Study: it takes 10 units of alternative electricity sources to offset 1 unit of fossil fuel-generated power

From the University of Oregon a clue as to why green energy isn’t making much inroads. For example, compare these findings to what we learned recently from Matt Ridley about the big fat zero of wind power in the bigger scheme of things.

Wind and other alternate energy is essentially no more than a rounding error.   – Anthony

Focus on technology overlooks human behavior when addressing climate change

Study shows it takes 10 units of alternative electricity sources to offset a unit of fossil fuel-generated power

EUGENE, Ore. — Technology alone won’t help the world turn away from fossil fuel-based energy sources, says University of Oregon sociologist Richard York. In a newly published paper, York argues for a shift in political and economic policies to embrace the concept that continued growth in energy consumption is not sustainable.

Many nations, including the United States, are actively pursuing technological advances to reduce the use of fossil fuels to potentially mitigate human contributions to climate-change. The approach of the International Panel on Climate Change assumes alternative energy sources — nuclear, wind and hydro — will equally displace fossil fuel consumption. This approach, York argues, ignores “the complexity of human behavior.”

Based on a four-model study of electricity used in some 130 countries in the past 50 years, York found that it took more that 10 units of electricity produced from non-fossil sources — nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar — to displace a single unit of fossil fuel-generated electricity.

“When you see growth in nuclear power, for example, it doesn’t seem to affect the rate of growth of fossil fuel-generated power very much,” said York, a professor in the sociology department and environmental studies program. He also presented two models on total energy use. “When we looked at total energy consumption, we found a little more displacement, but still, at best, it took four to five units of non-fossil fuel energy to displace one unit produced with fossil fuel.”

For the paper — published online March 18 by the journal Nature Climate Change — York analyzed data from the World Bank’s world development indicators gathered from around the world. To control for a variety of variables of economics, demographics and energy sources, data were sorted and fed into the six statistical models.

Admittedly, York said, energy-producing technologies based on solar, wind and waves are relatively new and may yet provide viable alternative sources as they are developed.

“I’m not saying that, in principle, we can’t have displacement with these new technologies, but it is interesting that so far it has not happened,” York said. “One reason the results seem surprising is that we, as societies, tend to see demand as an exogenous thing that generates supply, but supply also generates demand. Generating electricity creates the potential to use that energy, so creating new energy technologies often leads to yet more energy consumption.”

Related to this issue, he said, was the development of high-efficiency automobile engines and energy-efficient homes. These improvements reduced energy consumption in some respects but also allowed for the production of larger vehicles and bigger homes. The net result was that total energy consumption often did not decrease dramatically with the rising efficiency of technologies.

“In terms of governmental policies, we need to be thinking about social context, not just the technology,” York said. “We need to be asking what political and economic factors are conducive to seeing real displacement. Just developing non-fossil fuel sources doesn’t in itself tend to reduce fossil fuel use a lot — not enough. We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

The findings need to become part of the national discussion, says Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation at the UO. “Research from the social sciences is often lost in the big picture of federal and state policymaking,” she said. “If we are to truly solve the challenges our environment is facing in the future, we need to consider our own behaviors and attitudes.”

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127 Responses to Study: it takes 10 units of alternative electricity sources to offset 1 unit of fossil fuel-generated power

  1. CodeTech says:

    Sorry, but this is one of the more obvious findings of basic, uneducated human psychology.

    People don’t consider energy consumption. They buy things, they plug them in. Period. I don’t actually CARE where the electricity comes from, and neither do most normal people. I pay a bill. If I can afford the energy-consuming gadget, gizmo, TV, or whatever, then I can afford to power it as well.

    Not only that, but I find it horrendously irresponsible that utilities fail to provide increased capacity to handle new construction, new subdivisions, increased demand because of plasma screens or whatever comes along. We need electricity to separate us from the third world. Increasing the price without actually increasing the capacity should be against the law.

    If the people wetting their panties over CO2 emissions just understood even the most basic aspects of human nature they would realize this. I don’t WANT to have my behavior altered to “save energy”, especially not by people whose motives are suspect. I highly resent people telling me to “go green”, especially people barely intelligent enough to comprehend their own waste.

    The whole thing about more efficient engines leading to larger vehicles should have been about the most obvious outcome imaginable. It says something about the thought processes of anyone who would think otherwise.

  2. R Barker says:

    To many sociologists have been influencing energy solutions in Europe and the US for several dacades. Why will more of their “solutions” not continue to make our situation worse. A free market in energy solutions is worth a try.

  3. Filter out the sociology jargon and this is economics 101. Except where they display their ignorance of economics.

    York said. “One reason the results seem surprising is that we, as societies, tend to see demand as an exogenous thing that generates supply, but supply also generates demand. Generating electricity creates the potential to use that energy, so creating new energy technologies often leads to yet more energy consumption.”

    No it doesn’t.

    What is happening is that new energy technologies require additional energy consuming activities that are not otherwise measured. For example, a maintenance worker has to repeatedly drive out to a wind farm to perform various monitoring and maintenance functions. Or in a case I know about, drive 2,000 Ks to get a spare part.

  4. John W. says:

    “… it took more that 10 units of electricity produced from non-fossil sources — nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar — to displace a single unit of fossil fuel-generated electricity.”

    Well, that makes sense. Those watts from coal and oil are blue collar, so they’re probably bigger and stronger than the wimpy watts from other sources. I’ll bet the fossil watts even bring guns when the non-fossil watts are expecting a knife fight. Just another example of what happens when well bred, socially acceptasble PC watts go up against bitter clinger watts.

    Of course, nonsense like this would come from a “sociologist Richard York.” If nobody explains the concepts of energy density, base load, peak load, etc. to him, he’ll likely remain mystified.

  5. ROM says:

    “Study: it takes 10 units of alternative electricity sources to offset 1 unit of fossil fuel-generated power;”
    Perhaps this is one reason why!
    From a very comprehensive study on UK wind power under the auspices of the “John Muir Trust”
    Analysis of UK wind Power Generation [ http://www.jmt.org/assets/pdf/wind-report.pdf ]
    Quoting from this study;

    This analysis uses publicly available data for a 26 month period between November
    2008 and December 2010 and the facts in respect of the above assertions are:

    1. Average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and 24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive.

    2. There were 124 separate occasions from November 2008 till December 2010 when total generation from the windfarms metered by National Grid was less than 20MW. (Average capacity over the period was in excess of 1600MW).

    3. The average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November
    2008 and December 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours.

    4. At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand.

    5. The entire pumped storage hydro capacity in the UK can provide up to 2788MW for only 5 hours then it drops to 1060MW, and finally runs out of water after 22 hours.

    During the study period, wind generation was:
    • below 20% of capacity more than half the time.
    • below 10% of capacity over one third of the time.
    • below 2.5% capacity for the equivalent of one day in twelve.
    • below 1.25% capacity for the equivalent of just under one day a month.
    The discovery that for one third of the time wind output was less than 10% of capacity, and
    often significantly less than 10%, was an unexpected result of the analysis.

  6. Stefan says:

    The real fun starts when people start squabbling over what to turn off.

    Once you’ve donned your woolies, turned the heating down a bit, jumped on the bus, gone to the farmers market and bought local veggies, plus crossed this year’s holiday flight off your diary, what’s left to cut?

    Say a measly 5% cut isn’t enough. Say we need to cut 50%. Who’s up for leccy rationing, say, 4 hours a day of use? Gas rationing? Water rationing? Rationing of all products?

    Who’s up for removing most products involving steel production and other energy intensive processes?

    Just how much of this mythical “wastage” is behaviour change supposed to prevent?

    As the math guy pointed out, if a lot of people make a small change, it all adds up globally to a… small change.

  7. higley7 says:

    Build all the electrical power production you want but I will still need fuel for my car, buses, trains, planes, and trucks.

    Electrical vehicles are not going to happen in a big way because the energy density of batteries will never equal the chemical potential energy of hydrocarbons. Only electric trains work because they follow the circuit, which has limited utility in a big country.

    Of course, the UN”s goal would be to have the entire 500 million of the Earth’s population living along electrical train routes and the other >75% of the planet would be a wild forbidden reserve.

  8. Bob says:

    Sounds a bit like a chicken/egg argument. If you didn’t have all that energy, you wouldn’t want the energy consuming devices; if you didn’t have those energy consuming devices, you wouldn’t want all that energy. Takes a professor of sociology and environmental studies to figure out that the preferred energy sources are better than the new and so-called environmentally friendly ones? What is sociology and environmental studies, anyway?

    BTW: Cute ad. The standard smoke stacks belching carbon pollution into the sky with banner about climate change deniers. Small picture, but it looks like that evil pollutant, water vapor, strikes again.

  9. Gaelan Clark says:

    Okay, so….10 renewable units for one 1 fossil.
    1 renewable costs 10 fossil.
    So……, how do we drive up the cost of fossil to reach renewable?
    Keep electing Democrats. Isn’t that correct Kalifornia?

  10. Bloke down the pub says:

    A simple way to greatly increase the amount of solar heating generated would be to improve the design of houses. In the UK, most of the new build housing is about the size of a rabbit hutch, with small windows which mostly don’t face South. Just a little bit of imagination from the builders could reduce the amount of energy required to heat the property. Where’s Kevin McCloud when you need him?

  11. richard verney says:

    The study merely shows that the roll out rate of alternative energy supplies is not keeping pace with society’s ever increasing demands for energy. That in itself is not a case against alternative energy. No doubt ‘greenies’ would argue that the study shows that more must be done to roll out alternative energy supplies quicker.

    Others have commented upon human nature and that most people simply buy consumer goods without thought of the energy consumption. That is no doubt correct.

    There is an important demographic issue here. For example, in the UK over the past 30 or so years there has been a significant increase in immigration leading to a significant increase in households. Further, during the same period, marriage has broken down and also there has been an increasing tendency to go it alone and to be a single parent. Again these trends have led to a significant increase in households. Where in the past you had one family unit with one TV, one fridge, one washing machine, one house to power, you now have many cases of double. This has happened a pace in the UK (and in many other countries) and this the real reason why energy supply has not kept track with demand.

    “York argues for a shift in political and economic policies to embrace the concept that continued growth in energy consumption is not sustainable.” I do not accept that argument. Continued growth in energy consumption is sustainable, at any rate for the next few hundred years. There is no shortage in nuclear. If nuclear was to be rolled out it could meet our energy demands.

    More significantly so can coal. There is at least a 1000 years worth of coal. It is now difficult to see the case against using coal. The warmists argue that the reason why temperatures have stalled these past 15 years notwithstanding China’s expansion is that aerosol emissions from their coal powered stations is a negative feedback. OK so let’s build coal station with Chinese emission control standards and then there will be no problem. Alternatively, if the reason why temperatures these past 15 years has stalled is down to natural variability and low CO2 sensitivity, then it follows that CO2 is not such a demon and again there is no case against the use of coal generation. Either way, it appears that coal has a future without the need for CCS.

    There will come a time when the politicians realise that they can no longer afford to bind themselves to the ‘greenies’ and their ‘casue’ and when that happens, we will have a sensible energy policy that will fully cope with future needs and demands.

  12. Curiousgeorge says:

    Perfect example of Jevons Paradox.

    ” Jevons paradox has been used to argue that energy conservation is futile, as increased efficiency may actually increase fuel use. Nevertheless, increased efficiency can improve material living standards. Further, fuel use declines if increased efficiency is coupled with a green tax or other conservation policies that keeps the cost of use the same (or higher).”

  13. Timbo says:

    Suppose we’d better get used to the smell of carbide lamps again.

  14. trbixler says:

    The obvious question is why do so many “research papers” buy the concept of CO2 driven AGW. Could it possibly be the huge amount of money spent on propaganda proclaiming that CO2 driven AGW is a problem.

