The excess costs of Weather Dependent Renewable power generation in the EU(28): 2020

Reposted from edmdotme

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These straightforward calculations are intended to answer the simple question:

“roughly how much would it cost to generate the same amount of power as is produced by the present fleet of EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Nuclear or Gas-firing) ? and how do those figures compare ?”.

Accordingly the post quantifies the scale of the fiscal waste and the burdens on utility bills attributable to the use of EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2019.  It combines the comparative costs of generation technologies, published by the US Energy Information Administration in 2020 with information on the Nameplate rating of installed EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2019.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2019 is accessed from EurObserv’ER.

According to this costing model, the approximate EU(28):

  • capital cost commitment to the current EU Renewables installed is ~520 €billion:  of which the excess costs over Gas-firing is ~450 €billion and ~85 €billion over the costs of Nuclear.
  • long-term cost commitment of the current EU(28) Renewables generation of ~65Gigawatts installed is ~2,000 €billion: of which the excess costs over Gas-firing is ~1,800 €billion and ~980 €billion over the costs of Nuclear power.

As can be seen later, these estimates show that using Weather Dependent Renewables in the EU(28) costs 7 –  9 times as much as using Natural Gas for electricity generation and about 1.2 – 2 times as much as Nuclear power.

The impact of the poor productivity of Weather Dependent Renewables is shown in these two pie charts:

Screenshot 2020-07-07 at 10.25.23.png

The EU(28) installed Weather Dependent Renewables amount to ~344GW of Nameplate capacity but produced the equivalent of 65GW over the last year, a productivity level of ~19% overall.

Comparative Costing Model for Electricity Generation Technologies

The comparative costings are derived from US  EIA data updated in January 2020.

The values used in this model ignore the “EIA Technological optimism factor” above, which would adversely affect the comparative costs of Offshore wind, (by about 9€billion/Gigawatt: long-term) and to a much less extent Nuclear power.  These costs are summarised and translated into €billion/Gigawatt in the table below.

The US EIA table quotes the overnight capital costs of each technology and the above table condenses the total costs of the technology when maintained in operation for 60 years expressed as €billion/Gigawatt.  60 years is chosen for these comparisons as it should be close the service life of current generation of Nuclear installations.

The above comparative data should realistically avoid the distorting effects of Government fiscal and subsidy policies supporting Weather Dependent Renewable Energy, whereby it might be claimed that Renewables can reach cost parity with conventional generation technologies.  The promoters of Weather Dependent Renewables always seem to conveniently forget their productivity differentials with conventional dispatchable power generation.

The service life allocated for Renewables used above may well be generous, particularly for Offshore Wind and Solar Photovoltaics.  The production capability of all Renewable technologies have been shown to progressively deteriorate significantly over their service life.

Recent 2020 EIA updates fully account for any cost reductions or underbids for Renewable technology, particularly those for Solar panels.  The costs of solar panels themselves may be reducing but this price reduction can only affect about 1/4 of the installation costs, these are mainly made up of the other costs of Solar installations, those ancillary costs remain immutable.   

It is hoped therefore that these results give a valid comparative analysis of the true cost effectiveness of Weather Dependent Renewables.  It should be noted that unlike real microprocessor technologies “Moore’s Law” cannot be applied to Solar Panels.  As the Solar energy they collect is dilute and diffuse, in order to be effective they have to be of large scale, so the progressive miniaturisation of “Moores Law” is irrelevant to Solar PV technology.

However the actual costs of power generation shown above do not account for the productivity of the generation technologies.  The table below therefore shows the true comparative cost of the Weather Dependent Renewables, when accounting for the productivity of the generation technologies as achieved in 2019.

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In addition that these comparative figures are underestimates of the true costs of using Weather Dependent Renewables.  The results above only account for the cost comparisons for capital and running costs of the generation installations themselves and the actual electrical power generated accounting for the measured productivity capability of each generating technology.  Thus these figures represent the true comparative cost of the power produced by Weather Dependent Renewables installations.

