Wind and Solar Energy: Good for Nothing

The cost of fuel for a natural gas plant is about two cents per kilowatt-hour.  The difference, the seven-cent cost of generating wind or solar electricity, less the two-cent benefit for fuel saved, is a five-cent-per-kilowatt-hour subsidy for wind or solar.  Some real-world examples will further illustrate the point.  Texas has a huge wind generation system with a capacity of 17,000 megawatts.  On August 31, 2016 at noon, output from the wind system fell below 1% of capacity.  The Texas wind system frequently has swings of thousands of megawatts within a few hours.  It often produces at less than 5% of capacity.  On September 1, 2017, between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., California experienced a record demand of a bit more than 50,000 megawatts.  By 6 P.M., two thirds of solar generation was lost.  By 8 P.M., all solar generation was lost, but demand was still 46,000 megawatts.

Read more: