This article is concerned with the two main forms of weather dependent Renewable Energy, Wind Power, (Onshore and Offshore) and Photovoltaic solar power. In the UK this amounts to ~75% of all Renewable Energy as installed. The other Renewable Energy inputs are traditional Hydro power ~8% and the remainder are other sources such as biomass, waste and landfill gas amounting to ~17%: they are not considered here.
This article sets out a plausible model to assess the costs commitments made to introduce weather dependent Renewable Energy in Europe. The numbers that result are very significant indeed . The populace of Europe were never consulted as to whether they wished to commit such vast sums to the Green cause of controlling CO2 as a greenhouse gas in a futile attempt to limit further temperature rise due to greenhouse warming.
- The installation of the weather dependent Renewables fleet in Europe, as of 2015, has already lead to a 60 year lifetime financial commitment amounting to roughly €3.4trillion: this approximates to the annual GDP of Germany.
- Electricity generation by using gas-fired installations is significantly cheaper than weather dependent Renewables in terms of both initial installation Capital cost and later Operation and Maintenance costs, even when accounting for the current costs of fuel.
- The € 0.72 trillion capital costs already spent on weather dependent Renewables in Europe to date would have been sufficient to re-equip the 1,000 Gigawatt European electricity generating fleet with Gas-fired power stations in large part: producing electricity for the grid consistently, as and when needed at ~90% capacity.
- The European weather dependent Renewable fleet with a nominal nameplate output of ~236 Gigawatts only contributes ~ 42Gigawatts to the European Grid, a capacity percentage at about 19% overall.
- 60 year life-time costs of Onshore wind power range from 5 times more expensive than Gas-fired generation.
- 60 year life-time costs of Offshore wind power and Solar power are about 20 times more expensive than Gas-fired generation.
- during the 60 year life-time Gas-fired generators have a full-time productive capacity of about ~90%, whereas the combined capacity figures for weather dependent Renewable Energy of only about 19% is achieved across all European weather dependent Renewable installations.
- if full fossil fuel back-up has to be provided to maintain the viability of the electricity network, the entire need for the weather dependent Renewables in the first place is obviated.