A Few Graphs Say It All for Weather-Dependent “Renewables”

From edmhdotme

Ed Hoskins,

A few graphs show it all for Wind and Solar power

This is the 10-year productivity record for European Weather-Dependent “Renewables”:  that is the annual power output divided by the nominal installation rating of the Weather-Dependent “Renewables” installations over the last decade.

Conventional power generation, Gas-firing, Coal or Nuclear technologies:

  • run 24/7
  • can be turned on when needed to match demand
  • use small land coverage
  • can be located close to centres of demand
  • produce much more energy for use by civilisation than the energy they need to be built and run:  Energy return on Energy Invested
  • use limited materials for their installation
  • are substantially cheaper for their power production, even at current elevated European Gas prices

The US  EIA, Energy Information Administration, produces comparative capital and long-term costs for power generation technologies.  When their “Renewables” costs are matched with the recorded European productivity for generating the same amount of power over the year and compared to the cheapest power generation technology Gas-firing at USA prices the comparative value for money is stark.

This comparison anticipates that the current European price for Natural gas fuel is some 4 times the standard USA price for fracked Gas production.

Would anyone sane buy a car costing 4 – 15 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. 

Even at vastly increased EU Gas prices the excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” is still very large.

The scale of the wasted expenditure for the current UK “Renewables” fleet is about 1/4 £ Trillion.

These simple calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel generation are patently false

Appreciating that future “Climate Change” from Man-kind burning fossil fuels is a non-problem and not reacting to that non-problem in an economically destructive manner would be the very best news for the Biosphere, for Man-kind and for the Western world.

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Tom Halla
August 21, 2022 10:10 am

It needed a graph of how unreliable wind in particular is. Texas had a recent phase during a heat wave when wind was 3% of nameplate output.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 21, 2022 11:31 am

Even less than 3% for a few hours before the February 2021 blackout.
Of course the sad fact about windmills is that really low output can happen for an hour in every week of the year, even for a whole state like Texas. You just don’t know when.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 21, 2022 12:06 pm

Agreed. Scale each source to produce numerically the same as demand. Then look at the surpluses and deficits at least hour by hour and see how much would be curtailed and how much would need to be sourced from backup. Obviously the totals would be the same, but the backup requirement could be a total of almost peak demand, and the surplus almost the entire difference between renewable capacity and minimum demand.

Look at how it changes if you add in some storage at different round trip efficiencies, which will require more capacity to cover the round trip losses. See how big the storage needs to be, using as long a timespan as you can.

Then try optimising a combination of wind and solar.

Francis Menton’s articles go closer to the bone on these issues.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 21, 2022 12:49 pm

Most of the “renewable” energy generation in Texas is in West Texas and the Panhandle.
Most of the energy demand in Texas in in the North to South (I35) Central part of the State and the Coast. Transmission line losses alone has to diminish delivered product. When the City Government in Houston boasts that it uses 100% renewable energy they are naive or lying. Those electrons serving the city are generated much closer and from traditional sources. How does an electron distinguish and decide to service government use opposed to private sector?

Reply to  czechlist
August 21, 2022 10:40 pm

A graph presenting the random productivity would be nice to add. Eg in Finland we had a very hot July. When electricity was most needed for air conditioning, the productivity of our wind was very low. The link of our network company gives a good picture: Hot summer & cold winter means no wind.

John Garrett
August 21, 2022 10:24 am

The surge of natural gas prices (and electricity) in Europe occurred well prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That’s because of the utter failure of wind and solar electricity generation in Europe and the UK in the fall of 2021.

The wind didn’t blow and the sun didn’t shine.

Lame stream media have steadfastly refused to report that fact.

Reply to  John Garrett
August 21, 2022 10:45 am

The wind did blow and the sun did shine outside of operating range.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  n.n
August 21, 2022 11:44 am

At one point I captured a map from Ventusky which I called global stilling. Almost everywhere over land wind speeds were low simultaneously. There was a small storm in Northern Siberia. The stilling extended into the offshore wind farm provinces too.

Steve Richards
Reply to  John Garrett
August 21, 2022 12:17 pm

The MSM did mention it a couple of times, quoting the EU says “The wind did not meet its predicted supply causing gas storage to be used more than planned, leading to …”

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Steve Richards
August 21, 2022 1:50 pm

Let me guess…they blamed the wind shortfall on…climate change.


Michael Velik
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
August 21, 2022 8:16 pm

Climate Change is the excuse for everything. The dog ate my homework because of climate change. I swear, I swear.

Reply to  John Garrett
August 22, 2022 6:56 am
August 21, 2022 10:26 am

griff, since you didn’t comment about the paper on drought, how about commenting on this one?

Reply to  Oldseadog
August 21, 2022 11:32 am

10 yard penalty for begging the grifter to comment

Gunga Din
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 12:48 pm

Make it 15 and loss of down.

Reply to  Gunga Din
August 21, 2022 1:13 pm

Aw, c’mon, I need my fix of amusing entertainment from time to time.

Richard Page
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 21, 2022 1:32 pm

Not much entertainment value – 1 post or a couple of comments that we’ve all seen him do before. You’d hope he’d keep it fresh or add some new material but, no, just peddling the same tired old stuff he always does. Extremely limited entertainment there, I’m afraid!

August 21, 2022 10:31 am

I am so tired of the lying green devils, they make me sick.

Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 10:41 am

The renewables ‘solution’ to a non-problem will eventually crash and burn. Sooner rather than later, as the renewable reality gets starker and starker. Greenie flimflam gets ever harder to excuse. UK and Germany are among the leading self created crash test dummies. Especially with the new French nuclear maintenance problems affecting a significant proportion of their older nuclear fleet. Essentially, there is now no reserve dispatchable capacity in the western EU grid system to cover renewable intermittency.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 10:55 am

“renewables…will eventually crash and burn…”

In a market driven context, yes, but the government can print money to sustain it forever.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  tgasloli
August 21, 2022 11:16 am

Printing money won’t help solve grid blackouts, which happen when there is no more dispatchable reserve generating capacity so demand exceeds supply. Voltage sags, frequency slows, and to protect generators from mechanical and thermal damage they trip off automatically when thresholds are reached. IIRC for Europe at 50Hz, the blackout autotrip is 47.5Hz. Yup, just checked. Nominal normal is 49.8-50.2.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 11:47 am

Printing money won’t help solve grid blackouts,”

Maybe you could burn the money?
It’s green

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 3:59 pm

Almost all of it is digital, not actually printed.

Michael Velik
Reply to  AndyHce
August 21, 2022 8:18 pm

So you need electricity to use it. No electricity, no digital money. Perhaps paper or metal might prove to be more durable and resilient.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Michael Velik
August 22, 2022 5:04 pm

Just remember when things go south you need the Three G’s:
-gold to buy things
-a garden to grow your food and a place to hide your gold
-a gun, to keep hungry poor people away from your garden.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 11:47 pm

The UK government are planning to pay people not to use electricity at peak times to avoid blackouts

Reply to  Redge
August 22, 2022 10:23 am

Let’s examine that, shall we? “Peak” times, I would think, are the times when electricity use is “most required”. The numskulls in the governments (U.K. & other) calculate that those “most required” times will just disappear if $$$ are handed out? Something missing here.

Reply to  Sturmudgeon
August 22, 2022 10:46 am

It’s called “green thinking”

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  tgasloli
August 21, 2022 11:16 am

Not very money literate, but we had inflation like this when the first “renewable” fad started two generations ago. Lots of lack of homework, intentional or not. What will we do with the fossil wind turbines, a whole lot more than we had before? Like birds from dinosaurs, some survived. Lousy metaphor?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
August 22, 2022 9:28 am

Europe has 38GW of wind that will reach the end of its normal operating life of 20 years by 2025. Some may be repowered but most will probably be scrapped,

Reply to  Dave Andrews
August 22, 2022 10:25 am

I know that you meant “38GW of wind powered windmills”….

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 11:38 am

There may be a tipping point after all
Not directly related to AGW
When an electric grid reaches a certain percentage of unreliable weather dependent energy without 100% fossil fuel backup, the grid may become much more vulnerable to minute by minute supply-demand balancing problems that cause blackouts. Where a planned rolling blackout or unplanned blackout becomes inevitable.

On the other hand, there is good news about a tipping point:
The employees who maintain the electric grid will find their jobs to be much more exciting. No more boring ho hum days at work.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 10:57 am

We had a saying –
“If you think safety at sea is expensive – try having an accident . . .”


Dennis G. Sandberg
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 11:42 am

Agree with what you say, but “sooner rather than later”, is a lot less sooner than you might be thinking. Biden’s new $400 billion inflation inflaming Act ensures that we’re going to have more wind and solar five years from now then we are currently stuck with. IF dems continue to dominate all three branches it’ll just keep getting worse. We’ll blow right past Germany’s insane “energiewende”. To the best of my knowledge, Senator Cruz (R), TX is the only person in the DC sewer to recently forcefully speak out against the climate/renewable hoax. Sooner is a long time coming, if ever, the financial collapse may very well proceed it IMHO.

August 21, 2022 10:44 am

Unaffordable, unavailable, Green and renewable.

Reply to  n.n
August 21, 2022 10:47 am

Go green, go without.

Reply to  Scissor
August 21, 2022 10:56 am

Go Green and spread the renewable/intermittent/unreliable blight. Don’t be green, go green, emit.

Reply to  Scissor
August 21, 2022 2:55 pm

Go green, go down.

Reply to  Scissor
August 21, 2022 11:50 pm

Go green, drag everyone else down to your joyless, meatless existence

August 21, 2022 10:46 am

Thank you Ed Hoskins. However, wind and solar power are actually much worse than your graphs state – because wind and solar get “free first access” to the grid, backing out reliable power sources, and those reliable power sources have to absorb the cost of cutting back.
This additional “free subsidy” to intermittent wind and solar grid-connected power has been in place since Day 1 in most jurisdictions.

That is what happens when we let uneducated, corrupt politicians fool with energy systems.

Told you so 20 years ago. 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.”
I published on September 1, 2002:
3. “If [as we believe] solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”

I updated my global cooling prediction in 2013:
3a. “I suggest global cooling starts by 2020 or sooner. Bundle up.”

UAH_LT_1979_thru_June_2022_v6-1660559339.3901.jpg (749×432) (pressablecdn.com)

I say global cooling started either Feb2016 or Feb2020. Temperature extremes are exacerbated by divergences of the Polar Vortex towards the equator. Extreme cold events are being recorded all over the world.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
August 21, 2022 3:07 pm

“I say global cooling started either Feb2016 or Feb2020.”

