We can eliminate fossil fuels, no problem!

By Andy May

French President Macron has implemented a new fuel tax to discourage drivers from burning fossil fuels in their cars. The resulting higher fuel prices have caused more than 250,000 people to protest, with some rioting. Polls indicate that 62 percent of the population think that prioritizing man-made climate change over fuel prices is wrong. The rioting has led to two deaths and over 600 injured. Almost 100 police officers have been hurt.

Macron’s popularity has sunk to 21 percent in a warning to other leaders who try to fight climate change with higher fossil fuel taxes. While Macron is unpopular for many reasons, the increase in gasoline taxes was the spark that ignited the protests and rioting.

 

 

Figure 1. Riot police facing the “yellow jacket” demonstrators in front of a burning barricade in Paris on November 24, 2018. Source: News.com.au.

 

 

 

 

Figure 2. Riot police and a yellow jacket protestor on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Source: News.com.au.

 

 

Moral of the story? Rant all you want about possible man-made climate change, but don’t you dare touch my fossil fuels! The latest word is that Macron is going make his “energy transition” easier. Code for caving in, no doubt.

[Un]Scientific American claims that eliminating fossil fuels is easy, citing an article by Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucci, and will create more jobs than would be lost. They also claim that a plan to eliminate fossil fuels in New York would save $33 billion. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you for half price.

The replacement of fossil fuels with renewables is an incredibly complex problem. I’ve tried to explain some of the difficulties here. I’ve also discussed the costs of renewable energy here. A more technical and complete discussion of replacing fossil fuels with renewables in Texas, by Peter Davies, can be seen in two parts on Judith Curry’s website, here and here.

Davies found that converting the state of Texas from fossil fuels to 100% renewables should be technically feasible, but very expensive. He used Texas to do his study because the state has very good data on energy consumption and abundant wind and sunshine. Further, the Texas grid is largely isolated from the rest of the country, making it easier to analyze. Basically, as Davies writes: “If a 100% renewable grid won’t work for Texas then it won’t work anywhere else.”

Texas solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity factors average around 32 percent, which is much higher than the U.S. average (probably around 20 percent), coincidentally the Texas average wind power capacity factor is also about 32 percent and in some areas, it is almost 50%. Davies concludes that a mix of solar PV and Wind, plus enough storage for windless nights, can supply Texas with adequate power. There is also enough land available for the installations which will cover 11,600 square kilometers or 4,500 square miles.

From a technical standpoint, Texas could be powered entirely from solar and wind, with backup from batteries and renewable gas storage (both methane and hydrogen). What about the cost? Davies estimates a 2030 wholesale electricity cost of 6.1 to 9.2 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour). However, this is clearly a very low estimate as he does not include all capital costs. He assumes zero infrastructure costs, such as roads, permitting and regulatory costs. He does include the cost of equipment but ignores transportation and installation. Further, his cost of renewable methane seems unreasonably low. Finally, he ignores the cost of the required land and does not deal with the transition from gasoline and diesel to electric vehicles.

The current wholesale price of electricity in Texas is about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. At the peak of the recent fossil fuel boom, between 2005 and 2008, it was between 5.5 cents and 7.5 cents due to the high cost of fossil fuels then. From 2002 to the present, it has averaged about 4.3 cents. Thus, the cost of Texas moving to 100% renewables, is between 40% and 210% higher than we are used to paying. This is much lower than the differential observed in Germany with their energiewende program. In figure 3 we can see the surcharge (in cents per kWh) that German consumers must pay to support the program.

 

 

Figure 3. The surcharge on electricity prices (in U.S. cents per kWh) to support the energiewende program in Germany. Source: (Andor, Frondel and Vance 2017).

 

 

Even with the enormous renewable surcharges on German power consumers, they are still at only 36% renewable power in 2017. Texas has much more available wind and sunshine than Germany (Germany’s sun intensity is comparable to Alaska), thus one might expect the cost in Germany to be higher, but even so, Davies figures for the Texas transition to 100% renewables appear to be too low. But, even accepting Davies figures, an increase in electricity costs of 40 to 200 percent in Texas might still cause demonstrations and rioting. The transition is technically possible, but economically implausible. The political leaders in Texas and in the U.S. should pay close attention to what is happening in France today.

As (Andor, Frondel and Vance 2017) point out, if you keep raising the price of “clean” energy, you eventually reach a point where the public is unwilling to pay. This has apparently happened in France.

References

Andor, Mark, Manuel Frondel, and Colin Vance. 2017. “Germany’s Energiewende: A Tale of Increasing Costs and Decreasing Willingness-to-Pay.” 30. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2928760.

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137 thoughts on “We can eliminate fossil fuels, no problem!

  1. Weird. They get a lot of power from nuclear so I guess the imperative to reduce fossil fuels is not there in their minds. Hence when you tax them for what is not a problem….

    • Nuclear power is used to generate electricity. But the French vehicle fleet uses diesel and gasoline. Macron’s tax is intended to reduce diesel, increase gasoline, and encourage fuel efficiency.

