Schizophrenic German Wind Power Output In August, Plagued By Wild Volatility

Reposted from the No Trick Zone

By P Gosselin on 12. September 2020Share this…

Here’s another example illustrating just how volatile and unreliable wind energy really is.

Wind energy proponents like to claim that although turbines installed on land don’t produce so optimally, the ones at sea are wonderful because the wind there is always blowing and so it all kind of evens out.

The chart below shows the output of all wind turbines installed in Germany, both on land and offshore, from the five major German grid operators:

The dark horizontal line denoting 60,000 MW represents the so-called installed total capacity. Readers will note that less than 10% of rated capacity often gets produced. Only rarely does an output of 33% (20 MW) ever get reached.

180 thoughts on “Schizophrenic German Wind Power Output In August, Plagued By Wild Volatility

  1. Would you buy a generator to run your business that has a performance output like this ?

    Would you buy a car with output performance like this ?

    Why on Earth would you expect to run an economy on it ?

    I’m afraid that frequent grid collapse will be the only medicine that will get the Eco-Loons to see their idea of utopia is dystopian.

    And its coming sooner than you think.

    • You think grid collapse is a bug. Warmunists think it is a feature.

      What they want to do is to impoverish, humiliate, and demoralize the proles. And they are winning.

      • “What they want to do is to impoverish, humiliate, and demoralize the proles.” Or, as Hillary Clinton called them, the deplorables.

      • and yet the German grid is one of the most reliable in the world.

        The 50 Herz German grid company/area was at 60% renewables in 2019.

          • That’s not the case. At certain points of the year the flow is Germany to France and when a large percentage of French nukes were out for maintenance, German nukes kept France going. go look up German power export/imports

          • So the fact that German nukes (which they are trying to get rid of) once in a while provide power to Germany, proves that Germans don’t need French nukes most of the time?

          • Griff,
            Consider this.
            – If the lines between those countries were cut. Which country would be in trouble?
            France with its nuclear power fleet of generation stations?
            Sweden with it hydroelectric?
            or Germany with its windmills?

            And who will be beholden to Moscow when Nordstream 2 becomes the only way to keep the lights on for most Germans?

          • Sweden’s contribution is largely though it’s nuclear fleet but you can add Norwegian hydro to the other suppliers that covers up the German grid instability.

            The net annual flow of power from Germany to France is a misleading homogenization of the second by second fluctuation of the output from Germany’s wind (and solar) farms. It’s as meaningful as homogenization of temperatures over geographic expanses. Plus the fact that France is willing to have a net import of power from Germany shows that the wholesale price in Germany fluctuates wildly (since the pricing in France is very stable with their nuclear backbone) meaning there may be a net flow of power from Germany to France but this is at a cost to Germany since they sell low and buy high.

            If Germany was not surrounded by interconnections, it would have rolling blackouts every other week. Plus they use these other surrounding countries as conduits for power flow from the north to the south as their is intense opposition to building a high capacity interconnector to solidly link the 2 major German grids.

        • Reliant purely on imports.

          Why do you neglect to state that FACT, griff.

          Are deceit and mis-information just part of you being you ?

          • Griff is highly selective in his choice of facts. Not saying he is being deceptive, oh no. But the offensive or inconvenient aren’t suitable for mixed company.

          • Can’t reply to Griff- no more reply buttons
            But, he said, “when a large percentage of French nukes were out for maintenance, German nukes kept France going”

            Gee, you mean German solar and wind farms didn’t aid the French?

        • 1) It’s only reliable because of French nuclear power. How much longer will that be available.
          2) 60% once, for a few minutes, only because it occurred at a time when demand was weak.

          Griff, the Ever Ready Dummy of climate lies.

        • Griff,

          The German net is reliable, thanks to the fact that they still have all their browncoal works running and going up and down with the wind (or in fact opposite with the wind…).
          The stupidity of wind and sun in Germany:
          – They had 110 GW of reliable power, including 20 GW nuclear, the rest mainly (brown)coal.
          – They closed 10 GW of nuclear power under pressure of the Greens.
          – They installed 110 GW of wind and solar (11 times the closed nuclear!).
          – They had near zero CO2 reduction in the past decade after the nuclear closure.
          How is that possible?
          As wind and solar are unreliable, you need 100% (fossil) backup for when there is no wind and sun. If there is too much wind and sun, they dump the excess power in all neighboring countries.
          That means that with an (overblown) average yield of 30%, you go from 12 g CO2/kWh for nuclear (figures IPCC 2014 from craddle to grave) to 330 g CO2/kWh for solar + wind + gas backup. For (brown)coal even worse…

          Figures for German power production and a lot of other interesting items like installed capacity over the years from the Fraunhofer Institute:

          You can change the language to English

        • “and yet the German grid is one of the most reliable in the world.”

          Again and again: countries stabilize their “grid” with exchanges. Look at a map. There are many countries bordering Germany.

          And grid failure was not local last time, and it was provoked by … Germany.

          So everything you say is wrong, meaningless, silly and deluded.

        • Reliable only, because Germany is connected to nearby grids that absorb excess wind and solar, and supply when solar is absent, asleep, dozing, and when wind is

          Germany is a net exporter of electricity, because it sends out more solar and wind, than it imports at other times.

          The German grid could not function without these external connections

          Denmark does exactly the same, except the Danes’ sanity kept them out of money losing solar.

