S&P Backs Renewables: “The Tide has Turned”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Standard & Poor, the credit rating agency which in 2015 paid $1.4 billion to regulators to settle legal action related to its role in the 2008 subprime mortgage fiasco, now thinks that renewable power is the future.

‘Tide has turned’: Global rating agency says climate economics trump politics

Peter Hannam
OCTOBER 14 2017

The global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy will continue regardless of political action such as President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement or outbursts from ex-Australian prime ministers, a senior ratings analyst says.

“The tide has turned,” said Michael Wilkins, the head of climate and environmental risks at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, adding the transition meant the economic viability of assets such as coal mines and coal-fired power stations would be “vastly impaired”.

Mr Wilkins’ comments come as new S&P research points to deep falls in the costs of renewable energy as other groups report important shifts by corporations at home and abroad on climate risks.

The risks include challenges their businesses will face in a carbon-constrained world but also the physical damage posed by more extreme weather events as the planet heats up.

Solar photovoltaic costs, which have halved in the last few years, will fall another 35 per cent by 2020, Mr Wilkins predicted.

“You could argue we’ve reached a tipping point,” he said, adding that with falling storage prices, intermittent energy sources could soon compete with traditional fossil-fuels on dispatchability grounds alone even without including their environmental advantages.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/tide-has-turned-global-rating-agency-says-climate-economics-trump-politics-20171012-gyzhey.html

Frankly I’m shocked that an organisation which prides itself on prudential advice would take such a position.

Mr Wilkins by his own statements is talking about events which haven’t happened yet. He thinks renewables “could” soon be competitive with dispatchable fossil fuels, because of falling prices. He believes falls in the price of renewable generation and energy storage costs will continue.

Mr Wilkins might be right – if generation and storage prices fall sufficiently, if the wild superstorms predicted by alarmists start to manifest, renewables might start to look good. But claiming “the tide has turned” on the basis of a chain of unsubstantiated maybes is a ridiculous position for an agency which prides itself on its prudence.

You would think a ratings agency like S&P would have learned a little caution about hyping speculative future profits, given how they recently got their fingers badly burned because of their over-optimistic assessments of the value of subprime mortgage bonds which subsequently collapsed.

Advertisements

243 thoughts on “S&P Backs Renewables: “The Tide has Turned”

  1. There’s money to be made in this business that can increase the wealth of its shareholders. That the wealth is derived from subsidies is perhaps a different matter.

    • “You would think a ratings agency like S&P would have learned a little caution about hyping speculative future profits…”

      Not on your nelly, these avaricious filth are just licking their lips at the bubble prospects. The bigger the fear factor, the faster the ‘transition’, the less the oversight and the fatter the fees as these utter grubs sign off on the ‘quality’ of each lunatic project and certify it as being of investment grade.

      • Too big to fail got covered by Feds, just like renewables, for the most part, are covered by the feds, states, counties, cities, neighbourhoods

  2. There’s money to be made in this business that can increase the wealth of its shareholders. That the wealth is derived from subsidies is perhaps a different matter.

    • My financial counselor shares my reluctance to invest in any company which needs government funds to remain viable. This move by S&P seems to me has political motivation, too. They should only back self-sustaining industry which has no public funding needs.

  3. When searching for a stock, bond, CD, market, straddle, call or put to invest in; never ever trust one analyst!

    Research everything yourself and verify! All too many analysts are paid to produce copy for the financial outlets.

    • Exactly. Reading the excerpt, is like reading an advert made by the industry rather than unbiased, prudent advice. So who is the target of this? One would hope that clever seasoned investors would be better informed. Then there are those, actively looking to ”save the world” This is just the advice they’ve been waiting to hear. I think someone else mentioned (indirectly perhaps) commission.

      Eamon.

      • “… said Michael Wilkins, the head of climate and environmental risks at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings …”

        On which side is his bread buttered?

      • Peter Hall, formerly of Hunter Hall investment management is rumored to have had a nervous breakdown after Tump won, and sold a large part of the company which was named after him to Washington Soul Pattinson, which owns lots of coal investments. Trying to save the world did not work out so well for Peter Hall. Hunter Hall had stopped investing in fossil fuels, and even had a deep green investment fund, which performed poorly.

    • Good point, it’s a bit like asking why buy a new car when it’s going to lose much of its value by just driving it off the sales lot. I don’t know why, do you buy new or second hand?

    • Prices fall, making profitability rise (in someones ideal world anyway)
      Components of profit are more than just one thing (asset)……so
      You keep pouring in the $$$’s UNTIL profitability starts to drop.
      Better still, you keep pouring in other peoples $$$’s – and don’t worry when things start to drop.
      Jaundiced and sarc comments now off.
      Not for long, probably though

  4. Clearly Eric Worrall does not understand that ggod business is all about future trends and studying and assessing them. A credit rating agency that does not endeavor to understand the importance of anticipated future trends and make evaluations and offer advice on the basis of such assessment would be a joke, failing to understand the impact the rapidly changing technology around us has on business.

      • By using your brains, the future isn’t certain, but we can still look at what’s happening now and do the maths.

      • Ok, extrapolate current trends into the future – which is what S&P is doing, so Worrall isn’t off the hook.

      • Your statement is classic stupid. The future can only be calculated as a probability and usually with high margin of error, the actual Futures Market on the stock exchanges around the world underlines that.
        Next you give credit for intelligence to a group that has failed to appraise the real risks of billions of dollars in securities that go bad every year either by incompetence or deliberate manipulation.

        You could attribute such bad misses of reading the future to the probabilities but there is also complicity in the Ratings Agencies. They often get paid by the very companies whose securities they rate, they are not some independent, unbiased group. There staff are usually second tier financial analysts who couldn’t make it out with the big players, or who blew it all and are having to try and build up a stake to buy back into the big game.

        I think you need perhaps go and do some basic reading on what the ratings agencies are, how they operate and what there relevance is.

    • After reading this article, I would have no confidence in S&P’s recommendations. Claiming there is a tipping point is completely baseless.

      The tipping point may be the other way around.

      If Windmill farms are doing so well, why are they suddenly all over tv trying to sell us on windmills? Why did Oklahoma suddenly stop all new windmill subsidies?

      • They are also may have a vested interest in taking a position. There is no rule that stops the ratings agencies having a financial interest on the thing they are rating.

      • Oh another tipping point .. Climate science must have the most tipping points of any area of study. Something moves a fractions and then immediately it races off to infinity. If only the real world world like that.

      • LdB

        Something moves a fractions and then immediately it races off to infinity. If only the real world world like that.

        It’s a good job most things in the real (ie not modeled) world do not behave like this, or life would get unpredictable and uncomfortable.

        Fortunately they do not, most especially the climate, so we’re pretty comfortable.

      • “crackers345 October 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm”

        David Middleton posts many graphs from reputable sources that shows “renewables” are not being installed as fast as you state. All you state is complete rubbish.

