By Tim Benson

June 2019 analysis from Scottish consulting firm Wood Mackenzie estimates the cost of transitioning the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, as recommended by the “Green New Deal” and other overzealous climate change plans, would cost at least $4.5 trillion over that time period.

“For any country to embrace a nationwide transition to 100 percent renewable energy … or zero carbon … emissions constitutes a massive disruption with far-flung economic and social repercussions,” the analysis states. In the United States, that means a $35,000 cost to each household, around $1,750 per year for 20 years.

“The total price of transition,” the analysis states, “includes everything needed to reliably produce and deliver clean energy to consumers. This price includes building and operating generation facilities, making capacity payments, investing in transmission and distribution infrastructure, delivering customer-facing grid edge technology and more.”

This is not the first analysis to show the high cost of radical plans to decarbonize the economy in a single generation. The American Action Forum estimates the costs of moving the entire country to 100 percent renewable sources would be $5.7 trillion, or $42,000 per household. A 2019 brief from the Institute for Energy Research estimates getting to 100 percent renewable generation is “nothing more than a myth,” and attempting to do so would be an economic “catastrophe” for the United States.

As James Taylor of The Heartland Institute notes in a recent Policy Brief, “Building the wind turbines and solar facilities needed to power the United States under the provisions of the Green New Deal [or any other decarbonization plan] would result in the destruction of tens of millions of acres of habitat for countless species across the country, including some endangered species.” To replace one conventional natural gas or coal plant with a wind farm capable of generating similar capacity requires approximately 300 square miles of land. Taylor notes replacing every conventional power plant in the United States with wind and solar facilities would require an amount of land about the size of California.

Unfortunately, several states are adopting renewable energy mandates (REMs) of 100 percent. These include California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and the District of Columbia. Twenty-three other states have passed REMs, also known as renewable portfolio standards, of a smaller scale. However, even these smaller plans are extremely costly to electricity consumers.

2019 working paper from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago showed REMs are dramatically increasing retail electricity prices and are a very expensive way to try to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. According to the study, seven years after REMs are enacted, renewables’ share of electricity generation increases by only 1.8 percent. The authors also found REMs raise retail electricity prices by 11 percent. After 12 years and a 4.2 percent increase in renewables’ share of generation, these prices rise by 17 percent. Altogether, the total extra electricity costs of REMs to consumers in the states that have enacted an REM are $125.2 billion.

The study also reveals reducing carbon dioxide emissions through an REM costs $130 – $460 per ton of carbon dioxide abated. These increased costs are, at the low end, almost three times higher than the social cost of carbon estimated by the Interagency Working Group set up by the Obama administration, which is roughly $46 per ton for 2020. It should be noted that whether there is a “social cost” to carbon dioxide emissions at all is debatable.

In just 12 states, the total net cost of renewable mandates was $5.76 billion in 2016 and will rise to $8.8 billion in 2030, a 2016 study revealed. A 2014 study by the left-leaning Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices 50 percent and replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs.

Unsurprisingly, in states with REMs, energy rates are rising twice as fast as the national average and states with renewable mandates had electricity prices 26 percent higher than those without. The 29 states with renewable energy mandates (plus the District of Columbia) had average retail electricity prices of 11.93 cents per kilowatt hour (cents/kWh), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. On the other hand, the 21 states without renewable mandates had average retail electricity prices of just 9.38 cents/kWh.

Renewable energy mandates force expensive, heavily subsidized, and politically favored electricity sources such as wind and solar on ratepayers and taxpayers while providing few, if any, net environmental benefits. State legislators should not mandate the use of renewable sources in electricity generation. Such mandates raise energy costs and disproportionally harm low-income families. Instead of trying to increase renewable mandates, legislators should repeal them.

The following documents provide more information on renewable energy mandates and fossil fuels.

Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?
This working paper from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago finds that average retail electricity prices in states after the passage of a renewable energy mandate are 11 percent higher after seven years and 17 percent higher after a dozen years, even though the increase in renewable electricity generation is a minimal 1-4 percent.

The 100 Percent Renewable Energy Myth
This Policy Brief from the Institute for Energy Research argues that a countrywide 100 percent renewable plan would put the U.S. economy in jeopardy. The brief investigates the intermittency, land requirements, capacity factors, and cost of transition and construction materials that limit the ability of the U.S. to adapt to 100 percent renewable energy.

Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Renewable Portfolio Standards
This paper by Timothy J. Considine, a distinguished professor of energy economics at the School of Energy Resources and the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Wyoming, examines the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) of 12 different states and concludes while RPS investments stimulate economic activity, the negative economic impacts associated with higher electricity prices offset the claimed economic advantages of these RPS investments.

Policy Brief: The Green New Deal: A Grave Threat to the American Economy, Environment, and Freedom
The Heartland Policy Brief argues the Green New Deal is a dangerous combination of environmental extremism and socialism. The tremendously expensive proposal would devastate the U.S. economy and cause more environmental destruction than protection. The provisions of the Green New Deal pose a dangerous threat to the American values of individual freedom and limited government. 

Legislating Energy Poverty: A Case Study of How California’s and New York’s Climate Change Policies Are Increasing Energy Costs and Hurting the Economy
This analysis from Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute shows the big government approach to fighting climate change taken by California and New York hits working class and minority communities the hardest. The paper reviews the impact of global warming policies adopted in California and New York, such as unrealistic renewable energy goals, strict low carbon fuel standards, and costly subsidies for buying higher-priced electric cars and installing solar panels. The report’s authors found that collectively these expensive and burdensome policies are dramatically increasing the energy burdens of their respective state residents.

The U.S. Leads the World in Clean Air: The Case for Environmental Optimism
This paper from the Texas Public Policy Foundation examines how the United States achieved robust economic growth while dramatically reducing emissions of air pollutants. The paper states that these achievements should be celebrated as a public policy success story, but instead the prevailing narrative among political and environmental leaders is one of environmental decline that can only be reversed with a more stringent regulatory approach. The paper urges for the data to be considered and applied to the narrative.

The Social Benefits of Fossil Fuels
This Heartland Policy Brief by Joseph Bast and Peter Ferrara documents the many benefits from the historic and still ongoing use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are lifting billions of people out of poverty, reducing all the negative effects of poverty on human health, and vastly improving human well-being and safety by powering labor-saving and life-protecting technologies, such as air conditioning, modern medicine, and cars and trucks. They are dramatically increasing the quantity of food humans produce and improving the reliability of the food supply, directly benefiting human health. Further, fossil fuel emissions are possibly contributing to a “Greening of the Earth,” benefiting all the plants and wildlife on the planet.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels – Summary for Policymakers—summary-for-policymakers
In this fifth volume of the Climate Change Reconsidered series, 117 scientists, economists, and other experts assess the costs and benefits of the use of fossil fuels by reviewing scientific and economic literature on organic chemistry, climate science, public health, economic history, human security, and theoretical studies based on integrated assessment models and cost-benefit analysis.

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Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 12:14 pm

The cost of doing something impossible, of 100% reliance on wind and solar, is purely academic. This is the estimates of trying, not succeeding.

Lee L
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 1:39 pm

Depends on what you think your are succeeding at.

How much of that 4.5 trillion would be transferred to the fossil driven miners, smelters, transporters and manufacturers of the turbines and solar panels?
( Read CHINA/INDIA here). To some that would be a huge success. I don’t believe the USA or the global populace would benefit from transferring a few tril over to Xi’s empire although the South China sea might get a few new aircraft carriers out of it.(Chinese made of course).