      Macron also said he wanted to close nuclear plants, but he doesn’t have a plan to replace their capacity. The French do receive a very high dose of climate panic propaganda, so in general they support reducing CO2 emissions. The French who refuse to support this green initiative are a real pain in the neck to the portion of the population which wants to save the planet from rising sea level, malaria, and super hurricanes.

      • IF your most attractive fantasy energy production and distribution scheme requires that the fundamental laws of physics and/or chemistry and likely the basic rules of biology be amended and modified for your scheme to work as envisaged, then you may have a problem with the sustainability of your scheme.

        I strongly suspect that in terms of centuries the time will come when fossil fuels and nuclear will no longer be available. Legislating mandates for deleting them from the fuel choices with no viable alternative is just not a very bright thing to do. There WILL BE population adjustments that will adjust the needs and demands of humankind to the level that usage will be sustainable.

        • “I strongly suspect that in terms of centuries the time will come when fossil fuels and nuclear will no longer be available. Legislating mandates for deleting them from the fuel choices with no viable alternative is just not a very bright thing to do. There WILL BE population adjustments that will adjust the needs and demands of humankind to the level that usage will be sustainable.”

          Projecting a linear trend on ‘finite’ resources.
          The problem with such analysis lies in its narrow view and low understanding of what can the future bring.

          There are many other options like super-breeder reactors which can produce nuclear fuel and consume the nuclear ‘waste’.
          There is a lack of understanding of where hydrocarbons (‘fossil’ fuels) come from.
          Of course accumulation of carbon based former living beings will result in ‘fossil’ fuels if the conditions to create such are met, but a look around helps broaden the view: methane on Pluto and hydrocarbons on Titan that dwarf Earth ‘fossil’ fuels. We are no longer confined to this small planet, at least from this point of view.
          Where do those come from? Long lost dinosaur’s space colonies?

          Then you completely forget about fusion in the above.
          => There are many options besides ‘renewable’.

          If mankind thinks to ever leave this Earth and take a look around there is no way around without nuclear/fusion energy production. Renewables just don’t work in space. Solar energy is good, but less and less available the further we get from the Sun.
          Look at what happened to ESA’s probe sent on a comet that was planned to be fueled by solar energy – it’s battery lasted a couple of days and then it gone silent.
          By contrast look at the viking probes still working after many decades still enlarging our understanding.

      • if you look at the econo boxes they use for cars in France I would say the people are doing their part to reduce fuel usage … I have a French girl friend and when I bought a BMW 530i the first thing she said was … Oh you have a ministers car now … of course the common folks drive econo boxes while the “ministers” are driven around in normal cars …

        • As my old teacher used to say:
          “Socialism means that everybody drives a BMW and that I drive a Mercedes.”

          • Your old teacher was an optimist. I would guess socialism often comes down to mean everyone drives a Honda Civic and I drive a Rolls. Communism would mean everyone walks and I have a driver for my three Rolls.

          • “I would guess socialism often comes down to mean everyone drives a Honda Civic and I drive a Rolls. ”

            Socialists dream of being able to drive a Honda Civic.

            In fact, socialists used to dream of the day their order for a Trabant would finally be fulfilled after a decade on the waiting list. It might be made of scrap iron and cardboard, but at least it was a sort of a car.

          • Wrong. Everybody walks and you drive a very used Smart Car. The commissar is driven around in a Mercedes.

      • But there is not RISING MALARIA, due to benignly warmer temps and there is no such thing as Super Hurricanes, especially affecting France and the sea level is rising at about the same steady state as it has been for 100s if not 1000s of years.

        • Malaria was common as far north as Canada prior to efforts to bring the mosquito population under control.

          If malaria does become a problem, it will be because the people no longer have the money to keep the mosquitos in check, thanks to all the money being wasted on renewable energy scams.

      • “which wants to save the planet from rising sea level, malaria, and super hurricanes.”

        Why should anyone pay attention to such nut cases?

    • Macron is an ex-Rothschild banker turned politician. He has cynically exploited the climate alarmist BS to justify bringing diesel fuel to a parity with petrol ( gasoline ) pricing at the pump. This gives he a HUGE tax revenue to play with, all the while pretending it is an action for the environment.

      French pump prices are now about 1.50 euros per LITRE. That’s about 1.7USD or $6.50 per US gallon.

      Now you may see why people are on the streets.

      • Exactly. The Rothschild & Co are the Wizard behind the curtain. Environment is just one of the many tools they use to One World Big Brother Government. They are the only ones powerful enough to corrupt the system from the top down. But beware they are always on both sides of the conflict to profit the most advantage outcome for them. They are on Hitler’s and Stalin’s and the Allies side. They finance democrat and republican candidates so will always be with the winners and will know everything about them. etc
        To change the system you will have to eliminate the cancer.

      • Greg

        But as you know that sort of price is fairly common in Europe. It is why we are grateful the US keeps trying to shoot itself in the foot with its trade relations as it has such a competitive edge on its energy costs that it could steamroller most European countries and those others-such as Australia- who follow the high fuel cost mantra

      • I actually look forward to seeing Macroon and his entire family, in all it’s generations, put to the guillotine. Then the environazis will understand real human beings are not going to submit to their anti-human sh*t. Let. It. Begin.

