Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I found a diagram with 2008 pie charts for generation and generating capacity. Feeding them into a spreadsheet, I get:

Type of generationCapacityNet generation (TWh)Capacity factor
Natural gas16%23.514%8441%
Other non-renewable11%16.26%3625%
Other renewable (incl. big hydro, biofuel)10%14.78%4837%

As I expected, the capacity factor for gas is higher than in the USA. As for the 46% for coal plants, note that they are mainly used for 'intermediate load' (pre-scheduled stepped variable generation; mainly to balance the expected daily variation, but also planned shutdowns of baseload plants and predicted wind/solar intermittency).

If the EU-wide average gas-fired plant capacity factor is similar to the German one, then the wind and gas plants installed in 2009 will deliver roughly the same amount of electricity a year.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Feb 4th, 2010 at 04:49:53 AM EST
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