Wind Power – Epic Fail – Update

Posted on Wed 10/28/2009 by

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This post updates the post from yesterday, that post at this link.

I wanted to include this in yesterday’s post on this same subject, but to give it the correct explanation, it really requires a post all of it’s own. In that post I explained how in Germany, the whole inventory of every wind tower produced what can only be a minimal amount of electrical power. The diagram I included showed wind power in total for one month in the year, that month chosen because it was close to the average. The link I included in that post took you to the series of charts for the whole year. This following diagram is for the month when that power generation was at its lowest.

Wind Power May 2008

As I explained yesterday, the top chart here shows the generation in MegaWatts (MW) up the left side, the days of the month along the bottom, the green line at the top showing the maximum generation, that being 24,000 MW, and the pink line close to the bottom being the guaranteed minimum total from the providers of 6%, and yes, you did read that correctly. 6%.

The blue line is the actual amount of power delivered to the grid for the whole of Germany for that month of May. In this case it bumps along just above and below that 6% line and the amount of power delivered for that whole month totalled out at just under 10% of the maximum.

Now, that second diagram shows days when the guaranteed minimum was not even reached. This amounted to 291 hours. In that chart the heading there still in German translates to the following.

Time periods without the secured output of 1400 MW – as 6% of the entire installed WKA achievement

That 291 hours for the month of May equates to just under 40% of the whole month, effectively meaning there was a total of 12 complete days when those towers could not even provide the guaranteed minimum power of 6%, 1400MW.

Consider this.

Yesterday I mentioned that using the large sized nacelles on top of those towers, those being 3MW, then there would be around 8000 of them. Some detailed checking shows me that there are in fact 19,460 wind towers covering the whole of Germany.

That’s 19,460 Wind towers.

Over that whole month of May, they delivered to the German power grids an amount of 21 Billion KiloWattHours (KWH) of power.

That same amount of power was delivered to the same grids by two large coal fired power plants in 21 days of that same month.

So 19,640 Wind towers produced the same amount of electrical power as 1.5 large coal fired power plants.

I could just stop right there because that in itself is frightening enough.

You could say to yourself that this does not apply to the U.S. because ….. well ….. because what?

Does the wind blow harder in the U.S.?

Are the U.S. wind towers more efficient?

The U.S. has a slightly larger installed Nameplate Capacity than does Germany, and in fact, the U.S. has just taken over as the Country with the largest Capacity of Wind Power on the whole Planet.

If that same average of 20% power delivered to the whole grid is extrapolated out to the U.S. and keep in mind this is not for one isolated tower or plant, but for the whole inventory spread across the whole Country, then you do the math on how many of these towers will be required if they are to take the place of coal fired power plants.

The U.S. currently consumes 50% of its total power from coal fired means and just on one percent from Wind Power.

Pretend that there are the same number of wind towers in the U.S. as in Germany, after all, the maximum power is around the same. So that means if 1% equals nearly 20,000 towers, then 50% equates to one million of those huge towers.

Even then, you’ll only get 20% of the power for 20% of the time, and almost one quarter of the time the total power being delivered will be even lower than 6%.

How long will it take to construct that many towers? What would the cost be, and even if those towers nacelles, infrastructure, labor force, construction of plants to build it all is taken into account, a sanguine estimate would be in the vicinity of $7 to $10 Trillion.

All of this is purely academic really, because even if it could be achieved, let’s say by 2050, then, and starting right now, today, you will need to be completing them, and that’s having them delivering power to the grid at the rate of 70 towers a day.

Did you read that very carefully, 70 of those huge towers each and every day. That’s nine of them every hour or one every six minutes, every working day for the next forty years. Let that sink in for a minute. One every six minutes.

Even then all you get is limited power spread over limited time.

So now you see why the whole argument is purely academic and conjecture.

Wind Power is not the answer.

How can people be so stupid as to believe that this even approaches an answer.

If this is the answer, then someone, somewhere is asking the wrong damned question.