Germany's impossible and impractical wind and solar goal

Bjorn Lomborg writes to tell us of this new video analysis of the current state of solar and wind in the context:

After decades and hundreds of billions of dollars, how much of Germany’s energy is supplied by its solar and wind? Based on data from International Energy Agency, here is its latest report with slightly older data:

In that report they say:

In order to achieve the ambitious energy transformation set out in the Energiewende, by 2030 half of all electricity supply will come from renewable energy sources; Germany must continue to develop cost-effective market-based approaches which will support the forecasted growth of variable renewable generation. Furthermore, the costs and benefits need to be allocated in a fair and transparent way among all market participants, especially households.

They have a very, very long way to go to reach 50% penetration at the current rate of implementation at ~15%. The 2030 goal is a pipe dream.

And who in there right mind wants 50% of their electricity supply based on intermittent sources? If the sun is obscured by clouds and the wind doesn’t blow, that 50% can quickly shrink to just a few percent on the vagaries of wind and weather. The whole concept is flawed, IMHO.

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December 9, 2015 11:01 am

IMHO – In Many Humble Opinions

Reply to  wolsten
December 9, 2015 11:14 am

I think that is how this hoax got off hand. Real scientists tend to be humble, alarmists loud.
Real science took too long to make its voice heard and at a humble volume.
Problem is nowadays that idiots are full of certainty while geniuses are full of doubts

Reply to  Francisco
December 9, 2015 12:27 pm

“Real scientists tend to be humble..”-what universe are you living in? I would say that scientists on average are more arrogant than the general population. They definitely are prone to confirmation bias and underestimating uncertainty. Don’t put scientists on a pedestal; they are human just like everyone else with all the same faults.

Reply to  Francisco
December 9, 2015 12:37 pm

Define real scientist. Imho arrogant loud self-centered twits are not real scientists.

Reply to  Hugs
December 9, 2015 12:53 pm

I’d be interested to know who scientists think are the top 3 scientists of the past 200 years.
It would offer insight into what their profession values.

Reply to  Francisco
December 9, 2015 1:19 pm

“scientists on average”
How do you find average scientists?

Reply to  Francisco
December 9, 2015 3:11 pm

Fifty percent of scientists are below average.

Lance Wallace
Reply to  Francisco
December 9, 2015 10:29 pm

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.+
–Yeats, the Second Coming

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Francisco
December 11, 2015 6:51 am

This, Francisco, is the quote of the year!
.”…idiots are full of certainty and geniuses are full of doubt”
Anthony, see if Francisco will let you have this for a T-shirt. I think this is the best I’ve seen on the global warming debate! Put me down for one already.

December 9, 2015 11:03 am

But think about all the environmental damage and change all those windmills will create. There is no free lunch, we have to select our trade-offs and to my mind nuclear is one of the best.

Eric Johnson
Reply to  guereza2wdw
December 10, 2015 10:24 am

Every day I drive by a large windmill farm here in Eastern Washington State. Many days no rotors are turning. I often wonder who will clean up the mess when they are abandoned and start to rust and fall apart. I fear I already know who is going to pay for it……

December 9, 2015 11:11 am

Invest in cleaning up coal. Leave CO2 out of the equation, it make things greener.

December 9, 2015 11:12 am

In 2014, according to BP, only 2.5% of the world’s energy consumption came from renewables (wind, solar, biomass, but excluding hydro). The world is and will continue to be dependent on oil, gas and coal for the vast majority of its energy needs. I applaud efforts to develop new energy sources, but they have to be practical and scalable. In the interim, I’m enjoying the nice warm December weather here in Canada. I’ve had a high efficiency (96.7%) gas-fired furnace installed and I’m doing my part the sensible way by using our wonderful bounty of fossil fuels as carefully as I can.