  15. mfo says:

    Who can forget Richard Feynman on ‘social science’:

    A quick search of Richard York’s previous work reveals such gems as, Gender Equality and State Environmentalism:

    “The findings indicate that nations with higher proportions of women in Parliament are more prone to ratify environmental treaties than are other nations.”
    http://gas.sagepub.com/content/19/4/506.short

  16. hunter says:

    The assumption that energy policy is a significant influence on climate is one that should be challenged based on the lack of evidence supporting that particular part of AGW dogma.

  17. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    “We need to be asking what political and economic factors are conducive to seeing real displacement. Just developing non-fossil fuel sources doesn’t in itself tend to reduce fossil fuel use a lot — not enough. We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

    Mr. York left out something important, something he implies that will be needed for suppression of fossil fuel use. He left out police and military force. We, the citizens, need to guard against such.

    This isn’t new. EPA puts out a graphic and information regularly that shows it:

    http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html

    The graphic specifically is here:

    http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/images/comparison70.jpg

    The take-away is that energy use tracks population despite efficiency gains, with a recent drop for regulatory and economic reasons, but miles-driven tracks with GDP, and GDP growth exceeds energy use growth because of efficiency gains. Hmm… Not hard when you think about it a little.

    Regarding regulations, the graphic also shows that the air quality has improved EVERY YEAR since 1970. We have cleaner air than has ever been in our lifetime. Yet, the politicians, and especially the bureaucrats, say we need more regulation. I think it is obvious we passed the point of diminishing returns long ago. Our regulations are harming more people than air pollutants now.

  18. pat says:

    it’s all downside with our desal plants in Australia, now that the rains keep coming:

    14 March: Herald Sun: Stephen Drill: Wages, deadline blowout for Wonthaggi desalination plant
    THE wages bill for the troubled Wonthaggi desalination plant has blown out by $1.7 million a week, but the project is still expected to be a year late despite increased manpower.
    There are now 758 electricians on site, twice as many as last year when contractor Thiess Degremont sacked 160 of workers over low-productivity claims.
    Overall, the number of workers on the project is now 2870, well above original estimates that only 1700 would be needed to build the plant in two years.
    Workers on the desalination site, which has been described as a “treasure island”, make $4000 a week…
    But AquaSure, the consortium that has the overall contract, has demanded the State Government provide a $1.3 billion loan to refinance its debt, and a 12-month deadline extension.
    The desalination plant will cost Victorians $24 billion over 28 years through higher water bills…
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/wages-deadline-blowout-for-wonthaggi-desalination-plant/story-fn7x8me2-1226299537722

    9 March: Australian: Sarah Martin: Adelaide desal debt will take a century to pay down
    DEBT associated with the Adelaide desalination plant will take 100 years to be paid down by taxpayers, South Australia’s government-owned water utility has revealed…
    Opposition Treasury spokesman Iain Evans said South Australians would be paying for the plant for decades to come.
    “Water prices will pay for the operating costs and the debt costs, but the debt won’t change just because we are not using the water,” he said. “They have built a desal plant that is bigger than we needed, they have totally mismanaged the project and South Australians are going to be paying for that through water costs for a long time to come.”
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/adelaide-desal-debt-will-take-a-century-to-pay-down/story-e6frgczx-1226294107119

  19. polistra says:

    Interesting that solar heating beats the other hippie stuff, even though we don’t hear about it and nobody subsidizes it.

    If logic had any part in this, the method that works best would get the most subsidy.

    Trouble is, solar heat is more of a construction technique than a product, so there’s no way China can make money from it. Thus Western governments, whose sole purpose in life is to serve China, have no reason to help solar heat.

  20. Bill says:

    This sounds like a pretty crappy paper. But then again, it is social science. Yet it is published in a Nature sister journal. Very sad.

    At almost every sentence I have quite obvious objections to either the question they thought they were asking, the interpretation, or had obvious alternate explanations.

    And there suggestion is that “we” simply try to change people’s behavior through political and economic means.
    Why do I think this won’t be through voluntary actions and through persuasion? As long as they can get 51% of the 37% who vote to go along with something, they will try to impose all kinds of costly solutions on society for its own good, based on pretty crappy analysis.

    And no, I won’t elaborate. I have to go to work and finish my own manuscript on trying to develop a new class of antibiotics.

  21. Jim Clarke says:

    “We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

    Of course, the assumption in the above statement is that fossil fuel use leads to catastrophic man-made global warming. Since that assumption is obviously not true, there is no need to think about suppressing fossil fuel use, now, is there?

    Sometimes I think that the whole purpose of Academia is to take the West back to the Third World.

  22. Steve Keohane says:

    Technology alone won’t help the world turn away from fossil fuel-based energy sources, says University of Oregon sociologist Richard York. In a newly published paper, York argues for a shift in political and economic policies to embrace the concept that continued growth in energy consumption is not sustainable.

    Pure intellectual fantasy. To enforce this is a waste of resources that might otherwise keep some people alive, and certainly allow many a better standard of living.

  23. Gary says:

    Makes complete sense. “Alternative” energy sources are about ten times more diffuse than the concentrated sources (oil, gas, coal).

  24. wsbriggs says:

    Most importantly, now the change to coercive behavior modification is on the table. Just like in the “science” about pill-based behavior modification to keep us from eating beef, this is the opening shot for coercive taxation on energy consumption. They think they’ve got the kids indoctrinated enough to pull it off now.

  25. richard verney says:

    Many commentators have commented on human behavoir. In the UK we are rolling out smart meters to help inform people how much energy they are consuming and help persuade them to use less and hence save energy.. It will never work. People want to watch the TV. Sit in a room with lights, not have to fumble around a dark hallway for the landing light, want to be able to cook a meal, the kids do not wish to mix with adults and will watch TV, play games, surf and chat in their own room or den. This type of human behavoir will not change.

    The only way to save energy is to have a more energy efficient product. Washing machines (and this really means detergents) will need to be able to wash as efficiently at 15 to 20degC as they do now at 40 to 60degC. The amount of water used in the wash and rinse needs to be less, Ditto dish washers.

    There is a limit to efficieny savings due to the physics involved. Most kettles are about 3kw. You could have a 1kw kettle but it would save no energy since to boil enough water for a pot of tea would simply take 3 times as long. You need a fundamental change, such as the change to microwaves or perhaps sonic cleaning.

    It is a physical law of nature as to the amount of energy required to cool the volume of air within a fridge. Of course, insulation in fridges can be increased. However, when you want to get something out, you have to open the door and hence lose energy. It is these sort of problems that make it difficult to significantly increase efficiency of demoestic products.

    There is no doubt that new homes can be made more energy efficient with better insulation etc. However, for a country such as the UK where housing stock is old and of generally of poor quality, it will be difficult and very expensive to make much improvement on that front. Many of my neighbours who installed double glazing ended up with damp problems, alternatively had to fit many air bricks to allieviate the damp problem the fitting of which largely eroded the added insulation of double galzing! My wife being a smoker, we always have the window open so no point in fitting double galzing, but the upside is no damp.

    Electric cars are a non starter. My dad (who was a techno freak and so what eccentric) had one some 25 years ago. The batteries never lasted long and repeatedly required replacement. They were very expensive (gel type). It was OK around town. In fact it was a novelty and when my dad use to go to the pub or a restaurant, the pub/restaurant use to run an extension cable to my dad’s car so that he could recharge it. Even in the HIgh Street, some shops would do that! A few hours on charge made a big difference. Living in a mountainous area, the range was really no better than about 30 miles (particularly in winter) no matter what clams were made by the manufacturer. If electric cars are to have a future, interstates/motorways/trunk roads need to have a power supply like a tram or scale-electric car so that the electric car simply slots into that and the batteries are only used for the short trip to and from the inter-state/motorway/trunk road. .

    Green energy at present technological levels of efficiency is pie in the sky stuff.

  26. Tom J says:

    Richard York’s a sociologist, right? That’s all we need to know. And I doubt he knows much about his field either. One doesn’t just change the behavior of someone else.

  27. Dixon says:

    That graph rather neatly also explains why here in Oz we have some of the highest electricity prices in the world when we’re also sitting on almost unlimited amounts of coal. I’d wager we’d have one of the highest rates of solar PV uptake in the world, made possible by the massive incentives that made it a no-brainer investment if you happened to have the capital for the initial outlay.

    Result: the poor and taxpayers pay the utility companies to pay exorbitant rates for the pitiful amount of electricity generated by the wealthy. And you get a destabilised grid to boot. At least govnts have twigged and canned the subsidies. Of course the utilities can keep jacking up the prices as they wish. Anyone make small coal powered steam turbines? I might get one for our block, we can probably get the coal for a pittance!

  28. More Soylent Green! says:

    A few years ago, several area schools organized protests of the proposed coal-powered Sunflower electric plant being built in western Kansas. I always wanted to attend those protests and setup a booth where we collected the protesters personal electronics — cell phones, iPods, etc., — in order to demolish those devices and reduce the protesters’ needs for electricity.

    Anybody know why the Sunflower plant is to be built in western Kansas? It’s to supply electricity to Colorado. Seems the Colorado greens have managed to shut down new sources of conventional electricity generation in that state, but they haven’t reduced their need for the juice.

  29. “In terms of governmental policies, we need to be thinking about social context, not just the technology,” York said. “We need to be asking what political and economic factors are conducive to seeing real displacement. Just developing non-fossil fuel sources doesn’t in itself tend to reduce fossil fuel use a lot — not enough. We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

    Yeah, we need to study this miracle of carbon reduction. Plenty of social context, political and economic factors, ample suppression with next to no technology. A precarious combination which nevertheless seems to do the job.

  30. Pamela Gray says:

    That’s the ticket. Dress everyone in togas (the U of O is famous for togas), gift them each a pot of soil, and issue spades to every human. Don’t forget the “seeds”. That way we are sure to generate real intellectual, uber-expensive, high-end research technology needed in order to create a cheap renewable energy source. What these greenies grow they will smoke and leave the rest of us who work for a living to the task of inventing stuff.

  31. HenryP says:

    I WROTE ABOUT THIS AS WELL, I don’t like nuclear energy
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/nuclear-energy-not-save-and-sound

  32. richard verney says:

    @polistra says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:52 am
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////
    Solar thermal in the right country is very good and worthwhile. I am surprised that it is not more actively marketed.

    I am presently living in Spain and Solar Thermal is very popular. I am about to construct my own system, I have bought a few radiators (which I shall paint black and possibly but only if needed enclose in glass) and a central heating pump, with piping this has cost me less than GBP100 (about USD155) and I have a spare tank (so that was free). I have a suitable Sout/South West facing roof and I expect that this will provide all my hot water requirements year round. For example, this winter, December to March 21, we have had only 3 rainy days and perhaps a couple of cloudy days. Apart from that it has been sun every day and certainly sufficient to keep a tank fully warm. The sun is surprisingly quite strong even in late December/early January although the hours of sunshine are short. During this period we had a number of days in the mid twenty degC range which is much like a summer’s day in the UK!

    Even commercial units are only about GBP1000 (USD1555) I think including fitting and hence the pay back on investment can be measured in a few years. Further, the system is largely maintenance free.

    Solar is ideal for low grade heating (my swimming pool is solar heated) but not presently suitable for high energy demand and/or where electricty storage is required.

    I guess there is not sufficient profit (may be the subsidies are less) so that solar companies are not promoting them to the full. No doubt, the grid buy back/ feed in subsidy scam is financially a more lucrative market. A shame (but not altogether surprising in this mad eco world) since solar thermal for the consumer is a much more viable option (provided that the consumer lives in a sunny climate).

  33. acckkii says:

    Wind and Solar don’t have strong infrastructure as yet. Therefore as baby energy sources cannot be taken into account. So any comparison with fossil based fuels 1 to 10 less/more would be an issue when the subsidies on fossils are clearly specified. My question is why Independent Power Plants have stopped power generation and they receive their required power from government facilities except where the power is not available by the authorities. Is that due to subsidized power?

