Seasonal Variations of Consumption and Generation

This section of the website points out the trouble with "renewable energy" in providing electricity when it is needed by the consumer.

The term renewable energy is often used to include different technologies, in this section only solar and wind generation will be considered. Hydro-electricity should be include in "renewables" by any rational definition but sometimes advocates of solar & wind omit to mention it. The website section: Demand Variations shows how hydroelectricity, which is "dispatchable" when needed is used to match consumer demand in countries where the hydro capacity is significant.

These pages emphasise how solar and wind generation in many countries, specifically Northern Europe, does not arrive when it is needed by the consumer. Without adequate electricity storage this is not a good power source in these countries.

Consumption of Electricity

The demand for electricity consumption has significant variations with seasons. Thee magnitude of the variations if different in different countries because of weather differences. The plot below shows the variations with season for a combination of countries in North West Europe.

Solar Electricity Generation

Electricity generation with solar and wind has strong variations with season which again are different in different countries. The plots below shows the total generation from the NW Europe combination.

The solar generation peaks in mid-summer and has enormous variations of factors of 5-10 depending on the latitude of the country. The peak solar production does not match peak demand in countries at high latitudes which use large amounts of electricity for heating in winter. Wind generation tends to match the demand higher demand in winter better in most countries.

The pages in this website section explore these seasonal variations in some detail.