Following False Prophets: Why Wind & Solar Can Never Replace Fossil Fuels

Sunset and calm weather mean wind and solar can and will never replace conventional power generators. By ‘conventional’ we mean coal, gas, nuclear and, where geography and geology permit, stored hydro and geothermal power.

Show a picture like the one above – the entire output of every wind turbine connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid during December 2018, care of Aneroid Energy – to a five-year-old and they’ll soon get it: the idea that a modern, civil society can operate without reliable and affordable electricity supply is ridiculous; that it can do so around the Sun’s daily passage from horizon to horizon and the vagaries of the weather, is childish nonsense.

Paul Driessen tackles the topic as being pitched up by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s in her ‘Green New Deal’. Ocasio-Cortez is just the latest in a long line of telegenic air heads pronouncing on the topic of power generation. Breathless and silly is no way to design energy policy, as Paul points out.

Saved by Pseudo-renewable Energy?
Town Hall
Paul Driessen
26 January 2019

So climate alarmists intend to carbon-tax, legislate and regulate our energy, factories, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and lives to the max. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would eliminate and replace US fossil fuels by 2030. It’s an unprecedented economic and political power grab.

We went to war with King George over far less serious abuses and usurpations. And yet today we seem to have few Patrick Henrys or other stalwart, principled leaders willing to defy this insanity.

Those accusing someone of a crime must prove his guilt; the accused need not prove his innocence. But not only are alarmists bringing what amount to criminal charges against fossil fuels; wiping out the fuels that provide over 80% of our energy would bring widespread chaos, poverty, misery, disease and death.

As I said just days ago, those who claim fossil fuels and greenhouse gases are causing dangerous global warming and climate change must have the burden of proving their case. Not with allegations, computer models, headlines, mob rule and demands for instant sentencing. With solid, irrefutable evidence.

Those who intend to use climate change accusations to disrupt and destroy modern energy systems and industrialized economies likewise have the burden of proving that wind, solar and biofuel energy can actually replace fossil fuels. That they are actually clean, green, renewable and sustainable.

Thus far, they have offered no real-world evidence whatsoever. And there is no way they can do so.

Fossil fuels are compact and dense. Small land and raw material impacts provide bountiful, affordable, reliable energy. America and the world have enough of these fuels to last at least a century at current rates of consumption – by which time human ingenuity will doubtless provide workable alternatives.

By contrast, wind, solar and biofuel energy is dispersed, weather-dependent, expensive and land-intensive. Every industrial wind facility, solar installation and biofuel plantation requires far more land – and far more raw materials – than their energy-generation-equivalent fossil fuel counterparts. Add in backup fossil fuel generators or massive battery arrays, and those impacts become astronomical.

To eliminate our fossil fuel energy – and replace it with these pseudo-renewable systems – we would have to remove tens of billions of tons of rock, to extract billions of tons of ores, to create millions of tons of metals, concrete and other materials, to manufacture and install millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and grow billions of barrels of biofuels. Vast acreage of croplands, wildlife habitats and scenic areas would be torn apart, covered with mining debris and blanketed with “renewable” energy facilities.

Moreover, as long as anti-mining radicals have effective control of US courts, legislatures and regulatory agencies, America’s deposits of rare earth and other strategic metals and materials will remain off limits. As Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges point out in Groundbreaking! America’s new quest for minerals independence, that would leave the USA 100% dependent on often unfriendly foreign sources for the “next era” energy systems that we have repeatedly been promised are “just around the corner.”

The same well-funded radical groups also battle mining by Western companies all over the world. That means global raw material supplies will be rapidly depleted … utopian green energy dreams will never become reality … and nations will descend into deprivation, disease, starvation, anarchy and war.

To put it simply, so that even Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Al Gore and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can understand this energy reality: The wind and sun may be free, green, renewable and sustainable. But the energy, land and materials required to harness and utilize that energy certainly are not.