  2. Our addiction to facile fools is unsustainable.

    Read my lips: If elected I will eliminate facile fools and imprison the people responsible for pushing them on our children.

    • “Our addiction to facile fools is unsustainable.

      Read my lips: If elected I will eliminate facile fools and imprison the people responsible for pushing them on our children.”

      Are you being sarcastic?

    • From the article:
      “Davies concludes that a mix of solar PV and Wind, plus enough storage for windless nights, can supply Texas with adequate power. There is also enough land available for the installations which will cover 11,600 square kilometers or 4,500 square miles.”

      The key problem with grid-connected wind power is intermittency, and the resulting lack of predictable, dispatchable power that is the primary requirement for grid electricity.

      I have heard and read many energy neophytes say that grid-scale storage is the solution – and they act like it actually exists. In practical terms, it does not – except for a few rare cases where pumped storage is feasible.

      So I would like to announce that I have invented a SOLUTION:

      It consists of millions of huge flywheels that are wound up by wind power while the wind blows, and then the power is released back into the grid by tapping power from the rotating flywheels. For longer periods when the wind does not blow, the flywheels are spun by great herds of unicorns, galloping round and round at great speed.

      Once we have solved the unicorn-supply challenge we are sure to have a green energy winner! We are applying to the Canadian government in Ottawa for a development grant – PM Justin Trudeau and Climate Barbie have already declared their support.

      [I suppose I must say “Sarc/off for the warmists out there, who tend to believe ANYTHING!]

      • At the very least, you should apply to the Canadian government in Ottawa for a development grant. They might surprise you.

        But wait; I have a solution for the unicorn feed stocks shortage that is sure to happen. You’ll have to include me in your proposal.

      • “[I suppose I must say “Sarc/off for the warmists out there, who tend to believe ANYTHING!]”

        Let me tell you probably the most outrageous and implausible fact you’ll learn all day:

        “Warmists” are rarely taken in by the things we’d call sarcasm, and when you adjust for their dimmer wits (on average you find that they’re BETTER than skeptics at figuring out when somebody is joking. For an example of how long it can take Our Side for the penny to drop, see this classic exercise in confirming Poe’s law. In my experience—and I’ve been at the facetiousness/satire/snarkasm game a long time—”warmists” don’t tend to fall for it unless they happen to be exceptionally dim individuals *cough * andthentheresphysics *cough* to begin with.

        I know, it’s counterintuitive, almost heretical, to say this, but warmists are *better* at sensing humor.

        To imagine the opposite—to think warmists are insensible to humor—is like saying migraine sufferers have a poor sense of light and sound, or that herbivores on the savannah have poor peripheral vision and couldn’t hear a twig snapping unless the lion was 10 feet away.

        By necessity, we’re all better at sensing things that pose a threat to us. So that we can run away in time. Hence the surprisingly good “nose” warmists have for anyone taking the mickey out of them.

  3. 20% capacity factor for pc in Texas is positively peachy.

    Here in the UK we get 10%

    Yesterday Solar gave nothing at 3pm and will not come back until 10am.

    5/24 generation can’t be resource efficient.

  4. Surely it’s time for the nagging to stop, as they say don’t tell us show us — NY would be perfect.

    • By the way here in Victoria Australia we have a state government newly re-elected for a further four years pledging 50% ‘renewables’ (wind and solar only) by 2030.
      I’m a resident and looking forward to it, it’s wicked of me but it could be a lot of fun.

      • Look over th ewestern border to SA Chris..things have been pretty expensive here with Labor’s “sustainable’ power policy..

        For most folk it was so expensive that we decided it was ‘unsustainable’ for our wallets and gave labor the boot last March..
        The Insurgent Liberals implosion in August crueled the Liberal Party’s chances this time around..
        Now that was so goddamned stupid.

        But a good dose of ‘sustainable’ power for 4 years in Victoria will change many minds and votes.

        • I’m pretty sure it it will… Reality sometimes is the only way fools will understand their surroundings. You can tell them of the error of their ways until the cows come home… but until they actually experience the cost, they won’t listen.

          • “Reality sometimes is the only way fools will understand their surroundings.”

            Henry Bauer says that only in science can progress be made against intransigent views, because science employs “reality therapy” (real-world testing) to falsify claims. Similarly, DeMaistre said, “Let them have everything,” in order for the fruits of their theories to be made plain. All the long-time clean energy pioneering-countries and provinces have arrows in their back, but the propagandists elsewhere are not deterred. Well, if they persist in the face of failure, the fewer excuses they’ll have when they come a cropper. “Experience keeps a dear school, but men will learn at no other” (Ben Franklin).

        • Agreed and South Australia is currently dependent on Victorian brown coal generated electricity for base-load via the inter-connector, both states will go down together like two drowning people clinging to one another.

  5. “will create more jobs than would be lost” — they always forget to say “your job will be lost, somebody else will take the created job”.

    What would be the cost of electricity if it were generated by people on exercise bicycles being paid minimum wage? Hint, that’s why slavery was so popular.

      • Which is a good thing. You want less jobs to do the same amount of output or else you could use spoons instead of machine shovels to dig a huge hole. That would have an economy with full employment that would soon implode. The real problem in Spain is that electricity prices are 7th highest in world.

        • Which is a good thing. You want less jobs to do the same amount of output

          Except that “green” jobs are the opposite of that. They replace efficient cost effective energy with inefficient expensive energy. The consequence is that jobs are lost to the competition (in this case, other countries).

          Green jobs are in fact replacing machine shovels with spoons, with the resulting net loss of jobs to other countries. Spain’s high electricity costs are the consequence of green jobs.

          • davidmhoffer

            I saw a graph demonstrating that the ratio of renewables to fossil fuel workers was 70/1 to generate the same amount of energy.

            Seems like a job creation scheme to me.

          • HotScot – November 25, 2018 at 2:10 am

            the ratio of renewables to fossil fuel workers was 70/1 to generate the same amount of energy.

            Now if someone would be so kind as to tell us what the difference in “production cost” is for producing that “one (1) unit of energy”.

            Production $$ – total wages, entitlements, expenses and overhead expended on 1 “fossil” fuel employee …. to produce one (1) unit of energy = $??????

            Verses

            Production $$ – total wages, entitlements, expenses and overhead expended on 70 “renewables” fuel employees … to produce one (1) unit of energy = $??????

        • Even better, one could have full employment in the U.S. by giving everyone but the 1% a stationary bike with a generator on it, and having them pedal at a sustainable pace. That gives a labor force of 297 million. Dividing them up into 3 shifts, of 40%/40%/20% (the latter being kids during the low-demand night hours), we would have the high demand shifts producing 118.8 million people x 75 watts sustained = 8.9 GW continuous power. Assume a 90% availability (you know, for sick time, bathroom breaks, etc), and that’s 8 GW. Divided up among each of the 3 million 1%ers, that’s 2.7 kW each. I’m sure they would be happy to get along on that, just as the 99%ers would be happy to get along on nothing.

          • Way too optimistic. I’ve tried pedalling a bike attached to a light bulb and I didn’t manage to get it to do anything more than flicker, I wouldn’t have been able to pedal at that pace for long either. Your estimate is several orders of magnitude too optimistic.

  6. ” There is also enough land available for the installations which will cover 11,600 square kilometers or 4,500 square miles. ”

    That’s a lot of land … any estimation of the ecological damage this will cause ?

    • Streetcred, Yes, that is a lot of land. Davies ignored that problem as he was trying to compare today’s cost (with infrastructure) to a future cost (with infrastructure). This ignores the huge cost of the transition, as Germany and Australia have found out on their own. 4,500 sq. mi. is half the size of Massachusetts. This area would have to be developed with roads, powerlines, outbuildings, water, waste disposal, etc. When completed it will be covered with windmills and solar panels. Parts of West Texas look like this now, pretty ugly, and raptors often die.

    • Any estimation of how incredibly toxic and leaching broken solar cells are in a landfill? Yes, there will be broken panels and people will dispose of them in the most convenient local way!
      The way I have come up with is to entomb them in concrete holes, like Chernobel, but that is some work, so mixed with the general trash is most likely.

      • I read some where that thee are already solar panel graveyards, that are increasing in size, due to the inability to recycle them and break even, cost wise.

  7. Only a comparison of renewables versis conveentional fossel fuel must exclude backup by gas. After all that is a fossell fuel. Fair Go Mate.

    MJE

    • Michael, Davies’ article presumed the methane for the GCC (gas combined-cycle) generators would be from biogenic gas. This is presumably from landfills, swamps and farms. He did not include the cost of collecting this gas in his cost estimates, but it is substantial. He assumed no fossil fuel gas. He did include hydrogen, but assumed it was from methane, which is cheaper than from water. This part of his scenario was pretty unrealistic. I also think he underestimated the cost of the batteries.

      • Given that the Germans and Danish pay some 300% higher prices for electricity for a partial effort to use “renewables”, reaching some 35% in Germany, one can only guess what a complete changeover would cost. Unless someone comes up with storage with the performance of Heinlein’s Shipstones, I cannot see how wind and solar could work practically.

  8. Don’t mess with the French great-unwashed – when they get fired up they mean business – they chop off the heads of their oppressors – I am sure Macron knows that – and will tread warily – yes, probably cave in.

  9. Our National News station (NZ), had tonight the problems occurring in France. They said it was the “Far Right” which was protesting and in the next breath, said that there were many “average” people their also, making it difficult to pin point the people (agitators) in the protest.
    Huh???
    Seems to me that a label used to smear the protesters – in general – as Far Right and then to make that next statement, really is clutching at straws.
    Without doubt there would have been an element able to be called the Far Right, but 250,000 people protesting would more likely be the average person from France/Paris.

    Sigh! – it just never ends, does it!

    • To a hammer everything looks like a nail.

      To a “Progressive” anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a far right, racist, sexist, homophobic, NAZI, greedy capitalist pig.

      It gets old after a while. The left has nothing positive to offer, so they rely on fear and hate.

      • I liked the comment someone made about the Left Pole. Whereas from the North Pole every direction is South, from the Left Pole every direction is Right.

