You might think that this is a rather obvious statement, but that is not what I mean. Whenever statistics about wind turbine output or unit energy costs are given out by government or the renewable energy industry – there is always a large element of spin. Generation capacity is always given on the basis that the turbine is generating electricity 100% of the time. They have simply adopted the norm for the energy generation industry. The same would hold true for a gas, coal or nuclear plant, so what is wrong with that? I’m sure you’re way ahead of me here. Yes of course, coal, gas, nuclear and hydro power plants average 85% output in one year. Germany estimates that it will get just 30% of its wind turbine capacity in actual power generated. Very naughty – just over a third of the power generated by conventional means. But it gets worse. That is what Germany estimated they would get. In actuality, over a ten year period all they got was 16%. That is why they are building 23 new coal fired power plants, that and of course the fact that wind generated electricity is 50% more expensive than the cost of conventionally produced energy. But here again that is not the whole story. When conventional backup power (remember wind power is only available 16% of the time) is included in the cost and when extra power transmission costs from disparate remote areas and power loss over long distances are taken into account the real cost is almost three times that of the most efficient new gas plants.
Just like any other information you get from politicians or vested interests, wind energy figures have been spun to death.