Add The Wall Street Journal To The People Who Can’t Do Basic Arithmetic

From the Manhattan Contrarian

Francis Menton

Let’s face it, lots of people aren’t very good at math, even rather basic math. On the other hand, some people are quite good at it. If you aren’t very good at math, there are plenty of other things for you to do in life. My own field of law practice mostly does not require much skill at math, and there a plenty of math-challenged people who are nevertheless very good lawyers.

But some big societal decisions require a certain level of math competence. Some of these decisions can involve multi-hundreds of billions of dollars, or even multi-trillions of dollars. For example, consider the question of whether proposed electricity generation system X has the capability to deliver the amount of electricity a state or region needs, and at the times it is needed. Answering this question is just a matter of applied basic arithmetic. Given the dollars involved, you would think that when a question like this is being addressed, it would be time to call in some people who could do the arithmetic, or who at least would be willing to try.

Yet when the issue is replacing generation of electricity by fossil fuels with generation by “renewables,” it seems that the need to believe that the renewables will work and be cost effective is so powerful that all efforts to do the arithmetic get banished. I last considered this issue in a post last week titled “California’s Zero Carbon Plans: Can Anybody Here Do Basic Arithmetic?” The answer for the California government electricity planners was a resounding “NO.” Today, the Wall Street Journal joins the math-challenged club with a front page story headlined “Batteries Challenge Natural Gas As America’s No. 1 Power Source.” (probably behind pay wall)

The theme of the story is that “renewable” energy sources, such as solar, paired with batteries to balance periods of low production, are rapidly becoming so cheap that they are likely to “disrupt” natural gas plants that have only recently been constructed:

[T]he combination of batteries and renewable energy is threatening to upend billions of dollars in natural-gas investments, raising concerns about whether power plants built in the past 10 years—financed with the expectation that they would run for decades—will become “stranded assets,” facilities that retire before they pay for themselves. . . . But renewables have become increasingly cost-competitive without subsidies in recent years, spurring more companies to voluntarily cut carbon emissions by investing in wind and solar power at the expense of that generated from fossil fuels.

To bolster the theme, we are introduced to industry executives who are shifting their investment strategies away from natural gas to catch the new renewables-plus-batteries wave. For example:

Vistra Corp. owns 36 natural-gas power plants, one of America’s largest fleets. It doesn’t plan to buy or build any more. Instead, Vistra intends to invest more than $1 billion in solar farms and battery storage units in Texas and California as it tries to transform its business to survive in an electricity industry being reshaped by new technology. “I’m hellbent on not becoming the next Blockbuster Video, ” said Vistra Chief Executive Curt Morgan.

But how does one of these solar-plus-battery systems work? Or for that matter, how does a wind-plus-battery system work? Can anybody do the arithmetic here to demonstrate how much battery capacity (in both MW and MWH) it will take to balance out a given set of solar cells at some particular location so that no fossil fuel backup is needed? You will not find that in this article.

Here’s something that ought to be obvious: solar panels at any location in the northern hemisphere will produce less power in the winter than in the summer. The days are shorter, and the sun is lower in the sky and consequently weaker. Therefore, any system consisting solely of solar panels plus batteries, where the batteries are seeking to balance the system over the course of a year, will see the batteries drawn down continuously from September to March, and then recharged from March to September. Do batteries that can deal with such an annual cycle of seasons even exist? From the Journal piece:

And while batteries can provide stored power when other sources are down, most current batteries can deliver power only for several hours before needing to recharge. That makes them nearly useless during extended outages. . . . Most current storage batteries can discharge for four hours at most before needing to recharge.

OK, then, so if solar-plus-battery systems are about to displace natural gas plants, what’s the plan for winter? They won’t say. The fact is, the only possible plans are either fossil fuel backup or trillions upon trillions of dollars worth of batteries. But the author never mentions any of that. How much fossil fuel backup? That’s an arithmetic calculation that is not difficult to make. But the process of making the calculation forces you to actually propose the characteristics of your solar-plus-battery system, which then makes the costs obvious. How much excess capacity of solar panels and batteries do you plan to build to minimize the down periods? Do you need solar panel capacity of four times peak usage, or ten times? Do you need battery capacity of one week’s average usage (in GWH) or two weeks or a full month?

The simple fact is that wind/solar plus battery systems would not need any government subsidies if they were cost effective. The Biden Administration is proposing to hand out many, many tens of billions of dollars to subsidize building these systems. They are clearly not cost-effective, and not even close. But no one in a position to know will make the relatively simple calculations to let us know how much this is going to cost.

Read the full post here.

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May 18, 2021 10:11 pm

Exciting and promising innovations in energy storage technology are currently under development. Pls see

https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/08/18/energy-storage/

dk_
Reply to  Chaamjamal
May 18, 2021 10:27 pm

O.T. and worthless.

Bryan A
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 9:38 am

Cold Fusion is also currently under development and has been 10 years away for the last 50 years or so … since 1970

Sorry Chaamjamal

Mason
Reply to  Bryan A
May 20, 2021 6:26 am

So has fusion. I crawled in to the Ormak 70 years ago when it was 10 years away from commercial production. TVA had to bring on a complete coal fired power station, about 2400 mW, just to initiate the magnetic bottle.

John in Oz
Reply to  Chaamjamal
May 18, 2021 10:39 pm

The change from reliable to unreliable power sources is happening now so ‘under development’ won’t be of any use when the lights go out.

H B
Reply to  Chaamjamal
May 18, 2021 10:41 pm

but read the critical comment at the end

Reply to  Chaamjamal
May 18, 2021 11:22 pm

My point is that the need for fear based activism to sell an energy technology is itself the evidence that the technology being sold is not competitive in the market for energy (in due consideration of all the relevant factors).

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Chaamjamal
May 19, 2021 8:24 am

“promising innovations” – promise, promise, promise…but never deliver.

Eric Harpham
Reply to  Paul Johnson
May 19, 2021 8:53 am

They were promising Hydrogen powered cars in the 1950s when I was a lad.

Sunsettommy
Editor
May 18, 2021 10:14 pm

I am no big shot in mathematics, but I can see the B.S. rather easily because intermittent low mass power generation performance has no chance to match the 24/7 capability of high mass power generation performance.

tonyb
Editor
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 18, 2021 11:18 pm

AH! But there is plenty of power available from renewables, provided we don’t use it much.

I am sure everyone on this board will be happy to accept rationing of power to one hour a day. As a major concession you can choose which one hour that should be.

tonyb

Earthling2
Reply to  tonyb
May 19, 2021 6:03 am

But would it work even for one hour a day on an annual basis, this scheming solar/wind and battery storage fraud for a grid scale application? That one hour a day would still need to be backed up with a reliable power supply, whether that be fossil, nuclear or hydro. What a waste of finite resources. Renewables are only the surplus froth, like on a good head of beer, but beer has utility. Renewables (solar/wind) and Utility shouldn’t be in the same sentence.

jtom
Reply to  tonyb
May 19, 2021 5:40 pm

There was an American author, Mary Rinehart, who wrote murder mysteries in the first quarter of the 20th century. Here stories were a reflection of the period she lived in. In some novels, she mentions preparing the candles for use after the electricity was cut off for the night. Somehow, I found that tidbit to be fascinating. I simply never considered how electric power had evolved. Once I read it, it seemed obvious.

It seems that might be both our past and our future.

Mason
Reply to  jtom
May 20, 2021 6:29 am

Ah, but candle wax is a hydrocarbon banned in the new age.

Doonman
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 19, 2021 11:01 am

Don’t worry. When the power is out, you can spend time shoveling the horse manure out of the barn for your carbon free vehicle that lives in there. Remember, when Abraham Lincoln wasn’t splitting rails with his axe, he was studying law at night by candlelight. You can too.

dk_
Reply to  Doonman
May 19, 2021 11:54 am

I plan to go into the tallow business. I will keep the dairy and steaks for myself of course. If you stop by, Doonman, I’ll give you a discount. Candles or lamp oil!

DrEd
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 20, 2021 8:13 am

Guess what company I’m NOT going to invest in?

David Guy-Johnson
May 18, 2021 10:15 pm

They never mention that you have to find the same amount of money again, only 15-20 years later

dk_
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
May 18, 2021 10:38 pm

Yes, and rather continuously throughout, and still without replacing the fossil fuel generation capacity while the demand continues to increase. Renewable energy, carbon neutral, carbon free is a con to support “new energy” industries. “Fixing” the storage capacity of the distribution system is an oxymoron. But reasoning with green fool shills is a deliberate distraction, wasting human time and energy more properly used to expose the legal and political fraud for what it is.

Giordano Milton
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
May 19, 2021 5:34 am

Probably more like 5 years, when the batteries stop holding a charge.

Climate believer
May 18, 2021 10:45 pm

 But renewables have become increasingly cost-competitive without subsidies in recent years….”

Maybe in La La land, but here in France the total amount of public subsidies for renewable energies is expected to reach between 116 and 130 billion euros by 2028.

Without subsidies there is no “renewable energies” full stop.

Simon
Reply to  Climate believer
May 18, 2021 10:49 pm

But the oil industry receives huge subsidies in the US. What’s the difference?

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Simon
May 18, 2021 11:04 pm

Please identify and quantify those “huge subsidies”.

Simon
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 19, 2021 12:12 am

See below

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 6:12 am

I’ve seen below, and not a single one of the things you have listed is a subsidy. Deducting business expenses is not a subsidy. Renewables also deduct their expenses.

lee
Reply to  Simon
May 18, 2021 11:05 pm

Would these huge subsidies be like the IMF says and things like depreciation, or other capital costs? You know just like tax deductions solar and wind get.

How much per GWh? 😉

Last edited 26 days ago by lee
Simon
Reply to  lee
May 19, 2021 12:04 am

Nope some are very specific to the oil industry. For example did you know they can claim 70% of their exploration costs as soon as they incur the expense. That’s right 70%

Lrp
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:07 am

What would be an equivalent cost to be written off by REs?

michel
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:38 am

Yes, and its entirely legitimate from an accounting point of view. These are real costs of replacing the depleting asset that they are selling. Leave them out of the costs part of the financial statement, and you would be doing accounting fraud. You could not continue to operate long term without incurring these costs.

Sometimes people who are accounting illiterates propose taxing not profits but revenues. Its illiterate. Read up on GAAP and you will see why. Any basic accounting textbook will explain this stuff.

But there are none so blind as those that will not see.

Reply to  michel
May 19, 2021 4:18 am

“These are real costs of replacing the depleting asset…”
Obfuscating your fraud behind abstractions is the legalised accounting view.
When my shoes wear out, do I get a subsidy? Do I get a subsidy for driving to work? Do I get a subsidy for eating the food I need to get energy to go to work? What, exactly, is the minimum price at which I can start demanding the taxpayers carry my costs of living, which is nothing else than my cost of “doing business”, because, without a regular beer, my brain would just not be able to drag itself off to another round of counting other peoples’ beans for money so I can live to count more beans to earn more money to count…. Just like Exxon needs the occasional spike of joy from a good old gusher, for which they wear out their drilling shoes, of course. Which I must then replace for them?
But you’re right, it’s all legal… Besides, Amazon’s billions in profits will subsidise the tax burden on my family, not so?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 5:32 am

Maybe you should stop voting for people that think everything you make is theirs?