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 2:48 pm

Spot on. With the current technologies no amount of money is able transition our 24/7 industrialized economy/civilization to 100% renewables.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 4:02 pm

How much concrete (CO2) would be needed to build all of that ‘green’ infrastructure?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Robertvd
July 9, 2019 4:28 pm

You’re on the right track, Robertvd. Additionally, after you have gone on a “war footing” and replaced all the energy infrastructure on a crash timescale, what are you going to do with all the demobilized workers?

This brings another thought: Where do you get all the skilled and semi-skilled workers so fast? We are basically at full employment right now.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 4:10 pm

If it can’t make energy cheaper and more abundant it will be an economic disaster. Human society only progressed making energy cheaper and more abundant.

Reply to  Robertvd
July 9, 2019 9:42 pm

You miss the alternative you reduce the population … guess which way this whole idea is aimed at.

Clive Timbrell
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 10, 2019 7:16 am

America spends over $20bn per year on fossil fuel subsidies.

Try using some of that.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Clive Timbrell
July 10, 2019 9:02 am

From where are you getting the 20 Billion in “subsidies”? Unless one creates an artificial “Social Cost of Carbon”, and then declare the fossil fuel industry is receiving a subsidy because they are not paying your imaginary cost, fossil fuel companies are net taxpayers.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 10, 2019 9:21 am

Clive Timbrell suffers from a misapprehension common among Leftists and Environmentalists, who are unable to distinguish tax deductions of the costs of doing business from actual subsidies.

Eamon Butler
Reply to  Clive Timbrell
July 11, 2019 2:48 am

Even if you were correct with your assertion, subsidising something that is fit for purpose as against subsidising something that’s entirely useless and unnecessary, is your dilemma. Subsidies to the Fossil fuels, contribute to lowering costs to the consumer. Subsidies to the turbines and panels go straight to the producers.

Reply to  Eamon Butler
July 17, 2019 11:52 am

wind and solar are the lowest cost energy production worldwide

— don’t believe me – believe FORBES

“Onshore wind power and solar – without subsidies – are now the cheapest source of new bulk power in every major economy in the world apart from Japan, a new report says.”

or the US EIA

(table 1 levelized cost including subsidies — solar pv and wind are cheapest)

Or the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Weylan McAnally
Reply to  Clive Timbrell
July 11, 2019 11:27 am

Even though there are no subsidies for fossil fuels, let us assume that your $20 billion in subsidies is accurate. The total estimated cost of this imaginary transition is $4.5 trillion. That is 4500 Billion. That paltry $20 billion over 11 years (2030) is only $220 billion. Only 4280 billion to go.

Oh, and there would still need to be power generated by fossil fuels to build, maintain and backup this fantasy infrastructure.

Reply to  Weylan McAnally
July 11, 2019 11:33 am

And, all for the mirage of CO2 Global Warming >>> Climate Change >>> Whatever name they call it next year.

Dave Fair
July 9, 2019 12:17 pm

States surrounding the “100%ers” should encourage them. Surrounding states can sell large hydro, FF and nuclear generation to the “100%ers” at huge profit margins!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 10, 2019 4:19 am

I think I would open up a gun and ammo shop.
Once people start starving and freezing to death, demand will be high.

John the Econ
July 9, 2019 12:30 pm

So I’m going to replace 3 automobiles, convert my house to be totally electric for heating, and the grid is going to expand to power it all (meaning a crash program of building enough nuclear plants, the only low-carbon energy even remotely capable of achieving this) for only $35,000?

Thanks for the best belly-laugh of the day.

Tom Halla
Reply to  John the Econ
July 9, 2019 12:33 pm

The green blob is resolutely anti-nuclear.

John the Econ
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 12:52 pm

Of course they are. Which means that it’s going to be even more expensive and unreliable.

Ed Reid
Reply to  John the Econ
July 9, 2019 1:39 pm

I would estimate the cost to be far closer to $30 trillion.

Reply to  Ed Reid
July 9, 2019 9:51 pm

As commented your estimate will be wrong there isn’t enough raw materials in the world market to do it. There is already little spare coal, iron ore on the world market (the irony is much of that because of renewables and green policy) and you are talking about need vast quantities for this.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ed Reid
July 10, 2019 4:23 am

I did this calculation last winter when the GND was announced.
Not counting non-existent batteries, the theoretical cost will be closer to $90-120 trillion dollars.
Like more than that though, because as land is bought up to install the turbines and panels, the price will shoot way up.
Materials will run out and get very expensive, etc.
The $90-120 trillion is just a reference figure, based on current costs and multiplied by the number of units needed.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 10, 2019 7:07 am

Nicholas, the people demanding The New Green Deal are extreme authoritarians. They don’t believe in the concept of individual rights including “private property”. If they obtain the power to impose this, they will just take what they want in the name of the “people”.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ed Reid
July 10, 2019 11:02 pm

The final failsafe is they are dopes and lazy SOBs, and I bet not a one of em could swing a hammer or drive a loader.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 1:32 pm

The GreenBlob of eco-zealots is resolutely anti-nuclear because they are backed by the GreenSlime of billionaire renewable energy investors. Rich investors who want electricity prices to skyrocket to fill their investment accounts with the billions of dollars of “windfall” profits while impoverishing the middle class and shackling us in socialism.

The GreenSlime –> Tom “Stinky Steyer” and Mikey “Big Gulp Bloomberg” leave a little green slime trail of money wherever they crawl for their low-life followers to feed on.

Reply to  John the Econ
July 9, 2019 3:03 pm

First – you can’t build enough nuclear plants in the US to do it, much less get the U3O8 to fuel them, not in 10 years, 20, years or 50 years.

For someone with ECON in their screen name you are ill informed. Newsflash – uranium production can’t support current requirements.

Here is a figure from the Nuclear Power Industry Association — total uranium production only meets 93% of current demand

You CAN, however, supply the entire energy consumption of the US from the solar insolation incident on a small area of the SW United States.

Stanford University PROVED statistically using empirical observations that you can provide dependable baseload power of a minimum of 33% and a maximum of 47% of the yearly power production from interconnected wind farms.

As the yearly power production vs nameplate capacity is ~30% at good onshore and average offshore wind farms — a minimum of 10% baseload power of Nameplate Capacity can be provided.

As far as economics — my 56V electric lawnmower cost the same ($499 including battery and charger) as a comparable self propelled gas version – mine comes with LED lights so I can mow when it is dark (cooler temp), has a variable speed blade that senses grass density and never bogs or cuts out. The battery lasts for over an hour and it recharges in less than the advertised 40 min (7.5 ah). It doesn’t get hot, doesn’t wake the neighbors, and can hang on a hook on the wall after it folds up. Oh and it has a 5 year warranty with 3 on the battery.

Complete transition to non-fossil fuels is absolutely possible and 4.5 Trillion is probably close.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 3:08 pm

Your claims on nuclear power depend on the continuation of Carter’s insane once-through fuel cycle, and not using thorium, as well as not noting supply is determined by price. Your stats on solar presuppose practical storage, which is still vaporware except for pumped storage, which is both site-limited and another thing the green blob would try to block.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 9, 2019 10:02 pm

The solar PV area calculation is only 1/4 of the even best case scenario required in the winter months.
And his area calculation uses current day electricity demand for the US. A demand that will double or triple if the desired number of EVs replacing ICE cars is reached, and then the push to eliminate natural gas from residential use and forcing home owners onto all electric schemes for home heating pushes the demand for electricity even higher.
So that would effectively double the area needed again as the demand for electricity doubles or triples under green schemes phasing out natural gas use.