  34. Allan MacRae says:

    York said. “… We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

    One more idiotic statement from one more social dictator.

    York apparently does not understand that “alternative energy”, specifically grid-connect wind and solar power are so grossly expensive, inefficient and ineffective that they simply drive up electricity costs and destabilize the electric grid.

    Note the huge subsidies Ontario pays for this “alternative energy” nonsense:
    13.5¢/kWh for worthless wind power and 64.2¢/kWh for worthless solar power (Source – The Globe and Mail).

    To compare, natural gas-fired electric power can probably be generated today for about 4 cents per kWh.

    Furthermore, natural gas generated power is available when you need it, unlike erratic wind and solar power. Because wind and solar power are not available on demand, the actually amount of their subsidization is not “3-times” or “16-times” as the above ratios imply, it is much higher, perhaps hundreds of time more expensive.

    This is not new knowledge. We published this conclusion a decade ago, when we said
    “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
    http://www.apegga.org/Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

  35. James Sexton says:

    Sigh…. here’s the crux of the study….“We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

    The problems are two fold…. well many fold, but two are the starting points……first, their implementing the technology wrong. The way it’s deployed, it will never be successful.

    And secondly, and probably most importantly, for an economy to grow, economic activity must rise at a rate of about 3% annually.(depending upon population growth) So, for the renewables to be successful in extinguishing fossil fuel use, it must grow faster than the economic growth in terms of total energy used.

    Or, we can do like the author suggests and suppress human progress and prosperity, which was always the primary goal of this madness to begin with.

    Goodnes, there’s a bunch scumbags out there. Totalitarian Malthusian misanthropists.

  36. Greylensman says:

    I would love to know exactly how a smart meter informs you what your usage is and how to reduce your energy consumption. A standard meter does that. You read it in the morning, then read it the next day and you know how much you have used.

    So what is the big deal, I dont think there is any for the consumer, only for the provider.

  37. Lance says:

    I stopped reading at

    York, a professor in the sociology department and environmental studies program…

  38. Richard Day says:

    But think of the children!

    Meanwhile the dimwits running the province of Ontario hand over billions to Samsung to build essentially bird chopping machines.

  39. Tom_R says:

    “Generating electricity creates the potential to use that energy, so creating new energy technologies often leads to yet more energy consumption.”

    Energy is wealth. With abundant low-cost energy manufacturing stuff is cheap, and everyone benefits from lower costs. Obama’s $800B stimulus would have been much better spent on building nuclear power plants. Besides a short-term boost in construction jobs, there would have been a long-term boost in the US economy.

  40. GeoLurking says:

    Sorry, I lost interest after “sociologist” and “not sustainable.”

    Tell me when the government is going to get out of the way or how it wishes to cut back on it’s porcine like consumption of 38 billion dollars in average annual fuels taxes (≈ 48.5 cents per gallon national average. Federal State and Local)

    Tell me how that additional 555 million dollars in taxes (from using E10 rather than normal gasoline) is being wisely spent.

    Maybe then he will have my interest. Until then, he can go peddle his scam somewhere else.

  41. acckkii says:

    richard verney says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:30 am
    “I am presently living in Spain and Solar Thermal is very popular. I am about to construct my own system, I have bought a few radiators (which I shall paint black and possibly but only if needed enclose in glass) and a central heating pump, with piping this has cost me less than GBP100 (about USD155) and I have a spare tank (so that was free). I have a suitable South/South West facing roof and I expect that this will provide all my hot water requirements year round…..”

    1- Fossil fuels resources do not exist everywhere, and the advantage is the fuel can be taken everywhere and the infrastructure to do so is very well defined.
    2- Solar and wind are the same. But the resource cannot be transported. The advantage is no network and infrastructure is required.
    3- The US residential energy requirements is %4 of the total energy consumption which is a solar maintained energy.
    4- Subsidies is going to be a problem for the EU governments. Recently, Spain government has changed the regulation about the Renewable subsidies (including CHP). Because of this change and trying to anticipate the new regulation, micro CHP less than 5kWel is going to be an idea.
    http://smipp.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/mini-chp-mchp/

  42. Rod Everson says:

    Not going to take time to read all the comments, but hopefully someone else, too, pointed out that this is simple economics and that if we just allow free market pricing to prevail it will all sort itself out without the need of the bureaucrats intervening for “our own good.”

    As long as oil and gas remain relatively cheap, people will continue to use them. Right now, we’re discovering it faster than we’re using it, so it could stay relatively cheap for some time compared to alternatives. In fact, if something like cold fusion really comes into play, it could get even cheaper relative to alternatives in time.

    People need to relax, let the markets work by signaling excesses and shortages, let human ingenuity run amuck in response to the price signals, and we’ll all be fine in the end. On the other hand, if we let the bureaucrats get total control of “solving” this “crisis”…well, we’ve already had 500 or so years of “Dark Ages” created by bureaucrats; get ready for another run at it.

  43. acckkii says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:48 am
    “….Note the huge subsidies Ontario pays for this “alternative energy” nonsense:
    13.5¢/kWh for worthless wind power and 64.2¢/kWh for worthless solar power (Source – The Globe and Mail)…..To compare, natural gas-fired electric power can probably be generated today for about 4 cents per kWh. ”
    Any thermal based power generating system @ zero rate the fuel, just for Energy Convergence is min 4 cents/KWh and for Distributed Generators 6 cents/KWh. In the Mid East it is max around 8 cents/KWh. The energy for the GAS based generators is 1 M3 ~ 3.6 KWh. Considering the GAS unit price as whatever it cannot be less than 6 cents/KWh it comes 6+6=12 cents/KWh not subsidized, how much do you really pay? This is the subsidy amount. For the wind power that 64.2 cents/KWh should be revised, I did not get it. For solar it seems not so far from fossils as you say and if you agree with the above estimations.

  44. acckkii says:

    Rod Everson says:
    March 21, 2012 at 7:35 am
    “Not going to take time to read all the comments, but hopefully someone else, too, pointed out that this is simple economics and that if we just allow free market pricing to prevail it will all sort itself out without the need of the bureaucrats intervening for “our own good.”

    “As long as oil and gas remain relatively cheap, people will continue to use them. Right now, we’re discovering it faster than we’re using it, so it could stay relatively cheap for some time compared to alternatives. In fact, if something like cold fusion really comes into play, it could get even cheaper relative to alternatives in time. ”

    Great. This is true.

  45. We pay Richard York to write this? Science? WTF?
    “potentially mitigate human contributions to climate-change”?
    Is this a good reason for what?
    Most disinteresting piece in WUWT in a long time, sorry.

  46. Coach Springer says:

    I’ve yet to see it in comments, so I will say it directly. I reject the presumption that fossil fuel use is something to avoid. The primary argument for suppression is its limited resource. If we run out, we will run out. For the next 250 years, the problem is not depletion, but suppression based on presumption. Why?

    To reiterate another comment: Renewables are limited by their diffused nature – in other words, physics. To add to it, the real limits on nuclear are man-made by sociologists, politicians and other activists.

  47. Gail Combs says:

    Stefan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 4:33 am

    The real fun starts when people start squabbling over what to turn off.

    Once you’ve donned your woolies, turned the heating down a bit, jumped on the bus, gone to the farmers market and bought local veggies, plus crossed this year’s holiday flight off your diary, what’s left to cut?

    Say a measly 5% cut isn’t enough. Say we need to cut 50%. Who’s up for leccy rationing, say, 4 hours a day of use? …..
    ________________________________
    Stefan, the EU is not talking a 50% cut they are talking an 80% cut!!!

    Coal-reliant Poland on Friday vetoed European Union efforts to move further towards a low carbon economy, pitting itself against the rest of the 27-member bloc……

    Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the backing of almost the entire bloc was enough to allow the Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to keep working on further progress.
    “Twenty-six member states want us to move ahead with the low carbon road-map,” she told Reuters.
    To help fill the policy vacuum after a firm goal of a 20 percent carbon cut by 2020 expires, the roadmap lays out a route towards a long-term aim to reduce the bloc’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by the middle of the century…” Link

    I did an analysis of what the “aim to reduce the bloc’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by the middle of the century” actually means to the rest of us using the United States as an example since we are “The Big Emitters” targeted. I did it in response to a comment that:

    “The cost to reduce CO2 output by 80% has been calculated, and that’s the low end of numbers estimated to “remove” mankind’s footprint of warming…..”

    We get all types of “Soothing” crap from the propaganda machines and economic model projections about how it really is going to be “painless” So Let us look at what real facts tell us.

    The average for the USA is 335.9 million BTUs per person.Link (Our Total population: 246,081,000)

    In 1949, U.S. energy use per person stood at 215 million Btu.Link So that is still way too high. The U.S. in 1800 had a per-capita energy consumption of about 90 million Btu.Link (Total population: 5,308,483)

    If the USA reduces its energy consumption by 80% it equals 45.18 million Btu. per person. Given the increase in technology, nuclear and hydro power lets use the 1800 consumption level of about 90 million Btu. per person for reducing our CO2 foot print by 80%.

    What does that mean?
    This site helps us figure that out.

    Farmers made up about 90% of labor force in 1790 and 69% of labor force in 1800. (2.6% in 1990) In 1830 it took about 250-300 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail . In 1987 it took 2-3/4 labor-hours produce 100 bushels but that takes lots of oil.

    1810-30 saw the transfer of “manufacturing” from the farm and home to the shop and factory. So that means now centralized factories. It wasn’t until the 1840′s that we saw factory made farm machinery, labor saving devices and chemical fertilizers became common. It was in the 1860′s that kerosene lamps became popular. (Think replacing whale oil) Also up until the 1850′s dung and wood were the major source of energy. Link

    In other words for the USA to use HALF the energy per person that was used in 1800 we must abandon ALL factories and 90% of the population must return to subsistence farming using animals. Solar and Wind just are not going to produce enough power to keep us in anything but a few lights and if we are lucky a refrigerator per village. FACTORIES use a huge amount of power and that is why cotton mills and other primitive factories were built on rivers.

    Anyone who tries to tell you differently is talking baffle gab because at present less than 9% of the US labor force is in manufacturing. The USA (and the EU) has already gotten rid of most of its really energy intense industry like smelting the ores to make machines. The USA shipped most of its factories overseas.

    To understand what they are actually trying to do Look at Sustania

    The small green areas on this map are where we would be allowed to live
    2009 bill Implementing the Wildlands Project

    Other Bills introduced to make it happen

    What the Wildlands Project has morphed into since it was “outed” The Rewilding Project

    To me it looks like we will be herded into “slave encampments” and denied the right of access to most of our country. That is what denying us Access to Energy is really all about reducing us back to SERFS with our “Blessings”

  48. Alex the skeptic says:

    In my country we have a phrase that we use to describe a futile and useless activity that produces nothing of value: >>SHOVELLING SUNSHINE<< This decribes perfectly the share that PV's have of the total global energy production (zero). It is just shovelling sunshine.

  49. More Soylent Green! says:

    acckkii says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:44 am
    Wind and Solar don’t have strong infrastructure as yet. Therefore as baby energy sources cannot be taken into account. So any comparison with fossil based fuels 1 to 10 less/more would be an issue when the subsidies on fossils are clearly specified. My question is why Independent Power Plants have stopped power generation and they receive their required power from government facilities except where the power is not available by the authorities. Is that due to subsidized power?

    You’re entirely off point. Wind and solar aren’t viable for large-scale power generation because they are unreliable. We have to build additional capacity into the system to make up for the fact that we can’t control when or where the wind blows or how sunny it will be. For every megawatt of capacity wind and solar are capable of generating, there needs to be another megawatt of on-demand electricity available. Do you have the money to pay for that extra generation capacity, to build it, staff it, maintain it? Does it really make sense to you to build an expensive solar plant and a backup gas-fired plant when you could just build the gas-fired plant instead?

