Weather-Dependent Power Generation

Originally posted at edmdotme

The primary policy to combat “Climate Change” in the West has been to install and heavily subsidise “Renewable”  Wind and Solar power generation.  The recorded productivity history of European wide “Renewable” Power generation since 2008 is shown below.

The impact of the 2021 Wind drought can be seen clearly in terms of reduced 2021 productivity.

The 2021 European Wind Drought and Weather-Dependent power generation

For the last 10 years as “Renewable” installations have become established in Europe they have achieved on average the overall productivity percentages as shown below.

Note that Conventional power generators are rated at ~90%, that is the full potential achievable when un-encumbered by the political interventions that prioritise the mandatory imposition of power input from Weather-Dependent “Renewables”.

It is unlikely that any advances in the established “Renewable” technologies can provide further significant improvement from these current average productivity values.

Gas-fired power

The most cost effective, reliable and incidentally the least CO2 emitting means of fossil fuel power generation is the use of Natural Gas.  Gas-firing produces:

  • CO2 emissions 1/2 that of burning Coal or Lignite
  • CO2 emissions almost 1/4 of the use of imported Biomass.

Over the past 20 years, the cost-effective use of Fracked Natural Gas for power generation, replacing Coal in the USA, has reduced USA CO2 emissions / head by about 1/3.  In the 1990’s the UK’s “Dash for Gas policy” contributed significantly to the UK’s reduction of CO2 emissions by about 40%.

Global Man-made CO2 emissions 1965 – 2020: BP data

Power generation costings compared 

Except for Offshore Wind power generation, the comparative basic capital and long-term costs are roughly comparable between fossil fuel and Weather-Dependent generators. However, Gas-firing is particularly cost effective.

The comparative costs above show the costs of installing and running the generation technologies:  the picture changes radically when the productivity achievable by the various technologies is taken into account.  This then shows the comparative costs of actually delivering a Gigawatt unit of energy to the Grid.

It is only when their actual  productivity contributing power to the grid that true cost comparisons of the power supplied to the Grid can be made: these are summarised below.

So, when not accounting for productivity, the US EIA comparative power generation costs for the installation and running of:

  • Onshore Wind power is roughly twice the cost of Gas-firing
  • Offshore Wind power is 5 – 7 times the cost of Gas-firing.
  • Solar Power is about 1 1/2 times the cost of Gas-firing

But taking into account productivity for the same power output the installation and running of:

  • Onshore Wind power is ~7 times the cost of Gas-firing
  • Offshore Wind power is ~16-20 times the cost of Gas-firing.
  • Solar power is about ~10-12 times the cost of Gas-firing
A 2020 model of comparative costings for power generation technologies

Any assertion that “Renewables” are reaching cost parity with conventional power generation is patently false.

These comparative values show how the irrational political obsession with nominally reducing CO2 emissions, (UK at 1% of Global CO2 emissions), increases the costs and reliability of power generation for the Nation.

The appalling delusion

As Professor David Mackay FRS, (eminent Cambridge physicist and former chief scientific officer at the UK Department of Energy), said in an interview just before his untimely death in 2016, that the promotion of

“Renewable Energy” was driven by an “appalling delusion”.

The delusion has been perpetrated by people who have no understanding of the mathematics, engineering and practicalities of Energy technologies.

Would anyone sane ever buy a car costing between 8 – 20 times the normal price that only works one day in five, when you never know which day that might be ?  And then insist that its technology is used to power the whole economy.

The comparative figures above are underestimates of the true costs of mandating Weather-Dependent “Renewables”.  These comparative results only account for the cost comparisons for capital and running costs of the generation installations themselves and the actual electrical power generated accounting for their measured productivity capability of each generating technology.

The other Cost implications and CO2 emissions penalties of Weather Dependent “Renewables”

The significant ancillary costs, not accounted for in the calculations above, inevitably also associated with Wind power and Solar PV generators result from:

  • their unreliability in terms of both power intermittency and power variability.
  • the non-dispatchability of Renewables:  the wind will not blow, the clouds will not clear away and the world will not stop rotating to order, whenever power is needed by Man-kind.

Weather-Dependent generators do not run 24/7:  they do not achieve 90% productivity. 

  • the poor timing of power generation by “Renewables”, it is often unlikely to be well coordinated with demand:  for example, Solar energy, as has been seen recently in California power falls off in the evening, at times of peak demand, leading to rolling blackouts.  Winter Solar output is virtually absent even in Southern European countries, ~1/7th of the output than in the summer, the periods of lower power demand.
  • the long transmission lines from remote, dispersed generators, incurs both power losses in transmission, further infrastructure  and increased maintenance costs.
  • requirement for the sterilisation of large land areas, especially when compared with conventional electricity generation, (Gas-firing and Nuclear).
  • much destructive additional engineering infrastructure is needed for access.
  • the continuing costs of back-up generation, which is essential to maintain continuous power supplies, but which may only be used on occasions and has to be wastefully running in spinning reserve and emitting some CO2 nonetheless.

It should always be noted that if there has to be sufficient back-up capacity using fossil fuels to support the grid whenever wind and solar are not available.  Such support is costly to run continuously, then there is very little point in doubling up the generation capacity, to be available 24/7,  with comparatively non-productive and much more costly Weather-Dependent generators, which might conceivably substitute some CO2 emissions but they certainly still emit substantial levels of CO2 for their manufacture, installation and maintenance. 