Reply to  Trebla
December 9, 2015 1:32 pm

Did you hear about condensation gas heaters? In Europe it is more less standard and peak efficiency is given as 115%. I have one in my house in Slovakia and using it reliably for around 8-9 year. Point of those gas heaters is that exhaust to chimney is cooled by heated water(aka water is heated by exhaust), thus water vapors in exhaust gases are condensing and you are getting extra heat energy. Only “flaw” of this setup is that you need to have heater connected to waste water system. You can see nicely how system works, during winter I had daily consumption of 10m3 of natural gas and collected around 10 liters of condensed water. That means 1l water per 1m3 of gas. 1 m3 of gas has energy 10kWh, condensation heat of water is 2,2MJ/l = 0.61kWh. So I got 10.6kWh from 1m3 of gas containing 10kWh… Average eficiency 106%

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  Peter
December 10, 2015 6:18 am

The reason the 115% efficiency figure is given is they are calculating the heat available based on the Lower Heating Value (LHV) of the fuel which does not consider the energy available from condensing the water vapour produced by the combustion of Hydrogen. Obviously this is a misconception. The furnaces rated in North America use the Higher Heating Value (HHV) which is a much larger number – the actual energy available.
To convert one to the other, take the European rating and multiply by the LHV then divide by the HHV for that fuel (see the Engineering Toolbox).
The difference between the two values varies with the hydrogen fraction. For pure carbon the numbers are the same. For charcoal and anthracite they are similar. Natural gas? Big difference.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Trebla
December 11, 2015 7:09 am

Biomass is not a legitimate carbon neutral fuel, dead trees that fell over decades ago are often still lying there. Many tree ring samples are taken from trees that died a thousand years ago. Driftwood on the beaches of northern Greenland got there during the Holocene optimum. Trees in bogs can be from the Remain. Cutting down hardwoods in the Carolinas to burn instead of coal at the Drax power station in UK are removing carbon sinks that might have last to the end of cal reserves. This another idiocy, like the informationless term Climate change that we have given them a pass on. I don’t even want to get into burning food-is-good-for-the-planet.

December 9, 2015 11:16 am

Followed by England as a close second, Germany probably has executed the most risky national policy concerning the basics of reliable energy for its people. Notwithstanding the vulgarities of the CAGW/CO2 debate, Germany has blown off the real risk of a cooling climate. They leave no room in accounting for this very real potential. If the Milankovich cycles are borne to be accurate, Germany will have sowed the seeds of its own destruction thru this misguided policy.

Reply to  knutesea
December 9, 2015 7:05 pm

“Germany will have sowed the seeds of its own destruction thru this misguided policy.”
Oh! No! Not again! Eliminating Coal and Nuclear power sources, Germany will be relying on Gas from Russia and Electricity from French Nuclear plants…. safely located across the Rhine… If things go wrong they may be obliged to invade France and Russia…is this Deja Vu all over again or just history repeating itself? Happy Holidays to all WUWT followers.

Reply to  michaelmacray
December 11, 2015 4:24 am

enough of the happy holidays it is Merry Christmas

December 9, 2015 11:16 am

A parable.
A German man accidentally shot his left foot off, so in his pained leftist brain, he reasoned that if he shot his right foot off he would not have a lopsided limp and it would not hurt any more than the pain he was presently experiencing. So he shot the right foot off and became a total cripple.

Reply to  TG
December 9, 2015 11:37 am

Except that his “left foot” (nuclear power) wasn’t an accident. Deliberate, but misguided.

December 9, 2015 11:16 am

Today here in Toronto, one of our spaciest NDP MPPs Cheri di Novo (i.e, New Democratic Party Member of the Provincial Parliament, i.e., a left-wing politician) was over the moon that Angela Merkel, a fellow social democrat), is this year’s, er, Man of the Year or something.
She positively gushed that Germany not only has “free” post-secondary education, but it has, and I quote, “30% wind energy” AND its economy is the BEST IN THE WORLD!!!
Yeah, I know. I wanted to call in but why bother? Reality simply isn’t a planet in her solar system.

Ziiex Zeburz
Reply to  CaligulaJones
December 9, 2015 11:54 am

I live in Germany, my next door neighbor has just retired having worked (and paid taxes ) for 45 years, now the tax on her government pension is more than the tax she paid while working ! (double taxing is common here ) People here sleep on the streets, basic pension does not arrive to $300. People that you have passed on the stairs for years do not say hello, ( National ) the police force is a joke, drugs are available everywhere, German is a second language,, where do one million extra migrants sleep in winter (gov. estimate for last 7 months of 2015) and still coming at thousands a day , etc., etc.,Canada is way ahead of Germany

Reply to  Ziiex Zeburz
December 9, 2015 1:15 pm

Thanks for this, its something I’ve heard about and certainly realize. Our socialists here continually point to only the “good stuff”, and get most of that wrong. Then, they outright lie. (Like closing German nuclear plants, but buying energy from France…which uses nukes).
I mean, we still have communists and Marxists and Maoists here. You can seem them at every march, for whatever reason.
Unfortunately, the far left don’t always change their ways when they take off their Marxist t-shirts and pretend to be “moderate” leftists.

