renewable electricity

Electric Car farce in UK, councils blow millions

Green projects worldwide are failing and taxpayers and ratepayers are picking up the bills, especially for idiot projects associated with electric cars.

Councils across the UK have spent more than ?7.2m on charging points for electric cars over the last three years but many are not being used.

One in six councils admitted to having at least one point which has not been used at all over the past year.

While less than a third of authorities have a charging point used on average more than once a week, more than half of which are used only by council vehicles.

BBC Radio 4?s You and Yours found that council spending amounts to ?1,750 per electric car.? Read more »

Breaking Wind, Ctd

Yesterday I blogged about the dire state of wind power in the US. Now it is the Germans who are realising the folly of wind generation for power. The Poms seem to be pretty slow on the uptake:

Germany is way ahead of us on the very path our politicians want us to follow ? and the problems it has encountered as a result are big news there. In fact, Germany is being horribly caught out by precisely the same delusion about renewable energy that our own politicians have fallen for. Like all enthusiasts for ?free, clean, renewable electricity?, they overlook the fatal implications of the fact that wind speeds and sunlight constantly vary. They are taken in by the wind industry?s trick of vastly exaggerating the usefulness of wind farms by talking in terms of their ?capacity?, hiding the fact that their actual output will waver between 100 per cent of capacity and zero. In Britain it averages around 25 per cent; in Germany it is lower, just 17 per cent.

The more a country depends on such sources of energy, the more there will arise ? as Germany is discovering ? two massive technical problems. One is that it becomes incredibly difficult to maintain a consistent supply of power to the grid, when that wildly fluctuating renewable output has to be balanced by input from conventional power stations. The other is that, to keep that back-up constantly available can require fossil-fuel power plants to run much of the time very inefficiently and expensively (incidentally chucking out so much more ?carbon? than normal that it negates any supposed CO2 savings from the wind).

Both these problems have come home to roost in Germany in a big way, because it has gone more aggressively down the renewables route than any other country in the world. Having poured hundreds of billions of euros in subsidies into wind and solar power, making its electricity bills almost the highest in Europe, the picture that Germany presents is, on paper, almost everything the most rabid greenie could want. Last year, its wind turbines already had 29GW of capacity, equivalent to a quarter of Germany?s average electricity demand. But because these turbines are even less efficient than our own, their actual output averaged only 5GW, and most of the rest had to come from grown-up power stations, ready to supply up to 29GW at any time and then switch off as the wind picked up again.

But the Germans and the socialists in charge have?compounded?the problem with massive subsidies. Which means manufactureres and generating companies invest in non-commercial enterprises based off of subsidies.

Now the problem for the German grid has become even worse. Thanks to a flood of subsidies unleashed by Angela Merkel?s government, renewable capacity has risen still further (solar, for instance, by 43 per cent). This makes it so difficult to keep the grid balanced that it is permanently at risk of power failures. (When the power to one Hamburg aluminium factory failed recently, for only a fraction of a second, it shut down the plant, causing serious damage.) Energy-intensive industries are having to install their own generators, or are looking to leave Germany altogether.

If subsidies are required for something to work…then it doesn’t…work.