The decline of Weather Dependent Renewables in Europe: 2008 – 2018

Reposted from edmhdotme

screenshot-2019-05-30-at-12.37.08

Introduction

The EurObserv’ER organisation publishes data annually on all types of EU28 Renewable installations and their productivity.  EurObser’ER is backed by the EU and promotes the transition to Renewables.  Their report for Solar power in 2019 here is a typical example of their annual data output for each technology.

Photovoltaic barometer 2019

This post uses the EurObserv’ER data series since 2008 as they relate to about 80% of European Renewable generation installations, those being:

  • Wind power Onshore
  • Wind Power Offshore
  • On grid Solar PV power.

From the peak installation rate in 2010 the European commitment to Weather Dependent Renewables had reduced by more than half in 2018.

The performance of the five EU countries with the most significant commitments to Renewables

The following countries are the main Renewables protagonists in Europe.  Together these countries represent more than 75% of European Renewable installations, with by far the largest commitment has been made by Germany as a result of its longstanding “Energiewende” policy.  In 2018 the proportions of the EU28 Renewables were as follows:

  • Germany  35.9%
  • Spain  9.7%
  • Italy  10.5%
  • The United Kingdom  12.2%
  • France  8.5%.

The average capacity figures, for the period 2008 – 2018, achieved by these five countries is shown below:

Screenshot 2019-05-23 at 14.37.47.png

The following graphic shows the progressive percentage changes in Renewables installations and the average overall capacity factor that each country has achieved.

Screenshot 2019-05-24 at 10.16.05.png

They show how Germany has maintained its major commitment to Renewables and how Italy and Spain have allowed their Renewable commitment to stagnate since 2011, whereas in the United Kingdom and France the growth of Renewable installations has continued.

Italy has shown poor capacity performance mainly because it has committed to a large proportion of Solar power, whereas Spain has maintained relatively good performance by ignoring Solar power and relying much more on Onshore wind.

Germany has a continuing poor performance because of it insistence on Solar power in its cloudy northerly context.

The UK has had a reasonable performance but that has recently fallen off in spite of the use of Offshore wind power, because performance is always diminished by the large proportion of ineffective solar power in the UK.

A comparative assessment of the excess capital and long-term costs incurred to support Weather Dependent Renewables is provided at:

https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/eu28-weather-dependent-renewables-in-2017-and-indicative-costs/

The overall comparative costs results for the EU28 are shown below:

Screenshot 2019-05-30 at 15.33.10.png

The following graphics for these five principal European countries show the progress each has made in Renewables installation since 2008 and the way in which the commitment to Weather Dependent Renewables has actually diminished over the past 10 years.

GermanyScreenshot 2019-05-16 at 11.14.40.png

Overall new German Renewables installations are now running at about half of their peak level in 2011.  The total installation is now rated at ~104GW with a combined output of ~17.3GW, with an overall capacity factor of ~20%:  this nominally represents ~20% of German electricity generation.

Onshore wind installations have been in use in Germany for several decades and now represent ~50% of German Renewables:  their installation rate peaked in 2016 and has since fallen by half to ~2.3GW per annum.  The capacity factor for Onshore wind in Germany is comparatively low at ~18%.  It seems that there is now substantial and growing local resistance to the future development of Onshore wind farms.

Solar installations in Germany and represent ~41% of German Renewables even though Germany is one of the cloudiest countries in Europe, resulting in a Solar capacity figure of less than ~10%.  Their Solar installations peaked quite early in 2011, and had fallen to a quarter of that peak by 2014.  But they have seen a recent minor resurgence, overtaking Onshore wind in installations in 2018.

Offshore Wind power installations started more recently in 2014 and are now continuing at about half of their original peak rate:  they now represent about 6% of installed German Renewables.  Offshore Wind performance with an average capacity factor of ~27% and reaching ~34% in 2018 is certainly more productive than Onshore wind:  however Offshore wind is still inherently variable, as with all wind generation, its is entirely dependent on weather conditions and in addition has to contend with the adverse marine environment, which increases costs significantly and reduces service life.

