Environmentalist Tells Tucker Carlson: Renewables Can’t Save The Planet

From The Daily Caller

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Environmental activist Michael Shellenberger explained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson that it’s not possible to shift the country’s grid completely to renewable energy.

“I was one of the founders of, sort of, the first Green New Deal back in 2003, 2007,” Shellenberger, the founder of Environmental Progress, began. “People don’t remember President Obama, we spent about $150 billion on renewables between 2009 and 2015, and we just kept encountering the same kind of problems.”

WATCH:

Shellenberger laid out the two main problems that plague wind turbines and solar panels: unreliability and low energy density.

“They just depend on when the sun is shining and when the wind is blowing, which is 10 to 40 percent of the year,” he said, demonstrating how the intermittent energy production of wind and solar makes them unreliable sources of power. “Something people are not as aware of: the low energy density of sunlight and wind. Basically what we’ve been finding is that the lower the energy density of the fuel … the bigger the environmental impact.”

Because solar and wind produce such small amounts of energy, according to Shellenberger, they require a much larger amount of land to generate electricity.

Instead, the Environmental Progress founder touted the benefits of nuclear energy, a source of power that can generate large amounts of reliable energy while emitting zero carbon emissions. However, Shellenberger said the public has yet to fully embrace nuclear energy because they associate it with nuclear bombs, past nuclear accidents and a desire to use energy that harmonizes with the natural world.

“That turns out to be a bad idea because the more natural resource we use, the worse it is for the natural environment,” he said.

Nuclear-Plant

Nuclear power plant Ohu near Landshut, Bavaria, Germany. Shutterstock

As environmental activists become more alarmed about the threat of climate change, many are re-evaluating how they perceive nuclear power. The U.S. nuclear industry currently supplies about 20 percent of the country’s total electricity, but it provides roughly 60 percent of its zero-carbon electricity. A growing number of climate change-oriented lawmakers are now passing subsidies and support programs to keep nuclear plants in operation. (RELATED: Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Vote To Modernize US Nuclear Fleet)

Shellenberger went on to say it was “very disappointing” that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s widely publicized Green New Deal does not include provisions for nuclear energy.

Ocasio-Cortez’s original FAQ document on the Green New Deal, in fact, called for a phase out of nuclear power. However, following the botched roll out of the deal, her team took the anti-nuclear language off their website.

Follow Jason on Twitter.

182 thoughts on “Environmentalist Tells Tucker Carlson: Renewables Can’t Save The Planet

  1. Now if only we could get some of these people to listen to skeptical scientists about the climate itself.

    Right, it took 20 years for this guy to accept the facts about wind/solar. Skeptics have been pointing out the exact things he just at stated back then. If he now accepts what skeptical scientists have been saying about wind/solar then why is he still in denial about what they are telling him about CO2?

    • What has taken 15 years for Michael Shellenberger to find out, was well known before he started wasting 150 billion dollars of other people’s money. In fact, it is something that has always been basically obvious from the start. At the very least, he should be apologizing to the American people for being so stupid. Instead, he is taking credit for starting the ‘original’ Green New Deal at the same time he is admitting that it was just as stupid and as misguided as the new one.

      In the meantime, we skeptics behave like beggars, excitedly accepting the crumbs that fall off the rich man’s table. We are thrilled that someone from the other side has finally agreed with what we have been saying all along, even if he is still ignoring us and taking credit for ‘figuring it out’ himself.

      Shellenberger is not agreeing with the skeptics in any way. He is only admitting the obvious because he has to, while still positioning himself as a go-to expert. Skeptics are not scoring any points with this interview, because we are not even allowed to play the game, and that’s the way Shellenberger wants to keep it.

      • You saved me writing it. Enviros are never wrong and are always virtuous. They and politicians are allowed to spin anything they want anyway they want. The rest of us are uncaring ignoramuses

    • Now if only we could get some of these people to listen to skeptical scientists about the climate itself.

      No, that’s not the problem. Which is, that our viciously biased ‘news’ media carefully de-platform all such skeptical scientists to ensure that ‘some of these people’ will NEVER hear, in public broadcasts, messages which don’t conform with the party line of all-renewables and no-nuclear.

    • My 2 cents: Most of the human race uses the ocean as a toilet for industrial, agricultural, and human waste. This ocean pollution has dramatically increased since the industrialization and human population increases after WW2. Oxygen levels in parts of the Pacific ocean are down 40% since WW2! Why? It should be obvious to anyone with water treatment experience these lower dissolved oxygen levels are due to water pollution and have nothing to do with CO2. As vast as the oceans are humans have significantly polluted the oceans. Darker polluted water absorbs more sunlight than cleaner water, particularly when the sun is at an angle (less reflection). Huge algae blooms can be seen from space. The noticeable warming of the oceans is due to water pollution and has nothing to do with atmospheric CO2. More atmospheric CO2 is a good thing, has nothing to do with global warming, and makes plants grow better. Most people interested in controlling CO2 are not interested in water pollution.

      • 1) In the industrial world, water pollution has gone down dramatically.
        2) Impoverished countries don’t have the resources to deal with real pollution. Every penny they have to waste solving problems that don’t exist is not available for dealing with real problems.
        3) All the sunlight that enters water is absorbed. The only difference is how deep you have to go before it is absorbed. In deep water, darker water doesn’t absorb anymore sunlight than does clean water.

        • All that one can see in clear water, sometimes at considerable depth, is provided by the sunlight that is not absorbed.

      • There were always algal blooms visible from space. That is what causes “red tide”. Not everything is “man’s fault”. You can see forests from space too, but they are not our fault

        The latest, latest fear-mongering claim is that Americans are using too much multi-ply toilet paper and it is “disappearing” Canadian deciduous forests at a rate of 7 hockey rinks a minute.

        Gee! Do they think we cold ever plant deciduous forest trees? Maybe they can’t grow back because of some stupid environmental law about maintaining open spaces.

        The idea that oxygen the level in “some parts of the Pacific Ocean” is down 40% is so silly, so unbelievable, so ridiculous on any scale of meaning, that the claim should be given severe analysis in a meaningful context.

        The suggestion is that “human pollution” created so much oxygen demand that it reduced the O2 level 40% in a ocean.

        I agree that warmer oceans have nothing to do with CO2. It is certainly not from “pollution” either. Right where Victoria BC dumps its untreated sewage into the Pacific, the waters are cooling. It means nothing. Sometimes it get warmer.

        These are observations from atomic powered Ontario where science is harnessed to deliver the promise of an ever-advancing civilisation.

        • He was referring to hypoxic regions that primarily result from agricultural runoff and sewage. I don’t know where this 40% number came from, but the so-called dead zones caused by the above is a problem to be addressed.

      • Agreed. If the ocean plastics controversy is any indication, people in the USA are generally concerned about water pollution, but people elsewhere seem to be less concerned. I’m thinking Asia – China and India, mostly, but other Asian nations as well. Because the vast majority of the ocean pollutants in the Pacific Ocean come now from across the Pacific Ocean.

        All of these average pollutants can be eliminated with proper treatment plants.

    • Richard M wrote:
      “Right, it took 20 years for this guy to accept the facts about wind/solar. Skeptics have been pointing out the exact things he just at stated back then.”

      Correct Richard – here is your proof:

      We published with confidence in 2002 in a written debate with the pro-IPCC Pembina Institute:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

      We also published with confidence in the same 2002 debate:

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

      Past decades of actual global observations adequately prove that these two statements are correct to date. Since then, many trillions of dollars and millions of lives have been wasted due to false global warming alarmism and green energy nonsense. Competent scientists and engineers have known these facts for decades.

      We told you so, 17 years ago.

  2. Besides occupying lots of land, intermittent and low density wind and solar energy massacre birds and bats in their millions.

    Large scale “renewable” energy (as opposed to roof-top) is an environmental catastrophe. That it’s a pipe dream has been obvious for decades, not least beccause of the need for fossil fuel or nuclear power backup. Even home solar panels are toxic to the environment to manufacture, which is why they come from China, besides needing rare earths, as do wind turbines. Not to mention cobalt.

    • Killing some of these birds is a felony level crime. One more law that is being blithely ignored. (Unless you or I do it).

      • Right on DA. When I worked for Pegasus Gold we had a dead bird found near the cyanide make-up pond at Florida Canyon. It was placed in a refrigerator and 4 Dept. Wildlife Biologists (with six-shooters no less!) examined the bird and took it away for “analysis”. When you walk underneath the giant bird-choppers, especially early on a Monday morning before the clean-up crew arrives, the ground is littered with dead birds. That’s the part I don’t understand about the Greenies, are they sure the birds that are chopped up are willing to commit hari Kari for their cause? And the legal system?

        • The government, to encourage wind generation, approved a secret agreement with wind companies, giving them an allowance to kill up to 2,000 bald eagles per year (and countless other bird and bat species.) In 1974 the National Eagle Repository was established (name changed in 1997 to Denver Eagle Respository) that, between 1999 and 2015, has received over 33,000 eagle carcasses, all killed by wind turbines. Each year another 2500-3000 dead eagles are delivered. The American public has no clue that this secret Denver facility has become the wind industry’s mortuary for eagle carcasses.  But in contrast to other mortuaries, this one never provides autopsy or other information pertaining to the origin and death of these eagles.

