Posted: March 2, 2019 Filed under: Climatism, Energy Poverty, Environmentalism, Fact Check, Failed Green Schemes, Govt Climate Agenda, Green Energy, Green New Deal, Nuclear, Renewables, Solar, Unreliables, Wind Farms | Tags: Climate Change, Climatism, Energy, Energy Density, Energy Poverty, environment, Failed Green Schemes, Global Warming, Industrial Wind, Michael Shellenberger, nature, Nuclear, Renewable energy, renewables, RET, Science and Environment, Solar panels, Solar PV, unreliables, Wind Energy, Wind Farms, wind power
“REMEMBER when we paved the world with electronic waste
that chopped eagles and condors and made bats extinct
because we thought wind was natural and uranium evil?
– man that was a dark age!”
– Michael Shellenberger
ONE of the great falsehoods and dangerous myths pushed by reckless
global warming climate change zealots and the mainstream media is that ‘renewable energy’ – wind and solar – is “clean, green and renewable”.
‘RENEWABLES’ are neither “clean, green, or renewable”. In fact, they are pure embodiments of fossil fuel technology, with oil and coal derivatives required for :
SEE : WHAT I See When I See a Wind Turbine | Climatism
WIND and solar power are incredibly land intensive owing to the inherent low-energy density of their electrons. And, the small fact that the sun only shines and the wind only blows 10-40% of the time.
HOW much land and how many wind turbines would be needed just to supply the planets ‘new’ demand for energy?
If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.
At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.
WIND TURBINES Are Neither Clean Nor Green And They Provide Zero Global Energy | Climatism
IF Greens love nature, why aren’t they more concerned about carpeting pristine landscapes with industrial wind turbines?
“SAVING THE PLANET”
IF ‘Greens’ were serious about “Saving The Planet”, they would be embracing (CO2-free) nuclear energy.
THE fact that they are not, says a lot about today’s New Green Climate Warrior – concerned more about totalitarian power and control than tangible care of the physical environment.
IMHO, ‘Climate Change’ has absolutely nothing to do with the environment or “Saving The Planet”. If it did, every
global warming climate change bedwetter would be castigating China for unlimited emissions until 2030.
CLIMATE CHANGE activism has everything to do with economic, political and cultural power and control.
THIS brilliant piece from (old-school) environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has been touring social and mainstream media in a big way, and rightly so, but wanted to pin it here for Climatism followers to enjoy and hopefully share with friends, family and their local energy/environment representative!
From Quillette :
Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet
When I was a boy, my parents would sometimes take my sister and me camping in the desert. A lot of people think deserts are empty, but my parents taught us to see the wildlife all around us, including hawks, eagles, and tortoises.
After college, I moved to California to work on environmental campaigns. I helped save the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocked a proposed radioactive waste repository set for the desert.
In 2002, shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate myself to addressing climate change. I was worried that global warming would end up destroying many of the natural environments that people had worked so hard to protect.
I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward: solar panels on every roof, electric cars in every driveway, etc. The main obstacles, I believed, were political. And so I helped organize a coalition of America’s largest labor unions and environmental groups. Our proposal was for a $300 billion dollar investment in renewables. We would not only prevent climate change but also create millions of new jobs in a fast-growing high-tech sector.
Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.
The first was around land use. Electricity from solar roofs costs about twice as much as electricity from solar farms, but solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, threatened local communities, and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.
Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.
Happily, there were a lot of people working on solutions. One solution was to convert California’s dams into big batteries. The idea was that, when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, you could pump water uphill, store it for later, and then run it over the turbines to make electricity when you needed it.
Other problems didn’t seem like such a big deal, on closer examination. For example, after I learned that house cats kill billions of birds every year it put into perspective the nearly one million birds killed by wind turbines.
It seemed to me that most, if not all, of the problems from scaling up solar and wind energies could be solved through more technological innovation.
But, as the years went by, the problems persisted and in some cases grew worse. For example, California is a world leader when it comes to renewables but we haven’t converted our dams into batteries, partly for geographic reasons. You need the right kind of dam and reservoirs, and even then it’s an expensive retrofit.
A bigger problem is that there are many other uses for the water that accumulates behind dams, namely irrigation and cities. And because the water in our rivers and reservoirs is scarce and unreliable, the water from dams for those other purposes is becoming ever-more precious.
Without large-scale ways to back-up solar energy California has had to block electricity coming from solar farms when it’s extremely sunny, or pay neighboring states to take it from us so we can avoid blowing-out our grid.
Despite what you’ve heard, there is no “battery revolution” on the way, for well-understood technical and economic reasons.
