Checklist of Green Deal cost elements

Reposted with permission from CFACT

By David Wojick |April 18th, 2020|Energy|74 Comments

Green Deal proposals are springing up around the world. The core concept is zero CO2 emissions via decarbonization. The proponents of these Green Deals deliberately avoid cost estimates because the costs are horrendous.

To help force these huge costs out into the open I have developed the following simple checklist of Green Deal cost elements. Any comprehensive cost estimate needs to address all of these elements, most of which are unbelievably expensive. I have included some comments on the cost drivers as well.

Note that social elements like those in the Green New Deal (free health care, etc.) are not included. My list is just about the cost of decarbonization.

Checklist of decarbonization cost elements (with comments)

A. Electric power grid

(with zero fossil fuel carbon emissions)

1. Generation (from central power plants)

Feasibility of CCS is a major unknown.

2. Transmission

Especially for widely distributed renewable sites.

3. Distribution

EV charging stations are a major addition.

4. In-building or facility distribution (behind the meter)

Most existing buildings may need rewired for EVs.

5. Generation behind the meter

Primarily solar.

Note: Electrification of transportation and other fossil fuel uses will dramatically increase the amount of electricity required to be generated, transmitted and distributed.

B. Transportation

Switch to EVs.

Use of biofuels and offsets, and their cost, are major unknowns.

1. Personal passenger vehicles

2. Medium trucks and vans (short haul)

3. Heavy trucks and busses

4. Trains

5. Airplanes

Cannot be electrified, except for short flights.

6. Ships

Cannot be electrified, except for short trips.

C. Industrial processes presently using fossil fuel combustion

Complete electrification

1. Steel making

2. Cement making

3. Refineries

4. Chemical plants

4. Plastic production from fossil fuels

5. Manufacturing

6. Commercial activity

7. Agriculture

8. Construction

D. Electrifying gas fired systems and equipment (non industrial)

1. Building heating systems

2. Equipment presently powered with internal combustion engines

From bulldozers to lawn mowers and portable generators.

3. Gas fired appliances,

Especially cook stoves and water heaters.

E. Energy efficiency

May be redundant with zero emission generation.

1. Buildings

2. Transportation

3. Industrial processes

F. Building public transit to reduce car usage

Redundant if cars are zero emission.

G. Transition support payments

Unemployment, training, relocation, etc.


  • David Wojick David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see Available for confidential research and consulting.
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April 20, 2020 2:13 pm

US oil price below zero for first time in history
US oil prices crashed into negative territory for the first time in history as the evaporation of demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic has left the world awash with oil and not enough storage capacity — meaning producers are paying buyers to take it off their hands.
comment image

Reply to  Vuk
April 20, 2020 2:22 pm

I believe it is the traders of future contracts(ie speculators) that have paid the users of oil(ie refiners) to take delivery of the oil.

J Mac
Reply to  Pat
April 20, 2020 6:07 pm

Just so. Storage facilities are brimming, tankers are full, and the May futures oil contracts ‘settle’ Tuesday (tomorrow). Whomever holds the settled May contract must physically take receipt of the contracted oil… and none of the usual buyers has storage capacity available. In order to get rid of the contracts before they ‘settle’, the speculators were squeezed/forced to pay someone (anyone!) to take the contract and the oil. For accounting purposes, the price the speculators had to pay to get rid of the futures contract is shown as a negative price per barrel of oil.

This should resolve itself a bit in the next week week… but it is another ugly indicator of why we must get our economy moving again! Only market demand and consumption will restore some storage capacity and begin to rebalance the petroleum supply chain. Let’s Roll, America!

William Astley
Reply to  Pat
April 21, 2020 7:31 am

Yup, negative oil prices is sign, a bad sign not a good sign.

CAGW the scam has possible as the world economy was running at 10.

We have shifted down to 7 and we are too stupid/ignorant to understand what that means.

Businesses are going bankrupt now in real time. Normally that does not happen as a severe recession is a down turn of 5%, this is a drop of 30%.