The reason: By sunrise, the batteries are depleted and must be recharged. Recharged from where? A solar installation. SO that doubles the area of solar PV needed, but then there is the problem of winter with 8 hours of usable daylight and effectively 16 hours of no PV output. SO the batteries have to last not 12 hours, but 16 hours, then be charged again in 8 hours before the sun gets too low.

And then this moron (Karl) doesn’t even think about the environmental impact of carpeting a landscape for hundreds of miles with solar farms. He’s an idiot who doesn’t critically think about the green energy garbage he has been fed.
The guy is simply to easily duped by fakers like Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford working behind the scenes for Tom Steyer. Because with these electricity schemes, there is a huge potential for vast wealth accumulation for those like Steyer who get in on the renewable energy scam early … as they have. Which is why the GreenSlimers are getting so desperate to oust Trump and put the US back on track towards energy poverty.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 9, 2019 10:15 pm

Like socialists, the green power people soon run out of other peoples’ money (OPM).

If you give me all the money I want, I can build you a reliable electrical power system using only solar, wind and batteries.

Grannie on Social Security won’t like me, though.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 9, 2019 10:20 pm

Also, please note that San Bernadino County, CA has outlawed all future industrial solar on private property. The NIMBYs will defeat the greens; they have more money and political power.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 10, 2019 1:37 pm

My calculation uses the entire daily ENERGY consumption of the US

Yearly Total Energy Consumption US = 101.3 QUADRILLION BTU = ~102 Quintillion Joules

Daily Energy Consumption = 288 Quadrillion Joules

Solar insolation US Southwest ~800 Joules/square meter per second

Average efficiency of conversion after DC-AC = 15% – 120 Joules/second per square meter = 432,000 Joules per hour per square meter = 432 Billion Joules per hour per square kilometer

If we only used 1 hour of sunlight we would need an area 800km on a side — to supply the entire energy consumption of the US for an entire day.

Split that across SOCAL, Arizona, New Mexico, Baja Mexico, the Sea of California, West Texas, and parts of the Gulf of Mexico and you can see


Reply to  karl
July 10, 2019 6:28 pm

You diminish anything you say with the ad hominems.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 10, 2019 2:51 pm

Why, after 50 years, has a Thorium Reactor not come on line in a commercial capacity?

Not in India (one of highest Thorium reserves in the world)?

However, the question remains — why oh why has someone somewhere not built a grid connected 1000 MWe Thorium reactor that has been in operation for at least a year?


U-233, U-232, Gamma Rays
and Protactinium

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 17, 2019 11:55 am

Let me know when a non-research Thorium Reactor that can supply Utility scale power comes online.

Thorium has been a pipe dream for 50 years and there is a single 4 MW research reactor in India.

Not to mention all those pesky gamma rays

Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 3:09 pm

I’m not sure what they’ve been doing at CERN, but I am sure I would have heard if they had come upon isotope U-308.

Or did they find a sunken German U-boat ?

Reply to  sendergreen
July 10, 2019 12:09 pm

In Cern they already discovered it.
It’s called Cochonium and they realised it was great for filling holes in rusty old French cars.

The cochonium was easy to reprocess, because most of that part of Cern are primarily French speaking.

Reply to  sendergreen
July 10, 2019 2:20 pm

U3O8 – Triuranium Octoxide

The type of uranium found in nature

Is the chemical designation of Uranium Oxide the form that is mined from the ground

Uninformed hacks

Reply to  karl
July 10, 2019 6:17 pm

@ Karl : “you can’t build enough nuclear plants in the US to do it, much less get the U3O8 to fuel them, not in 10 years, 20, years or 50 years.”

Uranium Ore does not “fuel” nuclear reactors processed Uranium 235 @ 3-5% in pellets do.

If you expect precision from your opponents be precise.

Reply to  karl
July 17, 2019 12:07 pm

Ok — U3O8 is converted via in-situ leaching and ion exchange to Uranium oxide -then to UF6 – and after enrichment to UO2.

Regardless — without U3O8 to start with you do not get the Uranium in the form of Uranium Dioxide that consists of approximately 3-5% the isotope of Uranium with an 143 Neutrons.


Design Parameters for a
Natural Uranium
UO3- or U3O8-Fueled
Nuclear Reactor

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Perhaps you should be a little better informed.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 3:10 pm

No cost estimates. No discussion of the NIMBYs. No grounding in reality.

John the Econ
Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 3:57 pm

I don’t believe that I said that even a crash program of nuclear was possible. Although it would certainly would be more successful and reliable than planting the entire countryside with windmills and panels which would not only be able to replace but a small percentage of our current consumption (plus all those new EVs) but would result in a totally unstable and unreliable grid. I’d also assume that a legitimate “crash” program would include the employment of newer nuclear technologies than the same old ones we’ve been using since the ’50s. Yes, I’m quite aware that it’s not possible to replace the entire carbon-fueled grid that took over a century to develop at any cost.

In fact, I’d go further than that. I consider pretty much any and all estimates of what this would actually cost as speculative fiction simply because there is no rational way to predict much less estimate what all of the secondary economic impacts of this program would inflict upon society. As the eco-fascists intentionally seek to destabilize the existing grid and economy, (price controls, various wealth transfers, micro-management, literally paying people NOT to work) our economic ability even to engage in program would be compromised. In fact, any economic model devoted to predicting this would be little more credible than those used to predict the weather at the end of the century.

William Astley
Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 5:31 pm

How can we be so stupid.

If we can not change the cult of CAGW, at least change the solution to something that is safe, cheap, and pollution free.

The Green scam does not work and makes electricity ridiculously expensive at the point where it is obvious that the scheme does not reduce total CO2 emissions at the point where batteries are required to power steel mills for a few weeks.

There is a breakthrough in nuclear power which was built and tested (50 years ago by the patent holder of the PWR) that is as cheap as coal or natural gas all costs in. The optimum fission reactor produces heat at 600C so it can be used for the trillions and trillions of dollars of industrial heat applications. It is unbelievably, simpler and safer than a water cooled, fuel rod reactor.

A liquid fuel, no fuel rod reactor can be mass produced and trucked to site which reduces reactor construction time from 12 years to 4 years.

A liquid fuel, no fuel rod reactor is six times more fuel efficient than a pressure water, fuel rod reactor, and roughly 1/5th cost as it does not require a containment building, it operates at atmospheric pressure rather than 150 atmospheres, and it has no catastrophic failure modes to protect against.

Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 5:46 pm

Stanford University PROVED statistically

Statistics can never be proof. The paper gives a probability and you have misinterpreted what was stated. The more salient statement from the paper is:

Although the 1-site array had more hours of power production at the rated power than did an average of the 19-site array (149 vs 9), the 19-site array had fewer hours with no power (5 vs 170)

So all that geographical diversity and there is still 5 hours a year when there is ZERO output. All those wind generators spread across most of the USA and they produce NOTHING for 5 hours in a year!

The key flaw in this analysis is combining the scheduled and unscheduled downtime of dispatchable generation as the benchmark. Unscheduled downtime for modern fired generation is in the high nineties. The so-called duration curve for fired generation is completely different to that of the wind turbines. The point to note is the rapid drop off in output of the wind generators even as the geographic diversity increases. Fired generation has a dispatchable duration curve that is typically in the range 90 to 110% of rating for 97% of scheduled generation. The probability of say 5 fired plants not producing anything in a year is infinitesimally small.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RickWill
July 9, 2019 6:43 pm

Again, no cost estimates from the “study.” Where is the analysis of the FF, hydro and nuclear power plant operations needed to support their schemes? None of their statistical operation schemes is dispatchable, meaning that you can’t schedule them reliably ahead of time.