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 19, 2021 10:06 am

I don’t vote. Voting just encourages the bastards!

dk_
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 11:56 am

I’ve never voted for anyone. I always vote against the biggest (insert fav expletive). Saves me having to endorse anything from the lesser one.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  dk_
May 21, 2021 6:29 am

How does that work in practice? I’ve never seen a balllot that allows me to vote against anyone.
When I vote for the lessor of 2 evils, aren’t I endorsing that person’s policies?

dk_
Reply to  Steve Reddish
May 21, 2021 10:09 am

You are voting for the lesser evil. Thing is, that you know it is the lesser evil, and what you know counts. Not the same at all as endorsing slightly less evil policies — just knowing that you’ll still have to keep an eye on them.
Not voting at all leaves no right to complain.
I was incorrect before. I did vote twice for Reagan. I did not at all feel bound to not complain about what I felt that were bad things that happened on his watch. In at least two incidents, it turned out later that I was wrong to complain.

Doug Ward
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 8:42 am

Some personal work expenses are deductible (e.g. uniforms), some not. The tax laws are written with enforcement, complexity, and revenue impact considerations. How would the IRS verify that your shoe and gas expenses were all employment related? Tax fraud potential is immense.

It is so much simpler to use the standard deduction. Do you spend more than $10K annually on your work shoes and commuting-related gas consumption?

Drake
Reply to  Doug Ward
May 19, 2021 9:52 pm

Well said. The standard deduction MORE than covers all of PG’s shoes, and about anything else he actually NEEDS to cloth himself.

Businesses pay taxes on profits. What is considered profits are determined by tax law.

Individuals pay taxes on what the IRS determines as income less allowed expenses OR the standard deduction, whichever is greater, but NOT both.

So a renter gets the standard deduction if they have no massive other deductibles, but the “land lord” can deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, repair and utility expenses, etc. for the rented property. Those expenses are PASSED THROUGH, not income to the owner.

So the nit wit (Simon) above is horrified that a business can write off 70% of their expense in exploring for new resources. My question is why not 100%. Why is a land lord who has to replace a ruined carpet due to a renter’s negligence only allowed to deduct a portion of the money over a series of years, and not 100% the year the money was spent?

Answer those questions paranoid guy. You probably think that I should buy your new pair of shoes with money earned from rental properties I personally have purchased with my own earned income, after paying income and social security taxes, remodeled, repaired and maintained with my own physical labor and learned skills, and rented in a WIN WIN fashion where tenants stay FOR YEARS because both they and I are content with the arrangement. Why, because you WANT?

Business is a scary thing for those who just WANT.

Now to the great Ronald Reagan and “A rising tide lifts all boats”. For you ignorant of what that really means: It means that “production” is not a zero sum game. The more that is produced, the better off “society” is. But actually it really means, the more PEOPLE who work productively, the better of ALL PEOPLE are.

So if I could not make any income from my rental properties, I would not be providing homes for people who do not want to own a home to live in. I have, over the last couple of years, attempted to get my renters to buy the homes they live in. Each could have, early last year, purchased the home they are living in with a resultant payment LESS than their current rent. Now the houses have increased in value about 15% in the market and I CAN NOT sell the rentals for less than the legitimate price OR the IRS will penalize ME, because Uncle Sam want’s his cut of the FULL value of the property when sold. You can’t cheat the US. I doubt that neither you, Simon or you, Paranoid guy had any idea that those types of rules exist in the IRS codes.

Dave Fair
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 11:21 am

Those are paid for by the company paying your wage and is a cost of doing business for them. Are you being obtuse on purpose, or are you actually that ill informed?

michel
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 5:16 pm

Accounting illiteracy. I will explain.

Anyone who is engaged in business has to calculate profits of the activity. Tax is paid on the profits, and the business is valued by shareholders based on those profits.

How you calculate profits is specified by GAAP. Failing to comply with GAAP in either direction will be fraudulent, because it will give a misleading impression of the profitability of the activity. That is, if you leave out some of the costs you overstate the profitability. If you put in costs which are not incurred you will understate it. Either is wrong, the first mistaken, and the second fraudulent.

If you are self employed you can and should deduct all the legitimate costs of doing business from your gross profits. This will include amortizing your tools and capital equipment, and could include apparel and protective equipment for yourself and staff.

None of this is a subsidy. It is simply following the rules, and the result is you only pay tax on your real profits, which is the object of the tax laws.

A subsidy is quite different. A subsidy happens when you buy an electric car at a price of, lets say, $50k. The company making it calculates profits according to GAAP, so that is all legitimate and there are no subsidies there. The Government then pays you $10k. Or it pays the company $10k on condition it passes that on to the buyer as a discount.

That is a subsidy. That is the taxpayer giving you $10k towards the cost of the vehicle.

Fossil fuel companies pay taxes and get to count expenses against profits. The taxpayer does not pay them or their customers anything. Not in the West at least. In some other countries food and fuel prices are subsidized – they are sold below cost to consumers and the difference is made up out of Government payments.

So sure, you are a contractor, you need safety boots, that is probably a legitimate expense and one you can deduct from your gross income when calculating profits and tax due. But its not a subsidy, and neither is the depletion allowance.

Reply to  michel
May 20, 2021 12:41 am

Thanks for patronising me, I always wondered why I have to fill in that strange form for the guvvemint every year. Also, thanks for reminding me that Generally Accepted Accounting Practices serve to keep accountants and businesses as honest just like the BAR keeps lawyers honest. For a while there, I thought these things chop-and-change as those with enough money “petition” the politicians they sponsored into power. Or as they invent new “financial vehicles”. Or as “law catches up with technology”.
Maybe the good mister wants to explain why it is optimal that salaries carry in excess of 70% of the national tax burden, while multi-billion dollar corporations pay between 3% and -15% in taxes.
Then, strewth, you presume to teach me the difference between a subsidy and a deductable? Did you understand my argument about deductables, or are you just hell bent on shoring up your own belief system? In a world where I have been reduced to the status of a resource, EVERYTHING I do is my cost of business, every little thing, just like that fat party your boss got you to deduct as a business expense, because, hey, you had some clients present.
My main statement was that all subsidies are criminal, fraudulent and the result of corrupted business practices, period, full stop, the end. I don’t care about legitimacy, it is also legal in many places to suck the unborn baby from a teenager’s uterus and sell its body parts on the “open market”. But only if you are Baal Gates and friends…
It is said that most conversations consist of one guy talking, and the other standing there, not listening, because he’s thinking what his answer’s going to be. Maybe you should read what I wrote before you preach to me?
And GAAP is just a set of changeable rules, not the Holy Gospel of Mammon! Find a new religion, this one is cheating on you. Or are you blind to the fact that all money today is flowing in one direction, in this World According to GAAP.

jtom
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 6:01 pm

Yes, you do get the same tax treatment (not a subsidy in either case). Just why do you think you get standard (or itemized) and personal deductions on your taxes? If you must drive your car as part of your job, you get an additional deduction. If you must wear a uniform for work, you get to deduct its cost (including shoes). Normal commuting expenses would be included in your personal deductions, but if you must drive to a location that is not your normal workplace, you get a deduction.

Whatever you use that is only used for work, is usually deductible (which you refer to as a subsidy).

I have a feeling you have either never paid taxes, or paid someone to do them for you.

John Garrett
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 4:04 am

Simon really is “Simple” Simon.

Are you trying to tell us that a dry hole has value and shouldn’t be written off ??

Last edited 26 days ago by John Garrett
Carlo, Monte
Reply to  John Garrett
May 19, 2021 5:15 am

Simple Simon the Shill.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 4:19 am

That is a business expense, not income! Did you know all businesses get to write off payroll expenses too? And, benefit expenses, etc. You have never run a business of any size have you?

You sound like someone who is living in mom’s basement with no experience whatsoever in the real world. Beware the things you read on the internet, they are not always true!

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 4:42 am

If it’s a legitimate expense, why shouldn’t they be allowed to deduct it?

Bill Toland
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:54 am

Simon, like you I am shocked that the oil industry can only claim 70% of their exploration costs. It should be 100%.

Last edited 26 days ago by Bill Toland
John Dilks
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 7:48 pm

Big deal. Most businesses can claim their costs the same year that they pay them, even sole proprietorships (i.e. people).

bigoilbob
Reply to  lee
May 19, 2021 4:37 am

lee, how’z about 11–12 figures USD of shirked oil and gas asset retirement obligations, accrued for well over a century and still counting, just in the CONUS. Responsibilities they, or their predecessors freely assumed at the time. They are bonded at a tiny fraction of actual, thanks to Ben Dover regulators and enforcement, at both the state and fed levels.

Make the operators stash CASH back for them at at a rate of :

(Total Asset Retirement Liability for Past Accrued +SEC PDP Reserves)* BOE Produced/SEC PDP Reserves.

Folks, this is where we get the classic goal post movement of beseeching us to communize this legit cost of oilfield operation from the legally responsible concerns to the rest of us, with “Bbbbutt, we ALL benefitted”. Also, please note the lack of reference to the carbon taxes they should be paying. Just this is enough to make green sources more than competitive – even what with requiring the same treatment for their (relatively tiny) ARO’s.

Last edited 26 days ago by bigoilbob
dk_
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 4:56 am

Senseless.

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 6:13 am

Once again, when the existing facts don’t support your position, just make up ones that do.

Mr.
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 7:39 am

So BigKoolAdeBob, who gets to pay for the reinstatement of lands after wind or solar farms are abandoned?

If you watched that Michael Moore expose of the wind & solar scams, you’d see that there are numerous huge tracts of land that have been despoiled by these arrays, that are now abandoned.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Mr.
May 19, 2021 3:35 pm

When will those lands be “abandoned”? Unlike the one time takings of oil and gas, these sites were chosen because they are the best fit for purpose. Ask the farmers who are prospering from the rental payments. They will be reused, again and again, into perpetuity.

Michel Moore told the parts of the truth, that fit his incomplete , untechnical understanding. None are permanently “despoiled””, as are the orders of magnitude more polluting trash cans the oil and gas producers refuse to restore. All of the sites he cites will be reused.

Mr.
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:49 pm

No doubt all the sites will be reused.
As landfill for broken down windmills and solar panels.

Drake
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 20, 2021 8:48 am

Drive through Ohio on I 80. Look at the many, some very old, oil pumps. some still running. Almost ALL are surrounded within 10 feet or so by corn or other crops. There WERE many more. How do I know? Every so far you will see an equipment yard with old pumps in rows. Removed from service. The wells were obviously capped when taken out of service.

As to the farmers being paid rent on their windmill sites, I would bet, in general, the farmers in Ohio received HUGH royalties for 50 or more years for the well sites on their land. And some are STILL receiving payments on those old pumps still running. All the while not being impacted by infrasound and the ugly visual blight of the giant windmills.