Comparing Performance and Costs of power generation technologies: 2020
  • any consideration of electrical storage using batteries, which would impose very significant additional costs, were long-term, (only a few days), battery storage even feasible economically.  This makes any idea of long-term seasonal power storage impractical.
  • unsynchronised generation with lack of inherent inertia essential to maintain grid frequency.
  • Weather-Dependent generators cannot provide a “black start” recovery from a major grid outage.

Importantly in addition these cost analyses do not account for:

  • the inevitable environmental damage and wildlife destruction caused by Weather-Dependent generators.
  • the “Carbon footprint” of Weather-Dependent generation 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 installation activities are entirely dependent on the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels both as feedstocks for the materials and as fuels for manufacturing.
  • the technologies used in Weather-Dependent generators are also highly dependent on large amounts of scarce materials giving rise to very extensive mining demands.
  • the Energy Return on Energy Invested:  Weather-Dependent generators may well produce only a minimal excess of Energy during their service life as was committed for their original manufacture and installation.  They certainly do not provide the regular massive excess power sufficient to support the multiple needs of a developed society.  Accordingly, they are parasitic on the use of fossil fuels for their existence.

None of these imposed supplementary costs are assessed in the Cost comparisons above.

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May 22, 2022 6:29 am

Most of us already understand the above. What we don’t understand is the “WHY”. Are our leaders ignorant of the facts? I do not believe so. Are our leaders afraid of going against the green religion? Could be. Are our leaders intentionally trying to destroy western civilization? Could be.

So why does Joe Public keeping putting these people in office? Are they ignorant? I believe so. Is the general public afraid of going against the green religion? I believe so. Is the general public intentionally trying to destroy western civilization? I doubt it.

So how does this get resolved? I don’t have any idea.

Doug S
Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 7:15 am

Pretty much agree with what you’ve said here kybill. The one thing IMO we can do is speak up and offer people another opinion on “Climate Change”. Offer the idea that this issue has taken on a religious dimension, a cult like following where dissenters are not tolerated. I think we should take the opportunity to tell people that increased CO2 is greening the planet and in the end, it could be a very good thing to maintain CO2 at high levels. I also like showing people the sea level measurements that NOAA displays on their website. People sometimes can’t believe NOAA’s own projections, based on 80 years of sea level measurements at some locations, that at the end of this century sea level is projected to rise by 4 inches! People have been so thoroughly propagandized that they believe in this climate change cult religion by faith and not by reason. Simple, calm, repeated reminders that most of the actual measurement and data show there is not crisis might be enough to save some folks from the grips of this cult.

Reply to  Doug S
May 23, 2022 9:25 am

But how do we deal with the institutions that are so deeply imbedded in the propaganda especially with people like Mark Carney as advisor of the ‘climate emergency declaration’ these institutions have signed onto?

Reply to  Sommer
May 23, 2022 11:56 am

At the 9 minute mark, the narrator of this very recently published video talks about Mark Carney’s role.
Intended consequences: energy price rises & inflation
May 21, 2022

Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 7:19 am


authoritarian government.
Was tried and tested for sars-cov19.
works in Russia, PRC.

If you don’t like it Gulag, PRISON or who gives a sh…t after the liars have been there.

Read Orwell hommage to Catalonia. U have it all in a nutshell.

Reply to  pigs_in_space
May 22, 2022 8:51 am

works in Russia

My old buddy Vlad Putin has done us the favor of invading the Ukraine, thereby teaching us a few lessons.

Today’s lesson is that people thought Russia is a military superpower. In fact, Russia’s military has proven to be a sad joke that is getting its ass kicked by a much smaller adversary, albeit one which has a lot of assistance from the West. (That said, don’t even think about trying to invade Russia.)

So, “works in Russia” is actually meaningless. Potemkin Village comes to mind. I guess that’s unsurprising because they invented it.

Reply to  commieBob
May 22, 2022 12:39 pm

USA got its ass kicked in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Invasion is hard. And don’t believe everything you hear wrt what is going on in Ukraine.

Reply to  Bruce
May 22, 2022 1:38 pm

By every military measure, the US military won every major engagement, inflicting far heavier losses in men and material on the North Vietnamese Army and the irregular Viet Cong forces than the US or South Vietnam suffered.
What the North did with Russian help was wear down political support in the US and for Johnson to do what was necessary to defeat the North Vietnamese. Line Backer II and Dewy Canyon andAPache Snow operations were all strategic successes inachieving the military objectives set out. But it was th erosion of political support that doomed the US efforts to keep the communists from overruning the South. Just as Biden did to Kabul Afghanistan last August.

Bob boder
Reply to  Bruce
May 22, 2022 1:44 pm

The usa did not get its ass kicked in either war. They were political wars and there for UN-winnable. Militarily we were dominate

another ian
Reply to  Bob boder
May 22, 2022 4:49 pm

Maybe read “War of the running dogs”

“The answer lies not in pouring more troops into the jungle but in the hearts and minds of the people”

General Templar, Malaya, 1952

another ian
Reply to  another ian
May 22, 2022 4:53 pm

I guess that applies to besting the “S & W Myth” too

Janice Moore
Reply to  Bruce
May 22, 2022 2:16 pm

Given your grossly inaccurate statement about the United States of America, Bruce, I most CERTAINLY will not believe anything you tell us about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Reply to  Bruce
May 22, 2022 5:58 pm

Both Vietnam and Afghanistan were won. Then the politicians surrendered.