SpainScreenshot 2019-05-16 at 11.14.55.png

The Spanish were very early to commit to Renewables mainly with Onshore wind, however by 2013 all further installations had virtually ceased.  The commitment of massive subsidies for Weather Dependent Renewables in Spain contributed to the parlous state of the Spanish economy.

In spite of being a southerly nation the use of Solar power in Spain has been minimal and is in fact now not even being replaced as it ages, this is mainly because subsidy support is being withdrawn.  This is in spite of the fact that Solar power in Spain apparently has the highest capacity factor in Europe at ~19%.

Overall Spain at a capacity factor of ~23% has the most productive Renewables industry in Europe.

ItalyScreenshot 2019-05-16 at 11.15.17.png

Onshore wind power in Italy’s about 1/3 of the Italian Renewables commitment and it generates slightly less than half of Italy’s Weather Dependent Renewable output.  Installations of Onshore wind are continuing, albeit slowly.

As opposed to Spain, Italy another country with good Southerly exposure, made large scale early commitments to on-grid Solar power particularly in 2011 – 2013.  But since then Solar installations have reduced to about 1/10th of their peak level.

The total Renewables installation now amounts to about 28GW producing ~4.6GW, this nominally represents ~14% of Italian electricity generation.

Overall the capacity factor at ~15% achieved by Italian Weather Dependent Renewables is low, primarily because of the large commitment to Solar energy as opposed to Wind power.

United KingdomScreenshot 2019-05-16 at 11.15.37.png

In 2008 the United Kingdom passed the Climate Change Act, making its far reaching commitments to Renewable energy into law.  As a result, by 2018 the UK had ~35GW of installed Weather Dependent Renewables amounting to ~12% of the EU fleet, second only to Germany.  The UK installations produced ~6.7GW with an overall capacity factor of ~18.9%.  That level of generation nominally provides ~15% of United Kingdom demand.

The average performance of Onshore wind power in the UK was reasonable but it performed poorly in 2018 with ~16% capacity.  Nonetheless Onshore installations are continuing to grow.

The UK is a world leader in Offshore wind power with total installation of ~8GW, a larger fleet even than Germany.  UK Offshore wind achieved an average capacity of ~29% and performance was good in 2018 at ~36%.  But Offshore installations have halved in 2018 to about 1GW per annum.  Offshore wind faces significant obstacles of high costs of installation and maintenance and the adverse maritime environment limiting useful service life.

The UK had a massive flirtation with Solar power around 2013, this arose directly as a result of the influence as ministers in the Department of Energy and Climate Change by coalition Liberal Democrats, namely Chris Huhne and Ed Davey.  As The UK has a cloudy northerly climate, this results in the worst capacity factor in Europe averaging only ~8%, probably the lowest Solar performance factor globally.

The insistence on UK Solar was a political decision made against the strenuous opposition of the civil service experts in the Departments Energy and Climate Change. Even so this has resulted in Solar energy now amounting to 37% of the UK Weather Dependent Renewables.  In 2018 commitment to Solar was reducing but was still more than half the installation of new Renewables.

France Screenshot 2019-05-16 at 11.15.51.png

At 4.44 tonnes / head in 2017, France had achieved the lowest CO2 emissions / head of any developed country:  this is as result of the long standing commitment in France to Nuclear power.  This level of CO2 emissions is close the global average level for the whole ~7.4 billion world population.  The provision of relatively cheap CO2 free energy in France is one of the country’s major industrial achievements.

https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/global-man-made-co2-emissions-1965-2017-bp-data/

However recently, with the introduction of a growing commitment to Weather Dependent Renewables, the French CO2 emissions are now rising according to the 2017 figures released by BP.