Wrong two times
Guess again.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 11:51 pm

Missing Griff?

Richard Page
Reply to  Redge
August 22, 2022 2:45 am

Yes he’s far too good at dodging.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 5:25 am

Short term trends mean nothing, but the NOAA global average temperature anomaly trends for 2016-2022 and 2020-2022 are both negative. The 2016 anomaly of 0.92 oC has been equalled but not exceeded since then. Revisit in 10 years time and see what’s happened by then. As it stands, it’s nonsense to say he’s wrong and nonsense to say he’s right.


Reply to  DaveS
August 23, 2022 1:18 pm

Dave – See electroverse.net for cold-driven crop failures around the planet.

It does not take long for cold weather to kill crops, or people. Note the huge crop failure on the Great Plains of 2019 and the Texas freeze of Feb2021 that killed hundreds.

Yes, it is early-stage, but I think I’ve nailed this – global cooling is happening now just as we predicted and published in 2002.

Most scientists make their predictions in hindsight – no-risk, but also of absolutely no benefit to anyone.

It certainly is NOT warming anymore.

One more prediction – hope to be wrong.

We predicted it in 2002 and 2013 – it was all terribly costly – in dollars and lives – and all entirely avoidable.
A willful squandering of the lives of innocents.
Crimes against humanity.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
August 23, 2022 6:15 pm

Electroverse articles will now only be posted on the new site electroverse.co due to technical and censorship issues.
The domain electroverse.net is under constant attack and the server is often going down.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
August 23, 2022 6:46 pm

Summer Frosts Sweep Siberia/Central Asia; Additional Snow Hits South Africa; Record-Cold Sweeps Australia And South America; + Germany To Prioritize Coal Trains Over Passenger Services – Electroverse
Excerpt by Cap Allon:

Today, August 23, the Southern Hemisphere (90°S-0) is -0.4C below the 1979-2000 base.
The media’s failure to report on this fact leaves the trusting and dutiful among us dangerously uninformed. ‘Dangerously’ because the eco-warrior solution to a supposedly catastrophically-warming planet is to eradicate cheap and reliable energy.

This would be folly even if the planet was found to be warming (which it no longer is, of course). If you want environmental issues to be addressed–of which I fully recognize there are plenty–plunging 99% of the global population into poverty is not the way to do it — the opposite is. Research shows time and time again that the more affluent a populous the more environmentally savvy they become (not worrying where the hell your family’s next meal is going to come from probably has something to do with it).

However, I am not naive. Raising the masses out of poverty is most certainly not in the best interest of the elites. That’s a bloody non-starter as far as they’re concerned. A population that’s hungry is a population that works. As professor George Kent of the University of Hawaii infamously wrote, without the threat of hunger the global economy would cease to exist:
“For those of us at the high end of the social ladder, ending hunger globally would be a disaster. If there were no hunger in the world, who would plow the fields? Who would harvest our vegetables? Who would work in the rendering plants? Who would clean our toilets? We would have to produce our own food and clean our own toilets. No wonder people at the high end are not rushing to solve the hunger problem. For many of us, hunger is not a problem, but an asset.”

Muse on that foolish eco-warriors as this coming Northern Hemisphere winter draws in — a season ‘they’ themselves have warned will be accompanied by blackouts and food shortages. Awaken in horror as the fantasy that you and your activist chums marched for, that you disrupted traffic by gluing yourself to the highways for, materializes before your foolish and blinded eyes.

Good luck with that, you fools. I hope you’re ready, you fools.
Winter 2022 in the Southern Hemisphere should serve as something of a warning shot. If you think Mother Nature is going to reward the alarmists’ planet-saving endeavors then you are sorely mistaken. Mother Nature is a no-shit-giving bitch who eats dumb ideologies for breakfast–as is only right. This is her planet, after all, why would she ever cater to the will of idiots.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 23, 2022 6:54 pm

Richard Greene – has Griff stolen your ID? Sometimes you write sensible posts, and sometimes you write woke nonsense – “Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde”.
In any case, this note is for Griff… and Mr Hyde and green wokesters everywhere:

Science doesn’t work the way you think it does.
Science is not all about YOU, your hissy fits, your jumping up and down, your screaming and having that awkward little zzzt in your pants.
Science requires competence and evidence, not your childish rants and temper tantrums.

You may not know it, but you are following Lenin’s plan to destroy the Western democracies.
You and your fellow-travellers are behind Door #2:
2. “It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.”
How do I say this nicely? Go vaxx yourself!
Regards, Allan

Lenin wrote: https://www.azquotes.com/author/8716-Vladimir_Lenin
– NNB #1 to 7 – the strategy to subvert our free society
– NNB #2 – why alarmists don’t debate climate or covid science – they just shout-down realists.
– NNB #5 – crush the middle class with taxation and inflation – what is happening now, via government over-spending.
1 “People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics.”
2 “It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.”
3 “Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”
4 “The goal of socialism is communism.”
5 “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
6 “Trust is good, but control is better.”
7 “As an ultimate objective, “peace” simply means communist world control.”



August 21, 2022 10:56 am

A blight, an ectopic integration, a septic impregnation, a stillbirth, a dysfunctional evolution. Productivity is the mother of viability.

Kevin McNeill
August 21, 2022 10:58 am

Cue Nick,Griff, et al to say it ain’t so!

