John Kerry Urges Private Enterprise to Produce a Renewables "Breakthrough"


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Speaking at the Bloomberg Energy Finance Summit, US Secretary of State John Kerry thinks new breakthroughs are required to bring the renewable revolution “to the finish line”. My question – if the technology is not yet fit for purpose, by Kerry’s own admission, why is the Obama administration wasting so much US taxpayer’s money, funding production scale renewable projects which won’t deliver value?

… I think it’s fair to say that here in the United States, President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do. His Administration put in place fuel standards that empowered automakers to invest in more efficient automobiles. We’ve finalized rules that limit the amount of carbon pollution coming from new and existing power plants, making investment in harmful energy far less attractive than investment in cleaner alternatives. And this past winter, in a hard-fought win, Congress did pass a five-year extension of the production and investment tax credits for solar and wind installations, in order to make it easier to get new clean energy projects up and running. And they did that with bipartisan support, both sides of the aisle recognizing that leaving aside their differences and their fight over the evidence, investing in clean energy just makes good business sense.

Now, since President Obama took office, wind and solar power have grown by more than 200 percent. Costs for these technologies continue to plummet and today more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.

Let me be clear. Government can provide the structure, the incentives, the framework. But I know – and so do you – that it’s the private sector that will ultimately take us to the finish line. And it will be the private sector – innovation, entrepreneurial activity, maybe something we haven’t discovered yet – the breakthrough on battery storage, a breakthrough on a clean fuel burn – I don’t know what it is, but I trust in the ingenuity and the capacity of the American people and of our allocation of capital and our capacity to make this work.

Solving climate change will require perhaps the largest public-private partnership the world has ever attempted. At its core, the Paris agreement that President Obama and I – and so many of you here, and Mike and others worked for – is about ensuring public-private energy collaboration in every part of the world, for generations to come. Together, what we did was create a framework – based on ambitious, individually determined emissions-reduction targets – that is designed to become even more ambitious as time goes on and energy technology evolves. And the legally binding component of that agreement is the part that requires the review and the technology updating as we go along. …

Read more:

The people in Kerry’s audience know that renewables don’t work. Even the legendary engineers at Google Corporation tried and failed to make renewable technology viable.

But now we know the US government is also aware, that current generation renewables are not up to the job.

Even if you believe renewables are the future, surely it makes more sense to spend money on research, rather than wasting vast sums building production scale systems which don’t work. If the billions of dollars currently being wasted on unviable renewable projects was diverted to research, there might actually be some useful breakthroughs.

Funding production scale projects which everyone knows will fail is just a colossal waste of taxpayer’s money.

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Harry Buttle
April 5, 2016 3:41 pm

I imagine that, now that having a breakthrough has been suggested, they’ll come up with it any day now…

Reply to  Harry Buttle
April 5, 2016 3:55 pm

Kerry, Obama, and Clinton are all sitting on a conference call: Obama asks “why hasn’t anyone made renewable energy economically viable?” Hillary says “Because they need to be ordered to do it.” Kerry says, “I’ll take care of that. I’m good at bossing other people around.”
And so he did.

Reply to  Newt Love (@newtlove)
April 5, 2016 6:59 pm

If Gore can invent the Internet, surely Kerry can decree an alternate energy breakthrough. Another billion or two and ‘private enterprise’ will be climbing in the windows with blue prints.

Bryan A
Reply to  Newt Love (@newtlove)
April 6, 2016 10:34 am

What is needed is a President like Kennedy to decide to spend on innovation and not on giving our money away to other nations for a far off problem that doesn’t exist.
Back in Sept 1962 Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University where he addressed the challenges of science and space in which he stated:
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. ”
He then went on to fund NASA to the tune of $5.4bn annually to insure this happened…And it did!
We need a President willing to do the same thing for new energy technologies, one who might say:
“We choose to create new affordable clean energy technologies. We choose to create new affordable clean energy technologies in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win. ”
Then go on to fund that technological research in the $billions rather than throwing good money after bad into the current crop of failed renewable technologies.
True, one day they might work and be affordable without subsidization, but research rather than growth of currently unreliable expensive technologies should be the focus.
We could even have had something if the subsidization $$$ was spent in government funded technology research instead of being thrown into the void

Eric Barnes
Reply to  Harry Buttle
April 5, 2016 4:04 pm

A breakthrough is the last thing these people want.
If there was an “energy breakthrough” they’d immediately construct another bogeyman that would require you to give up your money and property to the central government.
You are harming gaia and must be put under the boot.

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  Eric Barnes
April 6, 2016 9:25 am

The real proof of concept would be a self-contained LENR unit whose output powers its own control circuitry, with a bit to spare. I think when we hit that point we’ll see the financial backers come forward willingly. At the moment, attempts to claim more output than input are a bit like claiming that your car engine is working, only you’re still turning the starter.

Mac T
Reply to  Eric Barnes
April 6, 2016 11:49 am

Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons were among the world’s leading electrochemists and they were no fools. Their discovery of excess heat in a laboratory experiment was ‘debunked’ by the establishment wthin a few weeks of their claim made during a press conference. There had never been anything similar in the way the mainstream media, the scientific and political establishment killed a new scientific proposal, that these two acclaimed scientists detected nuclear fusion reactions at low energy conditions. Instead of sponsoring more research into the claim, which would have changed the world (saved the planet from the claim[?] of AGW) the establishment killed the theory which was backed by observation, and the two geniuses with it. This is the scandal of the 20th century. No man in a normal state of mind would declare such a proposal by two great scientists as a fraud or, as it was termed, pathological science.
Andrea Rossi will soon prove Fleischmann and Pons correct and I just hope that the world, at least, acknowledges their claim and awards them posthumously in the case of Fleischmann, some kind of honour. His many US patents back him up, the one year test report by independent surveyors on his 1 MW hot water boiler has been positive with the official independent report to be published by mid-April, this April.
Meanwhile, many independent laboratories and scientists have also found excess heat. All one needs to do is just google a bit and a new world of LENR (cold fusion) opens up.
The cold fusion deniers are similar to the shaman who must have butchered to death the first man who successfully lighted up the world’s first bonfire.

Reply to  Harry Buttle
April 5, 2016 4:36 pm

The breakthrough is here. Its called LENR, cold fusion and several other acronyms. within a few days we should have access to the report from an independent engineering analysis of Rossi’s 1 year test of his 1 megawatt plant(see E-Cat world) and Brilliant Light Power will have their prototype out by 2017.
Will the climate warriors try to stop these technologies or embrace them.

Reply to  DMA
April 5, 2016 5:41 pm

There are 100’s if not 1000’s of papers on LENR.
CBS news asked the America physics Society to give them an independent and “skeptic” of LENR.
When the physicist came back from work from a lab in Israel, he simply stated that LENR works.
Heck, Dr. Halgison teaches a (non audited) course at MIT on cold fusion, and each student gets a working LENR device. I mean, really, the boat left the harbor on this issue!
Here is the CBS 60 minutes video on LENR from 2009:

Toyota, Hitachi and many companies have replicated LENR.
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

John Harmsworth
Reply to  DMA
April 5, 2016 7:01 pm

This is the real wild card that I think will make our little CO2 dispute moot. I have been following the ecat for over 5 years and I’ve gone from skeptic to believer. There are other small scale high temp fusion groups that may reach commercial break even within a decade. In 30 years when the world is getting colder and we accept that raising CO2 won’t make a damn bit of difference, at least we can heat our homes.

Reply to  DMA
April 6, 2016 5:52 am

Re Rossi: I’m hoping but not hopeful. He’s been evasive and moved the goalposts. He should have used a car battery as his power source in his tests, rather than a less fraud-proof wall outlet.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  DMA
April 6, 2016 6:03 am

I guess we’ll not see something before R. is gone.

Reply to  DMA
April 6, 2016 7:13 am

That followers of WUWT are skeptical on LENR is not news. I comment about it periodically and get no responses except that it is nonsense. The official government is NOT interested. I wrote Secretary Moniz (heads DOE) on 7/7/2015 and am still waiting for a reply. I routed it through the head of the Office of Science to ensures it reached him & have been told it did.
Rossi is obviously the front runner when it comes to high power output. His design, used by Industrial Heat for their commercial 1 MW LENR plant has just finished a one year trial. At least the summary of the ERV’s (independent) report will surface is a few weeks. IH have no incentive, from a business point of view, to make the results public until they have set up production.
Eric Worral, neutrons have been detected, but no theory of how it works has yet received much support.
Should anyone be interested, Mats Lewan’s webinar is worth a look including the Q & A at the end.

george e. smith
Reply to  DMA
April 6, 2016 11:36 am

Eric, I’m only puzzled by the lack of commercial scale cold fusion reactors on line.
So maybe there are hundreds or thousands of papers on LENR.
I’m sure that Mickey Spillane wrote hundreds of novels, although maybe not thousands.
But those you could actually buy and read.
It’s tiresome to keep reading all the guff on something that just never seems to come out in the open.
LENR enthusiasts should set one up to illuminate the National Christmas tree next December.

george e. smith
Reply to  DMA
April 6, 2016 2:28 pm

Just where is this 1MW nuclear fusion reactor that has been operating for about a year ?? Who do they supply the electricity to, and why don’t we see pictures of the place ??
I’m not a disbeliever or even a skeptic. I just don’t have much of anything to go on.
Lots of people keep talking about this Rossi power plant, but I have never seen any of them post a picture of the place, or even say where it is and what it is currently doing.
I don’t understand the year long test concept.
You just have to throw the power switch and light up Las Vegas for one night to show the thing off.

Reply to  Harry Buttle
April 5, 2016 11:38 pm

Politicians never fail to amaze me. They interfere within the open free competitive commodity market that the Energy/Power market was, and should be; distorting it with subsidies, tax breaks and even minimum price guarantees. They then wonder why prices keep rising and the Power Generation companies back off from the heavy R&D investment normally needed to discover and develop innovative engineering solutions which will improve process efficiencies, and even provide new processes, which will drive down unit costs and maintain their market share and commercial survival. Why should these companies not do this, and not change, when the taxpayers will pay them to carry on what they are doing – with less expenditure and less risk?
All this new talk from politicians regarding needed more efficient and cheaper renewables is 20 years too late, and is only starting because they can no longer sustain the lie that renewables are cheaper or will soon be cheaper. The Industrial Revolution continually illustrated free market mechanisms where wind replaced, horse power, water replaced wind, steam replaced water, oil replaced steam, electricity replaced oil, nuclear power replaced earlier forms of electricity generation etc., etc. – driven by the search for necessary greater capacity and cheaper unit costs.
Cut out all subsidies, tax breaks etc.,, include if needed some tax based on an agreed present day cost per tonne of CO2 generated of future works needed due to supposed effects of CO2, and let the market decide! Fracking in the USA demonstrates what benefits this simple market mechanism can provide by way of cheaper gas and cheaper power from Gas Turbines, and with Coal Fired Plants shutting down. Surely this is something simple enough even for our politicians to understand!

Reply to  Harry Buttle
April 6, 2016 1:04 am

What is it about energy density that Kerry does not understand?

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
April 6, 2016 6:40 am

…you ask that of someone who has absolutely no intellectual density?

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
April 6, 2016 8:03 am

He heard about energy density and confused it (in George McFly fashion) as energy destiny.

george e. smith
Reply to  Harry Buttle
April 6, 2016 10:15 am

“””””….. Costs for these technologies continue to plummet and today more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry. …..”””””
I think I see your snag right there John.
…. IF … ” more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry ” then there is NO WAY IN HELL that renewables can EVER be cost effective.
John, you forgot to tell us HOW SMALL a fraction of the FOSSIL FUEL current energy supply, is the current RENEWABLE ENERGY supply , that STILL requires four times as many pay checks.
…IF… RENEWABLE ENERGY is 10% of FOSSIL FUEL ENERGY then it is (more than)40 TIMES THE COST of fossil fuel energy.
Why don’t these half wits get it.
Renewable energy will NEVER replace fossil fuel energy.

Bryan A
Reply to  george e. smith
April 6, 2016 12:54 pm

I just did some checking and found that the Fossil Fuel industry
Natural Gas
Electric generation
and their subsidiary dependents
Metal foundry
employed a total of 5.9 million people in 2015 to produce >95% of the US energy supplies
So I guess this means that there are almost 24 million people employed bringing us the other 5% ????

April 5, 2016 3:50 pm

Apparently, Kerry thinks that private enterprise holds some sort of “Get out of physics free” card.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Brian
April 5, 2016 3:53 pm


Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 5:11 pm

I agree, Janice

Chip Javert
Reply to  Brian
April 5, 2016 7:53 pm

Well, Kerry was a C student at Yale (BA 1966, poli-sci), and somewhere along the line he must have spent a night at Holiday Inn, so he’s exactly as qualified at most other climate scientists.

Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 3:52 pm

John Kerry Urges BEGS …

“On my knees, Big Wind and Super Solar, ON – MY – KNEES! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 12:46 am

Congress did pass a five-year extension of the production and investment tax credits for solar and wind installations, in order to make it easier to get new clean energy projects up and running.
I guess after the failures of just about every government subsidized solar company, wind company and other “green” tech like bio fuels, there were a few guys left out and were angry ( PO’d) they are now getting a place at the trough. Unbelievable!

Reply to  asybot
April 6, 2016 6:42 am

My question is: who’s going to foot the bill to clean up all those useless “clean energy” bone yards? Reclamation costs can really bite and generally send the parties to court.

April 5, 2016 3:54 pm

“I think it’s fair to say that here in the United States, President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do.” …US Secretary of State John Kerry. That’s right, leading to disaster and poverty.

NW sage
Reply to  ntesdorf
April 5, 2016 6:41 pm

The key phrase is “not yet dared”. For good reason previous presidents and ‘leaders’ have ‘led’ in a very different direction and with much superior results.

April 5, 2016 3:55 pm
Ian Macdonald
Reply to  jake
April 6, 2016 9:08 am

Their usual get-out-of-physics card carries the magic phrase ‘Energy storage’ on it.
Only thing is, none of them know how to do that, beyond insane suggestions of soldering enough 18650’s together to store the entire Grid output for a week or two. -and I could imagine the scale of the fire if that shorted…. -No, wait a minute, I can’t.

Reply to  Ian Macdonald
April 6, 2016 7:26 pm

Yes Ian, I’ll take the 23000000000000000000 mAh behind door number 2.

Tom Halla
April 5, 2016 3:58 pm

What is that old line about no one having a good enough memory to be a successful liar? Kerry knows what the Obama administration is doing will not work, and has to support it anyway. Energy storage still seems to be an unsolved problem, despite a vast amount of handwaving.
Thermal molten salt does not seem to work all that well at Ivanpah, and pumped storage is site specific and very lossy. Any trolls, excuse me, renewable energy advocates out there who know of anything that works at utility scale?

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 5, 2016 4:07 pm

Ivanpah does not have a storage of any king, salt or others. If you wish to learn more about the Ivanpah or any CSP plants, send me your e-mail address.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 5, 2016 8:11 pm

HYDRO! oh wait, by law that one doesn’t qualify as renewable. Law trumps reality…pg

Reply to  p.g.sharrow
April 6, 2016 5:58 am

“Law trumps reality”
R.A. Wilson’s law of the superiority of politics to math, approximately:
^If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C, except where prohibited by law.^

Reply to  p.g.sharrow
April 6, 2016 10:58 am

Roger, your use of algebra is insensitive, at the least, and could be considered (micro)aggressive towards certain political science professor(s).

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 6, 2016 9:56 am

Well, I think we could take the hydraulic (tidal) energy at False Pass, Alaska fairly easily. But then we would have to work around the the other competing and contrary interests … boat/ship traffic, environmental, etc..
And finally, there is no energy demand in the area that would warrant the expense, so it would be just for fun, like almost all of the others.

April 5, 2016 3:58 pm

He should put his money and fortune where his mouth is. If he believed in the folly, he must invest in it rather than telling others to do so since we do not believe his faux science. What a hypocrite!!!

Chip Javert
Reply to  Catcracking
April 5, 2016 7:59 pm

Cat cracking
John’s “money & fortune” belongs to his wife.
The only thing John is used to putting “where his mouth” is is his foot.

Bob Burban
April 5, 2016 3:59 pm

Molten salt reactors … please send cheque for one squillion dollars made out to : Joe Blow, Bank of Panama a/c # 3345-9984-223309

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  Bob Burban
April 6, 2016 9:19 am

A molten salt test would be on the order of five squillion bucks. Following the conventions of SI units, there are a thousand squillions in a gazillion.
About a gazillion is spent on wind turbines globally, every year.

April 5, 2016 4:10 pm

Any breakthrough that they and theirs don’t have control over will be taxed and legislated out of existence.

April 5, 2016 4:10 pm

Can he ask private enterprise solve World peace, obesity and bread falling butter butter side downward too? I’m sure that nobody realised there were problems to be solved until a politician asked. There will be geniuses the world over slapping their foreheads and saying ‘of course! Invent a cheap, reliable alternative to fossil fuels, why didn’t I think of that? Now the hard part has been done by John Kerry, I’ll just knock up that prototype for a perpetual machine.’

Reply to  TinyCO2
April 5, 2016 4:11 pm

I missed out the word motion but frankly there’s too much sh… er motion already.

Reply to  TinyCO2
April 5, 2016 4:54 pm

Yes, that properly sums it up. Some bloviating moron says “Guys, if only we only put our inventing heads on then everything would be alright”. Of course the actual current problem is Kerry and his demented boss but I seriously doubt there’s any engineering solution to them or their worldwide cohorts of politically equivalent loons.

average joe
Reply to  cephus0
April 5, 2016 9:52 pm

” I seriously doubt there’s any engineering solution to them or their worldwide cohorts of politically equivalent loons.”
Sure there is. It’s a technology known as centerfire cartridges.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  cephus0
April 6, 2016 7:55 am

Let’s not indulge in overkill. A rimfire .22 at close range is quite adequate.

Reply to  TinyCO2
April 5, 2016 8:08 pm

…bread falling butter side downward…
Strap a cat (paws up) to the non-buttered side of the bread – instant perpetual spinning energy. Where’s my cheque?

Ben of Houston
Reply to  PiperPaul
April 6, 2016 7:16 am

I think PETA might like a word with you.

Reply to  PiperPaul
April 6, 2016 7:17 am

That was the old green plan PiperPaul, where the government paid companies to make junk. Now they want you to make junk saleable to the public. That’s where the private enterprise comes in or at least in John Kerry’s mind. However it turns out the public only buy junk they want, no matter how glossy the PR.

Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 4:11 pm

The statists currently in power don’t care about the U.S. economy or about clean, efficient, energy production. If they did, they would remove the regulatory chains binding the nuclear power industry.
And repeal junk-science regulations like the CO2 “endangerment” rule which are smothering coal-fired electric power and other industries.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 5:05 pm


Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 5:55 pm


John Harmsworth
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 7:12 pm

Pretty interesting approach Mr. Kerry and his boss have. Blow all the research money on beer and pizza for the gang and then tell the evil private sector to get to work. Why does the government want to control all the money when have no idea what to do with it.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 1:07 am

@ Janice Moore, 4:11 April 5.
And just as there seems to be a positive push for nuclear energy in the last few years by the Chinese and the US and many others?
Here in the West the last few weeks I have noticed on a number of so called “scientific” channels they are showing nuclear accidents like Chernobyl, 3 Mile Island, testing of high atmospheric bomb tests by the US, USSR, France, and other accidents like “Broken Arrow” and so on.
All of a sudden there seems to be again, as it has happened in the past, a real attack on the western nuclear industry that wants to advance clean power.
( I wont get into what is happening in Britain, that scenario with coal and steel is truly frightening).

Reply to  asybot
April 6, 2016 1:24 am

What is happening in Britain is absolutely insane as they are importing wood chip from the USA thinking that it is more environmentally friendly than using coal from a local source,

Peter Muller
April 5, 2016 4:13 pm

Read about the ‘excellent’ private-government partnership in BEVs

April 5, 2016 4:19 pm

The answer to the question posed in this essay is that most of the costs decreases will come from economies of scale. So you use subsidies to cover the first distance (until, lets say ~5% of global energy demand), and then you let the market take over.
However, there have been plenty of examples where technologies are subsidized that will not be able to achieve economies of scale for various reasons. And it those cases it’s very fair to criticize the pretty significant waste of taxpayer money.

Janice Moore
Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 4:51 pm

Dear Ben,
It is not a matter of economies of scale. The technology is not there. Simply not.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 6:05 pm

You are right, the technology is not there.
Folks look at the space program and see how technology advanced seemingly as a result of all the government money.
Darn little NEW technology resulted from the space program. The transistor was invented in the late 1940s. Sputnik started the space race in 1957. The first integrated circuit was demonstrated in 1958 and it was not a result of the space program. The space program merely speeded up the development of technology that had already been invented.
Our leaders have to read and understand “Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned – The Myth of the Objective”. link Its main lesson is that, if a technology doesn’t already exist, it is unlikely that it can be forced into existence. It is really really stupid to bet the farm in hope that necessary technology will magically happen just because we spend piles of money trying to find it.
If, in 1900, they had spent the entire planet’s resources trying to get to the moon, they would have failed. The necessary technology didn’t exist.
We are in a similar position with regard to renewable energy. The technology does not exist and is unlikely to exist in the foreseeable future.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 6:14 pm

… speeded up the development of technology that had already been invented.

THIS is the quote of the month:

If, in 1900, they had spent the entire planet’s resources trying to get to the moon, they would have failed. The necessary technology didn’t exist. We are in a similar position with regard to renewable energy.

Applause, (wince) even though you are a commie (sigh), Bob.
(whisper: Dear Bob, you do realize, I hope, that without private enterprise, there would be no scientific research, no government funding, that the communists used or are using what the free world invented for the most part — don’t you? Yours truly, private-enterprise-and-liberty-Janice)

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 6:56 pm

Janice Moore says: April 5, 2016 at 6:14 pm
… (whisper: Dear Bob, you do realize, …

My political heros are Tommy Douglas, Ron Paul and Thomas Jefferson.
I’m not a doctrinaire anything. I call myself a commie because I enjoy the benefits of public education, public roads and Canadian medicare. I am deeply mistrustful of government power as well as corporate power. I am a product of the protestant work ethic. I was raised in the social gospel. A yam, what a yam.

george e. smith
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 10:34 am

You tell him Janice !
The only thing that scales with expansion of inefficient energy technologies, is the financial losses !!
The bottom line cost of ANY enterprise, is the cost of the ENERGY CAPITAL it takes to do it.
The fundamental reason that existing “renewable” energy technologies are NOT ECONOMICAL is that they CONSUME more ENERGY CAPITAL than they produce in their operating lifetime.
They are ENERGY WASTING schemes, NOT ENERGY PRODUCING (availability) schemes.
Yes I do know that energy is not created or destroyed. ACCESS TO IT IS !!

george e. smith
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 1:18 pm

Well I’m not going to second guess the US patent office who awarded the patent to Jack Kilby for the first integrated circuit. He may in fact have been the very first person to think of the idea.
There was in fact an earlier compact modular circuitry that I think was done by RCA or somebody like that. It was in Popular Science I think.
That consisted of some square possibly ceramic wafers, between a cm, and an inch on each side, with components on them, resistors capacitors inductors maybe not transistors, and along the four edges of the wafers, were a bunch of metallized notches, maybe 4-6 on each side.
The wafers were then stacked up into a pile, and solid wires were run up the side, and soldered into all of those notches to make the interconnects. I forget the catchy name they had for it. Something like Tinkertoy or the like.
I mention that because Jack Kilby’s first demonstrated IC was not much different.
One transistor, and a few other components, basically wired together.
Silicon transistors were few and far between even in 1961, and Germanium Transistors were mostly alloy types.
I actually purchased and imported the very first silicon PNP semiconductor transistor that was ever imported into New Zealand, right about 1959 or 1960. It was a Phillips OA202 if I remember correctly. I still have the schematic of the circuit somewhere. I needed silicon for its low leakage to use in a (human) tissue equivalent Neutron Monitor that I designed and built to monitor neutrons generated by Deuteron / heavy ice target collisions in a 600 kV Cockroft-Walton accelerator that we had in the Physics Dept. at U of A.
I remember the first “Planar” silicon transistor I ever saw which was a Fairchild 2N709 NPN transistor. That was either 1961 or 62. I used some of them in the design of some of the circuitry in the Tektronix Type 547 Oscilloscope. That was the first scope to have alternate horizontal sweep switching, so you could display both the delay sweep and the delayed sweep alternately on the screen so they looked simultaneous. I did NOT invent horizontal sweep switching, but I designed the first practical implementation of it for the Type 547. Somebody else (my boss) invented it. I also admit to having designed (earlier) the first quite impractical implementation of horizontal sweep switching.
The standard Tektronix Sweep drive signal, was a 0 to 150 volt voltage ramp, that was applied directly to the cathode ray tube horizontal deflection plates. I built a vacuum tube diode bridge logic gate to switch between the two 150 volt ramps. Then I had to build a 200 volt P-P vacuum tube variable frequency multi-vibrator, to switch those diode bridges from one to the other. Talk about a power hog, it was a monster.
Then I came up with the idea of using a much lower voltage ramp (10 volt) and turning it into a current ramp, with a simple resistor, and then current summing in to the emitter of an NPN grounded base transistor, with a simple diode gate, and a five volt switching driver, instead of 200 volt. That all used maybe a handful of milliwatts. I still think of it as one of my better results. Yes the grounded base transistor was a 2N709. I used the very same signal switching method in the dual channel vertical plug in that I also designed for the type 545B / Type 547 oscilloscope family. I did the entire plug in myself, except for the chassis hardware which was standard.
That scope family was NOT the first model to use transistors and it still had plenty of vacuum tubes (valves) in it, but it was the first highly successful model with alternate sweep switching. I never even thought of doing high speed chopped sweep, which is time multiplexed simultaneous sampled sweeps. Somebody else smarter than me came up with that idea later.
But Robert Noyce at Fairchild did the first planar process IC which really was an integrated circuit. Fairchild also made an early MOS transistor out of the 2N709 or similar bipolar transistor, by adding an insulated gate electrode over the top of I think the base collector junction. I remember well seeing the first one of those samples that Fairchild brought into Tektronix to show to us. It was just an experiment and never went into production, but the gate electrode voltage did have an effect on the current in the transistor.
Sorry for the ramble, but I still believe that Bob Noyce got shafted over the Nobel Prize thing for the IC. I do have a story about an early IC commercial instrument, the Monsanto Model 1000 general purpose counter timer, but that would bore you to tears, if this one hasn’t already.
The minuteman program used some of the earliest practical integrated circuits, mainly the Fairchild RTL family.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 3:34 pm

george e. smith says: April 6, 2016 at 1:18 pm
… The wafers were then stacked up into a pile, and solid wires were run up the side, and soldered into all of those notches to make the interconnects. I forget the catchy name they had for it. Something like Tinkertoy or the like.

