More Headaches Than Power: Germany’s Wind Energy Fails To Deliver! “Energiewende Finished?”

The greatest obstacle to wind energy is its unreliable, weather-dependent supply. If the wind stops blowing, then it’s lights out!

Wind turbine burning

Image cropped from:

Yet, proponent’s often claim the solution is offshore, for example out in the tempestuous North Sea. There the wind is always blowing, they like to tell us.

Unfortunately this too is turning out to be more myth the truth, as a recent hard-copy Spiegel report writes:

The hope that the North Sea wind parks would reliably generate power have not been fulfilled up to now. Last month provided an example. On nine days almost windless conditions were seen. On August 17 at times no megawatt of power output was measured.”

Spiegel then reports that when the wind does get especially brisk, the power transmission facilities designed to deliver the power onshore are unable to handle it, writing that “the world’s largest transmission facility of its type, DolWin2, has repeatedly gotten shut down since it began trial operation back in February.”

According to the German news weekly, the facility has again been out of operation since August 26. The blame is a 900-metter long section of a 90-kilometer high voltage line onshore. The bad news, Spiegel reports, is that grid operating company Tennet thinks solving the problems could even take months!

Also giant offshore part Riffgatt was taken offline for a period of half a year, Spiegel writes.

“Spectacular failures”

Wind parks in Germany have not only been riddled with problems technically, but also economically, In early July the BSZ investor watchdog site presented an article titled: “Capital investments in wind energy: lousy returns, spectacular failures, mass corruption, Energiewende finished?

The BSZ article describes how promises of up to double digit returns in “lucrative and safe” green power investments often never materialize, and investors end up seeing their money evaporate.

Spectacular examples include the insolvency filing by Prokon in May 2014, where 74,000 investors had ponied up approximately 1.4 billion euros. Other failed investment companies include EECH in Hamburg and Windreich in south Germany.

The legal environment for wind parks is also getting more hostile, BSH writes. Courts are now leaning more in favor of parties protesting the encroachment by turbines.

Even Germany’s Umweltbundesamt (ministry of environment) is warning the wind party may be nearing its end:

The Umweltbundesamt is alarmed. Germany-wide, according to the Ministry, which actually is supposed to protect the environment, 97 percent of Germany’s area may not be covered with the tall wind turbines. The Ministry has also ‘warned’ other states that the ‘Energiewende’ is thus finished.”


13 responses to “More Headaches Than Power: Germany’s Wind Energy Fails To Deliver! “Energiewende Finished?””

  1. Henning Nielsen

    Ah, those magical 97% again!

  2. yonason

    I found this over at the blog of someone who posted to your last article.

    The data show that relying on wind to power a modern civilization is madness. It is totally UN-sustainable.

  3. John F. Hultquist

    High wind speed also results in a lack of power. Is that an issue there?

    A wind facility near me says they shut off at about 25m/s.
    The rotor spins clockwise at 16.5 revolutions per
    minute; the turbines generate electricity at wind
    speeds as low as 9 mph, reach peak generation
    at 31 mph, and shut down at constant wind
    speeds of 56 mph.

    [ p. 2 ]

    1. Moose

      The sad part is that if they are at maximum output (100%) at 31 mph, then they only deliver 2,2 % at 9 mph. The power output is to the third power of the wind speed.

  4. tom0mason

    Now if I see it correctly then the capitalist market economy is still running in Germany and this is the main obstacle to the complete Green revolution, so forward you Greens there is still plenty of riches to be had yet.

    Remember this sustainable source of energy is only failing because those capitalist will not let you build enough subsidized off-shore wind-farms, you must aim for a million more!
    Steel yourselves for the battle for the public purse to come, allow no compromise, it must be every effort for every Euro.
    Profitable wind-farms from coast to coast!

    In case you didn’t realize it —

  5. K. van der Pool

    After the ‘Knall auf hoher See’ on March 23/2014, things are still not going well for BARD 1 / Borwin Alfa, to put it mildly.

    From the EEX ad-hoc ticker, a partial list of various reasons for the ‘outages’:

    transformer shutdown, reduced availability, shutdown of the HVDC connection, reduced output, HGÜ-problems, maintenance BorWIN, unplanned prolongation of outage, Borwin HGÜ failure etc. etc.

    “Unknown” dominates the list, which seems to indicate the problems are nowhere near to a solution after 2.5 years of troubleshooting:
    “Outage at wind park BARD Offshore1: 400 MW out of 400 MW non-available since 02/09/2016 at 04:00 until 02/09/2016 at 22:00; reason: unknown”.

  6. edmh

    The statements made by Professor David Mackay FRS in April 2016 in a final interview with Mark Lynas are set out below.

    Professor David Mackay FRS was the green-oriented academic who was the chief scientific officer of the former UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. Even though he thought “Green” and believed in CO2 reduction he was devoutly rational preferring simple mathematics to Green dogma and conjecture. Very sadly he died at a young age in April 2016.

    David Mackay’s called the thought of powering the UK with Renewables “an appalling delusion”. The key statements in this final video, can be summarised

    Clearly his erudite and revealing comments support the thought that “die energiewende” is equally an “appalling delusion”


    but also on youtube

    “whatever combination of renewable energy is used it will always fall far short of actual energy consumption in the UK” min 8+
    “power the UK with renewable energy is an appalling delusion” min 9.10+
    “ pay attention to mathematics, the laws of physics, and the realities of engineering” min 9.40
    “intermittency is a real problem” min 9.50
    “renewable proponents haven’t done the numbers to achieve proposed solutions” min 10.10
    “winter” min 10.30
    “batteries are not scalable” min 11.05
    “if you can get through the winter, there is no point in adding expensive intermittent Renewables particularly wind and solar” min 14 – 15
    “DECC always knew that solar was worthless in the UK” min 16+
    “society needs reliability in its electrical system” min 18 +
    “CCS is crucial” min 19: the author would disagree with this but as far as David Mackay was concerned it would allow the continued use of fossil fuels

    “delusion about the ease of CO2 reduction and the error of not taking account of the simple mathematics” min 21

  7. yonason

    Too much of a “good” thing?

    Now if only we could engineer the wind to blow not too little and not too much…

    Who supports this “wind power” nonsense other than crooks, liars and fools?

  8. DirkH

    Has a blade hit sod on the head? Where is he?

    1. roger

      Gone for a brain implant perhaps?
      Wind here in the UK right now producing 1% of demand.

    2. AndyG55

      Even the village idiot needs a holiday now and then !

  9. K. van der Pool

    Update Bard 1, shutting the park down in a few days for an unknown reason:

    Outage at wind park BARD Offshore1: 400 MW out of 400 MW non-available from
    09:17 23/09/2016 06:30 until 23/09/2016 20:00, reason unknown

  10. Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ Close to Kaput: Wind Power Fails to Deliver – Newsfeed – Hasslefree allsorts

    […] No Tricks Zone […]

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