Clean Power

Published on September 4th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


4 More Germany Solar Power & Wind Power Charts

September 4th, 2013 by  

Greentech Media recently piggy-backed on our article regarding Germany’s new monthly solar generation record (5.1 GWh in the month of July). In that article, Herman K. Trabish pulled up some great charts from the Fraunhofer Institute’s Bruno Burger. I think I always find Dr. Burger’s charts interesting and useful. I’ve shared many of them here on CleanTechnica in the past. Herman pulled some great ones from the month of July that I think are worth an even wider share. He also added some useful commentary regarding Germany’s clean energy leadership.

“First, Germany’s installed solar capacity as of July 22, 2013, according to the Fraunhofer Institute’s Dr. Bruno Burger, was 34,558 megawatts. By contrast, the GTM Research Q1 2013 U.S. Solar Market Insight report put the U.S. installed PV capacity at 7,962 megawatts (with another 6 megawatts of concentrating solar power installed capacity),” Herman writes.

Pretty astounding, eh? And if you look at it on a per capita or per GDP basis, it’s even much more divergent, as I point out every chance I have.

“Germany also had an installed capacity of 30,532 megawatts of onshore and offshore wind in July. The U.S. had over 65,000 megawatts of wind at the end of 2012, though it has yet to build offshore,” Herman adds, regarding Germany’s wind power leadership.

Here are some charts before I keep going:

Germany Renewable Energy 2013

One more thing that Herman notes is something we’ve noted in the past but which gets even more striking the more wind and solar power grow: solar power and wind power complement each other wonderfully. This is true on a day-to-day basis, but it’s also true on a month-to-month basis. Here are Dr. Burger’s/Fraunhofer’s monthly charts on that for 2013 through July:

Germany Solar Power Wind Power

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Thanks to Herman for following up and adding in these excellent Fraunhofer charts.

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is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • I A Reid

    Solar generates at it’s highest rate when we least require it and generates little or none when the demand is highest, such as early winter mornings and evenings. You cannot rely on wind to make up the shortfall so the requirement is always there for thermal stations to be online even if generating little (Because they cannot be just switched off and on as required). Financially this is a nonsense. It’s time to forget about ways of overcoming the very real drawbacks of renewable energy and go back to proper power generation. Nuclear, if you want to reduce CO2?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I read only this far –

      “Solar generates at it’s highest rate when we least require it”

      And stopped.

      At that point I realized that we had a major candidate for
      the stupidest thing ever posted. There was no reason to read any further, most stupidity would only be icing on the cake.


  • Doug

    Europe is heavily dependent on Russia for energy imports, primarily oil and gas. Charging ahead with locally sourced renewables makes long term strategic sense for Germany. It would be good to look into the long term energy import-export forecasts from time to time.

  • Matt

    Of course the difference for sun between Jan and July would be less as you move to the equator. For example so Italy or most of the US.

  • agelbert

    Yes, it is beautiful.

    Zachary, I read this and am passing it on to you in case you know someone who can capitalize on it in the wind turbine business. If these increased efficiency numbers are bona fide, within a few years all wind turbine blades will be modified with the tubercle technology.

    “The humpback whale is a graceful dancer, despite her size. An irregular jagged edge on the front of her flippers is the key, creating tiny whirlpool ball bearings along her skin.

    These increase lift by 8%, reduce drag by 30%, and increase the angle of attack by 40%. WhalePower is commercializing this by adding similar bumps to the leading edge of its industrial fan blades, reducing noise and increasing efficiency.

    Since fans consume 20% of our electricity, this represents a significant way to do more using less!”

    Learn about the patented tubercle technology for wind turbines as well as everyday electric fans:

  • energy_guy

    So solar 19.4/(34.56GW*8.760*7/12) gives 11% capacity factor.

    And wind 24.2/(30.5*8760*7/12) gives 15.5% capacity factor.

    So what happened to the 30% cf that wind supporters claim.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “German nation-wide average wind power capacity factor over all of 2012 was just under 17.5% (45867 GW·h/yr / (29.9 GW × 24 × 366) = 0.1746”

      I haven’t heard anyone claim a 30% cf for Germany. Denmark is turning in some high cf numbers for their offshore. Perhaps you mixed those up.

      Or perhaps you’re confusing US onshore cf numbers with Germany’s onshore.