You are exactly correct. Here’s a link.
I remember, as a young teenager, reading an article announcing the invention of the integrated circuit. Possibly because I was young and naive, that led me to predict that computers would become very small and portable. I clearly didn’t understand the problems involved. 🙂

george e. smith
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 7, 2016 8:52 pm

Damn ! Commie,
For the life of me, I don’t know how the hell, you guys find this stuff. I think maybe you have been all the way to the end of the internet.
Now you see, I have remembered that Tinkertoy thing since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I never looked it up to see if I had it right, but as your find shows, they did have a plan with the tube plugged into the top of that stack.
That was actually quite high tech electronics construction for that era.
And that metallized notch ceramic wafer idea did not die on the vine.
When I started at Tektronix in March 1961, in Portland Oregon, well actually in Cedar Hills, their standard assembly process use ceramic strips lined up on aluminum chassis, with resistors, and capacitors and diodes and the like strung across, and routing wire harnesses that ladies used to lay out on a wooden board full of nails, and then transfer the whole thing to the chassis and its ceramic strips.
The metal in those notches was silver on top of some other base metal that bonded to the fired ceramic. That created a problem in that if you tried to make solder repairs to components in those strips, the ordinary 60-40 lead tin solder, would immediately dissolve all of the silver off the ceramic strip, and then nothing would stick to it.
So every Tektronix oscilloscope shipped in those days, carried inside it, on the side, a generous spool of silver loaded solder to use for repairs if needed.
It was in fact the ease of working on that circuitry laid out neatly in those ceramic strips, that prompted me to write to Tektronix from New Zealand, and tell them I was coming over to work for them.
My mind was a bit fuzzy on the Tinkertoy name, but I guess my long term memory kicked back in right at the needed time.
Pretty ingenious idea for that era don’t you think Commie ??

Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 4:52 pm

When do economies of scale kick in? I have been waiting for decades. How many tens of thousands of windmills have been built, and no economy of scale? Still waiting.
How about big solar? Consider Ivanpah, Three, count them, three collector/towers and 170,000 mirrors. Big enough? Nope, it is a financial, economic, and energy production disaster.
We are going to whip the greenies so long, so hard, and so bad with Ivanpah, they are going to be so sorry they ever built it.
Now please consider two points:
A) For people building computer CPUs, a new chip fab costs about 10-20 Billion. Yes, that is Billion, with a B. In other words, when the economies of scale really are there, the money will be there too. For a new venture, you say, too risky you say? It is also called “getting in on the ground floor”. That is where the big money is made. If it is too risky for the venture capital, it is too risky for the Taxpayer’s capital.
B) You subsidize a program until it turns profitable. OK, what happens next? Nothing! The program is now profitable, and management has no incentive to spend money innovating. You have just inadvertently frozen the technology in place. It is politically impossible to remove the subsidies and throw people out of jobs, so you have a Worst Case Scenario.

Reply to  TonyL
April 5, 2016 6:36 pm

As an engineer, I just do not see how “Economy-of-scale” kicks in. I can think of nothing they are using that can be designed to be made cheaper. It is all high stress, high vibration industrial equipment. Other than the Nacelle the parts/pieces are used by the thousands throughout the globe. How are they going to make the Hydraulic Pump, motor, fan, gears, computers, process-control systems, etc, etc, cheaper. A few things that are more specialized, like the blades, yes but not many things. I can’t think of much else though, and the blades are some of the highest stress items in the whole system.
They talk about learning curve making it cost less in the future – but what is there to “Learn?” What do they have to learn, It is all application of the same components in the same fashion it has been use for hundreds of years, You just have wind blowing on a blade rather then steam, water, hot gas, etc. The rest of the equipment is doing the exact same thing it does at any power plant, or manufacturing plant in the world. Any thing that would make a significant improvement would also be applicable at any other power/manufacturing plant and have been discovered long ago and be in use today. (other than blade angles and I think aviation has already been there, done that, just in reverse – not an aeronautical engineer though -m so maybe but I would not even bet a beer. .
Computers and TV/Radio were all born as a new concept and they learned as they used what they improved. Think back about the PC, Every year there was some thing NEW and better, faster and several other things that were only flashes in the pan, e.g. “Bubble Memory.”

John Harmsworth
Reply to  TonyL
April 5, 2016 7:29 pm

Let me explain, tony. Firstly, you throw away a few million on something stupid. This establishes an ecosystem of hand out dependent idiots. Kind of like chumming the water when fishing. The new ecosystem if also politically loyal. Next, the giveaways get bigger and pretty soon new groups begin to spontaneously assemble at the nexus of political access and vaguely plausible ideas. Before you know it you can throw away billions on whatever floats your boat, melts your salt or buys a couple F-35’s.

Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 5:52 pm

economies of scale kick in at X% of world energy demand scale, not at the scale of a couple of thousand wind turbines or three (!) SCP plants. Anyway, solar is scaling incredibly quickly, and wind is often already cheaper than coal (for marginal capacity addition, e.g. <30% of total electricity production)

Janice Moore
Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 6:30 pm

Solar is DOA at this time, BB, as far as powering a LARGE SCALE ECONOMY — not viable.
Ozzie Zehner — “Green Illusions”

[6:00] That costs of some of the raw materials which comprise small amounts of total are going down, e. g., polysilicon (less than 5% of total) will never reduce cost of production to break-even.
[6:55] As of 2012, less than ONE TENTH OF 1%, i.e., less than .001% (< .1 Quads), of total energy (114 Quads. for N. America) is supplied by solar.
[7:11] Graphic of N. American total energy v. solar (tiny dot v. big bucket).
Solar Cell Technology Has Not Solved These Problems:
[7:25 ] Masdar City, UAE (United Arab Emirates) solar cell comparison project discovered problems common to all solar cells:
1. [7:56] Haze and Humidity — even in a desert – reflected and dispersed TSI? (“sun’s rays”).
2. [8:02] Dust – almost daily removal needed.
3. [8:06] Heat – reduced ability to produce energy.
8:18] Solar Cell Aging – Output Down ~ 1%/year
1. Output down ~ 1%/year (and “newer technology can degrade even more rapidly.”)
2. [8:33] Useful life of Solar Cells Limited by Inverter Failure – must be replaced every 5-10 years. (Cost: approx.. that of a new house furnace)
Wind is permanently (with current technology/lubricants) negative ROI:
If you want to learn the facts read these:
Sorry, BB, but you should just sell all those wind and or solar shares NOW. Stop kidding yourself — yes, YOU; you sure aren’t fooling the rest of us.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 7:02 pm

Has it not occurred to you that the technical advances will benefit the fossil fuel installations at a even higher rate. deploying a top of the line three d printer will allow them to reduce their stock piles of repair parts. Also they would be able to custom the replacement part to the “wear” of the mating structure.
Just the tax savings on reducing stock would bring a gleam to the eye of any stock holder.

Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 8:54 pm

Hello Janice!
So instead of linking to random videos on the Internet, if there is no learning curve (as everyone here seems up agree on) please explain to me how both PV and wind have been able to consistently reduce their prices year over year, while subsidies have been also falling significantly?
And the burden of proof is really on you here. Just look up the price for any wind project financed in 2016 and you’ll see the prices are at or below that of coal (without subsidies). How is that possible? Please explain!

Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 11:27 pm

benben April 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm
“Well, who am I to argue with all the well reasoned ( /s) arguments above. I’ll say though that I’m a chemical engineer by training and a lot of my engineering friends ended up working for Vestas and the like. So if we have a difference of opinion is not going to be because I’m not capabele of doing some basic maths.”
OK, but if you can use a sci-calculator and a spreadsheet, I’m immediately left wondering what your excuse is then? As saying you can do math does not defeat the arguments presented.
But you provided the real answer to the lack of counterpoint and lack of rational explanation for your views, yourself, namely:
“Wind. It means the world to us. With installations in over 70 countries, Vestas is the only global energy company dedicated exclusively to wind energy.”
So you admit having a strong implicit interest in the ‘renewables’ ‘industry’ continuing to butter your bread? So you’re a partisan? an invested commentator, supposedly defending an energy supply technology but provides no sensible defense to the refutations of the “startup industry” excuse, or the “learning-curve” excuse, and the “economies of scale” excuse, while ignoring the massive economic downsides and inefficiencies that can’t be made up? And the investments that are designed to produce massive losses, and massive financial destruction, and country hobbling, and serious damage in all other economic sectors? And related industry failures and bankruptcies due to fundamental inefficient and market uncompetitiveness against foreign producers and suppliers who are not so delusional or foolish as to use or rely on ‘wind power’?
Gee, and your bread is buttered by Vestas, you say? An even that would be fine, if you had a leg to stand on.
Your main defense seems to revolve around ‘renewables’, like wind turbines, are ‘good’ and should continue to be paid for, out of other peoples wallets, because you get a slice of the pie, if you can con people into supporting it.
Keeping the delusion alive!
In market investment, when a crook promises huge returns on investments, and knows in advance that the return will be zero, in fact, not only zero return, but that they will also lose all of their investment capital, that’s called a “Ponzi Scheme”. People go to prison for a very long time for that. Because it is fundamentally digging a hole for others to fall into, while you grin and pretend nothing’s terminally wrong, that you’re perfectly innocent, even as you’re eating up their slice of the pie!
And you want to be respected for apologizing for this ‘ben-ben’?
Something that is not economically competitive on own merit, and not pseudo-competitive via impairing your competitors with taxes and no subsidy support, as they have to operate on their own actual economic merits, is not ‘renewable’, at all.
Your delusional global wind installations complex will go broke, that’s for certain, just as it’s certain a Ponzi scheme will go broke, and this will send actual countries, economics and business broke, cause massive unemployment, producing strategic instability and national vulnerability, political turmoil, market collapses, industrial fragmentation, social recoil and revolt that has the potential to put the legal and political systems into open question, put these place (at best) into recessions, or fully developed economic depressions as they can not economically compete any longer wit these mill-stones around their necks, and there will be no second chances with this technological Ponzi-Scheme – these systems will be run into the ground and deep into bankruptcy because they’re far too expensive, and a hopeless energy technology, to ever consider replacing them in service with more of the same.
i.e. they will not be ‘renewed’ so can not be considered ‘renewable’ power systems.
They are one-off grand errors, set up by people who are using the Ponzi model, of conning everyone into wipeout and bankruptcy.
And the foolish are actually falling for the on-going con and rorting of the public purse and private wallets.
But the White Elephant is not as endangered as it once was … there is that to say for the environmental upside argument.

Reply to  benben
April 6, 2016 11:47 am

haha, ok so you guys would rather focus on the EVERYTHING BUT THE NUMBERS. Fine, just carry along then. If there is anyone left that would discuss numbers, lets do that.
Lets forget about solar for a moment, nobody is saying that solar is competetive economically. Wind. Just go look up any of the major contracts for windfarms signed in 2016, and you will see they are all below the price of coal.
Then you will also see that these are not subsidized prices but the actual price that will be payed for the electricity. I present you exhibit A:
There are of course many other examples.
So please, explain to me how wind energy can be simultaneously SO STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE THE WORLD WILL GO BANKRUPT and also cheaper than coal.
I’m looking forward to your reasoned replies

george e. smith
Reply to  benben
April 6, 2016 2:55 pm

On newer technologies degrading faster than older ones, that is a fact of life.
Newer technologies tends to mean more efficient technologies. Often more efficient results form higher purity materials.
Better LEDs of a particular type, or higher efficiency solar cells (silicon) are achieved by reducing the residual impurities in the silicon, or making a more perfect crystal with a lower defect density.
That means it takes fewer new defects (during operating life) to drop the efficiency, than if the defect density is already high in an older technology.
It only takes a small amount of energy to warm something up from 1 K to 2 K. But it takes a lot more than that to warm it up from 1000 K to 1001 K.
Lighter automobiles are more efficient. They are also more damage prone because of those lighter constructions.
Which does NOT mean that newer technologies are a fool’s paradise.
Soraa can make a better GaN or InGaN LED die, because they grow their light emitting epitaxy, on a substrate of single crystal bulk GaN, that they figured out how to grow.
It’s difficult and expensive, but very much better than the defect laden epitaxy that other people grow on either SiC or Sapphire substrates, which are not as good a lattice match.
Point defects can also promote infant mortality failures, due to local hot spotting and like problems. So I’m quite sure that Soraa’s GaN blue and white LEDs (green too) will demonstrate better filed operating lifetimes.

