Totally Trashed: Debunking IEA Claims That Wind & Solar Can Replace Fossil Fuels

The wind and solar ‘industries’ were built on lies and run on subsidies. Sunset and calm weather are real things, but those troublesome facts are merrily glossed over by the crowd that tell us that coal, oil and gas are all doomed at the hand of sunshine and breezes.

Massaging figures that literally turn night into day, has allowed outfits like the International Energy Agency to make increasingly wild and ludicrous claims about the contribution made to global energy demand by wind and solar. Currently their joint contribution to the planet’s energy needs amounts to little more than a rounding error, and that calculation is unlikely to change anytime between now and kingdom come.

Peter Foster takes a look at how the IEA’s bunkum statistics make astrology look, not just respectable, but like real solid science.

The IEA’s solar spin cycle: Sorry folks, the world will still be overwhelmingly fossil-fuelled in 2030
Financial Post
Peter Foster
21 October 2020

Every year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) produces a World Energy Outlook (WEO) that tries to obscure the fact that the great green transition isn’t happening. Every year it tries to spin a bright future for wind and solar by using upbeat language, dodgy statistics, and fantasy scenarios. And every year the mainstream media swallows it.

This year’s outlook, released last week, has obviously been complicated by the COVID lockdowns, which have sharply curtailed energy demand and clouded the immediate outlook. But that hasn’t stopped the IEA’s spinning.

The WEO peddles the line that since demand for fossil fuels is down more than demand for wind and solar, this might mean that wind and solar are gaining market ground. According to the report: “Our assessment is that global energy demand is set to drop by five per cent in 2020, energy-related CO2 emissions by seven per cent, and energy investment by 18 per cent. The impacts vary by fuel. The estimated falls of eight per cent in oil demand and seven per cent in coal use stand in sharp contrast to a slight rise in the contribution of renewables.” However, the reason fossil fuel demand is down more than demand for wind and solar is that it is based on markets, while wind and solar use is dictated by government mandates and taxpayer subsidies.

Still, let’s not be too picky. Did you know that, under current policies, “Global solar PV (photovoltaic) capacity has increased almost 20-fold over the last decade and is set to triple over the coming decade”? According to Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, “I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets … Based on today’s policy settings, it’s on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022.” Sounds impressive!

The IEA party line was dutifully regurgitated by the mainstream media. One of Bloomberg’s four key “takeaways” from the report was “coal is dying, long live solar.” Even more dramatically, Bloomberg parroted that “renewables will push coal off the grid, taking 80 per cent of demand growth to 2030.” According to Global News, “the IEA forecast projects rapid growth for renewables over the next decade with solar power being the main driver of that growth.” Even the Wall Street Journal got with the IEA spin cycle, claiming: “Coronavirus pandemic speeds shift to cleaner energy.”

The contribution of solar to primary energy demand is 0.4%, which hardly looks like a solar revolution

None of these climate crusaders had apparently read the report or asked for details. Renewables are indeed projected to increase from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of “primary energy demand” — that is, demand for all raw sources such as oil and gas, plus wind and solar, before they are converted into “energy carriers” such as fuel oil or electricity — between 2019 and 2030. But the most important renewable remains hydropower, while the most significant increase to 2030 comes from “bioenergy,” that is, burning wood.

So, what proportion of electricity generation did solar account for in 2019 after that transformative 20-fold increase? Two per cent. And since electricity takes up only around a fifth of primary energy demand, the contribution of solar to primary energy demand is 0.4 per cent, which hardly looks like a solar revolution.

Assuming that all those meddlesome mandates and burdensome subsidies stay in place, what will solar’s share of electricity generation be in 2030? According to the IEA, eight per cent — but that still amounts to only a two per cent share of primary energy demand.

The world will still be overwhelmingly fossil-fuelled in 2030. The proportion of oil and gas will be up a bit and that of coal down a bit, but together the three will still account for 76 per cent of primary energy versus 80 per cent last year. Coal will still be responsible for 28 per cent of electricity generation — three and a half times as much as solar — and it will be contributing 10 times as much as solar to primary energy demand. And emissions will still be at levels threatening climate Armageddon, at least if you believe worst-case scenarios.