Reply to  Ziiex Zeburz
December 9, 2015 1:50 pm

I currently live in California, but I was born in Slovakia, lived there through last years of communism. So I had first front seat to see and compare systems. After year 1989 and revolutions in middle European countries we thought that we got rid of communist and socialist. What is evident now is that western countries leading with France, Germany and UK are much more socialist and communist now that original communist countries. Brain is simply stopping what is currently happening in Germany, France, UK. No rules are valid (like maximum 3% of GDP deficit, not bailing out debts of countries like Greece, Schengen Treaty about common border protection) taxes are insane, funding masses of social payments dependent voters. And finally western countries allowing masses of immigrants flooding Europe, for what are middle European countries like Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary strictly against.
Countries from eastern Europe block thought that they are joining club of free market, free living countries, but it became club of social extremists..
Currently world is turned upside down, where China has more free market than eastern European, and those countries have more free market than Germany, France etc…

Reply to  Ziiex Zeburz
December 9, 2015 2:12 pm

Ironically, the country that showed the highest level of support for the free enterprise system was China, with 74 percent agreeing that it is the best system. Others that were nearly as enthusiastic were the Philippines (73%), the US (71%), and India (70%).
France was the one country where most did not agree with this proposition. Only 36 percent of the French agreed that the free market economy is the best system, while 50 percent disagreed.
I’m quite surprised they could find 36% of French people not brainwashed by anti-freedom media.

Reply to  CaligulaJones
December 9, 2015 9:18 pm

30% is probably its nameplate rating.

Mark Gilbert
December 9, 2015 11:17 am

On the other hand, the German’s are crazy enough to maybe pull it off… at least mostly. I know the facts and economic realities, but… well… Germany.

Reply to  Mark Gilbert
December 9, 2015 11:26 am

German retail rates are the second highest in Europe after Denmark. They only get away with the penetration they have by using Europe (especially Norway) as a giant storage battery. Their power sector is a shambles, with the newest and most efficient CCGT (Irshing) scheduled to shut next year because it did not get standby subsidies to compensate for the capital and operating inefficiencies forced by renewables. They may be crazy, but even if so will not be able to reach their crazy goals.

Reply to  ristvan
December 9, 2015 12:09 pm

“by using Europe (especially Norway) as a giant storage battery.”
especially Switzerland, the battery of Europe

Reply to  ristvan
December 9, 2015 2:00 pm

And they are also crippling this battery too. One of condition of EU for Slovakia to join EU was to switch off fully functional and working block of nuclear plant Jaslovske Bohunice. This turned Slovakia from pure exporter of electrical energy to pure importer.
On the other side Slovakia is still “green” because 55% of total electric energy comes from nuclear, 20% from natural gas, 13% from coal, 9% from hydro, 2% solar and 1% wind.

Reply to  Mark Gilbert
December 9, 2015 11:36 am

Until the next tab to save Greece perhaps

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Mark Gilbert
December 9, 2015 11:54 am

Germany is committing suicide with its energy and migrant policies.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
December 9, 2015 12:17 pm

Collective suicide with all Europe bound to follow.
Germany sends spikes of energy on the grid.
European Commission has 20-20-20 objective:
– 20% of renewable (whatever that is)
– 20% reduction of “GHG” (whatever that is)
– 20% reduction of energy

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
December 10, 2015 11:13 am

We can help them achieve their goals by removing our military from Germany. Under the current leadership they’re closer to Russia than Reagan so why not? Bring them home.

Mark from the Midwest
December 9, 2015 11:18 am

If you took all the subsidies in Germany and made buildings and roads more efficient they could be using 20% less fossil fuel than they are currently consuming. The “Greens” focus so much on the percent of renewable energy that they completely miss the point of cutting reliance on all energy sources. If we use less then we have a more flexible set of options for the future.

Patrick B
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
December 9, 2015 1:37 pm

The problem with your proposal is that we then get the government legislating all kinds of “energy savings” laws that may or may not be effective or desirable in particular cases. So then you get energy saving lightbulbs that are expensive, ineffective, showerheads that don’t work if you live where water pressure is less than optimum etc. etc. No, much better to simply let the market work as much as possible. Yes subsidies are bad, but at least there’s a limited number of them. “Energy savings” just opens up your entire life to government regulation.

