Hilarious: Renewables Won’t Work – Even If Climate Claims are True

wind-turbine[1]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Imagine for a moment that all the wild claims of climate driven future weather disasters will occur as predicted. In this imaginary future climate dystopia, how will wind power cope with super storms? How will solar power cope with hail, tornadoes, cyclones and floods? How will hydro power cope with endless droughts? How will biofuel crops cope with storm damage, droughts and unseasonal heatwaves?

Solar and wind power lose their shine

GARY JOHNS, Brisbane

It is exquisite that we are to place our energy future in renewables, the energy source most prone to the beast that we are trying to slay: climate change.

Non-renewables, by contrast, are least reliant on climate. Come hell or high water, coal, gas and oil can be pumped, refined and burned.

Fossil fuels are our natural store built from eons of climate change. They are our insurance against the effects of climate change.

The climate change gambit has always been a Goldilocks story. The speed and damage of climate change had to be not too hot (or rapid) and not too cold (or slow), it had to be just right. Too rapid or hot and renewables would never work. Too delayed or cool and the world could wait for better technologies. Renewables seemed right only in the just right scenario.

But, what if climate change creates more clouds, calms the wind, stops rivers flowing, or wipes out bio-crops in regions where panels, turbines, hydro and biofuel stock are located?

You would think CSIRO would research the risk. But it has nothing to say.

The US Environmental Protection Agency says no more than that “the impacts of climate change on wind and solar power is still a developing area of research”.

Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/gary-johns/solar-and-wind-power-lose-their-shine/news-story/f81bbf3177a74538db0b47b0fa57b680

As Gary Johns points out, even assuming that other show stopper problems such as intermittency are solved somehow, renewables can only work if climate changes at a pace which is “just right” – if the global climate does not worsen sufficiently to render them useless.

Nuclear and fossil fuel plants have their vulnerabilities, but nothing like the vulnerability presented by thousands of square miles of fragile infrastructure just waiting for the next superstorm to blow through and smash everything in sight. Or in the case of solar power, the next mild breeze which covers everything with dust.

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169 thoughts on “Hilarious: Renewables Won’t Work – Even If Climate Claims are True

  1. The facts are simple. On every metric you can possibly come up with intermittent renewable energy is totally outclassed by some more conventional technology.

    If CO2 is your worry, nuclear power is way better.

    • But CO2 is no one’s worry. There are those who worry that some of us are exercising our free will. That is bad. Only THEIR free will is a good thing. It is a good thing because they believe in socialism, which makes them good. Not merely good-good, but super-double-plus-good. Noble. Sanctified. And since they are holy, we must be EVIL. So they invented AGW and fabricated stories about CO2 to get us to behave. But they’re really not worried about CO2. They’re only worried about DJT exposing their evil.

    • Leo Smith,
      This was perceived wisdom in 1970 when I first studied electricity sources.
      There has been no engineering development that had changed the preference order.
      Adopt it as today’s perceived wisdom until something important might happen to change the order.
      Plan future supplies on it. Hard to go wrong.
      Geoff.

      • Burn oil and coal to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels, that need other substances mined , using more oil to power the mines, to be transported and assembled en-mass on areas that need to be clear felled by even more machinery…
        All of which has to be backed up with conventional power for when it is cloudy and windless.

        You see where I am going with this?

      • The single main advantage of renewables seems to be that their production and installation represent economic activity. It looks good on the GNP figures. Among their disadvantages, they distort energy markets, raising the price of other forms of electrical generation and to the price of electricity for end-users, and adding to the problems of grid operators.

      • Tim,
        Even the alleged employment creation of “green power” is likely subject to the “broken window fallacy” of economics.

      • I think that is a false advantage. There are enough so-called recoverable fossil fuel deposits to last several centuries. Long before that, a truly game-changing fuel cycle will be developed to render oil, gas and coal obsolete as a energy source. We will still need oil, gas, and coal for the hydrocarbon molecules in the development of advanced chemicals, which will be worth more in the long run.

  2. Leo says: “If CO2 is your worry, nuclear power is way better.”

    Nuclear is best. But that said, there are several “Better” solutions than a tax or a cap and trade scheme. Raise the safety standards for coal miners, and the price of coal moves inversely to the number of deaths. Good thing, right? Require higher temperature and lower stack emissions of coal (HELE) and the electricity industry will need less coal (compensating for the higher prices of “safe” coal) and emit not only less CO2, but less soot. (Arctic albedo afflicted by soot is AT LEAST as big a problem as CO2, right?)

    Develop methanol fuel cells that convert “bio fuels” — or possibly refined fossil fuels, I’m not picky — directly into electricity at least for uses competing with small scale solar. Hey, fuel cells work at NIGHT — and represent their own “battery”. This is a win, right?

    Etc etc.

    The alarmist movement’s insistence on STUPID solutions to their supposed problem is what first kicked me into the skeptic camp.

    • NO… fossil fuel is best..

      It releases sequestered carbon back into the carbon cycle..

      …. and increases the atmospheric CO₂.

      Both these are HIGHLY BENEFICIAL to all life on Earth

      • Yep, if we ever go totally nuclear we should make a special effort to use lots of concrete. Nearly all of the earth’s CO2 has been stored in the form of limestone. Making concrete releases it.