          Embarrassingly, Fish and Wildlife officials were still at liberty to discuss this eagle slaughter as wind generation started to become a major industy, and public hearings became more and more common. That could not be tolerated. So on 12/1/99, the Clinton Administration enacted a new FOIA law that, unbelievably, treats the hidden, deceptive slaughter of bald and golden eagles as a  trade secret! No one in the government is allowed to disclose any information about it.

          https://www.masterresource.org/cuisinarts-of-the-air/harvesting-eagles-1/

    • “Besides occupying lots of land, intermittent and low density wind and solar energy massacre birds and bats in their millions.”

      How do photovoltaics massacre birds and bats in their millions?

        • Exactly, when birds fly near the liquid sodium canister they burst into flames. Their spiraling descent gets them the label “smokers”.

          • “Mark Bahner March 4, 2019 at 10:33 am
            Yes, the fried birds (so-called “streamers”) occur at concentrated solar “power towers”:

            Those aren’t photovoltaic plants. Only a tiny fraction of the electricity generated by solar in the U.S. comes from those concentrated solar “power towers.” The overwhelming majority of electrical power from solar in the U.S. comes from photovoltaics.”

            Nothing like claiming something is oxymoronic while admitting photovoltaics do kill legions of birds.
            mark just confirmed the death while pretending photovoltaics are safe.

            Next mark will claim that photovoltaics are not unreliable low density energy sources requiring vast swathes of land to produce low levels of energy.

          • “Nothing like claiming something is oxymoronic while admitting photovoltaics do kill legions of birds.
            mark just confirmed the death while pretending photovoltaics are safe.”

            The Ivanpah plant is *not* a photovoltaics plant. Try reading about the difference between a concentrating solar “power tower” versus a photovoltaic solar power facility:

            https://www.solarpaces.org/what-difference-pv-csp-solar/

            No one here–or anywhere to my knowledge–has provided even a shred of evidence that photovoltaics plants kill “birds and bats in their millions” in the United States.

          • No one here–or anywhere to my knowledge–has provided even a shred of evidence that photovoltaics plants kill “birds and bats in their millions” in the United States.

            That’s because no one here – or anywhere to my knowledge – ever claimed that “photovoltaics plants kill “birds and bats in their millions” in the United States”. The claim, need I remind you was “intermittent and low density wind and solar energy massacre birds and bats in their millions.”. Note that the claim attributes millions of bird and bat death to the *combination* of wind and solar (not just to solar alone) and that in never mentions photovoltaics or the United States (so they could be talking worldwide). As you agree, solar (in the form of concentrated solar “power towers”) do indeed cause bird deaths, you are arguing against a strawman of your own creation (that somehow someone claimed photovoltaics were killing millions of birds, a claim NO ONE other than you has made) while at the same time admitting the statement, as it was originally made, is not without merit (solar does indeed kill birds as you yourself admitted when you said yes to the fried birds at solar power towers).

          • Slight addendum, I’m not counting ATheoK’s reply to you as 1) he didn’t make the claim, he was 2) replying to your claims and misunderstanding what you were talking about.

          • That’s weird. my reply had appeared (about your starwmaning “wind and solar” killing millions of birds and bats into “photovoltaic alone” killing millions of birds), I added an second reply as an addendum and the first reply disappeared. Hopefully it will return, I don’t feel like typing it all in again.

          • And, BTW, some bird do die at photovoltaic plants – mainly from crashing into panels and other infrastructure, though there isn’t a lot of study on the subject. One PV project that has reported mortality data is Desert Sunlight, a 550-megawatt power plant in eastern Riverside County that was the largest solar project in the world when it opened. 173 bird deaths from August 2011 through December 2014.
            http://www.fplmaps.com/desert/Biological_Monitoring_Report_Annual/Desert_Sunlight_2014_Annual_Report.pdf

      • And he’s talking wind and solar *combined* killing millions (probably a slight bit of an exaggeration, the number is more likely in the hundreds of thousands).

        • John, from what I’ve seen the “millions” is quite probably correct. Do yourself a favor and stop your car some day and go walk underneath these bird-choppers.

          • The current estimates are between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with the type of wind turbines most in use in the US. Perhaps world wide the number approaches or even slightly tops a million, but “millions” (plural) is probably a stretch.

  3. At least he is man enough to admit that he was wrong and not only that he is prepared to tell the world.

    • “At least he is man enough to admit that he was wrong and not only that he is prepared to tell the world.”

      But he’s still couching it in the “save the planet” nonsense language. When he comes around to reality, then I’ll praise him.

      • Jeff, as a student of marketing, one of the strategies taught is that to influence people you have to first get their attention. one way of doing that is to “join the conversation that is already in their head” then lead them where you want them to go.

        In this case the people that need to be swayed think in terms of “saving the planet” so using that language may have a better chance of getting them to listen. And that’s step 1.

    • Well yyeeeah….still.. it took him 150 BILLION worth to finally stop lying.
      I mean, do you really believe that no green energy expert could extrapolate from the first few million just how much land gives how much power (solar and wind) divided into the power generating capacity of the grid in 2003? I do NOT believe that it couldn’t be done nor that it wasn’t done which leads inevitably to the conclusion that Schellenberger and his Green Movement have been LYING about things until now. Period.

      • Half a day with pencil and paper with a calculator should have convinced him that solar arrays and windmills would not be practical.

    • I think it’s a complete waste of time to argue against CO2 induced global warming/climate change. You’ll never convince alarmists that they are wrong on that front. In fact, there is no way to separate the amount of naturally caused climate change from anthropogenic climate change, so why try? The real argument is this: Even if CO2 causes global warming, what are we going to do about it? Clearly, it can be demonstrated that renewables are not fit for purpose and that over time, as our precious fossil fuel reserves become scarcer and more expensive, we will need to develop alternative energy sources, so the case for nuclear is very strong. If large electrical storage can be developed, there may be a place for renewables in certain areas of the world, the deserts, for instance. Work is ongoing on ITER, the attempt to harness nuclear fusion, and that’s a worthwhile effort too.

      • Wrong that it is a waste of time to debate Gorebal Warming. The evidence is highly stacked against CO2 having a material affect on the climate, and you can use the IPCC’s own climate models to prove it. Their climate models effectively use only CO2 as the driver of global temperatures. The fact that the models are universally wrong in their predictions about global temperatures proves that all of those scientists who have thought of a myriad of ways in which increasing CO2 levels cause higher temperatures and put them in their models are ALL WRONG. Not to mention the manipulation of temperature data by NOAA which can be shown to be 100% responsible for the supposed warming in the published US ground based temperature record.
        I do agree with you that more research dollars should be going into nuclear power, both 4th gen Fission reactors and Fusion. We should also be investigating reasonable carbon capture technology for coal and gas. The true cost and environmental impact of wind and solar needs to be exposed and we should stop subsidizing it. If its environmental impact can be reduced and load balancing technology improved, then let it compete in the market with other sources.

        • What is your reason for investigating “reasonable” carbon capture? For what purpose?

    • If Chicagoland would burn municipal waste to generate power, the nukes IL still has running could supply all of us downstate. If Shellenberger is truly enlightened on environmental reality, he would be advocating trash to power generation.

      • After 30 years +/- operation across 100’s of installations in Europe it is well understood Waste-to-energy is just another low density and very dirty fuel. Even with offset savings from landfill tipping fees, these projects are not normally viable without subsidies and heavy government regulation. The same goes for biogas, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and algae, as well as wind and solar. The one exception is biomass and other process waste products when produced in sufficient quantity and used at or near the producing site. Examples are sawmill waste, pulp mill waste, spent solvents, filter cake, etc and tend to be smaller dispersed operations with difficult permitting processes.

        Most alternative energies have been around a long time with well understood costs and benefits. The problem is that we have to keep repeating the lessons for the 29 year old idealistic adult children that have all the answers and not enough question.

        I keep both wide and skinny ties in my closet and expect nuclear power will eventually return.

        • They could probably burn enough trash (provided they had the proper scrubbers or other capture equipment to deal with particulates) to power their own plants, but not much more than that.

  4. Environmental activist Michael Shellenberger explained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson that it’s not possible to shift the country’s grid completely to renewable energy.

    Well, gee, me (an engineer) and many people on this forum could have done that, and w/better credentials.

      • We also have a practical demonstration of the futility of renewable energy. Take a bow, Germany, Denmark, and South Australia!

      • Tab, considering the state of public education, a clever child with no education probably has a better shot at figuring it out then the man-children with degrees on their walls.

  5. Seems like a standup guy, and I wish there were more people like him. It is sad that basic math is missing from the conversation on fossil fuel consumption and renewables.

    If the argument really was about the environment, modern nuclear and related technologies would dominate the conversation. Of course cheap, plentiful energy doesn’t give you much excuse to control people.

  6. You can’t spell freedom without EE.

    And I doubt there are very many EE’s out there who are super gung-ho on renewables. And I base that purely on my own educational experience. EE’s receive some of the most intense basic science training around, and I don’t remember meeting any who couldn’t run the numbers on renewables and reach the same, sane conclusion: you can’t run a modern civilization entirely on renewables, in the exact same way that you can’t build a ladder to the moon.

    • EEs have some advantages over the rest of humanity for sure. 🙂 On the other hand, I spent a lot of time in my early career consulting other engineers, scientists, and mathematicians.

      Back during the Arab oil shocks, there was a great deal of interest in alternate energy. I was astounded by my petroleum engineer father’s grasp of the issues related to alternate energy. His wisdom saved me from really serious mistakes.

      The math my dad took was nothing like what an EE gets. He was nearing retirement and university was forty years behind him. So, I would say that it isn’t just specific topics, it’s more about the practice of engineering in general.

    • As an EE myself, I was pulled into this issue when I read Phil Jones state he would not share his work because a bad guy was going to try and find something wrong with it. WTF? I count on other EEs finding something wrong with my work (before operation of course).

      Another one that stands out and is partially in my area is the climate models. The entire issue with CO2 relies a LOT on the output of these models. So I checked to see the ‘robustness’ of the software these models run on.

      “In software project management, software testing, and software engineering, verification and validation (V&V) is the process of checking that a software system meets specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose.”

      And most of the time this is done by a third party (IV&V). Climate models; not at all. In fact, I’ve read arguments that it isn’t even necessary for climate models. WTF?

      So all of you non-engineers out there, how confident are you in climate model if nobody has even double-checked that the software is running the way it is intended?

      Wasn’t there something in the climategate emails about some guy laughing at how bad the coding was for some climate project?

      • mpcraig,

        It’s probably even worse than you thought. IV&V isn’t really possible for many of the modules in the code since we don’t actually know all the variables to code. So they’re parameterized and then tuned. That is, tuned to obtain results consistent with what the modeler expects to see.

        rip

      • verification and validation (V&V) is the process of checking that a software system meets specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose.”

        Intended purpose, hey? Is it to accurately predict the future, or to scare hell out of John Q Public with a Big Number describing the coming apocalypse?

        Computer models are simply playing the role of crystal balls to view the future. There’s very little news informing John Q how well each model predicted the measured temperatures after the actual measurements were made (that would be the scientific method in operation), but quite a lot about the ‘consensus’ of all them ‘scientists’ that Something Must Be Done Now – without a whisper of verification of the models.

        The models are mere hypotheses. Until independently verifiable/verified, they’re the gossip columns of the publicly-funded scientific world.

        • V&V are normally applied to models where human life is at stake, like aircraft for instance. Your car is probably another example. The model is the software that runs such a safety critical system. ie. it’s a model until it’s installed on a working physical system then it’s the operating software.

        • There are two aspects to modeling. The first is the framework of the model. For climate models, that is up to climate scientists and physicists, etc. for equations for thermodynamics, flow equations, initial conditions, assumptions and paramerterizations, etc. And there is certainly plenty of dispute on how that is all done. The grid sizes are large and clouds are likely not at all properly represented.

          However, a completely different issue is the conversion of those functions into software and code. That’s what programmers and coders and computer scientists do. So when I am talking about V&V and I’m talking about audits of the software code to ensure that it does indeed implement all of the scientific functions as stated. That’s an important first step to give credibility to model results.

          For example, there are some laws of physics that are very well supported like the second law of thermodynamics. This law could be coded into a model and the model results could be all wrong. In such a case, since the physics is so solid, it would likely be coding errors.

          My original point was that we don’t even know if the climate models have coding errors let alone whether the physics they were programmed with is accurate.

      • Grad students and FORTRAN.

        We don’t need no stinkin’ verification.

        Even a program module that passes verification on one processor may fail on another.
        Do any of us remember the Pentium chip recall. The hardware didn’t always multiply as expected. (FDIV bug).

    • “EE’s receive some of the most intense basic science training around, and I don’t remember meeting any who couldn’t run the numbers on renewables and reach the same, sane conclusion: you can’t run a modern civilization entirely on renewables,…”

      I could! I could run the U.S. entirely on renewables. Electricity and gasoline/diesel/jet fuel would likely be significantly more expensive–especially in some areas of the country, like the Northeast–but it could be done.

      As Rocco said in one of the many great scenes in Godfather II: “Difficult…not impossible.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsHoTj-bScY

      Mark Bahner (BSME, MSEnvE)

      • Mark Bahner: You can’t! You can’t run the U.S. entirely on renewables. If you did, gasoline/diesel/jet fuel would not be more expensive- it wouldn’t be! Read your post again and tell us if you see the problem. Unlike so many of life’s big questions, you won’t find the answer in the Godfather.

      • Mark,
        “significantly more expensive” energy would constitute a failure since our current civilization is dependent on relatively cheap, plentiful energy. I’m also guessing that your “solution” depends on some sort of “flexible demand” scheme, which is also a failure; people and businesses expect electricity to be there when they need it, not only when your “renewable” source is ready to provide it. Bottom line: if it’s not a practical solution, then it’s no solution. Engineering 101.

        • Bottom line: if it’s not a practical solution, then it’s no solution. Engineering 101.

          I’m curious about your engineering background. As part of my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering I had upperclass courses in Power Generation (e.g., traditional coal-fired power plants), Advanced Energy Systems (e.g. wind, solar), Solar Energy Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Internal Combustion Engines, Transportation Engineering (i.e., including trains…not just automobiles)…as well as the standard Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Turbomachinery, etc.

          After I graduated, I worked briefly for a company that designed advanced coal-fired power plants, and in the same company’s Nuclear Power Division (in the post-TMI design era) and for a company that designed waste-to-energy systems (also known–improperly–as “garbage incinerators”).

          Then after I got my Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering. I spent 25 years doing environmental/energy analyses for a non-profit research institute. Projects included literature reviews and providing cost and technical performance inputs to nationwide energy models for such things as: biofuels; the power generation industry (where my research included photovoltaics, wind, coal, natural gas, and nuclear); residential buildings; and just about every major industry (in terms of energy use) in the U.S….including integrated and electric arc furnace steel manufacturing, primary and secondary aluminum manufacturing, inorganic and organic chemicals manufacturing, cement manufacturing,etc.

          P.S. Regarding “Engineering 101″…I don’t remember too much about Intro to Engineering (which is what we called it)…other than I unfortunately got in too early for CAD programs.

      • I could run the U.S. entirely on renewables

        great, how would you do that?

        Electricity and gasoline/diesel/jet fuel would likely be significantly more expensive

        So not entirely on renewables after all. Doh!

        • “great, how would you do that?”

          At this moment, I have other things I have to do. Perhaps I’ll be able to get to the answer in the next few days. If not, I might make a post on my blog in the coming weeks/months.

          I said, “Electricity and gasoline/diesel/jet fuel would likely be significantly more expensive.”

          You replied, “So not entirely on renewables after all. Doh!”

          You’re apparently not aware that gasoline/diesel/jet fuel can all be made as biofuels. (“Doh!”)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogasoline
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_biofuel

          • And emits CO2 the same as the “real” stuff. Not gonna fly in a zero-carbon 100% renewable world. Double Doh!.

          • “And emits CO2 the same as the “real” stuff. Not gonna fly in a zero-carbon 100% renewable world. Double Doh!.”

            Then you’re also apparently unfamiliar with the concept of CO2 from biofuels versus CO2 from fossil fuels. Emissions of CO2 from biofuels to *not* add to the average CO2 concentration in the atmosphere because CO2 is required to produce the biofuels. Plants grow by absorbing CO2 from the air. Then that CO2 is released when the biofuel created from the plants is burned.

            This is very basic stuff. It is beyond scientific doubt. That is, there is absolutely no scientific debate that fossil fuels increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2, whereas burning biofuels does not increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2. (For example, grow a tree. Burn it for fuel. There is no net increase of CO2 into the atmosphere. )

            (“Double Doh!”)

          • All “fossil fuels” required CO2 to be produced regardless of source. And they all emit CO2, regardless of source. All you are talking about is a shell game to make your emitting CO2 “acceptable”.

            (For example, grow a tree. Burn it for fuel. There is no net increase of CO2 into the atmosphere. )

            Bzzzt WRONG! When you burn the tree (same as when you burn coal, or oil or any other fuel) you are releasing the CO2 stored in the fuel into the atmosphere. (again, same as when you burn coal or oil or any other fuel). The result is the same: CO2 entering the atmosphere due to burning fuel.

            This is very basic stuff. It is beyond scientific doubt. Triple D’oh! Want to try for Quadruple?

          • Put it to you another way. You think burning plants is reducing the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration. You are wrong. growing pants reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere only so long as they remain as growing plants. And they’re currently serving that function for the CO2 we emit currently (hence the greening of the earth these past few years) By burning them as fuel you are not only emitting that CO2 back into the atmosphere, you are stopping them from doing their job of removing CO2 from the atmosphere – a double whammy as far as CO2 concentrations are concerned. At least fossil fuels only emit the CO2 without concurrently removing a CO2 absorber from circulation.

          • Another thing to think about. There are more trees in the US today than there were 100 years ago. Now think about why that is so? what is different today than the late 1800s? we stopped using trees as our main source of fuel and consequentially trees began growing faster than we were harvesting them. In your 100% renewable utopia, we’ll be back to using trees as a major fuel source and we’ll be back to the days of harvesting trees faster than we can grow their replacements. And you really think that will be “carbon neutral”? Bwahahahaha.

          • “Put it to you another way. You think burning plants is reducing the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration. ”

            No, John. Growing trees and burning them neither reduces nor increases the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration. That’s because growing the tree pulls X amount of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and burning the tree puts X amount back into the atmosphere. So there is no net change of CO2 in the atmosphere.

            It is only the burning of fossil fuels that adds to the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration, because the carbon in fossil fuels was stored underground long ago, and burning them releases that stored carbon into the atmosphere.

            Again, everyone who understands the science of global warming agrees with this. Try reading on the subject. Or else have someone else read and explain this basic science to you.

          • It takes decades to grow a tree, it takes minutes to burn it. Quadrupple D’oh

            to repeat: Another thing to think about. There are more trees in the US today than there were 100 years ago. Now think about why that is so? what is different today than the late 1800s? we stopped using trees as our main source of fuel and consequentially trees began growing faster than we were harvesting them. In your 100% renewable utopia, we’ll be back to using trees as a major fuel source and we’ll be back to the days of harvesting trees faster than we can grow their replacements. And you really think that will be “carbon neutral”? Bwahahahaha.

          • Rather than write about what could happen…e.g., we could get a commercial nuclear power plant built in the U.S. in the next 2-3 decades if Bill Gates decided to spend $10 billion building one himself…I’ve decide to predict what will happen in the U.S. in the coming decades.

            Specifically, I predict that by 2050, approximately 50 quads of energy in the U.S. will come from renewable sources, consisting of: 2 quads of conventional hydropower, 6 quads of biomass (including direct combustion and biomass-to-fuels) and a whopping 42 quads from “Other Renewable Energy”, e.g, photovoltaic and wind.

            Other predictions:

            1) Contrary to the EIA’s (and Dave Middleton’s) fantasies, coal will go from 14 quads in 2017 to 2 quads in 2050, and
            2) Contrary to Michael Shellenberger’s dreams, nuclear power in the U.S. will go down from 8 quads in 2017 to 3 quads in 2050.

            I’ve contrasted my predictions with those in the EIA’s AEO 2019. Given that the EIA probably spends tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars on their annual projections, needless to say, I think the taxpayers are getting a bad deal. (Since I spent about 2-3 hours of my time doing my projections.)

            Energy projections for the U.S. to 2050…and 2070

          • I’ve contrasted my predictions with those in the EIA’s AEO 2019. Given that the EIA probably spends tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars on their annual projections, needless to say, I think the taxpayers are getting a bad deal. (Since I spent about 2-3 hours of my time doing my projections.)

            Presumably EIA’s predictions are based on actual data, whereas yours come from your posterior orifice. Regardless I think your projections are pie in the sky nonsense, as todays virtue signaling will only direct the market so far before reality sinks in. And the reality is the wind and solar will not be able to provide 84% of the energy (42 out of 50 quads). It’s too intermittent & unreliable not to mention not energy dense enough. Do you realize how much land would be required to produce that much wind and solar energy (not to mention the damage all those bird choppers would have on the avian population)? Even the deepest Kool-Aid drinking environmentalist wouldn’t stand for that much damage to the natural environment.

          • Pie in the sky nonsense, I’m afraid. If that’s what your plan will look like, it’s too will be pie in the sky nonsense. I will give Mark kudos for his ideas being presented more intelligently than AOC’s GND, but they are just as unrealistic at the end of the day. Wind and solar are just too unreliable and intermittent to depend on, and even if they weren’t they’re not very energy dense – meaning it takes up/wastes a lot of space and a lot of resources for not much energy gain.

          • Oops, I have too many pages open at the same time (probably 50+ :-)). Sorry about the repeat, but I meant to place the following comment here, rather than above.

            Rather than write about what could happen…e.g., we could get a commercial nuclear power plant built in the U.S. in the next 2-3 decades if Bill Gates decided to spend $10 billion building one himself…I’ve decide to predict what will happen in the U.S. in the coming decades.

            Specifically, I predict that by 2050, approximately 50 quads of energy in the U.S. will come from renewable sources, consisting of: 2 quads of conventional hydropower, 6 quads of biomass (including direct combustion and biomass-to-fuels) and a whopping 42 quads from “Other Renewable Energy”, e.g, photovoltaic and wind.

            Other predictions:

            1) Contrary to the EIA’s (and Dave Middleton’s) fantasies, coal will go from 14 quads in 2017 to 2 quads in 2050, and
            2) Contrary to Michael Shellenberger’s dreams, nuclear power in the U.S. will go down from 8 quads in 2017 to 3 quads in 2050.

            I’ve contrasted my predictions with those in the EIA’s AEO 2019. Given that the EIA probably spends tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars on their annual projections, needless to say, I think the taxpayers are getting a bad deal. (Since I spent about 2-3 hours of my time doing my projections.)

            Energy projections for the U.S. to 2050…and 2070

          • Oops, I have too many pages open at the same time (probably 50+ :-)). Sorry about the repeat, but I meant to place the following comment here, rather than above.

            Presumably EIA’s predictions are based on actual data, whereas yours come from your posterior orifice. Regardless I think your projections are pie in the sky nonsense, as todays virtue signaling will only direct the market so far before reality sinks in. And the reality is the wind and solar will not be able to provide 84% of the energy (42 out of 50 quads). It’s too intermittent & unreliable not to mention not energy dense enough. Do you realize how much land would be required to produce that much wind and solar energy (not to mention the damage all those bird choppers would have on the avian population)? Even the deepest Kool-Aid drinking environmentalist wouldn’t stand for that much damage to the natural environment.

    • I’m a EE, and thanks for the comment. I agree completely. Renewables are great in remote small scale applications, as running a cable is not practical. Let a free market and physics determine appropriate applications.

    • Here’s a REAL quick simple calculation this EE did some time ago -just for the batteries. And this doesn’t even count industry and business [and of gov]!!! I would copy the link, but my sight would probably get “slash-dotted” so forgive the long reply…. Don’t be too critical. It is VERY ROUGH calc. Might even have errors in there?! Correct me please!

      Solar Power Nonsense

      I often see people say, “we need to convert to solar energy before the world collapses.” Or something to that effect. OK, what do we when the sun isn’t shining? Of course the answer is energy storage. What a minefield of unanswered questions.

      Let’s do the calculations using batteries as the energy storage mechanism, just to show how ridiculous it is. There will have to be some truly remarkable energy storage breakthroughs to break us from traditional power plans. Not happening yet.

      Just a few calculations.
      Let’s assume that the average family uses 10 KWHr of energy per day (it is more like 10-30, so I am being generous). Let’s assume the average family is 4 people. Let’s assume the population of the country is 400 million.

      So the average energy we need per day is 100 million familes times 10KWhr, or 10^8 times 10^2 = 10^10KWhr of energy. Divide by half if we assume the sun is shining for half the day (a very liberal assumption). –to store only “half” a day to supply the “other” half. And yes, I know energy usage during the night is less. So we will need .5 times10^10 KWhr of energy to cover the US.

      Let’s assume Lithium Ion batteries. I believe they are the most energy efficient today, and the technology that Elon Musk is using. From his site for Powerwall http://www.tesla.com/powerwall we can figure out that the energy density storage is app 3KWhr/ft^3. [14KWhr per powerwall which is 6x29x44 in] This costs about $8K. NO provision for inverters/distribution/connection to grid at this time. We will consider that later.

      So, the amount of battery space using Musk’s battery tech is (.5times10^10 KWhr) / (3KWhr/ft^3) = .16 times 10^10 ft^3 There are 144.5 times 10^6 ft^3 per cubic mile. So this is about 1 cubic mile of batteries, or let’s make it 10 feet high, so that is 525 square miles of batteries 10 feet high.
      Maybe we should space them out. You think! Let’s increase this to 5,000 square miles of batteries 10 feet high. This will leave room for everything else, like buildings, roads, maintenance, ancillary equipment, a spare battery stock, etc. I seriously doubt this is enough room still, given the efficiency -not calculated here- How much heat do you suppose this will generate!!!!! –we are assuming none here! Of course we could probably double this to account for business/industry/gov – at least!

      We can also calculate the cost. $8K per powerwall is listed on the site. Let’s be very generous and say costs will come down by half in the next maybe 10 years – say $4K per powerwall, $4K per 14KWhr. So this is (10^10KWhr) x ($4K/KWhr) = 4times10^13 $, or 4 billion thousand dollars, or 4 trillion dollars JUST TO BUY the batteries. And God forbid let us not even consider where we are going to get all the precious metals — China? Is there even this much in the world recoverable? How much can you use for batteries?

      Let’s be generous and distribute them to the 50 states. So we have 100 square miles of batteries in each state. 10 foot high. Probably more like 1000 square miles in states like CA, NY, TX! That is bigger than most metro areas – 30×30 miles. And remember we would probably have to double this for business/industry/gov!

      Now we have the problem of inverters to convert all this DC power to AC……. And somehow it will have to connect to the existing power grid to assume the generation when there is no sun/no solar. Of course we have the problem of the varying solar generation during the day, let alone the complete absence at night. How in the world do you manage this power switching?

      And we have the problem of distribution. Certainly the conversion to AC from DC will have to be done at the battery site, otherwise the size of the cables to carry DC current [at comparitively low voltages] is simply ridiculous. –It may take all the copper we mine! And I cannot imagine what the inverter/etc electronics will look like to convert 1000 square miles of a battery farm to AC. Can you?

      We have not considered the generation side of this equation. How many thousands of square miles of solar panels to generate this power…. I will leave that as an exercise to the reader. The collection of the DC current from the solar arrays is another problem. Typically you place very small DC/AC converters next to the arrays so you can do the transmission in AC at much higher voltages. I can imagine the density of wind towers would be greater? I drove to Casper WY in 2016 on my way to the eclipse and NONE of the wind towers south of there were spinning, on the to and return trip! What!?

      Actually, let’s do the calculation…… We will have to generate twice the 10^10 KWHr of energy each day, half to power the country and half to charge the batteries to prepare for the night.
      My sources estimate 50 WHrs per sq ft of array averaged over a day and a year and over the US. Let us assume 100 WHrs to account for advances. So .1KWhr per sq ft. We need 2 times 10^10KWhr to run the country and charge our battery farms for use during the night. So this is (2 times 10^10KWhr) / (.1KWhr/ft^2) of Solar PV area, or 20 times 10^10ft^2, or (20 * 10^10ft^2) / (27.5 * 10^6 ft^2 per mile^2), or about 10,000 sqare miles of array. If you divide this between the 50 states, this is 200 sq miles of arrays in each state. Or a 14 mile square array. Let’s assume 100 mile square array since we will have to space them out!! In each state. PLUS the 1000 sq miles of batteries! More like 1000 mile square array in CA, NY, TX, and maybe 10 mile square array in WY for example. CA is 164,000 sq miles. So about 1 % of the state’s area for batteries and arrays. HUH!!?? . Of course you can’t put these in Yosemite.

      So in reality we may be talking 5% of the area of the country for the solar arrays and wind towers!

      The advances in technology and the declining costs of all this will certainly improve in the future. But I think you can see how ridiculous the notion is that we could replace our current power infrastructure with solar/wind-using battery energy storage- anytime in the say, next 50 years? Where is the breakthrough in energy storage technology we need?

      Solar power generation has its place in niche markets across the world, as does wind. There are obvious advantages to solar in very specific applications. I have played with it at my house, but it is simply not yet cost effective. EVEN with the free money the government gives you to try to give this a head start it is very questionable.

      But the statement that we just need to convert to solar is ridiculous in the extreme.

    • My first brush with Climate was in the 70’s while I was getting my EE.
      I remember reading an article about the coming Ice Age. And being a starving student in Florida I thought, hey maybe this could save me some money on Air Conditioning.
      Unfortunately I discovered it was all just a cudgel to be used by misanthropes and nobody really had a clue what the climate was going to do.
      So I went back to my books and paying for Air Conditioning.

      But Hey, a lot of EE’s on this blog.

  7. It’s good that at last someone admits this fundamentally obvious conclusion to us pragmatic scientists & engineers, now someone needs to tell the new GND advocate AOC before she leads some of the sheep of humanity into a Energy Dead End. Not only are so called ‘renewables’ energy weak but they are also very environmentally damaging.

  8. Failed to mention nuclear waste. His highness governor cuomo in his pursuit to remove nuclear energy from the New York state energy portfolio fails to address the waste issue also. Cleaner, safer fossil fuels with mitigation supplemented by renewables and nuclear seem to get the job done.

    But I guess that doesnt fit neatly into the campaign message.

    • Actually, if Carter hadn’t killed the reprocessing program, we would have much less of a waste problem. Rods are not pulled because they are out of U235, they are pulled because of the daughter products that absorb neutrons better than U235 does kill the reaction. If those rods were reprocessed to remove the light isotopes, we would be left with a very small amount of usually short half-life highly radioactive waste and usable rods. Instead we have miles of storage ponds with a whole lot of U235 just sitting there unusable for power generation.

      Now if we can just get the BANANAs out of the process, we could reverse Carter’s misguided policies and be rational about the nuclear fuel cycle.

    • He also failed to mention that renewables create much more toxic waste per watt of capacity than nuke of FF generation.
      Plus the fact that no solar or wind device can produce enough power in its lifetime to reproduce itself.

    • Nuclear waste is the elephant in the room that most nuclear proponents don’t want to talk about. It’s an externality, an exorbitant cost, that the nuclear industry has surreptitiously passed along to tax payers in the forms of risk, spent fuel maintenance and future disposal. Nuclear waste is one of the major reasons many people don’t want nuclear. So until that issue is dealt with, I don’t see the status quo advancing.

      Nuclear technologies that can consume existing waste is the only sensible decision. Hopefully, Shellenberger’s next evolutionary step will be to oppose the status quo that generates so much waste and to promote gen 4 technology that burns existing waste. There’s already 176 million lbs of spent fuel in the US; we don’t need any more.

      I suspect that the major nuclear companies might resist a transition to waste-burning technologies because they make their money from locked-in clients who have to buy fuel from them.

      • Nuclear waste is a problem that was solved 50 years ago.
        That’s why there is no need to talk about it.
        There is no exorbitant cost.

        • 176 million lbs of spent fuel sitting in cooling ponds is not a solved problem. Potentially, it’s a real hazard.

          • Isn’t it strange that activists are so against storing waste in safe, manageable, well-planned (underground) storage sites, but hardly kick up a stink if waste is kept above ground in (temporary) storage ponds. I guess they’d lose their leverage if the underground storage system was demonstrated to be a well-founded and safe solution, so they won’t allow it.

          • Above ground is right – way above ground (at least at Fukushima). The spent fuel pools at Fukushima are about 100′ above ground. There was real concern about the reactor 4 building collapsing, or the pool cracking and losing water, after the building was damaged. It took them over 3.5 years to move its 1535 spent fuel rods to a safer place. There are still about 1500 rods (total) in pools atop damaged reactor buildings 1, 2 and 3. Not a good situation.

          • That’s been accumulated over many decades. The toxic wastes from mining rare earths and other materials for “renewables” are bigger in tonnage. If we actually used Yucca Mountain like it was designed to be used, most of the nuclear waste could be quarantined safely. Much could be re-processed into usable materials.

          • It’s solved, it’s just that NIMBY’s and other idiots won’t let us apply the solution.
            Reprocess the fuel and the problem is gone. Reprocessing is used in the rest of the world without any problems.

          • ” If we actually used Yucca Mountain like it was designed to be used, most of the nuclear waste could be quarantined safely.”

            I don’t think dumping it all off onto a state that doesn’t want isn’t a workable solution.

          • How long do you think it would take to reprocess 175 million lbs?

            A lot sooner if we started now than if we continue to sit on our hands for years to come.

      • Of that 176 million pounds, probably 175.99 million pounds should be reprocessed into new fuel. The light isotopes (known as neutron poisons) of the daughter nuclei don’t make up a lot of the rods, but they are the reason the rods are no longer useful in a reactor.

        The reason we don’t reprocess those rods is political. BANANA*s won’t let us construct the plants to do so. Of course the process will need to be continuously scrutinized and done way more openly than the traditional nuclear processing run by the DOE bomb makers. The secrecy is part of why people get so worried about nuclear technology.

        (* Most know this acronym, but for those who don’t it is the evolved form of NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard] and expands to Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.)

        • Those other isotopes decay away quite quickly. In 12 months, the vast majority of them are gone.

          • Not gone, just decayed to the zone of stability. The still will suck neutrons out of the reaction and make the rod unusable. Rods need to be ~80% U238 and ~20% U235 with other elements added to control and shape the reaction. Having a bunch of even non-radioactive light nuclei running around will still kill the reaction. Just because you could fairly safely handle it with your bare hands doesn’t mean it is reactor fuel.

            Most people don’t realize that Uranium typically has a very slow natural decay rate. Sitting on a pile of U238 isn’t too much of a problem, just don’t eat it or breath its dust as it is an alpha emitter when it does decay. Alphas are some of the most damaging because of their high mass, but a piece of paper or layer of dead skin cells can stop it. U 235 is ok if there isn’t an active neutron source around or you don’t exceed a certain concentration level. There is a mine in Africa that had such a rich U235 mix that it has evidence of a natural nuclear reactor pile in some seams, but most reactors need to introduce a neutron source to get the reactor started. Even nuclear bombs have to create an un-natural concentration with an external trigger to reach critical mass. In short, the nuclear fuel cycle is so misunderstood, and thanks to the secrecy of the DOE so mistrusted that fixing it is going to be politically difficult even if all fossil fuel plants were outlawed tomorrow. When one says nuclear, three quarters of the population thinks Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and eight in ten think Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukashima. There is a great deal of education to do, and secretive three letter government agencies are not the answer.

          • We’re talking about reprocessing here.
            Those isotopes are separated and stored. They aren’t put back into the new fuel rods.
            From what I remember reading. The rods are stored in a cooling pond for a few months to a year, to let the radioactivity drop to levels where the rods can be safely shipped. Then they are sent to a reprocessing plant. Uranium, plutonium, etc are separated out and used as fuel in new rods. The rest has to be stored until it can be disposed of. However what’s left has really short half lives so it doesn’t have to stored for long. Plus the total volume is quite small as well.

        • Secrecy and dishonesty and an inability to ‘discover’ the optimum solution.

          The problem is we are pushing a nuclear reactor design that is naturally unsafe. Rather than change designs to a fail safe, walk away safe reactor we have add 100,000 of regulations to try to make the unsafe design safe.

          The water cooled, fuel rod reactors have inherent natural flaws.

          The fuel rods melt down (in roughly 12 minutes) if water flow is too low, if water flow stops, if the water level is too low, if there is blockage in due to fuel rod failure, and on loss of pressure.

          Water reacts with the Zircon covering the 50,000 fuel rods to produce hydrogen which has caused explosions.

          Radiation causes the water to separate in hydrogen and oxygen which cause explosions.

          The no fuel rod, no water molten salt reactor has none of the fuel rod, water cooled reactor problems. It operates at near atmospheric pressure 30 psi compared to a PWR reactor of 150 atmosphere. The salt melts at 400C and boils at 1400C.

          The molten salt reactor has 1/3 the amount of uranium in it as a PWR for the same power output and is six times more fuel efficient and produced 1/9 the amount of long lived radioactive waste.

          In a PWR, roughly 1/3 of the 50,000 fuel rods must be replaced every second year.

