For a long time, fans of renewable electricity have made their case by running simulations. Input the right data and (more importantly) the right assumptions, impose a renewable portfolio requirement or carbon plan, compute 30 years forward, and walk into a clean, fully employed future. Just close your eyes, click your heels, remember
to believe, and elect the right federal government.
Then reality intervened in the form of two country-wide case studies.
More than a year ago, this column scooped the mainstream media with the truth about Denmark’s 20 percent wind generation. The country actually uses less than half of that power, but can keep the machines spinning thanks to (export) connections with the coal-based German grid and the nuclear- and hydro-based Scandinavian RTO.
For all this, the little mermaid enjoys the highest power costs in Europe.…