Here is a look at the German renewable energy program. The NoTricksZone is a site that covers German media and reports it in English. The site is managed by Pierre Goselin and he recently posted “Two Great Destructive Lies German Leaders Refuse To Abandon”. The first of the two “lies” relates performance of wind and solar systems and it is that:
“German renewable energies sun and wind are a success!”
Chart shows installed rated sun / wind capacity vs actual output (sun yellow, wind blue). Fact is that wind and sun operate at only about 11% of their rated capacity and often there are days when there is relatively no output at all. (Click chart to enlarge)
At 11%, that is possibly worse than US performance. It may be that the problem is poorly located renewables. Solar cells in Germany, a country quite far north, are probably not in the idea location. Berlin, for example is about the same latitude as Calgary Canada. Great in the summer but come winter, of little value. See chart below:
The chart shows where European cities would be on the North American Continent if they were located at the same latitude. Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, etc would be in Canada. (Click on chart to enlarge)
There is an interesting posting on the renewable’s location by Reuters.com titled “Badly located renewable power plants cost Europe $100 billion: Davos report”.
Their theme is that Germany has wind energy and Spain has sun energy. Yet, Germany and Spain have both renewable installations. Germany has problems with solar and Spain with wind. The posting using an World Economic Forum (WEF) report says:
“It said that even though Spain gets about 65 percent more solar energy than Germany (1750 kilowatt-hours per square meter/year compared to 1050 kWh/m2 for Germany), Germany has installed about 600 percent more solar photovoltaic capacity (33 gigawatts compared to 5 GW).
But while Spain has less wind than northern European countries, it has still installed 23 GW of wind power capacity.
“Such sub-optimal deployment of resources is estimated to have cost the EU approximately $100 billion more than if each country in the EU had invested in the most efficient capacity given its renewable resources,” the WEF report said.
Germany seems to be rushing toward brownouts at best or blackouts at worse. Shutting down their nukes, and putting more reliance on renewables. To some extent the government recognizes this, and has been replacing the nukes with German brown coal powered electrical generation stations. More CO2 than that produced by standard US bituminous or anthracite coal. Heaven forfend.
Oh yes, there is a second ”lie” in the NoTricksZone” posting that is only indirectly related to renewable energy, so I am not going to comment on it.