The costs projected here ignore the ancillary costs inevitably associated with Wind power and Solar Renewables resulting from:

  • unreliability in terms of both power intermittency and power variability
  • the non-dispatchablity of Renewables:  the wind will not blow and clouds will not clear away to order when needed
  • poor timing of power generation, often unlikely to be coordinated with demand:  for example Solar energy is virtually absent in winter, 1/9th of the output than in the summer period of lower demand
  • long transmission lines to remote generators, incurring both costly power losses in transmission and increased maintenance
  • additional infrastructure necessary for access
  • the costs of essential back up generation only used on occasions but wastefully running in spinning reserve nonetheless
  • any consideration of electrical storage using batteries, which would impose very significant additional costs, were long-term, (a few days), battery storage even economically feasible
  • unsynchronised generation with lack of inherent inertia to maintain grid frequency
  • Weather Dependent Renewables cannot be relied upon to provide a “black start” recovery from a major grid outage

Importantly in addition these cost analyses do not account for:

  • inevitable environmental damage and wildlife destruction resulting from Weather Dependent Renewables
  • The “Carbon footprint” of Weather Dependent Renewable technologies:  they may never save as much CO2 during their service life as they are likely to require for their materials sourcing, manufacture, installation, maintenance and eventual demolition.  When viewed in the round, all these activities are entirely dependent on the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels as feedstocks or as fuels.
  • The Energy Return on Energy Invested:  Weather Dependent Renewables may well not produce as much Energy during their service life as was needed for their original manufacture and installation.  They certainly do not provide the regular excess power sufficient to support the multiple needs of a developed society.

Renewables K.O.-ed by EROI?

Comparative Costings for Renewable Generation technologies in Europe

The table above gave a capital valuation of the current 2020 EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables fleet at ~500 €billion with probable ongoing costs of ~2,000 €billion.  Overall in EU(28) this Renewables investment accounts for ~35% of the nameplate generation capacity but only provides ~8% of the actual power contribution.  This is approximately twice the cost of providing the same power output with Nuclear power stations and more than 11 times the cost of using Gas-firing for equivalent power generation.

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The three tables above show how the different Renewable technologies contribute to the Government mandated excess costs overall in Europe.

The three tables above show how the different Renewable technologies contribute to the Government mandated excess costs overall in Europe.

Onshore Wind power is the most cost effective Weather Dependent Renewable technology.  In general it is just 10% cheaper than Nuclear power in capital spend and is only about 1.4 times as expensive in the long-term.  However this cost differential does not account for the problem of Weather Dependent non-dipatachability.  Onshore wind power is only about ~6 times more costly in capital and long-term spend than Gas-firing.

Offshore wind power is the least cost-effective being some 2 – 3 times more costly than Nuclear but in the region of 11 – 15 times more costly than Gas-firing.

Solar PV is slightly more cost effective than Offshore wind power being 1.6 – 2.6 times more costly than Nuclear to install and 10 – 12 times more costly than Gas-firing in the long-term.

Offshore wind and Solar PV together are responsible for more than 60% of the excess costs of the EU(28) Renewables fleet even though they are responsible for only ~37% of the Renewable power output produced.  

These significant excess costs represent the wastage imposed on the European population both via direct taxation by supporting subsidies to Weather Dependent Renewables and then also added to utility bills Europe wide by the Government mandates imposing Renewables on European electricity generation.  That wastage amounts to a very regressive tax burden imposed on the poorest in European society.  It is leading to ever increasing Europe-wide “Energy Poverty”.

Participation and Costs to Individual European Nations

The primary Nations involved with Weather Dependent Renewables in the EU(28) and their local commitments amounting in total to ~344GW installed are shown graphically below.  These results are based on up to date EurObserve’ER information and 2020 comparative cost information from US  EIA.

The name plate value of  the 2020 EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewable installations reported by EurObserv’ER  is shown below:

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Accordingly Germany as a result of its long-term”die Energiewende”policy has about about 3 times the commitment to Renewables of other European Nations.

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The comparative take-up of EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables by individual Nations in 2020 as measured by Gigawatts of nameplate capacity per million head of population is shown below.

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The National contributions to the ~500 bn€+ capital investment in Weather Dependent Renewables is shown below:

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The National contributions to the likely ~2,000 billion€+ long-term expenditure on EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables is shown below:

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The recently recorded cost differentials between Generation technologies, when accounting for their productivity, is shown below:

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A more detailed assessment of UK Weather Dependent Renewables is shown here.

