Persistently Pathetic: Routine Total Collapses Mean Wind Power Remains A Total Joke
No matter how many wind turbines get added to the grid, when calm weather sets in, their combined output amounts to a doughnut. Europe has more on and offshore wind turbines per square kilometre than any other continent. And yet it continues to suffer month’s long wind droughts, such as the one that started in September last year.
The total collapse in wind power output during Europe’s Big Calm and a total collapse in wind power output across Western Europe and the UK during the last months of 2021, triggered the Brits to enlist Rolls Royce to build a fleet of small modular reactors.
And the French quickly unveiled plans to build 14 next-generation nuclear plants, adding to the 56 plants currently operating and providing the French with over 70% of their power needs, at a cost roughly half that being paid by their wind and solar ‘powered’ German neighbours. Long-standing French government plans to shutter its existing plants have been quietly shelved.
When it comes to routine total collapses in wind power output, Australia fares no better.
Depicted above – courtesy of Aneroid Energy – is the output delivered by Australian wind power outfits to the Eastern Grid during June 2020.
Spread from Far North Queensland, across the ranges of NSW, all over Victoria, Northern Tasmania and across South Australia its entire capacity routinely delivers just a trickle of its combined notional capacity of over 10,000MW.
Collapses of over 3,000 MW or more that occur over the space of a couple of hours are routine, as are rapid surges of equal magnitude, which make the grid manager’s life a living hell, and provide the perfect setup for power market price gouging by the owners of conventional generators, who cash in on the chaos.
During June 2020 there were lengthy periods when the combined output of every wind turbine connected to the Eastern Grid (back then a combined notional capacity of 7,728MW) struggled to top 400 MW (5.1% of total capacity). Such as: 11 June when output collapsed to a trifling 86 MW (1.1% of total notional capacity); 17 June when total output fell to 134 MW (1.7% of total notional capacity); 26 June when, after a 1,200 MW slide, output was between 300-400 MW (3.8% to 5.1% of total notional capacity); and 27 June when output dropped over 900 MW to bottom out at 96 MW (1.2% of total notional capacity).
Even now that the combined capacity of wind turbines connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid has topped 10,000MW, the performance remains just as pathetic, as the team from Jo Nova spells out below. And, as Paul Homewood reports, Europe’s Big Calm continues without relent.
It’d be fine if we could put electricity in shoe boxes. (Wind power is 98% unreliable)
Jo Nova Blog
Australia now has nearly 10GW of wind power installed on the National Electricity Grid, but look at the monthly minimums — the guaranteed power we can rely on. The good news is that it’s increased by 10% over this time last year. The bad news is that it was only 216MW.
From the 10,000MW of windpower we paid to install, at one point in the last month only 2% was working, and that’s not unusual.
The true dismal story of wind power is that we need a near total second network of generators just sitting around waiting as back up. Since the back up is reliable, we could use them instead. As a bonus, backup power won’t kill birds, bats and hypnotize crabs and it won’t destroy sleep for farmers and spotted quolls, and it doesn’t create a national security risk either. Handy, eh?
The monthly average generation is about 30% of capacity. But the world doesn’t run on average electricity.
Jo Nova Blog
Wind Power Down To 3% In Past Week
Not a Lot of People Know That
29 March 2022
It won’t have escaped your attention that the weather has been dry, sunny and settled during the past week As a result, wind power has been negligible, averaging 1.01GW, or 3% of total demand:
Effectively this means that wind farms are only running at about 5% of their capacity.
Meanwhile, gas has provided 53.7%, with another 3.5% from coal.
The situation has been similar in Germany, with wind power nearly drying up for four days, and over the week averaging only 9% of total generation.
Their grid was only kept going with coal and gas, 41% and 12% respectively.
Germany does have more solar capacity, which contributed 16% of the total, but this is only really useful for about three hours a day, around noon, rather than early morning or evening when demand peaks.
It is also worth pointing out that in the middle of winter solar power only supplied 2% of total generation:
As with the UK, electricity only accounts for a small proportion of total energy consumption, about a sixth.
In terms of primary energy consumption, wind only makes up 8%, with solar another 4%.
It is abundantly clear that we cannot rely on importing power from Europe in our Net Zero future, as they will be as badly off as us.
Not a Lot of People Know That