Reply to  benben
April 6, 2016 8:53 pm

benben April 6, 2016 at 11:47 am
“So please, explain to me how wind energy can be simultaneously SO STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE THE WORLD WILL GO BANKRUPT and also cheaper than coal. I’m looking forward to your reasoned replies”
Oh my goodness! This will only take a few seconds.
Wind is not base load supply.
Every modern economy needs a 24/7/365 totally reliable and affordable as well as economically competitive base-load national electron supply.
Every country that wastes it money buying an over-hyped under performing wind installation, still needs its mandatory base load supply network, so it also must buy, build, operate, maintain and then re-capitalize an actual national electrical supply infrastructure, for when there is little to almost no wind. Which happens routinely.
Which means your electricity supply network is going to MUCH more expensive than using coal.
Like someone said elsewhere, you guys really need to get some basic grasp on economics of energy.
Alternatively you either know its a non-starter as an actual economic electrical supply network, or you are you just a bit starry-eyed, invested, deluded and daft?
Or maybe you just prefer the Ponzi-model for operating cons? … yeah … that’s closer to it.

Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 7:01 pm

Economies of scale? That’s your buzzy words for the day? Economies of scale…
You need to take a few basic financial courses!
Simply put:
Economies of scale kick in when items that are expensive to produce individually and infrequently, are cheaper to produce by ramping up mass production taking advantage of lower costs from repetitive and identical production manufacturing.
– Doesn’t seem to apply to any of the renewable energy sources; no one size/shape to fit multiple installations all seem to require unique design, height, length, strength…
Economies of scale completely fail to overcome expense of construction when the financial model to produce one occurs at a loss of 50% total expenses.
e.g. cost to construct and install one wind turbine requires up front financing and subsidies that requires consistent revenue income over twenty to twenty five years for payback.
Revenue streams that, in real life, do not reflect real life maintenance costs or the shorter than projected equipment life and frequent catastrophic equipment failure.
Simpler yet; there are no economies of scale when the financial plan is a loss of $1 million+/- per turbine. Fifty thousand turbines still means losing over $1 million per turbine.
Build a massive mirror based bird fryer generating facility that is a complete failure; oops lost all that money.
Build a second one before the first is complete so that the economy of scale reduces the costs? Still represents a complete loss of financing.
But that’s all right in the warmist world? Increase electrical supply charges by 100% (current increases in Europe and England) to 300% (projected, when all subsidies are included).
For unreliable, inconsistent electrical utilities?
For electrical utilities that currently refuse maintaining or improving the electrical grids?
For electricity incapable of running heavy industry or even to construct new ‘renewable engines’? At alleged economies of scale?
Only deluded leftists with soft liberal arts degrees; no hard math, chemistry or physical science skills required can believe such buzz word tripe.

Reply to  ATheoK
April 5, 2016 8:44 pm

Well, who am I to argue with all the well reasoned ( /s) arguments above. I’ll say though that I’m a chemical engineer by training and a lot of my engineering friends ended up working for Vestas and the like. So if we have a difference of opinion is not going to be because I’m not capabele of doing some basic maths.

David A
Reply to  ATheoK
April 5, 2016 10:15 pm

If wind worked ad was cheaper then coal, then it would be sweeping the world. Instead it is a small fraction of global prudiction and causing lots of problems for the grid, and always has to be backed by reliable base load power generation.
If Benben is right then it is simple; Pull all wind and solar subsidies including the first right to sell whatever they generate, meaning the reliable base load generators would no longer have to back off because it is a good wind day, or good wind hour, and see how they fair with zero government financing or backing, and zero buy back from utilities for unneeded power. Warren Buffet flatly states that without government subsides wind is a loser.

Reply to  ATheoK
April 5, 2016 11:14 pm

It’s pretty simple physics – really
Insolation at the equator is about 1kW per square meter.
Solar only works on average for about 5 hours out of 24 (6/24 in summer)
Solar cells are less than 20% efficient
When they are shaded/dirty they produce about 20% of the 20% they produce when lit.
Worst case at end of life they lose 15% of capacity
Inverters lose about 10% (rarely better than 90% efficient)
In Transmitting power from place to place up to10% is lost in heating the wires or by eddy currents created by the magnetic fields the wires make.
When Solar panels are hot they lose 10% of output.
You cant really pack solar panels edge to edge, there are non generating areas, a packing density of say 0.8 is practical
So the grid equivalent (99.95%) reliable output of a 1 m2 solar installation which is based on worst cases grid equivalent (99.95%) reliable output is around
1000 x 0.2 x 5/24 x0.2 x 0.85 x 0.9 x 0.90x 0.9 x 0.8 = 4.13 Watts per metre squared (at the equator)
Now tell me, at 4.13W per square meter, what area of solar farm is required to power Singapore?
Singapore’s Generation Capacity is 12.8 Gigawatts (12,800 MW). or 1.28 E10 Watts, so you would need 1.28E10/4.13 square metres of panels to replace Singapore’s electricity supply with Solar PV.
That’s 3,099,000,000 square metre or 3,099 square km, the area of Singapore is 719 Square km
Do you see a problem here?
[The mods would recommend a 5% transmission loss factor – but only for the very high (150,000 to 250,000) volt lines from the central power stations. Losses increase as AC voltage is reduced in the distribution network locally.

Reply to  ATheoK
April 6, 2016 5:03 am

OK Mods but last time I used them transformers were not lossless either, nor is the impedance match between the inverter and the line perfect and PWM sine waves have sharp lossy edges. Remember also that solar farms in the middle of death valley are probably a fairly long way from the consumers. The Typical 5% quoted is for HV transmission losses and doesn’t account distribution losses. I think I would allow 10% design factor for end-to-end losses even if Mods wouldn’t.

Reply to  ATheoK
April 6, 2016 9:20 am

Such a riposte! Use a slash S to imply the rational financially sound arguments are faulty. Bogus!
You say that you’re a chemical engineer and your engineer buddies are working for Vestas and similar?
That renewable energy companies are rapidly defaulting or going bankrupt, has no effect on your irrationality?
Interesting study area, that chemical engineer study; I’m related to a Doctorate of Chemical Engineering. They’re job now? Programming in a bank related industry.
What’s your job benben? Network maintenance along with blog trolling?
Anyway, you sure showed us about finance with your chemical engineer claim… Especially when you consistently post erroneous information, understanding and your total miscomprehension regarding economies of scale… By the way, that is sarcasm, ben!

Reply to  ATheoK
April 6, 2016 11:20 am

“Chemical Engineer by training …”
Just what does this mean. Are you licensed? If not, the qualifier “by training” technically keeps you from being in violation of (most U.S.A.) State regulations that restrict people from lying about being Engineers.
With respect to “by training” what do you mean; did you graduate with a degree, or did you just train until the grades got too low and the money ran out?

Reply to  ATheoK
April 6, 2016 11:49 am

hello everyone! bobl, thanks for your reply, but I was talking about wind, not solar. please see post above, which is a challenge to explain to me in how this is possible, in pretty simple physics, really

Leonard Lane
Reply to  benben
April 5, 2016 11:46 pm

benben if the technology had any benefits over fossil fuels then no subsidies of cash, tax reductions, or any [other] subsidies would be needed.

Reply to  Leonard Lane
April 6, 2016 2:01 am

@ Leonard Lane, 11.46 46 pm April 6, ?
And if the fossil fuel industries with their billions of $$ they have, would see the advantage of
“green” solutions they would have already implemented them.
( lets not forget they actually supply most of the components for a wind turbine , you know just one example? The fuel for a truck that carry them ( I can just see a electric flatbed truck moving a wind turbine blade 200 miles).

Reply to  benben
April 6, 2016 3:30 am

You have the right of it benben, and the wind and solar industries are perfect examples of the waste you speak about.

Reply to  benben
April 6, 2016 6:43 am

Benben, you have seen the price/watt curves for both solar P.V. and wind.
And thereby, you yourself can see quite clearly that the steady attrition of costs (50% per 7 years or so, in the case of P.V.) – that all this predates the era of subsidies.
Are you being disingenuous, or are you willing yourself not to notice this obvious fact?
Your rationalization of the subsidy policies makes no sense, since the wind and solar industries were driven towards reducing costs over time, prior to subsidies.
In my assessment, subsidies had the effect of raising prices.
And money targeted purportedly at innovation had the effect of rewarding cheats and rascals for forwarding dumb unworkable ideas as the next best thing.
“Priming the pump” is a myth. The market left to itself was headed in the right direction.
And you have the graphs that prove it.

Reply to  benben
April 8, 2016 7:11 am

Other Ben, the problem with that argument is that with wind and solar, the real costs come not at 1-5%, but at 20-40%, when unreliable sources become large enough that low periods don’t have enough baseload power to operate. At that point, energy storage and huge backups are required that increase costs so dramatically that they’ve never really been done.

Mark from the Midwest
April 5, 2016 4:21 pm

As a private investor I’m giddy with anticipation at the opportunities this will bring now that our esteemed Secretary has directed America’s corporations in the right direction. I’m ready to ante up my cash as soon as the Heinz Family Trust invests several million in an up and coming renewable provider

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
April 5, 2016 8:12 pm

Solar ketchup! Where’s that grant application. I’ll donate back to you! I promise.

April 5, 2016 4:23 pm

The term “breakthrough” was used 5 times in the post.
True enough, sometimes technology does provide that “Eureka” moment when the world changes. But far and away, change is evolutionary. For example, consider the wonderful aerodynamic blades on these wind turbines in the lead photo. A Breakthrough? Not hardly. Derived from NACA airfoils first developed in the 1930s, used by NASA, developed to a fine art by commercial airline manufacturers, and applied to the keels of racing sailboats.
{If anything in the world makes less sense than “Alternative Energy”, it would have to be racing monohull sailboats. At least it is fun, and you get out on the water. But I digress.}
Technology is limited by the underlying science. There just does not seem to be any understanding of this simple fact today. The Govt. passes laws commanding fuel economies which are thermodynamically impossible. Yet, a “Technology Breakthrough” will happen and everything will be wonderful. And of course, “You could never have done it without us GOVT. We led the way”.

We’ve finalized rules that limit the amount of carbon pollution coming from new and existing power plants

They have just created more laws demanding the production of fossil fuel energy without burning carbon.
There was a time when Govt. doing this was called “Defying The Law Of Gravity”. There just no longer seems to be the awareness that some things are simply not possible. Perpetual Motion Machines are impossible, “Free Energy” is impossible. Everything else fundamental physical limits on what can be done.
And Govt. can not mandate that which is impossible, without horrific consequences.

Reply to  TonyL
April 5, 2016 6:21 pm

And Govt. can not mandate that which is impossible, without horrific consequences.

The Government mandates the sun to produce an extra hour of daylight in the evening, Spring through Fall.
Oh wait… they can’t do that either. They mandate that us peasants fiddle our clocks. Never mind.

Reply to  H.R.
April 6, 2016 3:30 pm

“The Govt. passes laws commanding fuel economies which are thermodynamically impossible.”
I read one congressman’s response to that: ^They said we couldn’t improve fuel economy by 25% [or whatever] and we did. So we can do it again.^
No concept of low-hanging fruit.

April 5, 2016 4:32 pm

Renewables do work

Reply to  Wagen
April 5, 2016 4:37 pm

We agree: renewables work.
They’re just totally inefficient and expensive compared with the gold standard of energy production: fossil fuel power.

Reply to  dbstealey
April 5, 2016 8:31 pm

There’s that semantics thing again from Wagen (see previous story).

4 eyes
Reply to  Wagen
April 5, 2016 4:45 pm

Wagen, If they are so darn good, please put all your money into unsubsidized grid scale renewable generation. I say grid scale because we are never going to do away with the grid.

