Vestas and Siemens Gamesa Wind turbine orders. Source Bloomberg.

Turbine Manufacturer: Don’t Expect Renewable Energy to Always Get Cheaper

Essay by Eric Worrall

First published JoNova; Vestas CEO Henrik Andersen “We created the perception to some extent. … That was a mistake.”. Vestas manufactures wind turbines.

Renewable Power’s Big Mistake Was a Promise to Always Get Cheaper

  • Vestas CEO says industry went too far with cheap-energy pledge
  • Producers are losing money even as clean-power demand grows

By Will Mathis 8 November 2022, 00:55 GMT+10

Renewable-energy producers have long touted the promise of cheap electricity, an assurance that’s helped them eat into the dominance of fossil fuels. But the pledge has gone too far, according to the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker.

Manufacturers such as Vestas Wind Systems A/S are seeing losses pile up as orders collapse at a time when they should be capitalizing on the turmoil in natural-gas markets. To blame — at least in part — is the industry’s insistence that clean electricity can only get cheaper, according to Henrik Andersen, chief executive officer of the Danish wind giant.

“It made some people make the wrong assumption that energy and electricity should become free,” Andersen said in an interview in London. “We created the perception to some extent. So we are to blame for it. That was a mistake.” 

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-07/wind-giant-rues-promise-that-renewable-power-could-be-free

As a small business owner, I can assure you the easiest way to shrink your order book is to give customers the wrong impression of how much they can expect to pay. And that appears to be what Vestas has done.

Renewable advocates including Bloomberg insist that renewable energy is cheaper than coal. But back in the real world, places with high renewable penetration are where ordinary consumers are hurting the most.

Cost vs Renewables
Cost vs Renewables (source Obama may finally succeed)
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Bryan A
November 8, 2022 10:27 pm

It’s truly amazing just how quickly the world reached Peak Wind
Finally realized it was nothing more than a bunch of Hot Air

Last edited 26 days ago by Bryan A
R.Morton
November 8, 2022 10:51 pm

“ Don’t Expect Renewable Energy to Always Get Cheaper”

Oh, don’t worry – I won’t. Never did before, and zero reason to start now.

cognog2
Reply to  R.Morton
November 8, 2022 11:09 pm

Moreover we can expect it to get more and more expensive as we will have bail out those duff Wind Farms. The Government, however, will attempt to hide this cost in general taxation.

Bryan A
Reply to  R.Morton
November 8, 2022 11:10 pm

The only thing free about renewables is the low density unreliable fuel for their generators.

Nick Stokes
November 8, 2022 11:13 pm

“Renewable advocates including Bloomberg insist that renewable energy is cheaper than coal.”

Might as well show Bloomberg’s other graph. Wind might not be getting cheaper lately, but it is way ahead.

comment image

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 8, 2022 11:33 pm

It’s amazing how cheap wind can be when politicians artificially inflate the fuel price of their more reliable competition

Mason
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 9, 2022 7:22 am

And a bunch of magical unicorns. If you look at the numbers, it physically can not happen. let alone financially. When are people going to wake up from this idiocy?

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  Mason
November 9, 2022 7:55 am

Probably about the time the cold air hits their arses, I’d say!

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 12:40 am

Ah, the old “levelized” trick – how much tax/costs/regulation hurdles did they have to add to gas/coal, how much breaks and subsidies are in it for wind ?

Be interesting to see a graph of energy produced versus capacity installed….

Leo Smith
Reply to  Jeroen B.
November 9, 2022 12:47 am

All these costs of ‘cheap’ wind power do not include the externalised costs which the wind operator does not have to pay, nor the subsidy costs. The only meaningful graph is the cost of electricity versus the penetration into the grid.
Its as specious and fraudulent as costing motoring solely in terms of the cars and the fuel, and not adding in the cost to the public of mainatining the roads and dealing with the scrap.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 12:44 am

Too easy to fake ‘levelised cost’ with fake assumptions.

My calculation on levelised costs using cost of capital at 7.5%, lifetime at 15 years, including cost of mainentance, grid extensions and upgrading, subsidies, and gas backup and using real world capacity factors and mantenance put the levelised cost of wind at $160/MWh roughly.

With gas now so expensive, that will be around $200/MWh. Well above the levelised cost of nuclear power.

PCman999
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 9, 2022 9:34 pm

You can’t use gas backup in the calculation, that would be cheating. Only batteries and pumped/gravity storage are allowed by the green politiboro. IIRC 4hr battery storage is about the same as offshore wind, roughly the $160/MWh figure you give, but of course weeks not hours would be needed, and massive overcapacity, 8X was the figure quoted in a recent article. So >>$1000/MWh to quote a nice round number.

michel
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 1:59 am

Nick, this is ridiculous and you know better. For everyone else here is why.

Levelized costs parameter assumes that intermittency does not exist. What you do is take the total cash flows by year over the life of the installation and discount them to get a Net Present Value.

Then you take the total amount of power generated over the period and divide. This tells you how much a given quantity of power costs.