December 9, 2015 11:21 am

The rest of the EU is also way short of 2020 renewable targets. The only exception is Italy
Somehow, we never hear this from the BBC, who would like you to believe that the UK is dragging its feet.

December 9, 2015 11:23 am

Germany’s energy policies may make some sense in a country without the natural resources of the USA or Australia. Not that they actually do but that this context allows for a logical framework in which to analyze the policies.
Getting resource rich countries to follow along is the big trick. Germany has been using it’s economic muscle in places like Tennessee to achieve those strategic goals. Our State and local politicians have been happy to ride along for a cut.
Our former governor started a solar company in seceret before leaving office. That companies marquee installation is at the new Volkswagen plant he also helped bring in. Of course that relies on subsidies from ratepayers.
The deal is so sweet that politicians of both parties are wetting their beaks.

Reply to  troe
December 10, 2015 2:37 am

Germany actually does have quite a few natural resources. They’re still mining a lot of coal, and there are quite large shale gas reserves.

December 9, 2015 11:33 am

Over the years, the Germans made U.S. energy policy look good by comparison, and that is no complement. Their haste and waste did serve a side purpose though, much like the Apollo moon spending in the U.S.. The budget over reach fueled the demand side basis for gaining economies of scale in at least the competitive portion of solar. In the process they wasted their national budget on high cost solar on the supply curve and made it worse by doing much of it on high cost rooftop installs. They are doing the same with offshore wind which amounts to the renewable version of nuclear cost overruns. The continuing cost declines of competitive solar will undercut grid prices there by half. Maybe they can benefit when the high cost panels wear out and need replacing. The same cannot be said of offshore wind and related transmission lines. Also looking back, the lack of cost reminders and coverage of bad public energy policy encourages more of the same going forward.

December 9, 2015 11:33 am

So Phase 1 of Energiewende has been to eliminate nuclear power. It is about 40% complete (the easiest portion of the task) and has cost many billions up front with billions more recurring annually in higher operating costs and many billions more of physical plant yet to be installed to eliminate the last 60%.
What wil be Phase 2? If the same folks continue to drive the bus, Phase 2 will seek to eliminate hydro, of course! And so the first two phases will strive to eliminate the equipment in Germany’s inventory which generates the most power with the least C02.
At that point will anyone be able to claim that Energiewende is about climate change? Of course not, but that won’t stop many folks from trying.

Reply to  sciguy54
December 9, 2015 4:47 pm

Did they base this on the business plan of the Underpants Gnomes? 🙂

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  sciguy54
December 10, 2015 7:30 am

How does Germany manufacture windmills and solar panels without emitting CO2? The cost of electricity from coal or nuclear plants is low enough that the ‘renewables’ are producing power from the capital and energy investment costing ‘only’ 4-10 times as much as the energy that produced them.
Obviously the production of generating capacity (hardware) using energy from ‘renewables’ would cost 4-10 times as much. This means the next generation will produce power that costs 4-10 times as much as the current crop of ‘technologies’. That means 16-100 times as much as coal or nuclear power.
This is, rather obviously, unaffordable and unsustainable. Sustainability also includes the concept of affordability. The price of ‘renewable energy sources’ is totally dependent of the cost of the power used to create them.

December 9, 2015 11:48 am

they’ve always been tree huggers.
every time we went on movements (I based just outside Hanau) the farmers got payoff for trees destroyed. these also included prorated figures for the trees expected seedlings.
reforgers were a wet dream for them.

December 9, 2015 11:51 am

Put VW in charge of the implementation and all will be well and EPA will be clueless for decades more.

December 9, 2015 11:53 am

Speaking about wind energy, I’am staying on my ideas: it costs too much to produce it and, more than that, it may have side effects over climate, as shown in this interesting analysis: We surely need more studies in this field in order to see the real impact of those offshore wind parks!

Billy Liar
Reply to  smamarver
December 9, 2015 4:51 pm

Wait for the wind wars when Poland and the Czech republic claim Germany is stealing their wind!

December 9, 2015 12:07 pm

Well 50% is nothing!
Here in Vermont, we are aiming at 90% by 2050!
Nice productive farmland overlaid by solar arrays.
Gorgeous ridge lines decimated by wind towers.
Energy prices going through the roof.
Is it no surprise that this tiny little state has a budget shortfall of $100M?
It’s more than climate change, it’s culture change.
It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Yirgach
December 9, 2015 12:47 pm

I’m looking at Sheffield Wind “farm” now from Kirby – sigh
Shumbum went to Paris. Hope he stayed.