But all is not lost because there are those fantasy beyond-best-case scenarios, specifically the “sustainable development scenario” and the scenario for policies that will bring the world to carbon neutrality by 2050. The first might be dubbed the “pigs-might-fly” scenario, the second, the “pigs-might-fly on batteries, powered by solar wings, while simultaneously juggling.” These scenarios’ details can safely be ignored, except to note that they demand considerable behavioural changes and personal discomfort. More cycling, less flying. More cold in winter, more heat in summer. (And no actual spin cycle in summer because you’ll be line-drying your washing.) Needless to say, the scenarios simply assume away the inevitable damage to growth and jobs, not to mention freedom, from such socialist masterplans.

One of the most frightening aspects of the report is the suggestion that fossil fuels will have to be, not just wound down, but closed down. The route to destruction suggested is defunding via pressure on the finance industry.

The IEA repeats the now ritual mantra of global governors that “The massive sums of money they are committing to spur economic recovery are a historic opportunity to significantly accelerate transitions towards a cleaner and more resilient energy future.” But the notion of seeing COVID as an opportunity to accelerate a transition to more expensive, less reliable and more disruptive sources of energy is little short of insane, except, of course, from the perspective of bureaucratic self-interest.

According to the IEA, at a time when governments’ response to COVID has been a global shambles, now is the time to place more faith in government. “A surge in well-designed energy policies is needed to put the world on track for a resilient energy system that can meet climate goals.” But bad policy isn’t improved by positive adjectives, and wishes aren’t horsepower.
Financial Post

What? You reckon an all wind and sun powered world can’t happen?

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:

    I have a problem with all this nonsense about wind and solar taking over from coal etc – well don’t all those of us with an uncontaminated thought process.
    What those who champion this takeover should think about is how they are trying to wipe out years of work trying to getting us to use less electricity – yes years of trying to turn us around to using less – and now we are being forced and pushed to use more and more use of it = cars, trains, trams and other transport modes, as well as glorifying the use of batteries, even carpet/floor battery operated cleaners are now being pushed as the modern more convenient thing to have.
    One thing which is causing more environmental degradation due to the inability to re-use much of the dangerous metals, plastics etc they are made from are batteries.
    Batteries to store energy on a ‘large scale’ – well larger than the battery in my mobile phone which probably lasts longer than the worlds largest battery lasts before the need to re-charge (and not to forget they have to be dumped regularly and new ones bought). Then there’s the situation where more and more batteries are being used for not only mobile phones, but for computers and backup storage of excess solar production, let alone all those battery operated toys both for adults and children.
    We have become a ‘mobile’ society and that requires energy and not from the use of animal strength but from the use of electricity. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a new cooker which is not all or part electrically operated.
    What is clear is the phenomena of the push for increased use of electricity is going hand in hand with the high level environmentally damaging battery’s!!!
    Go figure, try to save the earth one way and destroy it the next and it seems many of those pushing for the so called ‘clean’ energy choice of wind and solar are also right behind the increasing need for electricity and batteries.
    These days its seems it’s becoming more and more a case of to have one you need the other to back it up.
    It could be thought those at the face of the push to go ‘clean’ have an ulterior motive – other than to save the worlds environment.

  2. It is profoundly odd that the energy suppliers are being coerced by the Green Movement to invest in technology which does NOT produce energy and in fact consumes it.

  3. Let’s be clear about this THERE IS NO DEMAND FOR UNRELIABLE ENERGY. Dancing around that fact by clothing the so called intermittent renewables in very expensive and attractive apparel will achieve little.
    Eventually the Emperor will be revealed in nakedness.

  4. ronaldsteinptsadvancecom says:

    Wind and solar can only produce electricity, and intermittent electricity at best. They CANNOT manufacture the oil derivatives that are the basis of more than 6,000 products that are the basis on daily lives and the worldwide economy.

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