Wind and solar systems also break down faster and must be replaced earlier and more often than coal, gas or nuclear power plants – which have operational life spans of 30-50 years, and generate power about 95% of the time. Wind energy proponents claim turbines last 20-25 years. They don’t.

A 2018 UK analysis of 3,000 onshore wind turbines found that they generate electricity efficiently for just 12-15 years (about 25-30% of the time) and generate more than twice as much electricity in their first year than when they are barely 15 years old. So wind turbine raw materials depletion and land use impacts are far higher than advocates have admitted. These realities are no better for solar installations.

That also means the cost of wind and solar electricity is far higher than their advocates admit. Those costs may be partially hidden by taxpayer subsidies. But they are real, and punitive.

Electricity prices in US states that rely heavily on coal, gas, nuclear or hydroelectric generation hover around 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. In California, Connecticut, New York and other states that oppose these sources and impose hefty “green” energy mandates and feed-in tariffs, prices are twice as high. In Germany and Denmark, families must pay four times as much: 35-37 cents per kWh!

Try to run a factory, hospital, school, business, home, city or country on electricity priced at those stratospheric rates. Imagine trying to do so when fossil fuels are driven into oblivion – by the same “environmentalists” who detest and want to eliminate nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Middle classes are already fleeing California’s and New York’s oppressive taxes, regulations, high energy and housing prices, job destruction, and predominantly Democrat politicians who blame every problem on manmade climate change. Just wait until their states go “100% renewable energy” by 2030 or so.

Meanwhile, more rational countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere are building coal- and gas-fired generating units by the thousands, to power modern, industrialized societies and lift billions more people out of poverty. That means global emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide will continue to increase – even if climate alarmists succeed with their power plays in the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere. It means Asia and Africa could soon outpace many of today’s industrial and economic powerhouses.

As to biofuels, how are farmers going to grow enough corn, soybeans, sugar cane and switchgrass to replace the petroleum that radical greens want kept in the ground, if they don’t have modern equipment and fertilizers – which eco-fanatics also despise? Farmers may have to get human “fertilizer” from sewage treatment plants, since many “environmentalists” also demand that we stop raising cows, pigs and chickens … which means farmers won’t even be able to get enough animal manure.

One of the latest climate scare stories claims our warming planet will soon drive many insect species to extinction. What are people going to eat, when they can’t even find bugs to dine on?

All these are more reasons why the United States we must formally exit the Paris climate treaty by subjecting it to a two-thirds Senate “advice and consent” vote that would most assuredly fail. They are more reasons why we must revisit and reverse the EPA carbon dioxide “Endangerment Finding.”

The climate alarmists’ increasingly shrill claims … their refusal to engage climate and energy realists in debate … their escalating efforts to silence us – are proof that they are getting desperate. We need to continue ramping up our efforts – and cajole, embarrass and harangue politicians to show some spine, intestinal fortitude and intelligence, by standing up to the forces of climate dictatorship and darkness.

What can the average person do? Speak out. Write letters to editors, legislators, corporate executives and President Trump. Attend town meetings, press briefings, committee hearings and other events. Ask tough questions. Demand evidence to back up alarmist assertions. Above all, bombard politicians, climate activists and media talking heads with the F-word they detest and fear: Facts.

Your future, your children’s future, your country’s future, our planet’s future – depend on it.
Town Hall

Flibbertigibbet determined to wreck America’s power supply.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Of course, no intermittent power generation works without reserve power that takes over when it is not blowing or when it is not sunshine. How can this be so difficult to understand? The fact that the reserve power can cost a lot or little to install just means that the cheapest and or best reserve power must be used. Then comes the operating cost for the reserve power and where coal and oil and nuclear power cost exactly what is used BUT all these possibilities all have a marginal cost for operation compared to what it costs to build ….
    So if the hazard with the reserve effect is not large then the cheapest option applies, ie the mix 30% wind plus 70% reserve power OR 100% reserve power and with today’s cost situation, reserve power costs less, including operation, than wind costs.
    Where is the problem ??