But the assumption is that its immaterial when the power is generated. Its immaterial by day, week, month, year or decade.

This would be false accounting if done for investment purposes by publicly traded companies.

If you want to do levelized costs right, you have to add in all the costs to make the power output comparable in performance to whatever else you compare it to. So add in transmission costs and backup, then do the cash flows. Otherwise its just a garbage parameter.

Put it simply. Its like saying that two suppliers of (say) lettuce can be compared and a contract awarded on the basis of the cost per head over a year, without regard to the fact that one delivers regularly through the year, and the other dumps his glut in June.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  michel
November 9, 2022 6:18 am

“Nick, this is ridiculous and you know better”

It is not ridiculous. As I said, it is the other graph in the Bloomberg article that Eric has chosen for our edification.

What it says is real. It says that wind energy can be produced for half the cost of coal/gas. The reason is obvious – there is no fuel cost. There may be other costs that have to be paid by someone else to deal with the intermittency. OK, they will be finite; quantify them and, if necessary, ensure that they are borne equitably. But you can’t just blow away what that graph is telling you. Fuel costs are huge, and wind doesn’t have them.

DonM
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 10:20 am

(if)
Wind costs half as much as gas.

(then)
The market actions will dismantle gas … in a hurry.

(and)
We need not spend public resources, nor create restrictive regulations, to limit natural gas production or use at this point in time … it would be very inefficient.

Right or wrong?

(and)
You have created, or know of, an investment group that will pick the numerous wind farms that are exceedingly profitable and are to be discarded because the owners are not smart enough to see that the profit from wind is more than twice that of gas … where can I get in on that investment group?

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 11:24 am

No matter how far behind, Nick will never stop digging.

michel shows one of the reasons why “levelized” costs is a bad metric.
Nick replies by re-declaring that levelized costs shows wind and solar to be cheap.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 12:28 pm

“There may be other costs that have to be paid by someone else …”. So, those other costs are paid for with other people’s money? All those costs show up in my electric bill each month, Nick. If you have some special deal by which those other costs aren’t paid for by you, please let us all know.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 9, 2022 2:26 pm

But all we get about these other costs is arm-waving. There is a huge quantified cost advantage to wind not requiring fuel. So do these other costs come anywhere near cancelling that? No-one is offering a figure.

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 2:48 pm

FIrst off, had you actually bothered to read the literature, you would know that “those other costs” are not arm waving, they have been thoroughly documented.

Dozens of people have pointed out to you that one of the smallest costs of running a fossil fuel plant is the cost of fuel.

Just because you are incapable of seeing what you are paid to ignore, is not evidence that it isn’t there.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  MarkW
November 9, 2022 3:12 pm

 they have been thoroughly documented.”

So what are they? Numbers please.

doonman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 3:49 pm

What is the cost of wind generated electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. Under your cost scheme, it is zero. In reality, an immediate substitute is required which is not zero. You forgot to account for this.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 11:13 pm

“ they have been thoroughly documented”
So what are they? Numbers please.”

The numbers show up in the final electricity price which consumers pay. As has been shown, the more solar and wind capacity that is installed, the higher the electricity price.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 10, 2022 1:23 am

More hand waving.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 10, 2022 3:45 am

Nick, you shouldn’t run yourself down like that.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 10, 2022 6:12 pm

Nick, you ask a fair question. The reason you don’t get clear figures on the external costs to cope with intermittency is that the costs will depend on what the politicians decide to do about it, and are largely guesswork because nothing has been scaled to the grid yet. Choices include:

1) No accommodation at all. Customers get used to using electricity when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, and doing without when they aren’t. (To save typing I will talk about wind only from here on in, mostly because where I live–Ontario–solar is not very useful year round.) This is the cheapest option in terms of impact on electricity bills because the meters don’t turn when then turbines don’t. Economy-wide it might be very costly. Would critical infrastructure like hospital operating rooms and air-traffic control be allowed to have diesel generators? One advantage is that when the wind starts blowing again, electricity is available to customers immediately, without waiting until depleted storage systems are refilled, because there aren’t any.

2) “The wind is always blowing somewhere.” Since you have to over-build anyway, by (at least) the reciprocal of the capacity factor of your turbine, you will have some periods where you are generating locally 8-10 x as much energy as you need locally. This could be dispatched to areas of the country where none of the windmills are turning. The costs here are the ultra-long-distance high-voltage DC lines needed to connect all possible windy regions with all possible calm regions, the electronics to switch between AC and DC and back to allow voltage transforming, and whatever further over-capacity is needed to reduce the chance that the distributed generators will fail to meet peak demand across the entire country. If windmills become almost free, this would be feasible: just install enough nearly-free windmills until you achieve saturation. Some long-distance DC power lines are being planned and have been built for specific purposes, such as electricity from James Bay in far-north Quebec. (In Canada there are political barriers to building these, similar to pipelines. The fact that one is green and the other isn’t doesn’t bother the opponents who just want money, which in Canada is mostly not coloured green, just the twenties.)