      • energy_guy

        When wind was first touted as an energy source, it was usually given an expected energy cf of 30% give or take, but as more of them have been installed at large scale that has come way down.

        For offshore even higher values have been touted, but that’s another story.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Here’s cf for Danish offshore wind.

          As you can see the early farms (probably lower, smaller turbines) are lower than what newer farms are producing.

          You’ll perhaps notice that newer farms are returning 40+%, hitting 50% in some years.

          • energy_guy

            Well that’s better. So how much of that wind energy is rejected when it isn’t needed, that will lower the cf some. I’d like to see TWh produced and used vs total capacity and where it went. I suspect it was traded against Norwegian hydro.

            I notice that Denmarks fossil fuel use has shifted from coal to nat gas since the 80s esp since the mid 90s swapping 100 extra Billion Cube Feet of gas or 100T BTUs for about 30% fall in coal or 3M short tons and 60T BTUs.

            see “Denmark’s coal use indexmundi”

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, it gives Denmark electricity to sell or store.

            And moving from coal to NG means that fossil fuel use can be curtailed when there’s lots of wind. Why spend money for fuel when you’ve got fuel-free electricity available?

          • ThomasGerke

            In 2012 about 0.4 TWh were “rejected”.

            Germany does have rather mediocre wind compared to the US / UK and most turbines were build between 1996-2006. The new generation of low wind optimized turbines are capable of a cf of 30-40% on land. Offshore parks go in the range of 35-50%.

        • Bob_Wallace
          • energy_guy

            The article concludes wind has 50% cf these days, quite a distance from where Germany is today or the UK for that matter.

            See “gridwatch templar” to see live UK grid all power sources, their wind looks like <20% too.

          • Bob_Wallace

            So what?

            Different parts of the globe have different wind potential. That’s news to you?

            Germany and the UK are going offshore where they will find better wind to harvest. Denmark has shown them how.

            That said, we’re likely to see capacity increase in these <20% areas. We're building taller towers which let us get up to where the wind is generally stronger and cleaner. We're building turbines/blades for different wind conditions as opposed to the 'one size for all' of early models.

    • JamesWimberley

      Wikipedia gives the mean wind 2012 capacity factor in Germany as 17.5% for the whole of 2012, in line with your number for the first 7 months of 2013 (given noise). Possible explanations for the low value:
      – Germany was a wind pioneer; the mean age of the turbines is high by world standards, so the hub heights are often lower.
      – Early turbine designs aimed at maximum annual output, not regularity; recent designs have shifted to the latter, with bigger rotors in relation to generators, leading to higher capacity factors.

      – Germany has a lot of community wind farms, with a greater input of amateur enthusiasm and less of bean-counting optimisation.

      The community argument is IMHO much stronger for solar than for wind. Utilities have no way of getting more out of a standard solar panel than a householder; they incur more transmission costs; and the apparent inefficiency of suboptimal roof orientation is a benefit at the system level, by bulking up the shoulders of the diurnal output curve. In contrast, wind has very large economies of scale.

    • Ivor O’Connor

      It is common knowledge that Germany puts up wind turbines anywhere they can regardless of the quality of the wind. Apparently even if they only have a 5% cf it’s cost effective for them.

      Newer markets though can be choosy and pick spots that give them 50%cf.

  • Frido

    I’m afraid you have got a typo in the second line. 5,1 GWh in July sounds a bit weak. I think the real number is 5.1 TWh.

  • MorinMoss

    Although wind & solar do seem to complement each other well, it must be noted this means you’re potentially building double.
    Looking at the scale of energy sources in the 2nd graph, shouldn’t Germany’s focus be on shuttering coal plants while keeping the nukes as long as possible?

    • driveby

      Germany has got a long ‘tradition’ to be against nuclear, compared to coal (especially as some western parts of Germany – Saarland – are ‘built’ on coal). Tschernobyl was some 1000km away when it exploded, but you couldn’t eat anything grown outside that year (or some stuff even years later like mushrooms).. that sinks in.

      Around 2000 when the Labour/Green coalition was on they already tried to get out of nuclear (that’s also when it happened that they heavily subsidized RE and kickstarted it). The political change in 2008 (I think) tried to revert that (Conservatives/Liberals) but after Fukishima even they had to back out of it.

      Nuclear is just not ‘sellable’ there anymore.