    The fact that we have to build additional infrastructure for wind and solar makes them even more expensive.

  50. Gail Combs says:

    So that means now centralized factories => So that means no centralized factories.

  51. Eric Dailey says:

    Read this link to begin to find out why green policy advocates are so active in so many of our towns and counties. Your public officials are being wooed, sweet-talked and socialized to show how sophisticated they are by pushing green and sustainable programs on we ignorant proles.

    Texas Mayor Officially Cancels Agenda 21 Membership
    http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/texas-mayor-officially-cancels-agenda.html

  52. acckkii says:

    higley7 says:
    March 21, 2012 at 4:35 am

    “….Electrical vehicles are not going to happen in a big way because the energy density of batteries will never equal the chemical potential energy of hydrocarbons. Only electric trains work because they follow the circuit, which has limited utility in a big country…..”
    Electric Trains as you say still working with Fossils. These have combustion engines and if we are talking about underground railways, still there are fossils but outside the system and the power would be given by power plants. The issue is keeping clean the undergrounds stations, same should be done in greater cities suffering from high rates of air pollution. EVs are a must in such areas same as undergrounds. In every greater cities in the world 390 individuals are dieing because of air pollution. But you are right, still our favorite energy resource is fossil.
    http://www.ford.com/technology/electric/
    http://www.caelusgreenroom.com/2012/01/10/kia-introduces-koreas-%EF%AC%81rst-production-electric-vehicle/
    Do you think we can drive faster than what our EV today are giving us in urban areas?

  53. MikeN says:

    How is oil 37%? I thought it was just 20% of emissions?

  54. James Ard says:

    Tomorrow is World Water Day. Imagine the good our institutions of higher learning could do if they would stop focusing on harmless co2 and instead work to solve the world’s water problems. Millions are dying from dirty drinking water. It’s a sad commentary on our society when so many must die because some elites want to get rich and powerful.

  55. Allencic says:

    These kinds of studies always start with the nonsensical assumption that “carbon” is the devil incarnate. When I hear anyone say “carbon” instead of carbon dioxide I know I’m speaking to a scientific nincompoop. Take aways the irrational and unscientific notion that carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are deadly for the Earth and there isn’t a single good reason not to use all the hydrocarbon and nuclear energy we can and dump once and for all the “green” crap.

  56. Slide2112 says:

    What he is saying is the Government needs to take a more active role in telling you how to live – you can’t buy a house bigger then X you can buy a car unless it is y, you have to pay more taxes to make alternate energy viable…Government will take care of you, don’t worry, Barry is on your side! Oh yea and Science says so….

  57. Bob Layson says:

    Any money saved on electricity bills thanks to insulation or the improved efficiency of electrical appliances merely allows one to buy and run more appliances. And where is the harm in that?

  58. acckkii says:

    More Soylent Green! says:
    March 21, 2012 at 8:05 am
    “You’re entirely off point….”
    1- windmills are not developed as yet this was my point of view.
    2- it’s not correct sometimes it is possible to get the power same as a thermal power plant.
    The Greater Gabbard Wind Farm with 140 turbines generating 500MW for London is on the way.
    http://acckkii.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/the-greater-gabbard-wind-farm-with-140-turbines-generating-500mw-for-london/
    3- I’m not a pro wind/solar. But I pay less today to experimenting to get more in the future. Take this as part of the Research Budgets. Suppose the time your economy would not let you to proceed despite you have enough fossils.
    http://peakoil.com/consumption/the-impact-on-u-s-consumers-of-every-1%C2%A2-increase-in-gas-prices-1-billion/
    http://peakoil.com/generalideas/heinberg-fun-with-trends/
    “If current population trends continue . . .

    The population of the United States will increase to over 600 million by 2080, and in 2150 it will equal China’s present size.
    World population will achieve 14 billion by the year 2075 and 30 billion by 2150.

    If current energy trends continue . . .

    By 2015 China will be importing more oil than the United States does that year.
    By 2030 China will be absorbing all available global oil exports, leaving none for the US or Europe.
    In just 8 years China will be burning as much coal as the entire world uses today.
    Natural gas will be virtually free in the US by 2015.
    Officially assessed US natural gas reserves will be exhausted by 2025.

    If current economic trends continue . . .

    China’s economy will be 8 times as big as it is today by 2040.”

  59. Gail Combs says:

    More Soylent Green! says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:18 am

    A few years ago, several area schools organized protests of the proposed coal-powered Sunflower electric plant….
    Anybody know why the Sunflower plant is to be built in western Kansas? It’s to supply electricity to Colorado. Seems the Colorado greens have managed to shut down new sources of conventional electricity generation in that state, but they haven’t reduced their need for the juice.
    ____________________________________
    Seems that our best bet is to cut up the grid and leave each state on its own as far as energy production is concerned. Let Kalifornia, Kolorado, and the People’s Republic of Tassachusetts taste the consequences of their foolishness.

    Even better toss out the DOE and have each state determine what is acceptable. If we want Hydro or Coal or Nuclear, it should be up to the state it is located in and not up to the United Nations/District of Criminals.

  60. Allan MacRae says:

    acckkii says: March 21, 2012 at 7:42 am…

    Look here acckkii, as a residential customer I can LOCK IN 8.0 cents/kWh for FIVE YEARS, DELIVERED to my door
    https://www.enmax.com/Energy/Res/My+Account/Current+EasyMax+Rates.htm

    I suggest my 4 cents/kWh to generate electricity from natural gas, before delivery (distribution costs) is about right,; at the most it is 5-6 cents.

    The Ontario subsidies are also about right – I’ve seen them before,
    13.5¢/kWh for worthless wind power and 64.2¢/kWh for worthless solar power
    (Source – The Globe and Mail)
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/adam-radwanski/mcguinty-powers-up-a-compromise-on-renewable-energy-plan/article2368524/

    I think my comparisons are also about correct – the price paid to the wind and solar power generators is likely to be the wholesale price, before distribution – 13.5 cents (wind) and 62.4 cents (solar) compared to 4 cents (natural gas).

    I have work to do and will not respond further today.

  61. acckkii says:

    More Soylent Green! says:
    March 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

    “The fact that we have to build additional infrastructure for wind and solar makes them even more expensive.”
    Our demands would speak up in the future, we cannot measure it today, yes we guess the wind would not be cheaper than fossils by our today know-how. In offshore projects somehow there are hopes for windmills to be positive by now.
    Infrastructure for fossils are not the same as what it would be for windmills. There are many differences. I guessed you don’t have any problem on this. Do we have exploration, production a raw material, pipelines, ports, shipping, refinery, fuel distribution and network, transportation system, all sorts of appliances and …and ….. political matters, etc in windmills? Windmills are just starting and creating jobs, but Oil & Gas industries with millions of jobs are our existing powerful infrastructure it is our life style which we are familiar with all the aspects, how can we take it easy such an expanded and developed infrastructure? We are for example just starting to discuss about EVs, which still its source of energy is fossil.

  62. Gail Combs says:

    HenryP says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I WROTE ABOUT THIS AS WELL, I don’t like nuclear energy…
    ______________________________
    Henry, Please look into Thorium nuclear.

    Unlike many I live my convictions and can look out my window at a Nuclear Reactor Cooling Tower. My Husband is a physicist with life long friends with PhDs in the nuclear field. I have a friend who was the insurance agent for a nuclear plant up north and another who was safety engineer at Seabrook. We intentionally bought property near a nuclear plant BTW.

    A Thorium Reactor Design

    Could thorium make nuclear power safe?
    The world can have cheap nuclear power without Japan-level risks by swapping thorium for uranium, some scientists claim. Is that too good to be true?

    href=”http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf62.html”>Thorium – World Nuclear Association
    …Thorium fuel cycles offer attractive features, including lower levels of waste generation, less transuranic elements in that waste, and providing a diversification option for nuclear fuel supply. Also, the use of thorium in most reactor types leads to significant extra safety margins…”

    A report on Thorium: The newest of the technology metals

    An interesting discussion on thorium: Thorium, Is It Really Safe?

  63. acckkii says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    March 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

    “Look here acckkii, as a residential customer I can LOCK IN 8.0 cents/kWh for FIVE YEARS, DELIVERED to my door
    https://www.enmax.com/Energy/Res/My+Account/Current+EasyMax+Rates.htm
    I suggest my 4 cents/kWh to generate electricity from natural gas, before delivery (distribution costs) is about right,; at the most it is 5-6 cents.”
    1- this is a subsidized rate. distribution is nothing against the generating and fuel.
    2- you have monthly fixed admin charge. And In don’t know how much do you pay a month. This is just to guess why the rate is that much.
    3- if the plant is not DG, or the power generated in power plant is above 500MW it is reasonable.
    4- Look! there is a big difference between a DG and heavy duty power plant. DG is small power plant below 25MWh the production capacity depending on the country and the region.
    5- you are an off-taker (customer of ENMAX) for 5 years. This guaranteed purchase makes huge differences for the seller.
    6- what is this? Direct Energy Regulated Services 8.508 KWh $8.55 admin

  64. theduke says:

    James Sexton at 6:49 am has nailed it. Kudos, James.

    From the piece: “We need to be thinking about suppressing fossil fuel use rather than just coming up with alternatives alone.”

    There are two possible definitions for suppress in my Webster’s New World that might apply here: “to put down by force; subdue; quell; crush. To abolish by authority.” The other is: “to check the flow or discharge of; stop.”

    I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is referring to the latter. The idea that people will voluntarily agree to radically diminish their quality of life based on the dubious findings of contemporary climate science is ludicrous. Only in the ivory tower can you find lunatics who believe believe they would. It simply is not going to happen.

  65. Gail Combs says:

    acckkii says:
    March 21, 2012 at 8:46 am
    …“If current population trends continue . . .

    The population of the United States will increase to over 600 million by 2080, and in 2150 it will equal China’s present size….
    ______________________________________
    SIGH, That Malthusian cow manure again.

    If you want to make the population of the USA shrink CLOSE THE DARN BORDERS!

    Almost one-third of the current population growth is caused by net immigration. US Census

    US Census Chart of change in percent of population by race. Note the major rise in the Hispanic population:

    Replacement rate is normally considered to be 2 to 2.1 children per women. In developed countries, the necessary replacement rate is about 2.1.

    The term total fertility rate is used to describe the total number of children the average women in a population is likely to have based on current birth rates throughout her life…

    In developed countries, the necessary replacement rate is about 2.1. Since replacement can not occur if a child does not grow to maturity and have their own offspring, the need for the extra .1 child (a 5% buffer) per woman is due to the potential for death and those who choose or are unable to have children. In less developed countries, the replacement rate is around 2.3 due to higher childhood and adult death rates.

    From the CIA

    …The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population change in the country…

    United States – 2.06 2012 est.
    India – 2.58 2012 est.
    Panama – 2.43 2012 est.
    Ecuador – 2.38 2012 est
    Peru – 2.29 2012 est.

    It is our immigrants that are having all the extra kids not us. That is based not only on “Official” statistics but watching the large hispanic families that show up every weekend at the “Little Mexico” fleamarket/farmers market. And no I am not racist or against hispanics. It is NAFTA, a treaty signed by Clinton, that is causing the loss of their homes and the resulting migration.

  66. crosspatch says:

    “When you see growth in nuclear power, for example, it doesn’t seem to affect the rate of growth of fossil fuel-generated power very much,” said York

    Well DUH! That is because nuclear is actively restrained so it can not grow at the rate or faster than the rate of demand growth. What is the change in power demanded in the Western world since 1985 vs the rate of change in nuclear generation capacity? Why? Because of an irrational fear of nuclear power generation. How many people died at Fukushima? ZERO and that is a worst case scenario of THREE first generation plants malfunctioning at the same place at the same time. And the response of some people? Prevent or slow the fielding of newer plants that would have survived that scenario while keeping older plants working longer. It is pure insanity. We FINALLY see two new AP1000 plants now being built in Georgia but we still have the disposal problem because we aren’t recycling the spent fuel into new fuel.