      • Yes, if CO2 emissions somehow manage to lengthen the interglacial period, which is drawing to a close, all the noble cause people will be out cooking tofu weenies on flaring gas wells to stave off the glacial advance. It seems to me that a finite interglacial is pretty hard science. Barely anybody disputes that it will come to an end before long but for some reason nobody wants to talk about it. Do warmistas really believe that a few molecules of CO2 have made the current ice age irrelevant?

      • CO2 in Jakarta peaked at over 800 ppm yesterday, low was 486 at 4PM. The wind is blowing, it rains like heck every day. This is not a localised concentration. WUWT?

        Why all the fuss? If the CO2 is this high every day, where is it low so as to produce an average or 400ppm?

      • tabnumlock,

        I had read that over long periods of time, concrete begins to reabsorb much of its lost CO2. Tests of very old concrete show this. So concrete may not be nearly as large of a release of CO2 as originally thought.

    • Good points. The so-call climate crisis has been with us for over 20 years now and we’ve spent countless trillions on studies, grants, and subsidies with nothing to show but models that don’t work and nothing new in the way of solutions. It’s almost as if they don’t want to fix anything, just keep the cash flowing. Nuclear power has the potential to dramatically reduce CO2 levels but they won’t even consider it.
      Has anyone ever considered that the rise in CO2 levels over the last 40 years can be blamed on the environmental activists who crippled nuclear power after Three Mile Island? These same people who are in hysterics over climate change were the ones responsible for shifting US energy policy to coal and away from nuclear in the 1980s and 1990s. Another unintended consequence was acid rain from burning more coal without the advanced scrubbing systems and clean coal technology we have today. Thank you environmentalists!

    • I noticed that today when looking at WeatherBell. They had one story about the heatwave that may soar up to 43C today. That was followed by the story on the power failure. They must need more renewables, or something.

    • Send some of that heat to Perth. Still in what should be the hot summer months and the forecast max is 20C and there is rain. The mean max for Feb is over 31C with only one rain day. That’s the second one this month already, and we had 4 last month… sheesh.

    • When you get to 40 C, then demand will likely cause cutouts on a system powered by any fuel… that would cause an exceptional demand on any system.

      But why is Nova blathering on about wind?

      On a 40C day it will be very sunny all day and a domestic battery would cover some of the load through the evening… solar CSP plants going in into SA and Queensland, plus pumped storage in old opencast…

      • “plus pumped storage”

        Pumped storage can be cost effective if you use it a lot. It probably works out best with predictable loads like storing nighttime power from Niagara Falls for peak time delivery to urban areas in Canada and the US. BUT it needs two reservoirs at substantially different elevations and LOTS of water. The up front costs of the facility are enormous. Does South Australia have either the topography or the available water to support it? And even if it is technically feasible, is there the will to invest many billions of AUD in the necessary facilities?

      • The problem for the South Australian goes deeper than this.
        The problem is that he is the guinea pig.
        Theory is great, but application is the key.
        SA keeps on struggling to keep manufacturing.
        Portable generator sales are booming.
        https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=for+sale+portable+generator+south+australia

        You could be right that battery and solar will help.
        If you are, prove it and I will agree.
        Don’t argue for technology because it may work, argue for it when it actually works.
        I think it would be fairer if those who want renewable power pay for its full cost and the smart system to control it.
        When the renewables die, they then fully participate in the subsequent load shedding.
        They then have skin in the game, rather than dragging everyone else down with a hopeless grid.
        This will make the choice of power systems a bit more rational, with feedback from actual users.
        Seems fair.
        If they think the renewables are reliable, they would then be able to find out if they are right, rather than
        inflicting the experiment on the hapless citizen.

      • Somebody explain to this idiot how pumped storage works.

        Also there is no fixed temperature at which load shedding is inevitable. You create your grid to cope with reasonable extremes which in SA is, at a guess, around 50°C to allow a margin for safety. The problems start when your back-ups can’t kick in because some political nincompoop has prevented you from getting enough of the necessary fuel.

      • Griff, One of the chiefs of the SA wind farms recently stated that the wind turbines shut down when the temp is over 40C for fear of danger of overheating and fire.

  3. I think there is some element of wanting unreliable power systems by the greens, hence their hostility to nuclear. I first saw Ehrlich’s comment, that having cheap and abundant power would be like giving an idiot child a machine gun in an anti-nuclear screed.

      • Barbara
        The people who don’t like widely available and affordable electricity don’t like manufacturing either. It’s a two-fer for them.

      • There was an article in WaPo several years ago about how EU/French policies made it difficult/impossible for factories to use systems designed to improve energy efficiency, at least to their fullest potential. One factory owner had (at great expense) retrofitted it to a system that was about as efficient and environmentally friendly as it gets. However, the system needed to be “turned on” all the time to run at peak efficiency. Guess what regulations forbade: that’s right, running such things more than a particular number of hours. The poor owner was actually using MORE power overall by running it for less hours – increasing costs.

        So a factory owner who was trying to keep jobs in France and run his business in an environmentally friendly way got the shaft, while other businesses moved their factories overseas to countries with few to no regulations and prospered. France lost jobs, directly and indirectly increased pollution/waste, and made domestic production uncompetitive. But Europe is really green! And the EU is really great! And, um…

        This is why we can’t have nice things.

  4. Mr Worrall, I don’t think you quite understand.
    So long as we keep paying the nice green taxes, the nasty storms won’t come and get us.
    We only get the destruction if we’re foolish enough to question the good scientists who spend all our money on trips to the areas where tropical storms might occur. Like Tahiti or the Bahamas….

