President Obama’s Clean Energy Renewable Power Turkey

Posted on Thu 01/28/2010 by

1


Last night in the President’s State Of The Union Address, he mentioned ‘Clean Energy’ ten times, also hyping up Renewable power.

I want you to picture this.

You buy a brand new car straight off the showroom floor.

Each day of the week you drive that car to work. Out of the five days in the week you do this, your brand new car will only achieve the task once. The other four days you have to rely on alternative transport.

So! Do you think you would be happy about that?

I don’t think so.

Renewable power, be it wind power or the two versions of solar power have this same reliability. 20%.

Twenty Percent.

But hey, please don’t believe me. Believe the same Government who wants to sink hundreds of billions of your dollars into this highly unreliable form of generating electrical power. That same Government releases highly detailed statistics every month detailing exactly how much electrical power is generated from every source.

So then let’s look at Wind power first.

The U.S. has recently taken over from Germany as the largest producer of electrical power from this source. This is a link to the Wikipedia site, which in actual fact is quite up to date with the total Nameplate Capacity power produced from this source. Scroll half way down the page to where the chart table is. It shows the installed Nameplate Capacity of Wind Power in the U.S. as 35,159 MegaWatts. (MW) This is around the equivalent of 17 large coal fired or nuclear power plants, which can produce 2000MW of Nameplate Capacity power. So it actually seems to be quite a lot of power really.

However, that’s not how the power is consumed. It is consumed in KiloWattHours (KWH), and I’ll refer to it in that manner because that’s how you will all see it on your electrical utilities bill.

To work out how much usable power is made available to consumers is an easy calculation, although it looks complex.

The formula is NP X 24 X 365.25 X 1000. NP is Nameplate Capacity. 24 for the hours in a day. 365.25 for the days in a year, leap year included, and then multiply by 1000 to convert from MegaWatts to KiloWattHours.

So for all the wind power in the U.S. the formula comes out like this.

35,159 X 24 X 365.25 X 1000 which comes to 308 Billion KWH, if those wind turbines were to run at their maximum all the time. Now, we all know that they don’t so just how much power do they produce.

This link shows that exactly, and these figures are as of January 15th from the Government’s own website for electrical power, The Energy Information Administration.

Scroll to the bottom left there. That figure is expressed in Thousand MegaWattHours, which is the same as Million KWH, so the figure is 64.144 Billion KWH

So, if the feasible maximum total power is 308 Billion KWH, and the actual power delivered is 64 Billion KWH, then the overall efficiency rate of delivery of actual power amounts to 20.7%. What that effectively means is that it is delivering power for just on five hours a day, or the same as for the car analogy I used above, one day in five.

So tell me. Are you happy with that?

To put it in further perspective, see the Nameplate Capacity is the same as for 17 large coal or nuclear plants I showed above. The actual power delivered is around the same power produced by only three and a half of those 17 plants.

Are you happy with that?

You may think I’m being selective, so let’s then look at Nuclear Power. It delivers its power at the efficiency rate of 93%. Even coal fired power delivers its power at close to 88% when referenced to Nameplate Capacity and using the same formula.

That delivered power of 64 Billion KWH amounts to only 1.6% of the total power consumed in the U.S. There is positively and absolutely no way, ever, that total will even closely approach the hoped for 20%, and you could try until 2050. It will never reach 20%.

Look on that same page at Solar Power. Even with all the advances made in Solar Power in the last few years consumption of power from Solar generated sources actually fell, but then, who would really notice. This total amount of power produced from both solar sources amounts to 733 Million KWH, or 0.02% of the total power consumed in the U.S. To put that into some context, this is the same amount of power produced from ONE coal or nuclear plant every FIFTEEN DAYS. That is for every solar power plant in the Country. Solar power is currently delivering its power at the efficiency rate of around 12 to 15% at the absolute best, or around 3 hours a day. Try as you might it’s no point filling up the Deserts in the South West and in Texas with solar panels or mirrors, because there is no way you can then transmit that power the vast distances to where it is needed the most, in the North East. How much power would have been produced over the last few months of snow and blizzards in that North East? Zero. In fact, building them in the North East will never happen because of that.

Are you happy with those figures from Solar power?

Add the solar to the wind, and the total still only comes to 1.62%. Almost nothing.

This is not some imaginary political point I’m trying to make. This is just a bald statement of the facts.

These renewable plants are in the vicinity of five to seven times more expensive to get to the power delivery stage than for any other plant. They are more maintenance intensive and they only last for a third to half the time as for a large coal or nuclear plant.

All that aside, that power delivery rate of only 20% at the absolute best should be enough to convince you that these things are next to useless. The only way they can even get off the ground is with the injection of huge amounts of money in the form of Government subsidies. The only thing that they can absolutely ensure is that the cost of electricity to the end consumer will be much more expensive.

The analogy about the car at the top of the post is a relevant thing to allude to. Would you as a consumer but a car that you KNOW absolutely is only going to work one time in five.

Why should the same thing not apply here with renewable power.

This is one great big turkey that is never going to fly, no matter how much money you throw at it.

Taking into account that 20% power delivery rate, that means you will just have to rely on getting the required power for the remainder of the time from those other sources, so in all reality, the construction of these wind plants and solar plants at an alarmingly ever increasing rate will not really result in the saving of all that much in the way of Carbon Dioxide emissions anyway, as those coal fired plants will have to stay running to provide power for the bulk of the time these so called renewable plants are just not even working at all.

You can construct another million of them, and that percentage will not change.

So when the President is given a standing ovation for mentioning ten times the phrase renewable power and clean energy, this is one turkey that will just never fly. He can hope and change all he likes, but nothing will change that 20% figure.

This is most definitely not B+ material, In fact, if this paper was marked, an F would be a fair result, and in fact even an F is probably too high, and thankfully, the only reason it does get an F instead of just being thrown in the rubbish bin unmarked is that he actually did mention nuclear power generation as an option.

Two further posts on the ridiculous spin being put out there regarding renewable power, both of these dealing with Wind Power.

Post 1. Salazar’s Wind Power: First Open Mouth, Then Change Feet

Post 2. More Political Spin On Wind Power

About these ads