No Amount Of Subsidies Will Ever Make A Wind/Solar Electricity System Economically Feasible


by Francis Menton

The COP 28 climate confab opened today in Dubai. Some 70,000 true believers in the energy transition are said to be gathering. And not one of them appears to be either willing or able to do the simple arithmetic that shows that this can’t possibly work.

So far, no country that has made a commitment to “net zero” has officially backed off. (Argentina may soon become the first.). Things proceed as if all that is needed is to build sufficient wind and solar generation facilities, until eventually you have enough of them to meet demand. But that’s not how this works. The absurdity becomes more obvious every day. Can somebody please tell the poor people making fools of themselves in Dubai?

Let’s consider the latest from Germany. According to Statista here, Germany consumed 511.59 TWh of electricity in 2021 (latest year given, although the numbers have recently changed very little from year to year). Divide by 8760 (number of hours in a year) and you learn that Germany’s average usage of electricity is 58.3 GW. So, can you just build 58.3 GW of wind and solar generators to supply Germany with electricity?

Absolutely not. In fact, Germany already has way more wind and solar electricity generation capacity than the 58.3 GW, but can’t come anywhere near getting all its electricity from those sources. As of June 2023 Germany had 59.3 GW of generation capacity from wind turbines alone, and (as of end 2022) another 67.4 GW of generation capacity from solar panels. The total of the two is 126.7 GW — which would supply more than double Germany’s usage at noon on a sunny and breezy June 21. But, according to Clean Energy Wire here, through the first three quarters of 2023, the percent of its electricity that Germany got from wind and solar was only 52%. Capacity seemingly sufficient to supply double the usage in fact only supplies half. That’s because the supply does not come at the same time as the demand, and the wind/solar generation system provides no mechanism to shift the supply to a time to meet the demand.

And why doesn’t Germany just double the amount of its wind/solar generation, so that those sources would go from supplying 52% of usage to 100%. Because it doesn’t work that way. If they double the wind and solar generation, then on the sunny/breezy June 21 mid-day they will now have over 250 GW of electricity generation — more than 4 times what they need — so they will have to discard or give away the rest. But on a calm night in January, they will still have nothing and need full backup from some other source. Multiplying the wind/solar generation capacity by 10 or even 100 (referred to as “overbuilding”) will increase the costs of the system exponentially, but will never be enough to keep the lights on all the time. Or you can try energy storage to save up the surpluses to cover the deficits, but that also multiplies the costs of the system exponentially. For more than you will ever want to know about energy storage and its costs, read my December 2022 energy storage report, “The Energy Storage Conundrum.”

Renewable energy promoters and governments committed to “net zero” are engaged in a gigantic exercise of self-deception. They have come up with a thoroughly misleading metric to compare the costs of generating electricity from various sources which they call “Levelized Cost of Electricity.” Reports that claim to calculate these LCOEs are published by various organizations, including notably the investment bank Lazard and the International Renewable Energy Agency or IRENA. Here is IRENA’s 2022 Report covering supposed renewable energy costs for 2021, title “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2021.” Key quote from page 17:

In 2021, the global weighted average LCOE of new utility-scale solar PV and hydropower was 11% lower than the cheapest new fossil fuel-fired power generation option, whilst that of onshore wind was 39% lower.

Wow, solar is 11% cheaper than any fossil fuel alternative, and onshore wind 39% cheaper. Why would any dope ever look to fossil fuels again?

And here’s their key chart:

Incredible! Solar is under 5 cents per kWh, and onshore wind is even lower at 3.3 cents per kWh. And how much is in those numbers to account for the cost of either overbuilding or energy storage in order to make a system that works 24/7/365 without fossil fuel backup? The answer is, exactly nothing.

The fact is that building a wind/solar/storage electricity system without fossil fuel backup does not provide cheaper electricity than a predominantly fossil fuel system, but more expensive electricity. And the additional expense is not some small amount like 10 or 20 or 30 percent. It’s more like a multiple of 10 or 20.

