Money For Nothing: Europe Squandered $Trillions On Weather-Dependent Part Time Power

Despite Europe spending €1.2 Trillion on large-scale wind and solar generation, the amount of power being actually delivered in return is risible.

Which is precisely what you’d expect from power generation sources which can only deliver anything like their nameplate capacity when the sun is up, in a cloudless sky, and the wind is blowing at wind speeds greater than 6m/s. Drop the sun drops the wind speed and the whole lot drops off the radar.

For the uninitiated, Ed Hoskins tells the story in pictures below.

A Few Graphs Say It All for Weather-Dependent “Renewables”
Watts Up With That?
Ed Hoskins
5 October 2022

A few graphs say it all for Wind and Solar power

This is the 10-year productivity record for European Weather-Dependent “Renewables”: that is the annual power output divided by the nominal installation rating of the Weather-Dependent “Renewables” installations over the last decade.  The data is provided by EurObservER a “Weather-Dependent “Renewables” promoting organisation supported by the EU.

The productivity of Weather-Dependent “Renewables” is limited as they only gather intermittent and dilute sources of energy, Wind and Solar.  As they are not capable of producing the major excess power needed by civilisation they are parasitic on all other power generation technologies.

Conventional power generation, Gas-firing, Coal or Nuclear technologies:

  • produce much more energy for use by civilisation than the energy they require to build and run.  They have a high Energy Return on Energy Invested.
  • run 24/7
  • can be turned on when needed to match demand
  • use small land areas
  • can be located close to centres of demand
  • their installations use limited materials
  • they can have substantial energy storage on site at low cost
  • are shown to be substantially cheaper for the power they produce, even at current elevated European Gas prices.

The US EIA, Energy Information Administration, produces comparative capital and long-term costs for power generation technologies.  When their Weather-Dependent “Renewables” costs are merged with the recorded European productivity for generating the same unit of power over the year and compared to the cheapest power generation technology Gas-firing at USA prices the comparative value for money is stark.

This comparison anticipates that the current European price for Natural gas fuel is some 3 times the standard USA price for fracked Gas production.

Would anyone sane buy a car costing 5 – 10 times the normal price that only works one day in five, when you never know which day that might be?  And then insist that its technology is used to power the whole economy.

Even at the current increased European Gas prices, the estimated excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” in Europe is still very large:  $~0.5 trillion in capital expenditures and $~1.2 trillion excess expenditures in the long-term.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost-competitive with conventional fossil fuel (Gas-fired) generation are patently false.  The figures give an outline of the financial achievements of Green activists in stopping fracking for gas in Europe, close on to $1.2 trillion of excess costs.

The scale of the wasted expenditure for the current UK “Renewables” fleet is about £60 billion in capital costs and  ~£0.22 Trillion in the long-term.

The UK performance picture is slightly improved by greater installation of Offshore Wind power.

These very basic calculations just comparing the raw costs of supplying a unit of energy to the Grid are the tip of the cost iceberg, Weather-Dependent “Renewables” incur all manner of other costs and downsides not shown here.

Appreciating that future “Climate Change” from Man-kind burning fossil fuels is a non-problem and not reacting to that non-problem in an economically destructive manner would be the very best news for the Western world, for the Biosphere and for Man-kind.

Watts Up With That? 

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    According to some figures for German off-shore wind turbines they output 98% of their nominal capacity only 0.8% of the time, above 94% only 3.2% of the time, and above 62% of (nominal) capacity (just) less than 30% of the time.
    50% of the time they bettered 40% of capacity (and these figures were for 2018, so those for 2021 and 2022 would be less.

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