          The molten salt reactors have no fuel rods to melt. There are no failure modes of the molten reactor scheme that could result in a catastrophic failure.

          The molten salt reactor produces heat at 600C as compared the PWR heat output of 320C which opens up most industrial heat applications (as large a market as electricity) and enables the use of standard super efficient steam turbines. It also enables the molten salt reactor to store energy as heat, very cheaply to load shift.

          The molten salt reactor can be mass produced and is roughly 1/9th cost of a PWR .

          The molten salt reactor is sealed, no flow into or out of the reactor vessel which enables it to have near zero chance of radioactive release.

          • Show me one (just one) of these molten salt nuclear reactors in commercial operation so that your claims can be verified to be true. Otherwise you are hyping vaporware.

            Don’t get me wrong, molten salt nuclear reactors sound good in theory. I hope to see them live up to the hype. But until they exist in reality, they don’t do anything you claim they do because *THEY DON’T EXIST*.

      • icisil,

        On the contrary, nuclear proponents have been discussing “waste” till they’re blue in the face. As Owen notes above, nuclear waste is a misnomer, as much of the usable energy in a pin remains unspent after it’s pulled from the core. The process of re-processing is not unknown, and remains entirely technically feasible for the entire industry. The intermediate storage of spent fuel is a temporary solution that we use until such time as the politics (and to be fair, the economics) change. (I’m not sure how economically feasible re-processing is today with the abundance of cheap natural gas.)

        Finally, with regards to your comment about the major nuclear companies, I have to be honest, this is…just…silly. Just absurd, really. And it reflects, literally, no understanding of how this industry works. Everyone in the nuclear industry looks forward to the day we use a technology that can harness all of the potential energy locked up in U235. And the beauty for this industry is, once all the usable U235 is fissioned, some hundreds to thousands of years in the future, we can switch to a poorer, yet still wildly abundant, fuel like thorium, and just keep on going. So to suggest that the nuclear providers would resist the very thing that keeps them viable into the future is terribly misinformed.

        Regards,

        rip

        • “Everyone in the nuclear industry looks forward to the day we use a technology that can harness all of the potential energy locked up in U235.”

          Supposedly the technology exists. Is the nuclear industry actively pushing gen 4 technologies?

          • Absolutely.

            But there’s a huge gap between experimental understanding of the physics, and industrial-ready application. And the difficulty is compounded further by the legalities of building experimental designs. Essentially, the industry requires the DOE to live up to its charter and push the technology forward. Unfortunately, although DOE is engaged in all sorts of R&D in this field, they don’t appear to have a clear direction. So, we push and we push. But it’s like pushing on a rope.

          • I have to step in to the mess of ignorance on display.

            Nuclear operators build the cheapest. Uranium is cheaper the reprocessed fuel rods.

            One pass reactors are cheaper than fast breeders.

            stacking old fuel rods in ponds is cheaper than arguing with greens.

            emotional narratives and politics contrive to make nuclear power way more expensive and indeed ultimately dangerous than it needs to be.

            stacking fuel rods in ponds is not a long term safe strategy,but its the only option the ecoloons will allow.

      • no, it isn’t. nuclear waste is a perfectly simple engineering problem.

        The elephant in the room is FEAR of nuckear waste engendered by contrary business interests.
        FEAR of radiation trebles the cost of nuclear power,#
        FEAR of climate change sells windmills.

  9. Lawrence Solomon is an interesting guy. He’s an environmentalist, he’s a CAGW skeptic, he’s anti-nuclear. He makes the point that nuclear isn’t a panacea. He shows that the economics are brutal, but his most interesting point is that nuclear suffers a similar problem to renewables. Nuclear demands a constant load. So, like renewables, it isn’t dispatchable. If more than a certain portion of your grid is nuclear (or renewable) you have a problem. link

    Having said the above, I have a great deal more hope for advancements in nuclear technology than I do for renewables. Currently there are many molten salt projects in the world. Here’s an interesting paper on the economics of different reactor technologies. If the technologies pan out, they would solve all the problems of current nuclear technology, especially cost.

    On the other hand … over the years I have followed many interesting new technologies. Typically, they make it past the pilot plant stage and then fail on economic grounds. So … buyer beware, or something like that.

    • Not dispatchable? Can you explain to me how a nuclear submarine can go from dockside to full power then go back to dockside?

      It would seem that it is a design question. Clearly someone did it, 70 years ago.

      • Absolutely spot on.
        Previous Nuclear Power Plants were designed to provide Base Load, because the whole world was run on Baseload and not airy fairy Non Dispatchable Widelt Dispersed Renewables.
        If you still want to design Nuclear for Baseload only then you do Exactly the same as Wind & Solar, just throw away the excess or sell it off very cheap if their is another market.

      • I was a nuclear operator on a fast attack submarine. We slammed that reactor around, hard. The reactor design used by the Navy is not the same design as one for nice steady commercial power, but it can be done safely.

    • Of course you can’t have 100% nuclear. But the problem is one of scale.
      With wind power, you get load balancing issues with your very first wind farm. Things go downhill from there. The limit is how much instability you can tolerate.
      With nukes, a grid will have no problem with 50%+ baseload. A lot of generation/usage charts I have seen seem to show that up to 70% baseload would be fine. It is worth noting that lots of coal fired plants are configured for baseload, so there is plenty of room for growth.
      In short, providing baseload and “intermittent” (read as random) are to wholly different things.

      @EdB:
      Nuke subs use a reactor fueled with HEU, High Enriched Uranium, typically 90% U235, which is weapons grade. Commercial reactors use LEU, or Low Enriched Uranium, 10%-20% U235.
      I think if you proposed a commercial reactor which uses HEU fuel, people would well and truly freak out. Be mindful that a propulsion reactor is vastly smaller than a commercial reactor. This alone makes thermal management of the reactor much easier.

    • Technically, no major power plant is “dispatchable”. That is, they all run their most efficient flat out, all the time.

    • “He shows that the economics are brutal, but his most interesting point is that nuclear suffers a similar problem to renewables. Nuclear demands a constant load. So, like renewables, it isn’t dispatchable.”

      Nuclear may not be easily adjusted in terms of ramping the power output up and down, but the idea that it “shares the problem” with renewables of being “non-dispatchable” is a JOKE.

      Nuclear power plants can produce FULL output, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Show me a windmill or solar panel that can do THAT.

      • Show me a coal fired power plant that is “dispatch-able”. Even though gas fired plants can be ramped up and down faster than a coal plant can, it still can’t respond instantly.

        • Show me a coal fired power plant that is “dispatch-able”.

          All of them are dispatchable. Never been on a steam train?

          a boiler full of steam is an an energy store that can be tapped in real time to provide very fast response.

          It is nor very EFFICIENT to run that way, which is why gas tends to take over for fast dispatch.

    • 1/. nuclear is and always has been dispatchable.
      2/. the ECONOMICS of nuclear dictate that it costs the same to run whether or not its running at part throttle or flat out.
      3/. Therefore the opportunity cost of nuclear power is very very low,so it will sell at whatever prices the market has to offer – which means it becomes baseload.
      4/. In so doing it displaces coal and gas whose fuel costs are a large proportion of the cost base.

  10. It looks like all along some did in fact think in terms of energy density. Better would be flux density, the rate of energy flow.
    There is a direct link betweent relative potential population density and energy flux density, per capita, per hectare of any physical economy over all known history. Notice – NOT with money.

    That is why the GND is the Green New Death, lowering deliberately the relative potential population density of a society’s physical economy. Of course some who never think scientifically cannot imagine how a simple maths calculation would kill literally billions today. Some with scientific background do know very well – look at Dr. Schellnhuber’s decarbonized optimal 1 billion. Such think they can get away with Prince Philip’s imperative with obfuscation, until some complete bungler blurts the entire scam out on twitter telling followers to avoid having children!
    Talk about blowback!

  11. ” “People don’t remember President Obama,…

    Who is this “Obama” he speaks of?
    I don’t remember this guy. Did he leave behind some legacy worth remembering?

    /s

    • I think he was referring to a guy named Barry Soetoro, who apparently came to the US under a foreign student visa.

    • Isn’t it the name of some big asteroid that passed through our solar system quietly? 😀 … /s

      • Wasn’t he the kid nobody liked, the big mouth BS artist, who showed up from nowhere and invited himself to a party? He made a helluva mess and then, when time for cleanup came, he left town but not until he had sneaked all the money out of the other kids’ wallets. Said he fundamentally transformed the party house, but the owner says he simply trashed it. We’re still cleaning up his mess.

  12. I have had to, as a professional engineer, figure out how to get electricity and fuel, to remote places a number of times in my career. To places where there were going to be a couple of hundred people in construction camps, followed by a dozen people in semi permanent residence, also power where there were no people, only instruments transmitting data to satellites. So Photovoltaic cells and batteries work well enough for remote instruments, but are too expensive per kilowatt hour to run any human inhabited site. Diesel gen is required as a minimum. Or a long line to grid power if it has a payout, economics really being the cost of human sweat to get the job done. Windmills never work out. Any weather dependent power never gets past economic analysis, after which it wouldn’t get past safety committee. Any of the GND people need to go through this exercise, where some people are actually not going to survive if you don’t do it right.

  13. Yes, it’s good he’s finally seen the sun, uh, light, but that conclusion could have been reached by answering just two questions: what is the maximum number of watts of power per square meter of ground that is received from the sun? How many watts does a city use? IIRC, Hong Kong would require a solar farm footprint three times the size of the city, assuming 100% efficiency and no transmission losses. A rational person would say, ok, what else can we try?