    We could, right now, today, double the generation capacity in the US. We could eliminate the disposal problem, eliminate the proliferation problem (by poisoning fuel with P-240 which makes it useless for weapons but great for reactor fuel and nearly impossible to separate out of the fuel). It is insane. They actively prevent the building of more power capacity and then have the temerity to say that growth in demand can’t be sustained. It is like refusing to buy a child larger clothes as they grow and conclude that feeding them is unsustainable because it makes them outgrow their clothes.

    These people are nuts.

  67. acckkii says:

    Whatever – whoever causes the population growth in USA, something is happening, Heinberg the fun with trends is here:
    http://peakoil.com/generalideas/heinberg-fun-with-trends/
    BUT!
    Population was one of the important issues discussed n WUWT. You are referred to this site for more and better references.
    The rate of growth whatever and wherever it is, means there are some problems around the world. Population is almost like climate changes. No one can get rid of the problems that it makes even the racists.

  68. acckkii says:

    Gail Combs,
    the rates:
    United States – 2.06 2012 est.
    India – 2.58 2012 est.
    Panama – 2.43 2012 est.
    Ecuador – 2.38 2012 est
    Peru – 2.29 2012 est.
    could you please specify every how many years the population would be doubled in the named countries?

  69. The schematic being one of my favorites, here is a question for all proponents of Green energy:

    How many interconnected wind generators does it take to manufacture a single ball bearing?

    While waiting for the answer, I would pay money to find out how much conventional fuel is being replaced by wind generators in Hawai. In the Falklands, I hear it is about 6% (instead of the 40% initially claimed by the wind folks)

  70. Gail Combs says:

    acckkii says:
    March 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Gail Combs,…
    could you please specify every how many years the population would be doubled in the named countries?
    ___________________________________
    For the USA with a Fertility Rate of 2.06 there might be a slight decrease. We see that as the dynamics are shifting towards an older population in the USA and in the EU.

    With the other countries you would have to look at other statistics too such as infant mortality and the mortality of women. That is why the replacement rate is 2.1 in developed countries and “In less developed countries, the replacement rate is around 2.3 due to higher childhood and adult death rates”

    That CIA website has a lot of information on the subject. It surprised me to see how many “developing” countries had a Fertility Rate about 2 to 3. and how many western counties had a Fertility Rate of less than 2.
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html

    This also from that website:

    Remarks by John C. Gannon Chairman, National Intelligence Council,
    at the United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA
    January 24, 2001
    https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/2001/gannon_speech_01242001.html

    …Now, let me talk about broader global trends that will shape the world of 2015. The world in 2015 will be populated by some 7.2 billion people, up from 6.1 billion in the year 2000.

    More than 95 percent of the increase in world population will be found in developing countries:
    India’s population will grow from 900 million to more than 1.2 billion by 2015; Pakistan’s probably will swell from 140 million now to about 195 million.
    Some countries in Africa with high rates of AIDS will experience reduced population growth or even declining populations despite relatively high birthrates. In South Africa, for example, the population is projected to drop from 43.4 million in 2000 to 38.7 million in 2015.

    Russia and many post-Communist countries of Eastern Europe also will have declining populations….

    Right now the US Census estimate of the World Population = 7,001,947,222, so the guy is not far off. But somewhere I saw we can expect population to peak and then decline.

    Education and a decent standard of living are the key to halting and reversing over population.
    For example:
    Australia 1.77 2012 est.
    Canada 1.59 2012 est.
    Norway 1.77 2012 est.
    All the decent countries have a zero to negative population growth. We do not need draconian measures we just need civilization.

  71. David A. Evans says:

    Here in the UK, we have about 8 to 10 Gw of nuclear, (May be a little more,) but rarely more than 8Gw is running at any one time.

    Minimum load is about 30Gw, maximum about 60Gw. 45Gw of nuclear would be about right for the UK, especially if what I hear about throttle-able nukes is right. The rest would be CCGT plants to cover peak demand. As we already have over 30Gw of CCGT, all we need is the new nukes.

    Anyone talking about wind is on another planet.

    One problem with nuclear power is that the EU doesn’t consider them to be renewable energy and gives the plants a carbon equivalence number. Crazy as with recycling of fuel, more gets used & hence there is less waste as only about 1% of the Uranium in the fuel rods is used in each pass, (not a problem with LFTR if they ever get one working on a reasonable scale, also, at least in theory, LFTR can burn up the waste from Uranium reactors.)

    Back to wind power. I have seen outputs below 1% of plated capacity so 100% backup is required! Currently, output is just over 10% of installed metered capacity, set to drop to 5% or less in the next few hours.

    DaveE.

  72. Gail Combs says:

    David A. Evans says:
    March 21, 2012 at 11:33 am
    Here in the UK, we have about 8 to 10 Gw of nuclear, (May be a little more,) but rarely more than 8Gw is running at any one time.

    Minimum load is about 30Gw, maximum about 60Gw. 45Gw of nuclear would be about right for the UK, especially if what I hear about throttle-able nukes is right. The rest would be CCGT plants to cover peak demand. As we already have over 30Gw of CCGT, all we need is the new nukes.

    Anyone talking about wind is on another planet.

    One problem with nuclear power is that the EU doesn’t consider them to be renewable energy and gives the plants a carbon equivalence number….
    ____________________________
    I take then that the politicians in the EU are all in favor of shoving Europe back into the dark ages by force. Do they want to re-introduce the bubonic plague too…
    Oh I forgot Prince Philip already expressed that desire: ” In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation. “

  73. “suppressing fossil fuel use”

    Really, you have to wonder at these social-scientist chaps. You can’t make it up.

    As I like to say: “Government is force, and politics is threatening force.”

    Science, it seems, is a community of people feeding government with new scenarios for force.

  74. LarryD says:

    York should replace his computers with quill pens, soy ink, and abacii. That would reduce his energy consumption with sustainable substitutes.

  75. David A. Evans says:

    Gail Combs says:
    March 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Apart from the fact that the EU commission is an unelected body, (by definition not politicians,) you’ve got it Gail.

    DaveE.

  76. Gail Combs says:

    Christopher Chantrill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    ….Science, it seems, is a community of people feeding government with new scenarios for force.
    _________________________________
    If we manage to kill the Global Governance/CAGW beast, science is going to have a really black eye. I am a chemist, and I have become completely disgusted with “Scientists” and their “Professional Societies” and pal-reviewed “Professional Journals”.

  77. Jerrymat says:

    I think that any good student of human nature would predict that the human race will convert every drop of oil, every chunk of coal, every vapor of natural gas, and anything else that can be burned to produce energy. They will dig up all the radioactive materials that can be put into an atomic power plant and will dam every river with potential to generate electricity. (Maybe I should have written “damn every river.” They will build any type of power generator, no matter how inefficient, and finally go down wanting more. It is as simple an idea as predicting what a band of hungry dogs would do to a pen full of rabbits. The exact nature of our final decline is open to chance: maybe starvation, maybe crowding, maybe disease epidemic; it doesn’t really matter.
    Perhaps a few survivors will find an area where they can return to a hunter-gathering existence. If that happens a small human race can last a long time because the energy-rich sources that make technological civilization will be gone.

  78. Gail Combs says:

    Christopher Chantrill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm
    OT
    I followed the link to your site. When you say ” Pensions = $1.0 trillion” is that the amount we pay in pensions to politicians and government bureaucrats of various types? I take it the number does not include Social Security. One sixth of the government spending is a healthy chunk of change (and a really good bribe) so I was wondering.

    Speaking of Bureau -RATS, hope you have read Dr. Evan’s Climate Coup – the Politics at Joanne Nova’s site: http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/climate-coup-the-politics/

  79. Smokey says:

    Jerrymat says:

    “I think that any good student of human nature…” Which leaves you out.

    What you are writing is pure Luddite Malthusianism that is directly contradicted by reality. Parroting enviro scare stories has no place on the internet’s “Best Science” site.

    Take a look around. In every country with a relatively free market, increasing population brings increasing wealth and longer, healthier lives. Wherever you’re getting your misinformation, you ought to see that it is entirely fact-free nonsense.

  80. Johannes Herbst says:

    I lived in Tanzania, East Africa, for seven years. Many people there could just afford 1 Liter of kerosene for lighting with a kerosene lamp per one week – and this for a family with about 10 persons. I had a 10 Watt solar PV with some 5 and 10 Watt Halogen lights in our house. We were 7 persons and we used mostly one lamp for some hours in the evening.

    It was a quiet live. We had no TV. We red books to the children, and after they went to bed, we talked until we got tired as well. Sometimes I think we had a better live than here in Germany, using many KWH per day. We were aware about the amount of Energy which was avilable and we had coped to it.

    I have started to think about buying a Solar PV System again and to get independent from the power companies – the electricty bill here in Germany is going up steadily. Of course, we would not have the same amount of energy as now, but we would know about it. We would plan and discuss about it and have more interaction in the family because of it – like using the big consumers during sunlight and saving electricity for the night hours with some lights and small computers. But we have to discuss it in our family and to decide, if we will do that.

    Yes, use of energy is a social matter. The use of energy could be easily cut down 50% ore more. if people would be willing to work on that. I don’t say, that everybody has to do so. But for some people it is a worthy goal, and they enjoy living for it. It has nothing to do with saving the planet or avioding CO2. I think it is also a matter of freedom and independency.

    In some towns and villages here in Germany, the citicens have agreed to live per 100% on Renewable Energy. They do not depend on only source. They use PV, Wind, Hydo Power and Power Plants (for balancing PV and Wind), fired by biogas or wood chips, using the waste heat for heating their homes and getting warm water, It is working well, but the big task it the social one. Getting all the people together, with their different political opinions, let aside the usual social friction, which has to be overcome as well.

    On the other hand, many citiciens have become entrepreneurs and shareholders. The wind turbine and the powerplant is not an anonymus matter, but their property. And everybody is aware of energy and how to use it properly.

    Is there an conclusion? Let’s try: People can demand that somebody has to provide cheap energy, no matter what the real costs are. Or they can decide to make it to their own matter and getting independent. I think, the last way is more satisfying.

  81. Spector says:

    As long as we have them, I find no compelling reason to suppress the use of fossil or equivalent geo-carbon fuels. I think we should all recognize that our huge modern population is consuming these resources at a prodigious rate and we will soon (few generations) have to rely on another primary fuel or face a return to the stone age as predicted by the ‘Olduvai Theory’ (see the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olduvai_theory)

    It seems obvious to me, as indicated by the main article, that natural energy schemes will only support a small fraction of the world’s current population. The proponents of these schemes do not appear to be mentioning the major global population reduction implied by reliance on energy technologies that produce such a small portion of our current energy use.

    Based on the claims made by its proponents, thorium nuclear seems to be a real possibility as it appears to be practical, partially demonstrated and, barring unknown problems, indefinitely sustainable. At this time, I believe that no alternative artificial energy generation process should be overlooked. We should take the time to prove that these processes cannot be made to work now, while we still have the resources to do this.

    Lack of resources can be offset by abundant energy to ‘mine’ the oceans if required, but lack of energy can only be offset by fewer people using it.