Reply to  commieBob
May 22, 2022 1:23 pm

Putin’s invasionof Ukraine has a synergistic effect on global food and energy that will speed up the Globalists’ climate scam timeline that has ignited Third world starvation from a slowly increasing levels over 20-30 years to just 2 to 3 years now.
The coming upheavals, regional wars, civil wars, and mass migrations maybe borderline apocalyptic in extent and depth across humanity. No one will be unaffected. The billionaires and elites thought they’d have to to adjust with a 20-30 year timeline, but with the now acclerated 2-3 years timeline to mass starvation in the 3rd World, even they will be hit now in revoltuions not unlike what the Bolsheviks did to the Tsar and his family who thought their wealth and privilege would protect them.

Dennis G. Sandberg
Reply to  commieBob
May 24, 2022 10:18 pm

Russia military sad joke? You know that for sure?

Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 7:35 am

It seems to be very difficult for people to grasp the *time* factor, that a kwh generated at 11AM on a sunny day is something totally different from a kwh needed at 7PM on a winter evening–and that electricity is not a commodity like coal that you can store in a big pile for use when required.

Reply to  David Foster
May 22, 2022 7:39 am

Here is an example of the kind of analysis that is going around and leading people to believe that wind/solar can do it all:

Reply to  David Foster
May 22, 2022 8:42 am

Well..that IS the most biased article EVAH…but it does say the author is a solar believer and the magazine name is sort of a giveaway…

Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 22, 2022 9:25 am

Yeah, but there are a lot of articles/studies from objective-sounding sources that do similar types of analysis. There need to be some critiques written that explain the problems, in simple enough terms that journalists and politicians can understand them.

Reply to  David Foster
May 22, 2022 9:35 am

You’re assuming the journalists and politicians aren’t being willfully ignorant. People don’t like to understand if it conflicts with their paychecks or central beliefs.

4 Eyes
Reply to  David Foster
May 22, 2022 5:53 pm

“…in simple enough terms that journalists and politicians can understand them.” I don’t think it could be written simply enough for journos and pollies to understand. No sarc.

Rich Davis
Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 22, 2022 11:33 am

So, according to our village idiot griff, wind and solar output are very predictable. That might mean something if you have wastefully built gas turbines that you intend to run only a small percentage of the time and you also have wastefully overbuilt your ruinables in the hope that the wind is always blowing somewhere, but knowing that you’ll have to curtail output a significant amount of the time.

But the grifftard and his ilk want to eliminate fossil fuels. There won’t be any dispatchable generation to fill the gap. They deny reality and claim that cost-effective storage is going to be available any time now. Don’t bother them with details. Maybe fusion. (That means those of you under 50 may live to see the day when the target date is pushed out from 2062 to 2102 and some young kids today may live to see it pushed out again to 2142).

Reality says that unless the whole climate scam comes crashing down, we are headed for a world where energy is both unaffordable and unreliable.

The wealthy and the politically-connected will have their battery storage. Most people will have “smart” meters that shut down demand to avoid bankruptcy. They will voluntarily reduce demand and have a third world standard of living. They’ll be praised for the sacrifices that they make by their betters who make no sacrifices. They’ll be told that thanks to their acceptance of poverty, disasters (that were never going to happen) have been averted.

That’s the reality.

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 23, 2022 12:56 am

Never understood how weather being predictable helps the renewables cause.

Still have to provide backup fossil fuel power when so-called renewable sources are AWOL.

I think Griff and co. just use that as a deflection.

Rich Davis
Reply to  PCman999
May 23, 2022 10:01 am

The argument is that since it’s predictable they can plan ahead for the dispatchable generation, so no risk of grid failure.

They never want to answer the question of which sources will there be that are dispatchable once you have shut down all fossil fuels.

And even though their scheme only works when you have dispatchable generation sitting idle most of the time, they don’t see why they should need to count the capital and operating expense of maintaining the backup generators as part of the true cost of the ruinables.

Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 7:36 am

I think the answer is, as I have argued in other posts, to stop arguing about climate, and instead focus on policy. Don’t try to tell people not to move to wind and solar because there is no Global Warming. Don’t even argue that it will have minimal effects on Global Warming. You will get nowhere.

Instead point out to them, and this piece is a very useful example, that wind and solar will not work to run the grid. They are too expensive and too intermittent. And it can be shown, and is being shown, in numbers and beyond argument, that they will not work.

The people you need to convince of this are the elected politicians of whichever party. Avoid all argument about Global Warming and Climate Crisis. Just focus on the realities of wind and solar power generation, and what the grid needs to work.

It is the only way. And its increasingly coming out in publications, its going to get through to politicians in the next few years and they are going to drop it.

I think the Global Warming mania will carry on, in the West, for some time, and that belief and bitterness will only increase with lack of any evidence. The Guardian and BBC and Washington Post and NY Times are going to keep chanting the mantra. Hysterical demonstrations will continue. But its quite possible that at the same time policy makers will come to see they have to give up on wind and solar and the move to electricity and just quietly drop it.