Details of the excess costs by individual European Nations is included here.

Comparisons to Gas-firing

At ~1.1bn€ / Gigawatt in capital costs and ~3.5bn€ / Gigawatt for the 60 year long-term, the use of natural gas is the most cost effective and efficient means of power generation currently available.  In comparison with Gas-firing the additional capital costs that are incurred by each Renewable technology in the principle European countries committing to Renewables.

These excess costs calculations indicate of the scale additional costs that burden the economies of individual European Nations according to the US  EIA 2020 data and recorded Weather Dependent Renewable productivity figures shown above, these total ~450 bn€ in capital costs. 

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The long-term excess costs in comparison to the use of Gas-firing amount to ~1,800bn€ distributed as shown below.

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Comparison to Nuclear power

At ~6.7bn€ / Gigawatt in capital costs and ~16.1bn€ / Gigawatt for the 60 year long-term, Nuclear power is an effective and efficient means of consistent power generation with nil CO2 emissions and low land take.  In capital cost terms Onshore wind power can be nominally cost competitive, however that comparison is just for total power output which does account the intermittent and variable performance of Renewable Wind power, which make real difficulties for Grid reliability.

These excess costs calculations indicate of the scale additional costs that burden the economies of individual European Nations according to the US  EIA 2020 data and recorded Weather Dependent Renewable productivity figures shown above, these total ~85 bn€ in capital costs.  However Offshore Wind power and Solar voltaics impose significant capital cost burdens when compared with Nuclear power. 

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The long-term excess costs in comparison to the use of Nuclear power amount to ~980 bn€ distributed as shown below.

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These straightforward calculations show the scale of immediate and long-term costs associated with Weather Dependent Renewables across the EU(28).  They amount to a capital sum in excess of 500 billion€ and a sum exceeding 2,000 billion€. were they to be maintained for the long-term, for ~10% of the EU(28) power production.

The capital costs of replacing the full 65GW of European Renewable generation output with reliable, dispatchable Gas-fired generation would be ~71 billion€ and the whole 600GW European Generation capability could be replaced by Gas-firing for ~660 billion€.  CO2 emissions from Gas-firing are 1/2 those from coal-firing and about 1/3 of those from the burning of Biomass.

The benefit of these expenditures on Weather Dependent Renewables is the replacement of about 10% of European power output capacity by “nominally” CO2 neutral technologies.  Electrical power generation results in about 1/4 of the total CO2 emissions output from Europe.

In 2019 Europe emitted 3,330 million tonnes of CO2, ~9.7% of the Global CO2 emissions.  Accordingly at ~10% of ~25% of 3,330 million tonnes, the Renewable expenditures are being made to avert an annual maximum of ~83 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.  Thus the CO2 emissions savings achieved from European Weather Dependent Renewables are as follows:

  • of the 2019 European CO2 emissions 3,330 million tonnes     ~2.5%
  • of the 2019 Global CO2 emissions  34,164 million tonnes     ~0.24 %
  • of the 2019 CO2 emissions growth growth from developing world 504 million tonnes    ~16%

So the question should be asked “does the capital commitment of ~1/2 trillion€ and the probable future expenditures of ~2 trillion€ to replace ~10% of European power output and to avert ~2.5% of European CO2 emissions make economic good sense ?”

If the objectives of using Weather Dependent Renewables were not confused with possibly “saving the planet” from the output of the diminishing EU(28) proportion of CO2 emissions, their actual cost, their 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.

The whole annual EU(28) CO2 emissions output will eventually be far surpassed just by the annual growth of CO2 emissions across China and the Developing world.

It is essential to ask the question what is the actual value of these EU and government mandated excess expenditures in the Western world to the improvement of the Global environment and for the value of perhaps preventing undetectable temperature increases by the end of the century, especially in a context where the Developing world will be increasing its CO2 emissions to attain it’s further enhancement of living standards over the coming decades.

Trying to reduce CO2 emissions as a means to control a “warming” climate seems even less relevant when the long-term global temperature trend has been downwards for last 3 millennia, as the coming end of our current warm and benign Holocene interglacial epoch approaches.