French Nuclear generation produces significant excess power, (more than 7%),  which is profitably exported to neighbouring countries, particularly to the United Kingdom and Germany.

https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/comparing-electricity-generation-in-three-european-nations-2017/

https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/graphic-presentations-of-electrical-generation-performance-in-three-european-countries-2017/

Were CO2 emission a real concern, the current policy in France is irrational.  It is to reduce its ~75% commitment to Nuclear energy for electricity generation down to 50% to be replaced with Renewables.  This policy, like Germany’s intention to eliminate all its Nuclear power by 2025, must be a retrograde step with regard to CO2 emissions reduction when compared with an increasing reliance on fossil fuels needed to compensate for the intermittency and unreliability of Weather Dependent Renewables.

Nuclear power in France should have been regarded as one of the country’s most valuable industrial assets.

Some Conclusions
  • The European commitment to installation of Weather Dependent Renewables has reduced and looks set to continue to diminish as various countries progressively withdraw their subsidy support.
  • Renewables growth in Spain and Italy virtually ceased in 2013.
  • If CO2 emissions reduction was the objective, the decisions in Germany and France to reduce their commitments to Nuclear energy are emotional and entirely irrational.
  • It is questionable whether Weather Dependent Renewables are:
    • CO2 emissions neutral, in other words they require more CO2 emissions to be generated in their manufacture, installation, maintenance and demolition than they could ever save during their service life
    • their EROI, Energy Return on Energy Invested, is marginal and insufficient to justify their use to provide sufficient excess power for any developed or developing Nation.

The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

  • comparatively un-economic in their use of materials

Screenshot 2019-05-27 at 11.02.24.png

  • Weather Dependent Renewables are universally more expensive than the conventional alternatives of Gas-firing or Nuclear power.  ~2-3 times for Nuclear power and in the UK worst case ~16+ times more expensive than Gas-firing.

The Countries such as the UK and Germany that make major commitments to Solar PV and Offshore Wind end up with the most expensive installations.  Those countries like Spain that commit most to Onshore Wind power have the most economic Renewable installations.  But a recent paper

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2019/01/Capell-Aris-UK-Electricity-System-1.pdf

This paper shows that the UK policy change to promote Gas-firing over coal burning in the 1990s, the “Dash for Gas” was co-incidentally also an effective mechanism to reduce CO2 emissions and as well as being a very cost effective means of electricity generation. The continuation of that use of Gas-firing policy would have maintained lower CO2 emissions in the UK, even though still dependent on use of fossil fuels.

Weather Dependent Renewable Energy depends on capturing essentially dilute and very variable sources of power.  So at the same time Weather Dependent Renewables are comparatively:

  • capital cost expensive
  • maintenance expensive, especially Offshore
  • inevitably intermittent and thus unreliable.

The late Prof David Mackay, (former chef scientific advisor of the Department of Energy and Climate Change), in a final interview before his untimely death in 2016 said that the concept of powering a developed country such as the UK with Weather Dependent Renewable energy was:

“an appalling delusion”.

At the time he also said:

“There’s so much delusion, it’s so dangerous for humanity that people allow themselves to have such delusions, that they are willing to not think carefully about the numbers, and the reality of the laws of physics and the reality of engineering….humanity does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay

If the objectives of using Weather Dependent Renewables were not confused with possibly “saving the planet” from the output of the UK’s / Europe’s small amount of Man-made CO2 produced in the UK for electricity generation, their actual cost in-effectiveness and their inherent unreliability, Weather Dependent Renewables would have always been ruled them out of any engineering consideration as means of National scale electricity generation.

It is essential to ask the question what is the actual value of these government mandated excess costs to the improvement of the environment and for the potential of perhaps saving minuscule temperature increases a 100 years in the future.

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70 thoughts on “The decline of Weather Dependent Renewables in Europe: 2008 – 2018

  1. “If CO2 emissions reduction was the objective, the decisions in Germany and France to reduce their commitments to Nuclear energy are emotional and entirely irrational.” This is exactly Macron’s politics demanded by the EU Commission and Parliament.
    Unfortunately, I live in France…

    • Have a look at the status of UK nuclear. this is thecurrent:
      Daily status report
      Number of units in service:
      9 of 16
      Number of reactors in service:
      9 of 15

      one of the reactors is due to come online on 3rd june

      requiring 100MW of power to keep safe

      4 reactors will have been off for over a year!!
      https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-station/daily-statuses

      And you call wind and solar unreliable!