Reply to  Yirgach
December 9, 2015 4:03 pm

Bet all those ugly noisy windmills will do a lot for Vermont’s tourist industry. As of 1999:
…tourism industry counts for 15% of the total state output value, 22% of the state employment, and 26% of the indirect business tax
and…. for every million dollars spent by tourists in Vermont – 35 jobs are created, additional 690 thousands of dollars worth output will be generated, employment compensation will increase by $540,546 dollars, and indirect business tax will increase by $127,807 dollars.

Phillip Bratby
December 9, 2015 12:12 pm

Nothing new here. Every engineer worth his salt knows that you cannot have a reliable electricity supply dependent on the vagaries of the weather.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
December 9, 2015 12:22 pm

[Reply: ‘Chaam Jamal’ is a sockpuppet who also posts under the name ‘Richard Molineux’ and others (K. Pittman, etc.) As usual, his sad life writing comments has been completely wasted, as they are now deleted. –mod]

Reply to  Chaam Jamal
December 9, 2015 1:05 pm

Who bets the energy system on every dam being full?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Chaam Jamal
December 10, 2015 1:24 am

I wonder if you noted the difference between a lake full of rainwater and a solar panel?
Namely that the lake full of water stays full of water after it stops raining.
Or given you seem to think the analogy is 1:1, I suspect you to be of the green persuasion.
If anything defines Green/Left thinking versus common sense and pragmatism,. it is that the former thinks in woolly qualitative terms, and the latter in hard nosed quantitative ones.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Chaam Jamal
December 11, 2015 7:42 am

Well it doesn’t have to rain every day. That’s why it works. In Quebec, Quebec Hydro makes a profit selling power to industry at less than 5 cents/kWh CDN. It also supplies NY, NY with its electricity. That’s why they can block fracking and shut down coal plants

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
December 9, 2015 1:41 pm

It’s why we replaced waterwheels and windmills with coal in the first place.

December 9, 2015 12:15 pm

I see that they replaced the CO2 producing nuclear energy with wind and solar, way to go /sarc

Reply to  Somebody
December 9, 2015 12:44 pm

That’s the Greenpeas way. The only thing they hate more than CO2 is energy which is affordable and does not produce CO2.

Reply to  Hugs
December 9, 2015 1:00 pm

A few possible trends. The global powers appear to be creating a future where:
1. China will build nuclear MSRs and sell them to the world.
2. Russia will provide natty gas to Europe.
3. India will get a free pass to burn coal.
4. Africa will get what they are told they can have.
5. The Middle East will continue in the art of destruction and barter its oil.
6. South America will splinter into varying schemes with an eye on the UN giveaways.
7. US … Canada … Aussies ?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Hugs
December 10, 2015 2:30 am

December 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm
… Aussies ?”
We’re going down the pan, and our PM is selling us out to the UN right now. He will pay for that at the next election, not too far away. But he’s OK. He’s worth about AU$20mil, and will have taxpayer funded services for the rest of his life.
And some people think Australia is the smart country.

December 9, 2015 12:29 pm

That 15% of electricity number surprised me. I was under the impression that it was around 25%. Judith Curry recently had a guest post on the Energiewende:

… This can be seen by the annual average generation by renewables which stands at about 25%.

What’s the explanation for this discrepancy? Perhaps:

Renewable penetration of 25% of total generation would be very impressive if it was actually used in Germany. However, just as in Denmark which makes similar claims regarding wind as a percentage of total generation, a large amount of renewable generation in Germany is of absolutely no value. This is solar energy at mid-day and wind energy at night when there is insufficient domestic demand. In those circumstances Germany has no choice but to export this surplus electricity at very low prices (sometimes negative) and Germany’s neighbours have to absorb this electricity whether they need it or not. The Czech Republic, France, Poland, and Switzerland have been complaining quite bitterly about the negative impacts of these exports. Stress on the regional grids, the need to cycle power sources in those countries in response to the fluctuations in German generation, and low wholesale spot prices are issues that are increasing in severity every year.