      • …..Don’t fully discount the possibility that the brokerage arm of the company who is providing the ratings could have a large stash of bonds that it needs to push out to unsuspecting “investors.” Such as, maybe, the various state employee retirement funds?

      • I find it fascinating how trolls consider the actions of politicians to be proof that their theories are correct.

    • Yeah, well, Andrews, that was the reason for the housing bubble busting in 2006 and the market crashes in 1929 and 2009. But that doesn’t mean anything, right?

      How about the Panic of 1842? Tulip bulb market crash in February 1637? South Sea bubble 1720? No?

  5. For the umpteeth time, “renewables” will never be economically viable, even if solar cells are less that $00.0001 per watt (i.e. $1/MW), as long as the sun continues to set every day.

    • Even without energy storage there are numerous uses for power that work even if the power supply goes down with the Sun, so if you’re happy to sell power at $1/MW only as it’s available from solar I promise buyers can be found.

      • Agree.
        But, if you have molten salt reactors, you don’t then require
        batteries
        storage
        wind
        smart grids
        and, well, um…nuclear.
        Hang on, Molten salt reactors are nuclear.

      • Mark….Pop my bubble why don’t you.
        Sadly, there is likely no short term chance that there will be one.
        However, back in my bubble, IF I could redirect all/some of the money being wasted on a fictitious problem, into a MSR, then many other issues so dear to us ‘normal’ people, get answered or go away.
        Kurt Sorenson listed the uses of even the by-products/waste heat, as being able to supply or pay for itself, let alone the actual power being generated.
        It’s a shame I ever have to come out of my bubble – its so comfortable in here.

      • D B H, lots of money chasing fusion…..which has yet to produce a single joule of power. But, a lot of the wind turbines and solar panels have actually produced usable energy today…….so keep on dreaming of MSR’s

      • Crackers, If you have nuclear (of which molten salt is a sub species) you have carbon dioxide free electricity without the other stuff, which is not the solution to any problem other than distracting the public from the chaos that the watermelons want to cause by destroying reliable inexpensive electricity.

      • Crackers can you stop trying to do science you fail at it. A watt is 1 joule per second … DOH.

        WATT = rate at which energy is exchanging
        JOULE = fundemental measurement of energy

        Any 1st grader should know that which shows you must be a child taht hasn’t done senior school or you got an “F”.

      • LdB, Cracker345 was perfectly correct; Watts is a measure of power, joules a measure of energy, rephrasing what he’s already said doesn’t make you smart.

      • Power is measured in Homes. Which are equal to.. Well, whatever you want them to be equal to.

        The expenditure on fusion is a tiny fraction of the expenditure on windmills. If renewables deployment were halted globally for 13 days we could finish ITER and find out if the other junk is actually needed.

        Oh, and we’ve been trying to get windmills to supply our electricity for 40 years without success. Which doesn’t of course include previous work on the technology by the pre-industrial civilisations, going back thousands of years. For so simple a tech, that’s one hell of a long development period.

      • crackers, providing a list of power sources does not prove that uneconomical renewable power will ever be renewable.
        BTW, When calculating the cost of renewables, the acolytes NEVER include the cost of storage and back up power that is needed. I wonder why?

    • Walter Sobchak on October 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      For the umpteeth time, “renewables” will never be economically viable, even if solar cells are less that $00.0001 per watt (i.e. $1/MW), as long as the sun continues to set every day.

      I disagree. Maths tells you it’s perfectly possible, within limits of probability. You can work out probable PV and solar output for any hour and day of the year. Then probable demand for same.

      All you need to do is calculate the PV & wind installation requirements, storage capacity required, and juggle those until you get an acceptable supply vs demand.

      All power production is probably managed in the same way, I suspect, since you cannot guarantee 100% constant output.

      I’ve seen a few attempts, I think. I’d love to see a model allowing adjustments of all these variables, including costs, to let people test out these wild ideas that renewables are cheaper than fossils right now.

      • Jerome

        All you need to do is calculate the PV & wind installation requirements, storage capacity required, and juggle those until you get an acceptable supply vs demand.

        All power production is probably managed in the same way, I suspect, since you cannot guarantee 100% constant output.

        I’ve seen a few attempts, I think. I’d love to see a model allowing adjustments of all these variables, including costs, to let people test out these wild ideas that renewables are cheaper than fossils right now.

        Yes, we’ve done those. Essentially, you end up needing 6x-7x the number of solar panels (and 6x the support infrastructure like transformers, controllers, miles of cables, access roads and cleared areas, control stations, and all of the towers and bridges for all of that infrastructure) to “almost be reliable” for the power you need each day. Now, granted, 4 days of 6 you don’t need the reserve margin required for the clouds, storms, and temperature extremes. But solar panels only generate power 6 hours per day.

        Wind is worse. It is not available at all for 1/3 of the country as a power supply due to the Bermuda high stagnant zones.

    • @ Walter Sobchak – October 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      For the umpteeth time, “renewables” will never be economically viable, even if solar cells are less that $00.0001 per watt (i.e. $1/MW),

      YUP, not even if less than $00.0001 per watt (i.e. $1/MW),

      Excerpted from article:

      Solar photovoltaic costs, which have halved in the last few years, will fall another 35 per cent by 2020, Mr Wilkins predicted

      That sounds wunderful, ….. it does.

      Nuff to make a wishful homeowner all warm n’ fuzzy justa thinking about it.

      But the humongous problem faced by rural and suburban homeowners and businesses is NOT the cost of the “solar photovoltaic arrays/panels” …….. but the ever-increasing costs of labor and electrical equipment that is necessary and mandatorily required for installing the aforesaid solar photovoltaic arrays/panels.

      And last but not least, the extremely limited supply of certified and qualified electricians that will be necessary for the “electrical conversion” of tens-of-millions of homes and businesses.

      And me thinks a sufficient source of “green energy” for supplying all the needs of urban dwellers is little more than a “blue sky” dream.

      • Yes, particularly during “the physical damage posed by more extreme weather events as the planet heats up”. Renewables are not ‘storm hardy’ and fail when struck by flying debris. You end up replacing your generation as well as your grid after a hurricane, so recovery is doubly slow.

  6. Hannam would publish rubbish like this. He’s been spinning wildly lately since the recent hurricanes, quakes and wildfires – all caused by dreaded CO2 driven climate change. He does not allow comments on his articles any more.

    • As more than 96% of Puerto Rica’s power supply was from coal/oil/gas plants and most of the network is still down perhaps you should be asking “How did fossil fuel power do in Florida and Texas – and Puerto Rico?”

      • Roof-top solar can work without a network, the panels can be taken down and stored inside, so power can be restored far more quickly. There are no countries using coal/oil/gas to a large extent that don’t rely on networks.

      • Roof-top solar can work without a network

        Have you checked the status of roof-tops all across the island.
        Hint: It’s not pretty.