    • David Hood

      Be careful with your use of the term ‘Far Right’.

      I’m as far right as one can get politically and support the UK Libertarian party, a small, peaceful political organisation dedicated to small government, low taxes and freedom of expression. It does not require nor condone the presentation of Nazi emblems nor the requirement to be a skinhead.

      The Nazi philosophy was largely fascist, fascism was the product of Mussolini a far left politician even the left kicked out of their party. Hitler admired Mussolini. Hitler’s political party was called the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, by no stretch of the imagination could that title ever be construed as right wing.

      In discussion with my son, an SNP supporter in Scotland (another socialist organisation), I pointed this out to him and he smiled condescendingly and said “it was just a disguise, Hitler was far right”.

      We have a good relationship but I no longer discuss politics with him.

      • Hitler and his nazis were supreme opportunists, simple as that. They tried to satisfy all disgruntled people, left and right. The party acronym NSDAP means National Socialist German Labour Party, but they were not against big business, as long as nobody threatened their total power.

        • Henning Nielsen

          Your description accurately fits that of fascism.

          Mussolini was also wedded to big business, as long as he called the shots.

      • The left have been telling each other that they are the good guys for so long that it is impossible for them to believe that anyone who isn’t perfect can be of the left.

      • I’d say anarchism is as far right as one can get, at least on the axis of How Much Government? The libertarian answers “As little as we can get away with.” The anarchist answers, “Not even that.”

  10. Macron is president, not prime minister (just saying)

    This protest is very well summarized by 2 sentences I’ve heard :
    – “Macron is like Marie-Antoinette : They can’t buy gas ? Buy an electric car !”
    and
    – “Elites are talking about world-end, we are talking about month-end !”

      • Only revolution/rebellion can change the system for a while. But after a short time the money changer will enter the temple again. Power corrupts and absolute power needs money changers.

      • Does it matter who you vote for? Do they ever keep their promises? No. So who is ruling ? Who is the wizard behind the curtain telling politicians what to do?

        So you always vote wrong.

  11. I met them on our way to the lodging. Asked the hauler to stop. Chatter resulted.

    From what I understood, they all realize AGW legends are used for the sole purpose of stealing money. Soon cities might prohibit/tax anything non electric or at least hybrid. And other Macronic nonsense.

    They don’t think that prince Macron or anyone else will backtrack on climate taxation. Nevertheless they manifest their presence.

    We swapped our reflective vests with them, selfies ensued.

    • Flight Level,

      they all realize AGW legends are used for the sole purpose of stealing money

      Whenever a politician says “for the greater good”, run, hide your children, and grab your wallet – he plans to steal something or someone.

      • Right now there are over 16’000 airborne aircraft. Check the coverage on https://www.flightradar24.com .

        Now imagine, no kerosene, no air transport. No, won’t load you with statistics. Just envision a void screen.

        No need to be a genius to understand the global impact on economy.

        And why politicians are so eager to take energy in hostage. Easy money.

  12. The reality is that the climate change that we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. So even if we could globally complete making use of fossil fuels, the effort would have no effect on global temperature.

    Those that think that fossil fuels are bad should immediately stop making use of all goods and services that make use of fossil fuels. That includes all products moved by truck that includes clothes and food. In my neighborhood, most people could not survive without the use of goods and services that make use of fossil fuels.

  13. The current wholesale price of electricity in Texas is about 2.5 cents.

    2.5 cents for what? 1 kilowatt hour?

  14. Good on the French for standing up. Here in Victoria AU we just bend over and take it. Meanwhile the greens want to throw everyone who uses coal power in jail. I kid you not!
    I just heard on the radio last night the China is investing in new coal fired power stations in 60 countries. (besides the ones they are building at home).
    We have enough coal and gas here to last many decades but we are too precious to use it. Surely this is insanity!
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6393639/How-using-coal-fired-electricity-land-jail.html

  15. In Texas does this include charging all the electric vehicles that will have displaced fossil fueled vehicles? What about places where it’s much cooler and the sun shines less? At present folk seem to be trying to migrate to cooler places. Shouldn’t it be the other way round as fossil fuels become unavailable.

  16. Cheap, reliable and safe nuclear power will eventually replace organic fuels. It may take thousands of years. Maybe we will continue to use chemical energy bound to hydrocarbons (for transportation) instead of electrons of the batteries. “Recharging” hydrocarbons is known and tried technology.

    Intelligent grid can sustain if the consumers profit, not just the utilities.

    Rule number 1: no taxes or subsidies.

    • Nice one, Ottawa 🙂
      I would not be surprised if you could sell that as a slogan at the next COP meeting, like the joke about banning purified water.

  17. I don’t see Napoleon caving. It’s not his way. He has reduced household tax for those on less than 43000€ / ans and believes that this reduction balances out the rise on diesel. It doesn’t. Showroom tax on medium to large cars are frightening (10300€) and some manufacturers don’t bother to sell their larger models at all. Plus EU regulation reduces choice in other market sectors.

    The rise in fuel taxes has been massive since macron came to power. 2 years ago fuel here was 30% cheaper then the UK, it”s now 10% dearer.