Reply to  Kevin McNeill
August 21, 2022 11:44 am

I’ll be the grifter since he is not here yet: I have deleted reason and accountability, and then fell down and hit my head on the sidewalk. Now I can think like the grifter:

The key to success with wind turbines is to match your energy use to when the blades are spinning. The blades will be viewable online using closed circuit cameras. In addition, there will soon be portable nuclear powered fans to spin those blades when Mother Nature fails. Technology will solve all problems.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Kevin McNeill
August 21, 2022 2:02 pm

Griff and Nick missing in action.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 21, 2022 2:51 pm

Maybe they flew somewhere faraway for a vacation, to an eco-lodge without Internet.
I bet they reuse their sheets and towels, though, and recycle their straws.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 21, 2022 7:35 pm

Nick is off reading up on his Electrical Engineering because he has been found wanting in his “self expert” status. Griff is probably in a power blackout.

Chris Morris
August 21, 2022 11:15 am

The most effective graph to do is for a grid, the generation by renewables and the actual grid load. Do it over say a month period. Scale the renewables so they are the same height as the grid graph. It will show the unreliables are good at generating power when its not needed and missing in action over the peaks.
Then focus in on the areas where they don’t match. High grid load, little or new renewables. The question to then put to the unreliables proponents is “how will you bridge that gap?”. How much will the consumer have to pay for that? Because if they don’t fill the missing generation, it’s power cuts. One finds they go very quiet, then start muttering about theory or somesuch.

Reply to  Chris Morris
August 21, 2022 11:46 am

Unreliables power output in one-minute intervals as a percentage of nameplate capacity.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 12:42 pm

That is my particular gripe. If they virtually never achieve their nameplate capacity, isn’t that fraud on a gigantic scale?

Reply to  Mike Lowe
August 21, 2022 11:52 pm

Hear! hear!

A Johnson
Reply to  Mike Lowe
August 25, 2022 4:47 pm

or “Irrational optimism”? — perennial symptom of Liberals’ unrequited yearning for the tantalising mirage of the Socialist Utopia. . .

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Chris Morris
August 21, 2022 2:07 pm

Some interesting graphs for the UK at Gridwatch, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual.


Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 21, 2022 11:55 pm

I like IAmKate

So clear, even a green could understand (even if they ignore and claim unreliables are king)

Screenshot 2022-08-22 075357.jpg
Patrick B
Reply to  Chris Morris
August 22, 2022 9:25 am

ERCOT does a nice daily report for wind. It shows a variety of information on an hourly basis.
And anyone looking through these would conclude you better have regular back up for about 85% plus of the rated wind capacity. https://www.ercot.com/mp/data-products/data-product-details?id=NP4-735-ER

Old Man Winter
August 21, 2022 11:18 am

Thanks for the great article! While this exposes the higher cost of
solar & wind (SAW), this cost is still dwarfed by the YUGE cost of
making it reliable with ample storage & rechargeability capacity
for when the sun doesn’t shine & the wind doesn’t blow.



August 21, 2022 11:26 am

“Conventional power generation, Gas-firing, Coal or Nuclear technologies:

  • can be turned on when needed to match demand
  • can be located close to centres of demand”

First point is false:
Nuclear can not be turned on when needed
Coal can not be turned on when needed
Many gas turbines can not be turned on when needed
Some gas turbines are designed for a fast startup
Other gas turbines can be ready for peak demand every day, because the timing is very predictable, but that’s not how I would define “when needed”.

Second point is false for the US
Try building a new nuclear power plant anywhere, much less near centers of demand. Probably the same statement applies to a coal plant.

The first chart is very misleading
The 10 year average of productivity makes weather dependent energy look better. Reality is from 0% to 100% of nameplate capacity, depending on the hour of the day, and that is why so much backup power or very expensive batteries are needed. Averaged power output, or averaged productivity, hides the very serious problems of unreliables.

The concluding sentence is brilliant.
So many authors forget to mention the obvious issue: There is no problem to be solved by Nut Zero. We have lived through 47 years of global warming, since 1975, and if there were any problems, I must have missed them.

Chris Morris
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 11:33 am

Your points are not correct about coal or gas. During periods of low demand, they can run at part load, maybe 25% of rating. When the power is needed, they can ramp up quite quickly. OCGTs first to fill the gap, which the coal plant comes up to full load which is maybe half an hour. Then the GTs can be backed off. That is the way the grid used to operate 20 years ago.

Reply to  Chris Morris
August 21, 2022 11:55 am

“Your points are not correct about coal or gas. During periods of low demand, they can run at part load, maybe 25% of rating.”

25% costs money — REDUNDANT COSTS.
There will be times when no gas power is needed
There will be times when there is more wind power available than can be used.

Wouldn’t it make sense, and save money, to operate gas plants at 100% of capacity, or as close to 100% as possible. That would apply to baseload power, not to peaker plants.

Frequent ramp ups and ramp downs reduce the efficiency of the power plant and the lifespan of the equipment.

I did not consider even one half hour to be a fast start up for an unpredictable lull in the wind. Solar power is somewhat more predictable.

Ramp rates from spinning mode of most industrial frame gas turbine models are around 20% / minute and around 50% / minute for aeroderivative gas turbines. For combined cycle gas turbines, typical ramp rates are around 10 % / minute.