3) Battery storage. Technology exists and is familiar in concept, but like wind (and solar) generators themselves, is not likely to get forever cheaper. Cost depends on how long you want the stored energy to provide full (or minimal) electricity during wind droughts. The longer the more expensive, currently about $150-200/kW-h. Batteries that could provide more than a day at full draw don’t exist. There was a proposal to use banks of batteries not connected to each other. Day 1 you draw Bank 1, leaving the rest untouched. Day 2 you draw Bank 2, etc.

4) Exotic storage, e.g., green hydrogen by electrolysis. Here it’s an efficiency problem. If electrolysis captures as H2 gas 50% of the energy put into it, the rest lost as heat and O2 byproduct, then you have to burn that H2 in a heat engine or fuel cell to get it back as electricity, at say 30% efficiency. That means you get only 15% of the electrical energy back that you drew out of the wind turbine. If you have lots and lots and lots of free wind electricity this may not matter, but you still have to put up enough turbines to get it.

5) Fossil fuel generators. Presumably these will not be allowed, desirable as they are for many other reasons. You are of course correct that the cost of fuel is a major element of all combustion generation.

I didn’t look up my references for these backup systems since I’m not endorsing or disputing their cost estimates/guesses, just pointing out to you that the costs are highly dependent on what the managers of the electricity generating system, and their political masters, choose to do about intermittency. Since none has actually been tried out, only modeled, no one can know what those costs would be.

PCman999
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 9:27 pm

I can not believe how bold faced liar you have become – in order to really “levelize” the costs battery storage has to be added to the wind/solar side of the comparison and has never been needed for the fueled side. A lousy 4hr backup is equivalent to the cost of offshore wind generation, effectively doubling even just the basic guesstimate cost of renewables, and really much more backup is needed, not hours but WEEKS of storage. Instead of making stupid comments on here why not READ the articles and learn something.

Sorry for the tone guys, but I really hate liars and propagandists.

Disclaimer: I actually like wind turbines and solar panels, and have driven kms out of my way to watch them spin. However, unless magic batteries appear, or solar power satellites are seriously pursued, 100% “renewable” energy grids will not exist. A mostly carbon-free grid exists in Ontario, but it would make green nazis heads explode to know it’s run on mostly hydro and nuclear power.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  michel
November 9, 2022 5:14 pm

And the glut dumped in June is largely unusable (rotted in the case of lettuce, produced when nobody needs it in the case of wind).

wilpost
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 2:55 am

Bloomberg has a huge conflict of interest, selling financial services and touting wind, solar and batteries

Bloomberg’s levelized costs are totally bogus

Wind and solar are cripples, because they could not even exist on the grid without the other generators counteracting their ups and downs of output and their intermittency when too little wind and too little or no solar.

BTW, the graph is for 2015 HOUSEHOLD ELECTRIC RATES, BASED ON THE TOTAL BILL DIVIDED BY KWH CONSUMED.

Last edited 26 days ago by wilpost
Barnes Moore
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 3:39 am
Jim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 4:37 am

If that was true then electricity prices should be falling as more and more unreliable sources are added. They are rising instead of falling. That is called a counter-example to your assertion. It proves your assertion wrong. You need to reevaluate your cost curve to see what is missing.

JohnH
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 5:13 am

Well the tonne of coal I bought for this winter can be used anytime I want, I do not have to sit freezing waiting for the wind to blow.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 5:45 am

LCOE does not account for intermittency or low capacity factors. PV and wind have to be paired with reliable sources to get an effective power grid. When you do, the cost advantage disappears, but the heavy government subsidies do not.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 6:01 am

So, I guess the cost of steel used in wind towers is falling (guess again) and the financing costs are also falling (also guess again) and profit margins of suppliers and developers make no difference in project development. It’s human nature to do straight line projections until shown otherwise by dynamic change in factors. Some are quicker to recognize the departures from linear thinking than others.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  ResourceGuy
November 9, 2022 2:30 pm

I guess the cost of steel used in wind towers is falling “
No, As this Bloomberg article says, wind costs have paused and may not diminish in the future. But the article also showed the comparison, giving the fuller picture (see my post above). The cost of the competition is double, and still rising.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 10, 2022 4:27 am

It is not the cost of the competition that is rising, but rather the price that consumers are prepared to pay to ensure a reliable supply in a world where reliable supply is being artificially constrained. That price increases the more unreliable supply is forced on us in the form if wind and solar.

Paul Hurley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 7:33 am

Wake me when the wind turbine manufacturing facilities are powered solely by wind turbines.

beng135
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 7:55 am

Subsidies. It’s not the REAL costs.

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 11:21 am

Why am I not surprised to find Nick pushing yet another completely disproven lie?

This so called study uses totally unrealistic life time estimates. They double the real world life of wind and solar, while at the same time halving the real world life time of fossil fuel plants.
It also totally ignores the cost of backup power and the cost shifting when they force fossil fuel plants to run at less than ideal levels.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 12:23 pm

Ah yes, the levelized cost of energy.

Nick Stokes
November 8, 2022 11:26 pm

But back in the real world, places with high renewable penetration are where ordinary consumers are hurting the most.”