The Context in 2020

In spite of all the noisy Climate Propaganda of the past 30 years, in Spring 2020 the world was faced with a different but very real economic emergency arising from the political reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That emergency, with the world facing global economic breakdown as well as the immediate death of many elder citizens, should put the futile, self-harming and costly Government mandated attempts to control future climate into stark perspective.  This real pandemic emergency and the self-harming reactions to it clearly shows how irrelevant concerns over probably inconsequential “Climate Change” in a distant future truly are.

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Ron Long
July 8, 2020 6:26 am

Alex, I’ll take “Costs more and doesn’t work”? for a $ trillion. What is green weenie nonsense renewable energy? Where can I collect my payoff? Hello? Hello?

Reply to  Ron Long
July 9, 2020 4:30 am

What is somewhat discordant is the claims the Greens can not win the public argument about global warming yet the “renewable” energy to reduce CO2 still gets billions and billions.

Loren C. Wilson
July 8, 2020 6:27 am

Even if installing more wind and solar could temporarily supply all of a country’s energy needs for a day, you would still need a nearly full set of fossil or nuclear-fueled backups for the days when the wind doesn’t blow at the correct speed, or the sun doesn’t shine. The power is intermittent, and we can’t have the lights turn off or lose power while people are in an elevator or in the hospital. Even if this were a once-a-month event, full back-up is still required.

Robert W. Turner
July 8, 2020 6:37 am

The lifespan of renewables is 30 years max, closer to 15 for wind, so you can probably at least double their 60 year costs.

Tilak K Doshi
July 8, 2020 7:15 am

Extremely useful series of true costs comparisons and the wastefulness of the European “green” initiatives. Much appreciated! Perhaps one useful statistic not shown here is the cost of CO2 emission avoided per ton — then we can compare this to the proclaimed “social cost of carbon” if you accept some of the integrated assessment models (IAMs) out there including the famed DICE model of Nobel Laureate Nordhaus– assuming further that you believe the CO2 as control knob of climate “theory” in the first place. Thank you.

David A
July 8, 2020 7:18 am

“the question should be asked “does the capital commitment of ~1/2 trillion€ and the probable future expenditures of ~2 trillion€ to replace ~10% of European power output and to avert ~2.5% of European CO2 emissions make economic good sense ?””

Great post. And for those challenged to answer such an easy question, perhaps they could buy a hint by asking how much lower the GAT will be in 2100 if this tremendous waste in capital is spent. 1/500 of a degree C? How much lower will sea levels be; 1/50 of one mm?

True answers are likely zero, and certainly well beyond our ability to quantify.

Reply to  David A
July 9, 2020 5:41 am

Well there you have it. The worth of this investment in Weather Dependent Renewables on the planet’s climate is immeasurable! Full speed ahead!

July 8, 2020 7:34 am

As the amount of wind and solar is increased, they will be forced to build in ever more marginal sites.
In other words, average productivity will go down. This will require even more wind and solar to be built than these figures suggest.

Curious George
July 8, 2020 7:39 am

Charles, thanks for reposting this report with a lot of data. But there is not a graph showing the promised excess costs. The first table shows among other things an excess of “Estimated overnight capital cost”, which does not tell tell me much.

Tilak K Doshi
July 8, 2020 7:41 am

Great stuff, the sheer waste of green investments in Europe well revealed. One useful statistic missing — the cost of a ton of co2 avoided (even without taking into account full cycle costs of solar and wind where fossil fuels are used to mine for minerals and rare earths and to manufacture the solar panels and the windmills). This cost can then be compared to the claimed “social cost of carbon” assuming one accepts the integrated assessment models out there (eg. Nordhaus’ DICE model). And further assuming that one accepts the co2 as control knob of climate in the first place. Very useful set of numbers for reference all in all.

July 8, 2020 7:48 am

And we’re now seeing what happens to those who observe “the (renewables) emperor has no clothes”

Just ask Michael Moore.

Reply to  Mr.
July 8, 2020 8:16 am

He’s no longer green about Green and that’s cost him some green.

Alan Chappell
Reply to  Mr.
July 9, 2020 1:19 am

First things first,
you have to teach politicians to thiMk
Now that’s an impossibly.

Brooks Hurd
July 8, 2020 8:01 am

Both the US and the EU are proving that climate virtue signalling is extremely expensive as well as ineffective. The cost are paid directly by the public in much higher electricity costs as well as indirectly by their taxes to cover the subsidies which allow these inefficient renewable systems to be constructed.