As for house cats, they don’t kill big, rare, threatened birds. What house cats kill are small, common birds, like sparrows, robins and jays. What kills big, threatened, and endangered birds—birds that could go extinct—like hawks, eagles, owls, and condors, are wind turbines.
In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with.
Solar farms have similarly large ecological impacts. Building a solar farm is a lot like building any other kind of farm. You have to clear the whole area of wildlife.
In order to build one of the biggest solar farms in California the developers hired biologists to pull threatened desert tortoises from their burrows, put them on the back of pickup trucks, transport them, and cage them in pens where many ended up dying.
As we were learning of these impacts, it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.
You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural.
Dealing with energy sources that are inherently unreliable, and require large amounts of land, comes at a high economic cost.
There’s been a lot of publicity about how solar panels and wind turbines have come down in cost. But those one-time cost savings from making them in big Chinese factories have been outweighed by the high cost of dealing with their unreliability.
Consider California. Between 2011–17 the cost of solar panels declined about 75 percent, and yet our electricity prices rose five times more than they did in the rest of the U.S. It’s the same story in Germany, the world leader in solar and wind energy. Its electricity prices increased 50 percent between 2006–17, as it scaled up renewables.
I used to think that dealing with climate change was going to be expensive. But I could no longer believe this after looking at Germany and France.
Germany’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009, despite an investment of $580 billion by 2025 in a renewables-heavy electrical grid, a 50 percent rise in electricity cost.
Climatism support :
SEE also : IF CO2’s Your Poison, Renewable Energy Is No Antidote | Climatism
Meanwhile, France produces one-tenth the carbon emissions per unit of electricity as Germany and pays little more than half for its electricity. How? Through nuclear power.
Then, under pressure from Germany, France spent $33 billion on renewables, over the last decade. What was the result? A rise in the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and higher electricity prices, too.
What about all the headlines about expensive nuclear and cheap solar and wind? They are largely an illusion resulting from the fact that 70 to 80 percent of the costs of building nuclear plants are up-front, whereas the costs given for solar and wind don’t include the high cost of transmission lines, new dams, or other forms of battery.
It’s reasonable to ask whether nuclear power is safe, and what happens with its waste.
It turns out that scientists have studied the health and safety of different energy sources since the 1960s. Every major study, including a recent one by the British medical journal Lancet, finds the same thing: nuclear is the safest way to make reliable electricity.
Strange as it sounds, nuclear power plants are so safe for the same reason nuclear weapons are so dangerous. The uranium used as fuel in power plants and as material for bombs can create one million times more heat per its mass than its fossil fuel and gunpowder equivalents.
It’s not so much about the fuel as the process. We release more energy breaking atoms than breaking chemical bonds. What’s special about uranium atoms is that they are easy to split.
Because nuclear plants produce heat without fire, they emit no air pollution in the form of smoke. By contrast, the smoke from burning fossil fuels and biomass results in the premature deaths of seven million people per year, according to the World Health Organization.
Even during the worst accidents, nuclear plants release small amounts of radioactive particulate matter from the tiny quantities of uranium atoms split apart to make heat.
Over an 80-year lifespan, fewer than 200 people will die from the radiation from the worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl, and zero will die from the small amounts of radiant particulate matter that escaped from Fukushima.
As a result, the climate scientist James Hanson and a colleague found that nuclear plants have actually saved nearly two million lives to date that would have been lost to air pollution.
Thanks to its energy density, nuclear plants require far less land than renewables. Even in sunny California, a solar farm requires 450 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a nuclear plant.
Energy-dense nuclear requires far less in the way of materials, and produces far less in the way of waste compared to energy-dilute solar and wind.
A single Coke cans worth of uranium provides all of the energy that the most gluttonous American or Australian lifestyle requires. At the end of the process, the high-level radioactive waste that nuclear plants produce is the very same Coke can of (used) uranium fuel. The reason nuclear is the best energy from an environmental perspective is because it produces so little waste and none enters the environment as pollution.
All of the waste fuel from 45 years of the Swiss nuclear program can fit, in canisters, on a basketball court-like wearhouse, where like all spent nuclear fuel, it has never hurt a fly.
By contrast, solar panels require 17 times more materials in the form of cement, glass, concrete, and steel than do nuclear plants, and create over 200 times more waste.
We tend to think of solar panels as clean, but the truth is that there is no plan anywhere to deal with solar panels at the end of their 20 to 25 year lifespan.
Experts fear solar panels will be shipped, along with other forms of electronic waste, to be disassembled—or, more often, smashed with hammers—by poor communities in Africa and Asia, whose residents will be exposed the dust from toxic including lead, cadmium, and chromium.