  5. Logic. reason, common sense – these are not needed when it comes to ‘renewables’. All you need is hate, to modify the Beatles’ song a little bit. Hatred of humanity. No wonder the CO2-scaremongering resonates so well with the Left!

  6. I hate to bring it up (well, obviously not really, because I AM bringing it up), … but has anybody done an assessment of the vulnerability of such power future to terrorism, compared to traditional power infrastructures?

    I have no clue what the difference might be. That’s why I bring it up.

    • Terrorists, as they’ve been/are being sold to the American public/world through false flag bombings/’shootings’/events, etc., etc., don’t exist.

      There now, that should clear it up.

      • Is workplace violence. Obama took action against workplace violence by raising energy prices, thus closing down US manufacturing and decreasing employment, attacking the problem at its roots. No workplaces, no workplace violence.

    • Ah, I can suggest that the distributed nature of ‘renewables’ means that they are harder to secure against terrorists – thousands of poorly secured sites over large areas vulnerable to attack instead of a handful of already secure relatively compact generating stations. However transmission lines are a problem for all forms of large scale generation. Personally I think that weather is the major enemy of ‘renewables’ – storms, floods, dust, sudden wind gusts, you name it, are all hazardous for solar farms and wind turbines. We just don’t have enough history of using these things to know how well they are designed and/or installed to resist abnormal weather events. The recent SA storm event showed that poorly designed and installed high voltage pylons can get trashed by a strong weather front. I don’t remember seeing anything like that in Australia, certainly not in the ‘major’ states. Stop the subsidies (LRET, etc.) and watch these anachronisms disappear. End of problem. When will this madness stop?

      • However, with thousands of distributed sites, an attack on one would have a very small effect on the system.

      • You wouldn’t target the individual generators, you would target the transformer(s). That way you affect more people. High voltage transformers can be taken out, at lest temporarily, with high powered rifles, let alone shoulder mounted stinger missiles. Of course in most jurisdictions there is minimal security around the transformers. A couple of gas cans flung over the fenced enclosure of a remote transformer unit would probably do the job. A couple of hard working terrorist could likely take out two to four transformers in a couple of hours one night.

      • Based upon personal observations on all the wind farms dotting the ridges in California, one does not need terrorists to disable these beasties. Due to poor business models or whatever other reasons these thins are poorly maintained at best. They were erected by savvy businessmen who saw a juicy carrot of a subsidy dangled before them. It appears as though they simply through up the structures took the money and scarpered.
        The terrorists would merely be redundant.
        “Never ascribe to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence.”

    • Robert, let’s do a little comparison, shall we? How much energy can you block from production from a solar panel with a can of spray paint? How much can you block from a gas turbine generator with a can of spray paint?

      • crosspatch, be careful……if you throw the can of spray paint into the air inlet of a running gas turbine, there’s a good chance it will do significant damage to the compressor.

      • Getting close enough to the air inlet of a gas turbine is most often a lot more difficult than getting to a PV or reflector panel. Inlet air is generally screened for debris first, otherwise a gust of wind could carry a piece of trash into them.

      • If you can get close enough to the PV panels/heliostats to spray paint them, then you can get close enough to circumvent the air inlet screen of the gas turbine. Oh…and if the can of spray paint is full, the release of the combustible propellant in the compressor stage would make for an interesting explosion.

      • Spray paint on a solar panel will have no effect. It only produces output for a few hours per day if you are lucky and is fully backed up. Better to sabotage the backup.

      • Actually sabotaging wind and solar would benefit the system. It would help stability.
        The last thing a terrorist would want to do.

      • Allen Ford February 8, 2017 at 8:06 pm
        The cops could have used a few of those loaded with tear gas in Portland and New York a couple weeks ago

        Just musing

        michael

      • Don’t know about other countries; but no german or austrian employee would allow sabotage to ‘his’ gas turbine / turbines.

    • Traditional fossil fueled power stations or especially nuclear plants are a far bigger target for terrorists. So what if a bad guy knocks out a 3 MW wind turbine, but it’s a big deal if they knock out a 1 GW power plant.

      • We’re not talking about tripping, we are talking about terrorist attacks. It’s silly to say that renewable energy, which is effectively distributed power generation, is a more attractive target to terrorists than high capacity fossil fuel plants.

    • Robert Kernodle
      February 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      I hate to bring it up (well, obviously not really, because I AM bringing it up), … but has anybody done an assessment of the vulnerability of such power future to terrorism, compared to traditional power infrastructures?

      I have no clue what the difference might be. That’s why I bring it up.

      Terrorist activity is not a problem, the renewables systems fail without any help – far more often than terrorists could possibly manage.

      SteveT

    • We have plenty of rare earth elements. We just don’t mine and process them because it’s cheaper to let the Chinese do it. link When I was a youngster, America cared about strategic materials. Now, not so much … President Trump has the problem that we are, in the short term at least, totally dependant on China for a whole bunch of stuff. It’s going to be difficult to play hard ball with them.

    • There’s plenty of rare earth stuff elsewhere… new lithium mines in Australia and 2 places in South America (all to be mined without Chinese environmental neglect)

  7. “New energy” is a total bird killing & environment destroying joke:

    There’s ZERO evidence that CO2 causes climate warming, but there’s tons of evidence that CO2 has reached an incredibly low level that is detrimental to plant growth. We need to increase CO2 emissions, not decrease it! But instead we’re spending trillions of dollars on creating these grotesque “renewables” that we probably will end up just knocking down (as windmills) because of how destructive they are. It’s insanity.