As to the rent, when the windmills stop turning, will rent be pad. I doubt it. And, if as you claim new windmills will be put up to replace the old failed equipment because the site is sooo good, the farmers will need to work around the equipment coming in to replace the old. As to one question you never answer, who will take down the old windmills and solar plants?

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/abandoned-dreams-of-wind-and-light

So boob, you have the same rant every chance you get, but never answer the corresponding questions as they relate to solar or wind.

Finally, have you forsaken all oil produced power sources and materials? As in the famous classical song lyrics from the early 60’s serial documentary which represents the end goal of human existence of the bigoilbob’s of this world:

No phone, no lights, no motor car
not a single luxury
like Robinson Crusoe,
it’s primitive as can be.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Drake
May 20, 2021 7:37 pm

The wells were obviously capped when taken out of service.”

In an antique manner. Incorrectly capped cable tool wells (Ohio oil wells are largely pre rotary drilled) will keep on emitting for decades. The problem is that since they weren’t cemented, they can’t be properly hydraulically isolated. many were “plugged” with a telephone pole dropped into them. Those farmers are obliv tothe specifics, so they blithely Sargeant Schultz, as in “I know NOTHING”.

“As to the farmers being paid rent on their windmill sites, I would bet, in general, the farmers in Ohio received HUGH royalties for 50 or more years for the well sites on their land.”

Not in Ohio. Most of those wells went stripper right quick. And those few who got some decent $, blew it right quick. And unlike wind/solar sites that are, by definition, reusable over and over, when the oil’s gone, all you’re left with is the mess. Much of western Pennsylvania and W. Va. is a trash can, never to be properly cleaned up.

“As to the rent, when the windmills stop turning, will rent be pad.”

Uh, not too thoughtful. They will be “pad” for rework after rework, well after the oil and gas are gone. AGAIN, the value in the sites is not a one time exploitation. It’s in the energy available for thousands of years,

“So boob, you have the same rant every chance you get, but never answer the corresponding questions as they relate to solar or wind.”

Apparently, you read my comments about as well as the articles you comment on. Unlike the WUWT acolytes, I’m in favor of a truly level playing field. No externalized costs, no romantic preferences. I’ve been going for the oil and gas for all of my teenage/adult life, without apologies. But now that we know better, we need to act like adults and respond accordingly.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Drake
May 20, 2021 7:47 pm

BTW, your dated Atlas Obscura (accidently descriptive) article describes an antique project, almost 40 years old. Since I spent many years as Bakersfield oilfield trash, I’ve walked thru the Tehachapi wind farms and checked them out from my paramotor (Tehachapi is a great soaring airport). They are orders of magnitude less technologically advanced than anything now being produced This is why properly sited modern wind projects, compared apples/apples, with competing base load projects – with all things considered – kicks their *** using real world B-A economics.

Rick C
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 7:59 am

Sure let’s make “green sources” more competitive by inflating the cost of fossil fuels with taxes and mandates. Skyrocketing energy prices won’t be a problem for anyone. We’ll just return some of the taxes to low income folks to off-set the increase.

Right, now pull the other one.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Rick C
May 19, 2021 3:36 pm

“Taxes and mandates”

You mean making them actually pay their way? Heaven forbid THAT!!

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:09 pm

They are already paying their way. What you, like most leftists want, is for them to pay your way as well.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 11:48 am

The same is true about any number of businesses and organizations in the past. How about ammunition makers, chemical factories, tax funded reclamation of abandoned property, land fills, defunct cemeteries, and on an on.

Why do you claim that oil companies are special? They are not.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 19, 2021 3:40 pm

Oil and gas still has the $ to meet up with the responsibilities they have freely incurred. Barely, but they do. Why should those costs be communized just because we have bent over for other industries to do so? In addition to the corporate give aways you refer to, copper, gold, coal. All have left us with their trash cans to pay to clean up after.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Simon
May 18, 2021 11:26 pm

Like other low-IQ renewable energy advocates, Simon is unaware of the distinction between a subsidy (a cash donation) and tax write-off/depreciation (a reduction in taxes paid on profits by the firm).

Simon
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 19, 2021 12:35 am

See if your over inflated IQ can cope with reading this detailed explanation of why the oil and gas industry get a better than even break through taxes…
chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/https://www.taxpayer.net/wp-content/uploads/ported/images/Understanding%20Oil%20%20Gas%20Subsidies(2).pdf

dk_
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:20 am

Let’s be multicultural about this:

  • If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. Proverbs 29:9
  • Arguing with a fool proves there are two. Indian Proverb
guidoLaMoto
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 2:00 am

One should never argue with a fool–They will bring you down to their level and then beat you on experience.

dk_
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
May 19, 2021 2:13 am

guidoLM: I B lovin’ the interwebs 🙂

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 9:10 am

On the other hand, us observers appreciate the facts given. You don’t argue online with a fool for the fool, you do it to educate the bystanders.

dk_
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
May 19, 2021 12:07 pm

You have a point. I lost patience. He did get some solid responses that I tried to encourage with + mark ups and positive comments or questions. I do feel a little guilty, but not enough to fail to ridicule another deserving troll in the future.

When I engage that way, I am trying to determine if there is a real person with a real point and having a bad day, a piece of software (as was patently here not too long ago), or someone who is just poisonous – damaged, contentious, or immature. It is usually best to ignore them, but there were two last night (or one with two log ins) using the same material and the same contentiousness to spin each other up. It is a hobby with some people. But here it was IMO poison, and IMO bringing down the conversation between good people.

I have bad days. I want to be called down for them but not cussed out. I will answer, and apologise or withdraw or explain myself and try tone down. If I don’t, I’ve had a stroke or my ID has been hijacked.

I can’t bring myself to apologise for either of the two last night. But I will try to do better.

Simon
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 7:57 pm

You seem to do a lot of arguing….

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 4:54 am

When resorting to ad hominums you lost the argument.

dk_
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
May 19, 2021 5:19 am

Thing was, Ed, those were really all it was interested interested in delivering. The rest was specious. But its in here twice, so expect one of them back.

Mr.
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 9:10 am

Simon, yes the whole subsidies farrago provides everyone their special opportunities to assert their points.
As you have done.

For a wider, (dare I say more enlightening) presentation of the topic, please absorb the facts tabled here –

https://live-energy-institute.pantheonsite.io/sites/default/files/UTAustin_FCe_Subsidies_2017_June.pdf

Bryan A
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 9:43 am

Tax breaks are Tax monies YOU don’t have to pay the Government

Subsidies are last year’s tax monies that the Government pays to YOU

bigoilbob
Reply to  Bryan A
May 19, 2021 3:46 pm

Total BS. When I have to pay something that you don’t. it’s a “subsidy” to you, just like any other.

Drake
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 20, 2021 9:06 am

And what exactly do you “have to pay”?

The idiocy of your statement is astounding.

Nashville
Reply to  Bryan A
May 19, 2021 5:26 pm

Subsidies are last year’s tax monies that the Government took from me, and gave to you.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 7:16 pm

Let me simplify this so that even you can understand it. You are walking down the street, and a person approaches you with a drawn gun. He demands that you give him 38% of whatever money you have on you. You pull out your wallet, which has $100 in $1 bills in it. As you count out the 38 bills he has demanded, you mutter “but I have expenses”, which you list off as you count. After a while, the person gives up in exasperation – and partially in sympathy – and says “Okay, just give me ten bucks and we’ll call it even.” You give him the ten, and he goes away.

Have you just received a $28 subsidy? Has this person just given you $28?

People who think that he has given you a subsidy are making a fundamental assumption that is not compatible with the American system. That assumption is that 100% of the wealth produced by every individual is actually the property of someone else, and any of that wealth that someone “allows” the individual to keep is a gift from the government, a subsidy. In the discussion of this thread, the “someone else” is the State. The State owns each individual, and lets him keep only what it wants to.

In the United States, the individual is sovereign, and the government is delegated the powers necessary to secure that sovereignty. Those concepts have been under assault for well over a century, and the comments of those who say that oil is subsidized are testament to the success of that assault. It doesn’t make them right.

It’s time to really stand up to all of you a$$holes. Don’t tell me that you are entitled to one penny of my earnings – you aren’t “entitled” to anything but the value you produce, not to the value you wish to steal.

Last edited 26 days ago by Michael S. Kelly
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
May 19, 2021 11:09 pm

I am glad I did not have to make this point because you did.
What you have said is the real fallacy in Simon’s thinking.

dk_
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 19, 2021 12:50 am

Click troll links at your peril. Better to ignore.

Simon
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 12:56 am

That’s the way. Put your head in the sand so don’t have to cope with the fact you are wrong.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:30 am

Um. Which way does the money flow? Fossil fuels pay taxes, unreliables receive tax money.

guidoLaMoto
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 2:03 am

Let’s keep it Simple, Simon–Costs of doing business should not be taxed, ergo, it’s legitimate to deduct those costs from total revenues to leave you taxable profit.

MarkW
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
May 19, 2021 6:05 am

Simon believes that only companies he approves of should be allowed to deduct business expenses.

Simon
Reply to  MarkW
May 19, 2021 12:12 pm

“Simon believes that only companies he approves of should be allowed to deduct business expenses.”
Quite the opposite. Simon thinks it is hypocritical to think it is ok to get support from the taxpayer for one area of energy production but not for another.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:13 pm

Your previous comments demonstrate that this comment is nothing but a lie.
You are arguing that alone, amongst all companies in the country, oil and coal companies should not be allowed to deduct their expenses.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 6:04 am

The sad thing is that Simon actually believes he has proven his point.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 11:16 pm

I pity fools who do not know why revenue is different from earnings.
I doubt anyone who can learn to spell words can be as dumb as you are pretending to be.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Simon
May 18, 2021 11:30 pm

Clearly you have no idea what “subsidy” means … rather like O’Biden’s idea of what infrastructure means. The coal/oil/gas industry is one of the government’s primary revenue sources. The revenue from fossil fuels far exceeds the investment costs, contrary to the revenue from “renewables”. Besides, without conventional power generation, no renewables would exist (too unreliable).

dk_
Reply to  Rory Forbes
May 19, 2021 1:49 am

Rory, Well no, the troll you speak of is just spouting nonsense from the same source as some of AOC’s rants. Puts it at the same level as the others. You are correct, but you won’t educate that particular target.
It may be that it knows well what the terms really mean, but it isn’t necessary to the prime function of contentiousness.
Gotta admit a guilty pleasure from tweaking it a little, though.

Last edited 26 days ago by dk_
Reply to  Rory Forbes
May 19, 2021 4:28 am

The revenue from fossil fuel is indeed a major part of the tax pot, but those taxes are payed by the end user, not the “oil industry” as such.
This thread is veering close to a group lesson in economics theory, instead of economics itself.
As an acoitheist anarch, I declare unto thee, ALL subsidies are fraudulent products of corrupted business plans. All of them. Which means the entire “renewables” business was conceived as one big fraud upon “the consumer”. My proof? Easy, the likes of the Wall Street Journal is pushing it!

geo
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 6:48 am

All taxes are payed by the end user, in every product and service. Cost of taxes are built into the price of everything.

