False Dawn: On The Hollow Promise Of An All Wind & Solar Powered Future

Back in 1983 the American Wind Industry Association claimed that solar and wind would be “competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D”. That was 36 years ago.

There has been no lack of assistance in the form of tax credits and federally sponsored R&D, along with a whole bunch of other punitive mandates and targets designed to cripple conventional generators and favour chaotically intermittent wind and solar. And yet, the contribution to world energy demand from wind and solar remains trivial, at best.

Notwithstanding $trillions in subsidies, no country has ever powered itself entirely with wind and solar; no country ever will. Ronald Stein explains why.

U.S. Government continues to dump funds into an electrical sinkhole
Fox & Hounds
Ronald Stein
27 January 2020

When I read the WSJ article “The Best-Laid Energy Plans” about the Government planning and subsidies that were supposedly intended to make America the world’s green-electricity superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy, it brings to mind the most terrifying nine words in the English language: ” I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

In pursuit of a way to store the daytime intermittent electricity from solar panels, for use when the sun is not shining, the reality is closer to the financial failure at Crescent Dunes, a Nevada solar-energy plant that went gone bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee. No worries. It’s only taxpayer money.

Crescent Dunes was the first concentrated solar power system that generated solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a receiver plant with a central receiver tower and advanced molten salt energy storage technology.

An inconvenient truth is that the sun sets each day, but the Obama Administration’s green planners had an app for that. They decided to invest in the Crescent Dunes facility that would use molten salt to store heat from the sun, produce steam, and generate electricity even at night. Government support would carry the project to sunny success.

Here are all the things that electricity can do for civilization:

  • Provide electricity to run the motors of vehicles, heating, air conditioners.
  • Provide electricity for lighting
  • Provide electricity for electronics
  • Provide electricity for the medical infrastructure

Energy storage could revolutionize industries in the next 10 years, but despite the preaching’s about these renewable saviors, it’s becoming obvious that due to their intermittency and unreliability, and their inability to replace any of the chemicals from crude oil that account for the all the products in our daily lives, societies around the world may not be too thrilled about the needed social changes to live on just electricity.

Basically, electricity can power the motors, lights and electronics, but it can’t make the motors, lights and electronics! Even electricity could not exist without fossil fuels as all the parts for wind and solar renewables are made with fossil fuels.

We can be preached to forever about “clean electricity” messages, and bedazzle farmers with the prospects of on-going revenue from renewables, but the extensive mining worldwide for turbine and solar materials, and the decommissioning details, and the social changes that would be necessitated without the thousands of products from those deep earth minerals and fuels, remain the dark side of the unspoken realities of renewables.

Lets’ be clear about what that means. First, it’s not renewable energy, it’s only renewable electricity, and more accurately its only intermittent electricity. Renewables have been the primary driver for residents of Germany, Australia, and California behind the high costs of electricity. Second and most important is, electricity alone is unable to support militaries, aviation, and merchant ships, and all the transportation infrastructure that support commerce around the world.

Everyone knows that electricity is used extensively in residential, commercial, transportation, and the military, to power motors and lite the lights; but it’s the 6,000 products that get manufactured from crude oil that are used to make those motors, lights, and electronics. Noticeable by their absence, from turbines and solar panels, are those crude oil chemicals that renewables are currently incapable of providing.

We’ve had almost 200 years to develop clones or generics to replace the products we get from crude oil such as: medications, electronics, communications, tires, asphalt, fertilizers, military and transportation equipment. The social needs of our materialistic societies are most likely going to remain for all those chemicals that get manufactured out of crude oil, that makes everything that’s part of our daily lifestyles, and for continuous, uninterruptable, and reliable electricity from coal or natural gas generation backup.

Germany tried to step up as a leader on climate change, by phasing out nuclear and fossil fuels, and pioneered a system of subsidies for wind and solar that sparked a global boom in manufacturing those technologies.  Today, Germany is failing to meet its climate goals of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions even after spending over $580 billion by 2025 to overhaul its energy systems. Germany’s emissions miss should be a “wake-up call” for governments everywhere.

Power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe.  Today, German households pay almost 50% more for electricity than they did in 2006. Much of that increase in electricity cost is the Renewable Surcharge that has increased over the same period by 770%.

 America is taking giant steps toward following Germany’s failed climate goals which should be a wake-up all for governments everywhere, but it appears that America, from California to New York, wants to follow the German failure. Like Germany, America’s renewables are becoming an increasing share in electricity generation, but at a HIGH COST. The emission reduction goals have increased the costs of electricity and transportation fuels and may be very contributory to America’s growing homelessness and poverty populations.

Hopefully, before committing to an all-electric world, we can achieve the technical challenges of discovering a green replacement for the thousands of products based on fossil fuels being provided to every known earth based infrastructure, and society will accept the consequences of altering their lifestyles that will result from less services and more personal input to accommodate losing the advances fossil fuels have afforded them.

