Study: A Green Covid-19 Recovery will Save the World and Boost Growth

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Green energy is not economically viable. Green energy investment collapses whenever government support is removed. But according to a new study, a green Covid-19 stimulus package would deliver us to renewable nirvana.

COVID-19 shutdown will not save planet from global warming

By Nick O’Malley
August 7, 2020 — 5.38pm

The forced shutdown of the world’s economy over the past six months will have a negligible impact on global warming unless governments embrace green stimulus packages after the crisis.

They found more than half of the world’s population reduced their regular travel by more than a half. They found emissions reductions due to lockdowns were likely to have peaked in April, according to a new paper published in Nature Climate Change and resulted in a cooling of between .005 degrees and 0.01 degrees by 2050.

A recovery with fossil fuel stimulus is likely to result in warming of more than 2 degrees by 2050, while green stimulus policies that promote low-carbon energy and do not include bailouts for fossil firms could limit warming by 0.3 degrees and keep warming within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

In June the IEA outlined a post-COVID economic plan which it said would cost the world $US3 trillion over three years, boost global economic growth by 1.1 per cent per year and force global greenhouse gas emissions into permanent decline.

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/covid-19-shutdown-will-not-save-planet-from-global-warming-20200807-p55joy.html

The abstract of the study;

Published: 

Current and future global climate impacts resulting from COVID-19

Piers M. ForsterHarriet I. ForsterMat J. EvansMatthew J. GiddenChris D. JonesChristoph A. KellerRobin D. LambollCorinne Le QuéréJoeri RogeljDeborah RosenCarl-Friedrich SchleussnerThomas B. RichardsonChristopher J. Smith & Steven T. Turnock 

The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden reduction of both GHG emissions and air pollutants. Here, using national mobility data, we estimate global emission reductions for ten species during the period February to June 2020. We estimate that global NOx emissions declined by as much as 30% in April, contributing a short-term cooling since the start of the year. This cooling trend is offset by ~20% reduction in global SO2 emissions that weakens the aerosol cooling effect, causing short-term warming. As a result, we estimate that the direct effect of the pandemic-driven response will be negligible, with a cooling of around 0.01 ± 0.005 °C by 2030 compared to a baseline scenario that follows current national policies. In contrast, with an economic recovery tilted towards green stimulus and reductions in fossil fuel investments, it is possible to avoid future warming of 0.3 °C by 2050.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0883-0

The Three Trillion dollar IAE document is available here. The IAE document supports maintaining nuclear infrastructure, but prioritises investments in renewables.

Three trillion dollars seems a lot of money to spend on a wild gamble that somehow this time we can make renewable energy economically self sustaining. A similar amount spent on reliable nuclear energy would carve a large chunk out of global CO2 emissions, without the gamble on technology which likely does not work. If zero carbon is the priority, forget gambling on renewables; France proved in the 1970s that a mass conversion to nuclear power is a viable option.

46 thoughts on “Study: A Green Covid-19 Recovery will Save the World and Boost Growth

  1. How about a green Covid-19 recovery with free healthcare, college loan forgiveness, and the collection of all guns while increasing mass transit, reduction of living space in housing, and mandating world peace? I think that’s the solution!

  2. If a country pays more for energy they put themselves at economic disadvantage to other countries. One could argue well what if all countries agreed to same costly energy. Well then that is fine but then productivity would suffer as a whole. This is basic economics.

  3. I have seen detailed article after detailed article here and elsewhere that attempts to explain to the numerically challenged exactly why wind & solar electricity generation and battery storage in their current and identifiable future forms are incapable of replacing traditional fossil fueled grid-scale power.

    Is there a “Renewable Power Shortfall For Dummies” in publication anywhere?

    And if so, could same be made compulsory reading & comprehension tested in every school, college, university, media, congress, parliament and household throughout the developed world?

    • Renewables are intermittent, they don’t deliver power on demand, and sometimes they fail completely. So you need to keep the original fossil fuel system running on hot idle to maintain continuity of supply.

      Since fossil fuel systems are still indispensable, this means no matter how cheap the renewables are, embracing renewables still cost more than the original fossil fuel infrastructure. The true cost of renewables is always the cost of the original fossil fuel infrastructure + the cost of the new renewable infrastructure.

      The profit of fossil fuel companies likely actually goes up when the market is broken by politicians who love renewables. Fossil fuel operators know they are indispensable, and the smarter politicians and their advisors are also aware of this. Fossil fuel operators also know in a hostile political environment nobody is keen to build new fossil fuel plants, so there is no real competition coming onto the market. They effectively have a captive market, all they have to do is wait until the renewable systems fail then pounce – that is why IMO prices sometimes hit thousands of dollars per kw/h.

