Australia now has  nearly 10GW of wind power installed on the National Electricity Grid, but look at the monthly minimums — the guaranteed power we can rely on.  The good news is that it’s increased by 10% over this time last year. The bad news is that it was only 216MW.

From the 10,000MW of windpower we paid to install, at one point in the last month only 2% was working, and that’s not unusual.

The true dismal story of wind power is that we need a near total second network of generators just sitting around waiting as back up. Since the back up is reliable, we could use them instead.  As a bonus, backup power won’t kill birds, bats and hypnotize crabs and it won’t destroy sleep for farmers and spotted quolls, and it doesn’t create a national security risk either. Handy, eh?

Wind power, NEM Australia, minimum montly reliable generation, graph.

Original graph:  WattClarity   |    Click to enlarge.

The monthly average generation is about 30% of capacity.  But the world doesn’t run on average electricity.

This article originally appeared at JoNova

Author

  • Joanne Nova

    A prize-winning science graduate in molecular biology. She has given keynotes about the medical revolution, gene technology and aging at conferences. She hosted a children’s TV series on Channel Nine, and has done over 200 radio interviews, many on the Australian ABC. She was formerly an associate lecturer in Science Communication at the ANU. She’s author of The Skeptics Handbook which has been translated into 15 languages. Each day 5,000 people read joannenova.com.au