TonyG
Reply to  geo
May 19, 2021 11:47 am

geo, it’s mind-boggling how so few people appear able to grasp such a simple concept.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Simon
May 18, 2021 11:30 pm

You can define a ‘subsidy’ any way you like but according to the Oxford Dictionary:
subsidy:
• a sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or service low.
• a sum of money granted to support an undertaking held to be in the public interest.
• a grant or contribution of money.
A subsidy is a sum of money granted or given not a ‘tax break’.
comment image
As anyone can see above the oil and gas industries received virtually no direct government funding in 2013 while the solar and wind industries received lots and probably more, much more, nowadays.

dk_
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 18, 2021 11:49 pm

Chris, Yes. ….and paid taxes on delivered fuel, passed as costs on to their customers. Also paid taxes in transportation fees, passed on ditto. And paid taxes in the form of leasing and licensing fees, passed on ad nauseum. And paid working class salaries, which in turn were taxed as income, but which were also added to their costs, and passed on to the customers.
But I expect you are arguing with a fool and/or shill, so good work, and useful to me, but not likely to stop the original cause of your post.

Last edited 26 days ago by dk_
bigoilbob
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 4:45 am

Which of these taxes is paid, so other taxes that the rest of us pay, should be dodged? This is the predictable whine of “Poor us. Look at what we pay already”.

dk_
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 6:02 am

Let us parse your drivel as an exercise, seeking sense from apparent chaos.
“Which of these taxes is paid,”
All of them?
” so other taxes that the rest of us pay,”
None of them
” should be dodged? ”
Do not ever dodge your taxes. I really don’t care but don’t want to even appear as if I was advising you to break a law. You should never dodge your taxes.
“This is the predictable whine ..”
No, I’ve never heard anyone whine quite like your first sentence. It seems unique.
“Poor us. Look at what we pay already”.
I’ve never heard that. The tax code is open, but obtuse and difficult to understand. It is always passed on to the customer, but states seem to have accomplished it, differently, over about the last century. State governments and utility commissions work out the codes, rates, and tariffs and operators get a profit for their work. If it is too high a profit, then those good state governments, elected by the good people of each state who are at fault, and you are really claiming that the governments are corrupt, and the people are stupid. Hope that you can prove it.

But your rant doesn’t have anything to do with the story, which is showing that the claims for renewables are false, and contain much more hidden costs and practical pitfalls than any green toady or energy con man is ready to admit.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 3:09 pm

It appears you are talking about the US. In the US you can file as a business or as an individual. There are different rules that apply to both. And no, you cannot call yourself a business and write off everything you use. Most of your expenses would be counted as taxable benefits and you would then need to file as an individual to pay tax on those benefits.

No matter how many times you are told you are wrong you just keep writing the same gibberish. That is not a sign of intelligence or maturity.

John Dilks
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 8:10 pm

bob, I am having a hard time following what you are saying. Are you having a reaction to something that you are putting into your body?

Simon
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 19, 2021 12:10 am
  • Several major tax benefits are available for oil and gas companies and investors that are found nowhere else in the tax code.
  • Tangible costs, which pertain to the actual direct cost of the drilling equipment are 100% deductible but must be depreciated over seven years.
  • Intangible drilling costs generally constitute 65-80% of the total cost of drilling a well and are100% deductible in the year incurred.
  • Lease operating costs and all administrative, legal, and accounting expenses can also be deducted over the life of the lease.

Anyway my point is you can’t bleat about renewables getting breaks when oil and gas have had them for many decades.

AC Osborn
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:30 am

Simon, Renewables get “breaks” which is the whole point.
Every industry gets tax breaks, they do not get subsidies.
Subsidies are only paid to renewables as well as their tax breaks.

Simon
Reply to  AC Osborn
May 19, 2021 12:14 pm

Every industry gets tax breaks, they do not get subsidies.”
Yes but the tax breaks the fossil fuel companies get are specific to them and long past their use by date.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:18 pm

Simon seems to think that since no other companies drill wells, that this proves that oil companies shouldn’t be allowed to deduct the cost of drilling wells.

It’s total BS, but then Simon does believe in lots of things that are total BS.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:33 am

You don’t have a point. A reduction in tax paid is not equivalent to a grant where no tax is paid.

Timo, not that one
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 19, 2021 6:15 am

I have a business. Most of our income goes to pay for our operating expenses, like payroll, utilities, supplies, etc.. We deduct these items before paying taxes on the net income.
This is not a “subsidy”, it is normal tax law. Calling “deductions” a “subsidy” is totally dishonest B.S. .

Richard Page
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 3:29 am

Simon- if fossil fuels removed all of the tax breaks from their product they would still sell the same amount, but at a slightly higher price (And the US would probably be using cheap imported Russian fuels). If renewables had zero government subsidies then there would be no renewable industry at all – none whatsoever.
Nobody is arguing that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t have some tax breaks but the scale of it is negligible compared to the massive subsidies needed to keep the renewable scam above water.

Simon
Reply to  Richard Page
May 19, 2021 12:16 pm

You may have a point, but you can’t have it both ways. Either you are ok with the tax payer (be it subsidy or tax break) propping up energy production or you are not.

Richard Page
Reply to  Simon
May 20, 2021 8:46 am

I’m a fan of minimal but effective government intervention in the energy sector. At some point the government has to put a thumb on the scales to ensure fair prices for all citizens – free market prices aren’t always desirable; occasionally bringing in modest price caps or other minimal intervention helps to balance the books a little more. However – the sheer amount of government subsidy and intervention made necessary for renewables to be viable is staggering – start-up subsidies, minimum price fixing, subsidised tariffs and downtime payments are heavy handed massive price-rigging schemes in a manner not seen since the Soviet economy was artificially fixed to make it competitive to other currencies. You are trying to argue that the incentives for fossil fuels and the ones for renewables are equal when they are simply not – the subsidies for renewables are enormous compared with the fossil fuels ones, it is simply not a level playing field, is it?
Frankly, I’m glad that the renewable energy sector is as small as it is – if it grows any larger then governments are going to go broke just paying for the green subsidies.

John Garrett
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 4:09 am

Speak not of what ye know not.

Translation: Simon is simple— an idiot who knows nothing about accounting, business or the Tax Code.

dk_
Reply to  John Garrett
May 19, 2021 4:44 am

John G. The troll you speak of is merely a goad. Engagement feeds and entertains it. Poke it with a stick if you must (it is fun), but don’t plan on much else to be useful from that source.

Simon
Reply to  John Garrett
May 19, 2021 12:17 pm

Resorting to ad hominem attack. Guess that means I won.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:20 pm

Now that’s funny, Simon whining about insults.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 6:07 am

Not a single one of those is a subsidy Simple.
Those deductions that are unique to oil and gas companies, are also for situations that are unique to the oil and gas companies.
BTW, every single mining company gets the same subsidies.

Simon
Reply to  MarkW
May 19, 2021 12:18 pm

Those deductions that are unique to oil and gas companies, are also for situations that are unique to the oil and gas companies.”
Yes they are and they are unfair and way past their relevance. Either get rid of them or stop bleating.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:20 pm

Why is it unfair for oil companies to deduct the legitimate costs of doing business?
As usual you don’t present anything beyond hatred and illogic to support your positions.

Richard Page
Reply to  Simon
May 20, 2021 8:50 am

Why don’t we just end all energy sector subsidies, Simon? Oh, wait – the UK tried that and solar companies screamed bloody murder until they were brought back. It seems they were on the verge of going bankrupt without their government subsidies. So much for being cheap, affordable and competitive with fossil fuels, eh?

Graemethecat
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 7:44 am

Thank you for making my point. ALL of those items are legitimate business expenses, and may be deducted from retained profits.

You are remarkably obtuse. Which way is the money flowing? In the case of a subsidy the State hands a sum of money to the company. In the case of a tax deduction the company pays a smaller proportion of its profits to the State, so the State receives less tax.

Do you work in the public sector, by chance? (That’s assuming you work, of course).

Graemethecat
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 19, 2021 7:47 am

Correction: ALL of those items are legitimate business expenses, and may be deducted from the company’s tax bill..

Simon
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 19, 2021 12:22 pm

Correction: ALL of those items are legitimate business expenses, and may be deducted from the company’s tax bill..”
Probably about time to review them though don’t you think?

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:22 pm

Why, drilling will always be a legitimate expense for oil companies.
As usual you want different rules for companies you like and for those you don’t. Pretty hypocritical of you, but we’ve learned to expect that from you.

Simon
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 19, 2021 12:21 pm

Which way is the money flowing? “
The money has flowed to the oil companies for a very long time. And you know what I probably don’t care that the companies make the profits they do, but I do care when people here throw their toys and get all upset when renewables get support. Either you are ok with tax payer support for energy production or you are not? For the record I am.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 3:15 pm

Other industries don’t get those tax breaks because they don’t drill for oil or gas. Change the words from “drilling equipment” to “manufacturing equipment” and it is true for other industries. Change “Intangible drilling costs” to “direct manufacturing overhead” and you get the same result. And I think you would have a hard time finding any industry that couldn’t deduct lease, administrative, legal and accounting costs. Nice try, but you still lose. Of course, that’s the position you always seem to be in.

Roger
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 3:23 pm

Simon, it is clear that you need to take a Freshman course in Accounting to learn and differentiate between expenses, and subsidies, or tax credits, which are common in the unreliable energy industries of solar and wind.

MarkW
Reply to  Roger
May 19, 2021 5:23 pm

Simon is too busy trying to push his peculiar religion to actually spend time learning about the things he preaches about.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:17 pm

Why shouldn’t the cost of drilling a well be deductible? It’s a legitimate business expense.
All companies can deduct the cost of leases and such administrative costs.

Once again Simon demonstrates that he thinks only businesses that he approves of should be allowed to deduct their expenses.

John Dilks
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 8:18 pm

Everything that you just listed is standard business practice available to every type of business in the USA, from Billion Dollar Corporations all the way down to Sole Proprietorships. You are not making a good impression.

Bill Sprague
Reply to  Simon
May 20, 2021 2:34 am

Simon,

Every item mentioned is a cost of drilling for oil. The profit of any business is Revenues – costs = profit. Is your confusion that some costs are deducted to determine taxable profits, while the deductibility for tax purposes is spread out over time? The economic cost occurs the day the cash goes out the door.

The rules on deductibility determine when the cash out the door expenses can be deducted to determine taxable profits for that year. The end result of total dollars spent and deducted from revenues to determine taxable profits will be the same.

