Robert Wilson on Wind vs Solar in Germany

Dec 21 2012 Published by under European and German energy law

Robert Wilson just posted on his perception that solar is hyped in Germany by reporting the peak contribution of 50%, while wind has much more potential and does not profit from such favorable reporting.

He thinks that wind, not solar, is able to contribute to renewable energy supply.

And he has a nice graph in his post that shows that he is wrong in this opinion.

That is a graph that adds the contributions from wind and solar over the year. And the one thing that one should learn from that graph is that wind and solar complement each other excellently. Just when solar was down most in January, wind production peaked. And in contrast when wind production slowed down over the summer months, the most solar was available.

Since the goal of the energy mix is getting a steady supply, this is great news. Solar is not the enemy of wind, and wind is not the enemy of solar. Both are the enemy of nuclear, eating its lunch and making it impossible to build new nuclear for economic reasons alone, but it would not make sense to build wind only, or solar only.

There are some people who want to build onshore wind only for short term economic reasons. These are the fringe minority losers that want to replace the successful German feed-in tariff with a renewable portfolio standard, which would result in allocating all the resources only in the option that happens to be the cheapest right now (onshore wind). That in turn would lead to a system much more difficult to balance.

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