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The whole darn UN needs to be totally evicted from America its time to Kick the United Nations Out and moved them to Moscow or Bejing we should no longer be forced to abide by their Treaties and Demands

There is no reliable replacement for fossil fuels to maintain a growing and strong economy.

Biden’s Climate Czar John Kerry Announces Global Push for Coal Phase-Out: ‘First Step is Stop Building New Unabated Coal Power Plants’

Meanwhile the CCP is building on average two new coal fire power plants every month. Wind and solar are incapable of 100% replacement of fossil fuels. The green movement is akin to suicide.

Only the wealthy elite are intended to have such luxuries as transportation, heating, cooling and nourishing food.

China disagrees. They produced 656.7 gigawatt hours with wind turbines in 2021. Non-hydroelectric renewables produced more electricity in the United States in 2022 than coal.

The world’s future is electric.

Last edited 2 months ago by Greg

Mar 2, 2023 China is building six times more new coal plants than other countries.
Source NPR
China approved equivalent of two new coal plants a week in 2022
Source CNN
Maybe the commies dont agree, future might be electric but wind and solar are not going to be the source.
Maybe all that “recycled plastic” doesnt have to end up in the ocean

Last edited 2 months ago by kitt

A wind turbine produces enough energy to pay for itself in ONE YEAR. Over it’s 20-year service life, a wind turbine produces 20 times the amount of energy that was used in its construction. The energy pay-back is THREE TIMES that of mining and burning coal for electrical generation.

Life cycle energy and greenhouse emissions analysis of wind turbines and the effect of size on energy yield, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
China isn’t putting wind turbines into service as quickly as possible because it’s a stupid, inefficient idea.

Every time I go by a wind farm, about a third are idle. Most have oil stains all down the shaft. You are correct, though… China ISN’T putting wind turbines in service as quickly as possible. They are building cheap coal plants and laughing their asses off. When Texas had a two-week long winter storm, all renewable energy sources just laid down and quit.

Some of wind turbines on a wind farm are put in idle mode during low electrical demand periods because the power isn’t currently needed and we haven’t yet developed large scale electrical storage facilities. This reduces maintenance costs and extends the turbine’s useful life. The same thing is done with fossil-fueled steam turbines. More or fewer are online, depending on the current electrical demand. Sometimes a wind turbine is down for routine maintenance. So are steam driven turbines. All machines require maintenance.

Last edited 2 months ago by Greg

Nor the developed this number makes my heart go pitter pat dual fuel coal or oak hot water, heat up to 2000 Sq feet and cooking what could be more efficient?
comment image

Last edited 2 months ago by kitt

Idle in the summertime or early fall, when air conditioning is being used? I don’t think so, scooter. Maintenance of a gas turbine is done ON THE GROUND and they are bigger and fewer in number. Wind turbines are on top of a 280 foot tower and there are thousands of them, each requiring maintenance.

“Total annual U.S. electricity generation from wind energy increased from about 6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2000 to about 380 billion kWh in 2021. In 2022, wind turbines were the source of about 10.2% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation.

Most expensive energy money can buy.

All costs included, wind turbine electrical generation has already become as cost effective as gas turbine generation.

They also produce most of the pollution. To commit to this green boondoggle, we have to put ourselves at the mercy of the Chinese, strangling our economy while theirs expands. Of course, Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden doesn’t mind selling out the American people so he can get a paycheck from the CCP.

A few years ago you were up in arms about light bulbs that used 75% less energy and lasted 20 times longer.

Joe Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs Processed 161,000 Medical and Dental Claims for ILLEGALS in 2022 while Delaying Service to US VETERANS (VIDEO)

Why does joe hate Americans?

Last edited 2 months ago by TrumpWon

Would you not agree misappropriating congressional appropriated funds is against the law and deserves congressional investigation?

It’s only fair, I guess. Americans hate him.