Chip Javert
Reply to  4 eyes
April 5, 2016 8:08 pm

4 eyes
I’m sure Wagen is making a killing on his Solyndra stock.
Oooops – never mind.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Wagen
April 5, 2016 4:48 pm

Oh, put some SPIRIT into that plea, Wagen. “I DO believe in renewables, I DO, I DO, I DO!!!” They’re dying, Wagen… CRY OUT!
Why Wagen, you HAVE tried. You have tried to reach the whole world with your earnest plea for help.
“I do believe …!!” …. “Clap! Oh, clap!” (Mary Martin)

Wagen — you are SO MUCH FUN!
That is to say, Wagen: Saying “renewables work” is like saying: “If we all just pedal our bicycles connected to our electric generators, we can keep the lights on long enough to read the directions on our microwave dinner.”
Forget cooking it.
It’s an analogy. The U.S. economy cannot EVER be powered to any meaningful extent with current wind or solar technology.
The End.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 5:02 pm

You win the thread. I was going to answer Wagen, but I can’t possibly now.
You just have to believe.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 5, 2016 5:55 pm

Well, Tony L … wow — thank you! 🙂
I think we’ve got an awful lot of great comments and observations going, here, though…. including yours. For example (of many I could select):

Govt. can not mandate that which is impossible, without horrific consequences.

TonyL at 4:23pm
I was going to highlight that above, but decided not to. I’m glad you gave me a second chance.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 2:08 am

@ Janice, quit beating on Wagen it is , I don’t know? I just really hate seeing puppies get hurt. ( and kittens),

Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 5, 2016 5:34 pm

Well, a few of us practicing engineers have been posting here for quite a while that renewable energy is “not practical” (as opposed to “does not work”) long before the “top google engineers” pronounced the same judgement.
Yes it “works”, technically, you can get energy from the wind and the Sun, just not as much as you want when you want it.
The very best storage system for energy is (and likely will be for a long time) the chemical bonds between the atoms in a hydrocarbon fuel, and the bonds in elements subject to radioactive transmutation. The energy density and relative safety is unmatched.
A large multi year supply of coal piled outside an electric generating station represents the “state of the art” for energy storage. It is mostly harmless while stored, easily fed into the boilers when needed to keep up with demand and cheaply replenished. In short; IT WORKS.
Exhortations from gubermint nitwits encouraging the “private sector” to find “breakthroughs” are an admission that said gubermint nitwits could not recognize a “breakthrough” if it bit them in their behind parts.
Cheers, KevinK.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 5, 2016 6:43 pm

Eric – One reason renewables are currently so expensive is what Kerry boasted about:

“more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.”

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 5, 2016 8:21 pm

Sometimes I get that answer and sometimes I forget to carry the billion.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 6, 2016 6:14 am

More than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.
In other words, the vast majority of these people would not have jobs if it weren’t for government subsidies.

Peter Sable
April 5, 2016 4:33 pm

Most of the cost of solar is not the solar cell technology it’s installation. Installation cost reductions is not going to get the 4x cheaper that is needed to compete with coal.. Same with wind. They are both a hopeless cause.
Molten Salt reactors are likely the only idea out there that could replace coal.

Reply to  Peter Sable
April 5, 2016 5:09 pm

Molten salt reactors are capable of load following – they can replace both coal and a lot of nat gas plants.

Reply to  arthur4563
April 5, 2016 7:10 pm

Like Ivanpah does???

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Peter Sable
April 6, 2016 10:46 am

LWR are designed to load follow. Since 75% of power in France is nuclear, those PWRs load follow except during high demand periods.

Reply to  Peter Sable
April 6, 2016 3:34 pm

And maintenance. And decommishioning.

4 eyes
April 5, 2016 4:39 pm

He seems totally unaware that people are always looking for breakthroughs. It is clear he thinks this whole thing is scripted and that the breakthrough is a 100% certainty. Politicians really are a breed apart.

April 5, 2016 4:51 pm


Reply to  Latitude
April 5, 2016 5:58 pm


April 5, 2016 5:08 pm

We have a breakthru – it’s called a molten salt nuclear reactor. Klueless Kerry

Retired Kit P
Reply to  arthur4563
April 6, 2016 10:48 am

Who is we?

Johann Wundersamer
April 5, 2016 5:11 pm

‘investing in clean energy just makes good business sense.’
how comes.

April 5, 2016 5:23 pm

“…maybe something we haven’t discovered yet – the breakthrough on battery storage, a breakthrough on a clean fuel burn – I don’t know what it is, but I trust in the ingenuity and the capacity of the American people…”
Maybe if we spent 3 summers on the outer banks of North Carolina (at Kitty Hawk preferably), provide a tent and maybe a cabin for the private Battery, Solar and Wind Geniuses, they could come up with the true breakthrough that “we” are looking for.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
April 5, 2016 8:31 pm

How much heat can we get from burning politicians?

Reply to  John Harmsworth
April 6, 2016 2:13 am

@ John Harmsworth, very , very little, they run way too fast to keep them in place to provide any heat for any length of time. ( But maybe the paper work they leave behind??).

April 5, 2016 5:27 pm

No. You do it. Get some one that money you waste on climate politics and apply it to nuclear research.

CD in Wisconsin
April 5, 2016 5:36 pm

“Now, since President Obama took office, wind and solar power have grown by more than 200 percent. Costs for these technologies continue to plummet and today more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.
Let me be clear. Government can provide the structure, the incentives, the framework. But I know – and so do you – that it’s the private sector that will ultimately take us to the finish line….”
Anyone out there is free to correct me if I’m wrong here, but it is my understanding that wind and solar energy are poor, low density sources of electricity. If this is true, it would explain why, after having been invented in 1954, solar energy has yet to demonstrate any ability to scale up to commercial base load levels with the Fed’s EIA stating that solar only provides 0.4% of our electricity as of last year. That’s 62 years folks. Wind, as another low density energy source, can hardly be much better. Low density energy souces can hardly be expected to deliver high density energy, can they? But yet, the believers continue to believe.
Obama, Secretary Ketchup and all those commenters at this website who still believe in wind and solar energy after all this time are living in a fantasy world. The renewables dreamland they have emotionally attached themselves is unlikely to materialize anytime soon, if ever. It has been shown in a past posting here at WUWT (with Google engineers in agreement) that solar in particular is a nightmare when it comes to attempting to scale it up:
If the private sector were capable of doing what Obama and Secretary Ketchup are demanding from them and fantasizing about, it seems to be me we would be seeing it by now. Does anyone know of a technology which took in excess of 62 years to scale up successfully to commercial levels after being invented? There might be one, but I can’t think of any off hand.
The argument here could probably be applied to their battery storage technology fantasies as well. Batteries have been around for quite some time now (100 years?) and I’m still waiting for that “breakthrough”. It almost makes me sick to think that we’ll be getting at least 4 more years of this if Hillary makes it to the White House in November. I think I may need something for my stomach.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
April 5, 2016 5:42 pm

The battery was invented in 1800 according to Wikipedia. “Breakthrough” were are you…..?

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
April 5, 2016 5:44 pm

I meant “where are you…..? I type too fast.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
April 5, 2016 8:02 pm

Secretary ketchup….rotflmao

Janice Moore
Reply to  John piccirilli
April 5, 2016 8:09 pm

oh, thank you, Mr. Piccirilli — missed that — LAUGH — OUT — LOUD. (nice one, CD!)

David A
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
April 5, 2016 10:22 pm

:more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.”
Hum, not certain this is factual, but if it is, then why do they not produce four times the power of fossil fuels?
Do they also pay four times the tax?

Reply to  David A
April 6, 2016 12:47 am

Should one conclude that employees in the fossil fuel industry are 4 x as productive in terms of ultimate power generation than those in the renewables industries?

Reply to  David A
April 6, 2016 6:10 am

Sounds like another Kerry Whooper (with ketsup please). Doesn’t he count miners as fossil fuel workers? Or is he counting on HRC to put them all out of work?

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
April 6, 2016 3:41 pm

“today more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.”
He may be counting “green workers” instead of “renewables” employees, such as the “green” driver of a hybrid bus. And he may not be counting service station employees, who deserve partial credit for overseeing gas pumps.

April 5, 2016 5:51 pm

here in the United States, President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do

I don’t think anyone can argue with John Kerry on this point

April 5, 2016 5:56 pm

“I trust in the ingenuity and the capacity of the American people ”
That’s exactly what the crapitalist statists in their arrogant ignorance don’t trust .

April 5, 2016 6:06 pm

What is the next headline?
“John Kerry announces government funding for the new School of Alchemy, which will undertake research to convert the lead in old car batteries into gold bullion.”

April 5, 2016 6:08 pm

Calling CO2 pollution is science incompetence. Calling it carbon makes it sound more ominous and distracts from attending to possible real atmospheric pollutants from coal such as particulates, NOX and sulfur (as the Chinese are experiencing, especially with the smog in Beijing. The US uses precipitators to remove the real pollutants).

April 5, 2016 6:10 pm

6 Apr: Times of India: IANS: West has double standards on climate change, says Goyal
Charging the Western nations with adopting double standards in their approach to climate change, Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday urged them to “show some magnanimity” and keep renewable energy out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework.
“My concern is that there is a lot of gap in what is being said by the West and what is being delivered. There is no denying for the fact that for last 150 years, the West has enjoyed low-cost fossil fuels and developed their economies,” Goyal, who also holds the renewable energy portfolio, said at an International Finance Corporation (IFC) event here.
“I appealed to the US, when negotiations were going on, that we can keep renewable energy out of the WTO framework. After all we decided in Singapore that no country will put import duties on renewable energy, on solar products…
5 Apr: NDTV India: PTI: Piyush Goyal Attacks West For Its ‘Double Standards’ On Climate Change
Most of the western world survived on coal. The coal consumption in the US, in per capita terms, is as much as India consumes in 2016. Today, in absolute numbers also, with one-fourth of population of India, the US consumes over 2-2.5 times more coal than the world’s largest democracy, he added…
“So, I think the reality is that West waited till it found cheaper sources of energy. Till shale gas become affordable, it kept talking about the inconvenient truth,” he said at an event jointly organised by World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, Exim Bank, NSE and Institute of International Finance in New Delhi…
Today, there are 16 state-run programmes in the US where the domestic industry is protected in solar equipment procurement and this “double standard” has to stop someday, the minister said.

April 5, 2016 6:10 pm

Solyndra was the epitome of a tax-payer funded top-down entrepreneurial high tech start up, which is kind of a silly imitation of real entrepreneurs using real money on loan from wary, intelligent investors. Solyndra built themselves a nice campus, hired all the suitable people, looked just like a real company with a great idea.
The one thing they didn’t do is ask one simple question: once we start production of these great solar products, what exactly is going to stop China from building an equivalent product for one-third our cost?
A simple little question. No one asked it. That is because politics is a pretend world and government funding of even good ideas can be rife with politics and magic thinking. The F-35 is another example.

NW sage
Reply to  Michael Cook
April 5, 2016 6:57 pm

That simple question — was never asked because the politicians directing the debacle didn’t want to know the answer or were not prepared to deny it. Politicians work that way, business managers do not. Businessmen look for REAL answers, politicians look for answers that fit a predetermined mold. With predictable results.

Reply to  Michael Cook
April 5, 2016 7:38 pm

Well at least 3 Chinese solar companies were sued (and lost) for selling below cost against Solyndra. As a result of Solyndra’s failure and a anti-dumping lawsuit by Solar World there is a import tariff on almost all Chinese solar manufactures. Last time I checked it ranged from 18 to 35 percent at the port of entry. Personalty I don’t think their design yielded enough extra performance for the price. Their CIGS coated glass tubes were way too expensive to make and their big selling points were they shed dust and snow and had a lower wind loading factor – none of theses ‘features’ were ever going to compete with low cost 20% efficient flat panels.

Reply to  Pro_GMO
April 6, 2016 12:40 pm

They lost a “lawsuit” because their subsidies were more than ours?

george e. smith
Reply to  Michael Cook
April 7, 2016 9:24 pm

Well Michael you have the story a little bit pear shaped there.
“””””….. looked just like a real company with a great idea. …..”””””
NO ! Solyndra was built on a truly terrible idea. The designers of their cylindrical tubular solar cells, should be incarcerated for scientific and engineering malpractice.
Solyndra was a scientific disaster long before it became a financial and political RICO test case.
Anybody with just a 4-H club knowledge of solar cells, understands the folly of having a large area semiconductor photodiode that is non uniformly irradiated with radiant energy.
The portions of the cell area that are under illuminated, operate at a lower voltage than the areas more highly illuminated, so they lug down the operating area, instead of contributing to the current output, they short circuit the producing areas.
So folding a flat cell into a cylinder simply guarantees that you can never uniformly illuminate all of the parallel connected diode area.
Also they used a known hygroscopic II-VI compound semi-conductor material, so the glass tube that the semiconductor was plated onto had to be itself enclosed in a hermetically sealed outer glass tube envelope to keep moisture from destroying the diode.
And last time I checked, a cylinder uses Pi times as much glass as does a flat strip that is as wide as the space the cylindrical tube occupies.
So their ” great idea ” require six times as much glass area as a flat solar cell the same width. And because the tube is three dimensional, it casts a moving shadow as the sun rotates about it during the day, and those shadows fall on the next tube over and cause it to short circuit, unless you place them a long distance apart, just like the field of mirrors at Ivanpah.
The Solyndra “great idea” was a criminal. mistake. And the Solyndra folks managed to hide that from both the government, and their private venture investors, who all got taken to the cleaners; along with us taxpayers.
Not a great idea at all.