    And it’s all a “sacrifice” to assauge the “white guilt” of a prospering society. Germany has got that guilt the worst, and is totally destroying their country through green lunacy. Watch the video below (applauded by NoTrickZone) for an outstanding account of how the renewables are actually destroying the German environment in a most insidious way:

    How Germany’s Energiewende is splitting the environmental movement:

    • I was just thinking:

      The case that it’s NOT elitist / white guilt but an actual danger of global warming that’s driving the leftists behind the climate change movement .. is belied by the case of Germany:

      Few would argue that Germany’s character and history makes them feel that elitist guilt more intensely than any other country.

      And out of scores of countries it just so happens that it is the guilt-ridden Germany that has gone the most overboard with their green climate change idiocies. That actually no coincidence. Case closed, and proof that GUILT not climate threats is driving the climate change insanity.

      • Thanks for that Eric. A good exposé of the insanity of the energiewende. Fritz Vahrenholt’s last remark is quite telling. Talking about how wind farms are eating into the forests and destroying a lot of the wildlife, he says:

        “If you steal the Germans their forest, you should not underestimate the power which can grow out of this mood”

        He is vocalizing a deep rooted part of German self-image and German mythology, which is that they are the “People of the Forest”. I wouldn’t want to be standing in the way when they come to their senses, and they surely will sooner or later.

        He also puts in words the thinking of the committed greens, which says that saving the planet is more important than preserving any part of the natural environment.

        He also made the point that Germany is the only country to completely close down all its nuclear power plants.. What a tragedy, and a clear illustration that the leaders of the green machine aren’t really interested in cutting CO2 emissions; it’s just a disguise to hide the real agenda which is anti-industry and anti-capitalism, and ultimately intends to dismantle the European/Western/Industrial society.

      • @smart rock: Germany has NOT closed all its nuclear power plants. They still generate more than all the renewables together

      • Smart Rock
        February 8, 2017 at 6:29 pm
        ……….
        He is vocalizing a deep rooted part of German self-image and German mythology, which is that they are the “People of the Forest”. I wouldn’t want to be standing in the way when they come to their senses, and they surely will sooner or later……

        We’ve had to stand in their way twice already, we’re getting used to it. But what does coming to their senses really mean?

        SteveT

  8. Thorium will be with us soon. Then the ‘free’ energy, solar, wind, might make a valuable contribution in that scenario. Thorium is inherently safe and can wind up and down according to demand. Ten to twenty years I guess. They’ll get along fine but with Thorium so abundant, the reactors so controllable, clean and efficient, over 99% compared to uranium at 0.5%, solar and wind might well decline due to the satisfaction with Thorium. Thorium also cleans up nuclear waste. Just my take/hope FWIW.

    • That’s what they told us last year. And the year before.

      Where do they have a commercial one actually on the grid ??

      G

    • for sure:sails make complete sense on a nuclear submarine;

      Why would anyone want renewables if they had already spent a fortune on reliable 24×7 nuclear power?

      The only place windmills and solar panels make sense is where there is no wildlife or people but lots of hydroelectricity.

    • The best Chinese estimate is a pilot plant in the early 2030s.

      They are putting a lot of money and effort in there: I wouldn’t expect anything sooner.

    • Thorium doesn’t do a very good job of cleaning up nuclear wastes and using Thorium has its problesm in producing plutonium, no-no for anti-proliferation concerns. There is also no valid reason for assuming the world will ever run out of Uranium when used in a molten salt reactor (which CAN burn Thorium, although that is not advisable for the reasons given above. See my posting below of the true revolutionary nuclear reactors – molten salt.

      • You repeat the ‘thorium producing plutonium’ scare ad nauseam but it simply isn’t true, see (again) transatomic-white-paper.pdf:

        Thorium reactors do not contain plutonium, but they do have a potential proliferation vulnerability because of the protactinium in their fuel salt. Protactinium has a high neutron capture cross section and therefore, in most liquid thorium reactor designs, it must be removed continuously from the reactor. The process for doing this yields relatively pure protactinium, which then decays into pure U-233. By design, the pure U-233 is sent back into the reactor where it is burned as its primary fuel. The drawback, however, is that U-233 is a weapons-grade isotope that is much easier to trigger than plutonium. We believe that the proliferation objection to liquid thorium is actually related to protactinium-233 in the thorium
        portion of the reactor. If this can be extracted chemically, it decays quickly into pure U-233.

  9. I’m just waiting for the blackouts here in Queensland.
    Then my husband who has serious heart failure, and cannot survive in non-airconditioned situation will be delivered to hospital once more, by me, to freak the young Dr’s, ECG really scary, until the consultant sees it, and says Oh thats normal for him.
    I have become an expert on his condition, even consultant has put a note on his file, listen to wife, she knows what she is talking about, at $3500.00 for admittance, and $1000.00 a day to keep him there.
    I am not going to let him die, working for govt dept when he caught virus, and denied workcover, its time for payback.

    • lyn roberts February 8, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      If you can get a small back up generator, a few cans of fuel. Have someone qualified to hook it up. You don’t have to power everything just what you need most. Probably much less then the $3,500 admit cost. As one Cardiac patient to another give your husband and yourself my best.

      michael

      • The trouble is that Queensland isn’t a third-world country. But that the greens have forced such appalling government policy that it and SA look like they are.