The signs are here. One is the German volte face, which has reached the Greens. There will be many more in the next few years.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  michel
May 22, 2022 9:04 am


Perhaps we need to agree with the alarmists and push them to take their views to their logical conclusions and spell out in simple images how much this is going to cost and inconvenience everyone of them. Perhaps cartoons will help.

Reply to  michel
May 22, 2022 9:36 am

The politicians don’t care, they are probably being paid kick backs in untraceable Chinese bitcoins…IMHO

Anthony…Doghouse house ?

Reply to  michel
May 22, 2022 10:37 am

Further, I think we could even initially leave out any cost considerations.

Just concentrate on the engineering & physics aspects to present the simple case that getting most, not even all, of our base load electricity needs will never be possible from w&s only.

Make pictures of whole cities festooned with wind turbine towers and solar panels, which will still only provide a quarter of the city’s electricity even when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.

Most of the people who buy the renewables bs are inner-city dwellers, who think that all the power generation & storage infrastructure just happens “out there”, beyond the inner city confines.

Show them a Tesla Megapack battery array parked in a street near them and ask if they’d be comfortable with that.

Reply to  michel
May 23, 2022 1:02 am

Not discussing the non-climate emergency leads to pointless discussions trying to prop up solar and wind with batteries, pumped storage and more Rube Goldberg complications to the grid

There isn’t any CO2 related climate emergency so most jurisdictions should continue with gas turbines, unless local resources and balance of payments issues make more sense to go with coal or nuclear. Heck, there might even be remote areas or individual building s where wind and solar make sense (like powering a/c or small remote villages)

Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 7:47 am

I think the why? is pretty clear. They believe the threat of climate change is so cataclysmic that these huge costs and inefficiencies are worth incurring. Many also believe that innovation will bring these costs down a lot. They are wrong but their reasoning is clear.

Reply to  David Wojick
May 22, 2022 8:10 am

I have a friend, not unintelligent, to whom I have put the arguments about the illogicality and futility of present energy policy. His response? “But we’ve got to do something.”

What can one say to counter this? I fear for the future of this planet, not because the climate may be changing but because of the actions of those who believe what my friend does…

Reply to  atticman
May 22, 2022 8:59 am

I have a similar friend. But there is a lot we can say and we are saying it. The good news is that roughly half of Americans are skeptics. As a result the alarmists are making relatively little progress. Our task is to keep the skeptics supplied with good arguments. WUWT certainly dies that. We do not have to change the alarmists minds, to prevent radical action.

Paul C
Reply to  atticman
May 22, 2022 10:19 am

I think the something your cultist friend has to do is called suicide. Better the true believers eliminate themselves to solve their imagined problem than eliminate us as heretics.

Reply to  atticman
May 22, 2022 11:01 am

There are frequent times in life when the correct decision is to do nothing.

Taking no action may not be to your liking, but it definitely stops the cascade of future failures that “doing something” initiates.

The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

Last edited 1 month ago by Doonman
Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 8:54 am

“Most of us already understand the above. What we don’t understand is the “WHY”. Are our leaders ignorant of the facts? I do not believe so”

Our leaders are often profoundly ignorant and stupid people who are where they are due to their connections.

Stir in ideology, politics, lack of common sense and that they are often surrounded by a bubble of the ‘expert class’ who think the same way as they do and it is unsurprising that they fail to see what is obvious to everyone else.


Climate believer
Reply to  tonyb
May 22, 2022 12:27 pm

…. and is there not something in this quote from Mark Twain that rings true?

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 9:11 am

“He who controls the Spice controls the Universe”

Replace spice with power. If you are in charge of who gets power when, you can dictate what everyone does.

Allan MacRae
Reply to  kybill
May 22, 2022 11:34 am

We published in 2002:
1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
2. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

October 20, 2021. Update May 12, 2022
“The ability to correctly predict is the best objective measure of scientific and technical competence.”
Our scientific predictions on both Climate and Covid are infinitely more accurate than the mainstream narratives, which have been false and baselessly alarmist to date.

Hi kybill,
Your point is correct – this Global Warming and Green Energy issue was never difficult or complicated – it was false from the start. I knew the truth in 1985 and we published it in 2002.

Your question is motive. I maintain that no honest, rational individual or group could be this wrong, this utterly obtuse, for this long. The Global-Warming (aka Climate-Change) and Green-Energy narrative was a fraud that started circa 1970 and has been supported by billions of dollars of repetitive false alarmist propaganda.
The Global-Warming and Green-Energy scam is supported by scoundrels and imbeciles – the scoundrels know they are lying; the imbeciles believe them.
Regarding resolution, we have to call out every Climate Lie every time we hear them – we cannot succeed as a society when our important strategic assumptions are all lies.

Regards, Allan

Last edited 1 month ago by Allan MacRae
May 22, 2022 6:34 am

The problem is the climate changers only see the 58.3% maximum but not the 5.3% minimum-
Wind Energy in Australia | May 2022 | Aneroid
If you paid the taxeaters wages like that it would quickly sink in no doubt.