April 5, 2016 6:13 pm

Microbes have probably been guzzling hydrocarbons at a fantastic rate since the inception of life billions of years ago.
Only a true “renewable” could be so “sustainable.”
* * * * *
I, with reason for my guide, have learned one thing from my Arab teachers, you, something different; dazzled by the outward show of authority you wear a head-stall. For what else should we call authority but a head-stall? Just as brute animals are led by the head-stall where one pleases, without seeing why or where they are being led, and only follow the halter by which they are held, so many of you, bound and fettered as you are by a low credulity, are led into danger by the authority of writers. Hence, certain people arrogating to themselves the title of authorities have employed an unbounded licence in writing, and this to such an extent that they have not hesitated to insinuate into men of low intellect the false instead of the true.
– Adelard of Bath, Uncle & Nephew, 1137
* * * * *
Petroleum (literally “rock oil”) is abiotic and renewable. Not a profitable fact–but a fact nonetheless.

Reply to  Khwarizmi
April 5, 2016 7:46 pm

Chirality kills abiotic petroleum.

Reply to  Gamecock
April 6, 2016 12:42 am

The infestation of planet Earth with petroleum eating microbes from pole to pole for billions of years renders the fossil fable logistically impossible, so you ignore the biology…
(Life from petroleum, not vice-versa. Gulf of Mexico, NOAA)
Regurgitating the world “chirality” may very well confound the ignorant–a favorite tactic of fossil fanatics. But it isn’t an argument by any standards.
The optical activity commonly observed in natural petroleum has been for years speciously claimed as “proof” of some connection with biological detritus, – albeit one requiring both a willing disregard of the considerable differences between the optical activity observed in natural petroleum and that in materials of truly biotic origin, such as wine, as well as desuetude of the dictates of the laws of thermodynamics.
Optical activity is observed in minerals such as quartz or Iceland spar, as well as in oil, and among biological molecules. The optical activity observed in petroleum is more characteristic of the same in abiotic minerals, such as naturally occurring quartz, which are polycrystalline minerals, with a scalemic distribution of domains of left- and right-rotational properties. The chiral molecules in petroleum manifest scalemic distributions, and significantly lack the homochiral distribution which characterize biotic optically active matter. The optical activity in natural petroleum is characterized by either a right (positive, or dextrorotary) or left (negative, or levorotary) rotation of the plane of polarization. By contrast, in biological material left (levorotary) rotation dominates.
The observation of optical activity in hydrocarbon material extracted from the interiors of carbonaceous meteorites, and typical of such in natural petroleum, discredited those claims.2, 26 Nonetheless, the scientific conundrum as to why the hydrocarbons manifest optical activity, in both carbonaceous meteorites and terrestrial crude oil remained unresolved until recently.
The chiral molecules in natural petroleum originate from three distinct sources: contamination by biological detritus in the near-surface strata from which the oil has been taken; the biological alteration and degradation of the original oil by microbes which consume and metabolize oil; and the chiral hydrocarbon molecules which are intrinsic to the petroleum and generated with it. Only the last concerns the origin of petroleum.
The genesis of the scalemic distribution of chiral molecules of natural petroleum has recently been shown to be a direct consequence of the chiral geometry of the system particles acting according to the laws of classical thermodynamics. The resolution of the problem of the origin of the scalemic distributions of chiral molecules in natural petroleum has been shown to be an inevitable consequence of their high-pressure genesis.19 Thus, the phenomenon of optical activity in natural petroleum, contrary to supporting any assertion of a biological connection, strongly confirms the high-pressure genesis of natural petroleum, and thereby the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins.
–J.F. Kenney
“Chirality” is not evidence for biological origin.
We brainwash children with the fossil fable using cartoons of palms trees and dinosaurs, providing no physical evidence to substantiate it, deliberately neglecting the history of debate and all evidence undermining it.
The ubiquity and antiquity of petroleum eating organisms alone demonstrates the renewable and sustainable nature of the stuff. “Fossil fuel” is a post modern social construct that has no correspondence with reality.

April 5, 2016 6:17 pm

Oh crap…I never thought of just asking them to come up with something that worked. While they’re at it, maybe they could just make teleportation a reality or make food that has awesome nutritional value but tastes EXACTLY like an ice cream cake. And here I was thinking there were some sorts of constraints on it like actually knowing how.

Janice Moore
Reply to  poitsplace
April 5, 2016 6:37 pm

lol — and +1 — and oh, boy, do I wish that food thing would happen — I LOVE TO EAT! Pizza (great tasting) with zero calories… ice cream (NOT with sugar alcohol — there is an embarrassing side-effect to that stuff, though it tastes great)… brownies….. Frangos….. sourdough bread…. baked potatoes….. wild rice…. lol — guess that’s what heaven is for (for me, anyway :)’ ).
There IS low-carb pasta, so that’s not on the list! 🙂

Tom in Texas
Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 10:53 am

Janice, tried this last week and was amazed with how good it was.

April 5, 2016 6:18 pm

multiple links…what’s not to like? Brad will tell you:
5 Apr: Vox: Brad Plumer: Hundreds of coal plants are still being planned worldwide — enough to cook the planet
I’ve written before about the global coal renaissance — the single biggest energy and climate story of the last 15 years. Since 2000, countries like China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam have been building coal-fired power plants at a torrid pace…
This coal boom has had real benefits, helping poor countries climb out of poverty. But it also has serious downsides…
So the biggest, most important climate question for the next 15 years is: How long will this global coal boom last?…
One invaluable data source here is an annual report from three environmental groups: CoalSwarm, the Sierra Club, and Greenpeace…
In their 2016 “Boom and Bust” report (LINK), they find the equivalent of 1,500 new coal plants in the pipeline worldwide. That’s a staggering number…
Ultimately, most developing countries are building coal plants because they need access to low-cost electricity to light up their homes, provide an alternative to indoor wood burning, support industry, and lift people out of poverty. For all its downsides, coal has proven capable of doing just that…

April 5, 2016 6:25 pm

with link to the approval of 25 March, only made public Tuesday:
5 Apr: KCET: Chris Clarke: Feds OK Huge, Controversial Solar Project Near Mojave Preserve
A solar project that has spurred intense controversy for its likely effect on the Mojave National Preserve’s desert bighorn sheep has won approval from the federal government.
The Soda Mountain Solar Project, slated for more than four square miles of public lands along the north boundary of the Preserve, was formally approved Tuesday by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The project, owned by the engineering firm Bechtel, has been a flashpoint for opposition from environmental groups, who say the project would block a crucial bighorn migration route between the Preserve and the Soda Mountains to the north.
Unusually for a solar project on public lands, the Interior Department approved Soda Mountain without the project’s having secured a willing buyer for the 350 megawatts of energy the plant would produce at its maximum output. The project site, a few miles southwest of Baker along Interstate 15, also lacks available transmission lines to connect the project with energy users in California’s cities…READ ALL

April 5, 2016 6:29 pm

“…more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry.”
So how much electricity is being produced compared to the fossil fuel industry?
And how much electricity per worker is that renewable energy producing compared to electricity per fossil fuel worker?
I really don’t think that’s something he should be bragging about.

Reply to  Art
April 5, 2016 11:33 pm

more than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry

Most of them are telemarketers who keep calling, day after day, week after week, month after month even though we’ve been on the FTC No Call list since 2003. If we pick up the phone, they tell us about the wonderful government subsidies we’re eligible for (and without which they wouldn’t be able to call us). Thank you, President Obama.

Reply to  Art
April 6, 2016 9:06 am

I really don’t think that’s something he should be bragging about.
He’s no doubt looking at this as a jobs program funded mostly by taxpayers. That’s a good thing according to those who want more government involvement in (and thus more control of) the economy and it also of course benefits anyone paid by government.

April 5, 2016 6:47 pm

Doesn’t anyone take high school physics anymore? The usable energy content just isn’t there. And why would you want to defile the environment with that crap anyway? The market decided on fossil fuels centuries ago. They have the added benefit of replenishing life-giving CO2 and may even give us some beneficial warming.

April 5, 2016 7:15 pm

” if the technology is not yet fit for purpose, by Kerry’s own admission, why is the Obama administration wasting so much US taxpayer’s money, funding production scale renewable projects which won’t deliver value?”
Why??? Hey. They have to pay their cronies and supporters off some how. I wonder where Obambam’s name is the Panama investors list is?

Reply to  Justthinkin
April 5, 2016 8:29 pm

Good point, the commercialization of a technology before it is ready is insane. Any responsible enterprise would never advance a project from the labs and research stage until all the links are worked out. It is like Tarzan letting go of a branch with his left hand before the next branch is within reach.of the right hand The results has been the same, a crashing to the ground and waste of $$$$$. Commercialization stage is much more expensive and dumb before doing all the “homework”.

April 5, 2016 7:15 pm

“… I think it’s fair to say that here in the United States, President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do. His Administration put in place fuel standards that empowered automakers to invest in more efficient automobiles…”

This is the classic phrasing that accompanies totalitarian dictatorships.
Next there will be pictures of our fearless leader on walls at every street corner. All telling how wonderful our ‘leader’ is.
Informing us how his forced regulations and penalties ’empowered’ us.
After that we’ll get the wonderful news that dissatisfied and treasonous workers are causing the food and energy shortages.
About how our ‘leader’s’ newest laws will empower us to endure greater cold and hunger.
Yet, the sheeple trolls still attempt to derail discussions while they refuse all logic and science.

Reply to  ATheoK
April 5, 2016 7:49 pm

You could be right, but I think ‘His Administration put in place fuel standards that empowered automakers to invest in more efficient automobiles’ is just nonsense. Word salad.

Chip Javert
Reply to  Gamecock
April 5, 2016 8:15 pm

Well, look at the software research VW was inspired to invest in…

Reply to  ATheoK
April 6, 2016 2:11 pm

I see someone else noticed Kerry saying “empowered” when he meant “coerced”.

Michael Jankowski
April 5, 2016 7:31 pm

Kerry provides comments of national stupidity seemingly weekly on the subjects of climate change and terrorism alone.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
April 6, 2016 12:05 am

I wonder if Kerry is as bad on “breakthroughs” as he is on international treaties and trade?

April 5, 2016 7:41 pm

When governments artificially remove price discovery in an industry through: subsidies, tariffs, tax breaks, government low-interest loans, government research grants, arbitrary rules and regulations against competitors, etc., humongous amounts ($trillions for wind/solar) of land, labor and capital will be squandered, leading to a multiplier effect of unseen economic harm.
Under a free-market system, grid-level wind and solar energy production would not exist until these technologies were competitive with existing conventional energy sources. PERIOD! (TM).
Just let the free-market system develop new alternative energy sources and implement them when they are viable and competitive to existing energy technologies.
Until governments stop trying to pick winners and losers in the market, $trillions of taxpayers’ money will always be squandered, and devastating economic repercussions will ensue.
Socialism, Crony Crapitalism and Fascism don’t work… How many more lives will be lost and destroyed, and how many more $trillions will need to wasted until humanity finally learns this important lesson of history????

Reply to  SAMURAI
April 6, 2016 7:07 am

This is most precise summary of the contents of my own mind.
This has turned into the mother of all boondoggles. Misallocation of capital has occurred on a hitherto unseen scale.
And the saddest irony is that meanwhile – Chinese manufacturers have been competitively pushing down the cost per watt of P.V. (in a free-market environment called China (more irony there)).
And now we will witness the mass roll-out of billions of mass-produced P.V. silicon panels AND the crazed left will consider this to be the clear evidence of the success of their program of price fixing and squandering grants on boondoggle research.
Whilst, in reality, it will be the victory of the market solution and competitive forces that have been driving the P.V. price curve since 1979.
The only thing that the market manipulators offered towards this conclusion – was a punitive 70% tariff on Chinese panels in the E.U. area.
You would struggle to make this shit up!!!

April 5, 2016 7:58 pm

Hoy Hoy. Was it John Kerry, Al Gore, the NE Attorney ‘Generals’, the George Mason University RICO who poured money into Sun Edison (SUNE) today, 05/04/16, to create an up to 61% “pop” at the top but to have it fall back at the end of the day to “23%” increase, 0.05 cents! A phucking ‘Wooden Nickel’, back in the day! [George Mason wants to rename their “School of Law” the ‘Antonin Scalia School of Law’ {the ASS of Law}, What a Joke!] And Goldman Sacks is throwing out the “baby and bathwater” and baling out calling SUNE Bankruptcy Bait! “Il mio tua d.”
Ja ja ja ja ja ja.

April 5, 2016 8:00 pm

Solar cell efficiency, converting light to electricity, is under 50%. Efficiency must be improved to 200%!