But for a cold start up:

About 25% of U.S. power plants can start up within an hour – EIA

Chris Morris
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 10:19 pm

You have changed your argument. You wrote “Coal can not be turned on when needed Many gas turbines can not be turned on when needed” That is what I responded to.
I know the operating costs are higher with two shifting (also called flexible operations), with also a decrease in reliability and increase in emissions. However, many coal plants were in that operating mode long before the unreliables came along.
I am well aware of how fast units can ramp. The screens around my desk show actual generation from the stations on a 30s refresh time. I also know how fast changing and unpredictable wind is, but the ramp rates of that are a lot slower than what equivalent sized OCGTs do.

Chris Morris
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 10:30 pm

Here is a ten year old article about two shifting coal
Mitigating the Effects of Flexible Operation on Coal-Fired Power Plants (powermag.com)
To quote the article:

  • Many utilities have performed trials on two-shift operation to reduce startup and shutdown time. Generally, startup times can be nearly halved from original base-load procedures so that large machines can be synchronized within 35 to 50 minutes of inserting the first burners—depending on unit size and configuration—and full load can be achieved in similar times. A target time to full load on a 500-MW machine is approximately 60 minutes.”

I have also been to several EPRI conferences where Flexible Operations and how to manage it was on the agenda..
It is more expensive and less reliable but it can be done. The real question is whether consumers are prepared to pay for it. Currently that cost is hidden.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Chris Morris
August 22, 2022 2:19 pm

You forgot to include this.

Two-Shift Operating Practice. Changes in operational practices can be an effective strategy for mitigating cycling damage. Several years ago, EPRI studied worldwide experience with two-shift operation (usually weekday starts with overnight shutdowns) and found that economic two-shifting can be achieved with due care and application of sound engineering and operational practice.” (underline bold by me)

Exactly how does overnight shutdown work with a large amount of solar? Batteries?

Chris Morris
Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 22, 2022 10:19 pm

Easy, Start them an hour before sunset and shut down an hour after sun rise. And they will be available for cloudy days. It can be practically done. The economics are a different matter.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 6:15 am

When I worked in a coal fired power plant some number of years ago, we started ramping up for the morning rush about 45 minutes before it hit. It was very predictable, and we could do it in a predictable manner. Responding to an unintended shutdown of a large unit in the system was a little harder, but with multiple units having some rolling reserve and having some hydro and combustion turbines, still possible without risking a blackout.

The problem today with wind and solar is the sudden unexpected drops in power and insufficient readily available backup.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 12:07 pm

I don’t agree with the points you make about conventional. At present the need to rapidly ramp up and down the conventional is mostly due to the huge variability of production from wind and solar as well as their idiotic preferential access to the power market. Leave them out and it is not such a hard problem to plan conventional output to match generally predictable load. There still needs to be some short term adjustability which rapidly dispatchable gas plants can meet but most of the variability now could be removed by removing the uneconomic and highly expensive renewables or forcing them to operate off of the grid. Conventional did fine before the incursion of the pathetic renewables.

As for where conventional can be built – that isn’t so much a technical problem as an image and propaganda problem. It will increasingly apply to renewables as their massive land and skyline footprint becomes unacceptable to residents. Even now the number of people thinking differently about nuclear (i.e. more positively) is growing as they begin to prioritize affordable and reliable power over environmental virtue signalling. People will want power they can afford when they want it however it can be delivered when they realize the renewable frenzy destroys their quality of life.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 21, 2022 2:42 pm

The huge amount of space needed for wind farms and solar farms would not be available near cities, and the best locations for wind and sun would usually be elsewhere too. Both would rarely be located near metropolitan areas where lots of people live, IMHO.

Too many people are against a new nuclear or coal plants, but 20 or 30 miles from a city would be feasible. Maybe a natural gas plant would not create many objections.

Leftists object to everything about fossil fuels, and probably about any wind farm, solar farm, or new transmission lines, that might lower their home’s value too — NIMBY. Leftists are never happy about anything.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 21, 2022 3:32 pm

“At present the need to rapidly ramp up and down the conventional is mostly due to the huge variability of production from wind and solar as well as their idiotic preferential access to the power market.”

That is exactly what I was commenting about — the ability to back up highly variable wind and solar at a moment’s notice, especially for wind. Not for predictable power demand peaks at the same time every day of the week.

Of course thermal ramp up is faster if already running at 25% of capacity, or more, but the green zealots oppose fossil fuels — I can’t imagine having fossil fuel power output averaging 25% of capacity would satisfy them or their Nut Zero scheme.

For a local utility there can be an unpredictable, random lull in the wind that needs fossil fuel backup immediately. When demand increases, operators can respond by increasing production from power plants that are already operating, generating electricity from power plants that are already running at a low level or on standby, importing electricity from distant sources, or calling on end-users who agreed to consume less electricity from the grid.

Risk of blackouts increases as solar and wind power increases as a percentage of total grid capacity. The grid may be “smart” but there are people involved, so higher risk means more problems.

It is typical that solar and wind do not have 100% fossil fuel backup and batteries are far too expensive for sufficient capacity to prevent problems from unreliable solar and wind power.

If you want a reliable electric grid,
then it should not include solar and wind power,
because they are UNRELIABLE.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 10:02 am

What all this leads to is that neither wind nor solar should be allowed on the grid unless they also provide something like 2 hours instantaneous backup (e.g, battery) for their nameplate capacity. This at least guaranties that if the grid has sufficient reserve capacity it will allow time to bring it online without causing blackouts. Of course it still doesn’t solve the excess cost of using them (i.e., coal, gas and nuclear) in standby.

