Wind and Solar have colossal subsidies

Wind and solar are intermittent and erratic sources of electricity.

Sometimes the wind dies or clouds obscure the sun.

Wind and solar are most often backed up by natural gas plants. Because you can’t count on wind or solar, they can’t replace fossil fuel plants.

Those plants must remain in place to supply electricity when wind and solar are not generating electricity.

The only economic value of wind or solar is reduced fuel use at backup natural gas plants.

The fuel costs $15 per megawatt hour of electricity, but generating a megawatt hour of electricity with wind or solar costs around $80 for utility scale installations to $300 for residential rooftop solar installations.

The difference between $15 and $80 to $300 is the subsidy.

The subsidy money is typically provided by various government programs and higher electricity costs.

The industry pretends that the subsidies are small and may soon be phased out.

The Wind and Solar Wall

When Solar exceeds approximately 20% of the electricity in a grid it hits a “wall.” The problem is that peak solar power occurs in the middle of sunny days and is about 5 times the average solar power.

The result is that in the middle of the day all the power would come from solar requiring all other power to be shut down. However, at most, only about 80% of the power can be solar at midday because some fossil fuel plants are necessary for grid regulation.

In addition, some baseload plants, especially nuclear, are designed to run all the time and cannot be casually shut down.

For wind power the wall is hit when about 30% of the power comes from wind. Peak wind power is about 3 times the average wind power.

When wind or solar hits its wall, it has to be throttled back, wasting forever power that could have been delivered.

A poor solution that is being implemented in various systems is to add batteries to absorb the peaks and release the stored power at a later time, thus reducing the peaks without wasting power.  

The CATCH is THAT the BATTERIES are ABSURDLY EXPENSIVE, INCREASING the COST of POWER FROM AROUND $80 PER MEGAWATT HOUR TO $150 OR MORE.  

It would be cheaper to throw away the power, but state quotas for renewable power force the use of expensive batteries to keep from throwing away the power.