  82. acckkii says:

    Gail Combs says:
    March 21, 2012 at 11:21 am
    “….Right now the US Census estimate of the World Population = 7,001,947,222, so the guy is not far off. ……….We do not need draconian measures we just need civilization.”
    That’s the point. Thank you Gail Comb.
    Energy , civilization, population, policies, and economy are working together.
    Japan recent disaster changed many plans. Germans nuke plants shut down shocked energy markets. I agree with you that the next alternative for power generating plants finally would be the thorium and next generations. But we see how this technology is driven towards the wind energy. I don’t know how could Germans feel safe while Frenches or Britishs not so far from the Deutschland go on nuke power.
    Major power provider systems would remain fossils and then nuke for a long time, but there are still capable zones around the world that can handle parts of our energy demands in some of these zones fuel supply and power lines are major problems and too expensive, so a self supporting local simple power generating system is the solution, here the rate per KWh is not working and comparisons must be forgotten or the cheaper one is a localized power system, renewables are not always available, but the plants designed for peak times also are not at service by the way. Both cases have “waiting capacity” and there are no ways out. One as major utilities we have all necessary production capacities but not full consumption, and the other as minor utilities which we have everything but sometimes no FUEL (the wind).
    Germany energy policies also showed that even in EU zone where cheaper technologies are available, still economy cannot be taken into consideration, right/wrong.

  83. dave ward says:

    “Bloke down the pub” (and others) might be interested in this aerial picture of a new “Zero Carbon” development sent to me by a friend. http://i42.tinypic.com/35je83c.jpg
    Lots of insulation, energy monitoring, water recycling etc. AND those solar PV panels – the majority of which face East/West. Note that the house top left has a large tree close by, and what might appear to be a large skylight is a PV panel! I wonder how much light that will get thanks to shading by the tree and the roof extension immediately South of it. This shot also shows the piddling little windows you referred to.

    Oh, and by the way, the “Low Carbon Innovation Centre” at a certain university had substantial input with the design…

    A couple of newspaper links:
    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/green_homes_in_rackheath_up_for_award_1_1232684
    http://www.norwichadvertiser24.co.uk/news/rackheath_eco_homes_officially_opened_1_1128191

  84. acckkii says:

    Spector,
    After I wrote Gail Combs respond, I focused on your comment and found it the same meaning I was writing to Gail.
    I checked up the link Olduvai Theory, that was also very interesting at this time, I had lost it. Great, thanks.

  85. John Kettlewell says:

    Once you remove the assumption of so-called renewable energy replacing carbon-based fuels, the situation becomes clear. There was never supposed to be an equalization. Tightening the supply, to the point that eventually it becomes a net-negative, induces a ‘crisis’ due to expectation of demand. Then of course the technocrats swoop in with ‘ideas’ to ‘help control the situation’. The only stumbling block would be how to proceed….hence the CAGW arguments combined with the direct health assertions, some reasonable, from carbon fuels (“fossil fuel” is a misnomer).

    As for the population debate above, here is an interesting read from 10 Dec 1974 from the US Gov, that I believe may be the officializing of wealth redistributing to help curb population growth. http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/76904132
    At worst it’s a 40year reference of a thought process, much like the ‘climate’ articles of times past.

  86. Gail Combs says:

    acckkii says:
    March 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    … Olduvai Theory….
    ______________________________
    There have always been those who prophesied the collapse of civilization for one reason or another, but some how mankind make another discovery and stagers on.

    I met a woman many years ago born in the 1800′s shortly after the first commercial power station opened in San Francisco in 1879. She lived through the time when Henry Ford constructed his first horseless carriage in 1896 and when he incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903. She was alive when the Wright brother’s first flew at Kitty Hawk in 1903. She was alive when the first commercial computers became available in the 1950′s. She was alive when the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States was opened in1958 and when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon in 1969.

    THAT is what happened in the life of one woman. The only thing that is holding mankind back is greedy politicians/bureaucrats and “Scientists” more interested in sucking up grants than in actually doing science!

  87. Spector says:

    if we do not find another usable form of concentrated energy by the time we have depleted the carbon reserves of the planet, natural energy will be our only resource. With declining rare technical resources, it will be ever more difficult to manage and distribute energy. We would not be talking about tar sands and oil shale today if there were still bubbling crude to be found on dry land. Thus we appear to have already made a sizable dent in global petroleum availability.

    As of now, there is no other energy generation process in place that can replace carbon power on an indefinitely sustainable basis. It has been estimated that about forty years would be required from first successful demonstration to full utilization of any new energy technology; so if we have a ‘Peak Oil’ pinch next year, as some speakers are predicting, we may regret that the safe thorium molten-salt reactor development was halted around 1975, to focus all work on the doomed uranium/plutonium, fast breeder reactor project.

    I do hope someone born today does not have to go through the reverse experience of someone born in 1879.

  88. Allan MacRae says:

    acckkii, I’ve done some more checking – my comments below in CAPS.
    Regards, Allan

    acckkii says: March 21, 2012 at 9:46 am
    Allan MacRae says:
    March 21, 2012 at 8:49 am
    “Look here acckkii, as a residential customer I can LOCK IN 8.0 cents/kWh for FIVE YEARS,
    https://www.enmax.com/Energy/Res/My+Account/Current+EasyMax+Rates.htm
    I suggest my 4 cents/kWh to generate electricity from natural gas, before delivery (distribution costs) is about right,; at the most it is 5-6 cents.” TRUE. I BELIEVE THIS IS A REALISTIC WHOLESALE AVERAGE RATE FOR POWER IN ALBERTA.

    acckkii says:
    1- this is a subsidized rate. NO. distribution is nothing against the generating and fuel. NO
    2- you have monthly fixed admin charge. YES BUT IRRELEVANT, THESE ARE ALL WHOLESALE RATES And In don’t know how much do you pay a month. This is just to guess why the rate is that much. NATURAL GAS IN ALBERTA COSTS ABOUT $2/GJ. THAT’S NOT A TYPO.
    3- if the plant is not DG, or the power generated in power plant is above 500MW it is reasonable. THIS IS AN AVERAGE WHOLESALE RATE FOR A PROVINCIAL SYSTEM THAT RUNS MOSTLY ON LARGE COAL PLANTS AND THE REMAINDER MOSTLY NATURAL GAS.
    4- Look! there is a big difference between a DG and heavy duty power plant. DG is small power plant below 25MWh the production capacity depending on the country and the region. I’M GIVING WHOLESALE AVERAGE RATES, CANNOT COMMENT ON THESE DETAILS.
    5- you are an off-taker (customer of ENMAX) for 5 years. This guaranteed purchase makes huge differences for the seller. NO – RETAIL SPOT RATES AND FIVE YEARS RATES ARE BOTH ~8 CENTS.
    6- what is this? Direct Energy Regulated Services 8.508 KWh $8.55 admin IRRELEVANT

  89. GeoLurking says:

    Ref: dave ward on March 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Rackheath eco-homes

    Interesting picture. One of the linked articles states: “A total of 12 affordable, zero carbon homes in Trinity Close”

    Zero Carbon? Are they stoned? That’s asphalt on the driveway and road… you don’t get that from a PV panel. I also rummaged around to verify that they do use brick in the construction.

    I wonder how long it took to collect and mix the clay and then fire the bricks in the zero carbon brick kiln at temps up to 1,300 °C for a few hours. The same can be said of the glass.

    They must have come a long way to make all that construction material without using any carbon based fuels.

  90. Ian middleton says:

    So it takes 10 units of renewable energy source to offset 1 unit of fossil fuel. Hmmm. It took 100000 units of fossil energy to make 1 renewable energy gizmo of which we still need 10 gizmos to offset 1 unit of fossil fuel energy. Hmmmmm.

  91. Allan MacRae says:

    Gail Combs says: March 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm
    “I met a woman many years ago born in the 1800′s…”

    Thank you Gail for causing me to recall a dear old neighbour when I was at Queen’s University.

    “Miss Rodgers” described to me the funeral of Sir John A MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister which she attended as a child in 1891.

    She later lived in New York City and saw Fanny Brice at the Ziegfeld Theatre, and Paul Robeson sing “Old Man River” in “Showboat”.

    She travelled to Florida in the winters and described the Florida Land Boom and Bust of the 1920′s.

    She recalled in detail the major and minor history of almost a century, from the Boer War, the first automobile, the Wright Brothers, WW1, the Great Influenza Epidemic, the Roaring Twenties and the Dirty Thirties, WW2 and Korea, the Cold War, Sputnik and the first man on the Moon.

    Thanks for the memories.

  92. Michel says:

    Solar and wind are called “alternative energy sources”, are they?
    Their most important feature is that they are INTERMITTENT: days and night, cloud coverage, and ecliptic angle cause solar output to be on and off, and variable when on; daily wind variability and muti-day periods of calm cause wind mills to stop grinding.
    Depending on where you install it (latitude, cloudiness) photovoltaic can deliver between 10 and 25% of the installed nominal capacity, or 880 to 2200 kWh per year for a 1 kW unit. For wind, the range is 20% in accidented terrains to 40% in seaside windfarms.
    Demand is there and is not in line with delivering capacity. This is why for each kW of installed capacity of an intermittent type there is a need for a 1 kW stand-by “on-demand” capacity, e.g. gaz or hydro. Or a intermediate storage system is needed (e.g. pump-storaged hydro with energy losses of 15-30%, but so far it is justified economically by high price supply during daily peak demand using low cost band energy during nights and week-ends).
    In addition, existing distribution grids can only cope with intermittent sources if their total output is not surpassing 25-30% of the total load. Beyond that baby-boom nights may result (which may not be a bad thing).
    Intermittent electricity sources cannot be an alternative to current technologies, at best they are a useful complement, at worst a total waste.

  93. acckkii says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    March 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    acckkii, I’ve done some more checking – my comments below in CAPS.
    “…..THIS IS A REALISTIC WHOLESALE AVERAGE RATE FOR POWER IN ALBERTA……
    ……NATURAL GAS IN ALBERTA COSTS ABOUT $2/GJ. THAT’S NOT A TYPO…..”
    A “BILL” is a document. We don’t need to prove the “sun”, the reason is the “SUN”.
    Now I could find my “?” marks:
    1- you live in Alberta,
    2- we are talking about just Alberta, the results cannot be developed to other places,
    3- You said Natural Gas in Alberta is about $2/GJ,
    4- you said some c4.00/KWh for the utility & gas consumption, and c4.00/KWh for transmission @ your door, total c8.00/KWh, and as you said THIS IS A REALISTIC……”.

    These are your data. To fix our fuel definition, we agree when we say “gas” our destination is “natural gas” not “gasoline”. Now we see the anatomy of your energy system:
    just keep in mind:
    1- the efficiency of a regular power plant is %25, and in combined cycle is approx. %33,
    2- the efficiency of a gas combustion/turbine engine (DG: distributed generators) is approx. %40,
    The above rates are important to the power suppliers and are irrelevant to your case.
    Calculus:
    1- one GJ equals to 278 KWh,
    2- I refer to ENMAX
    https://www.enmax.com/Energy/Res/My+Account/Current+EasyMax+Rates.htm
    which shows the fixed plan gas rate is $6.59/GJ, so your given $2.00/GJ is not correct for this plan, you are referring to floating rates of the gas, which is $2.328/GJ for the south as min.rate and c4.183/KWh as max. rate in the north, both are below $6.59/KWh comparing with the fixed plan,
    3- let’s go on with your gas fixed plan $6.59/GJ, here you pay ($6.59x c100/278KWh=c2.37 KWh). Please be advised that in floating plan, the share of the utility would be more than c6.5/KWh in the south,
    4- considering c4.00 for the utility+ gas consumption, it gives:
    c4.00/KWh-c2.37/KWh=c1.63/KWh for the utility which is absolutely impossible, to see it please write a simple job plan and feasibility study for a power plant,
    5- we try that ENMAX c8.00/KWh for the utility+gas and less %2 for the transmission lines, here it comes: c8.00/KWh x %98- c2.37/KWh= c5.47 /KWh, which is more realistic. So far as I know the network fee is being paid when you order your electricity demand and contract, but I don’t know about Alberta policies. c4.00/KWh for the network or transmission lines is very high rate, it is same as the roads and highways that you pay for every kilometer travel, actually you pay it but through fuel tax and municipality fees and tax, here you pay it through the gas rates, sorry I don’t know about Alberta, but this is what’s happening elsewhere,
    6- I refer to floating rates given by your service provider, you see even c13//KWh, this is irrelevant to your case but this rate is closer to my calculations when you are outside Alberta, and when you take floating plan in Alberta, THE RATE approx c12.00/KWh was my point of view.
    Anyhow, keep your fixed plan as long as you can even you know you are paying at least %50 more for the gas, but %30 less as a good off-taker.
    Finally, the rates we are talking about are valid for GAS as fuel, if it is changed to HFO and Diesel you have to pay more and even c20.00/KWh.