Wind and solar get an investment tax credit of 15% that has nothing to do with revenues less costs equals profits.
Spend $100 million to build soar and wind facility, and the government, ie the rest of us, give you back $15 million regardless of profitability. The taxpayers are giving you $15 million cash to pay your bills. That is a subsidy

Oil funds 100% of the capital to drill, and pays its own bills with its own money from selling oil. The oil companies then pay taxes on the profit. There is no subsidy, because the oil company is writing a net check to the government.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 19, 2021 4:43 am

A subsidy is a sum of money granted or given not a ‘tax break’”

Classic dodge. A “tax break” is just as definitively a “subsidy” as cash in fist. It’s money that is paid by the rest of us to shore up what you dodged. White collar flim flammers all round our land have milked governments out of “billions and billions” for generations with many forms of goofy tax schemes. Of which dry hole costs coroprate welfare is just one….

dk_
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 4:54 am

Trolls spawn, I see, or perhaps just change log in names. More mindless repetition of half-witted propaganda. Let’s poke this one too, to see what it does.

bigoilbob
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 5:03 am

“Trolls spawn”

Trans: I can’t rebut anything said, so I’ll name call…

dk_
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:09 am

Glad that you accepted the mindless and half-witted tags. We agree. Was that so hard?

bigoilbob
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:02 am

The latest schemes is from the (mostly hydrocarbon extractors) who want to use CCUS as as a shiny object to divert attention from biz as usual. They want a SUBSIDY of special tax treatment to build their facilities, thus shoving this technology ahead of more economic methods of AGW forcings reduction. The sure winner being less use due to adequate carbon taxes that would be regularly, totally, equitably rebated to the rest of us, after sequestration payments for projects that were actually funded by private enterprise. Since our specific carbon foot print correlates closely to wealth and income, those at the bottom would have a fair, net benefit.

dk_
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:15 am

” thus shoving this technology ahead of more economic methods of AGW forcings reduction”

“being less use due to adequate carbon taxes that would be regularly, totally, equitably rebated to the rest of us, after sequestration payments for projects that were actually funded by private enterprise”

“specific carbon foot print correlates closely to wealth and income, those at the bottom would have a fair, net benefit”

Bernie or AOC speech talking points? I can’t tell. Equally meaningless.

Last edited 26 days ago by dk_
Dave Fair
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 11:40 am

You must be ignorant of the basic reality that the poor spend a vastly greater percentage of their income on energy than do the well-off.

Simon
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 12:28 pm

It warms my heart when I hear the rich showing concern for the poor…

Dave Fair
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:47 pm

Wow! Thank you! I didn’t know I was rich before your intelligent comment showed me the truth.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:24 pm

Once again, Simon demonstrates that his brain stops where his ideology begins.

The rich do and have always cared about the poor.
The rich have done much more to benefit the poor than socialists ever have or ever will.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 3:51 pm

A BS metric. EVERY basic expense of po’ folks is a greater percentage of their meager incomes, than that of the rest of us. Their carbon footprints are LOWER, so an equitable carbon tax rebate would HELP them. Algebra 101….

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 11:43 am

Please explain how “carbon”* taxes will be totally rebated to the public. The Government is involved, and will take its cut.
*Carbon Dioxide, not Carbon – but I’ll bet you know that.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 19, 2021 3:53 pm

You make a good point. This should be the basis of a fair carbon tax. We have the experience of tobacco tax honeypotting, and this ain’t the ……ng 1990’s, so now is the time.

Last edited 26 days ago by bigoilbob
Dave Fair
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 6:10 pm

A tax on energy is a tax on every service and product provided in America. Additionally, it makes all of our products uncompetitive worldwide. Thanks for the inflation and job losses (stagflation).

Dave Fair
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 11:45 am

bob, are you or have you ever been a unionized employee in the oil and gas industry? Have you ever worked in the industry? You seem to really hate oil companies.

Simon
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 12:30 pm

You seem to really hate oil companies.”
The more I read this blog and the stories posted, the more I think it is just an undercover flag bearer for the fossil fuel industry. And this thread is a fine example. Just saying.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:58 pm

You avoided the questions, bob. Another question is your expertise as it relates to your comments.

I’ve never worked in the oil and gas industry. I have, however, significant high-level experience in the electric power industry, including generation and transmission system technical and economic operations. I’ve been involved in developing and operating geothermal, hydroelectric, and gas-fired and coal-fired fossil fuel generating systems.

Simon
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 8:05 pm

“You avoided the questions, bob. Another question is your expertise as it relates to your comments.
I’ve never worked in the oil and gas industry. I have, however, significant high-level experience in the electric power industry, including generation and transmission system technical and economic operations. I’ve been involved in developing and operating geothermal, hydroelectric, and gas-fired and coal-fired fossil fuel generating systems.”
Give that man a big kiss.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:28 pm

Simon demonstrates the standard left wing trope that it is impossible for anyone to honestly disagree with them.
Thus Simon decides that since we refuse to agree with him, despite his frequent attempts to insult us, just proves that we are being paid t disagree with him.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 3:57 pm

Yes, I have been a unionized oil employee. But I was nonunion when I began pulling slips over the Oklahoma Sooner Trend at 14 – underage. I’ve spent my adult life as an international petroleum engineer. And I’m a 40 year member of the International Society of Oilfield Trash (yes, it’s real). So, no hate involved…..

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:28 pm

Unionized. In other words you have a long history of not thinking for yourself.

Drake
Reply to  MarkW
May 20, 2021 9:35 am

Well done MarkW. You have gotten to the heart of his hatred. He has been wronged, in his mind, by the oil industry, somehow.

Now, has he given back to society all of his ill gotten gains from the oil industry?

Just askin.

Newminster
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:48 am

Legitimate costs of doing business are set against tax payable in every jurisdiction I am aware of (there may be others).

Adding hidden charges to the retail price in order to make the business appear competitive while permitting the seller to charge more than the going rate for his product — even to the extent of remunerating him from the public purse (in effect) when conditions mean that his production plant is unable to function is not the same as offsetting legitimate business costs.

Even an economic illiterate should be able to work that one out.

And none of it is going to “save the planet” as these hypocritical shysters well know!

Jim Gorman
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 5:57 am

An expense deduction in a given year or depreciation of a capital expense is still an expense incurred by a business. Subsidies on the other hand generally are not directly based on incurred business expenses.

hiskorr
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 6:06 am

Do you not understand that your argument relies on the assumption that “all money belongs to the government” and that any income that is not immediately transferred to the government is the same as monies collected by the government and doled out to persons? Is that how you understand MMT?

MarkW
Reply to  hiskorr
May 19, 2021 6:17 am

hiskor, that is the core of leftwing thought. Only it’s not limited to money. Leftists believe that everything does, or at least should, belong to the government.
That the government lets you have temporary use of it, is a subsidy to you.

Simon
Reply to  MarkW
May 19, 2021 12:31 pm

Leftists believe that everything does, or at least should, belong to the government.”
No they don’t. You are confusing communism with mainstream left wing politics.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:30 pm

The only difference between communism and socialism is how quickly they want to get us to the same end goal.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 6:09 am

bob,

“White collar flim flammers all round our land have milked governments out of “billions and billions” for generations with many forms of goofy tax schemes. 

Maybe white collar flim flammers and the state are on the same team?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 19, 2021 7:33 am

Btw bob, to paraphrase the late George Carlin, “it’s a small club (team) and you (and probably most of us here) ain’t in it”

Last edited 26 days ago by Frank from NoVA
MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 6:16 am

Why is it that leftists get upset at the idea that companies don’t have to hand everything they make over to the government?

Simon
Reply to  MarkW
May 19, 2021 12:37 pm

Why is it that leftists get upset at the idea that companies don’t have to hand everything they make over to the government?”
Your repetitive exaggeration really does highlight your paranoia Mark. No one is saying companies have to hand over everything they make. The point is the oil industry for a long time has received significant tax breaks, all the time making squillions. It’s a question of fairness. My fairness may be different to yours, but you are just going to have to live with it snowflake.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:33 pm

Simon declares that it is a lie that he believes oil companies should have to hand over everything they make. Then he whines that oil companies are able to take any deductions that decrease the tax they have to pay.

Your idea of fairness is having other people pay more so that you can get more. In the minds of a socialist/communist, that no doubt seems fair. However to those who are having what they worked for stolen, it doesn’t seem so fair.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  bigoilbob
May 19, 2021 3:24 pm

SmallBrainBob, are you really as dumb as AOC? A “tax break”, or deduction, is revenue that is not liable to taxation, usually because it spent as a cost of doing business. It is not income that evil big companies get to keep because they paid off corrupt politicians. Get a brain and an education.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 19, 2021 5:28 am

NIce chart. I wonder what it would look like if it was reformatted to show dollars of subsidy per unit of energy produced.

Patrick B
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 19, 2021 6:28 am

It’s also important to look at the subsidies per unit of energy produced by the subsidized industry. Renewables receive far more no matter how you measure it.

Roger
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 19, 2021 3:19 pm

I hate the term tax breaks for legitimate business expenses which are subtracted from gross revenues.
And any profits that are taxed by the government result in increased prices for the customers.
The people who conflate subsidies, expenses, and R&D costs/ exploration have no clue how the actual world works.

Robert A. Taylor
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 19, 2021 4:38 pm

What are the “subsidies” re the MWh produced + engine equivalent MWh? That is the appropriate measure, IMO.

Drake
Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 20, 2021 9:22 am

Nice informative chart, but can you find one that provides a comparison in relation to the total WH of power production of all forms electrical, vehicle fuel and industrial power output?

This appears to show that solar and wind together get more than 4 times the “subsidies” of fossil fuels.

I would think that, when accounting for total energy production per sector, “renewables” receive 100 and 1000 times the “subsidies” per kwh of output as compared to fossil fuels.

michel
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:18 am

This is usually calculated by counting depletion allowances as subsidies. But the argument is accounting illiteracy. If you are selling off any kind of limited asset, you have to account in your financial statements for the fact that your sales are depleting it, and that at some point it will run out and with it your revenues.

Failing properly to account for this would be accounting fraud. This is what the depletion allowance does. Its simply depreciation.

In the same way, if you have machinery or buildings or other assets with limited life, which will require replacement, you have to take a charge against earnings to cover that. If you do not, again its fraud. Its pretending that earnings are higher than they really are by leaving out some real costs.

There’s accounting fraud of a similar sort in activist promotion of wind and solar. This occurs in the ‘levelized cost’ concept.

It is argued that levelized costs for wind and solar are now heading lower than conventional. The way levelized costs are calculated is to take the total power produced over the lifetime of the asset, then calculate the NPV of all the costs for that lifetime, then divide the power by the NPV. This give you a levelized cost number.

Do the same for wind and solar and gas or coal or nuclear plants, and you do indeed find that the costs of the former two are falling and reaching parity.

However, if you look at the background of these calculations you find two assumptions which amount to accounting fraud. One is that the correlative required costs of building additional transmission to actually deliver the generated power to the grid are never included. The other is that its assumed that all the wind and solar power generated is provided when needed in exactly the same way as it is from conventional or nuclear.

It isn’t of course. Its often provided when its not needed, and often it is not available when it is needed. As Texas found. This means that you require backup to make the wind or solar generated offering comparable to conventional. But this is never included. The whole concept of levelized costs is for this reason illegitimate. Compare two sources of power, and the fact that their levelized costs are similar tells you nothing about whether they are both equally useful or will cost equal amounts to use.