P.S. The ‘Green’ case needs to expand the electrical grid capacity by a factor of three as homes and businesses will be required use electricity to produce heat rather than burning hydrocarbons.

Also hydrocarbons will no longer be used for transportation which increasing the electric grid output. There are no electric ships and planes. The green ‘savings’ ignores power lines, substations, and other parts of reality. DATA SPARKS GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONCERNS

“Weak global economic data also pressured prices. The German economy is in severe recession and recovery is unlikely to be quick as coronavirus-related restrictions could stay in place for an extended period, the Bundesbank said.

Japanese exports declined the most in nearly four years in March as U.S.-bound shipments, including cars, fell at their fastest rate since 2011.”

April 20, 2020 2:17 pm

Without OPM the green ideas are DOA. Most governments at this time are nearly out OPM and are running the printing presses, if they are able to.

Curious George
April 20, 2020 2:19 pm

The Green Deal is all about stopping the business as usual. It is a blind application of the mindset “every technical problem can be solved by signing a check”. (Not my personal check; a taxpayer’s check).

You posted a list of technical problems. That will be a plenty of checks, that’s all.

Rudolf Huber
April 20, 2020 2:19 pm

Yes, I can hear some of the Alarmist tribe hoping that the current stimulus packages will provide a fresh bounty of cash and I am sure they will get their fingers on some of it. Always there when there is some taxpayer money to grab which the market would never give them. But we have bigger problems now. The world wakes up to the fact that its dependence on China for – everything – must be broken at all cost. We need to be able to produce our own medication and simple things. No matter what the cost. China won’t like it as it will break their business model so expect plenty of money into more propaganda but the bubble has popped now. We need to rebuild our countries. No money for useless show off bling.

Joel O'Bryan
April 20, 2020 2:47 pm

Some relevant omissions here.

Portland cement production commonly uses natural gas to cook the crushed limestone. Electrification of this will put a substantial burden of current grids, regardless of EV growth in the private sector. Simply using Natural gas to make electricity to then make cement is a huge inefficiency.

Mining and mineral extraction
many of current and proposed mines are in distant locations and electrification of the excavators and ore haulers is not feasible via grid power importation.
Further, the Green lunacy means a 3x – 5x ramp up in mineral extraction (lithium, cobalt, copper, RE’s) and refining, done under under zero-carbon switch to wind and solar over today’s production output, is impossible. Can’t get there.

Eco-zealots are fighting tooth and nail every new mine project in the US and generally in every OECD nation as well. Without the extensive electrification using renewables in the 3rd World then, the emissions for the mining, extraction, and refining are just off-shored. This is a boot strap problem that can only be solved with fossil fuels and/or nuclear power generation if the 3rd World is to supply the Li, Co, Cu, and RE’s to manufacture all those new EVs, wind turbines, and solar panels and their interconnects.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 20, 2020 3:54 pm

Yes I missed mining, also timbering, although D2 may cover much of both.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  David Wojick
April 21, 2020 4:14 am

David, what is D2? (diesel?) As for timbering, electricity will never run logging machinery. Nor the chainsaws used by loggers. I happen to have an electric chainsaw for home use and love it- but it’ll only work for an hour or so at best.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 21, 2020 9:54 am

Cost element D2 in the checklist:
2. Equipment presently powered with internal combustion engines
From bulldozers to lawn mowers and portable generators.

Chainsaws are included. Need a truckload of batteries as you cut.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 20, 2020 5:14 pm

Joel, development, feasibility and permits (30+) takes 10 years for large mining projects. A hardrock project for a mere 35,000mt of battery grade Li chemicals, lithium carbonate or Lithium hydroxide, has a capex of $US1B (10^6 mt of ore/yr for 40yrs). Tesla uses 63Kg/car of lithum carbonate (12Kg of Li) (new generation uses lithium hydroxide monohydrate) 70kwh size. Tesla has upped this to 100kWh. Nissan Leaf is 24kWh – probably should use this size to calculate what raw materials would be required – GND won’t have many buying a Tesla on their ‘disposable’ income.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 21, 2020 1:46 pm

Not to worry about that pesky ‘disposable’ income, there are at least two options:
1. Universal Basic Income – whatever you need/want.
2. Nationalize Tesla – Every citizen has a right to a Tesla, no?

Money does NOT grow on trees, but it does grow with digital bits.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 21, 2020 12:59 am

Portland cement production commonly uses natural gas to cook the crushed limestone.

Correct Joel, and another point:
A rotary cement oven must not loose it’s fuel or power while in action, or it will go to the scrapyard. Relaying on weather dependent remote power is therefore out of the question.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
April 21, 2020 9:36 am

Don’t worry, cement production will be banned by the GND because it produces — CO2! Every structure will be made from dried mud & straw, like the good ‘ole ancient way.

April 20, 2020 2:51 pm

How many political assholes can dance on the tip of a pin?

Reply to  Stephen Heins
April 20, 2020 3:35 pm

Sow’s milk and swill futures for the little piglets took a hit today too.

April 20, 2020 3:44 pm

19 Apr: Boston Globe: This crisis provides a very green opportunity
We can accelerate climate progress as we rebuild society and the economy.
By Peter Fox-Penner
(Peter Fox-Penner is a professor in Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and director of BU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy. He is also chief strategy officer at Energy Impact Partners, an investment firm)
The pandemic and accompanying sharp economic downturn are forcing much reflection on how we’ve built our society, and how we will manage and rebuild it after COVID-19 is gone. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to protect ourselves from an even stronger latent threat: global climate change. Although the current crisis is creating setbacks in the long effort to counter this threat, it also heralds a giant opportunity to put our country on a path to substantially reduced greenhouse emissions…

This is the perfect time for a sustained national effort to invest in a clean energy system.
Harvard Business School economist Rebecca Henderson observes that this crisis has reminded her community of the need for an effective government, possibly translating into more business pressure for a strong climate policy…
In the United States, former (Obama) Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz captured widely held sentiment when he called for a national Energy Jobs Coalition, an industry-led version of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration…

more excerpts:

19 Apr: Climate Depot: Boston U. ‘Sustainability’ Professor on COVID-19 shutdown: ‘This crisis provides a very green opportunity. We can accelerate climate progress as we rebuild society and the economy’

Reply to  pat
April 20, 2020 3:56 pm

We want to restore society, not rebuild it along green socialist lines.

Reply to  David Wojick
April 20, 2020 6:21 pm

There’s no “rebuild”. Try “destroy”.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  pat
April 20, 2020 4:43 pm

Those Boston academics as smart enough to know they are lying about feasibility og the Green scam. The entire Green New Deal is the Trojan Horse we commonly refer to as the watermelon. We all know what’s waiting inside if we take bite.

Many of these academics like Fox-Penner and Mark Jacobsen of Stanford plan to profit handsomely from government mandates on renewables by aligning with crony capitalism joining hands with the Socialists like Warren and Sanders. Their motivation is just old-fashioned greed and will use their positions in academia to lie about feasibility of Renewable energy.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 21, 2020 2:31 pm

Speaking of watermelon, why they are attractive by Mark Twain:

I know how a prize watermelon looks when it is sunning its fat rotundity among pumpkin-vines and “simblins”; I know how to tell when it is ripe without “plugging” it; I know how inviting it looks when it is cooling itself in a tub of water under the bed, waiting; I know how it looks when it lies on the table in the sheltered great floor-space between house and kitchen, and the children gathered for the sacrifice and their mouths watering; I know the crackling sound it makes when the carving-knife enters its end, and I can see the split fly along in front of the blade as the knife cleaves its way to the other end; I can see its halves fall apart and display the rich red meat and the black seeds, and the heart standing up, a luxury fit for the elect; I know how a boy looks, behind a yard-long slice of that melon, and I know how he feels; for I have been there. I know the taste of the watermelon which has been honestly come by, and I know the taste of the watermelon which has been acquired by art.

Reply to  yirgach
April 21, 2020 4:34 pm

BTW, that was the longest sentence ever written in English.
What a wordsmith.