      • Energy sources aren’t considered unreliable because of requisite and planned maintenance/inspections, which is why all of those reactors are offline. Energy sources are considered unreliable because they can’t generate on demand when operational (like wind and solar).

        • sound as if you are saying that the offline reactors can be called upon to generate when required?
          I think not!
          1 reactor = 500MW to 1 GW
          removing these from the system for a year was not planned. wind and solar and warm winter saved the UK. Certainly NOT nuclear

          • What you think all those renewables won’t be offline for a year when they hit maintenance time?

          • They’re old, outdated reactors near the end of their lifetime. It’s not indicative of 21st century nuclear technology. Blame the incompetent, lazy government bowing to the green lobby for their unwillingness or inability to replace their nuclear fleet in time.

            Also, I’m sure you mean natural gas saved the UK. Because it certainly was not weather-dependent, intermittent, unreliable wind and solar that requires fossil fuel backups. Even the thought is ridiculous.

          • “Also, I’m sure you mean natural gas saved the UK.”

            Also, wood pellets that emit more CO2 than the coal they replaced.

          • “Also, I’m sure you mean natural gas saved the UK.”

            In winter NG is running at peak output for a large part of the time.

            There is also remaing coal stations that ca be un-mothballed.
            There is also pumped storage that can drive the peaks down.

      • Typical to compare very old Nuclear Reactors on Maintenance and repairs to nice new shiny Renewables which won’t even exist and will have to have been replaced twice over in the same time period.

      • Look at gridwatch.co.uk.
        Wind power varies by a factor of 10 on a day to day basis. It can be 7 GW today and tomorrow night 0.6 GW. A 90% unplanned reduction in power output is a joke. But, it happens all the time with wind. It can only be tolerated by ramping up burning natural gas. This may account for the large rise in natural gas prices in the UK during the last decade or so.

          • ??? And.
            It is a convenient way to see how the UK is generating power at any given moment.
            Virtually every internet site has some means to generate income. This is capitalism.

      • ‘And you call wind and solar unreliable!’

        Here’s a conundrum for you – the UK’s 20+ GW of wind power didn’t produce much more than 11GW at any point in the last year. Can you tell me why? I’m actually really interested to know the answer and have asked it on other sites without getting an answer.

        So wind almost never produces more than 50% of its rated output even on a good day. In fact, in the last year the wind fleet produced less than 10% of its rated output during 29,419 of the 105,120 possible 5 minute accounting periods. Over a quarter of the time.

        And when was the last time the UK’s nuclear fleet produced less than 50% of its rated output? Apparently there was one 5 minute period on the 18th October last year. I’d call nuclear reliable.

        From the data provided on gridwatch.templar.co.uk

        • This data is already 1 year stale. The growth rates of Solar PV almost everywhere, aside from China, have shifted upwards massively to a European growth of 40% and a world average of 25%. Even as the subsidies have dwindled.
          Throw in some more MidEast instability and the rates will reach even higher.

          • Joel, I notices you spectacularly failed to answer Amos E. Stone’s question.

            Amos E. Stone: Here’s a conundrum for you – the UK’s 20+ GW of wind power didn’t produce much more than 11GW at any point in the last year. Can you tell me why? I’m actually really interested to know the answer and have asked it on other sites without getting an answer.

            Well, Amos, sorry to say, but you still haven’t gotten the answer you’re seeking. atleast not from old Joel. Or perhaps his dodging and deflecting is all the answer you need, as it speaks volumes.

      • it is normal to shut reactors down for routine maintenance in summer.

        Because of their age, the AGR fleet are being assessed for safety far more critically then say Sizewell B.

        The whole of the solar fleet is down as I write.

        • “The whole of the solar fleet is down as I write.”

          An average of 14 hrs every day. Without fail. And there is no technology that can change that.

        • it is normal to shut reactors down for routine maintenance in summer.

          Indeed, and because it’s a scheduled shutdown, they can time it for when demand is typically low and other reliable energy sources are online to pick up the slack so as to not disrupt the grid. Unlike wind/solar whose downtimes can be at any time, no matter how inconvenient or disruptive to the grid it may be.

          • it is normal to shut reactors down for routine maintenance in summer.

            It is normal to shut reactors down for routine maintenance in summer spring or fall for 4-6 week routine outages. After the high demand heating season, before the higher-demand air conditioning cooling season. These are planned outages, often set up two or 2-1/2 years in advance.

  2. Excerpt from the article – ALL TRUE, we published similar conclusions in 2002:

    Weather Dependent Renewable Energy depends on capturing essentially dilute and very variable sources of power. So at the same time Weather Dependent Renewables are comparatively:

    capital cost expensive
    maintenance expensive, especially Offshore
    inevitably intermittent and thus unreliable.

    The late Prof David Mackay, (former chef scientific advisor of the Department of Energy and Climate Change), in a final interview before his untimely death in 2016 said that the concept of powering a developed country such as the UK with Weather Dependent Renewable energy was:

    “an appalling delusion”.

    At the time he also said:

    “There’s so much delusion, it’s so dangerous for humanity that people allow themselves to have such delusions, that they are willing to not think carefully about the numbers, and the reality of the laws of physics and the reality of engineering….humanity does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay

  3. The figure in the graph shows a PV solar capacity of 4.8 Gw installed as the most recent figure. But the linked report says on its front page, 7606.5 Gw in 2018.

  4. Here in the U.K. we are stuck with our Climate Change Act 2008, which was passed by a brain dead Westminster Parliament with a 97% majority. (proof of defunct intelligence?)
    A party claiming to be of conservative principle should include a commitment to address this issue in its next manifesto. The object being to ensure policy that encourages affordable energy for all.

    • Yes that’s true, at the same time snows fell upon Westminster for the first time in donkey’s years!!!!! Oh the irony!!!

  5. Absolutely brilliant summary of where we are with ruinable energy (especially in the UK).

    Meanwhile, Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt.”Honourable” Michael Gove M.P., allegedly an intelligent man, fawns revoltingly over 16 year old, abused Saint Greta Thunberg and promotes in parliament the idea that we have a ‘Climate Emergency’. And this is a man tipped as the next Prime Minister.

    When will the people who have promoted and profited (and still profit) from this blatant scam be knocked from the teat of taxpayers’ and energy user’s money?

    Don’t hold your breath.

    If a pessimist is someone who thinks things will get worse, an optimist (in the UK at least) is someone who thinks things can’t get any worse.

  6. Think about it, Nick. That can’t be correct; it’s like over 7 thousand 6 hundred 1 GW Nukey Power plants.

    I’m wondering how many acres of land that would require.

  7. Just a tad, … uh, …… off-continent, …….. but why no US news or commentary about the “weather effect” of the past 8 to 10 days of violent storms and tornadoes across the Midwest and northeast (Ind, Oh, Pa, NY) on the electrical power producing potential of installed solar panels and wind turbines?

    Surely there was “millions in damage” to wind turbines alone.

    • When your auto is up-side-down in your pool, and your house and belongings are spread downwind for 3 miles, and your street has no power poles standing, the ” power producing potential of installed solar panels and wind turbines” is not foremost on your mind.
      Nor on the minds of those reporting on the aftermath of the storms.

      Look for such a report in September.

      • John F., your posted comment, of course, was 100% correct, ……. but had nothing whatsoever to do with the question I asked. You might as well have written about the past Superbowl.

        John, what I was basically asking, if at some time in the near future, a 100% “green energy” dependent locale (wind turbines or solar panels) ……. suffered horrific destruction due to violent rain/hail storms and/or tornadoes, …….. how many months would the residents be without electricity while said destroyed wind turbines or solar panels were being replaced?

        Do you remember this:

        It took 11 months to restore power to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. A similar crisis could happen again.

        And Puerto Rico is not 100% “green”.