      • If I’d had roof-top panels and lived in the path of a hurricane they would be locked away by the time the hurricane arrived, I’ve no idea what proportion of roof-top solar was taken down in Puerto Rico, and I doubt you have either.

      • The point TonyL is making you are missing Andrew. So google the question “will solar panels work during a power outage”.

        https://www.3quotes.com.au/solar-power/will-solar-panels-work-during-a-power-outage.html.

        The answer is usually NO unless they had battery storage.

        These installations are setup to feed into the grid to get the grid tarrif and require synchronization to the grid. If you happen to have a battery storage or an inverter that has a stand alone mode for off grid you could but it is rare.

      • @ Andrew Worth
        I just checked the interwebs. There are dozens of sites which go into great detail on the installation of residential solar panel systems.
        1) Installation requires knowledgeable and skilled installers.
        2) It is a major construction undertaking.
        3) All installations are permanent.
        4) Nobody has anything like a quick connect/quick disconnect panel mounting bracket.

        The notion that you can set up and take down a solar panel installation any time you want like a pup tent is nonsense.

      • Thank you LdB, your link nicely illustrates why renewable systems are becoming a viable economic alternative to traditional power supply systems.

      • TonyL, that’s surprising, I had a look at the fastening systems used and saw screws, nuts and bolts. screws, nuts and bolts aren’t that hard to understand, to undo you twist anti-clockwise.

      • @ Andrew Worth
        OK, a quick tip:
        Be sure to use all stainless steel mounting hardware. Otherwise, after several years exposed to the elements, you may find your fasteners a bit more permanent than you like. After all, with a hurricane bearing down on you, you may not have a lot of time to wrestle with stuck and frozen stuff.

        Have fun and enjoy!

      • What you are missing Andrew is you can power a few homes off grid that way but you can’t power industry or a city that way at current. Maybe in 100 years you can, I am pragmatic all I care about is the next few years. In Australia we have a massive grid and it has certain requirements and it is not something that can be easily replaced our NBN experience showed how difficult network changes are. The NBN is forecast at 25 years to change I suspect the power grid changes will take double that at a minimum.

        So I don’t give a rats how many houses renewables is powering in Africa, Germany or anywhere else, the only conditions I care about is in my own country. Some individuals want to have there houses able to run off grid, good for them. What I insist from my politicians is that the grid operates as it always had so we all have industry and jobs. I don’t care if the whole grid is powered by renewables or human pedal power for that matter, I am not against renewables I am for consistency of energy availability on the grid.

      • Andrew, The PV’s are live. Have great amperage. That is why they must have isolators in the event of fire. We don’t like our firefighters killed. But even with the isolators thrown they still generate power. f you are not electrically competent, leave them alone.

      • “Roof-top solar can work without a network, the panels can be taken down and stored inside,”

        By whom? How? This has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever read. How many crews with how much equipment would that require? How many electricians will be available to cut off and reinstall panels? And stored inside what? How can you ensure that every house powered by solar panels can withstand Hurricane winds and storm surges?

      • “This has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever read.” In that case you’ll be shocked to learn that people actually do lots of other things to secure their properties when they know a hurricane is on its way, I guess you’re just not the sort of person that is capable of doing anything to protect their property from such eventualities, even though battening down to prepare for a storm is a very normal undertaking.

      • Just to be clear for those of you aren’t Kiwis, the sensible ones down under get their renewable electricity off the grid rather than their roof. Residential PV can’t compete with grid hydro, wind or geothermal, because among other things because it isn’t there when you need it.

        Also as a technical aside, in NZ if the PV is grid connected it don’t work if the grid is down. Something to do with the problems of frying repair staff.

        Hate to say it but if you have hurricanes or earthquakes (our particular bete noire) and you want to watch it on telly after it’s all done and dusted then get a genset.

      • a solar panel array is cable of delivering a lethal shock if the sun is shining. Good luck with taking them off your roof

      • Leo Smith: “a solar panel array is cable of delivering a lethal shock”, so is any electric power point in the house, but if you’re worried, solar panels can be turned off with masking tape and a sheet of black polythene. It’s tiresome that people here are so keen on making up pathetic excuses as to why this or that is so terribly difficult, the reality is that any able-bodied adult human-being with a basic toolkit and basic handyman knowledge could remove solar panels from a roof (or do an oil and filter change on a car, or paint a house, or build a deck, or wire the power points and lights in a house).

      • We’re talking about the exception not the rule, if you had a choice between a diesel or petrol generator or PV as your main power supply you’d choose PV in most places, the price of fuel for domestic generators is north of 50c/KWhr produced. If you’re using a generator and the power outage lasts for days you’ll run out of fuel pretty quickly at 50 liters a day typical fuel consumption.

      • “TonyL October 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

        Be sure to use all stainless steel mounting hardware.”

        Even with “stainless” there will still be corrosion, corrosion of dissimilar metals. Most solar panels are mounted in an aluminium frame, to make them light. Steel and aluminium don’t go well in a salty atmosphere (Read costal areas like Sydney, Australia. Or anywhere in the UK where salt is used on roads in winter. Anyone with a LandRover will know what I am talking about). You would have to grease up all the fixings.

        So I challenge anyone to dismount their solar panels after a good few years of exposure. First, you would have to disconnect your panels, stop them from generating power, insulate them from shorting, insulate any terminated supply and any battery given these can discharge several megawatts. It’s why certified and licenced installers are required to do the actual termination.

      • Even if it is a ”simple” bit of D.I.Y. as you suggest, not everyone is that way inclined. Some people struggle to wire a plug. Or for whatever reason, they;’re not DIY competent. So in advance of, or in anticipation of a storm, you have to dismantle your power supply and put in to safe storage. Then after the storm has passed, you re-install the system. If you are unable to carry out the necessary work yourself, you must pay a suitably qualified person to do it for you. If we are to believe the alarm about more and more storms in the future, this sounds like an extra expense some people might need to factor in to the overall costs of going solar.

        Eamon.

      • Rooftop panels can be taken down, assuming you have an entire work crew and about 2 weeks notice before hand.

      • Andrew, did you take lessens in how to be obtuse?
        The point isn’t that anybody can unscrew a screw. The point is the time it takes and the manpower needed to move the panels once they are loose.

      • Andrew, by comparing the moving of lawn furniture and nailing boards over windows, to the effort needed to remove and store solar panels, you have merely demonstrated that you have never done either.

      • Andrew Worth – October 15, 2017 at 1:10 am

        It’s tiresome that people here are so keen on making up pathetic excuses as to why this or that is so terribly difficult, the reality is that any able-bodied adult human-being with a basic toolkit and basic handyman knowledge could remove solar panels from a roof

        Now ya’ll quit arguing with Andrew W because he knows for a “fact” that all roof-top solar panels are made to “plug n’ play” ……… just like the flat-screen TV’s and cable/satellite receivers.