Reply to  RickWill
July 10, 2019 1:42 pm

I guess you have never been exposed to statistical proofs or bayes theorem etc

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 9:44 pm

“You CAN, however, supply the entire energy consumption of the US from the solar insolation incident on a small area of the SW United States.”

I live in the SW US. Right now as I write it is pretty dark outside, and will be for another 7 hours, and then the sun won’t be high enough until after 9:30am for fixed position (south pointing) PV solar cells, which is about 98% of all solar installations here to start producing usable current. I’m fairly certain (call it 99.9999%) that all the solar cells around here have zero output.

And I prefer to have electricity at night to run the a/c, an internet movie on the TV, charge my phone, and type on this iMac. Things I couldn’t do by battery-powered light. My home a/c alone would suck a Tesla power wall dry in less than 2 hours.

Your claim about how great solar is, is total BS.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 10, 2019 1:53 pm

You sir cannot do Mathematics

1 square meter at peak solar insolation produces 432,000 Joules in 1 hour

800 watts solar insolation/square meter – 15% energy conversion after DC-AC

100 kilowatt-hours = 360 Million Joules — meaning you would need 800 square meters of panels if you only captured 1 hour of sun — 4 hours = 200 square meters — about the size of a smaller home/garage combo, or a pergola that would provide a nice area of shade in a Tucson yard.

Net metering means you don’t have to store it — but you get credit for producing it and can use it when you want — and depending on where you are — you get paid extra

Or, you could store it in current tech li-ion batteries that have 10,000 charge discharge cycles

If you use 100kWh a day …

Reply to  karl
July 10, 2019 6:03 pm

I’ve privately used high end rechargeable batteries for over 25 years. One thing I’ve learned is that the claims for both storage capacity, and recharge cycles by manufacturers are overstated to say the least. Where the claims are based on lab results with “best use” / maintenance / temperature range even before the marketing people get the file. What works at one level in “best use”, loses cycles and capacity and longevity prematurely with real world usage, and where temperature ranges vary highly, as in take them to Nebraska in January, or the Mohave in late July. P.S. I’ve not seen a claim for recharge cycles anywhere near 10K cycles ? Could you link for us where that number came from.

Reply to  karl
July 11, 2019 9:29 am

Wow — google search was “li-ion 10,000 charge discharge cycles” – these were the 3rd and fifth results

“We evaluate performance of lithium‐ion batteries on the small electric bus, conducting tests of cell and battery pack using discharge/charge machine. We suggest the test item on distinction between good and bad of a battery. In the discharge/charge cycle tests of cell at environmental temperature (25 °C), the relative capacity was 60% at 10,000 cycles. In the discharge capacity test of battery packs on the small electric bus, the relative capacity maintained more than 90% in progress for approximately 900 days. Finally, based on these results, we analyzed about influence factor on a battery discharge capacity.”

It’s a few years old — so the batteries are better today

Here is one from 2014

ORNL Solid-State Battery Test: 90% Of Original Capacity After 10,000 Cycles

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Karl
July 9, 2019 9:48 pm

Also China is hungrily eyeing the largest Uranium reserves in the world — Australia.
Make no mistake of that.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 10, 2019 2:31 pm

And Joel, China is also vastly enlarging their holdings and influence in Africa. It is NOT just about raw materials it is about arable land. That is, land that will be arable in the coming cold era. China has 1.339 Billion people to feed. At some point Northern China’s growing season (like that in the northern half of the U.S. and all of Canada) will be too short or far too short to grow the staples of life. It’s a toss up how long the coming cold period will be. But, it will be long enough to thoroughly change the current state of the world. P.S. China is laughing at the West’s embarrassing delusion about CO2.

R Terrell
Reply to  Karl
July 18, 2019 11:17 am

And I can buy a perfectly good and usable gas powered mower for under $300 that does everything your fancy smancy electric mower does, except for the variable speed, and the noise. I van control the SPEED myself, by walking faster or slower, as needed. Not only that, but my double lot yard only needs about 40 minuets for a complete mowing! As for the noise, the traffic on my street is just as noisy.

July 9, 2019 12:46 pm

Beer mat calculation from Lord Matt Ridley.

To address just the annual 2% growth in energy demand with renewables (wind turbines specifically) by 2070 would occupy half the land mass of Russia, so roughly the entire continent of USA, covered in wind turbines.

But that wouldn’t be enough because we have the existing demand to convert as well, so perhaps the entire land mass of Russia – or the entire continent of USA and Canada covered, wall to wall in wind turbines.

The steel and concrete required for this is mind boggling, and whilst that is an oft over used term, in this case it is appropriate.

Reply to  HotScot
July 9, 2019 1:20 pm

Please don’t forget the carbon cost to mine, transport, smelt, convert, roll, form, manufacture all of these towers generators and gear boxes along with the massive maintenance and repair requirements. All of this is carbon based very high energy input. Also make sure you account for the additional extreme penalty if they are located offshore for ships, ports, infrastructure, fuel.

Of course, all of this assumes the whole carbon Religion stuff is real and worth expending our treasure forever.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Mark
July 9, 2019 5:39 pm

Let me do a quick think…

Cost of white paint will triple.
Earthworks companies building new access roads will love it.
Tree removal companies, and the parasite companies offering tree offsets will bloom.
The large transport industry will grow massively (both construction and operation).
The road network to transport these huge machines and blades will increase due to the increase in the number of road transport vehicles4.
Engineers and smelters will be running hot.
Rock crushers and sand mining will boom for the cement industry.
Huge volumes of steal for the cross-country cabling.
A huge increase in power stations and voltage regulator equipment.

And that was a 2 minute think.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
July 9, 2019 9:48 pm

Now the corollary where do you think you are going to get the huge insanely vast quantities of steel, coal and raw materials to do the manufacturing?

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  LdB
July 10, 2019 1:33 am

That’s the fun part. They’ll stamp their feet and cry in the corner, but no amount of vexatious screaming will make it happen.

July 9, 2019 12:54 pm

…bullcrap….you can at minimum triple that…and at minimum triple your utility rate

Thomas Homer
July 9, 2019 12:58 pm

The unintended consequence of burning fossil fuels has been an increase in the base of the food chain for Carbon Based Life Forms. This addition to the food chain is freely and globally available.

Why are we considering a transition away from fossil fuels?

Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 9, 2019 2:36 pm

“Why are we considering a transition away from fossil fuels?”

To reduce the food chain, obviously.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
July 9, 2019 9:52 pm

No to reduce the population and cause more pain to the poor … standard green, leftist policy.

July 9, 2019 12:59 pm

A 100% transition to renewable energy (wind and solar) isn’t going to happen at any price. The problem is Energy Return On Investment (EROI). Getting enough energy out of solar panels to build more solar panels is hard.

There is progress on next generation nuclear but it’s at a snail’s pace. As far as I can tell, the new designs don’t require breakthroughs in basic science. All they require is a lot of grunt work. link

A Manhattan project for wind and solar won’t work. They require breakthroughs, especially in energy storage. A Manhattan project for advanced reactors might work.

Reply to  commieBob
July 9, 2019 2:40 pm

I think a Manhattan Project for wind and solar farms is good idea. We should place all of the wind and solar farms on Manhattan Island.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Rocketscientist
July 10, 2019 4:27 am

He-ee-ey…I see what you did there!