Here’s the link:

Gary Pearse
Reply to  pat
April 20, 2020 6:05 pm

‘Latent’, pat, is because so far nothing bad has shown up climatewise in the 40+ years of hype except we had CO2 rise that has caused global forests to expand 20% in 40yrs and this is particularly noticeable around and into arid areas. Also harvests have doubled. This is the only palpable climate change so far.

The only warming that has occurred in the 21stC has been due to a couple of El Ninos. The last one broke us out of an 18yr “Pause” in warming but we seem to be cooling down from that. That is the reason there is so much hysteria to get govs to make anti fossil fuel policy so the the failure for the lack of warming can be credited to killing fossil fuel.

Here is something you, the Boston Globe and Harvard Biz can take to the bank. No matter what we do in US and Europe, we are already committed to do the Big CO2 Experiment. China, India, the rest of Asia, Russia, Africa, Brazil … are either dwarfing our CO2 ouput or they are heading that way fast with fossil fuel energy to give prosperity to their people. We are going to have ringside seats to the event. We will know precisely how the rise in CO2 to over 500 -600ppm is going to affect climate.

Quoting the Boston Globe and the head of Global Warming Alarmhood from Harvard Business School (whose probably worried if he will have a job or not if it doesn’t start
showing itself soon) is weak argument on the world’s top Science blog and the top go to site for Climate. Ponder this Pat. I like to hear a rebuttal. Ask the Globe, ask Harvard Biz, ask Climate Depot about it in a polite letter. Their answers will be enlightening.

Reply to  pat
April 20, 2020 9:56 pm

‘Sustainability’ Professor : “We can accelerate climate progress”

“Climate progress” : is that a new mutation of the “climate change” clown show ?

Reply to  pat
April 21, 2020 2:33 am

Someone asked where does the money needed come from to pay for this utopia. Poor people can’t afford ‘green’ energy nor invest in it.
Forest soon will be a thing of the past if we start burning wood to stay warm next winter.
They ever asked themselves why ‘green’ energy does not exist in third world countries.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Robertvd
April 21, 2020 4:49 am

The Greens, especially in Massachusetts, hate burning wood – which is why they’re trying to end all logging in the state. Not only do they hate burning wood- they also hate the use of wood for construction, furniture and paper products. Of course they already own nice wood homes, nice antique furniture and paper products. They think locking up the forests will help save the climate by storing carbon. Their logic is faulty.

April 20, 2020 3:47 pm

20 Apr: Sky News Australia: UN climate change fund calls coronavirus an ‘opportunity’ to re-shape the world
Digital Editor Jack Houghton
The UN-funded financial arm of the Paris Agreement has labelled the killer coronavirus an “opportunity” to raise funds for climate change action and “relaunch economies on low-emission, climate-resilient trajectories”…

“While COVID-19 is causing untold suffering, the international response to this unprecedented health crisis in modern times offers an opportunity to direct finances towards bolstering climate action. GCF will continue to make critical investments in climate-resilient water resource management, health care facilities, agriculture and livelihoods – all of which are essential to subduing and overcoming the pandemic,” the organisation wrote in an official public update.
“Similarly, we will step up our efforts to catalyse green investment to relaunch economies on low-emission, climate-resilient trajectories.
“The Green Climate Fund is confident that only a united approach – bringing together determined efforts and innovation – will provide lasting solutions to both the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.”…

It can also now be revealed that the fund sent $157.5 million (AUD) to China in December despite the country planning on increasing emissions by several thousand mega tonnes of CO2 by 2030.
China escaped having to pay a cent towards the climate change fund by hanging on to its “developing nation” status even though it is a global superpower with the world’s second largest economy.
China’s failure to contribute to the fund led to US President Donald Trump withdrawing from the deal, clawing back billions…

Reply to  pat
April 20, 2020 5:16 pm

China has been playing the west off a break on every aspect of international relations for decades now.

The dupes in the UN, EU can’t help but see this happening, but are too self-interested to call it out.
That’s what having unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies gets us.

Reply to  pat
April 21, 2020 1:07 am

Just to be clear Pat, Sky News Australia is in no way supportive of the Green Climate Fund!