        It’s a form of corruption that you can see in the ACT. We Greens have gotten 4% of the vote, so we have one (now two) members. You must adopt these policies, or we will give our vote to the Liberals. Labor have no actual policies, they just want to govern for the power of it. They don’t see what’s wrong with the Green policies – they are truly stupid and easy to lead.

        So the ACT has a bunch of ‘green’ initiatives, a partial list:
        – no burning rubbish in back yards
        – ‘green’ power, whereby you voluntarily pay lots more for power that comes from the dams you were already getting it from
        – shopping bag ban
        – solar ‘power plant’ in suburban suburbs
        – windmills everywhere but in the ACT – they seem to be uniquely situated in places like Lake George where they are highly visible, but there is no wind.

        The result has to be the worst-governed territory in the country. It would be really scary to think that there is anyplace worst. On the other hand, I wouldn’t like to be living through the power failures in SA right now.

      • Hivemind
        February 8, 2017 at 9:12 pm
        “The result has to be the worst-governed territory in the country.”
        As they say, “Follow the money!”
        Somebody’s happy for some reason…
        Even though it doesn’t work.
        Go figure?

      • Makes me appreciate the American political system a little more. We’ve got our problems, but super-minority parties wielding disproportionate influence by playing kingmaker isn’t one of them.

  10. Lumberjack’s picture
    Vote up!
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    Lumberjack Feb 8, 2017 6:20 PM
    Tunisia set for Trump-led boom as Hillary cabal exits scene

    http://www.atimes.com/tunisia-set-trump-led-boom-hillary-cabal-exits-scene/

    Under the leadership of GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is also destined to become the oil services leader in NAWA and Africa with its acquisition of American oil services giant Baker Hughes.

    Tunisia’s unique position between two major oil producing countries such as Libya and Algeria; a developed economy with a strong equities market and proximity to Milan; on top of Tunisia’s good neighbor foreign policy — makes the country ideal as GE continues to win billions of dollars in contracts throughout Africa.

    GE is currently eyeing taking a US$100 million plus wind farm project initially developed by Miami, Florida-based developer UPC Renewables at Cap Bon peninsula near the port city of Bizerte in northwest Tunisia. UPC Principal Peter Gish told Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA that his company has spent years negotiating land rights and regulatory approvals to build the wind farms.

    GE is currently talking to Italy’s state controlled utility ENEL unit ENEL Green Power to team-up in the development of UPC’s and other renewable energy project in the region. The US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is especially motivated to provide up to US$400 million in either corporate or project finance to any qualified operator in the renewable energy sector in Tunisia, one of OPIC’s strategic markets.

    Enel Green Power is already the largest operator of wind power in the United States and it recently sold a 49% stake in its North American renewable energy assets to GE Energy Financial Services for US$440 million and operates 21.6 gigawatts of renewable power in Europe and North Africa.

    • John, how much of that money is subsidized? seeing that it sold 49% of it’s stake in North Am does that mean subsidies in the US might be coming to an end? That whole state of affairs you describe is really confusing and full of conjecture. Such as:
      GE is currently eyeing,
      GE is currently talking,
      The US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is especially motivated to provide up to US$400 million in either corporate or project finance.
      All of those statements and a few others are pure speculation, which btw is the normal state of affairs in the world of finance and the stock markets.

  11. The supplementary fantasy that the is trotter out constantly is don’t worry the battery technology capable of storing the enormous amounts of energy required to replace fossil or nuclear fuels is ‘just around the corner’.

  12. When I attempt to navigate to the article (even if I manually negotiate the site to get to the opinion section, the author’s articles, then the desired article) I am presented with “Digital Subscription”, “Digital Subscription + Weekend Paper Delivery”, and “Digital Subscription + 6-Day Paper Delivery” paywall choices. I had to go to Google News, enter the title of the OpEd and click through from there in order to dodge the paywall turnstile.

    Papers should allow people at least a couple of article views a month before trying to ding them for a subscription.

  13. The best way is use energy efficiently, use energy efficient technologies, cut down use of electronic devises that consume more energy, etc.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Absolutely! We heat a 1760 square foot house in Northern Michigan with about 300 gallons of propane and 2 cords of fire wood per year, and we use the wood because we like it more than anything. When we built the house the additional cost of over-insulating, etc, etc, came to about $4K, money we’ve gotten back 6 or 8 times in 30 years.

    • The latest Troll talking point that has appeared with regularity in various blogs lately is that the number of jobs in solar exceeds those in oil, gas and coal combined.
      Given that solar (and wind combined) account for less than 5% of our total energy supply, the rational reply is left as an exercise for the student.

      • I’d gladly work at a nuclear power plant. Damn shame the U.S. hasn’t built any in 30 years. Power density is what drives modern civilization … which seems to be why the green nutters want dispersed expensive & unreliable power.

      • Either that means solar costs too much or all those jobs must be low level minimum wage jobs.

        A more efficient energy source would make fewer jobs; not more jobs.

        G

      • hi labour content = low value for money.
        if you want high labour content, ban tractors.

        I used to live on a potato farm. The farmer told me that one day he had a teacher and a class of 10 year olds come visit. The teacher had been hammering on about fossil fuels and the like so the children asked him what did you do before tractors’?

        ‘We picked the taters by hand, hundreds off us’

        ‘And what would you do now if there were no more tractors?’

