Lots of arguments have been made against the Green New Deal, and its goal of 100% carbon-free energy, including carbon-free electricity, by 2030. Most of these arguments have been political and economic. But the fundamental argument destroying 100% clean electricity is more basic. The weather won’t allow it!
A wind turbine with a RATED capacity of 3 Megawatts produces only 1 Megawatt of electricity on AVERAGE! This inefficiency is due to the mechanical limits of the turbines, but mostly to the fact that the wind doesn’t blow all the time. This inefficiency leads however to a serious problem. The public proposals setting “green energy” contributions from wind at say 25% to 50% of the AVERAGE capacity of the grid, requires the grid to also be able to accept the wind power from the turbines when they are spinning at their maximum power. On windy days that maximum power will be three times the planned 25%-50%. If the goal therefore is to get an AVERAGE of 25-50% of grid capacity just from wind, then the grid must be able to accept, AND USE, electrical surges between 75%-150% of the total capacity of the grid!
The argument is made that things even out, so that when one turbine is operating at its 3 MW rated capacity, others in the area won’t be. However, a simple study of the wind speeds over the New England electric grid (ISO-NE), which is easily replicated, shows that when the wind is strong at weather stations in northern New England (Caribou, Burlington), it is generally strong at the southern weather stations (Providence, Bridgeport). These wind data show that contributions to the grid from turbines around New England do not even out, they mostly add to each other. When winds are strong in New England, a wind power contribution set at 25% of the AVERAGE electric power capacity to the grid, will balloon to 75% of the grid’s total capacity. And a grid designed to use 50% wind power must be able to accept 150% of its capacity, on windy days. Nuff said.
Solar energy has similar, but different, meteorological limitations, and the correlation between winds and sunshine means their individual contributions also conflict.
Clean, green energy is not so much a political or economic problem, but a meteorological impossibility.