    Our only hope is to smash the globalists at next years EU elections. Not that it will achieve anything because the EU is run by 27/8 people who twiddle their thumbs all day looking for things to regulate.

    • Stephen Richards

      My fuel bills have doubled over the last few years. I’m in the UK. Same house for 30 years, same occupation levels for the last 20, nothing has changed except the cost of fuel in the last 4 or 5 years.

      I suspect French fuel bills have gone up considerably more than double if you went from 30% lower to 10% higher in the last 5 years.

  18. What exactly are all these jobs that r3newables are alleged to produce?

    Off the East Anglian coast, which now has these ugly and environmentally damaging windsubsidy farms there are a handful of office jobs and a few people taking a boat out every day to fuel up the diesel generators/restart the windmills that have failed. Somewhere up the coast is a small factory assembling the bits imported from Germanyband casting the arms – a vile, health threatening, dead end job.

    Oh, nearly forget – the barge constantly at work correcting the problems with leaning towers and installing new ones has a couple of dozen well paid jobs funded by the outrageous cost to the public purse.

    No sign of much worthwhile employment there.

  19. France is an interesting case, mostly rural apart from a few large cities which are widelyy spaced. Earlier this year Macron forced through a reduction on speed limits on non-dual roads from 90 to 80 kph. Effectively adding 10% to journey times then taxes are increased so price of diesel goes up nearly 25% , most cars arecdiesel. Hardly surprising people are upset.

    The taxes are supposed to be used to invest in “renewable low carbon” energy. France used to generate about 80% of its electricity from nuclear much of this is suppossd to be replaced by wind. It seems to me that most of france is not particularly windy all year round so some sort of back will be needed. It can’t be nuclear because it’s too slow to react so gas seems the most likely option. Cracking is totally banned in France, so the outcome of this policy would appear to be increased energy priced, i creased CO2 émissions, and a less reliable grid. Secondary effects will be increased prices of all goods and a less efficient economy.

    Most people I have spoken to locally have been convinced that Carbon id a problem, nuclear power is not good,renewables will solve the problem. Where I live is on the migration route for Cranes and a recently building a bypass was delayed so a bat colony wasn’t disturbed. A proposed wind farm cannot operate when bats are active but Cranes have to take their chances as do all birds.

    Looks pretty much like Macron wont be around when this all unravels. You should never trust someone who marries their teacher.

  20. France gets 75% of their power from nuclear (and sells nuclear generated power to Germany as well) and it years ahead of every other country in the lower carbon race, so why in the hell are they obliged to reduce their carbon further?

  21. One can argue about the need to reduce carbon, but one cannot reasonably argue that wind and solar should be selected instead of molten salt small nuclear reactors, I would estimate the cost of molten salt generated power as less than any form of power generation.These reactors can be built in factries very easily and sites require minimal preparation and do not require any bodies of water for cooling.
    Becauseof their small size and inherent safety,these reactors can be located virtually anywhere – within cities,on fault lines, etc

  22. From a technical standpoint, Texas could be powered entirely from solar and wind…

    From a technical standpoint, the Green River oil shale could supply the entire world’s petroleum for 30 years all by itself.

    From a technical standpoint, methane hydrates could supply the entire world’s natural gas for 1,000 years all by itself.

    From a technical standpoint, a $240/gal gasoline tax and comparable taxes on other fossil fuels could save the world from RCP8.5.

    Way back in the Pleistocene (1976-1980), an old college buddy of mine used to say, “The only reason we don’t have solar power, is because the energy companies haven’t figured out how to put a meter on the Sun.” To no avail, I would try to explain that it would be the same meter currently being used to bill electricity consumption… They didn’t need a special meter. They just needed “special” customers, willing to pay for the YUGE uo-front costs of solar power.

    Back then, my friend was a flaming socialist… Now he’s a Tea Party conservative. That shouldn’t be possible “from a technical standpoint,” but it’s almost inevitable from an economic standpoint.

  23. “The replacement of fossil fuels with renewables is an incredibly complex problem”

    Complex? It’s technologically impossible at the moment.

  24. Andy : “French Prime Minister Macron……”
    Current French Prime Minister is someone called Édouard Philippe
    Macron is the French President

    Judging how French from time time do these things ‘We can eliminate Macron’s head, no problem! just need a bit of time to polish the old Guillotine ‘

  25. “Even with the enormous renewable surcharges on German power consumers, they are still at only 36% renewable power in 2017”

    Important to remember that this is including biomass and hydro, sun and wind only constitute 19,25% of the total (2015).

