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European Wind Power Data

January 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Joe Public/Dave Ward




Wind Europe is an organisation set up to blow the trumpet for wind power. Their website has quite a lot of useful data. Unfortunately, some of it rather undermines their case!

For instance, they show a chart of how much wind power was produced “yesterday”. (In this case, it is Thursday, as they have not updated yet).



I would hardly regard 5.9% as particularly impressive, particularly in mid winter.

Take away Spain and Portugal, which generated 347 GWh, and the rest of Europe is hardly worth even counting.

In Germany, for instance, wind only supplied 2.3% of the nation’s electricity. In France, it was 2.2%, while here it was 2.4%.




Capacity loading was particularly poor in Germany, where onshore wind ran at just 2% of capacity for the day as a whole.




There were also big variations during the day, with wind power dipping as low as 0.6% of demand in the afternoon in the UK.




But the most damning chart is this one.

It is frequently claimed that when one part of Europe has little wind, another part will compensate. In this way, wind power will be provided in an even and stable fashion.

But Wind Europe’s own graphic for the first half of 2017 gives the lie to this:



Just home in on the graph, and see how much wind power fluctuates from below 20 GW to above 70 GW.




The idea that wind power can ever be a significant part of Europe’s energy mix is a dangerous delusion.



At least Wind Europe are honest about themselves! This is how they describe themselves:

WindEurope is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting wind power in Europe and worldwide. We have over 450 members, active in over 40 countries. In addition to wind turbine manufacturers with a leading share of the world wind power market, our membership encompasses component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, contractors, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies, and consultants.

  1. January 13, 2018 7:33 pm

    WindEurope may have over 450 members, active in over 40 countries, but it is dwarfed by EPAW (European Platform Against Windfarms), which has 1293 member organisations in 31 European countries:
    The message is that ordinary people hate wind farms – and with good reason.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      January 14, 2018 8:34 pm

      But Greenpeace assure us that people love wind power!

  2. January 13, 2018 8:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  3. jim permalink
    January 13, 2018 9:39 pm

    Except for Iberians tilting at windmills….
    Its only because Spain and particularly Portugal had so much hydro that they were able to develop such significant ‘unreliables’. For the rest of Europe ( except Norway for the same reason), its just a waste of money.

  4. January 13, 2018 10:50 pm

    The top chart shows 5.9% being equivalent to 60 million “European Union Households”, implying there are approximately 600 million European Union Households, for 512 million people. I guess everybody lives on their own……

  5. J Martin permalink
    January 14, 2018 12:04 am

    I guess you’ve seen this, that wind power under ideal conditions only saves 2.8% of co2. In other words all our money that the government has spent on wind power has been a 100% waste.

    Click to access hughes-windpower.pdf

  6. hivemind permalink
    January 14, 2018 11:42 am

    I don’t understand how they conclude that 24GWh, or slightly less than 1 GW if you assume continuous production at the same level over the entire 24 hour period (I know it doesn’t happen, but ignore that part) can power 2 million homes. You get nothing but electric lighting and a few computers for that little power. How do they heat their homes? Cook their food?

    • hivemind permalink
      January 14, 2018 11:43 am

      This is the coldest European winter in years. It must take and enourmous amount of energy just to avoid freezing to death.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    January 14, 2018 12:32 pm

    Intermittency is still the fatal flaw.

    You produced X today? So what? What can you guarantee for tomorrow?

    • January 15, 2018 8:51 am

      That would indeed be a rational purchasing decision: “What is the minimum number of GW will you produce for *every* second of tomorrow?” Any shortfall would be subject to fines. This would be rather better than the current situation where every scrap of power is bought and turbine operators are paid to turn off if it’s too windy.

      If it really is “always windy somewhere” then if the turbine operators come to a pooling arrangement they would never be fined for under-producing, right?

  8. Athelstan permalink
    January 15, 2018 10:04 am

    The above map appears to be showing Croatia in white, how old is this graphic and further to that, how many whirlygigs has Poland built – I’m guessing at a round figure.

  9. J Martin permalink
    January 15, 2018 9:58 pm

    How much has wind power cost us ? Enough to build 80 hospitals ? Yet they only generate enough energy to pay back the energy used to manufacture and install then.

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