      If anyone tries to stop this, fossil fuel operators either demand subsidies or pack up and move elsewhere, leaving a ruined electricity grid behind. They don’t have to stay where they are not appreciated, there are plenty of other countries which need their plant and expertise.

      • “So you need to keep the original fossil fuel system running on hot idle to maintain continuity of supply.”

        Based on my conversations with those who advocate these “green” energy strategies, a noticeable number of them are not bothered about the possibility of intermittence of delivery of power to customer. It’s a “price to pay”, they say, to save the planet (or something like that). They seem to be looking forward to a return to live as it was in the 18th and 19th Century.

        Yep, I don’t get it. And I don’t think they are truly serious about that position, but it is their position none the less. They have their own incentives for sticking with it, or not.

        I don’t know the counter-measure, but I think that we need to start “outing” true expectations of people about all the intended and unintended consequences.

        • I grew up in Sydney in the fifties. Regular blackouts, hurricane lanterns, and kerosene heaters. No thanks.

          • Me too.

            Sadly, no everyone agrees and they seem to dream about going to this approach to living. Some of those people now have been granted (or taken) political power.

      • Hi Eric, I’ve been a regular on this site since December, or thereabouts. I have spoken about a 16 hectare Solar installation planned 600 meters from the beautiful town of Gulgong and the extreme fire risks and potential contamination of our soil and waterways. I think that there may have been some weeping and wailing too.

        Anyway, we had the opportunity to speak to the panel who had been appointed to decide whether or not the project would go ahead. Since we had formed a community group to oppose this industry my husband could speak for ten minutes, the other 12 people opposing the solar plant, including myself had 3 minutes each. There were more than 400 submissions against it in total and our population is somewhere around 2500. We did have support from the nearby town of Mudgee too.

        Thanks in a large part to the excellent information I have accumulated from WUWT, and other references to links outside of WUWT, as the person in charge of research, and the clever way my husband puts it all into a succinct speech…..WE WON!!!!! The vote against this solar installation was unanimous! 4 nil!

        What makes it particularly encouraging in fighting the next battle is that two of the reasons for refusing the project were risk of contamination and lack of benefit to the community. The others were all equally important but we don’t think that these have come up previously. We are thrilled.

        Thank you to WUWT and to the scientists and regulars on this site who have encouraged me, it’s paid off!

        I’ve included a link, unrelated to our win, but in my mind a win nonetheless. I feel that the renewables industry is in serious trouble. The following link covers our region too. The Wellington Solar (I can’t bring myself to to say farm) is not too far from here and should never have been approved. With power and greed comes karma.

        https://reneweconomy.com.au/hung-out-to-dry-the-dark-side-of-big-solar-75803/amp/

        The only dark side for this organisation is that renewables are in trouble.

        • You will note that some of the pressures guaranteeing that things get done poorly is the perceived need to diversify, but in crisis mode. When commidity economies get into the downside of the cycle, everyone involved feel a need to diversify their portfolios, but they rarely have the skill set to do so. Lots of decisions ultimately involve political pressures and public money.

          Several states here in the U.S. are feeling the pinch acutely now, and the last time around (in the 1980s especially) there were all sort of schemes cooked up to diversify and add value to commodities. I don’t know of any projects locally that returned even one dollar (US) — total losses of tens of millions. We are headed there again; this time adding a renewables injury to COVID insult.

          • Kevin the fact WE STOPPED THIS SOLAR PROJECT FROM GOING AHEAD is a huge win for us. Hence the shouting. We’re not sure, but we think it’s the first to be knocked back in NSW.

            The link I posted reinforces the huge damage being done financially, just in NSW alone. RCR Tomlinson had been going for more than a 100 years and were the largest construction company in Australia. They keep saying that renewables are coming down in price, the truth is they are all trying to undercut each other.

            The other problem is that there are no real jobs to be had in Australia in renewables as we import the product. Construction is the largest in numbers of jobs and because there trying to roll out massive projects all at the same time there just aren’t enough available people to do the work. They can’t call on backpackers because of the virus. It’s all driven by power and greed.

        • “Thanks in a large part to the excellent information I have accumulated from WUWT, and other references to links outside of WUWT, as the person in charge of research, and the clever way my husband puts it all into a succinct speech…..WE WON!!!!! The vote against this solar installation was unanimous! 4 nil!”