      • MortusVictus

        If only Germanys awesome technical resources put just a little effort into developing the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) technology using molten salt in a non-pressurized container. Alvin Weinbergs 1000 Mwe, test version of this technology ran for six years in the 60s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, USA.

        Unlike todays laughably innefficient and obviously dangerous pressurised light-water reactors (LWR), a molten salt reactor is 90-95% efficient, can use discarded fuel-waste from the LWR process, it is a passive safety system that will stop the reaction and shut down by itself if it is not actively kept in a reactive state, the opposite of the LWR technology that needs constant care and multiple redundant cooling systems to keep from exploding like Fukushima did, when all cooling systems shut down.

        Kirk Sorensen and John Kutsch have been campaigning for years, fighting the vast financial interests of lobbyists from the large companies who have kept building the same inherently dangerous and hopelessly inefficient LWR tech since the 50s. Like Kirk Sorensen states in the documentary “The Thorium Dream” (watch it on YouTube), “would we be content with using cars/computers/pharmaceuticals from the 50s?”, because that is pretty much the LWR technology still built today. Corruption and greed can be blamed for the 30-50 years of lost development and implementation of the LFTR technology.

        Chinese and Indian interests have lately come into a position where they have got both the funds and the intellectual resources, and have already picked up the ball. Unhindered by the influence of uninformed popular opinion, and stifling legislations, they will likely be running away with the multitude of innovations and patents that will be inevitable outcome of this initiative, and end up with unlimited and cheap energy for centuries to come.

        Or; we could get up from our comfy-chairs, roll up our sleeves and get crack-a-lacking… 🙂

        • Bob_Wallace

          Yet someone else who has bought into the fantasy….

          • MortusVictus

            Such a constructive and insightful comment from you …

            Just out of curiosity, which part in particular of the (T)MSR and LFTR and similar reactor technology is it you think is a fantasy ?

            A small scale prototype ran for 5-6 years at Oak Ridge, that fact is easily documented. (

            MIT, Berkley and the University of Wisconsin have projects looking at this technology, but they will probably remain on a theoretical level, due to Westinghouse and GEs lobbying activities. (…maybe that’s who you are?)

            China started the TMSR project in 2011 in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, aiming to develop a whole new system in about 20 years.

            The 5 trillion dollar western energy sector are shitting themselves now, knowing that the Chinese resolve and immense resources will very likely have a working prototype up and running in much shorter time than that… and who knows what will have happened with the US debt by then…

            India too, with their vast thorium sources are also hoping to do something along the same lines.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The prototype never proved to produce cheap enough to use electricity.
            Thorium/molten-salt/MSR/Gen IIi+/Gen IV/whatever reactors suffer from a major shared problem. They are simply too expensive to consider.

            Whether it is a good idea (from a climate change basis) to use natural gas, it is and it will be used to generate electricity. The combination of wind, solar and NG fill-in is cheaper than a new nuclear reactor. The utility market will use what is cheapest.

            Wind, solar and NG are cheaper than a number of our existing paid off reactors. We’ve seen five reactors either closed or scheduled for closing this year because their operating expenses made them too expensive to keep in production. These are reactors which did not have the “mortgage” payments that a new reactor of any design would have to service.

            If we do put a price on carbon (highly unlikely at the federal level) nuclear will still be doomed. Wind, solar and pump-up hydro storage are cheaper than new nuclear.

          • MortusVictus

            How can any revolutionary new design showing such extreme beneficial features as LFTR reactors be too expensive to consider? Robert Hargraves YouTube lecture postulates that with mass production similar to Boeings production line, a 100 MW modular design reactor could be built every day for a price of 200 million $, similar to a Boeing 767 400 airliner.

            It cost Boeing 32 billion $ to develop their new Dreamliner, and that is just one of dozens of other models. Lockheed-Martins F-35 development has cost 392 billion $ so far…

            The Australian–Czech consortium apparently started building a 300 million $ LFTR prototype last year…

            What would you say the development costs of the various solar technologies have been so far ? What is the cost and how large is the affected area for a 1000MW powerplant. And more interestingly what could we guesstimate the numbers to be for a LFTR project with the same energy goal ?