          Denmark is connected to the same grid as Norway, Sweden and Finland, plus to Germany and the Netherlands.

          Those connections minimize the need for battery storage

          • In winter demand is high and Germany can certainly export at a decent price.

            Still, German historical producers at a loss globally, because of depressed energy prices – at the same time, the cost of energy is going through the roof. Something ecoloons are proud of!

      • They have childlike imaginations and reliance on science fiction and fantasy to sustain them Walter. The real world, the one the rest of us live, the world that relies on real objective science, will never conform to their wishes. They tend to throw bigly temper tantrums when their wishes don’t come true and the bureaucrats hate temper tantrums so they throw our money away chasing rainbow gold and unicorn flatulence. The latter being clean and renewal.

    • Wow, it’s worse than we thought !

      I though wind was supposed average about 33% of boiler plate. Though August is not representative of the year, winter is windier. I guess that may be valid over 12m.

      Looking at other info on that site, off-shore is only about 10% of installed boiler plate capacity but provides typically 25% of actual production. I don’t think anyone claims that on-shore and off-shore “even out” since they are strongly correlated. Someone is constructing a strawman there.

      What is claimed to “even out” is solar and wind being largely complementary. For Aug 2018 selected by this critical site, solar does fill the gaps when wind is low or near zero.

      German demand oscillates between 40 GW and 70 GW with the expected daily and week variations.

      There are some interesting graphs on that site , it’s unfortunate that they cherry pick the months you have to look at and don’t give a broader view.

      If the US would stop interfering in the german energy supply, Germany would have massively more nice clean gas to burn when wind is low and thus much better energy security.

      • “If the US would stop interfering in the german energy supply…”
        We should stop that. And withdraw some of our troops too. The Russians will attack when it’s not windy.

      • To give some perspective, Texas used 42 GW on average (annual) in 2018. Our demand varies a lot between winter and our 7 month-long summer. We also export 10%+ power (annualized). Of course, we don’t export any during peak loads so CA can’t buy any from us, contributing to their rolling black-outs.

      • I did a detailed look at the complementary claim of wind a solar, and found it to be completely false for any use. The data was based on datasets.

        • I’ve done similar work on that data, and also the Staffell and Pfenninger 30 year reanalysis based data across Europe. There are very high degrees of correlation across most of Europe for wind and solar output. Correlations increase if you consider a time lag for weather systems that typically move from West to East, so for example GB sees Irish weather fronts a couple of hours later. Nowhere is the anticorrelation you need to allow transmission lines to solve the problem.

          I’ve also looked at other simulated data, such as the work by Blakers in Australia. A little analysis shows that his random number generator doesn’t produce realistic temporal and spatial distributions. It may match short term correlation coefficients, but it is singularly lacking in the longer periods of low output that are the feature of the real world. Modelling based on such simulations is completely unreliable.

        • Thank you both for those comments. After looking at the data from Texas (whose area is about double that of Germany), I was coming to suspect that aggregating over large areas would be of limited help, but I hadn’t yet done much research.

    • Why on Earth would you expect to run an economy on it ?

      There is this figure, Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI), which is a ratio that describes how much energy you have to expend to gather energy. link It’s the same idea as, you have to spend money to make money.

      The link describes the EROEI cliff where the energy expended to gather energy is so great that there isn’t enough energy left for society’s other needs. At that point the economy collapses. The ratio is somewhere between 5 and 7.

      Wind power has a rather good EROEI if you don’t care when you get the power. If it matters when you get the power, you need buffered wind power. The EROEI for that is right at the point where society collapses.

      I can see where the greenies get the figures that let them tout wind power. When you point out that various jurisdictions haven’t been able to make wind power work, the greenies will reply that ‘those people didn’t do it right’.

      The only thing that will end this madness is when wind power fails enough that even the true believers can be forced to admit that it just doesn’t work.

      • ‘those people didn’t do it right’.

        Exactly the same thing that (generally the same people) say about socialism.

        For a few years back in the 90s, I entertained the now-obvious fallacy that the collapse of the Soviet Union would prove to people once and for all that socialism just doesn’t work.

        Unfortunately the true believers will NEVER admit that it just doesn’t work.

        • I’ve been told by quite a few progressives that the only problem with the Soviet Union was the wrong people were in charge. This time it will work, because this time they are going to be the ones in charge.

          • Mark:
            I put it down to ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ A well known syndrome that we all have to some degree. When it gets up to political groupthink levels it gets very dangerous indeed, particularly when those involved start running out of scapegoats.
            I also think that this syndrome is a major brake on the development of science.

          • #MeToo died out when it started ensnaring powerful liberal/progressives. Cancel Culture is now roping in liberal/progressive climate scientists and other thought leaders. Will it end in a strongman (Marxist) dictator, as in the French Revolution? Or will the whole thing collapse because of the BLM/Antifa absurdities?

          • No idea dave but I see the destructive nature of Cognitive Dissonance daily and historically right across human affairs.
            I even catch myself out indulging in it from time to time, if I am being honest with myself.

    • The German grid has many partial shutdowns , [ usually just the largest users like the aluminium smelters ] . Over 100 in 2018 , & I believe over 80 in 2019 . These are of course kept out of the media for propaganda reasons .
      The ” Unreliable Generation ” also makes for the highest electricity prices in the world .
      So for Griff to say it is reliable is just the usual total B.S. we have come to expect .