Joseph Zorzin
August 21, 2022 11:30 am

“This comparison anticipates that the current European price for Natural gas fuel is some 4 times the standard USA price for fracked Gas production.”

Are Europeans at least beginning to discuss fracking? If they brought over American drillers who frack, have European geologists located ideal sites? How long would it take to build such an industry in the EU?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 21, 2022 11:55 am

I can answer the second part for the UK. The UK Bowlen shale looks ideal for fracking for natural gas according to Caudrilla and it’s test wells. And it is big and thick. Problem is, UK won’t allow it. So UK is increasingly dependent on US LNG.

Poland did allow exploration of its shales, but they proved unproductive. So the unexplored known shales in Germany and France are big question marks.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 12:41 pm

They will allow it, providing any seismic disturbance is kept below levels impossible to achieve e.g. dropping a shopping basket on the ground.


Reply to  HotScot
August 22, 2022 12:48 pm

Never ceases to amaze.

A Johnson
Reply to  HotScot
August 25, 2022 5:29 pm

Many here arrogantly and ignorantly dismiss the UK’s governmental and popular reluctance to frack the Bowland shales as “superstition”.

The Reason the UK won’t allow it is that it Britain a smallish island, densely inhabited, with no vast open spaces and public lands like the USA where, if fracking permanently ruins the local underground water supply from ancient springs and wells, it does’t impact many local residents. Even though most years (not all) there is adequate rainfall to recharge the ground water, potable water is much more precious than oil and gas. In dry summers wells and springs in the Forest of Bowland can and do run dry.

Quadrilla and the UK government refuse to be held liable for pollution of groundwater sources, or earthquake damage to local buildings.

Our family has a 2-story Grade B listed 15th century (working) farm house in the Forest of Bowland. it is a moderately common type of structure in rural Lancashire, which has no proper foundation: it is stone walls built on rammed earth, and its ground floor is finished with smoothed bitumen which is an attractive matte black, covered with wool rugs and carpets.

A prospecting oil company (Shell) 40 years ago stupidly set off a seismic device on the road near our house and cracked the walls; it took us 30 years in the court system with many sorts of experts to battle their experts, to reach a satisfactory out-or-court settlement for Shell to pay for re-enforcing all the walls to legal safety standards, = plus 30 years of our court costs, plus punitive remuneration for unreasonable delays in litigation causing 2 generations of our family much mental anguish as well as time, money, technical and legal research to get justice.

This sort of situation is common in the UK, but not even imagined in the USA. Americans don’t consider the law of unintended consequences in other countries with different geology, population densities, local and national laws, and different lifestyles. Fracking is straightforward in the USA; it’s not in the UK.

Ps. I am a Texan (whose father manufactured oilfield equipment) who married into an Northwestern English family. I know both sides of fracking. In some geographies it works, in others, it can have dangerous uninforseen side-effects.

A Johnson
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 25, 2022 5:02 pm

The Reason the UK won’t allow it is that it is a smallish island pretty much inhabited, with no vast open spaces like the USA where if fracking permanently ruins the local underground water supply, it does’t impact the local residents. Potable water is much more precious than oil and gas. Also, Quadrilla and the government refuse to be held liable for tremor damage to local buildings. Our family has a 15th century (working) farm house in the forest of Bowland which has no proper foundation: it is stone walls built on rammed earth finished with polished bitumen. An oil company 4o years ago set of a seismic device on the road near our house and cracked the walls; it took us 30 years in the court system to reach a satisfactory out-or-court settlement for re-bracing all the walls to acceptable safety standards.

This sort of situation is common in the UK, not in the USA and Americans don’t consider the law of unintended consequences in other countries and their geology and lifestyles. Ps. I am a Texan (whose father manufactured oilfield equipment) who married into an Northwestern English family. I know both sides of fracking. In some geographies it works, in others, it can have dangerous uninforseen side-effects.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 21, 2022 12:10 pm

Potentially massive supplies in the UK and certainly good reserves in other parts of Europe. Early signs from tests wells in UK suggest many decades or more of ample economic production – it is only anti-fracking, anti-fossil fuel superstition that prevents them from filling the void,

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 21, 2022 12:42 pm

Evidently, 10% will provide enough gas for the UK for 50 years.

Richard Page
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2022 1:35 pm

Well they are starting to expand the North Sea fields and banned selling it to Gazprom, so we’ll have to see if that’ll help to get the ball rolling again.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 21, 2022 2:07 pm

it is only anti-fracking, anti-fossil fuel superstition that prevents them from filling the void

Funded by Russia by all accounts. Things that make you go Hmmm…

August 21, 2022 12:33 pm

Going green – losing one’s marbles

Gordon A. Dressler
August 21, 2022 12:37 pm

Ed Hoskins,

What an excellent article! Short and to the point, backed up by readily accessible hard data.

Thanks for compiling this and presenting it in such an easy-to-see/understand format.

Peta of Newark
August 21, 2022 12:38 pm

The problem was, still is, and is now firmly entrenched is exactly why new Nuclear costs so much.

The Bureaucracy did it.
Because windmills and solar panels were and are ‘mandated’ – the suppliers of same could simply ‘name their price
And they did.