Reply to  observa
May 22, 2022 7:40 am

You see the problem? Its in your phrase ‘the climate changers’. Don’t even approach it from this point of view. Who you want to hit are the people who believe the grids of the world can be run on wind and solar. They cannot be, and it can be and is being shown. Climate crisis is religion and emotion. Never mind what they think about climate. Running the grid is engineering. Focus on engineering alone, and you can get somewhere.

Start by insisting they have to specify how much storage the Net Zero plans will require. And what it will cost. And what it will consist of.

Reply to  michel
May 22, 2022 9:38 am

Renewable energy failures are a lot like communism. They only failed because they weren’t done correctly. We can do this because we’re willing to believe that the critical technology is only 5 years away. There’s a published article supporting this!

Dave Fair
Reply to  michel
May 22, 2022 11:09 am

And they will reply, as in NY “Plan” and others’: Dispatchable Zero Emissions. Any (rare) cost estimates provided, of course, are wildly low-balled. Additionally, they say new battery technology will come along at low cost.

Buy a bunch of copies of Vaclav Smil’s book “How The World Really Works” and give them out to your friends and relatives. That might throw some water on their overheated imaginations. A one-page summary of his critical points might also do the trick for those with limited attention spans.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  observa
May 22, 2022 2:03 pm

But the 58.3% is also a problem. You can’t use it, and you can’t store it economically. In fact, it is the lack of understanding of this point that is the real failure of plans to rely on renewables. What is missing is the understanding that if you can’t use the power it means the power you do use is necessarily more expensive. Curtail 50% of power, and the cost of what you use doubles. Marginal curtailment from adding another solar farm will be enormously high. Even from adding another wind farm it will be much higher than the average. So the marginal wind farm will need to earn a large multiple of the “levellised cost” of the first wind farm you connect to the grid.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
May 22, 2022 11:46 pm

Yes, the effect is to lower the capacity factor. If a machine is generating 30% of its faceplate rating, but 25% of that is when it cannot be used, its actually only generating 24%. Similar with solar.

Its the same principle as LCOE. The only power that counts, either towards capacity or towards cost per MW, is that which is generated when needed.

Both LCOE and capacity ratings make the concealed assumption that intermittency doesn’t matter.

May 22, 2022 6:44 am


They usually try to claim that wind and solar are the cheapest forms of power.

May 22, 2022 6:45 am

Charts and graphs and illustrations…oh my! All brought to us by…those who have a vested interest in furthering the “renewables” in the world. In other words, horsepuckey. The aim is to destroy the “fossil fuel” industry and have everyone dependent on government for everything. Power is the ultimate goal for the left.

Rich Davis
Reply to  RevJay4
May 22, 2022 11:54 am

I’m sure that there are some communists riding this for all it’s worth, but there are far more crony capitalists who just want an opportunity to sell worthless crap with a mandated customer base subsidized by government.

It’s not necessary for them to come close to their ridiculous Net Zero target. They can get spectacularly wealthy while utterly failing to reduce CO2 emissions.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 22, 2022 2:23 pm

Correct. At the bottom of the entire human CO2 emissions hustle is: MONEY.

Cui bono

Rich Davis
Reply to  Janice Moore
May 22, 2022 5:55 pm

And it’s actually important that the goal is impossible to reach. If there were modest goals with realistic timelines somebody might demand cost-benefit analysis and competitive bids and such.

They need to create a sense of urgency—waste anything but time.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 22, 2022 7:45 pm

“Hurry! While supplies last!”

Just two-bit, commonplace, hustlers.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 23, 2022 12:28 pm

Yes Janice. Please take a look at this recently released information everyone.

Intended consequences: energy price rises & inflation
May 21, 2022

Reply to  RevJay4
May 23, 2022 2:26 pm

“Charts and graphs and illustrations…oh my!” Have you ever seen a schedule for an 1850 sailing ship? Do you want your whole life to be on that – wind dependent – schedule?

Last edited 1 month ago by Curious George
Tom Halla
May 22, 2022 6:46 am

A real problem is making sure costs are allocated properly. One really should attribute the costs of conventional backup to weather dependent sources, making them even more expensive.
And the system where speculators in wind do not pay for backup, either by receiving vastly discounted rates for their unreliable power, or direct payments to the conventional source owners lead to bad investment choices.

Michael ElliottMichael Elliott
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 22, 2022 7:28 am

When all of the real costs are exposed, they will come up with, ” But how much are you prepared to pay or to Save the Planet.

Only when we the general public demand that that they ” Prove” that we face a End of Life situation, will we get any sense out of our politicians.

So what about India & China, plus the rest.

Do we go to War to stop them emitting.

After all we could say that they are putting us in grave danger.

Of course when the lights start to go out & the politicians run for cover, the madness will cease.

Michael VK5ELL

Reply to  Michael ElliottMichael Elliott
May 22, 2022 10:42 am

Hence my suggestion that cost be initially left out of the presentations – just sheet home the physical unviability of w&s.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 22, 2022 7:41 am

Yes, exactly.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 22, 2022 10:31 am

Batteries only have ~1.5 hrs @ their rated power. New batteries are at least 2 hrs. It’s still a sad
joke vs what’s needed for a day. UK- ~700GWh/day used; ~2GWh battery storage

Matt Kiro
May 22, 2022 7:13 am

So much good information in this article, especially the cost analysis comparison. But the idea that CO2 is some kind of poison and needs to be captured or eliminated at all costs needs to be continually fought all the time. It is essential to life on this planet and if humans help return more of it to the atmosphere, that is a good thing. There doesn’t seem to be a consistent way for all the carbon based fuels we use to naturally get recycled if humanity isn’t doing it.