    • Calm down Ken
      I’ve solved the intermittent wind problem with my portable nuclear powered fans to spin those windmills when the wind wont. I am already spending the money I will be making with this invention, and my nuclear powered spot lights for solar farms.

    • So you are ensuring a presence for him, even when he’s not here. That probably makes you a proxy troll. If you don’t agree with his opinions, why do you increase his visibility and importance even when we have the good fortune not to have to hear from him. I’m sure he will excited to know how import he is to you.

          • I’m just being friendly.

            If you don’t want an alternate view on this site, feel free to block all contrary opinions, like Breitbart or the Guardian (not a blanket ban there, but over zealous moderation)

            Many opinions I see here I’ve been seeing for a decade: they take no notice of a decade’s worth of intensive development and roll out of renewables and the massive evidence for their operation in the real world. I think it is a good thing that you at least see an updated, alternate view?

          • griff September 14, 2020 at 12:17 am

            … Many opinions I see here I’ve been seeing for a decade: they take no notice of a decade’s worth of intensive development and roll out of renewables and the massive evidence for their operation in the real world.

            Yep. The EROEI for wind turbines is impressive as long as you don’t care when you have electricity. If you care when you have electricity, it’s called buffered EROEI and it’s insufficient to maintain society.

            In spite of the brightest and the best working on the problem for decades the intermittency problem remains intractable.

            So, yes, we have been paying attention to the latest developments and, guess what, we haven’t seen anything that would make us change our minds. ROTFL The evidence continues to pile up higher and deeper.

            Don’t despair though, I for one appreciate the thankless effort you expend keeping us on our toes.

            Holy crap, I just realised that the war in Vietnam was a Democrat boondoggle just like renewable energy. Those folks just never learn.

      • Actually, I do appreciate hearing from Griff. There is so much data to refute CAGW and the reliability of “renewables” that I have a hard time understanding how anyone who really cares could be taken in. Yet there Griff is, reliably linking me to twisted reports from various sources. There is almost no news source out there that isn’t at least occasionally taken in by some bogus report or poorly (at best, but sometimes fraudulently) researched study.

        I used to read Pravda to hear the other side of the story. They were much better researched than most of the drivel that is published today as “Climate Science”. I don’t read the Guardian, NYT, WaPo, HuffPo, etc. because they make no effort to be honest.They fire people from their staffs who are not hard leftists, and in most cases refuse to print letters from people with a different view. So why would one read them? I don’t trust any source, but have to dig in when they say something that appears rational. The devil is in the details.

        Then here comes Griff. He hasn’t explained why he trusts them, but at least what he is saying has sources. Not good sources, but sources that are read by much of the Ignorattii. He digs no deeper than just a quick perusal of their claims and is content with what he has “learned”. I am fascinated by such shallowness of wit.

      • If Griff were not here, Anthony would have to invent She/He/IT; it prompts knowledgeable people to present accurate climate data to refute obvious lies.

        • I agree. I love to see the responses to Griff. Not the knee-jerk sophomoric sarcasm, but the intelligent explanations of why he’s wrong.

          This post is a perfect example. Griff tried to defend German grid reliability, when he knows that it is propped up by non-renewables from other countries, and plenty of people have rightly called him out on it.

  2. Tiny correction:

    Only rarely does an output of 33% (20 MW) ever get reached.

    is supposed to be

    Only rarely does an output of 33% (20 GW) ever get reached.

    Same sort of thing for wind blown Denmark, but we are happy to have Norwegian hydro to save us. So don’t say anything bad to the Norwegians, you might risk they cut off our livelihood 🙂

    • Forgive me if this has been highlighted before, but the Danish company “Tomorrow” created back in 2016 I believe, an interesting real time electricity map found here :

      They themselves are big ” Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation” types, but their map really shows just how underwhelming unreliables are.

      Their website is a great example of how to relay information quickly and easily. I really like the 24 hr slider, and the fact you can change from “produced” to “consumed” electricity. Their wind and sun overlays are also a good addition, and they do note import/export between countries. The Carbon side of things, well…….. {shrug}

      Today in France wind power is producing 687MW of total installed capacity of 16.5GW. That’s 4.17% of installed capacity. Solar today, even though it’s sunny everywhere, using 64% of it’s total capacity of 10.6GW, which of course will drop to ZERO in a few hours time.
      Nuclear of course doing all the work, effectively and without breaking sweat, 28.8GW supplying 63% of available electricity.

    • The lockdowns and economic depression brought an interesting foretaste of the limits of Norwegian ability to buffer output. Look at the hydrological data here

      Spring and early summer saw water levels move from almost record lows for the time of year to almost record highs in very short order. Since then levels have been running at essentially close to capacity. The ability to buffer surplus output has been lost, with the result that Norwegian power prices are now consistently low and surpluses have to be curtailed.

      That is far from the end of the story, since the Norwegians will need to ensure that reservoir levels are depleted ahead of next year’s snowmelt, which would otherwise overtop the dams causing disastrous flooding.

      The Norwegian hydro system is not designed for pumped storage. When they take in surplus power from elsewhere, they simply cut their own generation, and the reservoirs stay full. They avoid the round trip losses that pumping would impose. That means that the maximum they could take in with more interconnectors is their own somewhat limited demand. But the maximum they could export is much less, being the difference between generation capacity and demand, which will be lowest when demand is highest in cold winter. There is therefore no sense in building more interconnector capacity beyond their ability to export, particularly since they have to manage the reservoirs.