Reply to  Canman
December 9, 2015 12:57 pm

Issues with Germany grid:

Problems arise because the traded volumes of electricity between Germany and Austria regularly exceed the physical capacities at the border. The study describes, for example, a grid situation in which Germany sold high volumes of electricity to Austria, but the physical flow was limited to half that amount. As a result, the excess power was transmitted from Germany to Poland, and on to the Czech Republic.
The phenomenon that electricity physically “spills” into other networks, disregarding agreed trade volumes, is known as “loop flow”. To reduce these unwanted flows, the Czech Republic and Poland are currently installing four phase shifters at their borders with Germany that can block unwanted currents.

Reply to  Canman
December 9, 2015 1:32 pm

“In those circumstances Germany has no choice but to export this surplus electricity at very low prices (sometimes negative) and Germany’s neighbours have to absorb this electricity whether they need it or not.”
Heh. That’s what is happening here in Ontario, Canada: businesses are complaining that their energy costs are going up (to pay for “green energy”) then the government turns around and basically gives energy away to their competitors in Quebec, New York and Michigan. Talk about economic suicide.
Then, they admit that all of their targets are off because, duh, when you scare people into using less energy (think of the children!)…people use less energy. Then, they have a surplus of energy…which they give away…which costs money that has to be made up by…the consumer.
Seriously, this is what the smart people we elect do to us….

Reply to  CaligulaJones
December 9, 2015 1:44 pm

Proponents of “energiewende” insist on the lower gross energy prices.
Apparently the idea that consumers pay more in a depressed market do not bother them. And the idea of electric energy producers near bankruptcy is pleasing them!
(Sounds like predatory behaviour, and unlawful almost everywhere. Here predation is encouraged by the “regulators”. I wonder if we can get the European Commission itself behind bars.)

DD More
Reply to  CaligulaJones
December 9, 2015 6:59 pm

CJ, sounds like that famous business model – “We loose $0.25 on every unit, but we will make it up on volume.”

Reply to  CaligulaJones
December 10, 2015 9:47 am

Political “science” majors and community organizers are horrid businessmen and worse Engineers. But they are very good at grasping the power to make those decisions for themselves; then blaming the incompetence on someone else….
Why markets work better than government run economies. Engineers and Business majors making more of the decisions, while customers tend to end stupid boondoggles by the expedient of not buying them…

Reply to  Canman
December 9, 2015 1:54 pm

Burning imported wood pellets (cut with fossil fuels, transformed with fossil fuels, transported with fossil fuels) counts as “renewable”.
“Biofuels” from agriculture (with inputs made with fossil fuels) count as “renewable”.

Reply to  simple-touriste
December 9, 2015 2:15 pm

Germany’s biofuel crop concerns
22 September 2012 Last updated at 17:36 BST
As food prices around the world continue to rise, environmentalists say the problem is being made worse by the increased amount of farm land being used to grow biofuels.
In Germany, shepherds say their traditional way of farming is under threat as meadows they have always used for grazing are being turned over to biofuel crops.

Meanwhile farmers who grow both food and fuel crops have found they cannot sell their food crops for a decent price, and can only stay in business if they sell it for fuel production instead.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  simple-touriste
December 11, 2015 8:07 am

Indonesia is emitting more CO2 than the USA burning peat bogs to clear the jungle to make oil palm plantations. All illegal of course. All to make subsidised biofuels for the EU. All legal of course. All CO2 saved is more than compensated by burning stable peat bogs. All absolutely frigging unbelievable.
Burning the forests to save the world. Right.

Reply to  Canman
December 9, 2015 4:59 pm

Yeah, I think that the explanation is simple.
That 15% figure is for solar and wind (only) contribution to the grid.
The 25% figure includes hydro and biomass – i.e. all renewables contribution to the grid.
I hope that that is the correct explanation.

Reply to  Canman
December 9, 2015 9:17 pm

Someone needs to make one of those Hitler videos about the Energiewende!

December 9, 2015 12:30 pm

This seems to suggest that Germany has six coal-fired generating plants under construction.
If so, it’s a smart idea. They’ll need them to “back up” (that is, provide the real power for) all of those renewables.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  rabbit
December 11, 2015 5:38 pm

I believe the total number is 23 lignite burning power plants.

