Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Europe's Wind Energy Debacle

Some excerpts from a longer article:

[renewable energy] has provided a nameplate electrical generating capacity of about 216 Gigawatts, nominally about ~22% of the total European generation needs of about 1000 Gigawatts.
The actual measured output by 2014 from data supplied by the Renewables Industry has been 38 Gigawatts or 3.8% of Europe’s electricity requirement, at a capacity factor of ~18% overall.
So, on average, in spite of paying much more than for gas or coal, they are only getting 18% of the electrical energy for which they paid. The article continues:
Accounting for capacity factors the capital cost of these Renewable Energy installations has been about €29billion / Gigawatt.  That capital cost should be compared with conventional gas-fired electricity generation costing about €1billion / Gigawatt.
In spite of their being virtually no costs for fuel, Renewable Energy installations can still cost up to 1.5 – 2.5 times as much ...
Here in Kansas, there is controversy pertaining to a proposed rate increase from Westar Energy, a major user of wind energy. Criticism of the rate increase is coming from some of the same people who were pushing for more (expensive) wind energy.

Solar is great for certain installations. There may practical uses for wind power of which I am not aware. But, neither is suitable for utility purposes.

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