Wherever I travel in the world I ask ordinary people what they think about nuclear and renewable energies. After saying they know next to nothing, they admit that nuclear is strong and renewables are weak. Their intuitions are correct. What most of us get wrong—understandably — is that weak energies are safer.
But aren’t renewables safer? The answer is no. Wind turbines, surprisingly, kill more people than nuclear plants.
In other words, the energy density of the fuel determines its environmental and health impacts. Spreading more mines and more equipment over larger areas of land is going to have larger environmental and human safety impacts.
It’s true that you can stand next to a solar panel without much harm while if you stand next to a nuclear reactor at full power you’ll die.
But when it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike.
Our intuitive sense that sunlight is dilute sometimes shows up in films. That’s why nobody was shocked when the recent remake of the dystopian sci-fi flick, “Blade Runner,” opened with a dystopian scene of California’s deserts paved with solar farms identical to the one that decimated desert tortoises.
Over the last several hundred years, human beings have been moving away from what matter-dense fuels towards energy-dense ones. First we move from renewable fuels like wood, dung, and windmills, and towards the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas, and eventually to uranium.
Energy progress is overwhelmingly positive for people and nature. As we stop using wood for fuel we allow grasslands and forests to grow back, and the wildlife to return.
As we stop burning wood and dung in our homes, we no longer must breathe toxic indoor smoke. And as we move from fossil fuels to uranium we clear the outdoor air of pollution, and reduce how much we’ll heat up the planet.
Nuclear plants are thus a revolutionary technology—a grand historical break from fossil fuels as significant as the industrial transition from wood to fossil fuels before it.
The problem with nuclear is that it is unpopular, a victim of a 50 year-longconcerted effort by fossil fuel, renewable energy, anti-nuclear weapons campaigners, and misanthropic environmentalists to ban the technology.
In response, the nuclear industry suffers battered wife syndrome, and constantly apologizes for its best attributes, from its waste to its safety.
Lately, the nuclear industry has promoted the idea that, in order to deal with climate change, “we need a mix of clean energy sources,” including solar, wind and nuclear. It was something I used to believe, and say, in part because it’s what people want to hear. The problem is that it’s not true.
France shows that moving from mostly nuclear electricity to a mix of nuclear and renewables results in more carbon emissions, due to using more natural gas, and higher prices, to the unreliability of solar and wind.
Oil and gas investors know this, which is why they made a political alliance with renewables companies, and why oil and gas companies have been spending millions of dollars on advertisements promoting solar, and funneling millions of dollars to said environmental groups to provide public relations cover.
What is to be done? The most important thing is for scientists and conservationists to start telling the truth about renewables and nuclear, and the relationship between energy density and environmental impact.
Bat scientists recently warned that wind turbines are on the verge of making one species, the Hoary bat, a migratory bat species, go extinct.
Another scientist who worked to build that gigantic solar farm in the California desert told High Country News, “Everybody knows that translocation of desert tortoises doesn’t work. When you’re walking in front of a bulldozer, crying, and moving animals, and cacti out of the way, it’s hard to think that the project is a good idea.”
I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from a naturalistic fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.
Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?
Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organization. Follow him on Twitter
Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet – Quillette
SHELLENBERGER Related :
SEE also :
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Posted: February 4, 2019 Filed under: Climatism, Energy Poverty, Fact Check, Failed Green Schemes, Government Grants/Funding, Green Agenda, Green Energy, Renewables, RET, Solar, Unreliables, Wind Farms | Tags: Climate Change, Climatism, Energy, Energy Poverty, Energy Security, Failed Green Schemes, Fuel Poverty, Global Warming, Government grants, Green Energy Failure, Industrial Wind, Minnesota, Renewable energy, renewables, RET, solar, Solar panels, Solar PV, unreliables, wind, Wind Energy, Wind Farms, wind power
“Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.” – Top Google engineers
“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” – Warren Buffett
“Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” – James Hansen (The Godfather of global warming alarmism and former NASA climate chief)
A MUST READ for all policy makers if they have any respect for the families, workers and the most vulnerable in their communities whose lives are being broken as a consequence of the mad rush into feel-good UNreliables – wind and solar ‘power’…
WHY “GREEN” ENERGY IS FUTILE, IN ONE LESSON
JANUARY 31, 2019 IN ENERGY POLICY, ENVIRONMENT
Here in Minnesota, we are enduring a brutal stretch of weather. The temperature hasn’t gotten above zero in the last three days, with lows approaching -30. And that is in the Twin Cities, in the southern part of the state. Yesterday central Minnesota experienced a natural gas “brownout,” as Xcel Energy advised customers to turn thermostats down to 60 degrees and avoid using hot water. Xcel put up some customers in hotels. Why?