  94. eric1skeptic says:

    Johannes Herbst said “I have started to think about buying a Solar PV System again and to get independent from the power companies – the electricty bill here in Germany is going up steadily.”

    Do you realize that part of the reason your bill has gone up is subsidies to inefficient solar PV? Your sun in Germany is very weak in winter and sporadic in spring. You would produce extra (unneeded) power in the summer which other ratepayers will be force to buy at an exorbitant rate. But unless you have a large bank of batteries you will be generously sold fossil power from the grid when you need it.

  95. Bloke down the pub says:

    dave ward says:

    March 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This shot also shows the piddling little windows you referred to.

    As the photo you reference is viewed from the North, in this case it is appropriate to have small or no windows. Unforunately I have little faith that the view from the South would be much of an improvement.

  96. Allan MacRae says:

    acckkii says: March 22, 2012 at 2:31 am….

    acckkii you are mixing wholesale and retail rates and getting nonsense as a result.

    I was suggesting you use wholesale undelivered prices to make a sensible comparison of North American grid-connected electrical generating costs, which I estimate to be approximately:
    4 cents/kWh to generate electricity from natural gas, before distribution costs, at most 5-6 cents;
    13.5¢/kWh for (intermittent and therefore essentially worthless) wind power;
    64.2¢/kWh for (intermittent and therefore essentially worthless) solar power.

    You are mixing apples and oranges, with a sprinkiling of cherry-picking, resulting in a falsehood.

    Alberta wholesale natural gas prices are indeed about $2/GJ as proven here:
    http://www.ngx.com/
    Prompt Month (Apr) Last: $ 1.8675
    Deferred Month (May) Last: $ 1.9100

    North American gas prices are similar to Alberta, as proven here
    http://www.cmegroup.com/
    Natural Gas (Henry Hub) Apr 12 $2.361

    It is true that natural gas prices are much higher elsewhere in the world, and much closer to the energy-equivalent price of oil. However, it is unlikely that wind and solar power, because of their intermittent nature, will ever be competitive with natural gas-fired power, which is available on demand for peaking needs and can be scaled back quickly as demand falls. Since electricity cannot be easily stored, intermittent power sources are essentially worthless (and even a liability) when connected to the grid.

    There are two slogans which accurately summarize the economics of grid-connected wind and solar power:

    “Wind power – It doesn’t just blow – it sucks!”

    “Solar power – stick it where the Sun don’t shine!”

    Please do not take these slogans as personal insults – they are however, well-deserved jibes to those purveyors of worthless wind and solar power, who have managed to fool our politicians into forcing consumers to pay ridiculously exorbitant rates for intermittent, unreliable electric power.

  97. Gail Combs says:

    Spector says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    if we do not find another usable form of concentrated energy by the time we have depleted the carbon reserves of the planet, natural energy will be our only resource….
    _____________________________________
    Sorry but that is incorrect I just wrote about the cutting edge technology in my comment directed to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/21/study-it-takes-10-units-of-alternative-electricity-sources-to-offset-a-unit-of-fossil-fuel-generated-power/#comment-930578“>HenryP
    I will add to that:
    Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33946.pdf

    Thorium lasers: The thoroughly plausible idea for nuclear cars …(from GE corp.) http://www.txchnologist.com/2011/the-thorium-laser-the-completely-plausible-idea-for-nuclear-cars

    Aircraft:

    …Meanwhile, research into a nuclear-powered airplane led to a stunning conceptual breakthrough in nuclear reactor design: … First proposed by R.C. Briant of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1951, … A proof-of-concept fluoride reactor was built and operated in 1954 at Oak Ridge. It was called the Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE), and it demonstrated that fluoride reactors had the chemical and nuclear stability that Briant and his colleagues had predicted. After the success of the ARE, the fluoride reactor was baselined for the nuclear aircraft project, but the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles led to cancellation of the nuclear aircraft in 1960…. http://energyfromthorium.com/history.html

    Not only is it a theory but “a proof-of-concept fluoride reactor was built and operated in 1954″ So this is not just pie in the sky wishful thinking and Los Alamos National Laboratory in the National Security Science Magazine verifies it.

    FROM: Los Alamos

    …According to the World Nuclear Association, as of January 2011, there were approximately 440 nuclear power plants in operation globally, with 60 more under construction. There are also 320 new nuclear plants either planned or proposed around the world, with approximately one-fifth of those plants commissioned for construction within the next seven years.

    Thorium and thorium compounds have numerous applications, including aircraft engines and spacecraft, to heat-resistant ceramics, high-quality lenses for cameras and scientific instruments, and mantles for natural gas lamps, oil lamps, and camping lights. Th-ING will enable, for the first time, easy and safe access to thorium chemistry and materials research. Of particular importance is the fact that the Los Alamos Th-ING process can be performed on a large scale, which is necessary for industrial production. Possible new applications of thorium(IV) include (1) developing routes to thorium-nitride/carbide/oxide/fluoride fuels and (2) enabling sol-gel science for nuclear materials storage, processing, and fuel. Los Alamos’ homogeneous thorium complex will also be invaluable for grafting thorium onto solid supports for industrial or large-scale applications.

    Cost-effective, safer, and environmentally friendly, Th-ING stands to revolutionize thorium chemistry and materials science, address the elimination of waste that has been in storage since 1957…
    http://www.lanl.gov/science/NSS/issue2_2011/story6full.shtml

  98. Gail Combs says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    March 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    …She recalled in detail the major and minor history of almost a century, from the Boer War, the first automobile, the Wright Brothers, WW1, the Great Influenza Epidemic, the Roaring Twenties and the Dirty Thirties, WW2 and Korea, the Cold War, Sputnik and the first man on the Moon.

    Thanks for the memories.
    _____________________________
    You are welcome. The kids and young adults today seem to forget how fast we went from horse and buggy to spacecraft. My father, born in Harlem NYC in the roaring 20′s, remembers traveling in a pony cart around the city as a child. My husband’s aunt delivered milk in a pony cart near Boston MA around 1925.

    It was not until the 1920s that road building was becoming a standardized process and we did not see interstate highways until the passage of the Interstate Highway Act in 1956. Originally automobile clubs were formed to promote better roads, and many trail associations were created to address the need of having marked interstate highways. Yeah TRAIL Assoc. because paved roads outside of cities were little more than improved wagon trails before the 1920′s. Heck I remember traveling before the interstates and getting lost all the time. It is the reason I learned to read a map as soon as I could read so I could direct my parents correctly during vacations.

    In the face of the type of progress our “Old Dears” have seen I have to laugh at statements like Spector when he says “…if we do not find another usable form of concentrated energy by the time we have depleted the carbon reserves of the planet, natural energy will be our only resource…” Only those unacquainted with the history of technology and its literal explosion since the mid 1800′s would say that. Not his fault of course because our schools never bother to teach it and unless you have the fortune to run into an “Old Dear” like you and I have it will not hit you between the eyes.

    A silent thanks to the “Old Dears” that remind us ‘history” was not all that long ago.

  99. acckkii says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    March 22, 2012 at 6:03 am
    Come down Allan!
    1st. could you please forget about the wind and solar here in our comments? I don’t care about these two baby energies. Don’t make both of us tired about this mess. Our talks is about the electricity you gain in north America and my view is Alberta ONLY, where you have documents on your table.
    So I don’t take into account what you are telling me here about as you said NONSENSE solar/wind.
    2nd. I referred to what you gave me and I checked that link nothing more/less. The given data as your proof still is on your table. Here I extracted only your figures. There are 2 types of contract, fixed and floating rates, this is what ENMAX is saying, there is nothing about solar/wind, so I didn’t see anything to discuss about wind/solar, who is mixing the figures.
    3rd. Could you please specify what do you like to pay to ENMAX!, I was just a mirror! showing your figures, let’s forget about what I said. Just talk about 5 years fixed rates as you said and strongly pointed out, Electricity and GAS price included and if you have any reference regarding the rate of the network I would be appreciated to have it, but please do not guess. I’ll tell you why.

  100. Brian H says:

    Pushing the hidden meme: total consumption and living standard reduction is the only real means of reducing carbon impacts.

    So far, the Greens are doing a decent job of engineering depressed output and consumption when given a free hand. What they want now is to ENFORCE that depression. Permanently. To save the planet; to restrain and cull the humanity-disease infecting Dear Gaea.

  101. Brian H says:

    The video includes the obvious conclusion that education increases consumption, and is therefore anti-sustainability.

    In reality, what is unsustainable is Big Government. It implodes every society it’s tried in.
    ___
    Note to all: scroll-by ACCKK’s incoherent ungrammatical nonsense. There’s nothing of value that can be extracted from or injected into his impenetrable messes.

  102. acckkii says:

    Brian H,
    Sorry as you said I cannot help you.
    Regards

  103. Gail Combs says:

    acckkii says:
    March 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Gail Combs,
    You may be interested in:
    http://peakoil.com/alternative-energy/indian-works-on-track-for-worlds-first-fusion-reactor/
    ____________________________
    Thank you
    India seems to not have its head wedged like other countries do.

  104. Gail Combs says:

    Brian H says:
    March 22, 2012 at 10:00 am

    The video includes the obvious conclusion that education increases consumption, and is therefore anti-sustainability.

    In reality, what is unsustainable is Big Government. It implodes every society it’s tried in….
    _________________________________
    You are correct Education is Anti-sustainability and the World Bank has a report that shows this.

    World Bank Report to government of Burkina Faso (Africa)

    Educational attainment of the household head:
    87. First of all, there is a high rate of return to education in Burkina Faso; the higher the educational attainment of the household head, the higher the household consumption after controlling for all other factors.

    88. The impact of education is striking, particularly in urban areas. Relative to households whose heads have no education, having a head with some primary education increases consumption by 11 percent. Completing primary education increases consumption by 26 percent, and secondary education increases consumption by 61 percent. Having a head with a university education increases consumption by more than 100 percent.

    89. The impact of secondary or higher education is even greater in rural areas, where a much smaller share of the population reaches secondary school.

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTLM/Resources/390041-1134749230121/BF_EmploymentStudy_Final.pdf

    It seems Pol Pot must be the ultimate role model for “Sustainability” …if you had a diploma or wore eye glasses, especially those appearing to be educated. All of these people and many others — along with their families – were murdered.

    Dr. Mann and his buddies should take notice since Attacks on Intelligentsia also occurred in the USSR after the Revolution without “Sustainability” as an excuse.

  105. E.M.Smith says:

    Related to this issue, he said, was the development of high-efficiency automobile engines and energy-efficient homes. These improvements reduced energy consumption in some respects but also allowed for the production of larger vehicles and bigger homes. The net result was that total energy consumption often did not decrease dramatically with the rising efficiency of technologies.

