Failed experiment: Why intermittent wind & solar have never worked & never will

Posted: November 17, 2019 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy, wind
Tags: ,

A detailed look at why running countries on renewables is a dangerous delusion for practical reasons of economics and engineering. If short of time at least read the main headings. Add in the fact that people don’t want to live near wind turbines or give up land to accommodate them.


Three decades, massive subsidies and yet intermittent wind power’s contribution to world energy needs remains little more than a rounding error.

Electricity that can’t be delivered as and when it’s needed has no commercial value; massive subsidies are the only ‘value’ that attracts investors to wind and solar. Cut the subsidies and wind and solar investment would evaporate, overnight.

As Gail Tverberg explains below, chaotically delivered wind and solar have never worked in the past. So, there’s no reason to expect that they’ll ever work in future. In a sane and rational world, we’d call it a ‘failed experiment’, clean up the mess and move on.

How Renewable Energy Models Can Produce Misleading Indications
Our Finite World
Gail Tverberg
24 October 2019

The energy needs of the world’s economy seem to be easy to model. Energy consumption is measured in a variety of different ways including kilowatt hours, barrels of…

View original post 3,855 more words

  1. oldbrew says:

    German Anti-Wind Revolt Sparks Collapse In Construction
    Date: 17/11/19 Financial Times

    Construction of new wind parks in Germany has collapsed over the past year, not least in response to growing resistance from local activists.
    . . .
    Without more wind turbines, Europe’s largest economy could soon face an unenviable choice: scrap the climate targets or risk running out of power.
    – – –
    What say you, *climate rebels*?

    From the FT source:
    “The more turbines are built, the more people come into contact with them and the more people will resist.”

  2. […] über Failed experiment: Why intermittent wind & solar have never worked & never will — Tallblok… […]

  3. ivan says:

    At long last it appears that the peasants are revolting and might win this battle.

    Yes, you can run a house on a wind turbine IF you have enough batteries and a good diesel autostart generator, without the batteries and generator you can forget it.

    The same conditions apply to solar panels.

  4. Gamecock says:

    The root of the renewables drive is financial ignorance.

    “The wind is free!”

    Facilities to make power from wind are extremely expensive.

    Yes, the variable cost of wind/solar is low, but the fixed cost is extreme, making the very low variable cost irrelevant.

  5. conservativeprof says:

    Wind and possibly solar have direct costs especially as their usage increases. This direct cost is called negative energy pricing, occurring when too much renewable power is generated. Negative energy pricing regularly occurs in both CA and TX. This power must be absorbed by other utilities at direct cost to producers of RE. The left’s solution seems to be massive batteries, far flung transmission capacity, and complex control systems. The feasibility and cost of this approach are unknown and likely not knowable until these systems experience spectacular failures. I see a possible exponential energy management problem as the amount of RE and battery backup increase to squeeze marginal increases in reliability. Huge amounts of excess RE are required to generate sufficient stored power to satisfy both peak demand as well as times with minimal RE output. Realize these sobering details about RE. TX with the most installed wind power in the USA, has barely any wind power generation on peak demand during hot summer afternoons. CA does not even have a cost estimate of its ridiculous RE mandates. CA now has a scheme to turn the Hoover Dam into a RE battery at a cost of $Bs although I doubt that other users of the Hoover Dam will allow it to happen. If battery technology is cost effective (I am not even sure it is feasible), why propose such a wild idea (environmentally crazy idea). Xcel Energy in CO (with support from Democrats) has committed to destruction of two viable coal plants, replacing them with RE and battery backup. Yet, battery backup storage has not been used anywhere on a similar scale. Magically, Xcel will make battery backup reliable and cost effective on this scale.

  6. […] 17, 2019 at 7:55 pmReblogged this on Tallbloke’s Talkshop and commented:A detailed look at why running countries on renewables is a dangerous delusion […]

  7. It doesn't add up... says:

    So far the failed experiment is getting this message across. Gail makes many excellent points (at least for those with enough knowledge to understand whereof she speaks). But we need a graphic way to present the realities, and a charismatic presenter to front it.