        So, just do as Andrew says, …… you carry the “solar panels” up on your roof and “plug” them in and they “play”. And in times of the danger of golf-ball size hail stones, tornadoes and/or hurricanes, you climb up on your roof, “unplug” those “solar panels”, carry them back down the ladder and store them in your garage, ……. just like this guy is pictured doing, …… to wit:

        Why tiz uncomplicated and easy nuff for your neighbor’s teenage son to do it for you.

      • Andrew, I think your plan would fill the hospitals with shock and/or fall victims before the storm even hit. I’m pretty sure the insurance companies would prevent a “solution” like that from gaining much traction.

      • Andrew, have you been anywhere near a rooftop solar installation? It takes a hell of an effort to get the large devices up on the roof, secured and connected to the electrical system. Picture gramps and grannie hustling around up there.

        And I can just imagine all the electrocuted homeowners.

      • Come on, Dave. The average residential panel is only 65” x 39”, and weighs only 40 pounds. Granny just doesn’t have Andrew’s can-do attitude.

      • @ Bill Illis

        T’was a picture of a solar farm, huh?

        HA, …. that looked like New York City’s 5th Avenue ……. after a parade honoring a hero celebrity.

      • Its always so simply, isn’t it?
        WHY then did a spot upgrade needed to be put out to the (some) electric vehicles, just to give them a fighting chance of having sufficient capacity to get out/clear?

      • The vast number of gas-powered cars likely explains the difference.
        BTW, gas stations should be required to have generators to power their pumps in an outage.

  7. Yet another indicator to the Australian Government that ..

    SUBSIDIES and feed-in mandates are NO LONGER NECESSARY.

    The RET can be removed, No need for the CET, …..

    ……because the economics of cheap wind and solar will make it happen.

    Come on Australian Government. This is the indicator you needed. ! :-)

    • The renewables industry has done such a good job convincing everyone that even critics to agree, which I am not sure they really wanted. Yes it looks like the subsidies are going to go and we will have somewhat of a more level playing field. The change proposed for “Generators” being required to provide a nominated baseload percentage as given to them by the regulator would complete the level field as no energy source then has an advantage all are required to meet all aspects of the grid requirements to operate.

      The silly part is where Australia will end up is where we should have started. Politicians and people have finally realized the grid is not something that can change rapidly and it is the controlling factor that needs to be considered in all power generation decisions. If the politicians had listened to the those who actually control and run the grid and less to the noise from renewables and greens groups we would have got there faster.

  8. A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk [1] estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be 0.83. If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime. ….

    Furthermore,

    …. But normalising for capacity factors of 9% for solar and 85% for nuclear we get for effective capacity:

    66,667 / 6471 = 10.3
    Solar PV is 10 times more capital intensive than nuclear. ….

    (Source: http://euanmearns.com/the-energy-return-of-solar-pv/ )

    “Capital-intensive” = $$.

    Solar is also labor cost-intensive ( more $$).

    In other words, solar energy is a WASTE OF MONEY (that’s why there would be no solar industry but for taxpayer/rate payer subsidies.

    Solar is a SC@M.

    ***********************************

    Now, the challenge is moving the experimental lab demonstration into the real world.

    (Source: https://www.popsci.com/mit-researchers-demonstrate-thinnest-solar-cells-yet )

    On that very tenuous basis, Mr. Wilkins grandly asserts a 35% reduction in cost for solar in less than 3 years. Moreover, even though that is not going to make a significant dent in the EROEI or ROI of solar (without subsidies), he monomaniacially asserts that solar can replace petroleum soon! LOL. S&P should fire Mr. Wilkins for incompetency (or put him into a job he is capable of doing competently). If they do not, their rating as a reliable source of financial info. will go down — people actually care about how they invest their money…. most are not into tithing to the Holy Church of AGW…. not one bit — this is just junk market analysis on his part.

    (Note: Wilkins is clearly out of his depth in this subject area. His technical training is: ZERO. B.A. in Modern Languages (French/Spanish) and graduate work in Finance. That’s it. (See https://www.linkedin.com/in/1967michaelwilkins/ )

    • Janice, to be fair to solar, there is a market niche for it which should be sustainable without gov$$$.
      If Uncle Sam wants to see the tech improved then fund academic research on it. Quit manipulating markets artificially for political and self-enriching ends.
      It appears that most of the “low hanging fruit” has been realized in the renewables field, so until there is a major discovery of a new mechanics or physics of energy, we have plateaued. How do you concentrate such sparse energy sources enough to make the transducers practical, portable and durable?

  9. A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk [1] estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be 0.83. If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime. ….

    Furthermore,

    …. But normalising for capacity factors of 9% for solar and 85% for nuclear we get for effective capacity:

    66,667 / 6471 = 10.3
    Solar PV is 10 times more capital intensive than nuclear. ….

    (Source: http://euanmearns.com/the-energy-return-of-solar-pv/ )

    “Capital-intensive” = $$.

    Solar is also labor cost-intensive ( more $$).

    In other words, solar energy is a WASTE OF MONEY (that’s why there would be no solar industry but for taxpayer/rate payer subsidies.

    Solar is a SC@M.

    • On Mars, Pluto?
      Your statement is about as good as your 10-20m sea level rise you still haven’t addressed.

      • here on earth. look for the IEA report
        published 2 weeks ago on Renewables.

        how much did sea level rise from the last glacial,
        with global temps increasing 5 C?

      • Sweet so stop complaining, job done the renewable revolution is here. We obviously missed and as I don’t really care as it doesn’t effect me.

        No one knows with certainty we don’t have any real measurment, you can throw any number you like down basically.
        In the same way you can run a calculation that if every piece of ice melted the maximum sea level rise possible is 70m of 230 feet if you prefer. So if your that worried about it build somewhere higher than 70m above sea level and you are perfectly safe.

      • LdB wrote:
        “No one knows with certainty we don’t have any real measurment, you can throw any number you like down basically.”

        Yes, we do know — global sea level rose about 120 m with a warming of 5 C from the last glacial to the Holocene.

        Now tell us why is should not do that again?

      • Yes, we do know — global sea level rose about 120 m with a warming of 5 C from the last glacial to the Holocene. Now tell us why is should not do that again?

        Now, first You tell us why this should happen. Current data give no valid clues whatsoever, and predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future.
        Let Mother Nature do her job, she’ll manage it without human interference. Adaptation is the magic word.

      • Non Nomen commented – “Now, first You tell us why this should happen.”

        because it’s happened
        before.

        and because there’s a linear relationship between
        the ULTIMATE warming and the ULTIMATE sea
        level rise. See Figure 3 (pg 290) of

        David Archer and Victor Brovkin,
        Climatic Change (2008) 90:283–297
        DOI 10.1007/s10584-008-9413-1

    • Crackers – If you look closely at this report I’m pretty sure that you will find the IEA was quoting generator ‘nameplate’ capacity, not output. This is of course totally misleading for several reasons, including for wind that average output is about 20% of ‘nameplate’, that the output of most renewable generators is not ‘dispatchable’, meaning that virtually 100 % of new renewable capacity needs an equal amount of ‘fossil fuel’ backup, which is apparently by these statistics not being built, so the affected networks will become unstable, leading to blackouts. Give it a couple of years and the tune will change (like in Australia right now) to ‘reliable, affordable power’ instead of ‘Clean, green power’. Economics trumps politics eventually, because the most sensitive nerve in the human body is the hip pocket nerve. And as Lomborg says, even if every signatory to the Paris Agreement did everything required, global temperature rise would only be reduced by about 0.2 degrees by 2100, so what is the bl00dy point?

