Europe Shows Wind And Solar Investments Are Not Reliable

Recent data out of Europe shows that despite massive amounts of money spent invested in wind and solar, not much energy production is gained.

The Institute for Energy Research had this analysis (full article here):

By 2014, the European Union had spent over a trillion dollars on large scale renewable energy. Yet, that investment has provided little in terms of generating capacity and output. Out of about a total of 1000 gigawatts in the European Union at the end of 2014, renewable capacity totaled just 216 gigawatts.[i]

Europeans have spent over $5 billion Euros per gigawatt of wind and solar PV capacity, while natural gas capacity could have been obtained for about 1 billion Euros per gigawatt. Thus, Europe’s entire fleet of capacity of 1000 gigawatts could have been replaced by natural gas-fired capacity for what Europeans spent on wind and solar capacity. Further, the natural gas capacity is dispatchable by the grid operator and is able to run 24/7 while wind and solar generating capacity are dependent on outside forces, i.e. the wind and the sun.

Though 216 gigawatts of renewable capacity was on-line in Europe through 2014, the output effectiveness was measured at only 38 gigawatts, yielding an effective capacity factor of only 18 percent, which compares to 87 percent for natural gas-fired capacity. In other words, natural gas power in Europe is five times more efficient than wind and solar power.

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