“real world”? That plot from Willis was made in 2015.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 8, 2022 11:51 pm

Your right, Willis should update the chart.
Germany is now at 33.5¢/KWh instead of 29.9
Denmark is now at 45.9¢/KWh instead of 30.5
Spain is now at 31.9¢/KWh instead of 23
Ireland which was at about 24¢ now has a daytime rate of 42.4¢/KWh

That old chart from 2015 is definitely out of date and not reflecting the current MUCH WORSE situation

Leo Smith
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 12:48 am

I don’t think you want to see what the costs are now. They are far far worse.

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 9, 2022 11:28 am

Being out of date makes the data in it wrong?
Your defenses are getting ever more pathetic.

DonM
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 10, 2022 8:27 am

nit-picks don’t make you right.

they only make you appear nit-picky.

MarkW
Reply to  DonM
November 10, 2022 4:17 pm

They also imply that even Nick knows that nit picks are all he’s got.
If there something more substantial, he would be leading with that.

observa
November 8, 2022 11:59 pm
Richard Greene
November 9, 2022 1:18 am

Battery prices have gone up, not down, even adjusted for inflation.

wilpost
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 9, 2022 3:02 am

Grid-scale, li-ion battery systems, ALL-IN turnkey costs of 2022 are about 30% higher than in 2020, based on the history of quotes of large-scale, modular Tesla systems.

The 2022 pricing likely will greatly increase in future years

Dave Andrews
Reply to  wilpost
November 9, 2022 8:15 am

The spot price of lithium carbonate was around £12,500 per tonne in August 2021 ($ 14,250). In October this year it was 5 times higher. As more and more EVs are built it is only going to keep on rising.

Last edited 26 days ago by Dave Andrews
MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 9, 2022 11:29 am

The levelized costs number doesn’t include the cost of batteries. One of many reasons why it is totally useless.

Rod Evans
November 9, 2022 1:25 am

Here in real world, as opposed to imaginary world so favoured by the Alarmists and their army of Green zealots we know the cost analysis used to load wind generators onto the otherwise stable grid is fraudulent.
There is never any allowance for the existing infrastructure which has been paid for by past generation systems mostly coal. Add to that practice of freeloading onto other fuels grid the need to install yet more power lines to each individual turbine plus the road infrastructure and maintenance of same over the projected years.
Wind is extremely cheap if you choose not to load its actual costs onto it.
The proof of market i.e. reality is showing in the drop off in wind orders. If it was in any way least cost it would be growing new providers until the market is satiated it is not doing that.

michel
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 9, 2022 3:08 am

The problem is intermittency. If its wind its unpredictable as well as intermittent. If its solar its predictable but intermittent. So you need something to make it a usable source of continuous power.

This cannot be storage. Why? Because storage requires you to have spare capacity to recharge it. And because storage is either too expensive in the case of batteries, or unavailable at scale, as with hydro. And battery storage at the scale required is also unproven.

In both cases you need transmission facilities which are never costed when making the comparisons.

What you have to install is therefore total gas backup. And once you have that, why do you need the wind and solar?

Nick Stokes sometimes has argued that it makes sense because you save fuel by using the wind and solar. But he has never supplied a quantitative case for that.

The green activists are in denial about this. They are living in a fantasy world where you can leave out half the costs needed to make renewables work and then show that renewables are cheaper.

Yes, they can be cheaper. But what you get for the low price is not usable. Add in what it takes to make them usable, and they are way more expensive.

David Dibbell
Reply to  michel
November 9, 2022 4:02 am

Agree. Especially this point: “This cannot be storage. Why? Because storage requires you to have spare capacity to recharge it.”

Not many folks seem to grasp this essential fact, that massive overbuilding of intermittent sources would be required to go “100% renewable wind and solar” with storage. And even with that, good luck riding through an extended lull or storm.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  michel
November 9, 2022 10:47 am

Solar is less predictable than many assume. Here is German solar output over the past year, sourced from Fraunhofer’s energy charts..

Screenshot_20221109-184513_Chrome.jpg
MarkW
Reply to  It doesnot add up
November 9, 2022 11:31 am

Most people fail to appreciate how much solar output drops when even thin clouds pass over the collectors.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  It doesnot add up
November 10, 2022 3:26 am

Yes, it’s not just day=on night=off. Clouds, anyone?

It also has a very limited window for best output time of day, season, and latitude-wise.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 9, 2022 7:57 am

Here in the real world will also require additional capacity and spare capacity to…
Run Electric Heaters
Run Electric Ranges
Recharge hundreds of millions of new EVs
Recharge/Power Mass Transit
Power High Speed Rail
Power Freight Trains
Recharge Shipping
Recharge Home Back-up Batteries
Recharge Home EV quick-charge Powerwall Batteries

To say nothing of Air Travel (most likely vanishing for the masses)
No more vacation
No more going to Florida to see Grandma
No cross country travel to see popular tourist spots
…Grand Canyon
…Mount Rushmore
…Smithsonian
…DC
…NY NY

After all we’re talking about total electrification of society

thallstd
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 9:59 pm

A detailed analysis of what it would take to eliminate fossil fuels has been done.