July 9, 2019 1:01 pm

Ignores the facts that solar and wind are not 24X7 energy sources and grid level storage is not available. Money aside, it’s not possible.

paul courtney
Reply to  markl
July 9, 2019 5:30 pm

markl: Well said. I was going to say that, but in many more words.

Gordon Dressler
July 9, 2019 1:04 pm

The “transition . . . includes everything needed to reliably produce and deliver clean energy to consumers.”

My understanding of current technology is that, short of going 100% nuclear to replace fossil fuel power plants, achieving this end objective by 2030 is just not possible. Others can debate whether or not nuclear power plants qualify as “clean energy” and whether or not 200 or so nuclear power plants could be licensed, built and made operational across the US within the next 11 years.

Bottom line conclusion: a fluff article resulting from idiotic assumptions.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
July 10, 2019 8:34 am

Yes 200 Nuclear power plants could be completed within 11 years with standardized methods and design, if the regulatory burden and legal issues were resolved. There does not seem to be any legal issues with siting solar and bird choppers so there is a way to eliminate the legal issues. They plan on building solar complex on 7100 acres, 11 square miles, north of Las Vegas beside I 15 on the road to Valley of Fire State Park.

The US built 150 aircraft carriers of various types during WW 2. Think of all the tanks, planes, small arms, other ships, ammunition, etc. produced over a 4 year time frame.

200 reactors would be EASY. If the first were sited at existing coal fired locations and used existing cooling towers and generators you could bring many on line quickly. We have a shut down coal plant off of I 15 North of Las Vegas with all the requisite high tension power lines, cooling towers and it think the generators still in place.

If you ever have a shortage of natural gas or FF liquids way down the line you can use the excess heat and coal delivered to the site on existing railways to produce the same through coal gasification.

Would 200 be needed if houses and vehicles were not converted to all electric? That is just a fools errand.

Reply to  Drake
July 10, 2019 10:31 am

I prefer the term “Bird Blender”. I live about 30 miles from a wind farm where one of them old toppled over 18 months ago. The tower failed halfway up, and the upper half bent over with the main gearbox/generator housing hitting the ground. Too bad no-one caught the failure on video … It would have been like a 160 ton helicopter crash.

Reply to  Drake
July 10, 2019 2:03 pm

No they couldn’t — there are only 2 companies in the world that produce the pressure vessels for reactors- Mitsubishi heavy industries, and one other.

200 reactors wouldn’t come close to providing enough electricity much less total energy

How many reactors has China brought online in the last 5 years? -16

There are 11 currently under construction since 2012-2016 expected to come online 2019-2022

SO no way 200 in 10 years

Reply to  karl
July 11, 2019 5:34 pm

So only two companies make pressure vessels? I call BS. But you did get me researching .

The following site shows the great downfall of the US steel industry but also the number of facilities capable of producing the required pressure vessels. So I guess you are probably right, 200 in 10 years would be tough when US metal works to build the pressure vessels, turbines and piping would probably need to be built FIRST. Shame on US politicians, so much capacity in the US lost, mostly probably due to excessive environmental regulations. But 20 per year in the US for the foreseeable future is entirely reasonable once tooled up.

So step one, build coordinated steel production and pressing plants, step 2 start delivering the components to the plant locations. Since Westinghouse already has a design, it would be just a matter of cranking up capacity. So the rebirth of Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc. as heavy industrial centers. There was an iron ore mine in Utah that shut down in 2014, so west coast production could be from that mine with a new iron works for this coast. The first nuclear plants could be built in coordination with the iron works to provide the power required.

The first years would have lower production increasing to whatever the maximum per year the demand would be.

Of course there is no need for either renewable or nuclear replacement of FF electrical power production. Either case would create more expensive power.

Nuclear would only be more expensive than FF for the short term. If plants are built with a 100 year life cycle, there would be a great reduction in ongoing energy costs as the construction loans are retired. That won’t be the case for renewables since their effective lifetimes are much shorter. Articles on this site seem to indicate all PV and wind would require replacement on about a 20 to 30 year cycle, so we would never be done building them.

So ultimately 200 in 10 years is easily doable, but just not in the NEXT 10 years, maybe from 2025 to 2035! All that is required is the will to do so, but again, none of this is needed until the next glaciation starts and we need to heat the Hudson bay and Great Lakes.

If the new metal works are built to allow for production of newer alloys for the 4th generation reactors, transition to more efficient plant construction would be smoother.

Reply to  Drake
July 11, 2019 6:22 pm

I know when dealing with averages there is really no such thing as “We are overdue for….”

But, we are at or beyond the average time that Inter-glacial Warm Periods end. We do know now that whatever it is that forms the mechanism for the drop in temperatures, it is on a geological scale almost instantaneous. Less than a century, possibly as short as a decade or two. That doesn’t mean that glaciers will flow down I-94 in Detroit the next week, but that the temperature change is fast, and hard. The next Spring simply won’t come the usual way. The ice pack and snow won’t melt much at all in that first year in the Hudson Bay area, the cradle of the Laurentide Ice Sheet of old. And, it won’t again for a hundred plus thousand years.

Reply to  Drake
July 17, 2019 11:26 am

Wind and solar are cheaper than any other source of electricity production.

— don’t believe me – believe FORBES

“Onshore wind power and solar – without subsidies – are now the cheapest source of new bulk power in every major economy in the world apart from Japan, a new report says.”

or the US EIA

(table 1 levelized cost including subsidies — solar pv and wind are cheapest)

Or the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

How does it feel to be smacked down like that?

Tom Halla
Reply to  karl
July 17, 2019 11:31 am

Karl, how does it feel to be a fool? That Forbes article was smacked down on this site recently.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  karl
July 13, 2019 10:24 am

karl, you posted: “200 reactors wouldn’t come close to providing enough electricity much less total energy.”

Well, according to the EIA ( ),
“Domestic energy production is equal to about 90% of U.S. energy consumption in 2017.
In 2017, the amount of energy produced in the United States was equal to about 87.5 quadrillion Btu, and this was equal to about 89.6% of U.S. energy consumption. The difference between the amount of total primary energy consumption and total primary energy production was mainly the energy content of net imports of crude oil.

“The three major fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—combined accounted for about 77.6% of the U.S. primary energy production in 2017:
“Natural gas—31.8%
Petroleum (crude oil and natural gas plant liquids)—28.0%
Renewable energy—12.7%
Nuclear electric power—9.6%”

Working through the math, that translates to nuclear power providing about 6.7% of total US energy consumption for 2017. There were (currently are) 98 operating nuclear reactors providing annually 807 TWh of power at an average capacity factor or over 90%.

However, the nuclear reactor output capacities in this count ranged from a low of 582 MW to a high of 1,310 MW. So, had all of this power been provided at 1,310 MW per reactor, this would translate to needing only 70 such units to provide the above-noted 6.7% of total US energy consumption.

So, yes, something like 1,045 nuclear reactors, each having 1,310 MW output rating, would be required theoretically to provide all of the the energy used by the US in 2017. This is a factor of 5 higher than my WAG . However, please note that there is no way in which nuclear-generated electricity can replace the fossil fuels currently required to power commercial-size airplanes, ocean-transversing ships, and long distance rail transportation (missing infrastructure for electric power transmission along routes). And there are innumerable areas where the energy-density of a fuel tank and ICE win hands-down to a battery and electric motor.

