We are constantly being told that wind and solar has become cheaper than fossil fuels.

Why is Germany then spending €18 billion on subsidizing renewables? In reality, there is a bit of truth and a lot of misdirection in the current conversation on renewables.

It is true that in the best case scenario, wind and solar energy is cheaper than e.g. coal. But this has a condition: that the sun is shining and that the wind is blowing.

Inconveniently, the sun mostly shines mid-day and most wind energy mostly arrives at night. This means cheap energy for a short period, whereafter other sources must supply energy. This variability is actually driving the price of other energy sources up, because they constantly have to adjust to the uncertain stream of solar and wind energy.

It's great that renewables are getting better and cheaper, but when taking subsidies and derived effects into account, they're not competitive yet. As Bill Gates says, to fix climate change, "we're short about two dozen great innovations". Solar and wind are yesterday's technologies. Countries should instead ramp up investments in green R&D, to find tomorrow's technology. --Bjørn Lomborg