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Gamecock
April 6, 2016 12:08 am

Why not make it a real breakthrough and improve efficiency to 1,000,000%?

Kaiser Derden
April 5, 2016 8:14 pm

I would just point out that there are very few “engineers” at Google and certainly no legendary ones … sure lots of smart folks at Google if you are talking about computers or search algorithms … energy production engineers ? zero, or so close to zero that they get zero’s mail …

April 5, 2016 8:25 pm

I’m gonna take a crack at this scale up thing. How hard can it be? I’ve got a huge lab at my disposal, lots of funding that my accounting department hasn’t figured out yet (aren’t Panamanian law firms just the best?!), I’m going to take a crack at this.
First I need to figure out the relationship between power and surface area, that’s probably pretty fundamental, I’m going to start with a marble, and scale up from there.
OK, ran all the numbers, for a marble it turns out the P=5.67*10^-8. Excellent. I’ll try a bowling ball instead.
Huh. Just finished with the bowling ball. P=5.67*10^-8. OK, let’s scale for serious. Supertanker.
Well…. first it turns out those morons in accounting weren’t as dumb as I thought. Boy are they p*ssed! But too late, we already took delivery on the supertanker. Ya know what? The effing thing tested out to a g*d d*mned P=5.67*10^-8!
Screw the fundamental physics and the accountants too. Going for some practical research instead. Ordered a thousand solar panels and bought some desert on the equator to set them up on, I figure that’s going to give me the max value in terms of insolation intensity and clear skies. Will report initial results shortly….
OK, I’ve run into a problem with the solar panels. Turns out they only generate power 12 hours a day. Clearly I don’t have enough scale. I ordered another 10,000 solar panels.
Huh. Been running 10,000+ solar panels and you know what? THE NUMBER OF HOURS THEY PRODUCE POWER DIDN’T CHANGE ONE BIT.
I got a refund on the supertanker. The accountants were so happy they didn’t notice I ordered 1 million solar panels. I got like a 45% discount over the 1,000 panel price, maybe this scaling thing is starting to work?
SH*T! I’ve got over a million solar panels and they STILL only produce power 12 hours per day! WTF!
I’m going into wind mills. I know, I know. You’re wondering how it is that the accountants haven’t caught up with me yet. Well truth is they are giddy happy. Turns out they dug into it and if we do the right paperwork, we can get he government to PAY us to look into these things. In fact, we didn’t get paid for the marble or the bowling ball, but we got all our money back for the supertanker. Apparently the small projects don’t get much funding, the bigger the project, the more likely it is to get funded. Panamanian law firm is all involved again though, apparently the accountants are trying to cover up the fact that we already got a refund for the supertanker.
So my requisition for 1,000 windmills was cancelled. They want to order 100,000 instead. They’re really into it now, will report results as soon as available.
Well! You know that a good windy place blows at about 30 km/h? Real poor energy density, turns out that wind is made out of air. Yes, AIR! You know how thin that stuff is? Stick your arm out in front of you and waver it around. Anything you can do THAT to, that easily, is not a good place to extract energy from.
Sigh. We ordered a million wind mills. You know what that did to the wind speed? STILL 30 km/h. And STILL made of air.
But our subsidies are really taking off. My boss is thinking of buying a small island with his bonus but I showed him that video where the congressman asks the admiral if Guam might tip over and now he’s decided that might be too risky.
Taking a break for a bit. Accountants pestering me to death about the next project. I’ll figure out this scale thing eventually. If I ever come back to work. I have a lot of money to spend….

Reply to  davidmhoffer
April 5, 2016 10:50 pm

Even when in jest, accuracy is paramount.
Still doesn’t scale.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
April 6, 2016 5:52 pm

just excellent – made my evening

Retired Kit P
Reply to  davidmhoffer
April 7, 2016 10:57 am

David you are an idiot. Instead of ordering 100,000 1 MWe machines, order 20,000 5 MWe wind machines.

April 5, 2016 8:47 pm

To call for a “breakthrough” is to put the horse before the cart. To place the cart and horse in the proper sequence we need to replace the pseudoscientific method of investigation of modern global warming climatology by the scientific method of investigation.

April 5, 2016 8:56 pm

That’s right. Scientists and engineers have failed to find a new form of renewable energy that can compete with fossil fuels because they just haven’t tried hard enough. Fortunately we have visionaries like John Kerry to point the way.

Reply to  rabbit
April 6, 2016 4:58 am

It’s not like people haven’t been trying for decades. People don’t realize there is a past. It’s like the Left’s rationalization of why communism hasn’t worked: “It hasn’t been done by us.”
If WE look for a breakthrough, we will find it.

Reply to  rabbit
April 6, 2016 1:05 pm

… need to look at what Kerry actually said.
“I don’t know what it is, but I trust in the ingenuity and the capacity of the American people and of our allocation of capital and our capacity to make this work.”
“… and of OUR allocation of capital …”
He can’t force ingenuity out of the american public, nor can he provide it on his own; but allocation of capital is another story … he’s just the guy to help manage that aspect of the solution.

April 5, 2016 9:05 pm

The break through the renewable grant seekers are hoping for is access to federal and state tax payers wallets .
Pissing way $2 Billion already on Solyndra and the soon to be broke Sun Edison are a couple of examples
of why governments need to quite trying to run the casino .
There is zero accountability for essentially massive fraud. Someone robs a store and gets 20 years while the grant seeker tie crowd sail around in yachts after bilking tax payers for hundreds of millions . No wonder Trump has a following . More Kerry and Clinton ? Same old same old …government solves everything nonsense .
Rewarding criminals is the new norm. It goes under the trade name of “priming the pump” . Kerry can chirp all he likes but he is wasting his breath and billions of working peoples taxes on pixy dust .Hillary’s announcement to shut down fossil fuel wasn’t followed up with how she was going to repair a broken economy or the billions in taxes that every government would have lost . Maybe it’s time for some new people to run the show . Let the entrenched politicians of the Washington establishment go write their legacy books .

Not Oscar, just a grouch
April 5, 2016 9:09 pm

This is a bit off topic, but here goes. Just so I can (perhaps) get a decent answer to a question, let’s make one (1) assumption. Let’s just assume that wind generators are viable and all those things. Do NOT stop reading here and start trolling. I have asked this question many times over about 50 years. Not once have I received any reasonable response. So, I’m going to be stupid about this and ask again. Here goes:
With the above assumption made, how much energy can we extract from the winds before we foul up transport of heat and water vapor and thus screw up the climate we are supposedly trying to save?
Having grown up in multiple locations in and at the edge of the Great Plains (central USA), I am quite familiar with transport of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to points northward into the North American interior. Just so you will know. I first asked this question when I was 9.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
April 5, 2016 10:01 pm

Not Oscar, just a grouch
I think you are suggesting that the energy of moving moisture laden atmosphere, will lose some of its energy, when causing the blades of the turbines to rotate.
I know of no studies which have tracked the loss of wind velocity down range of wind turbines.
Considering the havoc the turbines inflict on local birds and bats without any concern on the part of those who expound on the virtues wind power, I would not hold my breath waiting for any study of environmental degradation, do to wind flow loss.
sorry I don’t have a better answer

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
April 6, 2016 12:34 am

Mike the Morlock, replying to Not Oscar

I think you are suggesting that the energy of moving moisture laden atmosphere, will lose some of its energy, when causing the blades of the turbines to rotate.
I know of no studies which have tracked the loss of wind velocity down range of wind turbines.

Locally, each wind turbine slows (creates a turbulent interference pattern) 10x the rotor diameter. Thus, if the second wind turbine is within 10x rotor diameters (up to 1/2 mile or more for large turbines), its performance is significantly degraded. Further away (over even a 10×10 km area) you will find near-immeasurable wind “slowing”. The earth is too large, and the wind too low an energy density.

Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
April 5, 2016 10:47 pm

[There] are studies out there. Short version is local effects could be large, global effects would be very hard to even measure:

Reply to  davidmhoffer
April 5, 2016 10:54 pm

At the scale to meet human energy needs I mean.
I’m sure there would be some point at which global effects would become significant. But it would be orders of magnitude larger than anything the combined efforts of all of humanity could build.

Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
April 6, 2016 9:49 am

RACookPE1978 already answered your question very well.
To help put this into perspective:
Consider an elephant seal as it shuffles over a sandy beach.
A grain of sand is representative of individual windmills where the seal skin meets the beach.
Each grain of sand is abrasive and can cause local irritation; but the overall movement of the seal continues and the irritated, momentarily slowed, miniscule patch of skin rapidly recovers full speed.
Some thoughts:
Yes, the wind turbines extract energy from a moving air mass.
Yes, it is possible that wind turbines can affect heat and moisture transport air systems. Whether mankind can measure such a small impact relative to the overall air mass at any time soon is unlikely.
Naval sailing ships, urban planners, wind turbine designers and installers and many others are well aware of the wind shadow and turbulence caused by objects standing against the winds.
Anyone living in on the lee side of hills and mountains are also aware, if indirectly, of impacts that large objects cause to local weather patterns.
The Sierra mountains are tall enough to seriously deplete moisture from the prevailing winds and even cause disturbances in the upper atmosphere.
Can a mass of wind turbines in a pass seriously deplete downwind wind energy? Yes.
Can we tell? Probably not.
That said, I sure do not want to live downwind of a wind farm, as the days I stand the greatest chance of noticing a loss of wind energy are those days with small breezes. I really hate hot days where the leaves on trees just hang straight down with nary a rustle.

Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
April 6, 2016 1:32 pm

Well, how many blades and how much power input, running the other direction, would it take to push enuf energy into the system to create a change of state?
Assuming that the earth is not at a low or high point where it would it take a significantly more (or less) energy to accomplish a change of state one way or the other, then the above can give something to think about.
Don’t east coast hurricanes originate somewhere in northwest Africa with a shirraco(sp) or some such thing … can’t the terrorists just set up a bunch of fans over there to create havoc in Florida … no?
Except for local impacts, I would guess that it would take a hell of a lot of added wind resistance to make a significant change.

April 5, 2016 9:11 pm

Solving climate change…

Good luck with that!

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Luc Ozade (@Luc_Ozade)
April 6, 2016 7:32 am

Yeah, what does ‘solving’ even mean.

Reply to  Rainer Bensch
April 6, 2016 9:20 am

Yes, more semantics. I’m sure ‘solving’ is defined in some obscure government climate change document somewhere and it doesn’t actually mean what 97% of non-politicians or non-recipients of climate change money/status/perks/fame/etc. think it means.

April 5, 2016 9:14 pm

Memo to Kerry ,
Imagine if today some grant seeking maggot actually announced the discovery of nuclear power today .
It is telling that greenies love bird blenders yet hate nuclear

April 5, 2016 9:19 pm

$$2 billion blown on Solyndra and soon to be extinct Sun Edison . Governments should stop trying to run the casino by “priming the pump ” . Working people are sick of having their wallets emptied to support
shams .

April 5, 2016 10:28 pm

Quote *President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do.* and no President will dare to do for a long time coming I hope.
It is not only the waste of money on the failed renewables it is the billions wasted on climate research that would have been far more productive in research for new storage and forms of energy.

Claude Harvey
April 5, 2016 11:03 pm

There are two sources of “economy of scale” in the electric power generation business; conversion efficiency and energy density (higher output from less physical material). When you take either solar or wind generation to their highest theoretical conversion efficiencies, the economics still does not work. The numbers don’t work because the energy density required to reduce the enormous amount of physical material involved cannot be achieved, even in theory.

April 5, 2016 11:09 pm

So Kerry wants science to produce on demand now. OK…… Yeah that doesn’t actually work that well.

April 5, 2016 11:29 pm

Slightly off-topic and possibly worthy of a discussion thread of it’s own;
Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Renewable Power – Briefing Fact Sheet
Hillary Clinton announced two bold national goals that she will set as president to combat climate change, create jobs, protect the health of American families and communities, and make the United States the world’s clean energy superpower:
1) The United States will have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of Hillary Clinton’s first term.
2)The United States will generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within ten years of Hillary Clinton taking office.

Read all here:
A very funny movie made here in OZ a few years ago (1997) was called The Castle. One of the main characters famous lines was, “Tell him he’s dreaming”.
To paraphrase Darryl Kerrigan; “Tell her she’s dreaming”.

Reply to  BruceC
April 6, 2016 8:19 am

Ten years? So she’ll be out of office when the goal has to be measured. Good thinking Hillary (sarc)

April 6, 2016 12:54 am

John Kerry Urges Private Enterprise to Produce a Renewables “Breakthrough”
.The man is positively ignorant of human nature and economics. If anyone out there had a “breakthrough” in green energy or in anything else —- they would come to market and make tons of money. They would not need Kerry to invite them to market.