I won’t both to comment on the massive nationwide electric grid upgrade required to support a nearly 14 times increase in electrical power coming from those added nuclear power plants nor on the incredible number of storage batteries that would be needed under such a scenario, especially in the use area of transportation.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
July 17, 2019 11:17 am

I won’t comment on the FACT that distributed community and home based power generation would require no added grid enhancement to get 80% of the way there.

Nor comment on the FACT that electric motors are on average 4 times more efficient than gasoline engines.

Tom Halla
Reply to  karl
July 17, 2019 11:29 am

Karl, electric motors are a transmission system. One needs to calculate for the entire system efficiency, not one part. And “distributed systems” for electricity are not yet practical, except where the costs of transporting fuel or running transmission lines is an unreasonable expense.

Walt D.
July 9, 2019 1:05 pm

This is only a static analysis.
If you want to look at CO2 correlations, there is a much higher correlation between CO2 and economic output (GDP or GNP, and consequently Federal Tax Receipts.
Limit or reduce CO2, and you limit or reduce economic growth.
Two quotes fro Margaret Thatcher.
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money”.
“The government can not give you anything. It can only give you something it has taken away from something else”.

July 9, 2019 1:19 pm

In the United States, [transition to zero carbon] means a $35,000 cost to each household“.
I’m calling BS on that estimate. All of the USA’s exports would become uncompetitive and die (because many other countries, especially but not only China and India, would not do the same). Imports would become unaffordable. The end result would be the total destruction of the US economy, sending it back into third-world status – basically nearly every American would lose nearly everything.
As of last year, Barron’s put the US stockmarket capitalisation at $30tn. The total loss would be closer to that than the $4.5tn estimate. Another way of looking at it is that the average income in the USA is anything upwards from 5x average incomes in 3rd-world countries. Sending the USA back to the third world would cost Americans 80% or more of their annual income, not once but every year.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 9, 2019 9:43 pm

Did you miss the part where that was the goal?

Luke of the D
July 9, 2019 1:20 pm

So, if we “transitioned” to 100% renewables, it would cost me:
1) My job = $150k per year right there gone… add in all my benefits that jumps to around $300k… I have another 30 years ahead of me… assuming my salary is flat forever… so $9,000k lost
2) My car = $35k gone with an additional $20k minimum to replace it
3) My home = retrofitting my home from gas to electric would cost maybe $20k
4) My lifestyle = I travel a lot for work and pleasure, by car and plane… no more planes, and no more cement for roadways, so no more highways so no more travel period… I honestly don’t know how to value that, but just thinking about all the money I spend on gas and travel each year is maybe $10k per year… assuming I live another 50 years that right there is $500k
5) My hobbies = I have hobbies… movies, games, collectables, etc… no more ships or planes, poof trade with China and the rest of the world is over… that is likely trillions of dollars lost
6) The entire petroleum industry = poof, just like that trillions of dollars lost
7) The entire airline industry = poof, just like that trillions of dollars lost
8) The entire shipping industry = poof, just like that trillions of dollars lost
9) The entire automotive industry = poof, just like that trillions of dollars lost
10) The entire cement industry = poof, just like that trillions of dollars lost
11) The entire mining industry = poof, just like that trillions of dollars lost
… the list goes on and on and on…
To transition the USA economy over to something that makes no sense and cannot possibly replace petroleum fuels, such as twirly bird-choppers and shinny light-absorbers, cost is not just more than $4.5 trillion but likely infinite on a global scale. We would not just destroy our own economy, but collapse the entire economy of the world. The cost of “transitioning” to a 100% renewable USA is literally infinite.

Reply to  Luke of the D
July 9, 2019 6:54 pm

The reports says, “Wood Mackenzie estimates full decarbonisation of the US power grid at US$4.5 trillion…”. They made no attempt to estimate costs outside the US power grid box. The impact and total costs for adopting a Green New Deal would be staggering as noted by commenters above.

Reply to  Luke of the D
July 9, 2019 9:54 pm

Just like that all greens and lefties put against the wall by unemployed and angry workers .. poof problem gone.

Dave Fair
Reply to  LdB
July 9, 2019 10:08 pm

I keep telling everyone that when the average American taxpayer and consumer finds out the cost increases the socialists have in mind, all hell will break loose. If you think President Trump, in particular, and the Republicans will let this go by, you don’t understand American politics.

Reply to  Luke of the D
July 10, 2019 1:04 am

Interesting choice isn’t it Luke: destroy the economy or destroy our habitat.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Loydo
July 10, 2019 1:43 am

From the data, Loydo, the habitat seems to be doing just fine.

Reply to  Loydo
July 10, 2019 2:43 am

People vote and revolt, habitats don’t … habitat isn’t even in the contest.

Reply to  Loydo
July 10, 2019 8:49 am

As you well know, and chose to ignore, habitat destruction is happening in those areas WITHOUT FF electrical services on a 24/7/365 basis.

You are on this site so you cannot possible be as IGNORANT as that statement makes you seem to be. You just must be really dumb.

Luke of the D
Reply to  Loydo
July 10, 2019 10:36 am

I don’t know where you live, Loydo, but here in Michigan and throughout the USA, our “habitat” is certainly not being destroyed. America is far and away greener than it was when I was a kid. Stop panicking and go outside and enjoy the trees and flowers and parks and forests!

Reply to  Luke of the D
July 10, 2019 1:35 pm

Agreed, Luke. Flying into Heathrow from Canada in 1987 I was astounded at the tiny “sprouts” of trees across the English countryside that I soon learned they called forests. The original forests having been long ago denuded for fuel, shelter, and ships.

The earth is visibly greening (from satellite observation not only from the direct benefits of increased CO2, but from the fact that fossil fuels, and nuclear energy mean people do not have to cut and burn wood to shelter, stay warm, cook, and heat water. When cold, people will do anything to keep themselves and their families warm. In the West, “energy poverty” is an affliction knowingly inflicted by the deluded CO2 environmental left. Heck, if Germany can’t make wind and solar work without devastating increases in energy costs to their people, (and they didn’t) no-one can.

Reply to  Luke of the D
July 10, 2019 11:22 pm

I don’t know where you live, Loydo

I was mainly referring to the teeming hordes who live subsistance lives in already marginal, tropical environments. South Asia, parts of Africa and the ME for example. Not somewhere cool like Michigan where you might benefit from a little more warmth. There is a genuine risk that an ice free Arctic and a translation of the ‘cold pole’ to Greenland would really screw around with NH weather patterns – extended blocking causing a failure of the monsoon for example.

Reply to  Loydo
July 11, 2019 4:56 am

I live next door to Michigan. Do you want to try one of our winters ? Perhaps one like our last winter … outside in a tent ? Where celcius and fahrenheit degrees meet at -40

How many deadlines for the Ice Free Arctic did the warmist advocates watch pass by without comment, with not only a still iced Arctic, but one where ice has expanded back towards the mean.

The last interglacial warm period which ended about 125 Kya was substantially warmer than our current interglacial. The Arctic would have been ice free in summer for a few thousand years. Totally natural. While our ancestors were wearing animal skins and making their knives by banging one rock with another rock. No SUV’s to blame.

Joel O'Bryan
July 9, 2019 1:26 pm

And not pound of actual CO2 emissions would it prevent….
as Germany’s EnergieWende demonstrates, as emissions actually went upwards. And even if you could find some way to save a few megatonnes of CO2 emissions, China’s and the rest of 3rd World’s gigatonne rises in emissions rise means any US emissions savings would be far, far down in the noise-level, and thus un-measurable in effect to temps (assuming belief in the models of course).

