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Controlled Demolition performs the successful explosives felling of 90, Mitsubishi 1000A Wind Turbines in New Mexico. No effort was made to preserve foundations or other wind farm infrastructure. CDI’s crew felled the 90 Units in two (2) mobilizations to the site, permitting the Wind Farm Owner to complete salvage of blades and drive-train elements from some of the wind turbines to provide replacement parts for similar Units they operate at other wind farm locations.

OK, here’s the plan…
1. Build your wind power system.
2. Build your back-up system consisting of 100% equivalent capacity in gas turbine generators.
3. Using high explosives, blow your wind power system all to hell.
4. Run your back-up gas turbine generators 24/7.
5. To save even more money, skip steps 1 and 3.
The Real Cost of Wind and Solar FROM  Watts Up With That?
As you can see, the US IEA is way off in fantasyland about the capacity factors of wind and solar. In both cases, they are claiming far larger capacity factors than we have out here in the real world.

Now, in Figure 1, they claimed levelized costs as follows, in US cents per kilowatt-hour:

Combined-cycle gas — 3.45¢ per kWh
Solar — 2.90¢ per kWh
Onshore Wind — 3.15¢ per kWh
That’s the basis for the claims that renewables are now the cheapest sources of electricity. However, given the actual capacity factors, in reality these costs are:

Combined-cycle gas — 3.45¢ per kWh
Solar — 6.21¢ per kWh
Onshore Wind — 4.97¢ per kWh
“Cheapest sources”? No way.

And as for offshore wind, they’re just as far off. They claim 11.5¢ per kWh, but the new Block Island offshore wind farm is charging the utility, not the customer but the utility, 24.4¢ per kWh …

And finally, there is a huge elephant in the US EIA room … backup power. This is the missing cost I mentioned above.

If you add a gigawatt of unreliable intermittent renewable wind or solar energy to a system, you also have to add an additional gigawatt of some kind of reliable dispatchable energy, where “dispatchable” means you can turn it up or down at will to replace renewables when there is no wind or sun. The US EIA levelized cost document linked above does mention the need for backup … but it doesn’t even touch the cost of backup. All it says is:

Because load must be continuously balanced generating units with the capability to vary output to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (nondispatchable technologies) that use intermittent resources to operate. The LCOE values for dispatchable and non-dispatchable technologies are listed separately in the following tables because comparing them must be done carefully.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper June 25, 2021, 2:55 PM

    Nobody has wasted as much money in the entire world as this rotten assed gov’t.
    Some, in their idle moments, fantasize about how they’d spend the lottery.
    I fantasize how much better off all of us would be if that giant parasite was off our necks.
    Bring on the nutless crybaby’s.

  • EX-Californian Pete June 25, 2021, 4:12 PM

    There’s also quite a few videos on the web of those money-wasting, behemoth bird-killers bursting into flames. Oh, and there’s “special landfills” for the propellers and debris from those wind turbines- since they’re mostly fiberglass, can’t be recycled, and are HazMat.

    Real “green,” huh?

  • David Smith June 25, 2021, 4:28 PM

    The coal fired power plant where I started my engineering career 54 years ago as shut down for good two weeks back. The plant was started mid-1950s, a 65 year run. It was capable of an 80% capacity factor, dependable and economical year-round. It was one of many contributors to air pollution in downriver
    Detroit, the price to pay. Wind turbines in area have 30% capacity factor, so takes 3 wind turbines to produce equivalent of one. Thanks for article

  • Joel June 25, 2021, 4:44 PM

    I…don’t understand.

    Always wondered how they serviced those big turbines aaaaalll the way up on top of those towers. But now I’m getting the impression that they run’em till they seize and then … dynamite the towers out from under them?

    ” …to complete salvage of blades and drive-train elements from some of the wind turbines to provide replacement parts for similar Units…” No, nobody was salvaging anything from anything after that long fall. Clean-up, sure. But not salvage: If those units weren’t complete write-offs before they hit the ground they certainly were after.

  • H (science denier) June 25, 2021, 6:34 PM

    Yes it sux. Now go lookit ethanol/biodiesel for even more fun and frivolity.

  • Ron Harvey June 25, 2021, 8:31 PM

    This finished just last month. I live not too far from this windfarm. Not one mention of this in the news. i guess they did not want to upset the ecomaniacs…they might tie themselves to the whirrlygigs to save them from extinction.

  • Mike Austin June 26, 2021, 3:13 AM

    The video reminded me of the last scene of “Fight Club.”

  • ghostsniper June 26, 2021, 7:03 AM

    Alternative Energy (AE) systems do indeed work well at an individual level but the performance and ROI drops off drastically when trying to amp it up to that of a municipality. AE systems force responsibility of cost and maintenance back onto the property owner and very few people are willing to take that on. They will piss and moan and raise holy hell when the power goes out and swear to the heavens they are going to get a solar array and an 80′ windmill but after the power comes back on they are so grateful for the staunching of their misery the AE thing quickly gets back burnered again.

    Once more, laziness, low intellect, and arrogance keep most people inside their cage. They are their own wardens.

  • Casey Klahn June 26, 2021, 10:36 PM

    Don’t get me started on wind. We have dams OTA. Big ones; power is cheap. Lefty wants to destroy the dams and build wind.
    The guys who put up the Columbia Basin wind project need to be carted off to jail; frog-hopping with those ball and chain restraints. 1 Hydro generator (a dam has several of these) outpaces all the wind in WA, and the electricity goes out via shorter routes. Wind loses a large percentage of its product just gathering from hither and yon.
    What’s the best way to run a firing squad? Asking for a friend.

  • ghostsniper June 27, 2021, 9:12 AM

    Casey axed: “What’s the best way to run a firing squad?”
    Full speed, full auto, full time.