Reply to  Matt Kiro
May 22, 2022 8:12 am


not sure about who else is here that can make a lotta sense from the graphics, but I am having trouble with most of them.

The basic premiss of the thread seems to highlight the “cost” of the “renewables” compared to using natural gas or hydro power or even coal to get our electricity. OTOH, there are a few situations where using solar PV’s or small windmills to get the volt because there ain’t no power lines nearby. I had to make my own PV panels to recharge cordless tools, etc. after a hurricane knocked out our powerlines for over a month. $$ were not a factor, and I only had to minimally power one home. No air conditioning or electric oven, but low amp things like laptop, radio and such were easy peasy.

But the greenies do not understand the immense investment in both $$$ and inconvenience required to switch to “renewable” power in order to decrease emitting the evil Co2 that will make Earth a furnace in just a few years. They also do not understand the change in lifestyle once they switch to electric vehicles/heating units and have to ration their electricity to compensate for weather effects upon the windmill and PV panel capabilities. I shudder to think about living in a big apartment building and charging my car according to some schedule or priority.

Gums sends…

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Matt Kiro
May 22, 2022 10:22 am

CO2 emissions are too often presented as a negative when in fact they are a positive for the environment. Increased CO2 results in increased plant productivity. Additionally, cold is the greater killer, not the heat.

Ron Long
May 22, 2022 7:22 am

Although I am heartened by the good comments, regarding the true cost of “renewables”, I believe the real problem is that unscrupulous politicians buy the votes of the stupid/gullible portion of the population, and remember “you can’t fix stupid”. Sure, eventually the right people are elected and they repair the economic damage, but as soon as everyone is doing OK they throw their vote to the left and start the cycle over again. CAGW is one trick pony for the left, and they won’t give it up.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Ron Long
May 22, 2022 9:59 am

You nailed it. That self-serving, fickle middle needs to suffer enough pain caused by their folly to see
the light. Hopefully, for all of our sakes, that will be before they get permanently cancelled!

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Ron Long
May 22, 2022 10:13 am

More often the “barbarians” invade and replace policy rather than it gets doe internally.

Dave Fair
Reply to  AndyHce
May 22, 2022 11:26 am

Learn to speak Mandarin.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  AndyHce
May 22, 2022 12:10 pm

That invasion includes the 10% paid to the Big Guy! 😮

Rud Istvan
May 22, 2022 7:42 am

There is a pretty simple basic renewable dynamic. The renewable companies fund politicians who provide renewable subsidies that enable renewable companies to fund politicians…. In the US we had Solyndra/Obama for half a $billion, and many others. That is in principle a fixable dynamic. It will just take a few renewable disasters to wake voters up to oust the culpable politicians like Newsom, Hochul, Biden, and BoJo.

And then we also have the really stupid, like AOC and her Green New Deal. You cannot fix stupid.

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 22, 2022 7:48 am

There is a fix for stupid, but it’s both terminal and generally gets frowned on.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 22, 2022 1:44 pm

We need to hope that Germany provides the ultimate disaster example, as they have done previously. In the meantime, I stress the wonder of Carbon Dioxide at every possible occasion, although the usual reaction from friends and acquaintances is to regard me as a backward fool. That’s something I can tolerate, and just occasionally it creates the opportunity to demonstrate that the other person is the fool. Meanwhile, we must ALL use every opportunity to point out the idiocy of our critics – one day, we may win through even though it will take a genuine catastrophe of the scale predicted by the Alarmists!

May 22, 2022 7:56 am

The fact that gas is clean and efficient – plus we all have connections – should make it a no-brainer.

This has spooked the alarmists into ludicrous claims that increased supply does not lower prices.

Now The Guardian has a new name for any coal, oil or gas project

A Carbon bomb

“Revealed: the ‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown”

That probably took a few lunches…

Dave Andrews
Reply to  fretslider
May 22, 2022 8:44 am

Absolutely ludicrous story and yet in subsequent days several readers letters readily adopted the phrase under a heading ” ‘Carbon bomb’ makers put all our lives at risk”.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
May 22, 2022 8:48 am

It’s the Guardian – griff’s bible

Last edited 1 month ago by fretslider
CD in Wisconsin
May 22, 2022 8:04 am
  • the “Carbon footprint” of Weather-Dependent generation 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.


That is something I have wondered about for some time now. If this is true, then there certainly is no justification at all for wind turbines and solar panels. One does not even have to look at the physics and engineering involved

  • when viewed in the round, all these installation activities are entirely dependent on the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels both as feedstocks for the materials and as fuels for manufacturing.


So much for leaving fossil fuels in the ground as street protesters like to say on their placards. It is amazing how wind solar are dependent on the ignorance of the public and the mainstream media for the survival of their industry.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
May 22, 2022 8:23 am

Regarding my second point above….
Keep it in the ground…

Climate change protesters interrupt U.S. fossil fuel event at climate talks – YouTube

Steve Case
May 22, 2022 8:28 am

The most cost effective, reliable and incidentally the least CO2 emitting means of fossil fuel power generation is the use of Natural Gas. 