Because the wind wasn’t blowing. Utilities pair natural gas plants with wind farms, in order to burn gas, which can be ramped up and down more quickly than coal, when the wind isn’t blowing.
Which raises the question: since natural gas is reliable, why do we need the wind farms? The answer is, we don’t. When the wind isn’t blowing–as it wasn’t yesterday–natural gas supplies the electricity. It also heats homes, and with bitter cold temperatures and no wind, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The resulting “brownout” has been a political shock in Minnesota.
Isaac Orr, a leading energy expert who is my colleague at Center of the American Experiment, explains this phenomenon in detail:
[W]ind is producing only four percent of electricity in the MISO region, of which Minnesota is a part.
While that’s not good, what’s worse is wind is only utilizing 24 percent of its installed capacity, and who knows how this will fluctuate throughout the course of the day.
Coal, on the other hand, is churning out 45 percent of our power, nuclear is providing 13 percent, and natural gas is providing 26 percent of our electricity.
This is exactly why the renewable energy lobby’s dream of shutting down coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants and “replacing” them with wind and solar is a fairy tale. It simply cannot happen, because we never know if and when the wind will blow or the sun will shine when we need it most.
“But the wind is always blowing somewhere” ~ a renewable energy lobbyist
Renewable energy apologists often argue that although the wind may not be blowing in your neighborhood, it’s blowing, somewhere. All we have to do, they argue, is build wind turbines and transmission lines all over the country so we can have renewable energy everywhere. It turns out this old chestnut is also completely wrong.
For example, the wind isn’t blowing in North Dakota or South Dakota, where more than 1,800 MW (a massive amount) of wind projects are operating or planned, at massive cost, by Minnesota electric companies.
In fact, the wind isn’t blowing anywhere.
Just look at California, the state that is consistently the most self-congratulating about how “green” they are. Wind is operating a 3 percent of installed capacity, solar is operating at 12 percent, natural gas is running wide open, and California is importing a whopping 27 percent of its electricity from Nevada and Arizona.
Days like today perfectly illustrate why intermittent, unreliable sources of energy like wind and solar would have no place in our energy system if they were not mandated by politicians, showered with federal subsidies, and lining the pockets of regulated utilities that are guaranteed to profit off wind and solar farms whether they are generating electricity, or not.
Isaac’s real-world message is starting to break through, at least here in Minnesota. Tomorrow morning the Star Tribune is running Isaac’s op-ed headlined “Bitter cold shows reliable energy sources are critical.”
Lawmakers considering doubling Minnesota’s renewable energy mandate to 50 percent by 2030 should use this week’s weather as a moment to reconsider their plans to lean so heavily on wind and solar.
[C]oal-fired power plants provided 45 percent of MISO’s power and nuclear provided 13 percent — most of this from Minnesota’s Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear plants (which we should keep open, by the way). Natural gas provided 26 percent of our electricity use at that time, and the remainder was imported from Canada and other U.S. states.
Natural gas also heated the homes of approximately 66 percent of Minnesotans this week, by far the most for any home heating fuel, but there wasn’t enough gas to combat the frigid temperatures.
Because of the extreme cold, Xcel Energy urged its natural gas customers in Becker, Big Lake, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Princeton and Isanti to reduce the settings on their thermostats, first down to 60 degrees, then to 63, through Thursday morning to conserve enough natural gas to prevent a widespread shortage as temperatures remained 14 below zero. Some Xcel customers in the Princeton area lost gas service, and Xcel reserved rooms for them in nearby hotels.
This week’s urgent notice from Xcel to conserve natural gas shows there is real danger in putting all of our eggs into the renewables-plus-natural gas basket. At a minimum, pursuing a grid powered entirely by solar, wind and natural gas would require more natural gas pipeline capacity, which is likely to be opposed by the factions that are currently challenging the replacement of the Line 3 pipeline.
If Minnesota lawmakers are sincere in their belief that we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible, they must lift Minnesota’s ban on new nuclear power plants, which has been in place since 1994.
Not only would nuclear power plants be essentially guaranteed to run in minus-24-degree weather, but a forthcoming study by American Experiment has found that new nuclear power plants could not only achieve a lower emissions rate by 2030, but also save Minnesota $30.2 billion through 2050.
Stay tuned. We will release that report in two weeks. I think it will be a bombshell, not only in Minnesota but in other states that are fecklessly mandating ever-higher utilization of intermittent, unreliable, inefficient “green” energy.
UNreliables related :
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