            Why bring up reactors shutting down, if they are not LFTR type reactors, I feel they are irrelevant to our little exchange here are they not? I’m not defending, outdated, inefficient and inherently unsafe pressurized watercooled systems.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You don’t simply set up a factory and start pumping stuff out at a great price. There’s an enormous upfront cost. Before anyone will invest that sort of money there has to be a market. Boeing can spend a lot of money on a new design because their bankers know it will almost certainly sell in large enough numbers to return a profit. There’s a known market. In fact, Boeing often lines up orders before it starts to build.

            Europe is getting out of nuclear, as is Japan. It would be pretty much impossible to site a reactor anywhere in the US except the red SE states. Most of the world wants nothing to do with nuclear. There’s no market. No one has come forth with a nuclear price so cheap that it has created interest. In fact, all the bids have been 15c+.

            And you’re assuming, based on someone’s video, that modular reactors would be cheap. Some other people have worked through the numbers and found they are likely to be as expensive or more expensive than other reactors. The same amount of material would be needed, if not more. They would largely be built “by hand” as are full sized reactors. There simply would not be enough volume to pay for specialized machinery to automate the process.
            Here’s what you really need to grasp. Reactors have to operate (almost) full time, 24/365, in order to produce electricity at the claimed price the pro-nuclear people like to state. They have “mortgages” to service and turning them off doesn’t save any appreciable money, fuel is not a cost driver.

            Some reactors are designed to load-follow, to some extent. That means, if you think about it, they will produce fewer kWh of electricity per year. Produce less, divide a smaller number of kWh into your very large loan payment and moderately high fixed operating expenses and your cost of production increases.

            Then, in a merchant market reactors have to compete against other sources of electricity. Wind is selling for four cents on contract and can sell for close to zero in a bidding process. Wind has no fuel cost. Same for solar, solar can sell for close to zero and still make money.

            Since nuclear can’t shut off it has to bid lower than either wind or solar in order to get them to curtail. When that happens nuclear loses money.
            When nuclear loses money during part of the day it has to increase its price during other parts of the day in order to make back those losses. The market does not want that more expensive nuclear output. There are cheaper sources. Natural gas or purchasing from another grid.

            I bring up the old plants that are closing because they are right now capable of producing electricity for 5-6c/kWh. And they are going bankrupt because there is not a 24/365 hour market for 5-6c/kWh electricity.

            If you can’t survive producing electricity in a paid off reactor how could you ever expect to avoid bankruptcy if you had loan payments on top of the operating expenses these failing reactors have?

          • Bob_Wallace

            You would be well advised to watch what happens in China re: nuclear reactor builds.

            They have dropped their previous plans by about 1/3rd. Due to cooling water and safety issues China has decided to build no new reactors inland. Going forward they are only building at more remote coastal sites.

            Additionally you need to consider the fact that China’s big nuclear build plans were made when wind and solar were significantly more expensive than they now are. China’s leaders may have their problems, but doing math is not one of them.

            China has installed a lot of hydro which makes great fill-in for wind and solar. Wind, solar and hydro fill-in are cheaper than new nuclear.

            As China has lowered its nuclear goals it has been increasing its wind and solar goals. I smell a shift underway….

          • MortusVictus

            Hello again Mr. Wallace.
            1. “what happens in China re: nuclear reactor builds…”
            2. “They have dropped their previous plans by about 1/3rd…”
            Is this information you refer to regarding the LFTR and MSR type reactors I mentioned ? Because if it’s not, why would you even bring it up as an argument against it? Is it not in fact true that the LFTR type gained momentum worldwide after Fukushima, because it has a small footprint, has a passive automatic safety shutdown, and is destined to be a comparably inexpensive system, since the whole enormous pressure vessel and containment unit can be dropped from the system since it runs unpressurised?

            The information I have seen is that an LFTR system with its inexpensive Thorium fuel is stipulated to be cheaper even than coal. Wind and solar are not even in the same ballpark, nor are they able to match the 342 thousand megawatts currently generated by 147 nuclear powerplants with more than 1000 MW.
            “The 2009 update of MIT’s Future of Nuclear Power shows new coal plants cost $2.30/watt and PWR nuclear plants cost of $4.00/watt. The median of five cost studies of molten salt reactors from 1962 to 2002 is $1.98/watt, in 2009 dollars.”

            According to the IEA, chinese renewables’ share in energy production dropped from 40 percent in 1971 to 11 percent today; in 2035, it will likely be just 9 percent. The same source says “Solar and wind energy account for a trivial proportion of current renewables—about one-third of one percent.”