And the $4 Trillion -$5 Trillion estimate is far wrong, and hugely understates the real economic impacts to the economy. The real impacts would be real hits to future growth in GDP, equaling a declining GDP per capita. It is also understated due to the capital loss of investment in existing energy infrastructure, higher electricity costs to consumers, economic impact of lost business and good jobs fleeing to cheaper energy for manufacturing locations in the 3rd World.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 9, 2019 1:48 pm

Schemes such a the GND will never happen; voting taxpayers will revolt.

Norman Blanton
July 9, 2019 1:29 pm

I always wonder if this includes the extra capacity and transmission for the times the wind doesn’t blow in one or two states.

and of course the need for batteries or other storage devices, IMO are still a pipe dream….

July 9, 2019 1:36 pm

Good enough for low availability applications. And with a renewable cost on a multidecadal basis.

July 9, 2019 1:42 pm

Pixie Dust….that’s the solution!

July 9, 2019 1:47 pm

It’s a lot of money to waste on harm and disadvantage. For so many reasons, 100% ‘renewable’ wouldn’t even be worth it if it was free.

Dave Fair
Reply to  co2isnotevil
July 9, 2019 1:52 pm

Everything is easy to those who don’t have to accomplish the work.

July 9, 2019 2:15 pm

One Carrington+ solar flare which we are bound to get sooner or later (in decade terms not centuries) will fry ALL of the renewables, with the solar panels spewing all sorts of toxic metals out int the once productive land. If there is any project in need of spending “trillions” on it would be hardening the West’s electrical power generating, and transport capacity.

Reply to  sendergreen
July 10, 2019 7:32 pm

Just to expand, in the Carrington Event ( Sept 1-2, 1859 ) the only “wired technology” of the day was the telegraph. The reports state that some telegraph wires caught fire and melted off the posts. With some setting fire to the wooden posts. Operators were knocked across their rooms by the induced shocks, and some who had shut off the power circuits were still able to send messages due to induced current. Move forward to the present where a Carrington, Carrington +, Superflare, or Micro-Nova event or deliberate nuclear EMP attack event would destroy every unhardened electric, or electronic piece of equipment on the event facing portion of the globe. Every windmill, every solar panel’s micro-circuits would explosively vaporize within microseconds causing casing failures and subsequent metallic contamination of each windmills /solar panel’s immediate environment. Pull back to the Green Energy demands for mega-acreage coverage of land areas with solar panels to begin to grasp the potential environmental disaster of the “Green Plan”.

July 9, 2019 2:23 pm

No problemo, the Federal Treasury will get printing.

Reply to  beng135
July 9, 2019 4:17 pm

You mean the NOT Federal Treasury but private Banks Treasury.

July 9, 2019 2:46 pm

Yes we can laugh at such nonsense, but remember that a lot of Politicians are apparently serious about this rubbish.

So let a nutty State in the USA, California comes to mind. Let them do it, and no cheating such as still wanting natural gas. Nuclear is on the Greens hate list as is Hydro, as that involves building Dams, so only windmills and solar panels are allowed.

And when they have all of this in place, cut off all electrical connection with the rest of the country.

Then and only then if it ever went that far, very doubtful, will we see a end to this madness.


David E Long
July 9, 2019 3:13 pm

We need to destroy the environment to save it.

July 9, 2019 3:13 pm

$4.5 trillion — chicken feed! when is OPM.

Reply to  tom0mason
July 17, 2019 11:50 am

We have spent MORE THAN that on oil ALONE since 2011.

Tom Abbott
July 9, 2019 3:25 pm

One claim is it will cost $4 Trillion to convert the U.S. to windmills and solar and another claim is it will cost $5 Trillion, but the Green New Deal is calling for spending $100 Trillion on this project.

I guess the other $95 Trillion left over can go to Democrat pet projects and to getting themselves reelected. That’s going to be one heck of a big campaign chest!

I hear Bernie and AOC are going to try to start pushing the GND again.

Also, AOC apparently blamed the flash flooding in Washington DC the other day on CAGW. She’s very predictable when it comes to this subject.

July 9, 2019 3:36 pm

Well, there’s a “management theory” out there, of surprising resilience and respect amongst the management consulting community that suggests a Giant Hairy Obviously Sagacioius Takeaway (GHOST) to marshal the internal polity around is the best way to take a flagging (company, organization, institution, …) and transform it to something laudibly progressive.

In this case the GHOST is 100% Renewable Energy in the United States.

The Mantra of the Green New Deal movement. The ideal of almost every kid-to-modestly-young-educated-adult that resents the inertia of the Existing Parties and Pointless Wastes of Taxpayer Money that is status quo.

Thing is, once we realize that it is just a GHOST, and in particular, one of the least actually practical form, well … its something that doesn’t really warrant any kind of credible counterpoint. From us.


Just saying,
GoatGuy ✓

July 9, 2019 3:38 pm

They didn’t include the cost of enough batteries so that we can still have power when the wind isn’t blowing at night.

Geoff Sherrington
July 9, 2019 3:40 pm

What is the cost of a few civil wars?
This predictable outcome looms.
Except that those in positions to start the transitions know, deep down, that it is a nonsense concept that they lack the guts to start. But, a small war between citizens will be a virtuous, visible expression of how earnest they were, as they failed. Geoff S

Dave Fair
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 9, 2019 3:52 pm

Geoff, please name the countries that will be subject to your “predictable” “few civil wars.” You should have those predictions readily at hand.

July 9, 2019 3:41 pm

We’ve already spent over $1T, and we are barely producing 1% of total power (not just electricity production).

July 9, 2019 4:06 pm

Easy peasy.

First, get rid of 95% of the people. The rest is easy.

M__ S__
July 9, 2019 4:14 pm

Pathetically under-estimated.

This represents a change to every aspect of our economy.

July 9, 2019 4:24 pm

I can see that this is not even possible without a tripling of electric rates. With a third of the cost going to wind and solar, a third going to diurnal battery power storage, and a third going to refineries to generate renewable synthetic fuel for times that there are extended periods when there is limited wind and solar.

I really doubt that we will need as much infrastructure as required. Once we raise the electric rate to the appropriate level only the rich liberal elite will have heat during the winter or cooling during the summer. Heck we can even blame the heat wave deaths on climate change instead of energy poverty. And we can blame the increased winter deaths on extreme weather.

July 9, 2019 4:38 pm

Depends on the “renewable” you are talking about. Coal? Renewable. Gas? Renewable. Oil? Renewable. Hydro? Renewable. Nuclear? Renewable. Wood? Renewable. Camel dung? Renewable. All the leftard fantasy crap? Not renewable, unless you are willing to bankrupt the entire Human Race. Fairly simple, don’t do what mental retards want to do. Do what works. Cheap, plentiful energy has advanced the Human Race farther in the last 300 years than anything else in our cumulative history.

Reply to  2hotel9
July 9, 2019 5:17 pm

Nuclear is not renewable. Once you fuse or fission a nucleus, you can’t go back.
PS…it’s “further” not “farther”

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
July 9, 2019 10:03 pm

Even the greentards obviously know more than you and correcting spelling doesn’t make you more intelligent just a bit anal.

Nuclear is officially listed as Sustainable even by greentards, they won’t use the term renewable because they reserve that term for there little pet energy sources. Perhaps you might like to use your superior intelligence and spelling ability to read why nuclear is sustainable.

July 9, 2019 5:01 pm

Just transferring US electricity grids to 100% wind, solar and hydro would cost more than $15 trillion with current technology. It would place an impossible burden on Chinese manufacturing as well as coal from Australia and Indonesia to support that production.

