100% Ruinable: Democrat’s New ‘Green’ Deal Would Cost Americans $4.5 Trillion

Virtue signalling comes with a whopping price tag.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘New Green Deal’ heralds a new Dark Ages nightmare. Although, in fairness to the original pixie dream girl, the notion that the world’s leading energy consumer can operate entirely on sunshine and breezes is an utter fantasy.

Ocasio-Cortez and her clueless acolytes run the line that because the sun and wind are free, their ‘green’ wet dream comes without a price tag. Keen to rain on that parade, Iulia Gheorghiu details the staggering cost attached to the pursuit of a fantasy.

Transitioning US to 100% renewables by 2030 will cost $4.5 trillion
Utility Dive
Iulia Gheorghiu
2 July 2019

Dive Brief:

  • Wood Mackenzie published a study estimating the cost of a 100% renewable energy transition by 2030 within the U.S., based on the more aggressive climate plans that have been proposed, including early versions of the House Green New Deal package.
  • According to the consultancy group, the transition could cost $4.5 trillion, or $35,000 per U.S. household.
  • The 2030 target would put the U.S. on an extremely accelerated installation path, with more annual capacity buildout over each of the next 11 years “than what has been installed collectively over the past two decades,” the report says.

Dive Insight:
WoodMac admits the timeline in their analysis may not be realistic. But it has been proposed in various plans to decarbonize the U.S. economy or move the country to 100% renewables, including Democratic presidential candidate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal.

“We’re not saying that 2030 is even achievable, because of more social political issues,” Wade Schauer, director of WoodMac’s Americas power research, told Utility Dive.

The $4.5 trillion is also not realistic, at least by 2030 — and the amount doesn’t even include the stranded cost of the oil, gas and coal industries that would be disrupted by 100% renewables, or the costs to retrain employees.

But there are ways to trim the cost, according to WoodMac.

Prices could decrease substantially if the target date gets pushed back to 2045 or 2050, as technological advancements increase.

In addition, allowing existing nuclear plants to remain open would save about $500 billion, the report found. However, in the next decade, a lot of nuclear plants will exceed 60 years of age and start to retire. In addition, “when you get about 50% renewable energy, it’s going to put so much pricing pressure on the nuclear plants that it may very well end up forcing a lot of nuclear plants to retire [prematurely], because they can’t survive in a market where prices are ‘zero,'” Schauer said, referring to the falling energy prices of wind and solar.

This report also contributed to the many industry voices that have noted the importance of storage technology in a future with greater wind and solar penetration.

“The wild card in all of this is what happens with battery technology,” Jim Robb, president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, told reporters on Wednesday. “I’m not sure that lithium-ion batteries [are] the solution [for a clean energy transition]. I don’t know what the technology solution is, but I bet there is one … In my view, that’s the gatekeeper technology.”

Smaller, short-run lithium-ion storage facilities fail “to deliver the longer duration storage capability critical to balancing seasonal swings” in wind and solar production, WoodMac wrote. To backstop intermittency, the report assumed approximately 900 GW of storage investments would ensure reliability over the wind and solar resources needed to power the country, more than doubling the $1.5 trillion to build out wind and solar to $4 trillion.

Without ranking their importance, WoodMac identified several technologies that will play a large role in the renewables transition, including customer-facing grid edge technologies, demand response and next-generation storage (such as flow batteries, solid state and new anode chemistries).

While the price tag includes an estimated $700 billion in transmission buildout, Schauer pointed out that many will be opposed to the amount required, or to having “wind turbines in their backyard.”

The publication transformed from a “much longer report” to “more of a shorter thought piece,” Schauer said. “We plan to have follow up reports over the course of the next six months with more details about things like integration challenges and solutions that could help with those.”
Utility Dive

Simpler and just as effective.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Craig Lucanus says:

    Nuclear is the LNP’s only option if it’s going to take an emissions reduction policy forward. Out-renewabling Labor is not an option if it cares for the country more than just staying in power, which it will be seen as. It must differentiate itself by dissing renewables and championing advanced nuclear. Leadership, please!

  2. Craig Lucanus says:

    “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,”… “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,”


  3. Colin Megson says:

    The US’s total energy use is 29,688.1 TWh, which requires 3,389,053 MW to be generated every hour.

    Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable and assuming: a 33.3% capacity factor; a capital cost of $1,877/kW; a 25 year lifespan, that tots up to $19.1 trillion every 25 years.
    Transition to 100% renewables equates to $6,000 per household, every year – forever.

    Transitioning to 100% nuclear power, assuming: a 90% capacity factor; a capital cost of $5,945/kW; 60 year design life would tot up to $22.4 trillion every 60 years.
    That equates to $2,900 per household, every year – forever.

    Just can’t figure out how they arrive at $4.5 trillion.

  4. Willam Walbank says:

    Can you please tell your contributors and editors to use the correct units MW / MWh, GW / GWh ….
    In many cases the mistakes and intent are clear but in some it is not always possible to differentiate between power flows and storage capacity making the meanings confusing or incorrect

  5. The Green New Deal (GND) sounds enlightening, using a super grid of renewable intermittent electricity energy to replace fossil fuels so we can all breath air with no emissions from the energy we use. But electricity alone falls short of supporting the military, airlines, cruise ships, supertankers, container shipping, and trucking infrastructures industries that are the basis of commerce, and their deep earth mineral/fuels energy needs are increasing each year, NOT decreasing, to “make products and move things”. . https://www.cfact.org/2019/05/31/the-green-new-deals-epic-transportation-and-commerce-fail/

  6. sassycoupleok says:

    Many will simply die under a plan like that. Many families don’t even make $35,000 a year so they could never afford the cost of energy and would be left without.

  7. Son of a goat says:

    If Angus Taylor doesn’t soon give the Lovely Audrey from AEMO and Kerry Schott from ESB their marching orders, we may be all living like Bob Brown in a hut with a log fire.

    The so called “climate election” has come and gone and apparently the Liberals won on a platform of returning reliability and reducing power costs to the consumer.

    However it seems to be business as usual for the zealots at the rudder of our electricity regulators. The AEMO has announced plans to spend hundreds of millions in network upgrades in western Victoria to unlock 6000mw of renewable generation potential.

    Mean while the Energy Security board his hell bent on bringing in more “demand management” during times of peak demand, paying large end users to shut up shop.

    Who’s running the show Angus?
    School holidays are over mate.

    • Angus and Scott, unable even to utter the words coal or nuclear, seem frozen like two rabbits in the headlights, dead scared to offend the progressive Left head-kickers currently running the Liberal Party.
      This kind of inaction is bound to turn the “quiet Australians” who put them into office into angry Australians just as willing to turf them out in disgust!

  8. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  9. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

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