    But even after explaining that, there are those who respond with, “ But with improvements in technology…” That is what we are up against, the AO-Cs of the world. They have been taught that Peter Pan represents reality; you can fly if we want to, you just have to believe in the magic of fairy dust. Really, truly believe.

  14. It makes sense that brighter lights with integrity will be leaving the craziness. Schellenberger has shown that logical argument can convince him, a trait that is apparently rare. Can he be convinced that the idea of Catastrophic AGW is in advance stages of being falsified?

    I’ve noted that the very appropriate, and once touted word “catastrophic” is causing many proponents to cringe and protest against sceptics holding it up in their faces. Yet, they still insist if we don’t “act” the world will be in a terrible state with mass extinction, mass death by heat prostration, ever more intensive floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, crop failures, pestilence and diseases, that is, something… errrr… catastrophic. They challenge evermore sheepishly that it’s Climate Change, that global warming causes record freezing cold and snow, too.

    Its so painful a term, that first it was recently touted in Wiki as a sceptic’s rhetorical ‘snarl’. But they even deep-sixed this and created a new organization with a literature, chapters and meetings called “Citizens Against Government Waste – CAGW”. I kid you not!! This has all come about because of the failure of all “projections” re sealevel, end of Arctic ice, Antarctic ice sheet collapse, warming that turned out to be 300% over hyped followed by a two decade Dreaded Pause, greening of the planet, etc. No, most of them (those that aren’t pushing for a totaliste nouveau marxisme, that is ) are already convinced. The angst about the C-word is a pokerplayer’s tell.

  15. UK grid – 33% renewable and rising
    German grid – 38% renewable and rising
    Spanish grid – 40% renewable and rising

    No blackouts.

    • I believe those are also the stats for energy poverty in those failing systems. Plot them up and have a look. It’s one of those “The operation was a success but the patient died” sort of things. The ghosts of the dead birds are coming home to roost with the discovery that the life of these machines turns out to be half what they projected and if the warming “projected” in the 1980s for the New Millennium (300% to hot followed by a 2-decade Pause) is indicative, half the life might be wishful thinking.

    • What do you mean: UK Grid 33% renewable? What is the 33% as a value? Do offer some context.

      • The UK Grid reached 33% for a few seconds, once during the year. According to griff, that’s proof that the grid can run at 33% full time forever.

    • Where are you getting your numbers griff? According to energy-uk.org renewables currently make up over 20% of UK electricity and are projected to be at 30% in 2020 (and that’s including well established hydro power as well as biomass. be curious to see what the actual breakdown is for wind and solar, I suspect it’s not as much as griff would like everyone to think it is)

    • One constant with griff, no matter how many times his errors are pointed out, he still insists on using bad data.

      1) In griff’s world, whatever the highest 1 second number that’s reached at any point during the year, is treated as if the grid were at that number full time for the whole year.
      2) Germany and Spain are connected to the European grid, which stabilizes them.

      • One constant with griff, no matter how many times his errors are pointed out, he still insists on using bad data.

        Indeed. I love it when he posts links, invariably those links don’t say what he claims they say (such as when he posted a link to a trial program that was still in the building the equipment stage as being “in operation” and “part of the grid”. That was a hoot).

    • according to gridwatch.co.uk last year renewables fluctuated from
      minimum:5.34%(2 GW)
      maximum:48.21%(14.73 GW)
      average:27.13%(8.15 GW)

      When renewables are at their lowest output (5.34% last year in the UK) you need something else (such as fossil fuels) to make up the slack.

      • When the grid is at the max (48%) about half that power is not only being shipped to other countries, they are paying the other countries to take it.

        • MarkW – yep. Germany is a prime example of that (even though I don’t know what their absolute maximum is, it always seems that their renewable plants produce their electricity at times when it isn’t much needed. It’s like none of the real fanatic renewable folks (read, German politicians) don’t seem to understand the concepts of peak capacity and peak demand.

          • Exactly. When Wind and/or solar are at their peak for you, they’re likely also at their peak for most all of your neighbors. As such, if you have excess they likely also have excess – meaning nobody needs your excess – you literally can’t give it away for free (hence paying others to take it from you). However, at the opposite end of the scale, when wind and solar aren’t producing for you, they’re also likely not producing for most all of your neighbors. As such everyone is looking to make up their shortfalls at the same time, so importing energy at those time is very expensive.

            And, as you have no control over when the sun shine and when the wind blows, you can’t schedule the peaks of energy output to coincide with peaks of demand. So when peak demand coincides with a period of no sun/no wind you will be paying high prices for a large amount of energy where as when peak output coincides with low demands you will be paying others to take large amounts of excess energy. a lose-lose situation for the ratepayers.

            Intermittent, unreliable power is not a wise use of resources.

      • And keep in mind that at the minimum of 5.34% last year there was pretty much no wind blowing and no sun shining (mainly only hydro and biomass producing renewable energy). And such a wide swing in energy production (5.34% to 48.21%) doesn’t bode well. The more wind and solar your grid relies on (as you say “and growing” as percentage of the grid) that swing will only get wider. You can’t sustain an energy grid long term on such wide swings in energy production. Healthy grids require stable, reliable energy. Wind and solar simply aren’t any of those things.

    • It’s about to get real ugly in Spain as the subsidies are about to end and power users will find that they can’t afford to pay the bill.
      They have financed their windfarm folly with large amounts of debt.

    • It the leftists mind, costs don’t matter, but they do matter because eventually they have to be paid.

    • Dear old griff. Crawl back under your bridge there’s a dear.
      UK grid 60% gas. For good reasons.

      German grid.electricity 3x price of nuclear france. Also highest CO2 emission in Europe by MWH due to balancing with COAL dispatchable plant

      large part of UK ‘renewables’ is not wind or solar. Its Drax, burning fresh cut American wood.

      a significant part is electricity the renewable industry claims is generated that doesnt actually appear on any meters.

    • Another complete pile of camel manure from Griff.
      I notice this post does not cite FRANCE.

      I wonder why.

      The UK grid DOES NOT provide renewable based power when the UK has BAD weather.
      Cold winter nights, and anticylone conditions where energy demands are right off the end of the scale…they import the stuff eg. from France’s nuclear power base across the channel to cover the short fall.

      They also import wood pellets from right across the atlantic using fossil fuelled boats to get it to the UK, instead of using coal from literally 5 miles aways – but who cares eh?

      The same is true for Germany which has long cold winter still wind foggy conditions for 3 months a year, so they also buy off France when they have high demand, or ask other countries to store what excess they can’t (at very high cost), and then buy it back at a premium!

      It’s usual for his disinformation to highlight “33% of what” for how many milliseconds a month averaged out over a year!

      The fact is when those living in the freezing northern upper hemisphere for those 4 months of extreme weather between equinoxes want warmth, the demand is met by fossil fuels and some nuclear.
      The drama is, “renewables” are supplied in qty at precisely the times we need them least, ie.-when demand is lowest, in hot sultry summer months and when the wind blows most around the (warmer, iceless) equinox seasons.

      Trying to prove it’s anything different means you should try “DO IT YOURSELF!”, see how you get on on your remote farm in the Eifel mountains.

  16. The energy density (or lack thereof) of wind and solar is indeed a big issue. Several years ago I noticed something that really illustrated this deficiency very well. There was a big old oak tree in my front yard that had died and had to be cut down. Once it was cut down and turned into firewood (when I lived in that house I mostly heated with wood and used oil as a backup) I sat down on the stump on a nice sunny spring day and decided to count the rings. I determined that the tree was about 106 years old, give or take a couple of years. It was then that I noted that this one tree had provided the energy to heat my 1800 sq ft 3 bedroom split level home for the past winter. But I also noted that the tree, nature’s perfect solar energy collector (considering plants have been turning sunlight into energy for far longer than humans have), had taken 106 summers to do it! It took over 100 years for that one tree to collect enough energy from the sun to heat my modest home for just a single winter!
    And to compare, about 600 gallons of fuel oil will heat that house for the entire winter as well. Verses 4-5 cords of wood (also not considering that I had to stack, store and lug the wood into the house to feed the stove – all of my own energy needed to make it work).
    It seems wind and solar sound so magical to some people, but it is too bad so many of these people don’t see how really inefficient they are!

    • I followed your link. You said “criticism is weak and ad hominem”. That does not even begin to cover it.
      One thing that jumped out at me was the authors’ vigorous defense of something known as the LNT, or Linear No Threshold model of harm from exposure. Further, the author attacks Mr. Schellenberger for opposing the LNT model.
      Bluntly: The LNT model is absolute garbage. It is the regulators’ dream, it allows anything to be regulated to infinity. This is the “No Threshold” part. In short, according to the model, there is no safe limit of exposure to anything. Absolute nonsense!
      The EPA came up with the LNT model for their own nefarious uses. Defending themselves from criticism, EPA claimed that the original research paper which announced the LNT model was the most widely cited paper in the history of medicine.
      TRUE! What EPA did not say was that virtually all those citing papers were extremely critical of the LNT model. This makes that paper the most criticized in all of medicine.

      The LNT model and radiation:
      The LNT model tells us that there is no safe level. But we know just the opposite! Small doses of radiation are not only harmless but actually beneficial. The phenomena is known as “Radiation Hormesis”, and has been studied to death. Although often called a hypothesis, it is generally well accepted in the medical community.
      In any event, dose response curves often demonstrate bio-positive regions, bio-negative regions, and thresholds, below which there is no effect. The LNT model throws all that right out the window.