      Weather in individual years can impose further constraints. A poor year for precipitation will mean much less power available for export. Heavy snows that produce extensive snowmelt reduce the ability to import.

      We are in sight of the constraints on Norway’s ability to act as Europe’s battery.

  3. As Ken Irwin notes above this is not the data from a successful or reasonable commercial venture. So what is it? This is fashionable virtue-signaling, and the other virtue-signaling events are equally looney. So why do voters elect the supporters of this nonsense? One is left to choose between plain crazy or hidden agenda.

    • ”One is left to choose between plain crazy or hidden agenda.”

      The voters have been mass indoctrinated with garbage ideas. Just part of a string of absurdities the people have been convinced to “believe”.
      Another absurdity is that COVID shutdowns work.
      Another is putting masks on a 4 year old is doing something useful for virus transmission.

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
      – Voltaire

      Coming up are the atrocities of pan-genocide to reduce world population to Save the Planet.

    • “So why do voters elect the supporters of this nonsense?”

      Because most of the time, they have little choice. All the major parties support this nonsense and the media have convinced them that only crazy people vote for minor parties.

  4. Texas is bigger than Germany, so in the aggregate its wind-power production is less variable: a coefficient of variation of something like 0.55 instead of, say, 0.75. Yet over a month’s worth of storage would be required as backup if Texas’ wind production were scaled up to average the average load, i.e., if its nameplate capacity were about 2.75 times the average power demand. At 4.5% over a 25-year term, the debt service on that much storage would be on the order of $2000-$3000 per megawatt-hour if batteries’ overnight cost is $330/kWh.

    You’d have to increase the nameplate capacity to 11 times the average demand to get the storage to requirement down to about 9 hours, putting the debt service on turbines and batteries together at about $150/MWh if wind-turbine overnight cost is $1300/kW.

    In short, we need thermal or hydro.

    • Try the sums for the least favourable year in the last 30, bearing in mind that storage has to be full when needed to cover the longest lulls, and some of that might have to be filled long in advance of need. A quick guess is you need to double storage, perhaps more. And of course it only gets to pay for itself one year in 30, so the cost is 30 times the normal annual seasonal storage per MWh redelivered, plus extra because of storage losses over long periods.

      • You’re right that my calculations were biased in favor of wind, among the reasons being that I based them on data from only one year, which I chose more or less at random. However, the calculations did take into account the need to store enough for the longest lulls in that particular year.

        As you indicated, another way in which my calculations were biased in favor of wind is that I ignored charging and discharging losses. Nor did I take self-discharging into account, although my guess is that self-discharging isn’t much of a factor, at least if the excess wind capacity is large and the number of required storage hours is therefore small.

        But a big way in which the calculations favored wind is that their cost numbers included only debt service, omitting operation and maintenance.

        Despite all that, the cost proved to be prohibitive.

        On the other hand, my calculations showed that backing wind up with, say, gas-turbine plants instead of batteries is usually but not always more expensive than using closed-cycle gas plants exclusively, depending principally on the price of natural gas. Before the fracking boom there were times when prices were high enough to justify the cost of at least some wind power.

      • Battery storage does not generate energy. In fact it is a consumer and has an influence on the demand curve as it needs to be charged up alongside normal consumption. It is a bit like plates on sticks dancing to the weather.

        • What we’re talking about here is utility-scale battery storage that’s charged only when wind production exceeds load (and discharged when load exceeds production).

  5. That the German energy turnaround does not work can be seen daily by the preachers of this ‘turnaround’:
    The grey area shows the production of thermal power plants. And you can also see that the off-shore wind turbines often contribute almost nothing to the daily electricity demand. (dark blue in the graphic)

    Agora sees itself as a ‘think tank’ that wants to teach the world. Fromt their homepage:


    Agora Energiewende develops evidence-based and politically robust strategies to ensure the success of the transition to clean energy in Germany, Europe and the rest of the world. As a think tank and policy laboratory, we want to share knowledge with actors from politics, business, science and civil society and at the same time facilitate a productive exchange of ideas. Our knowledge…blahblahblah…”

    • On the graph on the page, they have chosen a series of days where there has been consistently good wind in the sails in most of northern Europe, but would they produce enough useful energy to accumulate for the weeks where capacity factor is single digit percent? – No, no and far from.

      • ….youst klick on the blue window: ‘letzten 7 Tage’ and you get the current situation, or ‘Zeitraum darstellen’ . There you can find the energieproduction for every perid ou want

      • as you know, germany is teeming with missonaries. They constantly want to teach the world. And that’s why they also believe they must constantly set an example, a ‘sign’, as they say:
        >against coal
        >against nuclear power
        >against oil heating
        >against Fraking
        >against cars with internal combustion engines
        >against plastic in general
        >against drinking tubes especially
        >against air travel
        >against hunters
        >against nuclear weapons
        >against private possession of weapons
        >against the hunt for wolves

  6. The wind out at sea is “always blowing”? Tell that to a yachtsman to find out the truth. In my experience, especially sailing in winter races, the wind is either nil or excessive, so those windmills will often be not turning or have their speed reduced to avoid over-speeding damage. The so-called renewables are unreliable, non-renewable, and a hazard to shipping. I am amazed that there appears to have been so little opposition from shipping interests. Or even yachtsmen!