April 20, 2020 3:53 pm

The greenies have faith that technology will come along and rescue them. Many of them know about Moore’s law which describes how computers get twice as powerful every eighteen months or so. They think the same will happen with batteries and windmills if we just throw enough money at the problem.

Every chance I get, I tell a greenie about Eroom’s Law.

Eroom’s law is the observation that drug discovery is becoming slower and more expensive over time, despite improvements in technology (such as high-throughput screening, biotechnology, combinatorial chemistry, and computational drug design), a trend first observed in the 1980s. The cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years (inflation-adjusted). In order to highlight the contrast with the exponential advancements of other forms of technology (such as transistors) over time, the law was deliberately spelled as Moore’s law spelled backwards.

Technological breakthroughs can’t be planned. We will probably see breakthroughs but we have no idea what they will be … zero … nada. People have been working hard on battery technology for quite a while. That means the low hanging fruit has been picked. A breakthrough in battery technology isn’t likely.

The greenies have to deal with the cost of equipment as it is. They won’t be rescued by technology.

Curious George
Reply to  commieBob
April 20, 2020 4:56 pm

The tendency to “just throw enough money at the problem” is very green and very elitist. Certainly not middle-class, or – God forbid – working class.

Reply to  Curious George
April 20, 2020 11:04 pm

They think they have the ‘big picture’ of the ‘30,000 foot view’ as opposed to the peons who only see the details of the problem. They think the peons can’t see the forest for the trees. What it actually is though is that they don’t actually know what they’re talking about but they gloss that over because lesser beings can look after the details.

The thing is that they teach that kind of thinking in MBA programs.

There, case studies teach them how to pronounce cleverly on situations they know little about, while analytic techniques give them the impression that they can tackle any problem—no in-depth experience required. link

Henry Mintzberg studied 19 of Harvard’s star MBA graduates. 10 were abject failures. 4 were questionable, and 5 did OK.

Our institutes of higher learning have a lot to answer for. In large part, they teach the art of making up BS from whole cloth. It’s a kind of education that isn’t grounded in reality and all it does is inspire overconfidence. IMHO, the worst thing our society has done recently is to decide that the path to success should lead through the portals of a university.

April 20, 2020 4:00 pm

WHO appointed David Nabarro, former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, currently Co-Director (since mid-2019) and Chair of Global Health at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, IMPERIAL COLLEGE, LONDON, to the position of Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19.

Stephen Sackur/BBC Hardtalk only discloses the latter appointment. Nabarro claims at 12m30s that he initially began as Special Envoy at the end of January. WHO says March 2020:

Youtube: 24m27s: 20 Apr: BBC Hardtalk: Dr David Nabarro: Society must “learn to live” with coronavirus
With nation states across the world struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, there is an urgent need for an internationally coordinated response. That is where the UN agency the World Health Organisation should have a vital role to play, but right now the WHO is at the centre of a political storm. Donald Trump has withdrawn US funding, accusing the agency of being China-centric. Stephen Sackur speaks to WHO special envoy for Covid-19 David Nabarro. Is his organisation failing its greatest test?

WHO: WHO Director-General’s Special Envoys on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response
On the 21st of February 2020, the Director-General appointed six Special Envoys on COVID-19, to provide strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world…
•Dr. David Nabarro, former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change…
In 1999 David moved into the United Nations system starting as an Executive Director at the World Health Organization…

***David is currently Co-Director (since mid-2019) and Chair of Global Health at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, IMPERIAL COLLEGE, LONDON…

From March 2020, David is appointed Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19.

Imperial College London, whose wildly exaggerated, evidence-free “predictions” prompted the lockdowns in UK and US, according to media reports.

April 20, 2020 4:03 pm

It took now-‘developed’ nations ~ 120 years to get to where we are now in terms of quality of life, minimization of poverty, etc etc etc.

So wouldn’t it be reasonable to grant the promoters of a new era of human progress at least the same amount of time to achieve their ends – i.e. 120 years?