    • “2/3rds of the electrical capacity installed last year was renewable,”

      ….and my Chinese iPod copy has 10,000,000 Watts ‘Peak music power’ output.

  10. As any pretense of viability of renewables is due to political influence in the marketing, from outright subsidies to renewable energy credits and the like, this is a political prediction. And we in the US know just how reliable those are. How is Hillary Clinton working out as President?

  11. Everybody in the mad world of renewables must be getting Alinsky’s rules in their curricula.

    https://www.steelonsteel.com/saul-alinskys-12-rules-for-radicals/

    “In 1971, a hard Left, Progressive community organizer named Saul D. Alinsky, wrote a playbook of subversive tactics to empower an upcoming generation of change agents. A few notable adherents to the Alinsky method are: Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Frank Marshall Davis and President Barack Obama.”

    I urge everyone to study up Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. You will immediately recognize what you see happening on the left, what’s happening to education and why you need to take a strong hand in your children’s education. You will recognize what drives some of the most persistent trolls and how they themselves have been manipulated.

    • Your paranoia is showing, as the title suggests those are Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, radicals are people who have issues with the establishment, so most of the rules can be put to use by radicals of any political persuasion, like those people who were so keen on draining the establishment swamp.

    • So what if radicals of all persuasion could use the rules.
      The fact remains that it has been left to far left radicals that have been using them for decades.

  12. I fear this report is still conflating the price of installed face plate renewable capacity when competing to any base load supply of same capacity. Solar PV only has on average maybe 15%-20% efficiency for its installed capacity, and wind isn’t a whole lot better. Plus wind and solar only have a 20-25 year shelf life with a declining performance for that time period before they need to be totally replaced. And we haven’t even discussed battery storage yet, which data for longevity and performance have not even been established because these batteries have just been developed in the last 10 years. A large renewable hydro dam has a 100 year shelf life, if not much more with proper maintenance.

    There is no way that solar/wind with storage is going to compete apples to apples on supplying a base load equivalency such as a Nat Gas CCT plant. It would have to install at least 5X the installed capacity as the CCT just to meet the same gross MW/hrs produced, as per the daily efficiency. And then the losses from the battery storage conversion. Somebody can’t do basic arithmetic.

    Just as S&P was involved in the 2008 mortgage meltdown and admitted guilt by paying the $1.4 Billion fine, I fear they are hyping the renewable markets because they have a vested interest in the carbon trading business, as well as cornering some of the subsidy off the top on the deals that get made. I would be shorting these renewable companies, especially once the subsidies start to come off. And when the price of electricity starts to spike as it has in SA or blackouts become the norm, then expect to have a political landslide take out this goofy premise of renewables ever supplying base load electricity. The cost is astronomical, and we will soon find out how well this work with the Tesla 100 MW battery being installed in SA, Oz. I wish them well, but the scale is just to daunting to be affordable.

    • Indeed, Earthling2, everyone knows that fossil fuel generation has no maintenance or replacement costs and the plants operate at peak efficiency indefinitely and have no costs associated with waste. Also, the fuel costs for solar are astronomical. /sarc (and, yes, that was a bit of a cheap pun).

      • The cost of maintenance for fossil fuel plants is well understood and already factored into the price comparison.
        Which makes the fact that renewables refuse to do the same all the stranger.

      • Coal waste (fly ash/clinkers) is an important part of cement/concrete production. Did you ever stop to think what it will do to the cost of cement/concrete if that cheap resource goes away?

    • Agree Earthling2.
      Name a couple of US those renewable would you – and I’ll do a bit of stock analysis on the suckers.
      Should be an interesting exercise.

      • Oh, and NRG if thats a good starter, is looking like taking a wee drop in the coming weeks.
        $26 today, and $??? by months end

      • Slipstick
        Tesla is my current stock for study, and the exercise of forecast, is all negative.
        That said, time frame and duration makes even my comment context (time) specific.

        People often say to ‘put money where your mouth is’…which is what I do.

        My money, literally, is for TSLA to drop.
        Well, actually, it already has.
        Such a shame.
        Unlike some here, I like Tesla.
        BUT like some here, I can also form a case for the opposite view.
        Either way, don’t go placing any long term bullish investments in this company unless you have your finger on the dial to your broker.

    • Many promoters are talking about going ‘100% renewables by 2050’ but I wonder if they’ve factored in the need to replace every existing turbine at least once in the interim? It gets to be like compound interest, and the total number of turbines required can be considerably more than simple arithmetic would suggest.

      • Ian Macdonald commented – “Many promoters are talking about going ‘100% renewables by 2050’ but I wonder if they’ve factored in the need to replace every existing turbine at least once in the interim?”

        sure

        that’s not an especially hard
        thing to do

        no harder than replacing a
        coal plant at least
        once in the
        interim.

  13. They hated hydro until recently when its dispatchable low cost reliability was suborned into the renewables category so the paltry few percent that sector otherwise contributes could be beefed up. Nuclear has even been enjoying a bit of a PR facelift as they desperately need weight to smack down fossil fuels. When you talk about ‘sustainability’ what’s the difference between a renewable and a fuel resource that’s for all intents and purposes unlimited.

    I’m concerned about education the most. Economics, history, science.. have been under revision for a couple of generations to serve this “progressive” dismantling of western civilization, free enterprise, individual freedoms, democracy, property ownership… all the things that gave us the most prosperous societies ever. It is the only system that holds any promise for worldwide prosperity. But it is a barrier to elitist power in a global governance putsch and that is why we are witnessing its destruction.

  14. I find the “say it ain’t so” lamentations of Mr. “Have half truths, Will travel” Worrall hilarious. Anyone who, at this point, fails to recognize renewables as the not-very-distant future, does so out of ideology, ignorance of the current state of technology and ongoing research, or in service to the fossil fuel industry. I have no doubt that, if this was a century and a quarter or so ago and this blog were a print journal of the time, I would be reading a similar missive and analogous comments about the foolishness of expecting “those infernal contraptions” to ever supplant the noble horse. By the way, Mr. Worrall, superstorms are not a prerequisite.

    • The current state of storage technology renders renewables unable to feasibly compete with fossil fuels. Ongoing research is fine and desirable (frankly, I do hope there are breakthroughs), but just throwing money at a problem and good intentions are not enough to make it go away (e.g., war on cancer). So the real deniers are those who deny the current state of reality (facts on the ground, so to speak) to indulge in wishful thinking of what might be.