      One can wonder about the authors’ support for such a bogus model, which has as its’ claim to fame, giving the ability to regulate to infinity. After this one, the author lost *all* credibility with me.

  17. Nuclear demands a constant load. So, like renewables, it isn’t dispatchable.
    ===========
    Think of your car. What happens when you start the car in the morning and immediately race away at full throttle. You are likely to shorten the life of the engine.

    You can minimize this problem by leaving your car running 24 hours a day at idle, but that introduces other problems.

  18. Doh. Anyone with engineering or math 101 could easily come to the same conclusion. And they did, decades ago. Now a high profile warmista makes the same statements and people listen? I’ll take a win anytime.

  19. Nuclear waste disposal for the USA was solved about 50 years ago. It has not been implemented because of regional politics.

  20. Nuclear is no panacea, or at least not yet, but he’s correct that it has been denigrated for the wrong reasons, and we could almost certainly do more with it than we currently do, though I believe financing them is one of the biggest hurdles. The truth is, we are going to need fossil fuels, including coal for quite some time yet. It would make more sense, in the short term anyway to get some nice new, efficient coal plants up and running. We certainly don’t need expensive and unreliable renoobles, so any in the works should be shut down.

    • the problem is that nuclear IS a panacea. Implemented to similar leaves of safety to coal gas or oil, the low cost would drive coal gas and oil not only out of the electricity generating sector, but also out of space heating and many other areas that do not currently use electricity.

      guess why its been painted so black…and surrounded by legislation that has tripled the cost…

  21. Advocacy can with government power until it can’t in the unintended consequences later.

  22. Oops. better finish my 5KW solar array soon before the next wave of woke SJWs make them illegal too.

  23. Save the planet? Planet is safe already. And mankind if safe if we avoid climate policies like big governments and confiscatory taxation.

  24. Energy density, is correctly identified as a major issue. The other is capital , it is simply not possible to beat gas turbine efficiency, they are cheap, reliable, scalable, and the least Capital intensive. Anyone who can run a spreadsheet can figure this out. It boils down to cost per KWH. The Danes have been using wind for electrical generation since the eighties, that northern peninsula is always windy in the same direction and there are no trees. There it actually works.

  25. Its a step in the right direction. . Now there was a mention about the role of media. Do we consider that the reporters and journalists are all working to destroy the economy so that Communism Mark two can be accepted, or is it simply a case of big empty sheets or empty air time has to be filled with something, and scare stories sell .

    MJE

  26. “7 million die from the smoke of burning fossil fuels”

    Steve Milloy says that’s false.

    • Technically, Steve Milloy would be correct. The WHO (world Health Organization. Not the music group) 7 million number is for those who die prematurely each year from microscopic pollutants in the air (not necessarily all from fossil fuel smoke specifically). This is primarily attributed to fossil fuel (primarily does not mean exclusively)

      According to the WHO, The primary sources of ambient or outdoor air pollution include industrial and motor vehicle emissions and household heating. The major sources of household or indoor pollution are the burning of fossil fuels, such as solid fuels in open fire cooking stoves, as well as second-hand smoke from tobacco products.

  27. What drives WUWT bloggers to volunteer their opinions about nuclear? There are plenty of ‘experts’ whose full-time jobs involve understanding nuclear several planes of understanding above the average blogger.
    Nuclear technical issues are so we’ll understood that they are not a problem. The biggest problem is the multitudes of ill-informed, opinionated, self-described experts like Shellenberger who have nothing of value to contribute, just more words and more opinions. We are awash with these. They have little capacity for positive value, much capacity for harm.
    Instead of blogging badly informed opinion, you should study the wealth of technical literature to assure yourselves that there are no real problems for nuclear to be expanded. France has demonstrated many answers about national penetration and they are really positive for those bloggers whose minds are still open and not poisoned by decades of strong propaganda from the uneducated. Geoff

    • What drives nuclear reactor builders to describe the tech they use in the way they do? Well, exactly the same thing that drives renewables consortia to describe wind turbines the way they do: Money. Nobody ever got rich by pointing out the flaws in their products.

      Anyone who cares to study nuclear engineering will soon realize that existing plant has two major safety issues. Interestingly, neither are nuclear in nature. They are the use of a pressurized, volatile coolant, and the use of camera flashbulb metal (!) as fuel rod cladding. The reason the manufacturers don’t want to change from these designs is not because they cannot, but because the designs have become entrenched in their way of thinking and working.

      The same kind of problem exists in the IT industry, where the parlous state of software security stems overwhelmingly from the insistence on the use of just two products, C and SQL. Again, these products have become so heavily entrenched in programmers’ mindset and way of working that ousting them is incredibly difficult. Ask a programmer if these are bad products from a security perspective, and the answer will be a resounding no. You may even get an angry response, much the same as if you criticized wind turbines to a Green. Yet, the truth is they are bad products. What’s more, you don’t even need to be an expert programmer to figure this out.

      In either case, asking a professional working in the industry is not likely to get you a meaningful answer. To get at the truth you need to ask someone who has no vested interests.

      Bloggers and the like may or may not be knowledgeable, but they are more likely to to present an unbiased version of the facts, one which is not a product of entrenched ways of thinking.

      • Ian Mac,
        What a lousy response you wrote.
        The name of the game is not to satisfy your uneducated thirst for knowledge of more dirty nuclear cover-ups.
        The name of the game is encouragement of the key nuclear expert professionals to better produce the goods that are demanded by the vast majority of consumers of energy.
        The test is not from public opinion polls. It is from the adverse reaction that society would face if suddenly deprived of electricity, an essential good in modern society. Why fight against it?
        Geoff

    • for someone railing so hard against “ill-informed” you are showing yourself to be rather ill-informed, Geoff.

      What drives WUWT bloggers to volunteer their opinions about nuclear? … The biggest problem is the multitudes of ill-informed, opinionated, self-described experts like Shellenberger who have nothing of value to contribute, just more words and more opinions

      Shellenberger is not a WUWT blogger. His opinion was given on Fox News to host Tucker Carlson which was then quoted by an article written by Jason Hopkins. Hopkins is also not a WUWT blogger, he writes for the daily wire. The daily wire article was reposted here at WUWT by Charles the moderator. Charles, by posting the article, would be considered a WUWT blogger but did not offer any opinion about nuclear or what Shellenberger or Hopkins had to say on the subject.

      • Nowhere did I infer Shellenberger to be a WUWT blogger.
        Why did you make that up?
        Fake blogging? Geoff

        • You said “What drives WUWT bloggers to volunteer their opinions about nuclear?” the only opinion being volunteered by the blog post that you were replying to is that of Shellenberger. So yes, you did infer Shellenberger to be a WUWT blogger by your own opening statement of your rant. Run away from your own words all you want, but *that* is what you did.

  28. The precautionary principle says we should abandon power entirely, just, you know, to be on the safe side…

  29. America needs to produce a lot of energy if we are going to be able to continue to live the lifestyles we are accustomed to. This AOC Green New Deal is STUPID.
    America has over 500 years of coal in the ground With CCU https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo coal can be combusted and put into the atmosphere less CO2 than a natural gas power plant.
    Natural gas needs to be consumed for building space heating and by industry http://www.SidelSystems.com efficiently. Increased energy efficiency = Reduced CO2 emissions
    Our oil needs to be used for transportation. ( cant catch CO2 coming out of a tailpipe )

  30. Promotors of reusable energy make the mistake (intentional or not) of not accounting for all of the energy consumed. Instead they typically account for only energy directly used to make and install the components. They don’t account for the energy directly and indirectly consumed by the builders, administrators, maintenance workers, and support personnel to maintain their lifestyle. What part of the energy consumed by the clerk at the grocery store used by each employee should be included, etc.? Essentially everything has an energy cost. The earth does not charge.

    Accounting for ALL of the energy involved is essentially impossible, certainly impractical. Instead, the energy cost is easily and accurately accounted for by a proxy which is the dollar cost. Dollar cost is readily available. Example for a 5 mW installation:
    Installed cost @ $1.61E6/mW = $8.05E6
    Operation & maintenance for 20 years @ $210,000/yr = $4.2E6
    Total cost = $12.2E6

    Output:
    5 mW wind turbine, avg output 1/3 nameplate, 20 yr life, electricity @ wholesale 3 cents per kwh produces $8.8E6.

    Add the cost of energy storage facility and energy availability loss during storage/retrieval, or initial and maintenance cost of standby CCGT for low wind periods.

    Solar voltaic and solar thermal are even worse with special concern for disposal and/or recycling at end-of-life (about 15 yr for PV).

    Without the energy provided by other sources, renewables cannot exist.

  31. I think Shellenberger deerves a lot of credit. He isn’t the only one blinded by the idealistic hope for renewables. But he is one of only a few honest enough to admit they were wrong and take a strong public stance against renewables and for nuclear.

    He provides a strong argument in favor of nuclear in this TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciStnd9Y2ak

    And it is those on the left who have seen the light who are most likely to be listened to by the still true-believers on the left.

    • It would be hard to escape from the limited mind that permitted approval of green propaganda from an early age. So why the hero worship for one not so bright? Similar USA public mental deficiency that lionises dumbasses like AOC and numerous air head Home plywood (spell checker for Hollywood) celebs.
      Geoff

Comments are closed.