Which is why the UK is decommissioning gas wells and sealing them with concrete. A short Google search on “UK sealing gas wells with concrete” turns up an ugly list of web pages on the topic.

Ok, that really doesn’t answer why. For that try a search on “insanity”

Bob Close
Reply to  Steve Case
May 22, 2022 2:04 pm

Steve, you re out of date mate. The UK this month has stopped this bureaucratic nonsense and will allow these wells to stay open, whilst a rethink is going on about energy due to the Ukraine war. Lately, like the EU they have allowed gas to be a Green transitional energy source whilst they work out how to stabilize energy prices!. Gosh they might even allow new fracking drilling in Lancashire and oil and gas exploration in the North Sea – real progress at last, as energy poverty sets in for the poor, and complaints to politicians rises ever higher to do something about costs of living.
Threaten a politicians future at the ballot box and they will react. This lesson has not yet been learn in Australia, that has just elected a socialist Labor government intent on prosecuting net zero policies, closing coal fired power and delivering more unreliable and expensive renewable energy into a tight grid. They will have their blackouts sooner than they anticipate, and may then realize their mistakes; but the Green mania is held most strongly be the woke elite entrenched in comfortable inner city gulags where they can afford any energy costs, except those pesky blackouts. Its the only way to bring reality back to them when their electronic gadgets and cars don’t work, and force them to question their religious zeal about fossil fuel energy, CO2 and the rest of the climate issues, they have foisted on the rest of us!.

May 22, 2022 8:55 am

Unreliables are not only weather, but environment dependent, thus clear cutting for wind tunnels and clear skies, a Green blight upon the ecosystem.

May 22, 2022 9:56 am

No one has yet addressed these facts: Unexpected and expected drops-offs are routine to wind and solar, that is why they need gas back-up. Wind and solar need gas, gas does not need wind and solar. In the real world why is it that nearly every article about natural gas failing winds up revealing a wind failure?

Adding intermittent renewables to an electric grid ALWAYS raises the costs of electricity and lowers reliability, because wind and solar need gas, gas does not need wind and solar.

May 22, 2022 10:12 am
May 22, 2022 10:12 am

It’s not just our leaders who have been duped, so have the people. It’s amazing how few understand the intermittency of renewables and the need for backup by fossil fuels. It shows you how much power the media holds and who controls it.

May 22, 2022 10:25 am

To my mind, the above article destroys the often-heard claim that solar and wind are becoming competitive with, and even beating, conventional power sources on price. It should be sent to every politician and opinion molder on the planet.

That would address the cost front. Next, find an equally good article regarding the benefits of CO2 and the greening of the world and send that along.

And, after that, send along the article in here discussing the paper, written in 2012, on the expected, and now realized, risks of subsidizing renewable generation in the Texas grid.

And, finally, an article summing up the environmental damages not included in the cost figures, from damage due to mining resources, to destructive land use, to dead eagles.

That four-front assault, cost, benefits of CO2, destructiveness of subsidization, and environmental damages, should at least give those now blindly voting for additional laws favoring renewables something to consider.

And, for a fifth front, or possibly as an initial teaser to get their attention, show the constituent carnage already being caused in states and countries where renewables have been most advantaged by the political class. Hint: It’s not a good re-election strategy, and it could get the proverbial ball rolling back in the right direction.

May 22, 2022 11:09 am

If one looks into the details of how the numbers were generated for this article, one finds many reasons to be skeptical of what has been presented.

For starters, the costs presented here do not use an appropriate unit of measure. Cost per KWH or cost per MWH of electricity is what really matters. For this reason alone, the numbers presented here are not very useful, and may actually be irrelevant for making valid cost comparisons between technologies.

There are also significant flaws and omissions in the numbers themselves.
For example: under the link in the article “A 2020 model of comparative costings for power generation technologies”, which was used to generate these numbers, one finds “service life before full replacement” at just 18 years for solar PV. This is wildly understated. Most solar panels have power warranties of 20 to 25 years, and typically continue to produce power long after that.
Also, there is no description of whatever methodology was used to calculate “taking productivity into account ” cost values, which, once again, are not even stated in an appropriately useful unit of measure.

Summary: there are good reasons to conclude that the numbers presented here are not useful and are not reliable.

It is also disappointing to see how so many folks commenting here have just routinely accepted what has been presented in this article with zero questions asked. This is an example of “skeptical” consideration of information?

Corky the cat
May 22, 2022 11:43 am

“Natural gas …. CO2 emissions 1/2 that of burning Coal or Lignite”

Not when it’s LNG which produces 30% higher net emissions than coal due to compression/cooling, shipping, re-gasification. The rush is for LNG to fix Europe’s Russian natural gas dependence.