The conclusion is that it would require 500,000 new power stations (there are currently less than 50,000) and based on 2019 mining rates take between 189 and 7000 years to mine the needed minerals, if there were enough known reserves of them. But there isn’t -the planet is only short by about 95% of the rare minerals needed for just one generate of solar, wind and EVs.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bryan A
November 10, 2022 3:28 am

Replace “electrification” with “immobization” and you’ll be hitting the mark.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 9, 2022 8:27 am

All of Europe’s 5 turbine manufacturers are making huge losses and are desperately trying to get the European Commission to give them more subsidies even as Chinese manufacturers penetrate the European market. This is also a ‘cost’ that is never factored in.

ozspeaksup
November 9, 2022 3:49 am

aussie advertiser announces SA has the nations ,most expensive power
yeah
theyre sooo green its hurting everyone bigtime
and still they keep pushing the lies

lgl
November 9, 2022 4:48 am

In Europe gas-fired is now 10 times more expensive than solar, thanks to the totally unreliable supply. Even if we have to store half of the generation solar will be far cheaper.
https://www.rystadenergy.com/news/energy-crisis-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-gas-fired-power-in-europe

Bill Toland
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 5:22 am

Solar power cannot replace reliable sources of power because of its intermittency. Your link leads to a company which promotes useless solar energy.

lgl
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 9, 2022 8:00 am

Nothing is more unreliable than Russian gas.

DonM
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 10:38 am

‘Nothing is more unreliable than Russian gas.’

Yes, as was essentially stated by President Trump, while the German delegation scoffed at him.

It is politics that allows you to (try to) make your point by describing ‘gas’ as unreliable, and using ‘Russian’ as the qualifying descriptor.

Stop spending resources on goofy concepts & goofy things, and coordinate a reliable gas supply. Might as well do this now, because it is inevitable and will happen when people start to die in numbers that are obvious & apparent.

Last edited 26 days ago by DonM
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 3:29 am

Solution: COAL.

AND FRAKKING.

Last edited 25 days ago by AGW is Not Science
Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:48 am

Another communist trying to pretend that the government deliberately making gas scarce and expensive is the definition of a free market.

People like you are why the world is f**ked, complete inability to think rationally.

If people like you were disallowed from voting we could fix this in 5 years.

Unfortunately, you have more in common with our canadian prime minister, completely devoid of logic.

Last edited 25 days ago by Pat from Kerbob
lgl
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
November 10, 2022 7:19 am

Thanks for your very constructive contribution.

DonM
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
November 10, 2022 8:34 am

I thank you as well Pat.

Clear, concise, and accurate.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 9, 2022 8:04 am

Solar isn’t bad…from 10am until 2pm local time but from 3pm til 9 am is USELESS

MarkW
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 11:34 am

It’s not bad, assuming no clouds.

wilpost
Reply to  MarkW
November 9, 2022 12:21 pm

It is not bad from 10 am to 2 pm, if no clouds, no snow and ice

But then there likely would be a drought, and also not much wind, because of high pressures during sunny weather

wind and solar sucks all-around, plus very expensive, because of having to lean on other generators

How all this irrational wind/solar bs ever got started beats me.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 9, 2022 8:33 am

And worse solar only operates for half the day and still is intermittent during that half day.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 8:02 am

Don’t forget though, in Europe that is a Politically motivated Artificially inflated (activist appeasing) Gas Price. Europe could be Drilling and Fracking to increase domestic supply and decrease dependence on Putin.
And, the cost of electricity depends on more than just the cost of fuel…a lot more.

lgl
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 9:12 am

Yes, Europe could have done a lot of things, including risking polluting the groundwater by fracking, but they chose the cheapest source, short term.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 10:00 am

Have yet to see any direct evidence of groundwater contamination by fracking. That argument is still just a tool of hactivists looking to demolish civilization.
Considering that fracking takes place Thousands of feet (between 6000 and 15,000′) below the water table, the odds of fracking induced groundwater contamination is about equal to the odds of stubbing your toe on a Moonrock while standing in an Iowa Corn Field

lgl
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 11:04 am

Maybe true for many locations in the US but much of Europe is very densely populated.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 12:25 pm

Bryan’s argument is not affected by population density.
Try saying something relevant next time.

Since frakking doesn’t contaminate ground water it doesn’t matter what the population density is.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 12:28 pm

Not sure I understand how your argument regarding population density relates to Gas drilling depth, fracking, water table depth. They seem as unrelated to each other as banana plantations in Brazil and Rice Paddies in Japan.

lgl
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 1:23 pm

Just that a dead village in Germany is a bit worse than a dead horse in Texas.