    • And opposition from fishermen.

      Dutch fishermen to sail fleet into Amsterdam in wind turbine protest:

      After alighting from at least 15 boats at the back of Amsterdam’s central station, it is understood that hundreds of fishermen will march to the capital’s Damrak canal, where they will upend bags of small fish deemed too small for sale by the EU, and cover them with red dye.

      Fishing community leaders say they are being crowded out of their waters and that the towering turbines damage fish stocks and deafen and displace the local porpoise populations.

    • Never mind feathering blades in a storm, which is relatively rare. Once wind and solar capacity gets to exceed demand less essential inertia providing generation, you have to curtail any time the winds get up close to capacity or during solar peaks in summer. To add insult to injury, although surplus power can have a negative value because of the cost of disposing of it,we get to pay them to curtail as compensation for the subsidies they won’t get while shut in.

      As the capacity starts increasing beyond the point at which curtailment begins to kick in, it becomes more frequent and more extensive. Instead of just being a phenomenon on windy nights when demand is low, it starts to happen at progressively higher demand levels, while the frequency of curtailment at low demand levels increases since it occurs at lower wind speeds. The amount of curtailment at minimum demand also increases at higher wind speeds simply because of greater capacity.

      As you increase capacity, the effective useful output of the marginal wind farm falls. For each GWh per year it produces, you get to curtail more of it. When you have to curtail half the extra output, effectively it costs twice as much. Since storage is so expensive, especially when you only need stored power seasonally, or still worse to cover a 1 in 20 or 1 in 50 bad year, solutions with high renewables can easily result in marginal cost being 10 times average cost, because 90%+ of the extra output us curtailed for the rest you try to squeeze out on low wind days.

  7. This is pointless unless you also show the German solar output, plus HVDC feeds from other countries… that is, the total German power picture. Wind does NOT exist in isolation.

    You should also note that the wind output will have been predicted in advance and other supply provided for as wind ramped up/down.

    and was there any problem in supply in Germany during either high or low wind periods? There was not.

    (at one point in August UK windpower delivered 59.9% of demand – with no grid issues)

    • German Solar output as % of nameplate 2015, 2016,2016.jpg
      ZERO for 50% of the time

      Below 20% for 80% of the time.

      Germany are lucky enough to be supported by electricity from several other NUCLEAR and COAL-FIRED countries, for those many times when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow.

      Which as the data shows.. is a LOT of the time. !

      And explains why their electricity costs are SO HIGH. !!

    • “(ar one point in August UK windpower delivered 59.9% of demand – with no grid issues)”

      That you think “at one point” is a reasonable statement says a lot. Do you realize how stupid that actually is? Was that supposed to be sarcasm?

      • I constantly read here that if you put a lot of renewable power into a grid it collapses, that such a thing isn’t possible.

        so I make a point of noting occasions with high renewable output – and the associated lack of a collapse

        • It almost sounds like you have read:
          “Here’s what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy”
          by David Roberts May 3 2016

          Any sensible engineer will tel you that this is written by a person with great fantasy, but totally not founded in sound engineering – it is just a political/industrial scam that is sadly widely pursued.

          P.S.: I refrained from downgrading WUWT by giving the exact link.

          • Yeah I got that. The Green koolaide fried griffs brain. One day when the Russian president starts telling Germany who to elect, and Germany is being run under Shariia Law with a Russia lackey dictator, the wind turbines will be torn down.

        • “…I constantly read here that if you put a lot of renewable power into a grid it collapses, that such a thing isn’t possible…”

          Griffy-poo: Do you know and understand the definition of the word “dispatchable” as it applies to electricity production? An energy source that is dispatchable can be made to produce energy on demand when it is needed on the grid. Wind and solar are not dispatchable, and that is why they are not a good electricity source (among other reasons).

          You always talk about how the German grid remains stable with wind and solar energy being fed into it. That is because the dispatchable energy sources (nuclear, fossil fuels, hydro) are used to hide or mask the non-dispatchable and destabilizing nature of wind and solar when electricity from the latter is fed into the grid.

          However, as dispatchable energy sources (nuclear and fossil fuels) continue to be shut down and non-dispatchable energy sources (wind and solar) play a larger role in the grid, I suggest that masking or hiding the instability of wind and solar is going to get harder and harder to do. There will be a growing disconnect between supply and demand because wind and solar and not dispatchable, and the instability issue will begin rearing its ugly head more clearly. We are already seeing this in California here in the U.S., as the state’s grid had difficulty handling the electricity demand from the recent heat wave there.

          Griffy-poo, have you ever bothered to calculate the number of batteries that would be required to store all the electricity needs for developed countries like Germany and the U.K. once dispatchable electricity sources are gone or are inadequate? Did you calculate the storage capacity requirements and the cost of the batteries? Keep in mind that the batteries would have to be replaced multiple times over the life-span of a typical traditional power plant (as would the solar panels and wind turbines most likely).

          I have been spending some time following the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement there in the U.K., and I find them to be a clueless as a summer day is long. Their believe system and protest methods would be hilarious if they were not so sad. That the U.K. govt is pandering to them ( with wind turbines and by declaring a climate emergency) leaves one questioning the future prosperity of the country.

