Europe’s Downward Energy Spiral

The European Union has committed to going “green.” This means they are closing reliable fossil fuel and nuclear plants, and betting on wind and solar to meet their energy needs. Liberals assure us that wind and solar will represent a cost savings. (Which, obviously, is why they need to be subsidized.) Also as part of its “green” agenda, Europeans are moving to replace internal combustion vehicles with electric vehicles, with the electricity to come from wind and solar.

But there’s a catch! The entire essence of an electric vehicle is its battery, but it turns out that you can’t produce car-sized batteries in Europe, because manufacturing batteries requires a lot of energy:

Volkswagen, the German carmaker that’s pledged to manufacture nothing but electric vehicles in Europe by 2035, now says it’s “practically unviable” to build the batteries they need domestically.

That’s according to Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer, who wrote on LinkedIn this week that “Unless we manage to reduce energy prices in Germany and Europe quickly and reliably, investments in energy-intensive production or new battery cell factories in Germany and the EU will be practically unviable.”

Why is energy so expensive in Europe? Because they are shutting down reliable power plants and spending vast amounts of money on wind and solar installations that produce little electricity. Which is a sort of reductio that exposes the folly of the whole “green” venture. If wind and solar were really cheap energy sources, as liberals insist, then it wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive to manufacture batteries for “green” cars.

Earlier today, we made this post by Francis Menton a “pick.” Francis has a book coming out on energy storage, which is the fatal flaw that inevitably will bring the whole “green” project crashing down. His post includes this, on the utter futility of solar energy, which is basically a toy, not a serious energy source:

[T]he typical electricity usage in the UK at this time of year is given by Homewood as 840 GWh, which would be 35 GWh for each hour of the day. The capacity of the solar generation facilities in the UK is given as 14 GW. That would mean, if the solar facilities produced at full capacity for the 24 hours, they would have produced some 336 GWh, or a full 40% of the UK’s usage for the day. But hey, it’s late November. The days are short, and the UK has lots of clouds. So how much did the solar facilities actually produce today? Here is the chart:

At around noon, the solar panels reached their peak of generation for the day at 1.33 GW — less than 4% of average usage. For the whole day, production from the solar panels was all of 5.46 GWh, or 0.65% of usage. The times of peak electricity demand are the early morning and evening. At those times the UK’s solar panels produced absolutely nothing. In fact, they produced nothing from midnight to 8 AM, and then from 4 PM on.

So how is the UK (or anywhere else) ever going to obtain a meaningful amount of its electricity in winter from solar panels?

It isn’t, obviously. The facts are brutal: the U.K. consumes around 840 GWh of electricity per day. Of that total, solar panels produced a pathetic 5.46 GWh, even though their “rated capacity” is 336GWh. When promoting wind and solar, liberals always talk about rated or nameplate capacity, when the actual productivity of any wind or solar installation is only a fraction–in this case a minuscule fraction–of its alleged capacity.

The “green” edifice is rapidly crumbling. We can only hope that it crumbles fast enough to save the liberal West from economic and social catastrophe.

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