  8. It’s a good thing wind and solar energy are free because otherwise, that could have disasterous economic consequences. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

  9. The time will come when people are prosecuted for this insane & dishonest policy.

    • Maybe that chap who has taken Boris Johnston to court will come forward. He’s obviously motivated by nothing more than a sincere search for the truth. (And I mean that ‘most sincerely’, folks.)

  10. So, grid scale renewable energy is a chimera. The other way to reduce anthropogenic CO2 is to massively reduce the energy consumed by everybody. Let’s see how support for the Greens does when people are forced to reduce their energy consumption by 9/10.

    Our civilization relies on energy. Remove energy and you remove civilization. That’s the choice.

  11. Devastating analysis. Just devastating. Collectively, human beings are so stupid it beggars belief. I become more convinced by the month that we’ll almost certainly destroy ourselves, or at least hurl ourselves back into the stone age, mostly likely by nuclear war..

  12. Anyone have any idea where Denmark fits into the picture. As I understand it they are almost totally dependent on Weather Dependent sources and as such have the most expensive electricity in Europe, although closely followed by Germany.

    Also I’m sure that the late Prof David Mackay, (former chef scientific advisor of the Department of Energy) wasn’t really a chef, but maybe the chief.

    • As I understand it they are almost totally dependent on Weather Dependent sources …

      That mischaracterizes the situation. Denmark is connected to the European grid and depends on that for its reliable supply of electricity. Without the grid connection, there’s no way Denmark could get away with that much renewable energy. The other thing is that Denmark is tiny. It’s less than one percent of the population of Europe. As such, it doesn’t represent a significant proportion of the overall grid.

  13. the plots show growth.
    the text says gigawatts.
    need to know a time period for the growth

    “The UK is a world leader in Offshore wind power with total installation of ~8GW, a larger fleet even than Germany. … But Offshore installations have halved in 2018 to about 1GW per annum.”

    so the growth is 1GW/annum?

    looking at nuclear it would be impossible to achieve this.

    Hinkley nuke
    “According to December 2017 estimates, Hinkley is being built for £20.3bn by 2025, to be paid over a 35 year period.” 6 years 2 GW

    “EDF has negotiated a guaranteed fixed price – a “strike price”– for electricity from Hinkley Point C of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices),[23][70] which will be adjusted (linked to inflation) during the construction period and over the subsequent 35 years tariff period.”
    “Research carried out by Imperial College Business School argues that no new nuclear power plants would be built in the UK without government intervention”
    “In December 2013, Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and CEO of Ineos … warned of the Hinkley Point C project: ‘Forget it. Nobody in manufacturing is going to go near £95 per MWh’.[“

    • You do understand the reason for the £95 per MWh?
      It is to level the playing field with Renewables of course, who would be stupid enough to invest money in anything that does not have the same level of support?

      You obviously have a down on Nuclear which is still 1/3rd of the cost of renewables over 60 years, nothing to say about Gas at 1/10th of the cost?

    • “Research carried out by Imperial College Business School argues that no new nuclear power plants would be built in the UK without government intervention”

      It’s hard to see how any infrastructure will be built in the UK without government intervention.
      Do you expect to see unsubsidised windfarms or solar arrays?
      We just have to choose what we need to subsidise. ‘Reliables’ or ‘Unreliabales’?

      Trick question: It’s ‘Reliables’ or ‘Unreliabales with the Reliables as well for backup’.

    • ‘so the growth is 1GW/annum?
      looking at nuclear it would be impossible to achieve this. ‘
      Sheesh Ghalfrunt – look at your own link from EDF.
      Nuclear capacity connected in the UK in…

      1983 Heysham A 1.1GW
      1983 Hartlepool 1.2GW
      1983 Dungeness B 1.1GW
      1988 Heysham B 1.2GW
      1988 Torness 1.19GW

      Over 5GW in 5 years. 30 years ago.
      Cherry picked? Look at the French – 56 reactors in 15 years. Or the US – 100GW built between 1965 and 1990 more or less. Or the Swedes – who commissioned over 8GW between 1980 and 1985. What’s stopping us building up-dated, safer, more efficient, cheaper even versions of these antiques? You tell me.

