4 Charts Expose Abominable Inadequacy Of Europe’s Wind Energy …”Power Collapses Within Minutes”

German wind energy opposition organization Vernunftkraft here posted some charts at Facebook showing just how abominably inadequate wind as a source of power really is.

“Power collapses within minutes”

The following chart shows the performance of wind energy for 15 European countries (shaded dark blue) and that of Germany (light blue) for the period May, 2018:

Source: Rolf Schuster, Vernunftkraft.

Vernunftkraft writes that with wind energy in Europe, “power generation collapses within minutes.”

Yet wind proponents and lobbyists like to counter by telling us that the problem will be manageable by simply adding more capacity, some storage and using a smart grid.

Growing grid instability

But as the following chart shows, Germany has in fact doubled its installed capacity over the past 8 years, but this has done nothing regarding grid stability, and has only made things worse:

Source: Rolf Schuster, Vernunftkraft.

Note that the peaks are far greater and that the instability has become far more extreme. Yet, this is not stopping green energy activists and lobbyists from calling for doubling, tripling or even quadrupling the country’s installed wind capacity.

Vernunftkraft reports:

The steep increase in installed wind turbine power only leads to a small increase in electrical output, i.e. only a slight increase in power generation. This phenomenon is physical as wind turbines feed in an average only 15% of their rated power.”

In bed 6 days a week

A further analysis of Germany’s solar and wind power outputs for the month of July, for example, shows that wind and sun were AWOL far more often than they were on the job:

Source: Rolf Schuster, Vernunftkraft.

While on some days German wind and solar installations can supply almost all of Germany’s 70-80 gigawatts of power demand, just hours later (night time) wind and solar at times all but totally disappear.

Less than 10% of rated capacity almost half the time

Ralf Schuster of Vernunftkraft did an analysis looking at the distribution of the power fed in according to class (Verteilung der Einspeisung nach Klassen) of the total wind energy that was generated: 10,693 gigawatt-hours in June.

Source: Rolf Schuster, Vernunftkraft.

The table above shows the wind ran a total of 744 hours. Some 320.25 hours, or 43% of the total time, saw wind turbines running at a measly 0 – 10% of their rated capacity. The turbines ran at 40% or more of their rated capacity for only a totally lousy 1.5 hours (0.2% of the time)!

They write:

Wind power completely collapsed – the ‘pillar of the energy transition” (wind power) completely collapsed in June. July does not look better. More than 30% of the nominal output (NL) was achieved only 6.7% of the time. Or rather, in June, the wind turbines failed 93.3% of the time.”

To illustrate wind’s inadequacy, using it is like hiring a worker who shows up for work only one day a week, and nobody can say on which day and which shift.

31 responses to “4 Charts Expose Abominable Inadequacy Of Europe’s Wind Energy …”Power Collapses Within Minutes””

  1. Yonason

    Running on only a fraction of rated capacity?

    VROOOM VROOOM

    If you think that’s smart, buy finance the purchase of one of those, and only drive it in rush hour traffic to and from your middle income job in the city.

    Yes, warmunistas really are that “smart.”

    1. K. Pool

      It gets worse – according to none other than our pal Sebastian, your F5 will only run ‘seasonal’:

      “The only problem I see is seasonal storage”
      SebastianH 2. November 2018 at 3:03 PM

      :}

      1. SebastianH

        The thing is, K. Pool, gas power plants in Germany already run seasonal and get already used mostly as peaker plants. Their usage pattern won’t change much by considering them as the only backup for renewables.

        1. Kurt in Switzerland

          The thing is, Seb, that it makes no economic sense to run fossil fuel plants as peaker plants ;unless you’re trying to hide he gross inadequacies of “non-hydro renewables”.

          1. SebastianH

            Kurt, yet we do run them as peaker plants simply because consumption isn’t a flat line and never has been.

            See utilization chart for gas power plants in Germany:
            https://energy-charts.de/percent_full_load.htm?source=gas&year=2018

            Even hard coal (“Steinkohle”) runs only half of the time because not much of their electricity is needed at night, especially in the summer:
            https://energy-charts.de/percent_full_load.htm?source=coal&year=2018

            Only baseload lignite and nuclear run almost all the time.

        2. Hivemind

          That’s what gas plants were designed for, peak supply when the coal plants can’t keep up with changes in demand from the uncontrolled consumers. Replace dispatchable coal with undispatchable wind on top of uncontrolled consumers & you find yourself running the expensive gas plants almost all the time. And people wonder why power has suddenly gotten so expensive!