          One last thing Griff. I would like you to send a message to those XR protesters who dress up in that long red garb with the white-out faces. Please tell them that Halloween isn’t until the end of October. I would hand out treats to them myself if I lived there. Thank you Griff.

        • Griff still hasn’t explained why Denmark and Germany have the most expensive electricity in the World, despite having the highest proportion of windpower.

          • Graeme – that’s the whole point. Energy is to become progressively more expensive until only the wealthy (or, post-revolution, the Party members) will be able to afford the comfortable life styles that most of us now enjoy.

            Barack Obama let the curtain slip a bit when he said – electricity costs will be sky high under his plan. We were supposed to accept that this would be a Good Thing.

            How things have changed in the last 100 years. In 1920, V.I. Lenin said “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country” This quote was apparently put up in lights on one of the big hydro dams they built.

            That was a time when progressivism was more or less synonymous with material well-being of the general population. Not any more! Poverty will be good for you – you just don’t know it yet.

            When you’re shivering in the dark, wondering where you’ll find the money to buy shoes for your kids, the knowledge that you’re saving the planet will make you feel warm all over! If you complain, the thought police will be round to teach you a lesson.

          • Germany was a pioneer of green electricity… it bought in when costs were still high. It offered incentives which were ultimately unsustainable – those in on the ground floor got a very good deal. And thanks to that investment, UK solar and wind farms are now being built without subsidy and UK electricity, increasingly renewable, is not as expensive as German electricity.

            A USA which went green would not be paying as much for the infrastructure or the electricity it produced…

            and I say again: the Germans choose to tax electricity at a higher rate than other countries.

          • Griffiepoo: I’m sure what you say is a huge comfort to the millions of Germans in fuel poverty. Green virtue-signalling doesn’t pay the bills.

        • Griff needs to realise that the handful of cases where investments are being made with no up front subsidy formally being part of the financing are gambles that either subsidy will be provided in a desperate attempt to ensure that at least there is some sort of capacity when so much else is being closed, or that the market will be rigged in other ways to ensure profitability. While there are greens running energy policy it is a reasonable bet.

  8. What so bad about windmills, they look decorative like the sawmill on this picture I took some 20 years ago while sailing on the Sparne river through Haarlem in The Netherlands.
    The sawmill is operated once in a while, welcome to the bright new future of having electricity once in a while with the slightly more modern windmills exchanged every 20 years ☭

    When we have used up many resources, decorating the landscape with winged steel skyscrapers and covered all the space in between with solar panels and batteries, we can go back to whale oil (tran lamps) and firewood 🔥

    • “we can go back to whale oil (tran lamps) and firewood”
      And keep in mind that woody biomass is big in northern Europe. It’s renewable and provides base load power and it’s truly green! There’s a fair amount in the US but the leftist, coastal elites hate it- while they love destroying forests for solar “farms”.

  9. For most of July and August there was no wind in the UK, no wind generation in France, there’s no wind generation in Holland, there was no wind generation in Denmark. Why would anyone with more than one brain cell think for more than a picosecond that across the entire North Sea there would be a stable unfluctuating wind of 13m/s spinning wind turbines at optimum output.?

  10. Are we surprised that people fall for the false narrative of cheap reliable electricity from wind and solar?

    We inculcate the myth in our children from kindergarten. The media routinely lies about the virtues of green energy without balancing the notion against its negatives ( which are many). Politicians rail against reliable fossil fuels to get votes. And the renewables industry sells low efficiency wind and solar to the gullible under the guise of jobs and investment.

    On the whole, my observation is that the wind and solar industry is built upon stilts and the tower is wavering…

  11. Hey, look at the bright side…it looks like they only need 99% backup, not 100% backup!

    My guess is Russia and France absolutely love this situation.

    Ethan Brand

  12. Just because we can build wind capacity doesn’t mean we should, given that it doesn’t produce much useful energy for its expenditure, and what it does produce can be harmful to the grid and taking priority over other means of generation in such an unproductive and unpredictable manner. There has to be a re-think about renewables (wind and solar) being able to power an industrial society and a real honest cost benefit analysis done that is not done by pro renewable activists. It won’t ever be practicable or affordable as long as it is subsidized both to build and then giving it priority over everything else, other than solar.

    Which is another kettle of fish, although it is predictably poor performance except for about 1/4 the day, and on a good day at that around 9-4 Pm, although is still asynchronous junk electricity and subsidized. At least biomass gives predictable 24/7 base load spinning reserve near 100% capacity, indistinguishable from other thermal energy like coal or gas. A big improvement to biomass would be gasifying it and burning it in CCGT turbines at double the efficiency of old antiquated steam technology even after paying to gasify it. If you go to all the work of pelletizing it, why no just gasify it and add it to the nat gas? Then it can be shipped around through any available pipelines or even LNG globally. We need some major re-thinks how we do things.

    • wind power is absolutely predictable: the UK National Grid is on record as saying it can predict wind to 94% accuracy 24 hours in advance.

      you can see from UK grid figures that gas ramps up and down in sync with wind rising and falling output. Because they know when to turn the gas up (or increase demand response, use grid scale battery or hydro or pumped hydro)

      • One liar covering for another liar.
        Unless they can predict wind speed to less than 1kph, minute by minute for the next 24 hours, then wind power is not predictable.
        Just saying that tomorrow will be windier than today doesn’t cut it.