The fundamental fallacy though starts with using the term “renewable”. This would be a once-off and the US economy would collapse under the burden as all its capital would be directed toward an uneconomic project that delivers negative value. It would be the greatest wealth sink in human history.

July 9, 2019 5:29 pm

Can’t get to 100% carbon free using renewables. My cost estimate of achieving 100% carbon free generating power (excluding auto emissions) is less than a trillion. Assume we build molten salt reactors in quantity such that, coupled with the current nuclear power and hydro, we achieve 100% carbon free power generation – eliminate wind and solar – that comes to roughly $850-900 billion, based on excellent estimates of molten salt reactors being developed as we speak by Moltex Energy and Terrestrial Power. These small modular reactors (350 – 450MW) can be built rapidly in factories and require very little site preparation and require no bodies of water for cooling and can be located virtually anywhere – in cities, towns, etc. Intrinsically safe, physically incapable of meltdown, they are far safer than coal, nat gas, solar or wind. Cost of levelized power about 4 cents per kWhr – about as cheap as any other technology. Very proliferation resistant They will have a tiny geographic footprint.

Kevin kilty
July 9, 2019 6:39 pm

Four and a half trillion US$ is a ridiculously low estimate. It will take easily ten times that, and then the real cost, that of crummy energy service, will add on ad infinitum.

July 9, 2019 9:26 pm

Will we then be safe from the climate change boogie man? Will earth’s temperature then remain in homeostasis?

July 9, 2019 10:51 pm

The only viable and cheaper energy source that could possibly replace cheap and abundant fossil fuels is Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSR).

China currently plans to have the world’s first test TMSR go online in 2025, and to have a commercial design ready for rollout but 2030:

It’s projected TMSRs will be able to produce electricity at US$0.03/kWh, which would be almost 50% cheaper than natural gas or coal.

TSMRs run at one atmosphere of pressure, have 90% less nuclear waste materials/megawatt compared to LWRs, there are 10,000 years worth of Thorium available worldwide, require no cooling towers, water or containment domes required to run, are cheaper and faster to build than LWRs, are easily scaleable, require much less land area than LWRs, and only have one passive fail-safe which uses gravity to prevent nuclear meltdowns.

Of course lunatic Leftists will initially oppose LMSRs, but once China starts building them, all other countries will be forced to build them too if they are to have competitive economies.

Insane solar and wind farms are simply too stupid and uneconomical to even consider. They simply cannot run grid-level power cheaply and efficiently enough; it’s simple physics and math…

Reply to  SAMURAI
July 10, 2019 2:06 pm

If they are so great why have they “been in development” for 50 years?

Why are they not all over India (world’s largest Thorium reserves)?

Because the molten salt corrodes everything.

Reply to  SAMURAI
July 10, 2019 2:16 pm

Yet China added 44 GWe of Solar in 2018
Yet China added 21 GW of Wind in 2018
China added only 3.7 GWe of Nuclear in 2018

All the Nuclear Plants in the US generate 807 TWh in 2018

China Nuclear Generated ~260 TWh in 2018

China Wind generated 366 TWh in 2018
China Solar Generated ~150 TWh in 2018

Wind and Solar provided DOUBLE the electricity generation than Nuclear in China

So, it is mathematically and Physically possible, it just has not been implemented


FACTS don’t lie — people tend to be ignorant of them – obtuse or stupid

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  SAMURAI
July 13, 2019 11:51 am

There are a host of disadvantages ( details 22 separate ones) associated with molten fluoride salt thorium reactors . . . most of these are very challenging and largely unresolved.

I am heartened to see that China will be doing the pathfinder work on resolving such issues . . . just hope they don’t have a catastrophe doing so.

Steve O
July 10, 2019 10:28 am

If 100% renewable energy is feasible nationwide, then it should be feasible for a large grid to achieve — while disconnecting itself from adjacent grids that generate power using traditional sources.

Is there anyplace in the world that has happened? Of course not. Because as a matter of practicality, it’s not feasible.

July 10, 2019 11:45 am

4.5 trillion, that’s probably an underestimate

“The cost of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 thus would rise from an estimated 4600 billion to 7600 billion euros.”

July 11, 2019 9:12 am

Karl — “Complete transition to non-fossil fuels is absolutely possible and 4.5 Trillion is probably close.”


COPPER: The needed resources of copper from mining operations to supply needs of 1 to 2 tonnes copper per MW to build wind turbines (wind turbines only) exceeds the world’s known resources of copper. To supply just 14 states of US with needed copper metal for wind turbines would exhaust the current production and supply of copper from NM and AZ and then require recovering all of the copper resource in the northwest states (WA, ID, MT, OR). Hint: you will never be able to permit another mine of any sort in the State of Washington if the “Greenies” have a say. There are 20 separate locations in these states where the USGS has estimated the unmined copper resource, but those resources will “Never Be Mined”.
Other resources needed:
REEs: The rare earth elements, neodymium, dysprosium needed for rotor magnets, about 1 tonne per MW are supplied 90-95% by China, a country that can mine these metals where the US environmental organizations prevent mining of same (Hint: Mountain Pass mine, CA; Byan Obo mine, China)
STEEL from Iron Ore: There is not enough iron ore in the US to provide the steel resources while the current capacity (Australia, Brazil are by far the largest producers) is already pledged (95%) to China.
MOLYBDENUM: The needed resources of molybdenum to harden steel from mines in the US are only sufficient to build wind turbines in ONE state in the US. Where the remaining resources would come from is closely related to copper since copper and molybdenum are mined together because they are by-products from porphyry copper-type deposits, by far the largest source, as discussed above.

July 11, 2019 9:30 am

@ sendergreen — here are your 10,000 charge-discharge li-ion citations:

Wow — google search was “li-ion 10,000 charge discharge cycles” – these were the 3rd and fifth results

“We evaluate performance of lithium‐ion batteries on the small electric bus, conducting tests of cell and battery pack using discharge/charge machine. We suggest the test item on distinction between good and bad of a battery. In the discharge/charge cycle tests of cell at environmental temperature (25 °C), the relative capacity was 60% at 10,000 cycles. In the discharge capacity test of battery packs on the small electric bus, the relative capacity maintained more than 90% in progress for approximately 900 days. Finally, based on these results, we analyzed about influence factor on a battery discharge capacity.”

It’s a few years old — so the batteries are better today

Here is one from 2014

ORNL Solid-State Battery Test: 90% Of Original Capacity After 10,000 Cycles

July 11, 2019 9:45 am

Here is a 20,000 cycle battery 80% Depth of Discharge Lithium Titanate

wow — 20,000 charge discharge cycles

I had an LG phone LI-polymer battery that I used for 3 years, usually had to charge it 3 -4 times a day because of intensive video — still performed at 90% of original advert when I got a newer phone — so that’s 4,000 100% DoD cycles and still working

And if you manage your Depth of discharge correctly you can get 100,000 cycles (NASA did with a 1994 Li-Ion cell at a 22% DoD 32 cycles per day, test started in 1999)

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  karl
July 13, 2019 11:42 am

Lithium titanate batteries currently have specific energy of 50–80Wh/kg compared to the more common (currently in widespread use) Lithium cobalt oxide batteries specific energy of 150–200Wh/kg, with specialty LCO cells providing up to 240Wh/kg.
(Ref: )

In reality, the news of high cycle life means nothing given the very low specific energy of lithium titanate batteries.

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