Record hunting continues: a contribution of … 85%!

Hopefully it is not getting boring by now, this is another post on the meaningless metric of contribution of solar and wind. For those who have had enough of it, some reassurance, it will probably be the last on this subject and I will keep it as short as possible.

In this post, I am going to mine for an inconvenient example again. There are other energy sources in Belgium than solar and wind. The most interesting is nuclear. Half of our electricity comes is produced by nuclear power plants. If we do the same as solar and wind (look for record contribution), then this might get us some interesting numbers. Since total load varies throughout the day/the week/the seasons, we are bound to to find some high numbers, maybe even really high numbers.

And yes, when I calculated the contribution of nuclear in the period September 2017 – July 2018, the record value was …

… wait for it …

85%!

Eighty five percent? Where were the Minister and Elia on September 11, 2017? I also didn’t hear anything on the news either. If we have to cheer for the 45% contribution of solar PLUS wind, why was there not a peep about a 85% contribution of nuclear, all on its own?

Let’s look at this record in the distribution of solar and wind energy:

Compare this to the distribution of nuclear:

That is quite a difference. Nuclear produces at around 45% most of the time and breaks out occasionally above 60% of total load. Solar and wind on the other hand have a production in the first quarter and breaks out occasionally above 30% total load.

So basically, that “Hoooray, a contribution of 45%!” statement is established by cherry picking an exceptional value (that isn’t even the sole achievement of solar and wind), completely ignoring the big elephant in the room…

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