DonM
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:07 pm

ifn y’all can’ pump up the water o’ tha ground cuz thers no lectricity, then y’all gonna be dead anyways.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:50 pm

In other words, you have no actual arguments, just naked fear and ignorance.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 7:30 pm

If that German village is dead, it isn’t from fracking. (Fracking has killed no one.) They’re dead because they froze to death over a cold winter night.
Winter is notorious for having the occasional extended blocking high which eliminates Wind and allows the still air to get colder. Winter days have significantly less solar available (about 1/6) so backups won’t be charged and after midnight the lights go out and Electric Heating stops. AND the village freezes to death in the dark.
Fracking would have avoided this tragedy by providing a fuel source that can be used for both Home Heating and Electric generation…when weather dependent fuel fails

It doesnot add up
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:34 am

If the village dies it is to make way for a new lignite mine to keep the lights on, having found that closing nuclear, refusing to frack (both with a minimal surface impact), and trying to rely on wind and solar don’t work. The wind turbines are removed to make way for it.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 10:13 am

Cheapest source??? I guess if you call 40¢+/KWh electricity cheap. The only reason European Gas is expensive is directly related to Political policy and Russian Dependence.

lgl
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 1:24 pm

Used to be.

DonM
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 10:42 am

Wasting resources on wind infrastructure has not been a short term project. It has been going on for a long time. So long now that it is past its half life.

Almost anything else would have been better.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 11:35 am

The claim that frakking pollutes ground water, like the claim that it causes earthquakes has always been a total lie.

lgl
Reply to  MarkW
November 9, 2022 12:26 pm

It’s only a google search away.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:52 pm

As usual, no arguments, just appeal to whatever form of propaganda is publishing what you want to believe today.

BTW, I have googled it, beyond that I’ve researched actual documentation from actual sites.

When you get past left wing press releases, let me know.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 7:34 pm

Google, you mean that ultra liberal run search engine that only produces the results that “They” want you to see and relegates the “Forbidden” information to the beyond page 600 zone

Jim Gorman
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 8:03 am

You have failed to include the cost of storage. Remember the 1/2 you half to use for charging storage is really twice what is needed. And, with inefficiencies you’ll need more than twice.

Lastly, the unreliable supply is entirely self-inflicted. That is not a cost that should be assigned to gas, but to government policy.

lgl
Reply to  Jim Gorman
November 9, 2022 9:17 am

Yes, more than twice if 100% solar and 10 is much more than two times one, but I don’t think anybody ever suggested going 100% solar, or 100% wind.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 10:23 am

A mix of wind and solar to try to minimise storage doesn’t reduce the required storage by very much. The reason is that solar is heavily summer peaked, so adding solar capacity soon adds to the storage requirement if it is not simply to be wasted.

lgl
Reply to  It doesnot add up
November 9, 2022 11:36 am

In Europe the sum of wind and solar is an almost flat curve over the year, on a monthly average. 3 times wind+solar (2016-2019) could replace coal+gas with minimal intermonth storage. The nice thing is solar and wind has high capex but low opex, combustion plants is the opposite so gas (natural or green) solar and wind is a ‘perfect’ combination.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 12:46 pm

Is that for current electricity usage or All energy usage? We’re talking about the eventual (2035-2050) politically required electrification of Heating, Cooking, Transportation, Freight, Shipping all requiring additional generation, transmission and distribution facilities.
Current electricity usage is less than half of all energy usage

lgl
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 1:11 pm

It’s 2016-2019 electricity usage.

Bill Toland
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 12:48 pm

You cannot use monthly averages for wind and solar because there is no practical or affordable way to store energy over monthly periods.

lgl
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 9, 2022 1:08 pm

Says who? The surplus electricity will be cheap, and the production efficiency of hydrogen or ammonia for instance is around 50%.

Bill Toland
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 1:13 pm

Says everybody in the entire world who can do simple arithmetic. Independent economists have costed New Zealand’s net zero plans at 5 trillion dollars. The equivalent figure for Britain alone is 50 trillion pounds. Of course, this would bankrupt Britain many times over. Since the gdp of the UK is around 2 trillion pounds, it is pretty obvious that net zero will not be achieved.

Last edited 26 days ago by Bill Toland
lgl
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 9, 2022 2:20 pm

Net zero will not be achieved and is of course nonsense because the cost of avoiding the last kilograms will be unmanageable, but that does not mean “there is no practical or affordable way to store energy over monthly periods.”

Bill Toland
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:49 pm

There is still no practical or affordable way to store energy over monthly periods. Denying reality is pointless. If it was actually possible to do this, why hasn’t anybody demonstrated it?
This is similar to commercial nuclear fusion which is always thirty years in the future.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:52 am

There are. A pile of coal on the ground.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:55 pm

Says who? basic physics.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:51 am

The round trip efficiency of using hydrogen as a storage vector is about 25%, because you have to turn it back to electricity again, so multiply cost by at least 4. It consumes 3 times the storage volume of methane. You can only rationally make hydrogen when their are surpluses of power (otherwise you are burning hydrogen to make hydrogen). Such surpluses are intermittent, and very variable in size. It will never be economic to try to use all the surplus, and the low plant utilisation dramatically increases costs. This is all before looking at the handling problems.

lgl
Reply to  It doesnot add up
November 10, 2022 7:51 am

It’s not 25% if you utilize the waste heat.
Hydrogen can also be stored as ammonia which has higher production efficiency and is easier to store.
Yes, you have to use surpluses of power, and there will be plenty of it. Even with 2 times the existing wind and solar it would be no problem for Europe to replace coal and gas power generation, but again, 100% shouldn’t be the goal.

