The European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) has a report here analyzing the 2014 wind energy output of the German state of Baden Wurttemberg (BW), home of the world famous Black Forest, which in turn is home to the cuckoo clock.
Well, it turns out that not only the clocks in BW have gone cuckoo, but so has its energy policy!
A few years ago the traditionally conservative South German state elected a green Prime Minister, who vowed to shut down the state’s nuclear power plants and to install wind energy in its place. BW is not exactly the best place for wind power. EIKE writes that the Gegenwind- Straubenhardt wind power protest group compared actual wind energy production to the expected figures. The results, EIKE writes, are “frightening”.
By the end of 2014 BW had 397 wind turbines with 678 MW of total installed rated capacity. The yield and result, EIKE writes:
All wind turbines in Baden Wurttemberg produced a total of 699,564 MWh of power. That corresponds to an annual mean wind power feed-in of 79.9 MW or 11.8% of the available annual mean of 676.9 MW.”
The following chart shows the output of BW’s wind turbines for each month:
Figure 1: Wind power feed-in (red) and installed rated capacity (green) over the year 2014. Source: TransnetBW
Readers can see the multiple times wind power went almost completely AWOL, like early December, early August, or the end of March through the early part of April. Pathetic.
The breakdown of the operating hours of wind power output shows just how pathetic wind energy really is.
* 339.75 hours (= 14.2 days = 3.9%) saw zero wind (0 MW), no power was generated at all!
* 1403.50 hours (= 58.5 days = 16.0%) power output was under 7 MW (1% of rated capacity).
* 3614 hours (= 5 months = 41.3%) power output was under 5% of rated capacity
* 5308 hours (= 7.4 months = 60.6%) wind power was below 10% of rated capacity.
Here we see that conventional power plants always need to be on standby, and most of the time they have to be filling in for the often AWOL wind turbines.
The industrialization of Germany’s Black Forest region with ugly skyscraper-dimensioned wind turbines is a hell of a price to pay for so little in return.