Reply to  Brooks Hurd
July 8, 2020 9:48 pm

Yes and we also need to consider how much energy is used, in order for the European tax payers to generate that needed billion or two. That’s a lot of work, factories producing stuff, people driving around, etc.

July 8, 2020 8:10 am

The excess costs of weather dependent generation? You couldn’t measure it all in a lifetime-

These idiots are serious. That’s like worrying about national fuel security and instead of paying for mass storage-
we’re going to buy a fleet of ICE cars for their gas tank capacity and have a study into how effective that will be ameliorating the problem.

July 8, 2020 8:14 am

And the blight factor. Keep our oceans blue, our meadows green, not Green.

Chop a windmill, save an endangered bird or bat.

Andy Pattullo
July 8, 2020 8:24 am

This is an excellent and objective analysis of costs and energy returns. It is generous towards the renewables in that so many of the additional costs and limitations have been kept aside though properly mentioned in the discussion. It makes it clear that there was never any rational reason for governments to write policies supporting renewables or for taxpayers’ funds to be squandered on them. So the punchline that is so obvious to all the sane rational folks reading this is that politics and public sentiment left rationality many years ago and have descended into pseudo-religious fervour about vague fears of Armageddon. It is clear they have been helped along by anti capitalist, anti west, anti humanist groups who would celebrate the collapse of modern civilization for whatever reason, and aided by the greed and indifference of those who profit from this shambles. George Orwell’s 1984, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the recent history of Venezuela’s self destruction are all worth a re-read at this point in time.

July 8, 2020 8:26 am

Using renewables is like employing people who only turn up when they feel like it, but are paid a top whack salary regardless of the work they do.
You have to pay other people a retainer to cover when the others don’t turn up, paying them a lower wage to do the work not done by the others.
Renewables should have to contract to supply a certain amount of power, and if they overproduce they should have to cut back output or accept a lower price like any other producer, whether of cars or corn.
If they do not supply, then they should be in the same position as a farmer who has a poor yield and cannot supply his contracted tonnage. The corn merchant hang charges the farmer for the missing tonnage at the spot price.

Reply to  StephenP
July 8, 2020 9:44 am

Yes the main problem with the renewables deal is that the consumers who have to pay the price do not get a seat at the negotiating table when contracts are being issued for supply.

These deals are a love-in for politicians, activists and bureaucrats being duchessed by the renewables carpetbaggers.

July 8, 2020 8:49 am

“Chop a windmill”
Don’t worry they all get the chop every 20-25 years-
We don’t talk about half lives with turbine blades as it’s not polite.

Reply to  observa
July 9, 2020 7:06 am

But half-lives matter…..

July 8, 2020 9:45 am

“Nuclear” as stated here (conventional light water) is becoming totally obsolete with the advent of molten salt smalll modular reactors, which not only cost less than half as much to build and operate, but also save by their ability to load follow, which conventional nuclear cannot do. This ability vastly reduces the need for (duplicate) auxillery power generators, as well as reduced need for maintenance and inspections and there is also no need for refueling shutdowns, which adds another 5% plus to its cost advantage. Molten salt reactors also supply power from closer to their customers,resulting in less
transfer losses. It is likely to bt 5 to 6 times cheaper than renewables such as wind/solar.

Reply to  ColMosby
July 8, 2020 10:23 am

They haven’t even built one yet, but you are proclaiming that they are going to be cheaper to build and operate?

Reply to  MarkW
July 8, 2020 1:25 pm

Didn’t Americans build one back in the 70s or 80s, but the challenge was to address progressive corrosion of the water supply pipes?

Reply to  n.n
July 8, 2020 3:10 pm

They built a small one on a lab bench somewhere that ran for a few weeks.

Amos E. Stone
Reply to  n.n
July 9, 2020 4:59 am

n.n. – the only two ever built were the frankly alarming Aircraft Reactor Experiment (the second experiment, nicknamed Fireball, was never actually operated) and this one:

I’m not anti the concept, and the thing ran for 5 years apparently, with loads of good science and engineering coming out of the experiment. But it didn’t generate even a Watt of electricity for a grid, and wasn’t very big either. No-one has built one since. Col goes on as if we just need to pick one off the shelf and plug it in.