          Fantastic! I bet you are jumping for joy!

          I recall when you showed up here you were trying to find a way to do something about the solar power plant, and you did! You found a way.

          • Thanks so much Tom, wish I was good at posting gifs. HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!

            I have so much knowledge thanks to this site. We have been sending information to journalists, politicians and throughout our community based largely on information from this site and through additional links, with references of course.

            I have personally grown as a person. We are looking too make an appointment to see our MP’s in the near future, they are pushing renewables hard, they need to be aware of the damage being done.

      • You completely missed the fact that green energy needs oil and gas. Those wind turbines don’t grow on trees. They need a lot of concrete which is VERY UNFRIENDLY in the way of CO2 emissions. They need aluminum, steel, and a ton of plastic and fiberglass. All these materials need to be mined, refined, and manufactured… Then transported. Same with solar panels. And, let’s not talk about how much freaking land would need to be seized to put up windmills for just California. Each one needs 40-80 acres of ground to be efficient, if they’re efficient at all. Can’t out them just anywhere.

    • What you fail to realise Mr , is that logic, reasoning and science are just tools of the white patriarchy. Why should we take any notice of logical argument?

      What really matters is emotion and how black you are. ( Those not black on the outside are allowed to be “black on the inside” ).

      What we are facing is the end of the age of enlightenment. I’m not sure that you can counter this with a well informed argument.

      • From someone who is red all the way through: Palefaces go home; and take yer buffalo sojers w’ yuh.

        And to all you “woke” nimnuls: So you’re getting the “Redskins” to change their name? Trying to erase us are you? Well POTN, we’re still here and we aren’t going anywhere. Go take a flying dive off the space needle. Or maybe you should just come visit us: We give you very nice parting gift; genuine arrow shirt.

  4. Nuclear does not solve the non-problem until/unless the transportation sector gets electrocuted.

  5. Lots and lots of Mumbo Jumbo…

    And then the hook for the scam…

    “Accelerate the growth of wind and solar PV: Wind and solar have shown a degree of immunity to the Covid-19 crisis, …. William: Wind and solar is still being installed because loopy government policies and laws force it to be installed… because we are too stupid to admit that it does not work and will never work to get to carbon emission zero and the science is incorrect, also. It is stupid all the way to the core.)

    …and will be the only source of energy to grow in 2020, although, new construction is set to decline by about 15% in 2020 (IEA, 2020b). Additional solar PV and wind power could rapidly create a large number of jobs and cost effectively reduce CO2 emissions, but this will require policy support.”

    • It’s a lefty having a lovely dream, he is an Australian it isn’t on the radar and is never going to happen.

  6. Want to lose twenty pounds quickly? Get a saw and amputate your legs just below the knee. Want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Have a pandemic that cripples the world’s economy. All clouds have silver linings. Whenever God closes a door He opens a window. Look on the bright side.

    • The CO2 monitors on Mauna Loa and elsewhere show no ‘pandemic’ induced or ‘crippled world economy’ induced decrease in atmospheric CO2 this year versus previous years. Human CO2 ’emissions’ are trivial, compared to the normal natural CO2 emissions.

      God says “CO2 is plant food. Feed My plants!”

  7. The energy consumed to design, manufacture, install, maintain and administer renewables exceeds the energy they produce in their lifetime.

    Without the energy provided by other sources renewables could not exist.

    • I keep telling my green friends:

      “You can’t make steel without raising the temperature of the furnice to 1500C and you can’t make wind turbines without steel.”

      (AFAIK, there are no industrial sized electric furnaces large enough)

  8. Forster et al 2020 addresses the effect of the reduction in NOx emissions and CO2 emissions from CoVid-19.
    This brings us back to the Mauna Loa readings for CO2 emissions.
    What is the impact from the sudden decline in world emissions of CO2 caused by the pandemic on the Mauna Loa chart?
    I have seen Dr. Roy Spencer’s posts on this topic.
    Too soon to tell?

    • I think they do believe it. Outside the private sector there is no pricing mechanism to correct magical thinking.

      • There is a mechanism it’s called voters and neither major parties support this tripe and it is never going to happen.

      • They don’t need the free-market price-discovery mechanism as they have the Other People’s Money discovery mechanism.

        Until it’s all gone.

  9. The red flag in this whole scheme is the word “nirvana” in the first paragraph! That should set off alarm bells and get everybody running for cover!

    Funny how this plan conveniently appears just as the US economy is setting employment records! Remember, it was a voluntary shutdown of the economy because some bioweapons lab worker in China forgot to wash his hands!

