From one Politician to another we hear this figure of 100% renewable energy spouted as the holy grail. What is certain these people haven’t a clue what they are on about. Even if 100% of energy generation was renewable; something reliant on 24/7/365 capacity which is simply unavailable with so called green energy; no account is taken of the construction of the infrastructure and how carbon free that is. No renewable, wind, tide, wave or even hydro is free of intermittency. Even hydro is only reliable for between 30 and 35% availability factor. Something not many people know! Tidal for only ten hours a day and then not demand led, and wave is very much affected by weather factors and like wind very intermittent in output. You would need to produce something in the order of ten times capacity to provide any reliable supply. Something which is financially not viable. Wind stands at between 17 and 27% of capacity at best! Now let us return to the infrastructure. I will direct you to an excellent article on this: The Energy Transition by Robert Wilson Material requirements of a modern wind turbine have been reviewed by the United States Geological Survey. On average 1 MW of wind capacity requires 103 tonnes of stainless steel, 402 tonnes of concrete, 6.8 tonnes of fibreglass, 3 tonnes of copper and 20 tonnes of cast iron. The elegant blades are made of fibreglass, the skyscraper sized tower of steel, and the base of concrete. That doesn’t even include the tons of rare earth minerals (Neodymium) used in many turbines and shipped from China. Remember most modern turbines average 3MW so multiply these figures by three for each turbine for a direct comparison to your local wind farm.
And as you will see not much of that comes from Renewable Energy!