December 9, 2015 12:33 pm

I’m disappointed that Lomborg failed to use a “hockey stick” curve to illustrate the 83 % increase in German electric costs in less than 15 years. Clearly he doesn’t understand how to graph climate-related data…

December 9, 2015 12:46 pm

Please follow the results of élection régionales in France:

Le FN atteint le plus haut niveau de son histoire
“The FN made its higher score in its history”
What the usual COP propaganda channels forgot to say is that is that the FN was opposed to the French inept energy policy:

Il est évidemment impossible de se passer à la fois du pétrole, du gaz, du charbon et de d’électricité nucléaire, qui représentent la majeure partie de l’énergie consommée en France. Un gouvernement responsable doit choisir son cheval de bataille.
“It is obviously impossible to do without both the oil, gas, coal and nuclear power, which account for most of the energy consumed in France. A responsible government must choose a priority.”
FN is viewed as an anti-carbon madness party, even if the viewed expressed on its website aren’t clear.
The contradiction and confusing views of FN on energy (and everything else) contrast (slightly) with the contradicting and bat-crazy views on energy (and everything else) of the officially socialist party.

Mr Green Genes
Reply to  simple-touriste
December 10, 2015 12:54 am

FN is viewed as an anti-carbon madness party …

I had to read that statement 2 or 3 times before the penny dropped …

December 9, 2015 12:58 pm

California is transitioning to renewables very quickly. Renewables currently supply 25% of their electricity and it looks like they will easily achieve their goal of 33% by 2020. So it is possible.

Reply to  Luke
December 9, 2015 2:24 pm

“renewable energy generated from sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and small
Small? Why is hydro not always renewable?
When does that make sense?

Steven F
Reply to  simple-touriste
December 9, 2015 11:45 pm

“Small? Why is hydro not always renewable?
When does that make sense?”
Most of the large hydro in California is old (mostly built in ythe 30s. Oregon and Washington also have a lot of old hydro. California didn’t want the utilites to purchase more big hydro from washington and oregon to meet the renewable energy goals. The government wanted the utilities to invest in new renewable generation, not old generation. So in California large hydro doesn’t qualify. Today large hydro meets 6% of california’s electricity. Qualifying renewables now meet 20 % of california’s electricity. Coal is down to 6% and falling fast.

Reply to  Luke
December 9, 2015 3:35 pm

Boring California Energy Commission report is boring.
Where can I find the graph of hourly “renewable” production?

Janice Moore
Reply to  simple-touriste
December 9, 2015 5:44 pm

Luke, AGW Cult Member 1st Class,
On December 8, 2015, “renewables” managed to make: 12%.
(Source: )
Your Enemy in the AGW Battle,
Hi, Simple-touriste,
The above link is to the graph you want (I hope!).
Hat tip to Walt D. for his providing it this afternoon, here:
Your Ally for Science Realism,

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Luke
December 11, 2015 7:52 am

Luke Many things that are possible are also stupid things to do.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 11, 2015 8:01 am

[Reply: ‘Chaam Jamal’ is a sockpuppet. Also posts under the name ‘Richard Molineux’ and others (K. Pittman, etc.) As usual, his sad life writing comments has been completely wasted, as they are now deleted. –mod]

December 9, 2015 1:16 pm

Power produced by wind turbines in Europe, hourly data, September 2010 to March 2011

Dodgy Geezer
December 9, 2015 1:20 pm

…I’d be interested to know who scientists think are the top 3 scientists of the past 200 years.
It would offer insight into what their profession values…

The past 200 years contain Faraday, Darwin, James Clark Maxwell, Louis Pasteur and Einstein. I should think that any such list will include at least 2 out of those. Interesting that they were all born in the 1800s…

Billy Liar
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 9, 2015 5:00 pm

Paul Dirac – 20th century …

Reply to  Billy Liar
December 9, 2015 5:48 pm

a minor trend perhaps ?
mathematicians and those devoted to the trial and error of the experimental process

December 9, 2015 3:17 pm

I’m hoping someone can do the sums and tell me what the true cost of that 2.8% of renewable energy is – and I mean capital cost + subsidies + operating costs = in $/kWhr per average output.

Reply to  DaveR
December 9, 2015 3:43 pm

Suming the tariff (>price) paid for “renewables” is one thing, computing the effect of unjust “regulation” is another.
What is the impact of priority access to grid? It depends on the whole system.