I followed windmills and went to a few ‘Open Days’ where someone had bought a windmill. Always for me, I looked at modest ‘farm size’ things up to maybe 15kW nameplate

What was soooo apparent was how quiet it became when you asked ‘How much are these things?
You then got The Spiel, about climate change of course but especially how much MONEY you were predicted to make from the thing and how this then justified the frankly insane amount of money that you had to lay out up front to buy the thing.

Going back 10 years, a diddy little 6kW turbine would cost you over £35,000 to have installed in a corner of your field.

At the same time, you could go onto ebay and get a Yang Shen (well regarded Chinese machine) for less than £2,000.
Then any reasonably competent farmer could dig some foundations, plant its tower in concrete and get a sparky to fit an inverter for (about) another £2,000.

So for less than 5 grand (planning permissions and legal hassles), your average reasonably well wind-endowed peassant could be making/selling electrickery

Yet the ‘official turbine’ cost 7 times more

The exact same applied to solar.
The Golden Goose was slaughtered before she ever laid even just one egg.

And that is where The Endemic Wrongness lies and has its heart.
Government has simply got too big, too self-important and because it is comprised of individuals who eat sugar and who drink alcohol – is a nest/hotbed of liars and lies.

They spend their working days passing bucks, attending meetings that only ever decide to ‘have another meeting’ and who actively avoid anything ‘scientific’ or ‘technical’ and thus endlessly deferring to ‘experts’
While ensuring they have the best working conditions, jobs-for-life, above average salaries & holiday entitlements and solid gold pensions.
While claiming to be sensitive and caring Public Servants.
Servants my ass – Little Hilters the whole damn lot of them

Yes we do need a Great Reset……

August 21, 2022 2:21 pm

From your link:
The Mis-Representation of the importance of Man-made Greenhouse Gasses
comment image?w=768&h=533

Have you no shame? Or do you just not see the hypocrisy of that headline paired with that graph? Are you denying the modern increase in CO2 is from human sources? If no, why publish such distorted lies?

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 3:04 pm

Good catch Loydo
I judge an article by what it claims and how well it supports the conclusions with facts and data. I’d never thought of checking the links with an article too — they usually just support what is in the article. All of them do for this article, except the one link you mentioned.

At that link, the same author of this article (I assume) claims to know the exact effect of CO2 as a percentage of the total greenhouse effect. That is a lie.

Then he claims that natural CO2 causes only 3.6% of the entire greenhouse effect of all CO,. which is delusional. In fact, manmade CO2 accounts for about 33% of all CO2 in the atmosphere today — about 420ppm — so manmade CO2 must account for about 33% of whatever greenhouse effect CO2 is responsible for. Not 3.6%. I can not trust any author with that mistaken 3.6% belief.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 4:14 pm

Uh huh. Is it merely severe sloppiness or is it deliberate misrepresentation?

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 8:05 pm

ROFL and you can’t get basic facts right … Run the numbers

Each part per million by volume of CO2 in the atmosphere represents approximately 2.13 gigatonnes of carbon, or 7.82 gigatonnes of CO2

Current atmospheric CO2 in GT = 7.82 * 420ppm = 3284 GT

Humans emit 36GT per year currently and CO2 is rising about 2.6ppm
So injecting 36GT turns into 2.6*7.82 = 20 GT

So there is a fairly healthy CO2 sink going on of about 40% of the emissions or sinking 16GT of human emissions even after we have done all we have to the planet. You may wish to ponder how did the 3200GT get there?

The point humans emissions crossed that 16GT (the measured sink) was 1972 so one argument is those are the only Human emissions that matter. There is also an argument you don’t need net zero you just need to stay inside the 16GT sink or more specifically net 0ppm. Can’t say I will ever understand the net zero emissions garbage.

However sanity and sound science argument is not a feature of climate science because it’s all about the money and socialism agenda.

Reply to  LdB
August 21, 2022 8:25 pm

“You may wish to ponder how did the 3200GT get there?”

About 2/3 natural CO2 and 1/3 manmade CO2
Next question please.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 12:57 am

First you failed at maths ….. adding up the emissions each year over 16GT and it’s about 1/6th man made and 5/6th Natural. It’s 50 years of over emission but it’s only just over in 1972 and then rises on a curve to 20GT in 2021.

You also avoided the more interesting part how does the natural bit get there given Earth is sinking human emissions.

So lets make that your next question since you are all over it.

Reply to  LdB
August 22, 2022 3:57 am

You are a true science denier.

CO2 increased from 280ppm estimated to 420ppm measured from manmade CO2 emissions that exceeded the +140ppm increase.

Some of the manmade emissions were absorbed by nature, Nature remains a net CO2 absorber.

The bottom line is that about 140ppm of the current 420ppm CO2 level got there from manmade CO2 emissions.

natural changes in CO2 levels are irrelevant because nature is a net CO2 absorber, so could not be responsible for the increase from 280ppm estimated.

End of story.

I tried to explain this most basic climate science simply so even a 12 year old child could understand it. Go find a 12 year old child to explain it to you.
And have a nice day.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 5:16 pm

You can tell from the dislikes that even though this blog has been attracting more credible articles in recent months, the commentariat remains the crackpots, cranks, and kooks who believe the same old anti-science myths from 2009. You can always tell when they lead off with an insult.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 22, 2022 11:25 pm

You lost the argument because the numbers don’t support it and so then you pull a dummy spit.

Most amusing 🙂

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 23, 2022 4:44 pm

The graph is supported by facts referenced to other links. You and Lyodo likely read it incorrectly.