      • If you haven’t left yet, I suspect that early in this decade your refrain would have been that renewable generation would never reach cost parity with fossil fuels. Now that the cost difference is rapidly diminishing through technological improvement and economies of scale (i.e., throwing money at the problem), storage is the issue. I wonder what you will naysay when sodium ion batteries at a quarter or less the cost/Ah of lithium ion become available.

      • “Now that the cost difference is rapidly diminishing ”

        Time to remove all the subsidies and feed-in mandates, let the unreliables compete against real energy on a level playing field.

        Wouldn’t you agree, slippy. ;-)

      • Renewable generation hasn’t reached cost parity with fossil fuels because they are not equal in value. Dispatchable fossil fuel power has far more value overall than renewable power, even if they are priced the same. Renewables are very much dependent upon fossil fuels for a reliable 24/7 operational grid, but fossil fuels don’t need renewables at all.

      • As renewable subsidies phase out, it will be interesting to see if current installations are replaced at the end of their relatively short life spans.

      • If sodium ion batteries solve the storage problem in a feasible way, that’s great. I’m all for it. But I’m not really interested in pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Show me the beef.

    • Right now in my home town, in fact most of Queensland, its been raining 3 days straight, heavy cloud cover, but very little wind most of the time. A slow tropical storm.

      How would that battery backup be doing right now?

  15. Andrew Worth “This has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever read” I can tell you my sister loves her solar panels but she does not take them down and store them every time their is a threat of a hurricane. They some how survived Irma as it passed over her house in Key West. She got her house ready but taking down solar panels were not something on the agenda. Never.

  16. Worrall, S&P has been around a lot longer than you have. That in itself is a very good reason to trust their opinion as opposed to yours. PS…..S&P makes more money than you.

    • Mark,
      S&P should be gaoled. Their track record over the past 25 years has been abysmal. I am amazed that they continue to exist.
      They are right up there with PwC. How do these inept crooks continue?
      I notice they quote another “tipping point”.
      The world must now have more “tipping points” than wind turbines.

    • I’m with toorightmate.
      Mark, either the books we have each read, or our view on the world, makes us differ in our views of the likes of S&P.
      So you are saying, he or she that has the most money, is always right?
      Really??
      S& P are a great company, no argument there….to the point which they are ALWAYS going to be bullish biased. That is the nature of the environment they reside in.
      HOW can any rating agency give Buy/Strong Buy/Hold recommendations, up to and EVEN after the recommended company(s) are going tits up?
      Sheez, I’m going to have to dust off some of my old books, to pass on some of the shitty calls that were made by many ratings companies and brokers.
      Anyway, I always go by the mind set that yes, ratings agencies and brokers are there not for you and me, but for the people/companies paying the BIG money.

    • So the fact that a company has been around a long time proves that they can never be wrong.
      I know that you are desperate to come up with a valid argument johnson, but keep trying, this isn’t one.

  17. The reality is the sup prime mess was due as much to the fraudulent misrepresentations of the ratings agencies as anything else. The fact that they would make positive comments about renewables would be par for the course for these contemptible organisations. How no one from the ratings agencies avoided doing jail time for their roles in the sub prime fiasco is a mystery. The global warming scam is like the honey pot for the ratings agency bees, and the real anomoly is why would anyone listen to them.

  18. There are two sets of claims which if taken seriously should lead to positive outcomes for sceptics . One is the insistence that 97% of scientists agree with the science. When the new CSIRO decided that because the science was decided there was no need for a staff of hundreds to work on climate change. How the alarmists screamed and the government backed away.
    The other is that renewables are coming down in price so quickly that they are in fact cheaper than fossil fuels . However when Josh Friedenberg decided that this could mean that there may not be a need for subsidies or a clean energy target to encourage investment in renewables. Again the howls by the alarmists.

    The reality it is time for supporters of renewables to put up or shut up and I guarantee that with a level playing field that except in somewhat limited circumstances the renewable industry would collapse. Governments need to call the global warmists bluff.

  19. talk is cheap:

    15 Oct: Financial Times: BlackRock and Vanguard’s climate change efforts are glacial
    The engagement excuse on global warming is wearing thin, writes Attracta Mooney
    BlackRock, a large investor in companies that rely heavily on fossil fuels, does not seem a likely environmentalist.
    But one year ago, the world’s largest asset manager issued a stark warning about global warming. “Investors can no longer ignore climate change,” said the fund house, which oversees $6tn in assets.

    The New York-listed company argued that even if one did not agree with the science, investors could not disregard the “swelling tide of climate-related regulations and technological disruption”. Investors, it said, needed to act to protect their portfolios.

    Yet just a few months later, BlackRock appeared to forget its own warning. Throughout the year to June 2017, the fund house repeatedly voted against resolutions at annual general meetings that called on companies to provide more clarity about how they might be affected by climate change…

    As Carolyn Hayman, who co-chairs Preventable Surprises, a lobby group, says: “We are talking about systemic risk from climate change that will effect the whole economy worldwide. [Investors] have a fiduciary duty to understand this…

    The climate change issue is here to stay. Even with the US withdrawing from the Paris agreement, governments show few signs of slowing down their drive to limit global warming…
    https://www.ft.com/content/adc7973a-b001-11e7-beba-5521c713abf4

    • Eventually people will recognize that the climate has not been changing, unless you count some minor warming coming out of the Little Ice Age. Amazing: A whole industry based on some warming over the late 20th Century; a warming pattern that had been repeated countless times in the past.

  20. S&Ps and other ratings agencies sub-prime ratings were influenced by the other business their organisations were getting for the companies they were rating. I see no reason to believe their decisions on renewables are not influenced by other parts of their business operations.

    One interesting aspect of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean demonstrated is that renewable can be suitable for small scale off grid power generation when the grid is down due to the destruction caused by the severe weather that tends to hit that region. It also demonstrated that these extreme weather events destroy a lot of capital and that the equipment used to generate renewable energy need much more maintenance when situated in areas that are susceptible to extreme weather events. If the alarmists believe their own propaganda that extreme weather events are definitely unavoidable and going to be much more frequent then they also have to have to redo their maths on the costs of maintaining the grid because those solar panels and wind farms and grid transmission systems are going to need to be repaired more often. There is no point leaning on taxpayers – when the grid is down they can’t generate tax revenue for subsidies so the investors will have to plough their profits back into maintaining their capital investment or write it off.

    • If the alarmists believe their own propaganda, they surely won’t be arguing for roof-mounted solar panels in storm hit areas. I didn’t see many roofs left.

    • If S&P didn’t have a client paying them they wouldn’t rate it. They have no reason to make work for themselves as they are a business after all, they don’t do ratings for the love of it.

    • That array can’t be turned back on until it has been inspected and all broken or severed connections either fixed or isolated.

      • MarkW

        That array can’t be turned back on until it has been inspected and all broken or severed connections either fixed or isolated.

