Renewable Energy – Solar and Wind-Power: capital costs and effectiveness compared

What matters the economics of a thing, when the faith of true believers is at stake?

Watts Up With That?

A comparison of both the Capital Cost and Energy Producing Effectiveness of the Renewable Energy investments of the USA, Germany and the UK.

Guest essay by Ed Hoskins

The summary diagram below collates the cost and capacity factors of Renewable Energy power sources compared to the cost and output capacity of conventional Gas Fired Electricity generation.

US D UK comp

The associated base data is shown below:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 16.16.32

In summary, these figures show that these three Western nations have spent of the order of at least  ~$0.5trillion in capital costs alone, (conservatively estimated, only accounting for the primary capital costs ), to create Renewable Energy electrical generating capacity.

Nominally, this total nameplate generating capacity at ~153GW should amount to about ~26% of their total electricity generation, were it fully effective.  However, because of there is an inevitable ~20% capacity factor applicable across the board for all renewables, the actual cumulative energy output by from these Renewable sources…

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