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.Contrast that with coal or gas power plants that can operate at close to 100% capacity.
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.
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.Renewables cost 29X as much to install as gas-fired plants.
The wealthy elite are gaga over renewables, but they can afford to spend a lot more for energy. Back when Al Gore was pushing his "documentary" it was revealed that his primary residence used more electricity in one month that the average American used in one year.
In spite of their [ed., "there"] being virtually no costs for fuel, Renewable Energy installations can still cost up to 1.5 – 2.5 times as much to operate and maintain as conventional Gas Fired plant.And the effect is to increase the cost of renewables even more.
Accordingly German Renewable installations perform at only ~13% overall. They are by far the least performant in Europe because of their heavy commitment to Solar Energy at Northern latitudes. Germany is followed by Italy with a more Southerly position but still with a heavy commitment to Solar Power.Low solar incidence angle and short days for 6 months of the year. Berlin, Germany is 52 degrees North. Northernmost Maine is 47 degrees North. How did any rational person think that solar energy was a good choice for Germany?
In France which already has the lowest CO2 emissions levels/head [ed., per capita] of population in the developed world (substantially less (~60%) than China) because of its commitment to Nuclear electrical generation, the installation of Renewable Energy (Wind Power and Solar) in France would seem to be particularly costly and pointless.If governments want low CO2 emissions, they should go with nuclear.
If they want to kill poor people in the winter, so with renewables.
To date about € trillion, (€1000,000,000,000), has been spent on the installation of Renewable Energy technologies for electricity generation in Europe.
By Government and EU diktat, this expenditure has been extracted by extra charges imposed on utility bills throughout Europe. Viewed as taxation this is very regressive form: it imposes more burdens on poorer people whilst leaving wealthier people who are able to pay less affected. It is also invisible in Government accounts as a tax income at all, as it is an industry price imposition on consumers.
These regressive “Green taxes” have already lead to significant fuel poverty throughout Europe.As I said, if they want to kill poor people in the winter, go with renewables.
The USA has made significant CO2 emissions reductions over the past few decades by replacing Coal Fired generation with Gas Fired electricity generation with the feedstock provided by the fracking revolution. It is estimated that using natural gas for electricity generation as opposed coal burning saves about 30% of CO2 emissions.So the most environmentally sound, logical, rational, scientific, economic, compassionate choices are
1) Natural gas (and fracking).
On the other hand renewables are the best choice for the elite because they offer
1) Smug moral superiority
2) Good opportunities for cronyism and graft.
It is also questionable whether these Renewable Energy industries, when viewed “from cradle to grave”, including manufacturing, site works, installation, connection and demolition costs, does in fact reduce CO2 emissions to any significant extent overall. The CO2 saved may never exceed the CO2 emissions generated to erect the total installation.This is like the ethanol boondoggle in the US. Use lots of land and fossil fuels to grow and harvest corn, then lots of fossil fuels convert the corn to alcohol and purify it. Then claim that you are reducing CO2 emissions by using a "biofuel" from a renewable resource. All the while by driving up food (and fuel) costs by diverting corn (and land) from being a feedstock.