            A single pound of Thorium has a cost of about 135$ and has the same energy potential of 300 pounds of uranium or 3.5 million tons of coal.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, your information is that there are reactors which would be super cheap. Cheaper than coal.

            Now, explain to me why the nuclear industry has not built any of those puppies? Why are they only bidding standard stuff like AP1000s when someone opens the possibility of buying new generation?

            Why do you have people in the nuclear industry, who must know as much as you do, saying that nuclear is simply too expensive to build in today’s market?

            Why is EDF, a leading nuclear plant construction company telling the UK that it can’t bring new capacity to the Isles for less than 15c/kWh along with a firm guarantee for that price for 20 years?

            Wind is selling (subsidies removed) for about six cents. Solar is selling (subsidies removed) for about ten cents. Where are the offers to build new reactors and produce electricity for less than those prices?

            (BTW, fuel costs are not what drive nuclear prices. The EIA states that fuel costs for running reactors is $0.006/kWh. Cheaper thorium couldn’t pull that number down very much, it’s already low.)

          • MortusVictus

            Apparently there are thousands of people asking the same question now, some possible answers from various lectures on YouTube are suggested below:

            1. the established industry leaders lobby to keep their trillion dollar reactor systems and solid fuel products dominant.
            2. scientists invested in the pressurized water cooled uranium/plutonium systems were not interested or informed about revolutionary thorium fueled systems.
            3. military interests may have wanted plants to keep producing weapons grade plutonium.
            4. Thorium fuel and liquid sodium cores are apparently not part of the curriculum in nuclear engineering studies.

            The discontinued Oak Ridge programs data has been hiding in plain sight apparently for all these years.

            Nuclear engineers and physicists have obtained their degrees without ever learning about Alvin Weinbergs molten sodium reactor that ran for years while they collected data, developed and refined their designs.

            It was apparently a coincidence that led NASA engineer Kirk Sorenson to a book about this type of reactor design to whet his appetite to research the subject further, and spread the info on his website, and various tech talks, many of which are available on YouTube. During the last couple of years with the spread of information online, it has gotten more exposure and momentum. A delegation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences visited Oak Ridge first and foremost to check out the abandoned and neglected reactor, because they have a program to develop their own molten sodium reactors..Australian–Czech consortium is currently constructing a LFTR.

            Your points about UK firms capacity offers to build cheap reactors may be a result of the initial points in this post about why this technology has been hiding for all these years. UK nuclear initiatives have not really been on the forefront, UK scientists apparently struggled when nuclear power was introduced, and had a few critical dodgy moments.

            Substantial savings are likely with a LFTR compared to a pressurized water cooled reactor. Pressure vessel, containment unit, cooling towers, multi-stage turbines, spent fuel-rod storage / disposal, larger scale and high complexity of multiple redundant cooling systems, are not needed in a LFTR and should therefore save on substantial amounts of building materials, land-area and time in the construction.

            You mention the prices of wind and solar with subsidies removed, could you point me in the direction of information about the development of total costs per KWh? Would you say there is still room for significant improvement in the efficiency of the technology ?

          • Bob_Wallace

            As you go down your list to dismiss all the people and organizations that don’t agree with you do you understand that you are adopting the sort of rationalization that is commonly used by conspiracy theorists?

            Just look at this one claim –

            “Nuclear engineers and physicists have obtained their degrees without ever learning about Alvin Weinbergs molten sodium reactor that ran for years while they collected data, developed and refined their designs.”

            Some of the most intelligent and most intellectually curious people in the world somehow don’t know about molten sodium reactors. Very intelligent individuals who have spent years and years of their lives looking for answers have failed to learn about potential reactor designs.

            Do you realize the absurdity of argument you are making?

            You want wind and solar prices?

            Wind – Average selling price of 4c, add back in subsidies and it’s 6.2c
            Solar –

            Roseville 7.4 Cents

            “Roseville Electric purchased 325,000 MWH of renewable energy for $24 million for 10 years. The contract cost $6.5 million less than similar renewable energy purchase offers in 2012. “

            City of Roseville, CA
            Palo Alto 6.9 Cents

            “The price is an eye-opening 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour for the 30-year PPA.