Europe2021_2wind&solar.png
MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:24 pm

25% includes recovering what is possible from the waste heat.
That amount is a lot less than you want to believe.

lgl
Reply to  MarkW
November 11, 2022 4:28 am

Not true. 50% is no problem. If you run the electricity through a heat pump you can even get >100% efficiency.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 11, 2022 12:47 pm

Not true, when you add up the inefficiencies and losses in generation, transportation and combustion, you would be very lucky to get even 25%.
While the salesmen will tell you that you can get better than 100% out of a heat pump, that is only true under very specialized circumstances. Circumstances that are virtually impossible in the real world. Beyond that, when temperatures drop much below 50F, heat pumps rapidly become useless, forcing the use of backup heat, which is usually resistive heat.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  lgl
November 11, 2022 5:30 am

Your chart proves nothing. I have done detailed hour by hour calculations which demonstrate the problems that I have mentioned. They show how storage would need to be filled and emptied, and how adding extra renewables capacity comes with diminishing returns, making its effective cost dramatically higher because more and more has to be curtailed since it becomes uneconomic to store it.

lgl
Reply to  It doesnot add up
November 11, 2022 6:27 am

No wonder you end up with junk when you base it on wrong assumptions like 25% efficiency.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 11, 2022 12:51 pm

Is that really the best you could come up with?
Are you ever going to come up with an actual argument. Misquoting articles on propaganda sites is not an argument.

lgl
Reply to  MarkW
November 12, 2022 2:10 am

Here’s propaganda
https://www.siemens-energy.com/global/en/offerings/power-generation/power-plants/hydrogen-power-plants.html

70% efficiency. Much more fun than fossil propaganda.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 12:50 pm

Over the year is only an average of need. You need to design for the worst case or when generation falls off below “Average” levels (and it will more than one day a month) your grid will fail

lgl
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 2:40 pm

We need e-fuel instead of fossil fuel.

Last edited 26 days ago by lgl
MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:56 pm

We don’t need e-fuel because it doesn’t work, and unless someone invents a miracle battery, it never will.

Bill Toland
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 2:18 am

The headline in the article you have linked to is misleading. It is actually claiming that it is possible to produce green hydrogen more cheaply than hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. It is not claiming that hydrogen and ammonia are cheaper than fossil fuels.
Also, the link is merely a press release from the company which aims to sell this green hydrogen. Its claims must be taken with a barrel of salt given similar pr articles from similar companies.

Last edited 25 days ago by Bill Toland
MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 11, 2022 12:48 pm

And once again, you are relying on a propaganda site.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 3:41 am

You need a brain transplant if you think there is a “replacement” for fossil fuels.

MarkW
Reply to  Bryan A
November 9, 2022 2:57 pm

Bryan, you’re talking to a brick wall here.
lgl has demonstrated many times that he/she/it has no interest in learning anything. He’s got his fantasies and they are enough.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 2:54 pm

“on a monthly average”

Nice of you to admit that you don’t know what you are talking about.

Monthly averages are meaningless when it comes to power generation, if you can’t produce what is needed when it is needed, the ability to generate more than is needed at a different time is meaningless.

lgl
Reply to  MarkW
November 10, 2022 12:05 am

The ability to generate more than is needed is used to produce e-fuel.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:26 pm

The problem is that it can’t produce all the energy needed. There is no surplus for your fanciful schemes.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 3:39 am

A multitude of sins can be hidden in “averages.” How many blackouts can you endure?

It doesnot add up
Reply to  lgl
November 10, 2022 4:43 am

No it couldn’t. I’ve done the sums with over 30 years of weather data, hour by hour. You are going to need at least a month’s energy consumption as storage for current consumption patterns. Add in heating for winter, and you are going to need several months of storage. It doesn’t work.

Bryan A
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 12:40 pm

Absolutely, since solar only has the non-guaranteed chance of producing Nameplate from 10-2 (4 hours) and we use electricity 24/7 you would need almost 600% overcapacity and sufficient storage to, at a minimum, match the demand for the other 20 hours that Solar doesn’t generate. You will also need sufficient generation and storage to allow for extended winter related storm induced outages as well as summertime peak demand.
I ran the numbers a while back and, to electrify NY (Manhattan) replacing all FF use with electricity, and allow for recharging back-up capacity would require (due to population density) covering an area the size of the state of Connecticut with Solar PV Panels.
Based on the size of and annual generation figures from Topaz Solar Farm vs NY energy requirements.

MarkW
Reply to  lgl
November 9, 2022 11:33 am

Developing your own fuel sources is almost always the best long term strategy.
Something Europe (and now the US) is having to learn the hard way.

nailheadtom
November 9, 2022 5:06 am

I thought the free market/capitalist paradigm was meant to make things cheaper, not more expensive. So, what went wrong? Or was I misinformed? There seems to be some dramatic exceptions to this line of thinking, educational costs, medical care, and now energy.

