The Fantasy of Running On Sunshine & Breezes: Why Wind & Solar Power Are So Utterly Pointless

Fun. But not real…

 

After a generation of claiming to be not only competitive with, but cheaper than, every form of conventional generation there is, wind and large-scale solar generators are still unable to wean themselves off the massive stream of subsidies that created their so-called ‘industries’ – simply because, without those subsidies – coupled with mandated targets and punitive fines on retailers forcing them to take their skittish wares – there is no market for power that cannot be delivered 24 x 365, on demand.

For want of a better phrase, attempting to run sunshine and breezes is patent nonsense.

In this short, sharp piece the Editor of America’s National Economics Editorial makes precisely that point.

72.8% Of World’s Renewable Energy Is Made By Burning Wood & Dung—20x More Than Wind & Solar Energy
National Economics Editorial
The Editor
28 June 2017

Renewable energy advocates have claimed for decades that solar and wind power are the future—and the future is right around the corner.

Some boldly state that the world could be powered by renewable energy sources as early as 2030, given the exponential growth of solar and wind electrical capacity.

And of course, the mainstream media plays up the importance of solar and wind energy in defeating the scarecrow that is climate change.

While there’s no doubt that wind and solar energy capacity has grown rapidly over the last three decades—wind power’s grown by an average of 24.3% per year since 1990, while solar’s grown by 46.2% per year over the same period—does it really matter?

Are renewable energy sources making a difference?  What is the current state of renewable energy, and its future?

No.  Renewable energy is irrelevant, and will remain irrelevant for the foreseeable future—wind and solar energy are simply inferior to fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Period.

3 Key Facts About Renewable Energy You Need To Know

Here are three statistics you need to know about renewable energy:

1. Wind Turbines Produce Just 0.46% of Global Energy

Despite thirty years of government subsidies and hundreds of billions in direct investments in green technologies, wind power still meets just 0.46% of the earth’s energy demands.  That’s next to nothing.

Wind power is useless, and will remain useless due to limited potential efficiency gains (restricted by the Betz limit), and land space requirements—we’d need to cover an area the size of the British Isles with wind turbines just to meet our annual growth in energy consumption.  There’s simply not enough land.

Never mind the problem of intermittency, and the hidden systemic risks it entails.

2. Burning Feces & Wood Produces More Energy Than Wind & Solar Energy Combined

Renewable energy advocates mislead the public about the truth of renewable energy consumption—they make it seem like we’re making a difference.  We’re not.

According to the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends Report, wind, solar, and tidal energy combined met just 0.81% of earth’s aggregated energy demands.

And yet we’re constantly told that renewable energy makes up a much larger percentage than that.  Why the disconnect?

Because green energy advocates mislead the public by either talking about (i) electrical energy or (ii) implying that “renewable energy” means solar and wind energy.

But the facts aren’t on their side: electrical energy only represents one-fifth of global energy consumption.  The vast majority is consumed as fuel for transportation, heating, and cooking.

Green energy advocates also imply that wind and solar energy make up a large proportion of global energy consumption by implying that they dominate the “renewable” energy sector.

But that’s not even remotely true.

While 13.6% of world energy comes from renewable sources, the vast majority—72.8%—is just people in developing countries burning wood, charcoal, and dung for energy.

That’s right: feces is a more important energy source than wind power.

3. We’d Need 7.2 Earth’s Worth of Rare Minerals to Switch to Solar Energy

Photovoltaic cells require a staggering variety of rare earth minerals to build, one of the most important of which is silver.

Given current technology (and assuming 20% efficiency), we’d need to cover an area the size of Spain in solar panels to generate enough electricity to meet our global electricity demands by 2030.

This is a lot of land, which would be better off being farmed, or preserved.

But even if we wanted to build that many solar panels, we couldn’t do it—there’s simply not enough silver in the world.

Here are the numbers, briefly (you can read the full article on the futility of solar power here):

Each standard 1.8 square meters uses 20 grams.

There are 1 million square meters in a square kilometer: this means that we’d need 11.1 million grams, or 11.1 tons, of silver per square kilometer of solar panels.

Spain is 506,000 square kilometers in area—which is how much area we’d need to cover.

This means that 5,616,600 tons of silver would be required to build enough solar panels to power the world.

That’s way more silver (7.2 times more) than we have—or that exists.

Thus far, humans only have only mined, and have access to a total of 777,275 tons of silver.

In fact, even if we mined all of the silver on earth’s crust, there still wouldn’t be enough to make the transition to 100% solar power—even if solar panels became four-times as efficient (80%) we still couldn’t do it.

Solar power’s a dead-end.

Renewable Energy Won’t Power the Future

My point?

The renewable energy industry greatly overstates its progress, and downright lies about solar and wind energy being the way of the future.

They’ve convinced us into giving them billions to chase a pipe dream.

That money would’ve been better spent investing in more efficient combustion engines and transmission lines—heck, we could’ve built enough nuclear plants and hydroelectric dams to cut emissions from electrical power generation down to zero.

And we could’ve done it decades ago.

It’s time to get real about green energy.
National Economics Editorial

No. It’s not real, either…

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. The idea that Weather Dependent Renewables (Wind and Solar) are cost competitive with conventional electricity generation is refuted by the calculations in this post.

    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/renewable-energy-cost-and-performance-in-europe-2016/

    When all the financial support mechanisms mandated by governments to support Renewables are eliminated, they show that both capital installation and long-term running costs the combination of solar, onshore and offshore wind are roughly 11 times more than using conventional Gas-firing for electricity generation overall.

    These results are derived from EurObserER 2016 installation and production data and the 2016 comparative costings published by the US Energy Information Administration.

    These comparative costs do account for the low Capacity Percentages / Load Factors characteristic of Weather Dependent Renewables but they do not account for the inherent unreliable intermittency and non-dispatchability for Renewables that do not necessarily meet demand.

    The overall European averages for on-shore wind is about 7 times more expensive than Gas-firing to install and to run long-term. However both off-shore wind and solar energy cost close to 18 times as much when compared to Gas-firing.

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