The modern increase in CO2 is from human sources, but that does not mean that human CO2 has had a significant increase on temperature compared to the totality of the greenhouse effect of all gasses in the atmosphere. The graph does not purport to show the human portion of recent changes in CO2 levels.

“Then he claims that natural CO2 causes only 3.6% of the entire greenhouse effect of all CO..”
Wrong, the author shows that CO2 contributes 3.6% of the total greenhouse effect of all gasses.

“In fact, manmade CO2 accounts for about 33% of all CO2 in the atmosphere today — about 420ppm — so manmade CO2 must account for about 33% of whatever greenhouse effect CO2 is responsible for.”
Wrong again. Once the absorption spectrum of CO2 approaches saturation, as it does with water vapor and natural CO2, the effect of additional CO2 drops off on a logarithmic scale. Each 10ppm of additional CO2 has less effect than the 10 ppm added before. It is delusional to claim that the effect of human CO2 is equal to the proportion of human CO2.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 3:06 pm

What lies?
0.217C is so far beneath meaningless that only someone totally dis-connected from reality would care about it.

Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2022 3:34 pm

0.217C is meaningless
It is also a lie.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 21, 2022 4:06 pm

You guys need to get a grip on reality.

You’re all arguing about a claimed global average temperature construct of thousands of one degree Centigrade over decades ffs.

It’s arrant nonsense.

Give yourselves at least a thin veneer of reality by discussing how much purported changes might be in whole degrees of C.

(even then, I’ll be watching my bullshit detector needle climb past 11)

Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2022 4:35 pm

“You’re all arguing about…temperature construct of thousands of one degree”

No you’re arguing about that. I’m pointing out a gross misrepresentation. If you don’t admit to seeing it that in that green circle above then you nothing but a tacit apologist.

I can only be bothered pointing out the tip of the ice-berg of gross misrepresentations with their accompanying tacit approvals on this site. Look at Berry’s bs the other day; not a peep out of Watts or any of his crew of regular doubt-mongers who obviouosly read all this garbage but say nothing. Others rightly point out the damage to credibility resulting from severe sloppiness, let alone deliberate, (tacit or otherwise) disinformation.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 6:01 pm

The IPCC has already commandeered the worldwide rights to “disinformation” Loydo.

Wake up.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 8:34 pm

I spoke up about Berry’s BS and Loydo was right about the one link at this article.

There is some science behind AGW, and we climate realists should recognize that science, not deny it. There is no science behind CAGW — that is our target. The Climate howlers are not 100% wrong. Perhaps close to 100%, but not 100%.

Reply to  Mr.
August 21, 2022 8:30 pm

“You guys need to get a grip on reality.”
Not me.
I had my head examined.
They found nothing (ha ha)_.

Climate science and energy authors I believe in are featured on my science and energy blog, which has had over 334,000 page views. You would be very disappointed to find out you agree with nearly every article there.
I don’t allow comments.
For a good reason.


August 21, 2022 3:29 pm

I am not surprised that Solar Power in Europe managed to score as low as 11.6% efficiency. Even in Australia the thing is a large scale waste of time, rivalled only feebly for wasting effort and money by Wind Power at 23.8%.

Greg Locock
August 21, 2022 5:21 pm

Here’s a plot of renewables, green, ff, black, interconnector (basically brown coal) blue. for our self proclaimed green state, South Australis.

sure some days almost 100% renewable, but for days in a row not so much

August 21, 2022 7:44 pm

Renewables usually get a “most favored nations” treatment when permitting and approvals are concerned prior to construction. What would be the true cost of renewables if they had to meet the same permitting process as faced by fossil fuels?

Reply to  SMS
August 22, 2022 1:07 pm

I still think it is past time that the term ‘fossil fuels’ hits the dust-bin. Based upon what I have read, I would certainly include sources of petroleum (sorry, I don’t know of any other name to give it) as a “renewable” of the highest order. Geologists keep finding it and finding it and finding then more of it. (including in spots that ‘ran dry’). Happy to read any comment on this.

Marty Cornell
August 21, 2022 9:33 pm

It is not true that all thermal electrical power generation is dispatchable (can be turned on when needed to match demand). All nuclear plants are base load and don’t fluctuate. Coal and combined cycle natural gas take time to ramp up and down, although their spinning reserve helps with short time modulation. Conventional gas and gas turbines are most flexible, although frequent yo-yo cycles are hard on the mechanic. Wind and solar are not burdened with the costs of creating these grid inefficiencies.

Rod Evans
August 22, 2022 12:11 am

Headline of the week.
“Solar outperforms coal for half of one hour in Australia. The first time it has ever managed this”
The headline that wasn’t chosen was.
“Coal continues to dominate Australia’s electricity grid requirements”
The fundamental point shown by the simple efficiency graphs in the article is, no matter how much additional ‘renewable’ style power installations are loaded onto the grid, the percentages of utilisation will not improve.
All that will change is the scale of the under utilised investments standing idle as the wind stops blowing, or the sun sets once again for another 12 hours and more, in cold northern latitudes.

Derek Wood
August 22, 2022 12:59 am

Wait – so wind power doesn’t work? Solar panels only work in daylight? But they said…!

John Loop
August 22, 2022 1:46 pm

I just don’t know how you can beat this diagram joannenova put on her site a while back, showing how futile it is to get rid of FF [or nuclear].

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