(Maybe grant them a longer time-frame, given that they’ve been at it now for ~ 40 years, throwing $ billions of public funds at the dream, with bugger-all to show for their activism, not even an advance in narrowing the modeled ECS value beyond 1.5 – 4.5C. Fail!)

April 20, 2020 4:07 pm

“6. Ships

Cannot be electrified, except for short trips.”

Sure they can, just carry a diesel generator on board too…wait, never mind.

Reply to  Lindley
April 20, 2020 4:07 pm


Interested Observer
Reply to  Lindley
April 20, 2020 11:10 pm

It makes sense both ways, Lindley. Actually, it makes more sense the first way but, I got your drift.

Reply to  Lindley
April 20, 2020 6:12 pm

This has been tried. :—))

William Haas
Reply to  Lindley
April 21, 2020 2:52 am

We will all have to revert to sailing ships.

Reply to  William Haas
April 21, 2020 10:07 am

Just put wind-turbines on the ship to power it. 😉

Reply to  Lindley
April 21, 2020 10:07 am

Interestingly, cruise ships can probably be electrified. They have very little weight (no cargo) and make frequent stops.

Electric airplanes are a hoot. Apparently these exist. They are small.

Eric Stevens
April 20, 2020 4:09 pm

Removing oxygen from iron ore entails the production of CO2. There is no other known viable large scale process.

Removing carbon from iron to produce steel entails the production of CO2. There is no other known viable large scale process.

Manufacturing of cement entails the decarbonation of limestone and inherently produces CO2. There is no ther known viable large scale process.

Our civilization would collapse without concrete or steel.

Gilbert K. Arnold
Reply to  Eric Stevens
April 20, 2020 4:37 pm

@ Eric Stevens
April 20, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Literally crash.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Eric Stevens
April 20, 2020 6:13 pm

Great, you just gave them a new idea

Walt D.
Reply to  Eric Stevens
April 20, 2020 6:26 pm


Walt D.
Reply to  Eric Stevens
April 20, 2020 6:28 pm

Where are they going to get copper wire from?

Reply to  Walt D.
April 21, 2020 10:20 am

National penny-collection effort.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
April 21, 2020 10:13 am

The plan is to capture the CO2 and use or deep well it. An energy intensive process. Mind you in “net zero” cases there is supposed to be the option of buying indulgences. But there are only so many trees one can plant. There are also supposed technologies for removing CO2 directly from the air. I am not making this up. The UK airline net zero plans call for it.

April 20, 2020 4:25 pm

somehow I don’t think anything with the word cost in it, is going to fly when this pandemic is over

Reply to  Latitude
April 20, 2020 6:53 pm

I agree. Americans are chomping at the bit to get going. Anything that is not maximum economic growth on a fast track is going to be DOA.

April 20, 2020 4:39 pm

Just making a simple observation here in ‘green’ Boston that many of you are seeing.

Just watch your local news now who always talk about climate change and now excitedly talk up how low gas prices are…

April 20, 2020 6:10 pm

Great list.

I can estimate the costs very simply. I need two pieces of equipment and a simple mathematical technique. Anybody with any kind of science, engineering, or mathematics PhD from an institution of higher education can use my technique as long as such institution is held in high esteem by the mainstream media or the Democrat party.

Equipment: dartboard and darts, coin

Technique: (This is a bit complicated, so please concentrate)
1. Choose an item off of the list. Remember the item number or letter.
2. Close your eyes and throw a dart at the dart board. Repeat if your dart did not hit the dart board. Remember the value of the square that the dart landed in.
3. Flip the coin.
4. This is the difficult part. If the item is represented by a letter and not a number and if the coin came up heads, append fourteen zeroes to the number on the board. Otherwise append thirteen zeros if tails. If the item is represented by a number and the coin came up heads, append only twelve zeroes, otherwise only 11 zeroes If heads.

Repeat until all items have been estimated.

This method will yield estimates that are as good as you could get in a properly run committee of your peers, but without the hassle. And you won’t be burdened with endless criticism from the media outlets that you care about because the Democrats and most of the news media hold you in such high esteem.