          1. SebastianH

            Replace dispatchable coal with undispatchable wind on top of uncontrolled consumers & you find yourself running the expensive gas plants almost all the time.

            Not true. Read the relevant studies or simulate a year on renewables, 100 GWh batteries and gas as backup. The data for such a simulation is freely available.

            And people wonder why power has suddenly gotten so expensive!

            The part for subsidies of renewables is responsible for half of the increase. The other half is inflation.

            And since you guys like EROI so much, maybe take a look at the EROI of fossil fuels and how it developed over time.

  2. Bitter&twisted

    One of these days the public are going to wake up to the true cost of these green abominations.
    At which point I think prison will be the safest place for the proponents of this scam.

  3. Bitter&twisted

    Meanwhile it has just been reported that the World Health Organisation has found that wind turbine noise is damaging to health.
    I really do hope that the owners of these abominations and their political enablers are sued into bankruptcy.

  4. dennisambler

    I always refer back to the Eon – Netz Wind Report from 2005, when all these problems were identified, but nobody listened, the juggernaut rolled on:

    The full report can still be downloaded here: http://davidmdelaney.com/wind-power/EON_Netz_Windreport2005_e_eng.pdf

  5. SebastianH

    It’s funny how you guys expect wind turbines to work like regular power plants and judge their performance by those metrics. Almost like complaining that your new wireless phone requires charging while those old phones with wires never did.

    Work with what you’ve got. Wind turbines don’t get built with the expectation of providing power at capacity 100% of the time.

    Oh, and of course storage can smooth this out. You‘ll see increasing battery storage installations as soon as those are more economical than trying to cope with variations using old spinning mass generators …

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      No Seb,

      We recognize from the outset that wind turbine power generation is just hopelessly intermittent. Supply fails to meet demand, so you have massive undershoots and massive overshoots. Rarely do you have the power generation you actually need.

      So they shouldn’t actually ever be built.

      Electrical energy storage and regeneration just isn’t happening (it’s a few orders of magnitude more expensive than keeping fossil fuel thermal plants running on standby). This makes not economic sense.

      Weren’t you going on a camping trip beneath your beloved windmills, so you could get back to us on the virtues of the whirling dervishes?

      1. SebastianH

        Supply fails to meet demand, so you have massive undershoots and massive overshoots.

        Try to match demand with a nuclear power plant. Doesn’t work either. The mix is what enables supply to follow demand.

        This makes not economic sense.

        It makes no economic sense to further increase the amount of greenhouse gases. This shortsighted thinking makes no sense. But I guess we live in weird times now when people are afraid of everything that means change …

        1. Jesper A

          A nuclear fleet has quite smooth output and is adjusted seasonally by the scheduling of revision and fuel replacement, so with that you only need to match demand variations. An fleet of intermittent renewables means you also have to match the renewables. That’s an order of a magnitude more demanding.

          That’s why Germany is building Nord Stream 2 just in time for the last nuclear closures.

    2. K. Pool

      Sebastian, you wrote:

      “You‘ll see increasing battery storage installations as soon as those are more economical than trying to cope with variations using old spinning mass generators …”

      Despite my best efforts, sending you references and trying to explain the fundamentally different roles of spinning mass and battery based power generators, you have not learned anything.

      I give up.

      1. Kenneth Richard

        Sebastian….you have not learned anything. I give up.

        Sebastian isn’t the kind of person who thinks he has anything to learn from those who write comments here. He considers us “disinformers” and “deniers”. He believes he knows all there is to know…and what he believes is right. I don’t reply to him to enlighten him, but to expose the vacuousness of his beliefs for the sake of others who may only observe — but not comment — here. So while it’s worthwhile to give up on someone like SebastianH, it isn’t futile to keep posting here nonetheless.

        1. K. Pool

          Thanks Kenneth.
          Stellar morning here (NorCal), I think I’m going to the beach.
          Cheers,
          Kees.

      2. SebastianH

        Despite my best efforts, sending you references and trying to explain the fundamentally different roles of spinning mass and battery based power generators, you have not learned anything.

        I am sorry having disappointed you. I assure you the feeling is mutual. You guys seem to be the most stubborn people I have ever dealt with 😉

        Continue to imagine that inverters aren’t capable of stabilizing frequency if you want.

        @Kenneth:

        I don’t reply to him to enlighten him, but to expose the vacuousness of his beliefs for the sake of others who may only observe

        Well then, I hope that those who read but don’t comment here, see your replies and get to similar conclusions as me. Maybe that’s why the don’t comment … they leave this blog immediately because of all the nonsense and creative interpretations of science/math/physics coming from you guys. In essence: they give up.

