Adam Ruins Everything Responds to the Verge
Adam Ruins Everything

One point of confusion about capacity factors: While true that “..Solar and wind typically generate a lower percentage of their maximum capacity, compared to fossil fuels…”, the amount generated is closer than generally assumed: The US EIA reported 2015 capacity factors of about 55% for coal and combined cycle natural gas, versus 27% for solar PV and 33% for wind.
( ), and certainly not “80% or more for coal…”

Basically, as most coal plants are most efficient running at full throttle, it is becoming a seasonal power source used during the winter & late summer, and the plants are idled when demand is low & variable.

Also, one must be wary of citing sources more than a few years old; a couple of years ago the EIA was predicting the global growth of coal to average 1.9% for a few decades; Last spring, prior to China & India canceling large numbers of planned coal generators, the estimate was revised down to 0.9%

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