April 6, 2016 1:19 am

Thank you John Kerry for finally recognizing the obvious – but we told you so – 14 years ago.
Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and I debated the Pembina Institute in 2002 in the PEGG. Our debate is now available at:
Our eight-point Rebuttal includes predictions that have all materialized in those countries in Western Europe that have adopted the full measure of global warming mania. My country, Canada, was foolish enough to sign the Kyoto Protocol, but then was (mostly_ wise enough to ignore it.
[2002 article in “quotation marks”, followed by current commentary.]
On Green Energy:
8. “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.”
Governments that adopted “green energy” schemes such as wind and solar power are finding these schemes are not green and produce little useful energy. Their energy costs are soaring and these governments are often in retreat, dropping their green energy subsidies as fast as they politically can.
Regardless of the controversial questions of the global warming scientific debate, wind and solar power do NOT contribute reliable, economic electric power to the grid.
This is a simple and proven fact, yet trillions of dollars have been wasted globally on this green energy nonsense.
Regards to all, Allan 🙂

David Wells
April 6, 2016 1:47 am

Seems appropriate!!
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right without question or cause
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To fight the unbeatable foe, to reach the unreachable star

wayne Job
April 6, 2016 2:58 am

If one does a little research free power has been invented a long time ago and buried, to much profit from vested interests to be lost. Tesla was only one of the unfortunate sidelined clever people. Perhaps this new cold fusion stuff that with the internet cannot be buried could work, much to the disgust of the same vested interests.
[??? .mod]

Robert of Ottawa
April 6, 2016 3:05 am

The purpose of renewables is to line pockets with subsidies. Do you think the engineers at GE do not realize that windmills re economically useless, among other things.

April 6, 2016 4:56 am

why is the Obama administration wasting so much US taxpayer’s money, funding production scale renewable projects which won’t deliver value?
Maybe in large part because of this:
“For further evidence of the converging climate conversation, witness what some of the largest banks in the world are doing. Three of them—Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley— together announced standards for the financing of new coal-fired power plants in a deal struck with utilities and environmental groups. In essence, the new standards say this: have either coal plants that capture and store carbon emissions or, perhaps, no coal plants at all.”
page 34
I bet probably many of those environmental groups that worked with these huge banks are Rockefeller financed. Coupled this with the fact that most major news organizations are under the Rockefeller and Ford funded IPI (International Press Institute) means you have a real machine to control and shape policy.

Not Chicken Little
April 6, 2016 6:03 am

This administration – and leftists in general – seem to think that their rules and mandates can repeal the laws of physics. They don’t like the laws of physics which say in effect “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” and “you can’t get something for nothing” so they ignore them and live in their fantasy world where the right people just saying magic words can make it so.

April 6, 2016 6:04 am

Dear John
I feel the urge but I’m much too busy trying to breakthrough with all the subsidies and handouts.

Reply to  observa
April 6, 2016 1:52 pm


April 6, 2016 6:30 am

Isn’t this guy married to a billionaire?

April 6, 2016 7:05 am

Well, how about this. Offer a 100 million dollar prize to anyone that can produce an energy storage system that can;
– Power a car for 500 miles in 100 degree weather with 4 passengers, luggage, and the AC on.
– Replace or recharge the power source within 1 hour or less for $50 or less.
Thats all it would take, if it meets those requirements, its fully viable.

April 6, 2016 7:49 am

It’s here but I doubt Kerry will find it because it does not involve friends, lobbyists, and political connections.
See presentation files from April 5th

April 6, 2016 7:56 am

Well, thanks to “innovation” we now have people “inventing” tried and tested old ideas that have already been recycled on various occasions and failed each time.
Maybe in today’s subsidy and grant skewed environment such useless ideas can make their purported “inventors” rich.
But politicians are suckers for this kind of nonsense, because they mostly abandoned their own paper thin introduction to maths and science after finding it too hard, at around the age of 16.
So now, in 2016 we’re back to “inventing” ducted wind turbines. Again.
This time using a huge injection of public funds, particularly one massive DOE grant:

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 6, 2016 7:59 am

And here is the info on the first heap of $millions of free money received by these **** artists. From 2009:

April 6, 2016 8:17 am

The real breakthrough required is energy storage, not production.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Djozar
April 6, 2016 8:51 am

WRT “renewables,” Djozar, it is both.

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 6, 2016 10:10 am

Well, I tend to be brief but I guess I’ll explain a little further. In the 1980’s, I worked as a technician on a solar research project attempting to use low cost materials and increase efficiency. While the system worked, the fuel cell for storage was grossly inadequate (and dangerous). I see the same for other renewables. Production for solar and wind are irregular, so even large capacity plants can’t keep demand without back-up sources. I’m not a real believer that bio-mass is renewable although I’ve heard the argument. Geothermal and hydro are limited by location and thus I m not relating my statement to them. I’ve seen the attempts to store energy by water columns, batteries, fuel cells and I see nothing that really works. My own outlook is that if storage systems could be invented that were practical and cost effective, solar could (emphasis on “could”) become a major contributor to the grid.
BTW – I’m a professional engineer and certified energy manager. I don’t use my real name because off the impact of one of my clients seeing my comments. In other words, I respect you using your name. Maybe when I retire I’ll do the same.

April 6, 2016 9:01 am

The belief that scientific progress can be produced on demand takes a special kind of stupid.

April 6, 2016 9:43 am

It’s not like Kerry has a day job to do.

Retired Kit P
April 6, 2016 10:13 am

‘Well, a few of us practicing engineers…’
In the power industry? Solar does not work at night, wind does not work when the wind is not blowing.
Our job in the power industry is to provide power when it is needed. It is a matter of life and death.

Retired Kit P
April 6, 2016 10:29 am

Without the benefit of an Ivy League education, I managed to serve 10 years in the navy without getting shot at in VN. The man is an idiot.
“ President Obama is leading as no other president has yet dared to do.”
Really! Kerry missed the Bush admin leadership . The slope of the wind generation did not change when Obama became POTUS. Bush also got new nuclear and coal plants under construction.,0,2&fuel=008&geo=vvvvvvvvvvvvo&sec=o3g&linechart=ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-IA-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-TX-99.A&columnchart=ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-IA-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-TX-99.A&map=ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A&freq=A&ctype=linechart&ltype=pin&rtype=s&pin=&rse=0&maptype=0

April 6, 2016 11:16 am

Kerry asks this question after shoveling taxpayer money out the back of trucks and taking orders like the other staff to not interfere when political protection of the nonperforming loans becomes clear. A venture capital-based approach to renewable energy policy with those amounts of money would have been many more miles down the tech road by now.

April 6, 2016 12:14 pm

Non-renewable technology. Renewable, variable drivers.

William Astley
April 6, 2016 12:14 pm

The green scams do not work. As wind energy and solar energy is intermittent there needs to be 100% hydrocarbon backup, or nuclear energy, or hydro energy for green energy. The power generating equipment is hence doubled. If the energy input to construct the green scams and the reduction in grid efficiency due to the elimination of combined cycle natural gas plants which are 20% more efficient than single cycle natural gas plants but require 10 hours to start and hence cannot be switched on/off/on/off is taken into account there is almost no savings in reduced CO2 emission when wind and solar exceed about 10% of total grid output.

The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.
A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

SunEdison, the biggest solar-energy manufacturing firm in the entire world, is nearing bankruptcy.
Its decline has been swift and brutal, taking some of the most legendary names in finance with it.
The stock that was once a hedge fund darling has turned into Wall Street’s nightmare.
A company that was once worth more than $10 billion is now valued at $150 million, with close to $8 billion in long-term debt.
This is because the company’s business structure, which was once considered quite complex, was in a matter of months found to be quite simple — it simply could not generate enough cash.

Reply to  William Astley
April 6, 2016 12:57 pm

SunEdison is an also ran much like Solyndra was.

April 6, 2016 4:15 pm

“More than four times as many Americans are employed by renewable energy companies than by the fossil fuel industry” to produce 11% of the nations power (or 6% if you don’t count hydro power)? Like so many in government John Kerry is math challenged. Anyone who can do math can see that alternatives are bad for our standard of living.

April 6, 2016 5:07 pm

According to Wikipedia:
… With the election of President Bill Clinton in 1992, and the appointment of Hazel O’Leary as the Secretary of Energy, there was pressure from the top to cancel the IFR. Sen. John Kerry (D, MA) and O’Leary led the opposition to the reactor, arguing that it would be a threat to non-proliferation efforts, and that it was a continuation of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project that had been canceled by Congress …
The end of the IFR project killed advanced nuclear power research in the USA. Bush’s Republicans would not restart, correctly arguing that long term projects like IFR needed cross-party support.
What irony that wannabe climate hero John Kerry is responsible for preventing a technology that could’ve done much to reduce USA carbon dioxide emissions.
PS: IFR = Integral Fast Reactor, which has a current incarnation in the form of Hitachi’s PRISM reactor.

Retired Kit P
April 7, 2016 12:42 pm

Let me explain breakthroughs and economy of scale in the power industry.
Admiral Rickover developed LWR to fit in the hull of a submarine in the 50s. Wind and solar will never never make a breakthrough that will power a ship to speeds of 30+ knots or power a city of a million people with one power plant. .
The smallest naval PWR I operated was 150 MWt. This was after receiving a BSME, being interviewed and selected by Rickover, and two years of training leading to board qualification to supervise the operation of a naval propulsion reactor. Supervised operation of 6 different reactors.
The smallest commercial power plant I worked at was 913 MWe (commissioned 1975) and the largest 1600 MWe (commissioned 2016?). The largest wind turbine is about 5 MWe but when considering capacity factor and life of the generator, lets say it takes 1600 wind turbine to make the same amount of electricity.
One of the biggest environmental factors in any power plant is concrete. The first thing you need at a power plant construction site is a batch concrete plant. A wind farm and a nuke plant use about the same amount of concrete on a per MWh basis. Of course, the wind farm needs 1600 foundations.
The next consideration is rotating machinery and associated bearing lube oil systems. One generator compared to 1600. One steam turbine compared compared to 1600 wind turbines.
Now let me explain the beauty of a steam plant. They are very compact. The 900 MWe nuke plant has the approximate footprint of Walmart. The 1600 MWe nuke plant has the approximate footprint of Walmart. Each reactor has 4 steam pipes between reactor vessel and steam turbine. The pipes have diameters a few inches larger for the plant with 1600 MWe output.
The point is that the economy of scale that results from forced circulation heat transfer dooms the economy of scale wind and solar from the get-go.
These concepts are not intuitive without a lot of upper level power engineering course. This is why GOOGLE failed. You can plow a field with a renewable draft horse and feed a few people but you will not be able to afford the internet to GOOGLE anything.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
April 7, 2016 1:20 pm

Salute – graduate, Nuclear Power School Bainbridge Class 7501. Got my BSME after I got out of the Navy (class in college very easy after Nuc School).

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Djozar
April 7, 2016 4:36 pm

I went to nuke school twice in Mare Island. I was originally a chemistry major before enlisting but after being in the fleet as machinist mate I fell in love with steam plants. Enlisted nuke school crammed 4 years of engineering principles into 6 months. I got picked up for NESEP and finished my degree on the navy’s dime. College is a lot easier when you know the basics and have to apply calculus to it.
Officer nuke school was surprisingly hard. I was surprised by the number of officers with engineering degrees who washed out. I think that is by design.
Anyhow Djozar we were in the fleet at about the same time. My eyes got bad in college and I failed the sub physical so I ended up on CGNs on the east coast.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
April 8, 2016 1:49 pm

CGN doesn’t sound bad. I was on SSN 660 Sandlance. Congrats on making it thru Officer Nuke School – officers had it much harder.
[Couldn’t be that much harder. Heck, even the moderators passed officer nuke school, prototype and EOOW/OOD qual’s. 8<) .mod]

April 14, 2016 10:26 am

I guess we need to look back at Germany for a guide to admitting energy policy mistakes and reforming it. They invested heavily in high cost solar variants of solar and wind and the costly grid upgrades after the fact. Now they are coming back with common sense and fairness in bidding. It’s the periodic lapse in common sense that enriches the politically connected the most.
Germany has spent some €200 billion ($228.09 billion) since 2000 transforming its energy industry into a green dream, and now Berlin wants to spend more. Witness its latest attempt to discourage investment in wind power, which happens to be the only renewable energy generation that makes even vague sense for Germany.
A review now under way of the 2014 renewable-energy law could change the way Berlin chooses new generating capacity. The current system of subsidies and feed-in tariffs (requirements that utilities buy renewable electricity at above-market prices) has led to a bonanza of solar- and wind-farm construction, and renewables now provide one-third of electricity generated in Germany.
The renewables never seem to fall in price the way boosters promise, and with costs skyrocketing Berlin needs a cheaper way to boost renewable capacity to its self-imposed goal of 45% of electricity generation by 2025.

The proposed solution is a bidding system in which renewable producers would compete for the right to produce a share of the planned new green capacity based on who can offer the lowest price. An auction process is supposed to make green energy more affordable.

April 28, 2017 8:12 am


What is that? Have you seen that before? It’s amazing, take a look

Later, gerjaison