To make a legitimate comparison, you have to include the total costs of delivering the same product, same consistency, same reliability, from wind and solar versus conventional. Do this and you find that the costs of wind and solar are several times conventional. In fact, you find that it would make more financial sense to just build the so called backup and forget about the wind and solar that it is supposed to be backing up.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  michel
May 19, 2021 1:35 am

Simple Simon won’t understand that.

dk_
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 19, 2021 2:03 am

I looked it up: Simon means “Listener” in Hebrew. Think on it.

MarkW
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 19, 2021 5:34 pm

Simon doesn’t want to understand.
His goal is to force other people to support him.

Climate believer
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:44 am

I was pointing out that weather dependant energy production in France is NOT “without subsidies”, contrary to the statement quoted from the article.

Your comment doesn’t address that fact.

Wind turbines will cost 40.7 Billion Euros over 20 years, for 2% of production.

Solar, 38.4 billion Euros of public money, for 0.7% of electricity production.

Solar power contracts will add another 2 billion per year in 2030 and represent a subsidy of € 480 per MWh.

Weather dependant energy production is heavily reliant on subsidies in France.

dk_
Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 1:59 am

Climate b. Just curious — In the U.S. fossil power generation utilities have multiple private investors with sometimes a government sponsored bond debt for building and ops, and have government licensing and oversight, while also paying taxes to the government. Taxes are also collected on fees to customers. How are they owned built and operated in France?

Climate believer
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 3:02 am

Due to the size of France’s nuclear industry, there is very little fossil fuel electricity generation, in fact it represents only 7.5% of all production.

Natural gas makes up 6.9% of that, coal and heating oil make up the rest.

Most will be closing in the near future.

Electricité de France (EDF) is the principal producer in France and is over 80% state owned.

The truism “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” also applies in France.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 4:03 am

The truism “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” also applies in France.

and Climate Change

dk_
Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 4:24 am

Many thanks, Climate b. Reminds me a little of European telecoms and utilities in the late last century when I had to be there. That said, open questions: how might one qualify or define something as a subsidy in a state-owned-and-operated entity? Might that be different than the U.S. definition of the term?

Climate believer
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 7:32 am

There are several ways the Government can subsidise, one of the more important is signing contracts that guarantee to buy at a high price for the electricity produced, much higher than market.

As I mentioned above for example, the exorbitant price paid for Solar generated electricity.

Getting back to the question of math, here is yet another reminder from our German friends, with 122.32GW of nameplate weather dependant generators unable to produce more than 3.36GW, 2.75%.

Elec gen Germany.png
MarkW
Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 5:35 pm

Governments can also set the price that other people must pay, even if they don’t want to.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 2:48 am

Climate believer,

as most of France’s electrical power is nuclear, all these subsidies provide just a small part of your energy supply.
The obvious, practical way is to replace those nuclear plants that are getting to end of life with new ones. France has plenty of nuclear knowledge and surely the data will show the sense of my proposal, e.g. cost per Mwatt hour plus reliability?

dk_
Reply to  Iain Reid
May 19, 2021 4:28 am

Iain R. Were I a smart Frenchman/woman, with nuclear power skills and few antinuclear prejudices, I might greatly overbuild generation capacity, and then collect fees from power sold to other surrounding countries.

Climate believer
Reply to  Iain Reid
May 19, 2021 5:14 am

“The obvious, practical way….”

That unfortunately is not how our European overlords think.

Mutti Merkel got her knickers in a twist over Fukushima so now we all have to suffer her fearful anxieties.

Even with the 2020 economy as it was, France was still a net exporter of electricity to it’s neighbours to the tune of 43.2TWh.

In the new electrified world that they want, nuclear is about as obvious as it gets.

Shark
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 3:01 am

Well, tax relief is not a subsidy – because it’s based on costs of doing business. When you have to subsidise something for it to compete, its a misuse of otherwise productive funding

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 4:41 am

When one lie wears out, drag out another.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:14 am

Who subsidizes the large amounts of fossil fuels needed to manufacture PV and wind power?

dk_
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 19, 2021 5:38 am

Carlo, M. Harder to show. Possibly because that carbon doesn’t count, and is ignored when “footprints’ are tallied. Basically, that is paid for by the installers, who are subsidized in the U.S. from additional fees and surcharges paid by users on their electrical bill. There are also state lump grants and breaks on licensing fees that are also subsidies. Grid operators levy the costs of connections onto the customers as well, so unreliables don’t get charged what a legacy plant might for connecting to the system, but those are all operating costs that the companies and government oversight boards negotiate in price fixing schemes across their juridictions and coverage areas, so they appear really small.
Connecting a variable source to the grid is expensive. Operators have to level power in order to connect to different sources, synching phases and maintaining voltages. Small scale it is easy, large scale it is difficult and requires good engineering to do well. Expensive work, not paid for usually by the PV operator. Make-up generators using fossil fuel need to run on close standby to spin up to match the loading — all on the backs of the grid carrier, and all passed on to the customers, by state law.
It is a really small amount on my own bill, but the rates, surcharges, and tarifs are pretty well explained and spelled out by law, in really fine print, every month. Users can’t escape or challenge the fees.
Users pay more, directly, for PV and windpower to be connected to the grid. This is a hidden tax, paid by law to subsidize fake renewables.

Last edited 26 days ago by dk_
Carlo, Monte
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 6:47 am

You are right, it is all well-hidden from view.

dk_
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 19, 2021 6:57 am

Carlo, M. Sorry. In retrospect I was repetitive and bumbling a bit. You can probably get a better explanation from someone else. Apologies.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  dk_
May 19, 2021 7:30 am

No worries, I got the gist. My question was designed to get Simon thinking about all the costs.

Climate believer
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 19, 2021 7:35 am

“My question was designed to get Simon thinking about all the costs.”

Now that’s what I call optimism.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 2:35 pm

He ducked my little question, what a surprise.

Wade
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:35 am

A subsidy is when the government pays you to take a certain action. A tax credit is when the government does not take money for a certain action. There is a difference, despite what the people who are purposefully trying to obfuscate the English language are trying to do. (i.e. Adding the word “justice” to things that are never just and fair.)

The oil companies get tax credits, they get to keep earned money. This is different than a subsidy where a company is given unearned money. So-called renewables do not earn enough money to get tax breaks. In fact, without being given unearned money they would not make money at all. Oil companies, however, would still make money even if they didn’t have tax credits.

I’m sure this statement of provable fact will have no effect on a true believer. I am posting so that people who are honest will understand.

dk_
Reply to  Wade
May 19, 2021 6:13 am

Thanks, taken. You put it all in one place.

jleefeldman
Reply to  Wade
May 19, 2021 3:39 pm

Do oil companies get a tax credit or a tax deduction? Big difference.

FloridaMsn
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 8:37 am

Tax break: you keep your money
Subsidies: you get someone else’s money

Graemethecat
Reply to  FloridaMsn
May 19, 2021 9:34 am

Nicely put!

Simon still won’t get it, but it’s not your fault.

meab
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 10:13 am

We don’t subsidize the oil companies, that’s a flat lie. Just like all other manufacturers in the US, we grant oil companies tax breaks.
 
The total tax break granted to oil companies is about $4.4 billion per year, but $3.55 billion of that amount is the tax break that the US gives to all industries and manufacturers – for this tax break oil companies are NOT singled out for special treatment. 
 
The only tax break for which the oil industry is singled out for special treatment compared to other industries is the tax break on oil drilling costs, $0.78 billion per year.
 
According to the Bureau of Transportation statistics, Passenger cars, buses, trucks, and other vehicles drive about 3,000,000,000,000 miles per year. Divide that into the 0.78 billion dollar tax break and you get a total tax break of 0.00026 dollars per mile. Multiply that by the 15,000 miles per year driven by the average car, and the total tax break per car per year is about $4. Four dollars.  Listen up, Simon, the total tax break per gallon of gas is MINUSCULE. Compare that with the $7,500 tax credit on EVs.  Compare that to the total annual gasoline tax that ICE vehicles pay per car, about $375.  Do you see how dishonest your statement is?

Simon
Reply to  meab
May 19, 2021 12:40 pm

Subsidy, tax break? Taxpayer still foots the bill. Funny how usually people here hate the tax payer being fleeced. Seems not so when it is oil companies doing the fleecing.

Meab
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 12:54 pm

Didn’t fail to notice that you didn’t acknowledge that your post was ignorant. So dishonest it is.

MarkW
Reply to  Meab
May 19, 2021 5:39 pm

One constant with Simon is that no matter how often his basic point is refuted, he will repeat them until others give up trying to correct him.
At which point he declares victory.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:09 pm

Simon: You clearly failed to read FloridaMan’s post above, which explained the distinction between a subsidy and a tax break in terms even you may be able to understand.

Here it is again: “Tax break: you keep your money

Subsidies: you get someone else’s money”

Meab
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 1:13 pm

You’re reinforcing that a portion of the population is too stupid to realize that they’re stupid. Tax breaks were granted to industries to keep them from moving out of the country, as US corporate taxes are among the highest in the world. Better to grant tax breaks and collect most of the taxes than encourage the companies to leave the US and collect nothing. The fact remains that oil company tax breaks are minuscule compared to the actual subsidies paid to (mostly phony) green companies.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 2:36 pm

What bill is being footed? Who is being fleeced?

MarkW
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 19, 2021 5:41 pm

Simon seems to believe that since oil companies are the only companies that drill for oil, this means that it’s unfair for oil companies to deduct their cost of drilling.
Unless all companies are permitted to deduct the cost of drilling for oil, no companies should be allowed to.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:38 pm

You have yet to demonstrate that there is any fleecing going. You keep claiming that it is uniquely wrong for oil and coal companies to deduct legitimate expenses.

jtom
Reply to  Simon
May 19, 2021 5:46 pm

When the government sends you more money than you send them, you are being subsidized. If you send more money to the government than they send you, you are not – you might have a more favorable tax treatment (or not) than others, but your business is not being subsidized. You are subsidizing the government.

Danley Wolfe
Reply to  Simon
May 21, 2021 8:03 am

No the oil industry does not receive huge subsidies in the US.

Danley Wolfe
Reply to  Danley Wolfe
May 21, 2021 8:05 am

Stop making things up. Or … likely you do not have basic understanding of the issues at all?

Reply to  Climate believer
May 19, 2021 4:07 am

Without subsidies indeed. Who is this poor naive fool?
“..most current batteries can deliver power only for several hours before needing to recharge. That makes them nearly useless during extended outages. . . . Most current storage batteries can discharge for four hours at most before needing to recharge.”
That particular sort of repetition must have some fancy schmancy German-sounding psycho term. It conveys a sense of desperate self-pacification to allay the discomfort of cognitive dysfunction.

dk_
Reply to  paranoid goy
May 19, 2021 4:34 am

The Wall Street Journal. (I weep!)