You really SHOULD hold a few high-ranking meetings in far-away, exotic places during your evaluation process. Your grant money should more than cover the expenses of these meetings because this process is so, shall we say, efficient.

It’s PhD heaven. For the lucky few.

Reply to  Ken
April 21, 2020 2:27 pm

I suspect you have omitted one essential step – let us call it 1a: drink a bottle of good wine [it’s on expenses!].


Auto – ever keen to enhance acuracy and enjoyment in estimation exercises.

Reply to  auto
April 21, 2020 8:15 pm

Good catch, auto. My bad for missing that. I have an excuse. I am not an esteemed PhD, so this did not occur to me.

April 20, 2020 10:40 pm

If we assume that everything must be electric in the future, do calculations allow for transmission losses of 8-15%?

These losses become larger and larger the more we stop using evil fossil fuels.

Reply to  Redge
April 21, 2020 10:18 am

A good comprehensive assessment would include line losses. Some propose building wind farms where the wind is good, a thousand miles from the load center taking the juice.

Also there is the 50% loss when pumped storage is used to back up intermittent renewables.

April 21, 2020 2:06 am

Saw a minute of what looked like an early seventies era climate catastrophe clip . A boffin was talking up solar energy and had a model of a jumbo jet on his table, as if to indicate that planes could be powered that way.

Half a century or so later and that solar powered plane is looking a little pie in the sky…

It’d be so full of batteries there’d be no room for the pilots, let alone passengers or freight.

April 21, 2020 4:23 am

Liked the idea of an outline.
Enjoyed the comments of some with details of how things work.
Need to add categories such as NEW emissions, land, water, labor used for “solutions.”
Now more folks with specific experiential and analytical knowledge need to add and quantify the list.

Reply to  John
April 21, 2020 10:20 am

Agreed. However, many of these items have already been studied so it is more a matter of collating these results.

The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
April 21, 2020 10:23 am

Honest question:

I guess I missed something, as I thought one of the selling points of ‘renewable energy’ was the cost-competitiveness of things like wind power, solar power, etc. Any and all government subsidies aside, I have been under the impression that AOC and others (Gore, e.g.) have made the claim that their preferred energy sources are coming down in price, and as fossil-fuels (petroleum, coal, etc) increase in price, the ‘renewable’ will become more affordable.

Please note, I’ve been a poster here for a long time, and would be categorized by warmunists as a ‘ d-e-n-1-e-r’ (M4GW comes to mind, if you have not seen their parody of The Monkees), so I am NOT promoting ‘renewable energy’. I think it is a Trojan Horse.

But with crude selling (as I write) for about $5 per barrel (USD), renewables should not be able to compete (economically) at almost any scale.

Please help; have I missed something?

Regards to all,


Reply to  The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
April 21, 2020 12:04 pm

Renewables are only cheaper if you ignore intermittency. This is usually expressed as the “levelized cost of energy” or LCOE. When you add the cost of the “backup” systems needed to provide juice when needed the cost becomes very great. In fact as the fraction of renewables grows large this cost becomes impossibly great.
See my for an example.

Reply to  David Wojick
April 21, 2020 12:22 pm

The is a certain irony here, in theory the current “Negative” oil price actually makes renewables more economical as the backup cost is in theory (at least) currently “Negative”.

Reply to  alloytoo
April 21, 2020 12:31 pm

In the developed countries almost no electricity is generated burning oil. In the U.S. it is mostly coal, gas and nuclear. Have natural gas prices dropped?

Reply to  alloytoo
April 21, 2020 8:24 pm

The negative oil price only applies in the futures market. As soon as this alarmist Covid scare abates, oil prices will resume their normal levels, unless the world economy totally collapses, whereupon all of this mindless uproar over CO2 will also collapse like the rickety house of cards that it is. At that point even Al Gore will have a hard time getting a decent prime rib as he jets hither and yon between his mansions.

April 22, 2020 5:46 pm

I believe the Swedes have developed a steel making process that uses an electric arc furnace, which is very cheap if 75% of your electricity comes from hydroelectric schemes.

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