The economy can’t run on wind and solar anymore than it can run on hot-air promises from politicians.

From Jude Clemente at

Progress towards an energy transition appears to be significantly lagging the optimistic projections and any reduction in government mandates and subsidies could make many investments unprofitable, and at least some elements of the energy transition appear to be driven by irrational exuberance – Michael Lynch, Energy Policy Research Foundation, 2022

The loudening insistence that renewables should displace, not just supplement, fossil fuels and nuclear energy in the power sector has some undeniable problems.  

In electricity jargon, politically favored wind and solar power are “non-dispatchable” resources (with capacity factors lower than 35%), while fossil fuels and nuclear are “dispatchable” (with capacity factors 85% and higher). This means that cost comparisons between wind and solar (intermittent, usually unavailable) versus fossil fuels and nuclear (baseload, almost always available) are much more imaginary than real. 

And much more wind and solar faces the growing obstacle of “high grading,” where the best spots (the low-hanging fruit) get picked first. In other words, each incremental build for wind and solar farms will, naturally, be in areas that are less windy and less sunny because their best locations are finite.  

Cloudy Germany, for instance, made the major mistake of over-focusing on solar power. 

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