Never Sustainable: Wind & Solar ‘Transition’ Just Another Failed Utopian Dream

The wind and solar ‘transition’ is being sold as Utopia – but anyone prepared to believe that will believe anything. In Germany and Britain, a growing number are starting to work it out. They’ve been lied to; they’re angry and there will be a political vengeance against those who have delivered misery of a type not seen since Europe dragged itself out of the ashes of WWII.

The delusional reliance on subsidised wind and solar is the root cause. The idea that modern industrial economies can operate around the vagaries of weather is being revealed for the patent nonsense that it truly is. The same goes for the notion that power prices don’t really matter.

Rafe Champion provides a neat little roundup of why we’ll never reach the renewable energy Utopia that we’ve all been promised for so long.

Not enough “oats” in the European power supply?
New Catallaxy
Rafe Champion
22 September 2022

Everyone knows the sad story about the farmer who decided to save some money by reducing the ration of oats for his horse. He started with a reduction of 10% and it didn’t seem to matter so he cut another 10% and then another. He was saving money hand over fist but then the animal unfortunately died.

Over the last decade or three, the nations of the western world started to reduce the amount of fossil fuel “oats” in their power “rations.” In Australia, the process started in 2012 with the closure of Munmorah in NSW (600MW), Swanbank, Q, 500 and Collinsville Q 180. Then in 2014 it was Wallerawang in NSW 1000, Morwell, Vic 190 and Redbank NSW 144. In 2015 Anglesea in Victoria, 160, in 2016 it happened in South Australia with Northern 546 and Playford 240. In 2017, the biggest of all, Hazelwood in Victoria, 1760.

That took 7600 MW out of the total of 30,500 at the start of 2012, a 25% reduction. This year the phased closure of Liddell in NSW started with one of the four 500MW turbines going out of service, with the process to be complete in April 2023. In recent months a combination of planned (maintenance) outages and unplanned outages combined with issues in the supply of gas caused major price increases and alarm about the stability of the system.

The horse died when the ration of oats slipped below a sustainable level. How many more oats (coal power capacity) need to be taken out of the system to kill it? Practically everyone who has an opinion insists that the closure of coal stations has to be accelerated, or at least the expansion of wind and solar power, storage capacity and major interconnections has to be ramped up with all possible dispatch. That cannot work, as described below.

Now in Europe, we can see what happens when you go too far, apparently, it happens very quickly when you get to the tipping point. This one appears to be genuine, unlike the fake one we are supposed to dread with global warming.

Trigger warning, this material is likely to be distressing if you manage to conjure up a feeling for the desperation and desolation in a Britain where 60% of their manufacturing could be about to collapse, while household bills for many people are likely to exceed their disposable income.

Meantime, the same forces are de-industrializing Europe right before our eyes. Industry after industry is throttling back, shutting down, or considering doing so if the energy chaos continues. Britain is staring at the potential shutdown of 60 percent of its manufacturers. Germany and most of Europe are on the same track.

Never say it couldn’t happen here!

See also Jo Nova’s account of the situation in Europe.

There are companies that started business in the 1800s and survived two world wars but may not last the coming winter. It’s all changing so fast, they lament. With energy costs rising three to sixfold, the highest energy industries are folding. The first casualties were fertilizer, aluminium and zinc, and now in the second wave, the glass makers and tilers are coming undone, and with them, whole towns that support them will unravel too:

‘Crippling’ Energy Bills Force Europe’s Factories to Go Dark

How many power-intensive Australian firms will survive the impending increase in power prices?

Postscript. Why we can’t build RE capacity to get out of the hole
As the saying goes, when you are in a hole, first of all, stop digging. We are in a serious hole with the power supply but the standard response is to keep digging by accelerating the building of wind and solar, storage, interconnectors and hydrogen.

That will not work due to the combined effect of the following factors.

  1. Wind droughts. These are well-known in some circles but not among the people in AEMO and other advisory bodies who planned the destruction of the conventional power supply.
  2. Need for continuous supply – no gaps. Hence the term “choke point” that I used to convey the sense of “rapid death” when the wind power supply is too low to keep the lights on.
  3. No storage
  4. No capacity to exchange power with neighbours.

The reason why more windmills and solar panels will not help at the “choke point” is that when you have no RE on a windless night, no amount of additional capacity will help. The horses will get out of the paddock through gaps in the fence, regardless of how high you build it. Building the high parts even higher will not keep the horses in. We can increase the penetration of RE in the system by building more capacity but the gaps persist (so why bother?)

As for storage and the calls for “Storage Targets”, we don’t have any effective storage at grid scale at present and there is no prospect of any in sight, despite the number of “big battery” projects in the pipeline. Add them up in terms of MWhrs (instead of MW) and see how much you get compared with the demand on a windless night.