        Well, it “can be” turned on without inspections and fixing all broken panels, connections, and problems. (Including replacing any wet or submerged lead-acid batteries, invertors, and charge controllers.)

        But if you DO “turn it on” (to provide emergency power while the local grid and power poles are down) without it passing inspections and fixing all the broken panels, connections, and problems, then the house is burned out, the owner-operator burned or electrocuted or tortured with acid burns and blinded by arc-flashed molten copper.

  21. My experience in the telecomms market is that market analysts spend a lot of time seeking the opinion of key players, those with a commercial interest in the success of the market, and then sell their opinions back to these players to reinforce their opinion. Not a lot of analysis seemed to go on.
    I don’t imagine the energy market is that much different.

  22. Apparently the S&P never heard of the advanced nuclear reactors that employ molten salt – their ignorance about future energy trends are quite evident. And apparently they also haven’t examined the prices Tesla’s solar roofing company is charging for their roofs – $50,000 to $75,000 was the range for typical roof sizes. They claim these roofs can be cheaper than not having one, when you examine the costs (actually using estimated power costs) – of course to save any money, you need to live in the right place (a Southwestern U.S. desert would do) and also need a $15,000 to $23,000 govt subsidy, so claiming the price is cheaper really means cheaper TO YOU. They provide a mortgage , if need be, for the roof, so if you try to sell your house, you need to sell the roof
    and its mortgage as well. Just another day, another example of Tesla’s logic, and misleading claims (they recently paid tens of millions in fines because that same roofing company (controlled partly by Tesla) was found to be fraudulently making claims of savings to customers.

  23. Andrew Worth appears to be the same left wing troll known as Andrew W. who infests other websites.
    As for S&P, think back to high school and look who wound up in the financial industry – the B team.

  24. You could argue we’ve reached a tipping point,” he said, adding that with falling storage prices, intermittent energy sources could soon compete with traditional fossil-fuels on dispatchability grounds alone even without including their environmental advantages.

    Hilarious. Notice the ubiquitous hedge – “could”.

    Intermittent sources will never compete on dispatchability grounds until feasible (not just possible) storage technology is invented. There’s no guarantee that will happen.

  25. @crackers345 October 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm
    asks “why is not all “nameplate” output not “dispatchable?”
    what is the definition of each?

    Lets look at PV, a PV panel gives its maximum power output at local noon, if the panel is oriented directly towards the sun and the suns rays strike it perpendicularly.

    Any other condition, and the panel produces less power.

    Especial at night, where in the real world, it produces zero power.

    Nameplate capacity or say 4 kW only occurs, potentially for a few minutes per day in the summer, at all other times the device is producing less.

    Dispatchability: in the real world, someone is monitoring the electrical grid. They have screens in front of them showing power to the grid from all of the generators online currently. All customers are using all of this power. The amount used has to equal the amount generated.

    Now, the operator gets a call from station X, saying the cooling temperature is showing an unexpected rise and they with have to stop generating their 1GW within the next 5 minutes to investigate.

    The operator/dispatcher looks at the rest of his list of generating stations, phones two up and says over the next 5 mins were losing 1G can you both ramp up to take the slack. They do, grid remains stable and life going on with monotonous regularity, no drama, and the public (and greens) are oblivious to the work going on in the background that gives them stable electric.

    Now, who is the dispatcher going to phone if he only has PV or wind available?

    At night there is no PV electric. Wind is wind, by law the companies have to ‘take’ all the wind created electric there is. There is no extra power available.

    The dispatcher has no choice, they can only call on dispatchable power sources: gas, nuclear, hydro or storage; to give instantly variable, controllable and dispatchable electrical power.

    South Australia shows what high penetration of renewables does to the stability of a grid: a whole state is blacked out.

    It would be laughable if it were not so serious.

    • “It would be laughable if it were not so serious.”

      It’s madness to replace stable, reliable, dispatchable energy sources (coal, gas, nuclear) with unstable, unreliable, non-dispatchable ones (wind/solar) that require backup by the former. Absolute madness.

  26. “The tide has turned,” said Michael Wilkins, the head of climate and environmental risks at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, adding the transition meant the economic viability of assets such as coal mines and coal-fired power stations would be “vastly impaired”.
    As the head of “climate and environmental risks” (whatever the heck that is), of course he’d say that. His “analysis” is completely ideologically motivated, and not based on reality. Anyone who based financial decisions on what drivel he spouts would have to be a fool. And as they say, “a fool and his money are soon parted”.

  27. The War (Specifically) On Nuclear Energy has escalated to a new level. No one — not even the vociferous defenders of coal-for-electricity status quo — see coal as anything but an economic base that has to be protected from shock until the better comes along.

    Make no mistake. This is NOT about promoting so-called renewables. It is a divide and conquer strategy to take nuclear out of the equation.

    United States nuclear energy is complicit in nuclear’s demise in their ludicrous promotion of SMR (small modular reactors). They are either complicit or stupid. Taking the necessary base load economy of >1GWe per reactor and demoting nuclear to “the option that only billionaires could possibly afford for their survival enclaves.” The only way these defenders of the atom could possibly have saved nuclear is by publicly and loudly pressing for Thorium based molten reactors, the only viable and workable next stage in nuclear evolution.

    Instead, they are gnawing at the ends of old plots — dangerously mixing fission and water on a smaller scale, the must know they are rendering the technology irrelevantly expensive. It’s almost as if they have been offered a golden parachute as their children’s children might some day be boiling water to stave off cholera to (dim) LED light.

    Recalling Moody’s 2009 financial hit piece warning potential nuclear investors, then their most recent 12-Oct-2017 upgrade of outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’, of (specifically) China General Nuclear… I cannot help but imagine that the fix is in. China will be encouraged to gather investment from Wall Street to modernize in the most efficient way possible, while the United States and Europe is to follow a long industrial decline into energy-poverty, a state something like Medieval serfdom and third world colonization, but with a few smartphones in hand.

    Of course natural gas will save us because we have a zillion years’ reserves. Another flash in the pan, and the day will soon arrive when the U.S. is exporting more natural gas than it is permitted to use, because it has become a colony once more.

  28. Let’s do some math people.

    First, the average residence uses 35 Kw per day.

    The average cost of solar panels in the US was $3.15 per watt in 2017 (doesn’t include batteries and inverters).

    Now, the Sun don’t shine all day so on average you will only get 30% nameplate capacity (7 hours/24 hours), which ALWAYS seems to be ignored by the solar advocates and the solar panel sellers.

    So if you want to go off-grid with solar on your home …

    —> $360,000 (lasts 15-20 years)
    —> $80,000 (lasts 5-10 years)

    The math don’t work people. Now if you want to generate 30% of your needs or pretend selling back to the grid is the same as supplying a whole homes worth of energy needs, of course the costs come down. But then, you are not actually fully replacing electricity generated by coal and gas plants. Which is why solar only accounts for less than 3% of total electricity generation in 2017. Math don’t lie, but solar people do.