      • ok, uk needs another reactor now. to replace aging junk.
        when would this come online?

        Why will private industry not build reactors without large backhanders?

        why is nuclear costing 3 times more per kWh?

        • Private industry has seen what a political knee jerk reaction did to German nuclear power.
          Nuclear is cheaper than renewables, but is more expensive than gas simply because of over regulation.

          Coal is completely uneconomic in the UK, purely because of regulation.

          • Leo Smith May 31, 2019 at 6:43 pm
            Nuclear is cheaper than renewables, but is more expensive than gas simply because of over regulation.
            —————————-
            Part of a gas cooling plant got burned ( https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2014-10-19/massive-fire-at-didcot-power-station/ )

            no massive evacuation no damage to surrounding area.
            compare this to:
            The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain’s history, … there was a release of radioactive contamination that spread across the UK and Europe… Milk from about 500 square kilometres (190 sq mi) of nearby countryside was diluted and destroyed for about a month.
            All this from a fire.
            Humans cannot know every possible outcome of a design. REGULATIONS are there to try to PROTECT the environment from what is known and wgat is feasible. There will still be mistakes human or otherwise, and so the danger is hopefully contained in an “uncessarily” safe vessel.

            The UK does not have vast open spaces. Any accident will seriously affect large population.

            Regulations on WEC sitings are necessary too. noise /sun flicker/bird migration/ etc should all be considered when planning is sort

            REGULATIONS ARE NECESSARY!

          • Take as an example critical aircraft systems, No one would allow a single point of failure in a critical aircraft function. Multiple redundancy is always used despite the cost. This is due to REGULATION.

            Oh! hang on, what did I just read about a couple of aircraft crashes?

          • And yet not a single person died as a result of that fire. Nuclear has the best safety record of *all* forms of energy even with the handful of “big disasters” like the one you cite. And notice the British nuclear industry has not has a repeat of the Windscale fire in any of the decades since. Why? because humans can and do learn from past mistakes. Such accidents are investigated and safety measures added in the wake of such accidents.

          • Also
            Part of a gas cooling plant got burned ( https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2014-10-19/massive-fire-at-didcot-power-station/ )

            no massive evacuation no damage to surrounding area.

            The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain’s history, …

            “No one was evacuated from the surrounding area” I wonder why you didn’t quote that part of the wiki article that you lifted your text from? Hmmm?

            REGULATIONS ARE NECESSARY!

            No one is claiming otherwise. However, *OVER REGULATION* is not necessary, and is indeed counter productive.

        • ok, uk needs another reactor now. to replace aging junk.
          when would this come online?

          Why will private industry not build reactors without large backhanders?

          If the UK is anything like the US: Over regulation and endless nuisance lawsuits from the econuts making it virtually impossible to build one in a timely, cost effective manner. Every legal delay adds to the costs greatly – not just from court costs and legal fees but because time is money – companies need to take out loans to finance the large projects (such as building a new power plant) that still have to be paid back on schedule even when the operations have been ground to a halt waiting for the legal hurdles to be over come (which also means taking out more loans down the road each time a legal hurdle is cleared and work can begin again only to have the next econut nuisance lawsuit gum up the works all over again)

    • Hinkley point is still cheaper than wind or solar and remember that wind installations only produce an average of 30% of their capacity, whereas nuclear is three times that.

  14. And of course the green blob will continue to use the nameplate rating of wind and solar, rather than the appallingly lower actual delivery. Eight to 20 percent of nominal is quite a difference.

    • Perhaps a bit worse. In the U.S. where annual average capacity factors are routinely reported as 45%, and future projections are higher yet, the actual capacity factors in places during July and August droop to 15%–right during peak demand for electrical power. Yet, the FERC in its assessments of markets and reliability adds new renewables at nameplate ratings.

      The green blob is one thing–the FERC and other government ought to be connected directly to reality.