    (Doesn’t that make more sense than blaming a poor, innocent bat?)

  10. One day the movers and shakers of this faux climate crisis will be asked a simple question.
    “Why do they constantly claim going Green with energy projects will create jobs? When efficiency in any endeavour, is about reducing labour input i.e. jobs?”

  11. UK’s Hinkley Point reactor now building will cost (at least) $25.4 billion

    so for $ 3,000 billion you could get about 118 of them.

    In ten years time.

    And you would add $13 a year to each consumer’s electricity bill for each one you built (given Hinkley pushes up UK electricity bills by 310 a year for 25 years).

    The bill for decommissioning those after 30 or 40 years would be atronomical

    • Mean time for operation of a new nuke is 100 years. Within 25 years costs will be down be half, barring no spectacular progress bringing it down by an order of magnitude.

    • Hinkley Point is not an example of how to do it right.

      France mass produced enough reactors to provide 70% of their electricity, without breaking the bank. They attribute the cost savings to reduced red tape and a production line of standard components.

      As for decommissioning costs, reprocess the waste, put a chain on the gate, ignore it for the next 100 years.

    • Green’s do everything in their power to obstruct nuclear power. Then when their actions cause the cost of nuclear power to rise, they declare that nuclear power doesn’t make sense because it costs too much.

  12. That’s propaganda for the poor.

    The private/biz jets business can hardly cope with the genuinely humongous demand created by the COVID turmoil.

    Anything available for private charter, no matter how heavy or light, has bookings way ahead on it’s waiting list.

  13. The greens never let reality, including the laws of nature, get in the way of their utopian fantasies. Perhaps it starts with believing Marxism is the pinnacle of human thought.

    A person can only believe these pipe dreams by ignoring what happens in the real world. A person can only believe if the don’t understand simple math. Even leftist agitator Michael Moore knows this.

  14. The Wacky Wreckonomics of Wind.
    Let’s say the electricity demand in my small community averages 10 MW per hour.
    10 windmills, each 3 MW nameplate and 33% capacity factor, will exactly meet the average demand.
    The community signs up to take 7,200 MWhr per month (10x24x30) from this windmill operator.
    However the windy supplier randomly varies delivery from zero to 20 MW per hour.
    Also, the community demand varies daily from a low of 7 MW to a peak of 15 MW.
    What to do?
    At times of high wind, surplus power (5-13 MW per hour) could be sold at a discount to another consumer, or some of the windmills could be idled, and at other times when the wind doesn’t blow, the community will have to buy between 7 and 15 MW per hour from another supplier on the spot market, or curtail usage (and in the extreme – blackout the community).
    To reliably meet community demand, the generator market must consist of the contracted 10 MW of windmills (nameplate 30 MW), plus 15 MW of reliable generators (say nameplate capacity 18 MW) to meet the peak demand.
    Note that if the windmills were shutdown entirely, there must still be capacity available to meet my peak demand from reliable generators. Another option sometimes proposed is batteries. To cover demand for 24 hours with no wind, that requires a 240 MWhr big battery. The world’s biggest battery, capacity 129 MWhr, soon to be expanded to 190 MWhr is reportedly at the Hornsdale wind plant (315 MW nameplate) in South Australia. So my little community would also need to be the proud owner of the world’s biggest battery.
    Conclusion: Windmills are essentially redundant, simply reducing the average utilisation of regular generators.

  15. “They found more than half of the world’s population reduced their regular travel by more than a half. They found emissions reductions due to lockdowns were likely to have peaked in April, according to a new paper published in Nature Climate Change and resulted in a cooling of between .005 degrees and 0.01 degrees by 2050.”

    “They found emissions reductions due to lockdowns were likely
    “Likely is an emotional estimate based upon gros assumptions and estimates; especially since they were unable to discern any measurable CO₂ change.

    “found emissions reductions”; False causation fantasy based upon self satisfaction pseudo calculations and carefully fraudulently worded to imply factual basis.

    Proof that this all fantasy?

    “resulted in a cooling of between .005 degrees and 0.01 degrees by 2050”:
    A) Past tense statement to give a false impression of ‘proven prophecy’.
    B) A temperature difference impossible to measure.
    C) A temperature difference impossible to attribute to any cause, let alone a few brief months of economy shutdown.

    All of this over the top hysteria trying to link climate fraud to COVID-19 and economic return to normal is utterly bizarre. One gets the impression that the climate scam is about to collapse from the sheer weight of contradictory climate claims and bogus predictions.

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