  6. Ann Banisher

    Sebastian,
    It would be closer to the analogy of being able to use your cell phone when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining…and then you have the option of using your old land line…and then saying that they will be better once we have batteries for them. Cell phones only became prevalent when the batteries did. When you get the battery issue resolved in an economical manner, then it becomes more useful.

    1. SebastianH

      When you get the battery issue resolved in an economical manner, then it becomes more useful.

      That is the whole point. Batteries are just taking off and are still quite expensive. So they are mostly no alternative towards just throtteling down fossil fuel power plants while the wind blows or the Sun shines. Yet.

      So why are you guys somehow demanding that the storage problem needs to be solved first when there is not a single instance where renewables generated more power than was needed? When that regularly happens, battery demand for the grid will increase and prices further fall due to increased mass production (in case they aren’t cheap enough yet because of the current rise of EVs).

      1. JesperA

        The problem with RE being built before storage is that you get fossil fuel lock-in. With nuclear power, that does not happen, but still the RE path is chosen.

        Battery storage will probably be feasible as a means to smooth daily solar production. It will not be feasible to store wind that varies over weeks. Have you done the math? A wind turbine is 3 MW and cost perhaps €3 million. Want storage with that? If you need to shift 1.5 MW of production for a week to next week, then you need 1.5*24*7 = 252 MWh. The cost of this would currently be in excess of €100 million.

        You don’t want to spend €100 million to smooth a €3 million production facility. You need the battery costs to drop two orders of magnitude for that to be feasible.

  7. J. Seifert

    Hier liegt irgendwo ein Fehler: Ich erinnere mich genau an die grüne Künast, die versprach: “Irgendwo weht IMMER ein Wind”!
    ….also braucht man ja die Mühlen nur in den richtigen “irgendwo”-Lagen
    hinzubauen und das garantiert dann den kontinuierlichen Strom. Und wo hingebaut wurde, war also ganz sicher kein Grüner dabei, der wusste, wo sich das richtige “irgendwo” befindet.

    1. Kurt n Switzerland

      Irgendwo befindet sich auf der anderen Seite des Erdkugels… in Erehwon.

      1. K. Pool

        “Irgendwo weht IMMER ein Wind”

        Yes, this was one of the most asinine slogans ever to emanate from the windpower movement, freely and often spouted forth by Bärbel Höhn and of course Jürgen “eiskugel” Trittin himself.

        It was used as a compelling, indiscriminate argument to build out a nationwide windmill fleet, together with the equally asinine “Sonne und Wind schicken uns noch immer keine Rechnung” slogan in its various forms.

        It is also patently untrue even on a Europeanwide scale and most certainly for Germany, as Rolf Schuster’s great graphs so clearly show.

        If it would have been true, the logical consequence would have been to build windmill plants at every ‘irgendwo’ therefore ‘all over the place’ with every single plant capable of supplying full power for the windstill rest.

        The reality is that “irgendwo” turns out to be mostly in the northern States and transporting the generated “Wackelstrom” to the South is a huge problem, such as the resistance of the various communities to overhead transmission lines.

        The last six nuclear power plants will be turned off in a bit more that three years – its going to be very interesting to see how this plays out……

        1. Henning Nielsen

          Yes, there’s always a wind blowing somewhere. So the solution is simply to move the turbines all the time to where the wind is, can’t be that difficult? And then transfer the energy on the internet or similar.

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  10. Henning Nielsen

    “…is like hiring a worker who shows up for work only one day a week, and nobody can say on which day and which shift.”

    And gets paid for 7 days a week.

    1. Yonason

      @Henning Nielsen

      YES!

      …and the guy who fills in for the loser when he’s out sick or hung over only gets paid for what he does, AND it’s the reliable guy who’s salary is docked to pay the unreliable fellow whether he works or not.

      Only a socialist could come up with a scheme so “brilliant.”

    2. SebastianH

      “…is like hiring a worker who shows up for work only one day a week, and nobody can say on which day and which shift.”

      And gets paid for 7 days a week.

      And how would that translate to baseline power plants? At work every day doing stuff that no one needs him/her to do half the time. Or more like a vendor sitting behind his cash register 24/7 waiting for customers while his shop is only open for 8 hours a day?

      A mix of power plants enables to match demand efficiently. It’s currently better to have some fossil fuel power plants on standby to augment renewables (which aren’t as unpredictable as you guys imagine them to be). There will be a time when batteries will take over that job … I’d say give or take 10 years from now and we will have large scale batteries stabilizing the grid everywhere.

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