    • Serge Wright says:

      “the cheapest and or best reserve power must be used”.

      Herein lies the problem. There is no cheapest reserve power that is anywhere near affordable. In Australia no private companies are lining up to build non-fossil storage because it consumes power (~20%) rather than generates power, meaning it represents a net $ loss to the power generators even without the enormous construction costs being considered.

      The only storage project on the table in Australia is a $10 billion 100% government (taxpayer) funded pumped hydro plan using existing dams that would deliver just 2GW output for 7 days. It’s almost certain that this will get dumped now that Turnbull is out. Any battery storage deployment in-situ or being planned is primarily for frequency control, with the aim of allowing power companies to add even more subsidised renewables. To use batteries for actual storage would never be affordable or logistically possible using today’s technology.

      If you use gas backup it does work, but the costs start blowing out when you realise that you need to have a 95% generation capacity backup, with much of it spinning idly in case the wind stops. Using gas backup also means that you burn a lot more gas to ramp up and down rapidly to track the highly variable renewables, resulting in higher than anticipated emissions.

      The only solution that will achieve low emissions, energy security and affordability, is nuclear. If we invested all the money spent on subsidies we would be able to develop safe, efficient and cost effective nuclear technology and actually make export earnings and also make a difference to world CO2 by selling the tecnology overseas. The current plan of reducing a % of our 1% of global emissions will make no measurable difference even if it was possible to implement, meaning it’s a complete waste of time, money and effort. We could also store the nuclear waste in the dry and techtonically stable interior under the McDonald Ranges and create secondary industries and jobs.

      If you fast forward another 10-15 years of continuing to deploy wind and solar solutions, we will have spent well over $100 billion dollars on imported technology that doesn’t work and will then need to start replacing the entire solution from scratch, due to the short lifecycle, meaning another $100+ billion in today’s money. And then keep repeating the taxpayer funded spend cycle every 15-20 years.

      A nightmare scenario if ever there was …

  2. Son of a goat says:

    Update: Yoda 4 Kooyong # the second coming

    It would be fair to say in being the honorary campaign director for Yoda Yates in his bid for the Federal seat of Kooyong, I’m a bit like the boy with the barrow, the jobs in front of me.

    This weekend Yoda has taken it upon himself to campaign in the upper class suburb of Kew with none other than his cavoodle named “Peanut”. I had to lay it on the line with Yoda asking him, are we here to win an election or are we auditioning for “Best dog in show”.

    I can smell a campaign that’s gone off the rails from a mile away. I warned Yoda not to go out too hard too early, he came out of the boxes like a man possessed throwing punches at the incumbent Joshi, demonizing the Liberal party and casting a thousand poxes on those who don’t believe in the renewable revolution.
    He worked himself into a lather like a Vestas turbine in a roaring gale but then the inevitable has happened. Like a turbine with not so much as a zehpyr of a breeze the campaign is unfortunately dying in the arse.

    All is not lost however, as my late father would say “have faith my son and the rains will come”.
    I’ve advised Yoda to leave the dog and “Get Up” to a lamp post in a neighboring poorer class electorate. It’s a bit hard to preach clean energy when your closely followed at 10 paces by the “great unwashed”.

    I have told him to cut ties with Charismatic Kane and the Messiah, we are here to communicate with the people, not destroy their will to live.

    Yoda needs to engage a bit of spunk.
    I know, you know, we all know who! Yes sir re none other than Yoda’s work colleague and fellow citizen of Kooyong and wind energy proponent, the Wolf of Wycheproof himself ..PRETTY BOY.
    Visualize this… Pretty boy and them lurid women of renewables walking the streets of Kew in their finest but one size too small Kooyong tennis whites, holding placards;
    I support clean energy
    vote4Yoda

    You can thank me latter Yoda.
    P.S. make sure you slap a bit of Pretty boy’s “Old Spice “on the gills, it works a treat.

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