Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The imposture of wind and photovoltaics

By Michel Gay.

In 2019, the share of public energy charges for renewable energies alone will amount to about 8 billion euros (€ bn) according to the President of the Republic in his speech of 27 November 2018.

These taxes were already qualified on December 13, 2006 by the Council of State " unnamed taxation"(Unspeakable?), Expression taken up by the Court of Auditors in June 2012. They will benefit mainly wind and photovoltaic, which represent respectively 4% and 2% of national electricity production.

Erratic productions

Random variations of wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) panels can be fast (on an hour scale). In the case of high installed wind and photovoltaic power, it is therefore essential to have reactive production resources such as hydraulic and gas-fired power plants.

At the scale of France, fluctuations in production of wind farms range from a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 70% of the installed capacity. ADEME plans to install 50,000 2-megawatt (MW) wind turbines.

Thus, for an installed power of 100 gigawatts (GW), uncontrolled variations ranging from 5 to 70 GW can occur randomly. It's impossible to manage without massive compensation with gas.

The argument of the proliferation of wind regimes in France and in Europe, advanced by some, does not correspond to reality. The wind pattern is often the same everywhere as shown by the wind production curves established by Hubert Flocard for different European countries.

The production of PV is also fluctuating (ranging from 1 to 10 depending on the day ...) and limited to 1,200 hours per year (less than four hours on average per day on annual average). In winter, it is zero during peak consumption in the evening (around 19:00).

In France, if 60 GW of photovoltaic panels were installed, the available instantaneous power would vary in summer between ... 0 and 40 GW in less than 6 hours.

In summary, with installed power "wind plus sun" of 160 GW, the power delivered on the network could therefore vary from 5 GW in winter, while the need regularly reaches 80 GW, up to 110 GW in summer (70 wind turbines + 40 PV) when the need is only 30 GW to 50 GW.

Reduce CO2?

Officially the goal of the energy transition law is to reduce fossil energy consumption (coal, gas, oil), and therefore greenhouse gas emissions (CO2).

However, in 2018, French electricity production emitted only 60 g of CO2 / kWh (mainly thanks to nuclear power), compared with more than 500 g of CO2 / kWh for German electricity mainly produced with coal and natural gas. gas.

Compared to the service life, and especially taking into account the necessary controllable means of gas compensation to meet the majority of instantaneous needs, the "eco-balances" of CO2 emissions are about 200 g / kWh for PV, 100 g / kWh for wind power, and 10 g / kWh for nuclear power.

In fact, not only are the gas needs higher to offset the intermittences of renewable energies, but, in addition, the need for materials (concrete, steel, copper, rare earths, etc.) needed for the construction of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. are larger per kWh produced than nuclear.

Adding wind turbines and PV therefore only deteriorates France's CO2 emissions budget. They increased in 2017 and the trend seems the same in 2018, despite the development of renewable energies (or because?) ...

Cost of producing electricity?

Currently, out of a total production of 550 terawatt-hours (TWh = 1 billion kWh), the 58 reactors in the nuclear fleet produce 420 TWh annually sold on the market from 30 to 50 € / MWh, for a total annual sales of around € 17bn.

Given EDF's purchase rates for wind and solar electricity (from € 100 / MWh up to € 550 / MWh with additional compensation depending on the year of installation and the installed capacity), the The order of magnitude of purchases is € 30 billion for "bad quality" production of 23 TWh, or 5% of nuclear generation ...

The investment cost only for wind turbines and PV, will reach nearly 300 billion euros that will have to be renewed every 20 years, not counting off-shore wind turbines ... much more expensive.

To this staggering sum, we must add several billion euros for the cost of adaptations of the electricity network to support these "hot flushes", as well as the gigantic storage means that no one has yet encrypted.

And these investment calculations are still optimistic!

Because of their intermittency, it would also be necessary to add new thermal plants (gas and coal) controllable to compensate for random variations of wind turbines and PV. Hence a considerable additional investment, because it will multiply at least by three fossil fuel current in France, and increase gas imports, which will further increase the energy bill.

About fifty EPR reactors coupled with existing dams and some additional gas power plants would produce all electricity in France (650 TWh) in a controlled manner and for a lifetime at least three times longer (60 years).


The nuclear industry represents 200,000 direct jobs and another 200,000 indirect jobs that would be compromised by a reduction (or a halt) in the nuclear activity.

Wind turbines, like PVs, are not manufactured in France, create virtually no jobs and contribute to the deficit of the trade balance. The "creation" of a green job, often temporary, kills two to three jobs elsewhere!

To make believe that wind and photovoltaics could replace nuclear power, even partially, is a sham.

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