        He thought for a few seconds…

        ‘I think I should probably commit suicide’

      • “‘I think I should probably commit suicide’”
        Actually, the reason slavery disappeared all over the world, is because fossil fuels rendered it uneconomic. Places that don’t have good supplies of reliable power, are the ones that still have slavery.

    • Actually electronic devices use less and less energy as time goes by.

      Apple (I think) is going to build in Arizona the planet’s best 7 nm IC facility.

      That’s a thousand times smaller than the first IC process I ever used. well the area of the devices is a million times smaller, and they consume less power too.

      That sounds like it should be Intel. but I’m fairly sure I heard Apple.

      G

      • Well it looks as if 7 nm is just a gleam in someone’s eyes. 10 and 14 may be real at Intel.

        G

      • They do.

        Electricity demand in the UK has fallen for a decade, despite a growing population.

        Germans are particularly keen on efficient appliances… their domestic use of electricity is lower than other countries, so the cost of their power does not give them higher bills.

  14. Good link to blackout in South Australia. Higher prices reduced reliability. A government minister complaining that the operator didn’t turn on an available gas generation plant should strike ratepayers as pure irony. If you have to pay for the spinning power anyway why bother with the wind? Think people. Think.

  15. Only in b grade sci-fi movies do the guys who discover the problem not only diagnose it perfectly but also come up with the perfect solution.

    • That’s a good one:

      “There were issues during the September blackout where AEMO wasn’t aware of the severe winds but you just needed to turn the TV on to find out how hot it was.”
      _________________________________

      Turn the TV on without electricity supply

      – to feel how hot it is.

  16. Most bad weather will not increase like climate activists claim. Tornadoes are not getting worse. Most storms other than tropical cyclones depend on horizontal temperature gradient, and their winds will weaken as the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the world. And it is not getting cloudier (a possibility mentioned above and not by climate activists) – clouds are getting more efficient instead due to increase of water vapor. Winds would slow only slightly – most wind varies with the square root of pressure gradient, and it seems most pressure gradients would vary roughly with the temperature gradients that cause them. With warming falling short of forecast by the CMIP5 models, I think there is not a lot to worry about. and Dr. Roger Pielke Jr is ong the “97% consensus” and he points out that nationwide and worldwide, floods are not worsening much and drought is not worsening.

    • 259 people have died from „climate“-related disasters (storms, floods, etc. – not avalanches) in Switzerland from 1946–72 = 9.6 per year. From 1973-2015 129 people died = only 3 per year, although the population had nearly doubled.
      The facts prove the alarmists/profiteers and government propaganda wrong.

  17. South Austrailia was warned that thier rush to renewables would destabilize the system and increase rates. Both have happened as predicted. The state government wants to blame everyone but themselves and is saying they may nationalise power generation.

    So lets see if we understand this… you ignored the warnings, results are bad, solution is more control for you. Unbelievable really.

  18. All good stuff Eric, but even more telling is the futility of the whole CO2 emissions reductions exercise. If the world’s nations meet their RETs what will the difference in temperatures be in 100 years>

    Answers to the nearest thousandth of a degree preferred.

  19. Very little press coverage of Ontario, Germany, South Austrailia results from going to wind and solar. That is unfortunate as these power sources can be thought of asbfree to the uneducated. Wouldnt many Americans be surprised to know the reality.

  20. Aaah! But the climate is NOT going to change! We’re going to STOP it from changing. We are to going to STOP rising sea levels.

    (Just give us more money!)

  21. The last 10 weeks here in BC I have followed the weather as usual with our 2x a day obs. Checking and comparing it to the last few years we have seen at this time just a cold spell , which I would call weather for now..
    We saw similar winters in 1971-72, 1985-86 and others. Nothing to get our knickers in a wad about.
    But frankly I worry more about a prolonged cold period then I do a warm one. The region we live in is made up of small micro climates between 2 mountain ranges with a series of lakes that keep it warmer during winter and cooler during summer but even a few short miles away from the lake temps can vary by 6-8 C. higher or lower than ours by the lakes.
    There is very little possibility for wind and limited for solar, if there is any “Clean” energy I would think geothermal could help but even that needs a power source to run. In my view fossil fuels are here to stay and for a very long time to come! Get used to it.

  22. “Renewables” i.e. “Clean Energy” are just a two-tier Ponzi Scheme! First tier is to get Federal/State taxpayer money to subsidize the real costs and loses. Second tier is to get public investors to throw money at the scheme, a.k.a. Elon Musk Industries.

  23. “Imagine for a moment ….”

    If Eric W stopped being stupid. And most of the rest of you too! Journalist say all manner of things. Just because it is on the internet, does not make it true. If fact I find very little good reporting on electric power issues.

    Before getting all bent out of shape about something, maybe you should research it more. Commenting on things you are ignorant about, is stupid.

    In the US, utility scale power projects are designed for expected weather conditions. AGW would not change weather significantly during the life of the project.

    Providing power is a public service. The industry has an obligation to produce power the way our customers want. While I may not think wind and solar is a very good way to produce power, that is not my decision.

    During the licensing process, public input is requested. If you can show a substantive reason, a power project is stopped.

      • Why would anyone respond to a village idiot. !!

        They are there to entertain.. but Rip is FAILING badly.

        Just throw them a crust of mouldy bread, and walk away.. Well done Eric.

    • “The power industry has an OBLIGATION to produce power…….. ”

      So why would any power industry business EVER use wind or solar.

