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Energy is not Power!

I want to shed some light on an easy misunderstanding that I also used to make myself when looking at the size of the wind and solar market.


Usually, people show the rated power of installed wind turbines and solar plants (in the case of solar plants it is usually the kilowatt peak kWp unit, in the case of wind it is the rated power in MW). However, these two numbers are not to be compared when comparing the solar market with the wind energy market; they describe the possible maximum power output and not the average produced energy.


In my opinion we should look at the energy (power times time) and not just the maximum produced capacity, because this can be very misleading. During the night and during winter the relation between produced solar energy (!) and wind energy (!) is much different as we all understand.


So what is the conclusion? Which market is bigger? The solar market or the wind market?


The answer is found in comparing the produced wind energy with the produced solar energy (see graph below for Germany, yellow is solar energy).




If you look into the second graph, the installed capacity, you can see what I mean.





So when looking into graphs about future energy sources, keep in mind:

Energy is not power!



Have a nice week,

Michael

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