Hand the energy economy over to the government in the name of climate change, and there will be countless more Crescent Dunes fiascoes. Alas, brings back again those most terrifying nine words in the English language:” I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
Fox & Hounds

All that glitters, ain’t gold…

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    South Australia is a classic when it comes to offering meaningless drivel with respect to ‘renewable’ energy.
    Especially when its current Energy Minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan tries to justify the frenzied push to outdo everyone else with respect to ‘renewable’ energy production and recently with respect to something that doesn’t even produce energy but simply ‘stores’ it from what is apparently an excess production from Wind Turbines – when there is sufficient wind to turn the blades.
    This is then used by a method that can only be described as flicking a switch on and off like a hyperactive child playing with a favourite toy, under direction of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), to keep up with the constant fluctuation of energy produced by turbines, to prevent the Grid from having a meltdown.
    Recently it was necessary for the AEMO to call in gas production to lift their game and anything else that could help keep South Australian lights on when South Australia became separated from the Eastern Grid after a weather event tore down power lines in Victoria causing the interconnector between SA and Victoria to go into survival mode and shut down the connection with SA – for several weeks.
    DVHP tried to make out things all went well and yes SA didn’t have mass blackouts, BUT the truth is South Australians are going to be paying for this event not of their making for years to come as AEMO has worked out they will be paying around $93 million to cover the cost of stabilising the SA power grid during the disconnect from Victoria.
    Further re the banal situation in SA DVHP is now going to increase the capacity of the Hornsdale/Jamestown Elon Musk Big Battery by 50%. Is he expecting more of the same chaos for South Australians as well as even more increase stabilising costs.
    But there is even more cost to be considered re this, the Elon Musk battery which cost around $41.8 million to be paid for over 10 years is now going to cost South Australians for an extra 50% capacity $15 million, with an additional $8 million from the Federal Renewable Energy Fund.
    Therefore, South Australians are not getting cheaper energy if the spin doctors fail to take into account the end user customers are also paying extra for additional infrastructure ie batteries.
    Of course you still have to factor in that NEOEN who are providing the extra 50% battery at a cost of around $80 million and throwing in the difference between what the Federal Government will pay ($8 million) and the contribution from the SA Government ($15 million) you can bet your ‘pocket money’ they will be looking to make an investment profit not a loss or even to break-even so who will be paying higher energy bills – yes that’s right the people and industries of SA.
    “SA is incredibly vulnerable with interconnection with Victoria only and faces the prospect of crippling increases in electricity prices at times when we are disconnected.” He said
    “If SA had interconnection with NSW, the massive prices of the Labor Government would have been avoided and we would be exporting renewable energy directly to NSW”.
    Well, of course he doesn’t say you also have to add in on top of the costs of the batteries etc the cost of this new interconnector with NSW which will be paid for in part from Federal funding as well as from SA’s and NSWs rates and taxes, all of course garnered/demanded from citizens by both State and Federal Governments.
    How can DVHP suggest power prices are coming down – at this rate energy rorting induced disaster will destroy the State before these things have been paid for.
    Just how many more hospitals, roads, railway lines, childcare centres; schools, etc could have been provided with all the money being spent on ‘transforming’ energy production, not only in SA but across the country? How much is it costing? Has anyone in government actually sat down and totalled the cost? I expect if they did they would find new clean coal or even nuclear plants could have been built in every State for less and quicker than this mishmash of on the run disaster prevention, industry closures and job losses is costing the country.
    It would seem the only ones with a future and full pockets of money not air are the ‘renewable’ industry pirates.

    • Graeme No,3 says:

      Leaving aside that the islanding of SA needed to be made possible by reducing the output of the wind farms and boosting the output of the gas fired generators.
      The interconnctor to NSW isn’t about improved stability, it’s about giving the wind farms an outlet when their output exceeds demand. The result then is a drop in prices as the windfarmers try to get approved to supply, even if the selling price drops to zero, because they get the Certificate (subsidy) under the RET scheme (saleable at about $80).
      Getting another outlet to NSW would enable wind farmers (when the wind blows) to export the surplus at a possitive price and when the wind doesn’t blow SA get back coal fired electricity (at a price) – electricity bills will go up. And that is assuming that NSW (net importer) will be able to supply.
      No wonder Electranet is spending $180 million to “stabilise’ the SA grid. Who pays for that “cheap renewables” GUESS.

      • Jacqueline Rovensky says:

        The ‘islanding’ was not made possible by the need to reduce wind output and boosting gas production, IT WAS CREATED because of problems with towers being blown over in a storm in Victoria and the inter-connector could not cope with a sudden rush of crazily intermittent wind and it was therefore necessary to shut it down until towers and cables were re-installed and the energy pathway was reinstated.
        Re the proposed NSW inter-connector is promoted for a number of reasons including reliable energy supply for both SA and NSW. The wind being sent through will still need to be controlled and smoothed and if another storm brought down lines we would have the same situation on this line.
        The thing is just how many more of these ‘big’ batteries are they going to say are needed to ensure the smoothing of the flow of energy. Also the more wind they install the more need to have a storage system to ensure there are no sudden shocks to the system which shuts things down again. And who will be paying for these batteries or what ever other system they want to install – certainly not the companies producing the problem energy supply. The price will never come down and we will be paying ‘backup’ systems for ever especially as batteries will need to be replaced -often.
        Factoring in the total price of our energy supply will and does mean the cost can never come down.

  2. HORSEPOWER.net says:

    It’s weather change. When we keep repeating their bastardized term we keep adding fuel to their fire which the started and of course this adds more heat causing the planet to be filled with an endless supply of smoke and mirrors.

  3. ronaldsteinptsadvancecom says:

    With Germany having the highest costs for electricity, this Op Ed was translated July 31, 2019 for the Germany population by Germany’s European Institute for Climate & Energy (EIKE)

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eike-klima-energie.eu%2Fpage%2F3%2F
    Hinweg geblasen durch Windpark-„Kapazität“ vs. tatsäch-licher Erzeugung

  4. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

  5. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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