      They know that they can NEVER meet their obligation 24/7

      • @Andy

        With more than 40 years in the power industry, I can answer that question. The amount of time I have on back shift develops an intolerance for stupid people like Andy and Eric. We in the power industry have never had a problem providing power 24/7/365 except when the politicians take away our ability to do it.

        I can think of few cases where utilities have built wind and solar unless obligated by law. In which, the cost is just passed on.

        Andy and Eric make up stuff, I know they are lying.

  24. 90,000 consumers cut off in South Australia due to relying on fickle windmills and the need for demand management to avoid another cascading State blackout-
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-power-crisis-will-there-be-more-blackouts/news-story/82f848efbc42455b9d7c4e1487b04fa5

    So what is Premier Weatherill and Co’s response?
    “Amid concern over the continuing blackouts, Premier Jay Weatherill today foreshadowed “dramatic plans” for the state to step away from the national electricity grid “and take control of our own future”.
    Mr Weatherill would not provide full details of the plans today, other than to say that they had been long in the planning and were likely to be finalised and announced imminently.
    He did indicate that a contract for a bulk-buy of State Government electricity, for which tenders have been received, was likely to lead to the creation of a new gas-fired power station.”

    What? Not more precious Green windmills and solar panels Premier?

    Meanwhile-
    “THE Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has ordered the second power generation unit at Pelican Point be switched on to avoid a repeat of Wednesday night’s enforced electricity black out.” [that means paying them whatever they want to do that folks]

    What? Not the Green windmills and solar panels?

    Welcome to their Green religion and the lesson for you all.

  25. Totally unrelated you understand, but my spies tell me a particular Australian State Premier has been looking around for a suitable retirement chalet or some such in France. Might pay to up the offer with the RE agent if the vendor is playing hardball.
    Well you know how it is with all the pressures of the job and you look forward to retirement away from it all at some stage-
    http://www.mikerann.net/biography/

  26. Watching Jay Weatherill on the news just now , posturing and trying pretend he is action man and is going to nationalise (State-is?) the SA grid. He wants SA voters to believe that external parties are doing things to them, rather than him making a long string of ill informed ideological decisions that have consequences. He is quite a bizarre politician.

    The tone of hysterical media about the current heatwave is interesting. Not sure if this is part of the ramping up of climate rhetoric as the house of cards gets shakier or its just a bunch of cub reporters who cant remember the last hot spell. Terms like scorcher, hell, furnace get bandied about with awe struck reports that its 40C+ in various places. Jeez people its bloody Australia in summer!! yes it gets extra hot sometimes.

  27. Never mind unstable climate conditions – what if a big old volcano erupts and darkens the skies for two years? Then you will be able to pick up a 2nd hand solar installation for cheap :)

  28. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the patently obvious future energy source : molten salt nuclear reactors. Everyone and his brother, it seems are developing their own in-house design :
    Moltex Energy, Terrestrial Energy, Transatomic Power, and the entire Chinese govt. For the commenter who claimed that nuclear power requires massive amounts of concrete, I will correct them about the new nuclear reactors, which operate without any significant pressure on the nuclear side of the plant in the reactor core and therefore do NOT require much in the way of concrete or site preparation. All this translates into a very cheap to build plant – less than $2 per watt, which is cheaper than the coal plants (at over $3 per watt) or nuclear plants (at over $6 per watt) or natural gas plants. These reactors are intrinsically safe and work very well burning up our nuclear wastes (or low grade uranium or Thorium) – cost of fuel is inconsequential, since they can extract over 80% of the energy in uranium (versus 2 to 3 % for current water nuclear reactors) – we will NEVER run out of Uranium – the sea is full of the stuff , which can be extracted at a price that still results in inconsequential fuel costs. Our current supply of nuclear wastes contain enough molten salt extractable energy to power this country for 1000 years. These reactors produce the cheapest power of any technology. Period.
    Molten salt reactors do not have to be shut down for refueling, can load follow (act as mid range generators) , are intrinsically , walk-away safe – core meltdowns are physically impossible, as are blasts of radiation to the environment. An old technology (several experimental molten salt reactors were operated for years) that was never practical because of several factors concerning corrosian resistance and moderating inefficiency, both of which have been overcome in all of the current designs. Can be built in any size and located practically anywhere, as in close to the end-user (within cities).

  29. There’s only one real problem with wind and solar – cronyism.
    They are both energy production systems, wtf is wrong with that?

    Where it all unravels is that RE has been mandated by Government, there is effectively only one buyer in the market. That buyer has unequivocally committed itself and even before they form any sort of official cartel, the sellers milk the (fat cow) buyer.

    Now *there* is your problem, simple, basic greed. Nothing to do with the weather and never really was.

    btw, what’s today’s Climate?
    Hint: I want the 30 year average that’s being maintained so we know how its changing and no, temperature is not it.
    It *has* changed coz its snowing here today and wasn’t yesterday. :-D

    • Hmm…

      Have you ever looked at fossil fuel contributions to US political parties, candidates, lobbyists and think tanks?

  30. The problem with unreliables is this: the more unreliables you have, the higher the cost of energy. And the higher the cost of energy, the more it costs to produce unreliables (as main cost is energy in steel). And of course – unreliables don’t last for ever .. indeed they very quickly break down.So the cost of energy increases. The cost of maintaining the fleet of bird/bat mincers increases and therefore the cost of making & repairing unreliables increases, so the cost of energy further increases.

    I’m yet to be convinced this is not a death spiral whereby the cost of energy eventually approaches infinity.