Last edited 26 days ago by dk_
PCman999
May 18, 2021 10:49 pm

The last paragraph is key: the companies planning storage are just hoping to mine the subsidies, direct and indirect.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  PCman999
May 18, 2021 11:32 pm

Plus here will be no decommissioning costs. The things will just clutter up the environment when they give up the ghost.

dk_
Reply to  PCman999
May 19, 2021 12:04 am

Several of the companies involved have histories of creating a strong looking investment, selling off while the price is high, and getting out before it comes crashing down. Subsidies sweeten the deal — lipstick on the pig.

Robber
May 18, 2021 10:51 pm

As you say, simple maths but it gets complicated.
Let’s assume demand 24×7 is 100 units per hour, 2,400 units per day.
With solar we could build a system that at its peak delivers 1,000 units per hour, and over 8 hours delivers an average of 400 units/per hour or 3,200 units par day. That’s above demand, becasue we have to factor in losses in storage.
Now we need a battery that can store up to 900 units per hour, and then deliver 100 units per hour for 16 hours.
So we get 800 units per day delivered direct via solar, and 1,600 via the big battery.

Richard Page
Reply to  Robber
May 19, 2021 3:41 am

Right. I challenge the figures you use considering that as soon as solar stops working for the night, 98% of all households and more than a few businesses will turn their lights on.
In addition, those 8 hours of Solar generation might just about be close to reality for maybe 2-3 weeks during the summer, reducing to virtually nil during a cloudy winter – meaning that batteries will be needed to release 2400 units per day without recharging for about 3 months in a year. Roughly 216,000 units of stored battery power, not the amount that you’d calculated. Simple math indeed.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Richard Page
May 19, 2021 9:25 am

And, as another article here pointed out recently, the batteries don’t just have to carry you through the night, they have to carry you throughout the year, during the winter when the sun doesn’t shine as much or the wind blow. 

Richard Page
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
May 20, 2021 9:00 am

Yeah – that was the 2-3 months I mentioned. If we get into the nitty-gritty, there’s probably another few months with only minimal Solar, then more months with better but less than optimal solar – easily double the battery capacity or massively over build the solar capacity to allow for minimal recharging of the batteries. Robbers calculations are way off however you slice it.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Robber
May 19, 2021 4:32 am

You also have to factor in additional solar to charge those batteries the next day. It a losing battle. Say you have 3 days of little solar (clouds) and have 3 days worth of batteries. You have to have enough solar to charge those 3 days worth off batteries the very first day or you risk having another 3 day period of clouds with your batteries not charged. You’ll never catch up.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Jim Gorman
May 19, 2021 6:49 am

Plus the significant and built-in throttling on power from batteries that is a result of the limits on charging and discharging rates.

Hokey Schtick
May 18, 2021 10:53 pm

Between the vaccine insanity, woke gobbledegook and climate change madness, face it, we are toast. The future is a masked idiot under a wind turbine taking the knee.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Hokey Schtick
May 18, 2021 11:40 pm

The future is a masked idiot under a wind turbine taking the knee

It’s worse than you think … that idiot will be gender fluid with one leg and of indeterminate race who believes Marxism will revolutionize commerce (in a good way) and that Islam will bring about world peace.

Jon R
Reply to  Hokey Schtick
May 19, 2021 10:28 am

There isn’t much hope for this species, and then factor in manipulation by instant propaganda and you see all of humanity amounts to about a box of wrenches.

Doonman
Reply to  Jon R
May 19, 2021 11:16 am

Don’t worry. In 30 days everyone will be dead from starvation, but those that die last will have won.

Coeur de Lion
May 19, 2021 12:16 am

I just worry about the Chinese. Without their support the Paris Agreement must be toast. President Xi needs it to survive and continue to damage Western economies. So he trumpets
‘Net Zero’ by 2060!!! Lefties applaud! The agreement is saved! China and India continue to lift their and other people out of poverty with coal fired power stations and cheap competitive energy. Bravo! Where is America? Toast

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
May 19, 2021 8:18 am

Further reasons to worry about China

  • 60% global production of lithium (over 80% of lithium hydroxide)
  • 70% global refining of cobalt
  • Dominance in mining and processing of Rare Earth Elements and magnet production.

In other words your EVs and much of your electricity generation is dependant on a single country with worldwide ambitions.

Robert A. Taylor
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
May 20, 2021 9:03 am

Let’s see: 2060, huh. that’s about 28 years after the world ends due to our horrible release of CO2. So, he’s safe. No-one around to hold him to it.

Jimmy Joe Meeker
May 19, 2021 12:25 am

The math doesn’t work because the assumption that people’s energy needs will be met. The math works just fine once it is realized that the goal is to make energy expensive and scarce.

Doonman
Reply to  Jimmy Joe Meeker
May 19, 2021 12:07 pm

The goal is to inflate the monetary system so much that worldwide debt becomes miniscule and interest rates can rise again. Because interest is where the real wealth in a fiat monetary system is made. You can’t do that effectively unless the means of production is controlled by the government too. Controlling the fiat money supply is not enough or we wouldn’t be in this zero interest nightmare world.

The means of production are raw materials, power, transportation and labor.

Now ask yourself how a government might control this, which was always the result of private industry and investment before. Is “saving the world” a good enough excuse?

Zig Zag Wanderer
May 19, 2021 12:56 am

solar panels at any location in the northern hemisphere will produce less power in the winter than in the summer.

The same is true in the southern hemisphere. I’m not sure why you would pick one of them for this statement.

As a minor caveat, it’s actually only true a decent distance from the equator.

Alloytoo
May 19, 2021 1:46 am

The part I don’t understand is how these batteries will ever get charged. Batteries sufficiently large to supply demànd for the days required are too big to ever be charged by renewables.

All the explanations around battery storage seem to assume that they’re installed fully charged by some magical means. (Or that batteries are themselves generators (at least for accounting purposes)

dk_
Reply to  Alloytoo
May 19, 2021 1:53 am

I think that you understand it perfectly.

mike macray
Reply to  Alloytoo
May 19, 2021 4:40 am

Besides, according to my own imperfect info storage device (memory) The energy density of lead/acid batteries is about 1.25% of the energy density of fossil fuel (say gasoline. State of the art Lithium batteries are about double that i.e. 2.5%. Has there been any significant improvement in battery technology that I’ve missed?
When it gets up around 50% you can wake me up. Meamtime please do not disturb!
Cheers
Mike

Joseph Zorzin
May 19, 2021 1:51 am

One major cost that wind “farms” don’t pay is the damage to the environment. If they destroy a forest to install solar- there is the loss of habitat and potential economic benefits from managing that forest for wood products- and, that forest was producing oxygen and sequestering carbon. These losses are never counted. Here in the Climate Emergency Caliphate of Massachusetts- I’ve been arguing for a decade that these costs must be counted but of course I’ve been 100% ignored.This is a tiny state but it has 6 million people. To go all green we’ll need to install hundreds of thousands of acres of mostly forests and some fields to solar- I’ve been saying this for years too- and ignored- but now I see in the local papers very day people finally starting to understand this- they don’t like seeing solar “farms” on almost every road- especially near their homes.

paul courtney
May 19, 2021 3:46 am

The folks who do the math are clearly not in charge. The boss, clueless, reads the WSJ and orders the math guys to get out of NG. Dilbert come to life.

Reply to  paul courtney
May 19, 2021 4:50 am

Or is it Life gone to Dilbert?

Oatley
May 19, 2021 5:03 am

The goal of the environmental zealotry is rationing. It is only through personal sacrifice to the “state” that man can reach fulfillment. Thus, the near term objective is to purposely constrain supply so that electricity “on demand” is eliminated.

May 19, 2021 5:12 am

We need a picture of the amount of solar panels and battery backup for a system to run 24/07 for 1 week. And beside it the matching output and amount of fuel consumed by a diesel generator. Our generosity should extend to a desert locality allowing maximum solar panel output.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
May 19, 2021 9:28 am

Except that you need it for an entire yearly seasonal cycle.

Giordano Milton
May 19, 2021 5:33 am

Come-on, man! Demanding rationality and accurate arithmetic are white supremacist attitudes.

Bruce Cobb
May 19, 2021 5:58 am

Nah, you just have to understand CarbonMath, CarbonScience, CarbonLogic, and CarbonTruth. It’s in the Greenie Manual.

Bill Rocks
May 19, 2021 6:55 am

Regarding wind mills, it is even worse than stated above and in the comments. In the Pacific Northwest USA, the Bonneville Power Administration (base load hydro power for the region) pays the wind mills not to spin at certain times when they must spill more water over the dams.

Yes, the customers who pay the bills have to pay the wind mills not to make power in addition to the tax credits, the waiver of wildlife (eagle kills) regulations, and environmental costs.

2hotel9
May 19, 2021 7:03 am

WSJ is simply another leftist sludge pump, spewing stupidity in all directions. Just as all the other media, universities, movie and TV production, Democrat Party and UN are.

Joe Born
May 19, 2021 7:08 am

This Naptown Numbers piece based estimates of required battery backup on Texas wind statistics: https://naptownnumbers.substack.com/p/battery-grid-backup

Don Jindra
May 19, 2021 7:14 am

“The simple fact is that wind/solar plus battery systems would not need any government subsidies if they were cost effective.”

So is that why so many “cost effective” businesses lobby for subsidies and tax breaks? I doubt the so-called conservatives here are the least bit interested in raising taxes to balance the federal budget. They’re interested in math only when it helps their agenda. How much does it cost to keep the Middle East oil spigot running? Our military isn’t cheap. But are ‘conservatives’ ready to make the auto industry pay its fair share of those military operations? Government, like industry, regularly invests in the future and regularly helps profitable industry. I wish this site would stick to climate issues. It loses credibility every time it veers away from that.

Mr.
Reply to  Don Jindra
May 19, 2021 8:35 am

I wish the climate researchers would stick to atmospheric studies and leave electricity generation & distribution to the engineers with applicable expertise.

Deal?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Don Jindra
May 19, 2021 2:40 pm

Raising taxes reduces tax income to government.

MarkW
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 19, 2021 5:51 pm

Liberals are repelled by facts.

MarkW
Reply to  Don Jindra
May 19, 2021 5:51 pm

So many left wing tropes, so little actual thought.
Why shouldn’t companies lobby for tax breaks? You seem that it’s somehow evil for people you don’t like to try and minimize the amount of taxes they pay.

The reason why conservatives don’t lobby for more taxes is because taxes are already way too high as can be shown by the big increases in economic activity every time tax rates are cut. As well as economic slumps when taxes are increased.

Spending is way to high, and it’s not the defense budget that is the problem.
It’s the vote buying that is disguised as welfare that is breaking the bank.

One thing I’ve come to expect from liberals is the utter hatred they feel towards anyone who gets between them and more free stuff.

Eric Harpham
May 19, 2021 8:51 am

Based upon the experience of the state of Victoria in Australia I worked out that it would cost £7.5 Trillion (4 x our GDP) here in the UK for battery back up.. That is based on 10 windless days which happened in early 2020. For all on the other side of the pond that is about $11 Trillion.

