Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
News hot off the presses, the madness spreads …
UN calls for doubling renewable energy by 2030
(AFP) – 1 day ago
WASHINGTON — UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a call to double global consumption of renewable energy over the next two decades in order to ensure sustainable economic development.
“It’s possible if we show political leadership,” Ban said. … “We have to be very austere in using energy… We have to completely change our behavior, at home, at the office.”
Figure 1. US energy use, 2008. Click on image for larger view. SOURCE: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
Double our consumption of renewable energy by 2030 … what’s not to like?
Well, the first thing not to like is that renewable energy is intermittent. That means that if we add a million kilowatts of renewable energy generation, we also have to add a million kilowatts of conventional generators.
Second thing not to like is that renewable energy is expensive, typically around three times as expensive as fossil fuel. These first two things conspire to push the cost of power up, way up. Prices of electricity in California are double the prices in neighboring states because of this push for “renewables”.
More to the point, however, is the ludicrous size of what the Chief plans to do. Bear in mind that, as in California, the CO2 alarmists don’t see large-scale hydropower as “renewable” … don’t ask me why, I don’t understand it, but it’s supposed to be teh eeevil regarding CO2 … and as a result, few large hydro plants are under construction anywhere. So they’re not talking about doubling hydropower, that would be a crime in their world.
So the real reason not to like this plan is that we only get a trivial amount of energy from renewables. In the US, we get a tenth of one percent of our energy from solar, half a percent from wind, and a third of a percent from geothermal. Finally, we get 3.9% of our energy from biomass, mostly in industries that generate said biomass as a waste product. Total? A whacking great 4.8% of our energy comes from renewables.
If we double that over the next 18 years, we’ll increase the solar share to a resounding two tenths of a percent … and wind energy will go up to 1% …
Gosh, if we continue at that rate, with solar energy increasing by 0.09% every 18 years, solar will provide ten percent of the US energy by … let’s see, divide by 2, carry the 1 … well, by the year 4012.
10% solar energy by 4012 … that’s some goal there, Chief.
My main problem with the Moon Unit and his bizarro plans is that they are based on the idea that we need to decrease energy use by increasing the price of energy. They are doing that in Britain already, it’s called “fuel poverty”, and it causes old folks to shiver in the winter because they can’t afford to heat their houses. The fact that the Chief is advocating more expensive energy and thinks that reduced energy use is a path to “economic development” is just plain sick.
The opposite is true. We need to increase energy use, and to do that we need less expensive energy, particularly for the poor. Inexpensive energy is the best friend that the poor ever had. The UN’s Chief Moon-ki wants to increase energy prices. That increases prices for all products and services, because from food to clothing to medicine, everything contains energy. The Chief pretends to be a friend to the poor, but his actions do nothing but shackle the poor to a lifetime of energy poverty.
PS—There are a some countries and societies (e.g. the Solomon Islands) that use 50% or more renewable energy, in the form of burning wood, sticks, twigs, and cattle dung for cooking and heating. This leads to indoor and outdoor pollution, lung disease, and eye problems, particularly affecting women. Having been in a number of those countries, I can assure you that the poor people living there would like nothing more than to get OFF of renewable energy … and Mr. Ki-moon is being willfully and criminally blind if he does not know that.