      • Thats not the point Griff…the fact that onshore wind is only about 20%-25% efficient of name plate capacity after all parasitic losses including transmission losses through longer power lines and numerous sub stations, makes it an expensive ‘solution’ when none is really required since the backup power alternative is idling away having to pick up up the slack which is more unpredictable on an hour to hour basis.

        With its short life term and replacement requirements (20 years and expensive maintenance) why not pursue better alternatives like what I mention with gasification of biomass. It is rather ironic that the construction of wind takes so much carbon intensive technologies such as cement, steel, copper, rare earths, fibreglass etc etc, it doesn’t really solve the CO2 mitigation it is claimed to do anyway, so it doesn’t make sense even after massive subsidies. And this is even before the environmental blight and the needles destruction of birds, insects and bats not to mention human health concerns when sited improperly. I could go on, but it has been repeated here so many times we are just repeating ourselves.

        • The backup power in the UK is SWITCHED OFF. Not idling. That’s the point.

          Things have moved on… really that’s how a wind heavy grid works – prediction, ramp up/down, coverage from demand response, hydro, pumped storage and increasingly battery

          • Battery is not being used to provide backup power. It is used to assist with grid stabilisation, which is a very different case use. Most of the grid batteries are no more than 1 hour maximum duration, and supporting stabilisation means they have to spend much of their time part charged.

          • There it goes again, with the claim that wind and solar are perfectly predictable, hours in advance.

            One constant with griff, he never lets go of a good lie.

      • Since wind is so predictable, lack of wind must be also. Any industry needing reliable steady power cannot function using the erratic nature of wind. Predict economic failure, Griff. Or is that the desired end game?

      • Now imagine if the U.K. had no more available Gas Generation as ALL GAS was being left in the ground as most Eco-Fascists want…Gas is Fossil Fuel
        How exactly would they still “balance” the output without it?

        • Maybe the UK could hook into the Nord system.

          Get their gas from the Russians.

          That would be very reliable.. UNTIL the Russians decide otherwise.

          • The UK gets a limited portion of its LNG imports from Russia. It is sometimes suggested that we buy pipeline gas from there, but this is false. Some years ago British Gas did a deal with Gazprom selling them North Sea gas in exchange for availability from Nordstream in Germany. It allowed Gazprom to get some practical experience in downstream gas markets, while giving BG a platform to establish themselves more securely in Germany. So the Russians resell North Sea gas in the UK, just as the French (EdF) and Germans (E.On and RWE) do.

      • So you admit that you still need to build out the full demand capacity with reliable energy as if there were no renewables? Grid scale batteries don’t meaningfully exist, and still what types of batteries? That’s a lot of mining, dirty manufacturing and environmental degradation. Hydro is very location specific. So we are left with evil natural gas.

        It doesn’t seem very efficient if you have to build out the full demand capacity with gas, and keep them spinning, for the times when wind/solar isn’t producing. If you’re going to build all the full gas capacity anyway, why even bother building out all that wind/solar infrastructure, and the associated resource/manufacturing/mining/environmental degradation/wildlife deaths that goes with it? Doesn’t seem very green to me. The gas saved when wind/solar is producing is certainly less damaging than the entire mining/manufacturing/land use environmental impact of wind/solar.

      • Predictable != dispatchable. So they know when they will not have enough power. That doesn’t help when they need that missing power, does it?

  13. If I were a shipping magnate I would invest in the provision of small, modular, molten salt reactors to power my fleets. Even alongside I could sell my energy to the local grid.

  14. In regards to the illuminating graph, of the 60 GW installed capacity, how many wind turbines are awaiting repair or have broken down prematurely? What is the service factor for the rest (the area under the curve divided by 60 GW)?

  15. Aaaand this is why electricity costs so much in Germany. Right now on avg. it’s 31 euro cents/kwh. The last time I was at my Aunt’s house in Bremerhaven I saw her bill: 42 cents/kwh.
    That is over 4 times what I pay here in Virginia. All you get with “cheap” renewables is very expensive electricity. This is the most regressive tax imaginable on the poor.

    • mark:
      Yes. In the USA I believe, many of the state intermittency subsidies etc. are paid by Federal or State taxes so don’t appear on consumer bills. I sometimes wonder what would happen if this were changed say in Texas or California.

    • but what was your aunt’s total bill? German homes use less electricity than US ones. Plus a sizeable amount of that German bill is tax, unrelated to renewables etc

      • German homes use less electricity precisely BECAUSE electricity is so expensive.

        Logic isn’t your strong suit, is it, Griffiepoo?

      • Of course German homes use less electricity than the average U.S. ones.
        Typical German incomes make U.S. usage rates unaffordable given the STAGGERING German electricity rates

  16. Windy day here in Alberta which means our wind assets are producing at 30% nameplate
    Way to go
    Hope the grid interconnect doesn’t trip again, rolling blackouts for us

  17. Volatility? Isn’t that the word the “finance community” uses in emails to customers the day after a big market drop?

  18. South Australia provides a glimpse of the future. Weather dependent electricity there is so expensive that 40% of homes now have rooftop solar.

    It is early spring in Australia. On Sunday 13th Sept the rooftop solar peaked at 959MW while the combined output of the grid scale generators supplying that network was 330MW. The rooftops were producing more than twice the grid scale generators.