    This is properly called “Jevon’s Paradox” and was first realized with respect to coal usage in the 1800s when a big put was put on to make coal use more efficient. The result was more coal usage, as each use cost less, so people had more individual uses…

    We also saw it after folks bought fuel efficient compact cars after the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s; and promptly moved further from work to get a bigger better house since the cost of the commute had dropped and they could get more home for the money further away.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/jevons-paradox-coal-oil-conservation/

    The most recent example I’ve observed, personally, is that I bought some LED light bulbs. They are so efficient that it is no longer worth the effort to turn them off… I now have three that are “perpetually on”. Hallway, livingroom, and office. It’s convenient that I don’t have to enter a dark room ever again… ( Total Wattage is about 20 Watts. The idle draw on the entertainment stack is about 200 W, so this is now in the noise level of the entertainment system… I also have about 8 Watts of yard lighting that is never turned off. It would cost more to get a suitable day/night sensor than it is worth…) So I’m now setting up the lighting plan with “always on” LEDs and then whatever additional light as needed for ‘special purposes and work areas’…

    It is simply not possible to “conserve” via improved efficiency on a population basis as most folks are not fanatics about it and act as rational consumers… which means they act in accordance to Jevon’s Paradox.

  106. E.M.Smith says:

    Reading the comments, I see that the “Running Out” meme is making the rounds again….

    We aren’t, we can’t, and it doesn’t. Enjoy life, we have unending energy available to us (or, more precisely, we run out of planet and the sun blows up before we run out of energy).

    The entire world can be powered by uranium from the sea, harvested with about the same sized fleet of ships as haul around oil today, at very economical costs, and with enough washing into the ocean each year via rock weathering that we never run out:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/ulum-ultra-large-uranium-miner-ship/

    But we have several hundred years to go before we need to worry about it:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    Oh, and Thorium can be used in the regular reactors we have now ( or you could build new kinds if you like) and we have about the same amount (or perhaps double – nobody has looked really closely because there IS so much of it…) of Thorium as we have Uranium…

    The whole ‘running out’ idea, even for minerals and materials is just paranoia.

  107. acckkii says:

    BP and Wind Energy:
    What’s going on….
    BP is the principal owner and operator of wind power facilities with interests in 13 wind farms across the US. BP has a gross generating capacity of 1,955 MW – enough electricity to power over 586,000 average American homes.

    It has taken just 60 months for BP Wind Energy to go from zero turbines to the 1,000 milestone and, by the time 2012 is finished, the company will have a total electrical generating capacity of 2,600MW, located across eight US states.
    Why the US?
    In 2011 6,810 MW of wind power capacity was installed in the US, the US wind industry now totals 46,919 MW of cumulative wind capacity through the end of 2011. There are over 8,300 MW currently under construction involving over 100 separate projects spanning 31 states.

    The US wind industry has added over 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 4 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined. Today, US wind power capacity represents more than 20% of the world’s installed wind power.

    Today, the U.S. wind industry represents not only a large market for wind power capacity installations, but also a growing market for American manufacturing. Over 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. make components for wind turbines, and dedicated wind facilities that manufacture major components such as towers, blades and assembled nacelles can be found in every region.
    http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9024940&contentId=7046497

  108. acckkii says:

    What do the others think about future of energy in US by 2030?

    BP says:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/BPplc/featured?v=6j2yzL0PdOw

  109. acckkii says:

    Stanford University on Oct 1, 2009
    Roland Horne, Thomas Davies Barrow Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, discusses the future of oil. The Energy Seminar meets weekly during the academic year. For a list of upcoming talks, visit the events page at the Woods Institute for the Environment website.
    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/stanford

  110. acckkii says:

    Stanford University and Renewable Energy:

    April 1, 2009 – Dan Arvizu, director of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discusses the current state of renewable energy technology and implementation in the U.S., as well as potential advancements in the near future. The Energy Seminar meets during the academic year on Wednesdays, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. For a listing of upcoming Energy Seminar talks, please visit the events listing at the Woods Institute for the Environment website.

    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/

  111. acckkii says:

    Stanford University and Economic Analysis of the Solar Industry :
    October 28, 2009) Annie Hazlehurst, graduate student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and in the E-IPER program, discusses the current state and future of the solar photovoltaic industry from an economic and business perspective with a specific focus on when the price of photovoltaic-generated electricity will be competitive with other generation methods.
    Stanford University
    http://www.stanford.edu
    Stanford Graduate School of Business
    http://gsb.stanford.edu/
    Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources
    http://e-iper.stanford.edu/
    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/stanford

  112. acckkii says:

    Stanford University and The Future of Wind Power:

    (April 16, 2008) Christina Archer, consulting assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, discusses the importance of win power in a clean and renewable future. The Energy Seminar meets weekly during the academic year. For a list of upcoming talks, visit the events page at the Woods Institute for the Environment website.

    Stanford University
    http://www.stanford.edu/

    Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford:
    http://woods.stanford.edu/

    Christina Archer
    http://www.stanford.edu//~lozej/

    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/stanford

  113. acckkii says:

    (April 16, 2008) Christina Archer, consulting assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University:
    1- 4 cents/KWh the cost of electricity from wind turbines
    2- the density per km2 6 turbines
    3- estimated $ 1,000,000 per MW EPC.

  114. acckkii says:

    Evaluating Energy Solutions to Climate Change
    Stanford University:
    Mark Jacobson, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, discusses proposed energy solutions to climate change, air pollution and energy security. The Energy Seminar meets weekly during the academic year. For a list of upcoming talks, visit the events page at the Woods Institute for the Environment website.

    Stanford University:
    http://www.stanford.edu/

    Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford:
    http://woods.stanford.edu/

    Mark Jacobson
    http://www.stanford.edu//group/efmh/jacobson/

    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/stanford

  115. buddylama says:

    Wow! What a refreshing change from the usual uninformed leftist drivel such topics usually elicit! So many excellent and informative comments, from so many obviously bright individuals — people who even know how to spell and use grammar!

  116. Spector says:

    RE: Gail Combs says: (March 22, 2012 at 8:22 am)

    “Spector says:
    “March 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm
    if we do not find another usable form of concentrated energy by the time we have depleted the carbon reserves of the planet, natural energy will be our only resource….
    _____________________________________
    Sorry but that is incorrect I just wrote about the cutting edge technology in my comment directed to …”

    The statement is “If we do not find….” I am not necessarily saying we will not find an alternative source of concentrated energy unless we suffer a ‘Chernobyl Syndrome’ that makes any attempt to adopt such a technology ‘politically incorrect.’ There is also the remote possibility that some technical problem like neutron corrosion would plague the construction of these reactors—but I think we should be thinking more about how to make this technology work rather than looking for reasons to ignore it. The potential energy is there.

    Do not take seriously any talk about nuclear powered cars or aircraft. Any accident would require a HAZMAT response. These vehicles would probably be powered by artificial transportation fuels manufactured from the energy generated by large stationary reactors. The thorium nuclear proponents claim that such artificial fuels made by their process would be cheaper than the equivalent petrochemical fuels.

    Ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4

  117. acckkii says:

    Comparing the Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Generating Electricity Technologies
    MIT CEEPR:
    http://web.mit.edu/ceepr/www/publications/reprints/Reprint_231_WC.pdf

  118. acckkii says:

    Evaluating Policies to Increase Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy
    MIT CEEPR:

    http://web.mit.edu/ceepr/www/publications/workingpapers/2011-008.pdf

  119. acckkii says:

    The Outlook for Energy — a focus on natural gas to 2030
    MIT CEEPR
    November 2011 Workshop

    http://web.mit.edu/ceepr/www/about/November%202011/november%20handouts/onderdonk.pdf

  120. acckkii says:

    Electricity Market Reform in the European Union: Review of Progress toward Liberalization
    & Integration
    MIT CEEPR:
    http://web.mit.edu/ceepr/www/publications/reprints/Reprint_201_WC.pdf

  121. acckkii says:

    DECOMPOSITION OF COST AND VALUE CALCULATIONS
    • “Raw” cost of investing in intermittent generation taking account of
    market prices at the time the electricity is produced
    – Levelized cost comparisons are meaningless because they ignore
    variations in the price of electricity at different times and the actual
    time when supplies are forthcoming from intermittent technologies
    • 6 cents/kWh is not cheap if it is produced at night when the market value is 2
    cents/KWh
    • 9 cents/kWh is not expensive if it is produced during peak periods when the
    price is 10 cents/kWh
    – Comparing PDV of expected net revenues for incremental additions of
    intermittent generation to the supply program makes more sense
    – A “with and without” system analysis of costs that takes reliability
    constraints into account is the gold standard but the “full monty” is a
    modeling challenge
    • Reliability considerations
    – Meeting peak demand reliably
    – Responding to rapid changes in intermittent generation on the
    network (operating reliability).

  122. acckkii says:

    MEASURING THE COST AND VALUE OF INTERMITTENT GENERATION
    Paul L. Joskow Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and MIT November 3, 2011:

    http://web.mit.edu/ceepr/www/about/November%202011/november%20handouts/joskow.pdf

  123. acckkii says:

    Mark Jacobson, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University
    on Oct 1, 2009
    Where are subsidies are going now?
    Ethanol, Nuke, Coal, CCS.

  124. Johannes Herbst says:

    eric1skeptic says:
    March 22, 2012 at 2:55 am
    “Johannes Herbst said “I have started to think about buying a Solar PV System again and to get independent from the power companies – the electricty bill here in Germany is going up steadily.”

    Do you realize that part of the reason your bill has gone up is subsidies to inefficient solar PV? Your sun in Germany is very weak in winter and sporadic in spring. You would produce extra (unneeded) power in the summer which other ratepayers will be force to buy at an exorbitant rate. But unless you have a large bank of batteries you will be generously sold fossil power from the grid when you need it.”

    Eric, you are right, independent PV is not an easy game. I have worked with it for many years – I was a teacher on Renewable Energy many years. The idea is to use it when it is available. Which means to run the fridge, the dishwasher and the stove during daytime and to store some energy for the night. Or baking and preserving food when the energy is there.

    It could be possibel to sell the surlpus Energy to the Power plants. They must buy it. But that’s not my plan. I would transfer my costs to others. And the power companies and the electric net provider would have to balance it with other sources. By the way, the price of solar electrictiy here in germany now for new PV Arrays is down to 19 ct per KWh, paid to the producers. On our electricity bill we alredy see about 25ct which we have to pay to the Power companies for mostly fossil energy. And still the price for solar energy will go down 1.8 ct every year. It is not that exorbitant anymore…

    Our family solar project is just a trial to see if it works. And it is a social task. We have just started to discuss in our household, because we would have to change som habits. We are about eight Persons, and we could learn something from this, especially the kids.

    10 years ago, the price of PV modules and batteries were about five times as much as today, so it will be no loss to us, even if we could not use every watt.

    We found out something interesting: For buying the PV System, we have save some money in advance. It is normal to use your budget money, if it is availabe. But when there is a special goal, you will be able to put some money aside for your special purpose. An this is what makes your live interesting: To try something new, to work on it, to struggel and to reach it, together with the family.

    Possibly I am just working on one of my midlife crisises. Other men feel a sudden need to have an SUV, a cabrio or a sports car. And they will find reasons to get it. Even I could get a new car: An electric one, charged by the surplus of the PV System. And If the car is not used, then the batteries of the car could be used as a storage for the house energy… I am just daydreaming… but maybe in some time… just don’t tell it to my wife!

    I am not shure, if you have got the point. Mankind and especially men love to play, to try something new, to concentrate on something special, to have their own project. It is not pure logic, which leads us in our dayly live. I’ve loved to play all my live with Renewables, with conservation, and with simple life. Others try to frighten us and tell us to save the planet by any means. But I have just the opposite approach. If you love to do something, this cannot be wrong. And of course, like mentioned above, all this energy stuff is a social task as well.

  125. acckkii says:

    Mark Jacobson, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University
    on Oct 1, 2009
    Where the subsidies are going now? (apology for the mistake double “are”)
    Ethanol, Nuke, Coal, CCS.

  126. acckkii says:

    Gail Combs,
    An interesting video that follows what you explained about population.
    You may ignore the other parts if you don’t like it.
    http://bcove.me/ezmk38qk

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