attributable to the burning of biomass, i.e., to a type of energy generation that is the subject of much environmental criticism.
“Biomass” is a joke. It largely consists of shipping millions of tons of low-quality trees from the American South to Europe, where they are burned. A great medieval technology.
The second-largest share, 3.9 percent, comes from hydroelectric plants – such as large dams – which are also highly controversial among environmentalists. In the REN21 report, solar and wind power, which are the focus of attention in Germany, together with geothermal energy, are estimated to account for only 2.8 percent of global energy production and are subcategorized under ‘other’.
After decades of hype and trillions in wasted ratepayer and taxpayer dollars, wind and solar can’t satisfy three percent of the world’s energy needs. Nor can they prevent the blackouts that are inexorably making their way toward our communities.
3 thoughts on “Renewables Road to Nowhere: Subsidised Wind & Solar Just Don’t Work & Never Will”
Reblogged this on whatyareckon and commented:
Where are the old sailing ships that Cook and others used? Oh, they are outdated for sailing but not for electricity!
The only way that renewables might work is with vast amounts of storage, along with thousands of kilometres of interconnections.
The country cannot afford the latter and the cost of enough storage would be astronomical, and even then some weather event could lead to extended blackout (renewables are useless in a black start).
Then there is the replacement cost of turbines and solar panels.
The problem of so called renewables is rooted in peoples faith that this is the only way. We all dream when young, it’s natural. What’s dangerous is politician’s failure to learn and do the right thing not be influenced by the ignorant and big donations. Blackouts and social disintegration are the only reality that will bring about real change. Until then we will just have to put up with the thick.