Gerry, England
May 19, 2021 8:56 am

In addition to training in mathematics for these numbskulls, it looks like they also need to read up on commodity markets. The more demand there is for a commodity that has a limited supply, the more expensive it becomes. If you could dig diamonds out of the ground by the shovel full they would be as cheap as pebbles. So with everyone wanting lithium and cobalt for their batteries, how on earth is the price of batteries going to reduce?

Paul of Alexandria
May 19, 2021 9:00 am

A good book to read for these days is Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowd”. First published in 1841, and still in print, Mackay details various episodes in mass hysteria, including the Mississippi Scheme of 1719, the Dutch Tulip Mania, and the New England Witch Trials.

What is interesting to note is that behind most such events is a almost always a small group who see the folly but also see a chance to enrich or empower themselves at the expense of their neighbors. As with any such event, the vast majority of people see an apparent opportunity and threat in the “anthropogenic” environment and respond in ignorance and fear, a small number of people are driving the whole thing with their greed, and an equally small number (including the WUWT crowd) see what is happening but their voices are overwhelmed. (Good-Old normal distribution curve?)

Jeffery P
May 19, 2021 9:10 am

I am a regular reader of the WSJ. While the editorial board is solidly grounded in reality, the rest of the paper is not. The news and features staffers come from the same schools as the leftists who work for the NYT, CNN or MSNBC. The news and features staff regularly petition the editorial board in attempt to censor speech and stop debate.

It does sadden me, however, that this article was published. Obviously, wind and solar are not cost competitive with natural gas without the subsidies. A lack of understanding of the difference between price and cost, a common mistake, is also a factor in reporting.

Jon R
May 19, 2021 9:36 am

Value added batteries, coming to a United Fruitcake Outlet near you.

Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 10:09 am

Always read the fine print. All of these green schemes require “Demand Side Management” components. In plain language, DSM requires operators to cut off your usage when the system becomes deficient in generation or transmission capacity. Currently, utilities must pay industries that can stand such outages. I assume the cost estimates of ‘dream’ future electric systems don’t include paying you to accept such outages.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 19, 2021 11:31 am

AKA “smart metering”.

kwinterkorn
May 19, 2021 10:33 am

There is only one safe, effective, proven alternative to “carbon” as an energy source: nuclear. The Progressive Green New Dealers refuse to discuss this simple fact. This shows their agenda is not Global Warming. Their agenda is crippling our modern free market-based industrial society.

Anyone serious about CO2-caused Global Warming would get serious about nuclear energy.

Roger
May 19, 2021 11:02 am

“Can’t do basic arithmetic “? If your (secret) goal is to force demand to follow supply and at the same time drive down demand you ignore the math. You just lie.

They can do the math – they just don’t.

Joel O'Bryan
May 19, 2021 12:24 pm

The Moss Landing BESS being set up by Vistra is actually at Luminant’s (formerly Dynegy owned) 1 GW natural gas-fired power plant. So it is being recharged by natural gas. The title of the WSJ story, “Natural Gas, America’s No. 1 Power Source, Already Has a New Challenger: Batteries” is completely nonsensical because in no way is natural gas being “challenged” by batteries when natural gas is being used to recharge the batteries after a 4 hour discharge cycle. The WSJ writer here, Katherine Blunt, is just being stupidly slathering for both Luminant and Vistra in their harvesting tax subsidies.
And anyone who has spent anytime at all in the Monterey Bay area knows that fog rolls-in in the winter and can stay for days. So there is no way the engineers who design and operate these battery systems can expect solar PV to somehow magically be the dependable power source to charge those batteries. This is just another scheme to harvest tax money and provide feel good projects that in no way actually reduces emissions when the entirety of battery life cycle is taken into account, especially batteries charged by natural gas due to the heat losses incurred in charging and discharging batteries.

Last edited 26 days ago by joelobryan
alloytoo
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 19, 2021 12:33 pm

Batteries banks somehow magically generate power, at least that’s how they appear to cost that power.

Mind you these are the same people that think hydro power can carry on indefinitely into the night to recharge car batteries.

They can’t seem to understand that hydro dams are themselves batteries that need to be recharged.

Steve Z
May 19, 2021 2:08 pm

When trying to develop “renewable” energy sources for electricity generation, with storage batteries, one aspect that is frequently overlooked is converting direct current to alternating current and vice versa.

All electric motors require alternating current (AC), which varies sinusoidally with time, because it is the changes in the magnetic field across the coil that generates the torque to turn the coil. Conventional power plants use fossil fuel to generate steam, which is used to turn a turbine which can generate alternating current using the same principle (a generator is essentially an electric motor run backward). Natural gas turbines also generate alternating current, except that hot combustion gases instead of steam are used to drive the turbine.

Over time, since electric motors require alternating current, and rotating generators produce alternating current, the two technologies were well adapted to each other, and alternating current became the standard means for delivering electric power from where it is generated to where it is needed. Alternating current can also be easily transformed from high voltage and low current to low voltage and higher current as needed, with little energy losses.

One problem with storage batteries is that they cannot store alternating current–they can only store a charge difference across an electrolyte, which must be charged using direct current (DC–one direction only) and produces direct current when discharged. Also, it is not possible to store much voltage between the electrodes of a battery, since a high voltage could result in a spark, with discharges the battery explosively. Conversion of AC to DC or DC to AC both result in significant energy losses. .

Rotating wind turbines do produce alternating current, although there is the problem of adjusting the frequency of the current generated to match that of AC generated from fossil-fuel plants despite varying wind speeds, so that the end users always receive the current at the same frequency.

Photovoltaic solar panels generate direct current, which works well for charging a battery, but there is still the problem of converting DC to AC for the end user. They are also not very efficient, with only about 15% of the received solar energy converted into electricity. Adding in the energy losses in converting DC to AC, and photovoltaic solar panels simply do not generate much useful electric power.

Another problem with solar energy is that it is most available when it is least needed–on clear days in late spring and early summer. The only electrical demand which is highest during hot weather is air conditioning, so that it may be feasible to install photovoltaic solar panels whose only function is to provide power for air conditioners. This may be feasible for large apartment buildings or condominiums, with solar panels on the roof providing power for central air conditioning during daylight hours.

A better use of solar energy than photovoltaic electricity production would be for heat pumps, where a heat-transfer fluid could be pumped through tubes in solar panels, with a transparent top surface but the bottom surface painted black to absorb solar heat, using a true “greenhouse effect” to trap heat in the panel and transfer it to the fluid, which would then be stored in a heavily insulated container. During cold weather, this fluid could be circulated through tubes inside a building to provide heat, and reduce the load on oil or gas-fired furnaces.

But there is no good reason to subsidize technologies that cannot possibly provide as much energy as proven, existing technologies. Let the market decide which energy-production technologies provide more benefit than cost, without forcing taxpayers to fund losers over winners.

Dale McIntyre
May 19, 2021 5:01 pm

The Wall Street Journal today published a correction, admitting that they had erroneously overstated the energy density of lithium ion batteries as 9 megajoules per kilowatt, instead of the actual 0.9 megajoules per kilowatt. An order of magnitude error. It does make a difference in how one judges batteries.

Charles
Reply to  Dale McIntyre
May 19, 2021 6:32 pm

Per Kilogram I hope

JP Guthrie
May 19, 2021 5:04 pm

One again, the efficiency of renewables is utterly irrelevant in the current conversation. It is not the form of energy which is important, but the amounts of money involved.

The fact that renewables require subsidies is why they are so heavily promoted. The less efficient they are, the more subsidies they require. Since the subsidies are in the form of “other people’s money,” matters like efficiency, profit, and accountability don’t matter.

The government has deeper pockets than any other entity, and it is hardly surprising that companies like Vistra are salivating over receiving billions in subsidies rather than be required to earn a profit.

Our political systems are being corrupted by the powers-that-be, who profit heavily by controlling the spending of other people’s money. Awarding such-and-such company a $10 billion subsidy will create a huge negative return to the taxpayers, but the politicians who grant that contract are guaranteed generous campaign contributions in return, not to mention lucrative jobs for their friends and family members.

This is not a left vs right issue, because the left and right are equally responsible for the economic calamity they are constructing. This is simply a matter of greed and corruption on an ever increasing scale.

John DeFayette
May 19, 2021 5:31 pm

Oh, Charles, how naive you are.

They don’t need to do any silly math. Our new ruling class is doling out trillions for these glorious pet projects. They need not justify costs to the next six generations, and they will never need to demonstrate that their “investments “ even work.

For the wisest of businessmen there is a tsunami of cash on the horizon, and we’re gonna get our share!

The only math required will be for deciding how big a piggy bank we’ll need to build.

Michael S. Kelly
May 19, 2021 10:00 pm

The US installed electric generating capacity is 1 TW. Backing that up for a week requires 168 TW-hr of storage. Look up Mighty Max 12 V, 1000 A-hr battery packs on Algore’s amazing internet. You’ll find them for $1,800 on Amazon.

To store the 168 TW-hr for a week’s worth of grid downtime would require a mere 14 billion of these packs, at a total cost of $25 trillion. Then there are the 1 TW worth of wind turbines needed for baseload (actually 3 times that for availability factor). Assuming we have only one net windless week every 3 months (4 aggregate events per year), we would need 77 GW more wind turbines (again, 3 times that for availability factor) to keep the backup batteries charged.

My favorite wind turbine is the Vestas 4 MW. We would need a grand total of 807,750 of them to provide the baseload plus 4 weeks/year backup, assuming 33% availability, for the above example. These turbines, installed, run about $4 million apiece. So that’s another $3.2 trillion.

So for wind and practical battery, we are looking at a minimum of $28.2 trillion equipment, and that doesn’t include all of the power conditioning and distribution equipment to connect to the grid. Let’s be generous, and say that it is only 10% more. That’s $31 trillion.

A 1,100 MW nuclear plant was estimated, in 2009, to cost a maximum of $9 billion. Let’s say it’s now $12 billion. To get a 1 TW baseload capability, plus 10% for availability factor, we would require 1,000 nuclear plants. Total cost: $12 trillion. To replace our entire existing electric generating capacity.

Further comparison only makes the “renewable” route look worse.

I won’t invoke the “rocket scientist” bromide, because I actually am one. I’m also an engineer, and know that if first order cost estimates are this far apart, one can discard the more expensive – and even the less expensive one may be too expensive.

Brooks H Hurd
May 19, 2021 11:07 pm

My Tesla PV panels produce about 30% of Summer electricity production during the Winter. My 3.12 kW system produces enough electricity during roughly half the year to exceed my usage, but during midwinter, its production is well below my usage. The system was sized to match annual usage to average production. I believe that this is how most roof top PV systems have been designed.

I could add a Powerwall or two to my PV system and that would get my through about 6 months without taking any power from the grid (on average). The problem is that in the winter, my PV system would need to be much larger with several Powerwalls to produce enough electricity to keep me sending power to the grid (on average). I said “on average” because several cloudy days would drain any battery system that I could afford.

I have not heard any of the renewable proponents explain how you get solar electricity to keep things running 365 days per year.

May 20, 2021 4:00 am

For arithmetic you don’t need math, politicians can’t even do simple arithmetic these days.