“Our problem is not that our idea is a poor one –rather it is different from the main line, and has too chemical a flavor to be fully appreciated by non-chemists.” — Alvin Weinberg … and that’s still true.

MarkW – beat me to it and 🙂 for your later comment!

Amos E. Stone
Reply to  ColMosby
July 8, 2020 10:36 am

Col – molten salt reactors only exist on powerpoint slides. Why do you keep using the present tense? When someone builds one we will know if your assertions are true.

BTW some existing reactors can load follow – it just makes no economic sense to do that. Gas can do it better. I suggest that molten salt reactors will end up running flat out just like PWRs for the same reason. And good luck with the NIMBYs siting them close to centres of population.

Reply to  Amos E. Stone
July 8, 2020 1:28 pm

I suspect that he’s the guy with the powerpoint slides.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  ColMosby
July 14, 2020 12:21 am

ColMosby, you state, “with the advnt of molten salt small modular reactors…. I to look forward to the advent by know enough about energy projects to state”
Proposing molten salt reactors as the energy answer is a distraction, no better than the current effort to replace “fossil fuels” with sunshine and breezes. Surely no serious student of MSR technology would suggest first commercial operation prior to 2035. Accelerated testing methods of the corrosion resistant materials required will not satisfy regulators much less investors. Such testing over a 5 or more likely 10 year period may find the “best” materials but the “best” materials need to last 40 years to be commercial. Realistically, the only hope we have for phasing in nuclear technology from 2030-2050 is NuScale’ small scale modular reactors. Don’t doubt it (IMHO).

July 8, 2020 10:14 am

In Ontario, we have two heroes who have done careful analysis of the large scale renewables, which were brought in by the Liberal government.

Parker Gallant has published at Energy Perspectives:

Scott Luft publishes at Cold Air: Analysis and commentary on energy, environment, and politics

The long term contracts have locked the ratepayers of Ontario into wasting their money for twenty years. The Liberal government responsible for this mess lost their seat in the last election. They were “decimated”. And yet, the Conservative government, elected on the promise to end this stupidity, still hasn’t figured out how to cancel these long term contracts.

Reply to  Sommer
July 8, 2020 9:18 pm

It’s what they do locking their mates rates slushfunding into reforming governments for decades.
The Rudd Labor Gummint did the same in Oz and the contractual break penalties mean it’s a fait accompli.

July 8, 2020 11:53 am

This is way too long to present to any new-green-deal wavering friends.
Is there a Summary for Decision Makers available?

Reply to  joel
July 8, 2020 12:30 pm


Yes, the summary was accidentally missed out, but it’s here;

‘ Renewables don’t do what they claim on the very expensive tin’


July 8, 2020 2:25 pm

Biden has a plan.

Robert of Texas
July 8, 2020 2:47 pm

I read in the Wall Street Journal today that both Wind and Solar are now cheaper forms of energy than gas. That they no longer use subsidies except for power transmission lines.

After choking on my coffee and picking myself off the ground I got to wondering how a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal could publish such obvious drivel.

As usual, there are a mountain of bad assumptions built into the writer’s dementia. They compare only capital costs, they assume the entire life-span of the proposed project will be met, and they assume the maintenance costs are correctly calculated. They also assume the production will be at maximum, ignore the costs of the new extensive power transmission lines, and ignore the “backup” costs for when the wind or sun is not cooperating (so the spare gas powered facility capacity they rely on), and seem to ignore the state and federal subsidies still used for such projects – including states requiring a certain percentage of electrical come from “green” sources.

In reality, the actual lifetime of the facility is usually less (but up to 50%), the maximum output falls over time and is rarely the proposed value, and maintenance costs are almost always higher after about 4 to 5 years.

You got to wonder how journalists manage to earn a degree with such in depth analysis as they use.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 14, 2020 12:33 am

Robert about Texas, About six years ago the WSJ hired a lady from the Washington Post to head up their editorial department. As a longtime reader I noticed a sudden change in their editorial page. After a little investigation I learned of their change in staff and subsequently cancelled my subscription….and never looked back. Not as horrible as the NYT or WP but close by now I would guess but I have no way of knowing as I haven’t read an issue for six years.

