European Renewable Energy performance for 2014 falls far short of claims

23-Aug-2015

By 2014 European Union countries had invested approximately €1 trillion, €1000,000,000,000, in large scale Renewable Energy installations.

This has provided a nameplate electrical generating capacity of about 216 Gigawatts, nominally about ~22% of the total European generation needs of about 1000 Gigawatts.
 The actual measured output by 2014 from data supplied by the Renewables Industry has been 38 Gigawatts or 3.8% of Europe’s electricity requirement, at a capacity factor of ~18% overall.

However Renewable Energy production is dependent on the seasons, local weather conditions and the rotation of the earth, day and night.

So the Renewable Energy contribution to the electricity supply grid is inevitably erratic, intermittent and non-dispatchable.  It is therefore much less useful than dispatchable sources of electricity, which can be engaged whenever necessary to match demand and maintain grid stability.  That 3.8% Renewable Energy contribution to the grid is often not available when needed and obversely its mandatory use can cause major grid disruption if the Renewable Energy contribution is suddenly over abundant.

Accounting for capacity factors the capital cost of these Renewable Energy installations has been about €29billion / Gigawatt. That capital cost should be compared with conventional gas-fired electricity generation costing about €1billion / Gigawatt. (By Ed Hoskins, Whats Up With That)