UK Renewables Productivity: what do the numbers mean

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  • Onshore wind                        24%
  • Offshore Wind                       31%
  • Solar PV                                  10%
  • Combined Renewables         22%
  • Conventional Generation      90%


What do these productivity numbers mean?

Think about electricity generation as an ordinary business.  It provides a product which has to be of consistent high quality and which is vital to all the other businesses of your Nation.

But more than half of your labour force only turn up on 1 day in 5.  And you don’t really know which day that might be.  Quite often even if they do turn up, they walk out when they feel like it in the middle of the shift.

But the unions insist that if they do turn up you have to employ them and lay off some of the guys that can work full time.

And worse than that, almost to half of those guys only turn up 1 day in 10.  And those ones usually arrive on days when you are not likely to need them but you still have to pay them in full.  Anyway, they always go home before the time of your maximum demand.

These workers get tired quickly and retire and need replacement a third of the way through a normal working lifetime. 

The unions also insist that you pay them about 5  – 15 times as much as your ordinary productive workers.  Quite often you have to pay them not to work at all.

And when these guys do arrive, they cause difficulties with quality assurance, severe industrial disruption and they, at a whim, can suddenly close down your production altogether. If they do manage that there is huge economic damage across your Nation.

But apart from your personal professional responsibility to provide a good quality of service, in the end the extra costs don’t really matter to you, either the Government picks up the tab or you can just pass the costs on to your customers: they don’t have any real choice because you have a monopoly for the supply of the product. 

This is the scale of business problems faced by Electricity supply managers that the ill-informed decision to opt for collecting dilute and irregularly intermittent energy from the environment and calling it Renewable.  And the problems will get worse as more Renewables are forced onto the system.


And all this in the UK is insisted on by law to show your neighbours how virtuous you are at tackling a fabricated non-problem.  However, these self-destructive actions of your political masters can only ever affect perhaps ¼ of a diminishing 1% of the perceived global problem.  Sadly your political masters seem to want to pay out these escalating sums which in combination with the unreliability of half your worker’s will trash your own economy for the possibility of very marginal effect at the end of the century, if at all.

The competitors in your market don’t think you are either wise or virtuous.  They will not be following the “lead” you have established.  They are mocking you.

They will be delighted to take advantage of the huge commercial disadvantage that you have had imposed on your country.



Never forget Professor Sir David Mackay

The late Professor Sir David Mackay, (former chef scientific advisor of the Department of Energy and Climate Change), in a final interview before his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 48,  said that the concept of powering a developed country such as the UK with Weather Dependent Renewable energy was:

“an appalling delusion”.

Weather Dependent Renewable Energy depends on capturing essentially dilute and very variable sources of power.  Weather Dependent Renewables are thus both capital and maintenance expensive and inevitably unreliable. Weather Dependent Renewables are universally more expensive than the conventional alternatives of Nuclear power or Gas-firing.

At the time he also said:

“there’s so much delusion, it’s so dangerous for humanity that people allow themselves to have such delusions, that they are willing to not think carefully about the numbers, and the reality of the laws of physics and the reality of engineering….humanity does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

and later in the same interview he said that:

“if it is possible to get through the winter with low CO2 Nuclear and possibly with Carbon Capture and Storage there is no point in having any Wind or Solar power in the UK generation mix.  

This is especially so for Solar energy, the UK is one of the darkest nations on earth and produces about 1/9th of the power output in winter as in the summer.”

An estimated cost of the “Appalling Delusion” to the UK in 2020 are set out in more detail here:

Similar numbers apply worldwide to the installations of Weather Dependent Renewables.