The Wind Power Mirage

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From Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I came across a laudatory article about the Scottish Hywind project, entitled “The world’s first floating offshore wind farm turns 5 — here’s how it’s going“. It’s all full of congratulations about the “capacity factor”, meaning how much of the nameplate capacity it actually generates. And in fact, at a claimed 54% capacity factor, that is impressive.

The wind farm has a nameplate capacity of 30 megawatts (MW). At 54% capacity factor, that’s 142 gigawatt-hours generated per year. As I said, impressive.

There’s just one leetle tiny fly in the ointment … as detailed here, electricity from Hywind is being sold to the grid, not to the consumer but to the grid, for $0.25 per kilowatt-hour. That’s about four times the cost of fossil fuel electricity, and guess who is subsidizing the difference?

Yep. The poor UK taxpayer. At $0.25 per kWh, that electricity subsidy is costing the taxpayers just over $26 megabucks per year, about an eighth of a billion dollars over the five years of its existence … hell of a deal.

This is the ugly reality of wind and solar. They are hugely subsidized by the taxpayers no matter where they are installed. The subsidies are both direct and indirect. They don’t make money, they are not economically competitive anywhere except in the fevered green dreams of the ecolarmists who are forcing them on the poor taxpayer.

Here’s the bottom line:

  • In the US, the average electricity price to the consumer is on the order of $0.10 per kilowatt-hour.
  • The Manhattan Institute says that globally, we’ve subsidized wind/solar/biofuels to the tune of $5 trillion over 20 years.
  • Our World In Data says that globally, they’ve delivered 9.12 petawatt-hours (1015 watt-hours) in 20 yrs.

That’s $0.55 per kilowatt-hour that we’ve thrown down a rat-hole.

(Folks don’t realize how big $5 trillion dollars is … here’s a way to grasp it. If we were to waste a million dollars each and every single hour, setting fire to $24 million dollars a day, 24/7/365, it would take us 570 years to waste $5 trillion. Think about all the good things that money might have done. To pick just one thing, it could have provided clean drinking water to every single village on the planet with lots of money left over … but noooo, the green lobby must have its insanity paid for by the taxpayer.)

And what has the five trillion dollars bought us?

As our UK cousins say, “Sweet Fanny Adams”, a polite way of saying sweet F*** All. In other words …


Grrrr …

The good news, on the other hand, is that drought-prone northern California where I live is getting lots of rain. Here’s the view from my porch, with very wet pumpkins on the patio table.

Of course, according to the media and the oh-so-scientific climastrologers, last year when there was a drought in California it was a sure sign of dreaded climate change. And now when we get rain, guess what?

It’s another sure sign of dreaded climate change …

… and also of course, to go with the so-called “good news” about wind power discussed above, the bad news is that the California electrical grid can’t handle wind. Go figure. We’re out of power at our house, and it’s far, far from just us. Here’s the Pacific Gas and Electric outage map. I live an hour and a half north of San Francisco, which is where the red triangle is on the coast.

As a result, we’re running chez nous on our trusty Honda 2200i gas-powered generator for the indeterminate future, the PG&E site says “ESTIMATED RESTORATION: To Be Announced”, the gorgeous ex-fiancee and our grandson are playing the acoustic piano, the rain is pouring down, and all the woke people around here with their $70,000 sparky cars can’t charge them.

As for me, the grass is green outside my window, and as long as I’m looking down at it and not up, my life is wonderful.

My very best to all of you, whatever your weather may be.


My Usual: Misunderstandings are the bane of the intarwebs. To reduce the number, please quote the exact words you are referring to, so we can know just what and whom you are discussing.