MarkW
Reply to  nailheadtom
November 9, 2022 11:36 am

There is nothing free market about wind or solar.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  nailheadtom
November 10, 2022 4:43 am

It is not a free market when the government demands switching to wind and solar in 20 years, a physical impossibility.
That is called a demand or central planned economy and is anything but a free market.

Funny how the communists can’t grasp that government dictat is the opposite of “free market”.

MarkW
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
November 10, 2022 4:27 pm

I’ve been told by various communists, that everything that isn’t pure communism, is some form of capitalism.

JohnH
November 9, 2022 5:12 am

Physics rules OK as predicted by Betz Law.

ResourceGuy
November 9, 2022 5:53 am

More importantly, let’s see the recent movement on the scatterplot. That would help show bad policy choice in motion from policies like tax policy distortion, green protectionism, and lobbyist sway.

Mason
November 9, 2022 7:19 am

I actually saw this interview. He basically blew up the entire green propaganda machine. Even with all the taxpayers money they are not economically valid.

JC
November 9, 2022 10:07 am

I expect “always” has an enduring and fluctuating reality for the prediction of meaninglessness LOL.

I expect that the generation and distribution of electricity (decentralized non-grid-based paradigm, the US will likely be the last to innovate) will become less expensive with tech advancements in electrical energy storage. High-Tech energy revolution will come but probably not in my lifetime since I am an aging out boomer.

JC
Reply to  JC
November 9, 2022 10:14 am

Big Grid Wind was always too big with limited efficacy due to expensive storage systems. it always was a broken albatross without tax subsidy.

thallstd
Reply to  JC
November 9, 2022 10:22 pm

I hope the US will be the last to throw away money on current renewable tech. The only innovation that will make them less expensive over time is if the rare minerals now required can be replaced with plentiful minerals.

Otherwise, supply and demand will necessitate ever increasing costs.

A detailed analysis of what it would take to eliminate fossil fuels has been done.

The conclusion is that it would require 500,000 new power plants (there are currently less than 50,000) and based on 2019 mining rates take between 189 and 7000 years to mine the needed minerals – if there were enough known reserves of them. But there isn’t -the planet is only short by about 95% of the rare minerals needed for just one generation of solar, wind and EVs.

MarkW
November 9, 2022 11:18 am

When has “renewable” energy ever gotten cheaper?

It’s always been the most expensive form of energy when you add in all the associated costs.

DCE
November 9, 2022 1:51 pm

My biggest problem is that people keep telling me that “The energy is free!” when it comes to renewables. They choose to ignore that energy like wind and solar are diffuse sources of energy and that the systems needed to collect to any great effect are not free. They are expensive and you need a lot of wind turbines or solar panels to collect that diffuse energy.

I did a ‘back-of-the-envelope calculation how many solar panels it would take to replace the Seabrook Nuclear Powerplant in New Hampshire with solar, assuming there was storage available. Seabrook generates 1300MWe, 24/7 regardless of the weather. So solar arrays would need to be able to generate enough electricity in winter to both use AND store during the short winter days. Being generous I assumed that there was 8 hours of noon-time sunlight.

With that assumption in mind, the solar array would need to generate three times the the output of Seabrook in order to provide power for 24 hours, one-third of that being for online demand and two-thirds going to storage to meet demand once the sun goes down. So the solar array would need to be able to generate 3900 MW for those 8 hours.

Let’s assume that the array would generate 1000 watts for every 3.3sq meters of panel. Let’s also assume each panel is 3.3 sq meters in size. Take 3900 MW, divide by 1000W per panel, and you get 3,900,000 panels needed. Multiply that by 3.3 meters per panel and your talking 12,870,000 square meters, or 12.87 sq kilometers, or 4.97 sq miles. It doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize it is assuming the panels are mounted edge to edge. (Yes, I am assuming the sun will be directly overhead rather than at a ~43 degree angle But since solar arrays aren’t constructed that way, assume there is space between them for access, service. repairs. Let’s assume with that in mind the array will take up 25% more space, so the actual area covered will be 16,087,500 sq meters, 16.09 sq kilometers, or 6.21 sq miles.

Of course the assumptions made for ease of calculations ignores reality, particularly with the number of hours of sunlight available, the varying intensity throughout the daylight hours, even without clouds, and taking into account the days when there is no direct sunlight due to clouds, snow, etc. The amount of area needed to provide the level of power generation equivalent to Seabrook would likely be three or more times that size.

Like I want the Greens to destroy 18 or more square miles of forest land for solar panels. (New Hampshire is ~ 75% forested).

I realize a lot of this was just off the cuff arithmetic and using ‘perfect’ conditions with adequate storage (which isn’t likely to exist any time soon). If my assumptions and math is wrong, please feel free to correct them.

skeptic4climate
November 10, 2022 10:50 am

Are there locations where electricity rates dropped as a result of wind and solar installs?

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