Wind watch update
This morning just before sunrise the wind was generating 7% of power across SE Australia at a capacity factor of 12% (almost down to the 10% for a severe wind drought.) South Australia (the wind leading state) was importing two thirds of its demand and the local generation was 80% gas! A bit of a gap there!

This evening at dinnertime WA was down to 1% of power from the wind. In the East, the wind was doing much better, delivering 3% of the demand at a capacity factor of 7 (severe drought.) Victoria is the big wind state with more capacity than SA, though not per capita, and their windmills contributed 1% of demand at capacity, 1.4%. Their capacity factor was below 5% for the previous 24 hours!

Approaching 10pm nothing has changed, the wind across the SE is delivering 4% because the total demand has gone down, still, the capacity factor in SA is 1.2 and in Victoria 2.8!

Be an Australian Wind Watcher
This is the NemWatch widget, with a live display for each state.

This is the AEMO data dashboard, this is also live, this display shows the flows between the states, see the Fuel Mix tab at the top to find what the different sources are providing.

The wind supply over the previous 24 hours. This is the rolling 24-hour display at Aneroid Energy. Tick and untick the boxes to see individual states. This is the 24-hour display for all sources on the same page.
New Catallaxy

The inevitable ‘transition’ – to the Dark Ages.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. 120 b.p.m. says:

    If Victoria had begun construction of a new nuclear power plant back in 2012, the Portland aluminium smelter would have been able to commence operations today using a 24hr reliable CO2 free baseload energy supply. A vast reduction of the state’s emissions could also have been achieved, and reliable energy generation would have entered the Eastern Grid of Australia. Yet here we are in 2022 with a grid teetering perilously close to the edge of total collapse, and the only solution we are told is to build more wind turbines!

    The Left, and their supporters in the form of the Cult of ‘Simontology’ and their ilk, are bringing this country to its knees. They are a one trick pony. If the Mayor’s wife got lipstick on her cat, they would say, build more renewables! Their arguments are becoming increasingly illogical by the day. If CO2 is the issue, then why do we apparently have the luxury of time to wait for renewable energy protagonists to get their act together? The technology exists now. Nuclear! It’s here. Why do they belligerently continue to ignore this proven solution to the very issue they claim exists? By acting in this way, on a so called Climate Emergency, they have created an Energy Emergency! They have lost the moral high ground on this issue.

    Clearly however, Climate Change isn’t the issue the Left say it is. Something else is at play here. So for now, I for one am going to ignore this Climate Cult mantra. The weather does what the weather wants. It isn’t something that can be controlled in some sort of anally retentive manner. Mankind needs to adapt, be ready and get out of its way. We need to improve ways of fighting fires so as to put them out, before they get out of control. We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t seem to be able to stop a runaway bushfire. Whilst retired firemen have told me that in certain weather conditions, you cannot put a bushfire out, I don’t accept that this should be the situation for evermore. If we had simply looked at the moon and said, no, it cannot be done, space travel would still be but a dream. It simply means that we have not developed a method of suppressing and eliminating a serious bushfire, and I would ask the question, why?

    And yet, in the meantime we continue to fill the landscape with industrial scale wind turbines…


  2. It is telling that Poland, which primarily uses coal to make electricity, currently has the lowest electric rates in the EU, and that is even with having to pay the EU’s absurd carbon fees.

  3. Reblogged this on whatyareckon and commented:
    Do the political elites that are pushing this ever listen!

  4. Peter Pronczak says:

    It could be interpreted that the United Nations isn’t doing its job. It should be singular in purpose; as in members agreeing not to take advantage (financial or otherwise: WWII relevance) of those considered lesser.
    Comparatively, USA had a ‘good neighbour policy’ but when China started doing the same thing it was called aggressively expansionist.
    Under the GNP a hydro electric scheme was built in Haiti (rebuilt after earthquake?). Occupation by US troops over many years saw the country, that had been self-sufficient in rice production, reduced to importing it all.
    Perhaps the UN could look at retrospective activity as its Charter implies.

    RE is an internal national matter; preclusively state or regional in implementation.
    By what chicanery did the UN become involved in the likes of COP, or even supporting Joachim Schellenhuber’s believed interference in the creation of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change? After all, finance, that supports physics, is a matter of politics not religion. And religion, under the UN Charter is excluded; for that reason the Holy See is rejected from being an observer, otherwise, it would have to admit to operating politically.

    So friends, Romans, countrypersons, buy me a beer. Big heavy tables in a pub near Llanelli, Wales where Shakespeare was said to have downed a couple.

    But it seems Utopia is getting further away.
    Oh well, the Industrial Revolution saw political prisoners deported: Hello Mars!

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