            “Try building a new nuke or coal plant at that price,” was Adam Browning of Vote
            Solar’s takeon the number. The price compares favorably to the typical market price referent and would seem to be able to take on prices paid for natural gas or wind. The projects still include the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit.

            The utility calculates the impact of its renewables contracts to be in the range of 0.11 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to conventional generation. The math looks to adjust for time-of-delivery, transmission costs, and capacity value.”

            6.9 cents includes 30% ITC subsidy. Without subsidies the price would be roughly 10 cents per kWh.
            Last week, the San Jose municipal authority wrote contracts for 80MW of solar PV at 6.9c/kWh, which after a 30 per cent investment tax credit works out to be around 10c/kWh.

            Randolph says he has just approved more contracts for distributed solar systems of between 3 and 10MW in and around the same price. “I just signed off on a couple of contracts and they are competitive with fossil fuels,” he says.

            The other point of note is that California has not had to add to fossil-fuel generation capacity to support renewables. About 10GW of old, inefficient gas-fired generators will be closed in coming years for environmental reasons– these are mostly 50-year-old generators which use sea-water cooling through a method known as “once-through cooling”. Randolph says these will be replaced by newer gas turbines that can provide the flexibility to respond to renewables.

            Storage though will be critical, Randolph says, especially as the penetration of renewables goes beyond 35 or 40 per cent. “If we want to be doing it and have it being environmental meaningful, we will need storage. If you doing that (filling in the gaps) with gas, you are not getting an environmental benefit.”
   New Mexico 5.8 cents

            Adding in state (2.7 cents ) and federal (2.3 cents) subsidies makes it about 10.8 cents.

          • MortusVictus

            Hello again Mr. Wallace.

            First of all, the claims / arguments on my list are not something I have come up with, but information from amongst others Alvin Weinberg, previous Oak Ridge facility manager, from other aeronautical, aerospace and nuclear engineers, physicsists and so on, who in their many lectures available on YouTube regarding the MSR and in particular LFTR technology. I have little reason to doubt the apparently highly qualified individuals who are presenting their information in reputable forums. If you have information discrediting particular individuals, I am of course interested in hearing about it.

            I have no idea about your credentials and qualifications, and I have no problem in admitting that my own degree is not in any of the mentioned subjects. I am merely an individual with a penchant for chemistry, mechanics and lately nuclear physics. I am interested in, and therefore looking into all “green energy”, and any promising technology not involving burning of “old hydrocarbons”, and nuclear not involving pressure vessels and obviously unsustainable, dangerous and inefficient solid fuels.

            Since you obviously are very much “into” green energy, I definitely recommend checking out several of the full version LFTR videos, since pretty much all of the argumentation we have gone over so far would be answered much more comprehensively, expertly and clearly than I ever will be able to in a comment. Talkers such as Kirk Sorenson, Joe Bonometti, Robert Hargraves or David LeBlanc, to mention some of the most prolific talkers.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “According to the IEA, chinese renewables’ share in energy production dropped from 40 percent in 1971 to 11 percent today; in 2035, it will likely be just 9 percent. The same source says “Solar and wind energy account for a trivial proportion of current renewables—about one-third of one percent.””

            I wouldn’t be surprised if renewables did drop as a percentage of total in China. China has been building a lot of fossil fuel generation.

            But renewables in China have also been growing. Wind is now the #3 source of electricity in China, it surpassed nuclear in 2012 and now generates 2% of China’s electricity.


            You need to understand that China is just starting to install renewables.

            What so many people can’t seem to grasp is that the cost of wind and solar have plummeted over the last few years and that is starting to change the mix of what is being installed.​ The math of 3-5 years ago is not operative today.

            Take a look at how wind has been growing the last three years in China….

    • Bob_Wallace

      If the goal was to cut CO2 as rapidly as possible.

      But the citizens of Germany decided that they wanted the danger of nuclear power out of their lives. Therefore, they decided to close coal plants and nuclear reactors simultaneously, not sequentially.

      Since Germany is far ahead of most other countries in installing renewable generation and cutting GHG emissions perhaps we should worry less about the route Germans have chosen and turn our attention to those countries which are doing far too little.

    • Doug

      I agree. Better to keep “safe” nuclear open for the next 20 years as the primary base load generator than to rely on coal. Establish a plan to slowly phase the nukes out, not a sudden mandate.

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