Pat Swords
July 8, 2020 3:17 pm

There is an easier way of doing this, just follow the scientific method. The EU believed the hypothesis that renewables reduced CO2 emissions, so spent a trillion Euros on over a 100,000 wind turbines and considerable PV solar. The US only spent a very little on wind and solar, but modernised its older coal generation to modern gas turbines running efficiently. Both over the same period got a 27% reduction in emissions, but EU electricity rates soared to double US rates.

Not really very clever, but they only executed a few witches in Salem. Ma. However, when the warmer Medieval period went colder in the little ice age, they executed a million witches in Europe, as it was considered that these were responsible for the bad weather and harvests. In the small German town on Bamberg in the coldest period of the little ice age, it was averaging a hundred a year for several years until they ran out of witches or figured the weather was just the same regardless.

Humans have a funny history, they just quickly forget it and do not recognise that there is always some new Kool Aid out there, just different flavours and appearances.

Ronald Bruce
July 8, 2020 4:30 pm

Renewables can never generate enough power to replace themselves in their life time, renewables generate more CO2 to build and operate than equivalent fossil or nuclear plants in their life time. Renewables are the biggest scam ever and are not intended to make the world better they are a stepping stone to world communist domination. Take the red pill people and come to the real world.

Geoff Sherrington
July 8, 2020 6:45 pm

Thank you, edmdotme.
I cannot comprehend why this type of realistic cost comparison has not been performed many times by now, by authors coming from assorted experience and becoming accepted as a standard reference for planners.
Why have we had to accept for so long, the accuracy of hand waves such as renewables are now getting cheaper than fossil fuels or nuclear for grid electricity.
Are there other references that bloggers here can report, using similar inclusive analysis of incidental, but actual in real life, costs? I have looked for 20 years without success, but maybe not hard enough. Geoff S

p.s. a spreadsheet listing all of the relevant cost categories, to be filled by users from different counties with lcal costs would be ever so useful. Only in broad terms is a good start, because as this article shows, the devil is not in the details of small cost differences. It is in the reluctance or refusal of cost analysts to include all required costs. So, publicise the required costs.

Mark Luhman
July 8, 2020 7:03 pm

“The Energy Return on Energy Invested: Weather Dependent Renewables may well not produce as much Energy during their service life as was needed for their original manufacture and installation. They certainly do not provide the regular excess power sufficient to support the multiple needs of a developed society.”

This I have been talking about for years, we need to scream this from all roof tops.

July 8, 2020 9:11 pm

“It is very unfortunate we could not find a solution with our partners to secure a power price reduction aimed at making NZAS a financially viable business,”
‘Greenpeace executive director Dr Russel Norman said the closure would release a huge amount of low-carbon and affordable power back onto the grid, and blew any case for new coal, gas or oil development “completely out of the water”.’
Running out of low hanging fruit cheap hydro there guys?

Reply to  observa
July 8, 2020 10:42 pm

It looks as if the aluminium will be smelted somewhere else, probably using coal fired electricity.
Net reduction in CO2 production, zero!

old white guy
July 9, 2020 2:07 am

Without fossil fuels they will not be able to renew their renewables.

July 9, 2020 2:14 am

The language is being slaughtered.

There are NO current forms of weather dependent renewable energy. NONE of the existing technology can be used to power the processes needed to make the equipment that extracts the energy from wind or insolation.

PLEASE desist from using the term “renewable” when applied to weather dependent forms of electricity generation.

July 9, 2020 4:19 am

Nice to see that all the arguments I first made about ten years ago are now becoming common parlance.

As they say, a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.

July 9, 2020 5:59 pm

Anybody who thinks “unreliables” (the more appropriate term for “renewables”) are cost-competitive with conventional power is delusional; anybody who _claims_ they are is lying.

Dennis G Sandberg
July 14, 2020 12:48 am

Seven to nine times as expensive as “conventional” hmmm, funny how that works, it’s about the same ratio for ethanol vs gasoline (ignoring the cattle feed by-product the Green’s are so proud of). Nice that no one is still pretending that ethanol is a viable transportation fuel replacement. Amazing how the sunshine and breezes crowd are able to perpetuate their fraud. Ten more years? Parish the thought.

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