May 22, 2022 1:16 pm

Not mentioned is that Solar, at least, and more than likely wind, create more real pollutants than if the fossil fuels were just used alone.
Duke Energy application points finger at solar for increased pollution
RALEIGH — A seven-month investigation and numerous public information requests have revealed the move to increase solar power might be leading to an increase in the very emissions alternative energy sources aim to reduce.
Duke spokeswoman Kim Crawford confirmed that increased solar power on the state’s electric grid is increasing emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a dangerous air pollutant. She said that reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could also reverse if current solar growth continues without policy changes.
Climate advocates blame increases in manmade gases like CO2 for global warming and have promoted solar power as environmentally clean.
An increase in emissions triggers the need to rethink national energy policy, experts say.
…Crawford provided measurements showing that even on sunny days — when solar power is at its maximum output — more NOx pollution is released into the air than would occur if no solar electricity were used and natural gas were used instead.
That’s because traditional power plants — including cleaner burning natural gas plants — must scale back electric generation to accommodate solar energy surging onto the system when the sun rises, and power back up when the sun sets and solar energy dissipates. That starting and stopping reduces efficiency and incapacitates emission control devices, increasing pollutant levels.
On other days solar energy is erratic and can result in more frequent cycling of reserve sources, further decreasing power plant efficiency. This increased cycling can result in increased emissions and undue wear and tear on the expensive equipment…

May 22, 2022 3:07 pm

Outstanding. This needs wide circulation especially to the average Joe.

May 22, 2022 8:05 pm

Was it Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) who said it best? “Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel,”

The Greens, which includes almost all media, will cheerfully lie, and repeat and attempt to verify their lies, as they believe they are defending the Earth. They hate all forms of mining, and all forms of exhausted gases.

What they ignore is prosperity, prosperity is dependent on extracting materials from the Earth and using them to make useful products. No mining, no prosperity.

When the stupidity of this reaches a certain level, as electric bills and gas prices continue to rise, people will realize that they have been Hood-Winked by Eco-Warriors. Another famous quote: Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

This too shall pass…


Reply to  Michael Moon
May 22, 2022 10:41 pm

Did Mark Twain not also say “it is easier to fool a man than to convince him that he has been fooled”.

Ben Vorlich
May 23, 2022 5:41 am

Apparently because the UK hasn’t spent enough of infrastructure for renewables it’s costing us £1 billion a year.

Energy crisis deepens as UK squanders ‘billions’ in power: ‘Only going to rise’

Britain is currently grappling with the effects of a global fossil fuel energy crisis, as the cost of wholesale gas skyrockets, causing household electricity and gas bills to reach record levels. In April, Ofgem raised the price cap for millions of household energy bills by a massive 54 percent to reach £1,971 a year. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government is taking significant steps to end the energy crisis, through a heavy focus on homegrown renewable energy, experts argue that the country is lacking critical infrastructure that is forcing the National Grid to pay wind farms to stop generating electricity at certain times of the day.

Today Wind and Solar are supplying 16% of UK Electricity demand and gas 55%. I doubt very much if a billion quid investment will make much difference to that. Unless Griff can prover otherwise?

May 23, 2022 5:55 am

A couple points that don’t contradict the main message:
1) capacity factor of 90% for gas plants is not real world. Gas plants do need maintenance etc, so 60% to 80% is more realistic.
2) solar PV and wind have curtailment issues. This is a not insignificant cost to use, which increases as alt-e penetration increases, because dumping excess electricity turns out not to be free. Costs are in the $15/MWh range but can be much higher.

May 23, 2022 6:18 am

A whole lot was left out of this “accounting” of actual Renewable Energy Costs.

Electrical renovations to replace Natural Gas Heating in homes and businesses will carry initial investments of $10k-$15k minimum and will bring with it double to quadruple monthly heating bills.

Demand for electricity will double as Electrical Vehicle Mandates are established.

Driving more than ~250 miles a day will not be possible without an 8-10 hour recharge.

Demand for Lithium will increase 100 times. Prices of EV Batteries will quadruple at a minimum and they are ALREADY too expensive. And they need replacing.

Synthetic Aviation fuels (which aren’t in the pipeline) will cost at least 4 times current fossil fuels.

High powered off road diesel (Agriculture/Construction etc.) CANNOT be run on batteries……. Biodiesel costs multiples of fossil fuels.

Commercial Trucking cannot be run on batteries……..


This list could go on for many pages…AND EVERY SINGLE PARAGRAPH is an Economy-Killing show stopper.

WHERE is the Adult Leadership to extract us from this slow motion CATASTROPHE?

The GOP is worthhless…(RINO’s are 30%).

Therefore… Apocalypse Soon if not Apocalypse Now.

Catastrophe cannot be avoided unless we have a real 2022 US Election with blowout “Democrat Deatroying” results.

But no GOP Candidates are warning about the impending Cost Driven Economy-Killing Federal Mandates sure to come if Democrats are not politically “destroyed” this fall.

Steve Browne
May 23, 2022 9:43 pm

The U.S. Canada, Europe and Australia are cutting off their noses to spite their faces, but Asia, South America, and Africa will not. They understand that improving human welfare requires abundant and affordable energy and that only fossil fuel and nuclear generation can do that. Worries about CO2 and climate change are a concern mainly of the elites of the world and the climate-change profiteers. They can afford to jet around the world trying to convince the rest of us we need expensive, unreliable renewable energy while they get rich on government subsidies propping up their uneconomical renewable energy scams. Meanwhile China will gladly sell us all the solar panels and storage batteries we want. They will become richer while we become poorer.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Browne
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