  15. It’s not about CO2.

    One faction, European leadership, is motivated by political power. The other main faction, the environmentalists, are motivated by the need for meaning to existence…in the form of regular dopamine secretions to make them feel good often enough…every time they think about the “goodness” of their renewable energy efforts…and every time they think about how much they hate Climate Deniers. We actually give meaning to their lives! (and we get dopamine “hits” when we read WUWT)

    If it were about CO2, simple 4th grade math calculations demand either impoverished deindustrialization…or rapid nuclear power implementation. (Germany actually decommissioned working nuclear plants!!)

    The Europeans are also NOT incessantly and loudly demanding that ASIA put the brakes on CO2 emissions. If they really believed in CO2 catastrophe, they would either demand action in Asia…and/or…assist Asia in a massive Nuclear build program beginning THIS DECADE. Else, the necessary CO2 emissions targets cannot be achieved.

    The leaders in Europe cannot really believe in CO2 catastrophe. Same for the US Alarmists. If the Settled Science is correct (it isn’t) , the earth is doomed by their inaction ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN NUMBERS.

  16. This article makes it obvious that windmills and solar are not going to be able to properly power society.

    The only real path to a fully-functioning society and a reduction in CO2 is to go the gas-to-nuclear route. The alarmists/greens need to get used to nuclear.

    I’m not personally advocating reducing CO2 as I don’t see it as a problem, but if others do, then nuclear is the way to go using natural gas as a transition which will also reduce CO2.

    Windmills and Solar are an expensive Dead-End. More and more people are waking up to this fact.

    • It takes the slow learners longer to grasp the reality of energy demand. The futility of wind and solar i.e. the systems preferred by the Greens is constantly being highlighted as inadequate unreliable and expensive, but still they demand more of the failed systems be built.
      Every now and again a Green sees the light and realises, they have been championing the wrong option all their lives. Unfortunately they find it too embarrassing to come out and actually declare their new found wisdom.
      What they do, is find some other Green area to concentrate their misplaced Green efforts on.
      The latest is, let’s ban plastic. It has taken over from sea level rise, due to the absence of any unusual sea level rise. When the said Green activist requires a blood transfusion or an intravenous drip be administered to save their lives, I suspect their simple anti plastic demand will be sidelined.

  17. The UK has a cloudy northerly climate, this results in the worst capacity factor in Europe averaging only ~8%, probably the lowest Solar performance factor globally.

    And yet Ed Davey is still the front-runner to be the next leader of his party.

    • That is not surprising. The LibDems have never been considered rational, sensible or trustworthy, when it comes to energy policy. So, putting a champion of failed and flawed energy policy up for leader, is normal for them.

  18. And here I thought wind was a joke. Turns out solar in Europe is even more useless…

  19. It looks like the so-called ‘Renewables’ are not that reliable, affordable, or even renewable. They are good for an increase in the use of ‘fossil’ fuels, however.

    • nicholas tesdorf

      It looks like the so-called ‘Renewables’ are not that reliable, affordable, or even renewable. They are good for an increase in the use of ‘fossil’ fuels, however.

      Renewables succeed at several things – but you are correct, generating reliable energy is not any one of those things.
      1. They generate billions of dollars of income to the companies who have “friends” in Washington, London, Toronto, Peking-China, Brussels, Berlin and Paris.
      2. To those who oppose supporting “friendly relations” with the politicians in Washington, London, Toronto, Peking-China, Brussels, Berlin and Paris, renewables succeed in helping to destroy unfriendly business and industries by funneling tax credits, research money, tax incentives and tax writeoffs, and contracts to the “friends” while creating massive amounts “good public relations”.
      3. They make liberal-socialists feed “good.”
      4. They “sound good” – and so make “dirty industries” look even worse.

  20. The article’s title is deceiving. A slower rate of growth cannot be construed as a decline. Deceleration is more correct.

  21. All the dependence on intermittent “renewables” compels one to acknowledge this truth: “There is none so blind as he who _will_ not see.” Why and how do such people get elected?

  22. Get back to me in, oh, say five years, and let’s see if these “straight line” projections prove out.

    I want, at that time too, a detailed list of the newly “stranded assets” the power industry has on its books.

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