    Production for 2015:
    Lignite: 24,0%
    Hard coal: 18,2%
    Nuclear: 14,1%
    Natural gas: 8,8%
    Wind: 13,3%
    Biomass: 7,7%
    Solar PV: 5,9%
    Hydro: 3,0%
    Other: 4,9%

    With the decision to outphase nuclear in the next few years, it is likely that coal will be even more important, though of course we in Norway hope they will buy more of our expensive natural gas.

    http://strom-report.de/_2hr

  26. “coincidentally the Texas average wind power capacity factor is also about 32 percent”

    Which is similar to South Australia the driest State in the driest continent but with around 50% renewables now and a lot of that wind we share the highest power prices in the world with places like Norway. The previous State Labor Govt worried about summer blackouts before the last election did rush out a $90mill Tesla 100MW battery for the Hornsdale wind farm plus another $690.5mill for 9 diesel generators that could consume 80,000 litres an hour of refined fossil fuels just in case. Currently we also rely on an Interconnector to Victorian brown coal power so you can see you really need to do your homework on what it would cost Texas to go down the dispatchable 100% renewables road.

      • “All of Norway’s power generation is renewable”

        From Wikipedia: “Electricity generation in Norway is almost entirely from hydroelectric power plants. Of the total production in 2005 of 137.8 TWh, 136 TWh was from hydroelectric plants, 0.86 TWh was from thermal power, and 0.5 TWh was wind generated. In 2005 the total consumption was 125.8 TWh.”

        But what they did with oil is more interesting. Norway was a poor country of farmers. The famous Norwegian novel by Knut Hamsun is called “Hunger”. More like Starvation in 1890.
        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32585.Hunger

        Then they discovered oil and became super rich. Norway formed its own oil company (‘Statoil’, now called ‘Equinor’) and gave itself ownership of the resource and a huge share of the profits from selling that oil.

        “The petroleum industry is Norway’s largest industry. Today Norway is the 8th largest producer of oil and the 3rd largest producer of gas in the world.” The natural gas is sold to Europe.

        Not bad for a country which leans red-green and against climate change.

  27. Peter Davies’ claim that the area required for Texas to go 100% renewables is only 4,500 square miles is hogwash. That is only the actual footprint of the equipment. Assuming that wind power alone, and using National Renewable Energy Lab figures for average wind project area, it takes 87 acres per MW of nameplate capacity in order to get adequate project spacing. For 100% wind in Texas with a capacity credit of 15% for inland wind (according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT]) and peak demand of 72,000 MW, those wind farms would cover about 65,000 square miles. That is about 1/4 of the land area of the state. There are numerous ways to calculate this value, but they all come to a far larger area than Mr. Davies claims.

    Looking at it another way, the Nuclear Energy Institute says that a 1,000 MW nuclear plant requires 1.3 square miles, while the equivalent wind project would require 900 square miles. Plus, the nuclear plant is reliable base load that can be located close to the urban areas who demand the electricity. In Texas, wind does not blow where the people live, requiring tremendous transmission to urban areas with the concomitant line losses.

    Driving through large wind project areas, the landscape is in relentless, sickening motion in all directions. Gone are pure vistas, not to mention ecological damages.

    • Thanks Flash Gordon, I found that number suspect as well. There are a number of problems with Davies estimates, they all tend to make his estimate of the cost of renewable energy too low, as both Germany and Australia have discovered on their own.

    • “Driving through large wind project areas, the landscape is in relentless, sickening motion in all directions. Gone are pure vistas, not to mention ecological damages.”
      Can you imagine suddenly being forced to live within a dense array of industrial scale wind turbines?

  28. “They also claim that a plan to eliminate fossil fuels in New York would save $33 billion. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you for half price.”

    Yeah, sorta like that $2000 in savings we all got under OBAMACARE from that lying big-eared marxist dope.

  29. Does it matter what generates the energy we use? There are just 2 conditions. For society to go forward it should become less expensive and more extensive.
    If it brings more poverty it’s the wrong kind of energy.

  30. “From a technical standpoint, Texas could be powered entirely from solar and wind, with backup from batteries and renewable gas storage (both methane and hydrogen).

    What about the cost? Davies estimates a 2030 wholesale electricity cost of 6.1 to 9.2 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour).
    However, this is clearly a very low estimate as he does not include all capital costs.
    He assumes zero infrastructure costs, such as roads, permitting and regulatory costs.
    He does include the cost of equipment but ignores transportation and installation.
    Further, his cost of renewable methane seems unreasonably low.

    Finally, he ignores the cost of the required land and does not deal with the transition from gasoline and diesel to electric vehicles.”

    Which means Peter Davies ignores how expensive, even impossible, it is to thoroughly condition and control electricity’s quality and consistency!

    Heavy industry through major computer centers and even to hospitals, all require high quality extremely consistent electricity.
    Even those centers receiving electricity from nuclear or hydro power plants, install equipment that monitors and attempts to correct amperage, voltage and frequency of electricity driving equipment.

    Variable consistency and quality directly affects equipment in service and the products they support.

    This equipment is not cheap! Even when installed in consistent high quality electrical grids, business spends big dollars to condition electricity fed to every piece of equipment.

    Drastically dropping the quality and consistency of a grid’s electrical supply means businesses and services must increase their line control expenditures.

    It is not a problem that can be resolved by a grid’s backup power generation, it is a problem where every microsecond of electricity quality or consistency variation directly affects the end products or services.

    As JoNova recently discussed, bad electricity quality and consistency also affects and damages all electric motors that are built to operate within certain specifications.

    Peter Davies ignores all of the costs that burden customers.