    Or to turn it around: you start with a finite amount of energy in the system, but if more energy goes into making and repairing unreliables than comes out …. the “energy potential stored” in the system starts from a high, and just gets lower and lower and lower until no money on earth can buy energy from unreliables.

  31. No doubt solar power will become viable sooner or later (wind — never), but only if it does not attempt to generate electricity directly, but some non flammable, nether explosive nor toxic, but energy rich chemical like sugar, store it locally and use it in fuel cells to generate electricity on demand. The technology is not there though, not even close.

    • “Carbonbrief”? Ye gods! Talk about corrupt…

      How much do you get paid for plugging that swampful of EUSSR liars?

      And then you witter about the Koch Brothers…

      Have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for lying about her professional qualifications yet, you unpleasant little ‘Unreliables’ propagandist?

  32. It’s the disconnect between thinking that solar furnaces that roast birds etc and windmills which chop them up are somehow environmentally friendly.
    It’s always puzzled me that the Fukushima Daiichi incident is always portrayed as a nuclear plant failure rather than as the result of a natural occurrence that the plants builders hadn’t allowed for and the German reaction has baffled me I’ve never heard of any tsunami in that country apart from that caused by the Dambusters.

    James Bull

    • @James >It’s always puzzled me that the Fukushima Daiichi incident is always portrayed as a nuclear plant failure <
      That is because its a nuclear plant failure. I was built at the wrong place, and the redundant diesel engines were unprotected against tsunamis. And then they exploded. Unlike a windmill or coal plant or else would have done. And it contaminated the surrounding landscape so the inhabitants are banned from coming back to their properties! And it continues to contaminate the Pacific Ocean, so u can measure the radiation already at the west coast of the USA.

  33. Most windmills are Chinese make. I’ve had three toasters and a couple of their kettles give up the ghost in the past half dozen yrs and I recall it taking Japan about 20yrs to get the hang of making things that work. We had a Canadian made toaster when I was a kid that had been going for about 40yrs without a hitch. It was given to a neighbor and it may still be working somewhere. It had drop-down sides for flipping the toast over to do the other sides.

    I reckon we still have 10yrs more of tufting the earth with these things until the global warming industry grinds to a halt. We should set aside some small parks of dead wind mills, maybe with facsimilies of dead bats and birds lying around as a reminder of how we almost undid 3500yrs of civilization and nearly knocked off the USA as the last world economic engine. Maybe we could order the UN to dedicate these heritage sites for their historic and cultural value.

  34. I thought those Google Engineers already told us that renewables can’t work. We’d be caught in an endless cycle of having to produce more and more renewables just to support the ones we had already just built?

  35. “Thorium reactors are NOT fuelled by thorium. Thorium is NOT fissile. Thorium had to be irradiated with neutrons to produce, finally, uranium 233, the fissile material. This was being worked on in the 50s, I was part of a ream separating 2.5 kilos of uranium from ten tonnes of thorium, after years spent in-pile. Such a reactor system will not grow rapidly. The fuel has to be MADE from thorium, and this can only done in the reactor. Yes, it can be done, but it is still a URANIUM fuelled reactor!!!

  36. R Phillips
    February 9, 2017 at 7:34 am

    “Thorium reactors are NOT fuelled by thorium. Thorium is NOT fissile. Thorium had to be irradiated with neutrons to produce, finally, uranium 233, the fissile material. This was being worked on in the 50s, I was part of a ream separating 2.5 kilos of uranium from ten tonnes of thorium, after years spent in-pile. Such a reactor system will not grow rapidly. The fuel has to be MADE from thorium, and this can only done in the reactor. Yes, it can be done, but it is still a URANIUM fuelled reactor!!!

    Semantics. That’s tantamount to saying a coal powered unit is a steam fuelled generator!

    SteveT

  37. With my climate forecast of global cooling that’s nearly here; there simply isn’t any time left for renewable energies to gain any more traction. In research, yes, but in real world wide-spread usage – no way. There’s just little time left for that.

    In the final analysis,

    It is a given that the fossil fuel energy sources we have right now are going to be the primary means of energy that we all will surely need and use for the next 30+ years under the climate of global cooling.

    The Sun’s quiescent phase which begins with solar cycle #25 is just the start of the next little ice age I have been forecasting for a long time.

    Moreover, I have calculated that solar cycles #26 and #27 will continue to strengthen the climate of global cooling deep into the 2040s.

    Therefore, I’ve shorted renewable energies for that very reason.

    We’ve run out of time in preparing for the coming new climate of global cooling people.

    There are literally a few years left before the little ice age approaching gets into true gear and matures as our Sun readies to enter its Grand Minimum.

    Get ready and be prepared.

    ~ Theodore White, astromet.Sci

  38. even assuming that other show stopper problems such as intermittency

    Intermittency can’t be solved without burning fossil fuel because the cost of energy storage will be too high in EROI terms. Read: Why energy storage is a dead-end industry, and especially a review of the 2013 study quoted therein on enegy storage: Stanford scientists calculate the carbon footprint of grid-scale battery technologies. Or even the 2013 study itself: On the importance of reducing the energetic and material demands of electrical energy storage, by Charles J. Barnhart and Sally M. Benson; Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 1083–1092 | 1083, or Barnhart’s other work.

    In a nutshell the argument is: the energy return on energy invested does not justify storage. It takes so much energy to build the storage technology that it’s not worthwhile.

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