Joe Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs processed 161,000 medical and dental claims for illegal aliens in 2022 while delaying service to US veterans who served their country.

Pete Hegseth exposed this shocking abuse on FOX News.

Concerned Veterans for America and senior adviser Darin Selnick is calling on lawmakers to investigate this horrible abuse by the Biden regime.

Illegal aliens are not entitled to benefit services through the Office of Veterans Affairs. To qualify for services through the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is necessary to have served in some capacity in the military or some other service in the DOD and then become a veteran having completed service.
Illegal aliens have not qualified for those benefits having not served but instead violated statutory American law by illegally entering this country.

Is not joe supposed to faithfully execute those laws having taken a sacred oath?

Hegseth is lying. Illegal aliens ARE NOT receiving veterans benefits. ICE has contracted the VA Financial Services Processing Center to process reimbursements for emergency medical care to aliens in detention received from private medical service providers.

This continuing contractual arrangement has existed since before the Bush administration. It would be effin’ stupid for ICE to operate its own financial processing center. It would be equally stupid for ICE to maintain its own medical care facilities.

Last edited 2 months ago by Greg

On the same Gateway Pundit page as Hegseth’s bullshit: ads for an Elon Musk device that cuts your energy bills in half, and a toothpaste that erases cavities. Don’t be part of this target audience.

The ones that were not toxic to the environment?
LED and florescent, heavy metals, they do not last as advertised.
120 years?

Last edited 2 months ago by kitt

I HOPE you don’t mean those goddamn fluorescent failures! I never had one that lasted longer than an incandescent bulb and, worse, you had to take them to special places to dispose of them. Yeah, that’s some real Democrat genius there. I do remember the number the EPA did on the Animas River, though.

Fluorescent bulbs were transitional technology on the way to cost-effective LEDs. Production ceased 08/24/23.

Transitional, hmm, why do the weenies always go old school really old school? 1901 was the time frame of mercury vapor lamps, why not whale oil?
Commercially available electric vehicles appeared during the 1890s.
They had their shot and lost out to internal combustion.

Last edited 2 months ago by kitt

Also: neither LED bulbs nor electric vehicles were specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Check and mate, treehugging libtards!

Also: neither LED bulbs nor electric vehicles were specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Check and mate, treehugging libtards!

Possibly the most retard post you have managed up to this date.
Hey Mikey why is California the highest in illiteracy?

Cheer “we’re #1”!

Last edited 2 months ago by kitt

Many coal plants have been converted to natural gas. You left that out. Nat gas produces more than so called renewables in the US.

Near where I live there is a 225 acre solar installation, it produces 10 megawatts when the sun shines bright. Much less on cloudy or rainy days and practically zero at night. It gets dark here pretty regularly. Just a few miles down the road from it is a relatively new nat gas fired power plant. It’s on 39 acres and produces 1300 megawatts. It works night and day, sun or rain. It also has a longer life cycle than the solar farm or wind turbines. One of the problems with renewables is the amount of real estate needed to produce part time power. It also requires fossil fuels to mine, transport and process the raw materials needed to make solar panels and wind turbines.
If the future is renewables, it’s going to be a cold and dark one.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mully

But it makes ignorant people feel good.

Click the link. Read the key findings and then drop down to page 5. A dose of reality for the lefty bandwagon riders.

Jun 29, 2023A storm hit a 5.2 MW solar farm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on June 23, 2023, shattering most of the panels and destroying the facility in minutes.
You know they say these storms are now more frequent?

Wind and Solar is not Safe for Eagles or Whales

In 2021 Congress Gave Joe Biden $7.5 Billion For Electric Vehicle Chargers – Two Years Later NOT ONE Charger Has Been Installed

What happened to the money? Did biden take his 10% off of the top? Should not congress initiate an investigation?

This is why Democrats love to put large sums of money in flow. No one watches it, they steal it at will and, five years later, they refinance the same projects, like the border wall.