  31. The false assumption of simply replacing fossil fuel with renewables 1 for 1 will get you to zero emissions surrounds transportation’s almost 100% current use of fossil fuels.

    Today, the electric grid does not supply the energy that would be needed to charge all the trucks, trains, planes, and automobiles that moves the economy in Texas. Sure, there are a few Bolts, Teslas, and other EVs running around in Texas, but their current demand is tiny, tiny trivial when put up against Texas’s current electric grid supply. Even ignoring the immense capital costs of replacing all the gasoline and diesel light duty trucks with battery EV’s versions, the grid capacity would have to be dramatically increased for nighttime charging of those millions of vehicles. So simply replacing current coal and gas-fired generating plants 1Kwh for 1Kwh would not not come close to allowing transportation to shift to EVs. And no one has come close to solving the replacement of jet fuel for commercial aircraft with anything that is even remotely affordable. The US Navy and Air Force toyed around with biofuel diesels for jet fuel (since abandoned), but it was going to cost something like $27/gallon, about 10 times what they pay in bulk for today’s jet fuel. So it’s no wonder China wants the US to commit to the IPCC fraud.

  32. Andy,

    I am surprised that the “Texas solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity factors average around 32 percent.” Over the last 3 years of operation, my rooftop PV system capacity factor has averaged roughly 15%. This is in California’s Central Coast at a latitude of 35.28 or 2.5 degrees north of Dallas, TX.

    • Brooks, are your solar panels mounted on two-axis mounts that follow the Sun, or are they fixed, meaning they only directly point at the Sun once a day? I suspect the latter since you are at 15%, which is about right for a fixed mount. I assume they are south facing? That would make the most sense.

  33. I see Davies’ report is light on operating costs. The capital costs of adding new grid connections, associated infrastructure for new wind and solar farms, and back up fossil fuel generation for when the wind doesnt blow and the sun doesnt shine, are not fully calculated, and certainly not depreciated over their working life as a capital charge to consumers. What generating utility doesnt fully charge for these costs? The true cost to consumers of these sorts of proposals needs to be rigorously estimated.

  34. And then you have the issue being experienced in Australia that when renewables (mainly wind) rise to +25% of total grid supply, stability effects start to appear in the AC power frequency, resulting in the grid operator having to periodically shut out renewable supply to stabilise the grid. Without a high-inertia spinning baseload supply as a large percentage of total supply, frequency stability is a problem. That affects a myriad of electrical appliances and instruments, many with highly damaging results. The feeling here is that greater than 30% renewables in any supply mix cannot guarantee grid frequency stability.

    • I work for Ausgrid now and they will disconnect people with solar on their roofs if the risk of instability is too great for the grid.

      • Here in PA (USA) we have had a fairly nasty ice storm and the usual spate of people using generators and backfeeding into power line system. Had lots of extra linemen in our area and was talking to some as they waited for lunch orders to be finish in the local bar, solar panels came up and the crew leader rolled his eyes and proclaimed he hates dealing with them, other guys all laughed and agreed. They came up from Alabama where they have a lot of them.

  35. I don’t see that he is counting the cost of adequate battery storage.
    That should at least triple the capital cost as well as increase the total amount of wind/solar that is needed. In order to charge all those batteries.

  36. So, what little “good” France’s climate saving efforts had have been erased by all the cars and tires being burned in these riots. Leftist ideology at its best!

  37. I will believe that solar PV and wind power are effective sources of energy when someone reports on a solar cell or wind turbine manufacturer using their products to power their production operation. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  38. I am going to have a foot of snow in the driveway tomorrow, and it is still fall. It has been consistently below average temperatures this month, and it is a month when you notice highs 15*F below average for weeks on end. I don’t recall seeing the sun in over a month, because of the short days and cloudy sky’s.
    I just want access to gasoline, natural gas, and electricity at market prices. There has got to be millions more like me that want nothing to do with renewable energy. Why am I constantly being sold something I don’t want and have never asked for?
    This is just another scheme where the public pays more, and gets less. And the politicians have another tool to reward their supporters and punish those voters they find deplorable.

  39. I get my electric power from Tucson’s community solar project, called Bright Tucson Community Solar. This project already has power storage built into the solar system. I recommend studying this “actual here and now” power supply – instead of a hypothetical “future Texas” power supply.

    Every month my billing statement shows power generation cost (alone) at 5c/kWh for solar power. For comparison, the conventional power generation (alone) is priced at 3.5c/kWh.

    But then many other costs add into the consumer’s total bill. For example, my monthly “service fee”, for sending me a bill and then depositing my payment, is nearly half as expensive as the (generation alone) cost of my electric power. And I am charged 6c/kWh for delivering the power to my house.

  40. As horrible as it sounds, did anyone else start humming the Les Miserables soundtrack while reading about these protests?

  41. That mantra about creating jobs? Canadian PM Trudeau had this to say today about the GM plant closure in Ontario:

    “The best way to secure jobs for the future is to take genuine action on climate change and help our economy and our families to thrive through the transition to a lower carbon economy,” he said during question period.

    Break on through to the other side. Sort of assumes that there is another side, as you tunnel into that mountain…

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