DD More
Reply to  simple-touriste
December 9, 2015 7:21 pm

Not to mention past investment and wacky regulations put on the suppliers.
PG&E Files for Bankruptcy / $9 billion in debt, firm abandons bailout talks with state
But the move could lead to substantially higher rates for consumers if a bankruptcy judge places PG&E’s $9 billion in debt obligations on ratepayers.
On investors: Trading in PG&E stock was halted before the bankruptcy action was announced. After trading resumed, the company’s stock fell 36 percent and closed at $7.20 a share.
Baoding Tianwei Group Co.’s default on an onshore bond, the first by a state-owned company in China, exposes the toll a glut of solar manufacturing has inflicted on some of the smallest and financially weakest producers.
China South Industries Group Corp. failed to pay 85.5 million yuan ($13.8 million) of bond interest due Tuesday, Baoding Tianwei said in a statement posted to, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System website. The company “suffered huge losses in 2014 and the debt-to-asset ratio surged quickly,” the Chinese maker of power transformers said in the statement.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. and LDK Solar Co., once the biggest solar manufacturers, both filed for bankruptcy after failing to repay debts. Leshan Ledian Tianwei Silicon Science & Technology Co. and Xinguang Silicon, units of affiliate Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co., halted production in 2011 to reduce losses and operating costs as the domestic polysilicon industry idled about 30 percent of output. The two units collapsed last year. Baoding Tianwei Group reported an operating loss of 1.14 billion yuan in 2014, mainly related to new energy activities. The net loss totaled 10.1 billion yuan after the company recognized 8.34 billion yuan in impairment provisions.
Low prices due to under pricing the value and bankrupting Chinese makers. Less supply with steady demand will lead to higher prices (Econ 101).

December 9, 2015 3:46 pm

The people in the EU no longer have any say in their lives and their appointed “government” has been lying to them all along. It’s not about a better life, it’s all about a measured life taken to the lowest common denominator. The uncontrolled mad dash for renewable power is bankrupting their economies, devastating their lifestyles, and their leaders are proud of it. Since when did freedom and self determination become dirty words?

James Strom
December 9, 2015 6:28 pm

It gets cold in Germany during the Winter. A lot of that is due to the reduction in Sun light. Not to worry, though, people will heat their homes with solar generated electricity–with, possibly a little backup from wind.

Reply to  James Strom
December 9, 2015 6:44 pm

Imagine yourself as ruler of a northern European country.
Now imagine you have to plan energy policy for your peeps, would you worry about an ensuing cold or some minor and tenuous warming ? According to the ice core temp patterns, they are far more at risk of an ensuing cold climate than runaway warming.
Reckless management.

December 9, 2015 9:37 pm

The other day over on LinkedIn, Bill Gates posted a eutopian eulogy about how nice it would be if our power came only from wind and solar.
Here is my comment I posted in reply:

Thanks Bill. Nuclear is the key to a low carbon economy without having to go back to the jungle. I mean 4th generation nuclear, not prehistoric pressurised water reactors. If we allow it to, nuclear can give us sustainable and clean energy while still having democracy and the rule of law, not losing all our knowledge, literature art and music (and computers with their need of operating systems 🙂 not running round in grass skirts stabbing eachother with sharpened wooden sticks, having a life expectancy more than 20 years. Wind and solar are not – they are a road to nowhere. Unpredictable intermittent power is worse than useless. Nuclear is the key to the future. Wind and solar will only power us back to the stone age.

Reply to  philsalmon
December 9, 2015 9:50 pm

Many CAGW spinsters are Nuke MSR supporters. If I gave them total “i am not worthy” praise, I’d say they planned it from the beginning. What has happened is that their allegiance with the fringe environmental groups is coming back to bite them. Strange bedfellows.
The greatest loss will be that China will be the first to have them.
They will build them.
We will buy them.
Now THAT makes me want to moan in the night.

December 10, 2015 10:00 am

“E.M.Smith December 10, 2015 at 9:47 am
Political “science” majors and community organizers are horrid businessmen ”
Indeed, and so are “the elite”, i.e., the wealthy who got there by inheritance (as opposed to entrepreneurs).
Sure, there are some exemptions, but for the most part, once the third generation comes along, they forget where the money came from. That’s why we see “foundations”, which is really tax-evading, or money laundering in less-polite terms, whose money was made from what they now would call “bad stuff”, spending money on “good stuff”.
See: Prince Charles, idiocy of, (multiple cites).

Reply to  CaligulaJones
December 10, 2015 10:58 am

once the third generation comes along, they forget where the money came from. That’s why we see “foundations”, which is really tax-evading, or money laundering in less-polite terms, whose money was made from what they now would call “bad stuff”, spending money on “good stuff”

And thus easy prey for the conman wielding false guilt.
If you live long enough, all these little wisdoms begin to make sense.
Post WWII children (depression babies) made children who now have children that are easy prey detached from reality.

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