    The only reason the grid remained stable was that some 400MW, excess of the SA demand, was being exported to Victoria. SA uses Victoria as a 650MW battery of infinite capacity.

    SA will soon have a number of synchronous condensers in operation to improve the grid stability but they are essentially energy neutral; just providing rotating inertia to give ride through ability on system faults. Victorian rooftop solar output is increasing and that State’s ability to sink Sunday lunch excess from SA is diminishing.

    As the sun moves south and temperature remain mild, the rooftop solar will be producing a bigger share of the SA demand; expected to peak in November before the air-conditioning demand builds. There is no central control of rooftop solar. The solar systems power down when the voltage exceeds 10% of the nominal 230V. So the situation is fast approaching when the stability of the network is out of the control of the central controllers – is interesting to watch this unfold. There could be a situation where perfectly balmy weather – good sunshine, mild temperature and light variable breeze – creates the conditions for grid instability.

    The grid operator, AEMO, have set priority on having all new solar installations having central control function so they can be turned off centrally rather than relying on over voltage to shut down their output.

      • From your article;

        “The company claims that arrangement saved energy consumers more than $50 million over the battery’s first year of operation.”

        With absolutely no evidence to back up that claim. At your “peak” as usual griff. SA has the most expensive power in Australia, so not sure where those savings are going.

        • It makes a motzah as a first adopter providing short run FCAS to the grid but here’s the fallacy of composition writ large should wind ever have to supply power 24/7/365 with battery storage to even provide the annual average of 30-35% of installed capacity-

          True believers like griff will never get it until the aging coal stations go one by one and the rolling blackouts begin in earnest. They’ll have to experience the train wreck before they realize they’ve been had. Hey it’s a democracy and I can afford a backup genny and be patient with we told you so. Would that it not be so but the lefties will have to explain it all to struggletown.

      • The Hornsdale battery is trivial. Even at its expanded capacity of 180MWh it is trivial in terms of the capacity needed to keep the grid stable when the rooftops are singing.

        On Sunday 13th Sept the Victorian link was running at 380MW for 4 hours. The system would require 8 more batteries of the current size to do what Victoria was doing. The wholesale price was negative so the grid connected weather dependent generators were all curtailed.

        By the end of November this year, the demand in SA will be very close to zero. The network is at a point where no more rooftop solar will be permitted unless it can be turned off centrally to keep the network stable.

        The one thing is does demonstrate is that grid scale weather dependent generators do not make sense. There is no economy of scale so the solar panels should be at the load not some distant field. The grid scale solar projects in Australia have diminishing window for financial viability because they are competing with rooftops that cannot be controlled so are always scheduled unless the system goes into over voltage.

  19. The day / night pattern is equally interesting as it coincides with solar production. Putts huge stress on the grid.

  20. by the way that big spike in wind output late in august is the remnants of an unusual ‘named storm’ which roared in over Ireland – usually there are not such events in august and German wind would normally have been more even through the month…

    • If you knew anything at all about how wind turbines work, which you clearly don’t, you would know they are furled during strong wind and, thus, are effectively off.

      • The storm did not actually hit Germany at storm force… it just produced more wind than usual. wind turbines produced more in the UK during the same named storm, reaching 59.9 % of demand at one point.

        wind turbines usually shut off at 55 mph wind… more modern ones will cope with around 60 mph

    • Germany having a bad wind day today, of the 60.7GW potential eco dreamer capacity, their little windmills are only producing 1.42GW….. oh dear… sad……..never mind.

      Good job the coal and gas are still there keeping the power going in the hospitals.

      Solar nearly got up to 23GW, thanks to some late Indian summer sun. From here on into winter it’s all downhill for solar in Germany.

      Their nuclear power plants are at near maximum output.

  21. Stupid post again : just apply a filter which means in this case to store energy at high level and release it at low level !

  22. If only they could schedule the blackouts to coincide when Germans leave for a month at a time for carbon-intensive globetrotting, things would be utopian green. I guess the real point of Nordstream II is to cover up policy mess behind the scenes for the green globetrotting and keep the money flowing for more schemes.

  23. The graph is conclusive proof that you can not run an economy based upon the assumption that “Average output” will provide the needed power.
    Look carefully at the weather maps when a weather front moves through the area that you live in. Do this for every front and note the area that it covers. In the US often several states are completely affected by the front. In the EU several countries are affected. That means that power needs to be transferred across several states. Which, in turn, sets you up for weather related blackouts lasting hours to weeks.

  24. Today 15 Sept 2020, the Australian Federal Minister for Energy (right leaning politics) announced several moves to lower the domestic price of natural gas, including incentives for States (several left-leaning and responsible for mining laws) to do productive things like encouraging fracking and greater use of gas as an electricity source.
    Part of the announcement was Federal finance for the building of a new Heli gas plant.
    This could be taken as an admission that more fossil fuelled generators are needed, soon, to overcome the inadequate wind and solar generation that some States have allowed, even encouraged.
    Griff, why else can you imagine that the Feds would take this step unless their future estimates showed variable renewables to be inadequate as to cost and/or reliability? Geoff S

  25. My wife and I disagree over wind power. I think it’s really funny she made me sleep on the couch.
    On a more serious note does anyone know how much the land owner is paid annually per white elephant sorry wind turbine in the UK.


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