  29. If he failed to include a “forward loooking statements” disclaimer, he should get perp-walked…

    DEFINITION of ‘Forward Looking’
    A business slang term for predictions about future business conditions. Stockholders often ask company management about what they believe will happen in future time periods. While it is clear to everyone that no one can predict the future, management is often in the best position to see new trends that may be occurring and to speak about what the company has planned.

    BREAKING DOWN ‘Forward Looking’
    Despite the implicit understanding that certain statements are speculation, the SEC requires public companies to include a disclaimer on all management discussions with investors in order to emphasize this point. When properly emphasized, stockholders generally may not take legal action against company management for forward looking statements which proved to be inaccurate. In the U.S., the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides certain safe harbor provisions against fraud claims dealing with forward looking statements.

    Read more: Forward Looking http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/forward-looking.asp#ixzz4vaDvtUji
    Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

    • When one is virtue signalling one gets a pass from the forward looking statement. (a.k.a. “The science is in!”)

  30. I can’t think of a major bank, fund manager or asset manger (or insurance company) not involved in renewables, green bonds etc.

    This is a mainstream investment now.

  31. Stringing together al of the what-ifs, but not yets. Some of them are just vague promises. All of them built on exaggerated fear and a forced belief system that doing without and paying more is better than an unlimited energy supply on demand.

  32. There is no penalty for being wrong in any of this, save the billion or two to regulators (a mere pittance), because no one loses their own shirt. Someone else does and the government is inclined to bail out foolish investments if they are big enough. Until shirtless, broke prognosticators and government officials are dumped on a desert island and left there to fend for themselves, this will continue. People with billions apparently don’t care who gets hurt or who loses as long as they continue to rake in the bucks. Dishonesty in everything is so common now—I hesitate to invest in anything short of supplies and food for the coming disaster. At least if I’m wrong, I can eat my error! It’s just so sad that lies and deception are the norm now. We are a lost people…..

  33. Warmists desperately want to declare a tipping point on the solution before the problem gets discredited.

  34. “Warmists desperately want to declare a tipping point…”
    Mmmm but that’s the point… S and P are not your mainstream Warmists. In fact the mere fact they are saying this stuff would genuinely indicate that renewables are indeed being taken seriously by the big boys. Denial of that fact is just plain dumb.

    • I’ve no doubt renewables are being taken seriously as a money making opportunity. Just like subprime mortgages were.

      I was working in the London financial district during the subprime crisis. Everyone I talked to knew they were utter cr@p, but everyone was playing greater fool theory games.

      Some skilful brokers survived and prospered, but an awful lot of wealth was destroyed in the crash.

  35. In order for intermittent renewables (solar/wind/wave/tide etc) to work in the same way that conventional plan does you need to add

    shot term storage
    medium term storage
    long term storage

    in conventional plant short term storage means that the turbine generators keep spinning even if the load suddenly increases; the energy in the rotating mass smooths out short term demand imbalances.

    With renewables you need batteries.

    In conventional plant running off a stored energy source like gas or uranium you have a tank or a reactor full of energy that you can draw on to meet – say – a evening peak.

    With renewables you need bigger batteries.

    In conventional plant running off a stored energy source like gas or uranium you have a local stockpile full of energy that you can draw on to meet – say – winter.

    With renewables you need batteries so big that any failure in them would result in a release of energy tat would make Hiroshima look like a firecracker.

    Note that currently, the cost of providing these batteries is not borne by renewable companies, nor yet is it costed as part if the cost of renewable energy all together. Only the consumer sees his bills increasing.

    Currently load balancing is done, not by batteries, but by virtue of what conventional plant is left extant. That plant has to work twice as hard in terns of plant damaging start stop and ramp up and down performance and is subjected to extra mechanical stresses by short term demand fluctuations, but receives less revenue as renewable plant output is always taken preferentially. So they have t charge more for what electricity they are supplying.

    These added cots are not costed into the ‘cost of renewables’ either. Since wind-farm operators and solar farms don’t have to pay them, they can remain profitably subsidised whilst gas plant simply closes down

    leaving (in the UK) a major problem in that the ability to offset renewable failure has to be met with…
    DIESEL GENERATORS. STOR (short term operational reserve) gas guzzling plant designed to be capital cheap but fuel hungry, in place in case renewables let us down as they do every night and all winter for solar, when we most need power (just after dark especially in winter). This plant negates al the carbon emission gains that might have been had from renewables. But then, curiously enough EU directives on climate change are nor couched in terms of emission reductions, but in terms of renewable obligations. It is almost as if they knew tat renewable energy would make not difference to overall carbon reduction…

    What you see here s the complete an utter failure of renewables to compete on a level playing field with conventional generators. And that is because the inherent features of conventional generation, in terms of its ability to meet demand, were implicit and never given a financial value. Renewable energy has capitalized on the fact that the only tradable commodity is watt hours, (and carbon) to supply what is essentially a sub standard, to the point of being virtually useless, product, for which it also receives a subsidy

    No value is placed upon the ability to meet demand fluctuations…by the grid. so the grid itself must pick up the tab by commissioning storage of one form or another to handle the dispatch at renewables cannot deliver.

    None of these costs are born by renewable operators.

    All of these costs are borne by consumers.

    If you wanted to reduce emissions, you should have built nuclear power. But you cant make a fast buck out of nuclear. you can out of massively subsidised windmills though. And a lot of those are European and have the ear of Brussels.

    • 2004-2014: renewable energy consumption rising twice as fast as demand — at the expense of fossil fuels. (And without all the deaths & suffering from fossil fuel air pollution.)

  36. Renewables do nothing for the environment, There may be fear of running out of fossil fuels. I doubt government action can improve the outcome over just letting the free market operate. Forcing major investments in uneconomic power sources actually wastes resources and lowers our living standards.

  37. “with falling storage prices, intermittent energy sources could soon compete with traditional fossil-fuels on dispatchability grounds alone even without including their environmental advantages.”

    Weasel words. You can help cope with short term spikes, but batteries just does not scale to time-shift power. Ten days of no wind happens. Ten days of storage ( for average UK winter demand is a bit under 10,000 Gw-hrs, just for the UK alone, i.e. around 300 times the TOTAL output of Tesla’s Nevada gigafactory or 50x the projected WORLD output of lithium ion batteries in 2020.

  38. Every once in a while I’ll see an article asking why the big 3 credit rating companies got off Scott- free in the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Saw one the other day…..perhaps S&P, Fitch and Moody’s did too. They’ve suffered no loss of business (they own 95% of the credit rating business worldwide), have suffered no judicial or legislative actions, no law-suits, no prison time, and have been pressed into no reforms. That’s right, its business as usual. So, every once in a while someone asks….why is that? A very good question, and one that must be on their minds also. As in, “what can we do to look nice, and socially responsible?” Enter the environment.

Comments are closed.