Oil refinery at twilight

Global fossil fuel use similar to decade ago in energy mix


JUNE 17, 2021

By Paul Homewood

From Reuters:


The share of fossil fuels in the world’s total energy mix is as high as a decade ago, despite the falling cost of renewables and pressure on governments to act on climate change, a report by green energy policy network REN21 showed on Tuesday.

Fossil fuel use has persisted amid rising global energy demand, continued consumption and investment in new fossil fuel plants, and lower use of biomass energy — such as wood or agricultural waste — in heating and cooking, the report said.

Burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil creates carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming.

As the atmospheric concentration of CO2 emissions has grown to record levels, calls have grown for governments to make steeper emissions cuts and curb the use of fossil fuels to meet global climate goals.

REN21 said the share of fossil fuels in the global energy mix was 80.2% in 2019, compared to 80.3% in 2009, while renewables such as wind and solar made up 11.2% of the energy mix in 2019 and 8.7% in 2009, the report said.

The rest of the energy mix comprises traditional biomass, used largely to cook or heat homes in developing countries.


Yet, in many regions, including parts of China, the European Union, India and the United States, it is now cheaper to build new wind or solar photovoltaic plants than to operate existing coal plants.

Renewables also are outcompeting new natural gas-fired power plants on cost in many locations, and are the cheapest sources of new electricity generation in countries across all major continents, the report said.

“We are waking up to the bitter reality that the climate policy promises over the past ten years have mostly been empty words,” said Rana Adib, REN21’s executive director.

“The share of fossil fuels in final energy consumption has not moved by an inch,” she added.


There is the usual nonsense about how cheap renewables now are. The authors of the report don’t seem to have worked out that countries such as China and India don’t want them for the simple reason that they don’t work. They might be fine for niche operations and topping up, but they have worked out that you cannot build an entire power grid around wind and solar power.

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Joel O’Bryan
June 18, 2021 6:36 am

“ it is now cheaper to build new wind or solar photovoltaic plants than to operate existing coal plants.”

Economic Theory of value. i.e. You get what you pay for.
One produces a reliable energy product that also enhances grid stability and the other is unreliable and also diminishes grid stability the deeper the penetration.

Dan Sudlik
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
June 18, 2021 8:05 am

It’s cheaper because the government subsidizes it. And it still needs backup!

Charles Fairbairn
Reply to  Dan Sudlik
June 18, 2021 8:42 am

Thus very expensive.

Reply to  Dan Sudlik
June 18, 2021 11:47 am

governments ‘subsidizes it’ directly and indirectly, one of the indirect avenues of great importance is regulations that make more reasonable power sources more expensive than they would otherwise be without interference, no?

Reply to  AndyHce
June 18, 2021 2:43 pm

Also, renewable drivers aside, the handmade tales to mischaracterize and obfuscate the limitations and collateral damage of intermittent, nonrenewable, unreliable Green technologies.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dan Sudlik
June 18, 2021 12:22 pm

So, if a proper financial accounting was done, it would show that people are paying more for ‘renewables,’ through under-the-table taxes.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
June 18, 2021 8:57 am

Would you expect a “green energy policy network” to report otherwise?
Bureaucratic Theory of Value, i.e., You get what you subsidize (with other people’s money).

Abolition Man
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
June 18, 2021 9:12 am

You’re not taking all the wonderful benefits of Unreliable Energy into account!
Think of all the beautiful vistas that have and will be enhanced by rank upon rank of solar panels or bird blenders! What about the boon to the cement and concrete industry? All those with phobias towards birds and bats? And then there’s the soothing effects of subsonic vibrations!
It’s hard to list all the great benefits of Unreliables, but the boost to politician’s incomes from the wealthy RE owners and investors has to be near the top!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Abolition Man
June 18, 2021 12:29 pm

I just watched a NOVA TV program about eagles. They mentioned that at one turbine farm a person was employed to watch for eagles. If they spotted one, they would shut down the turbine(s) closest to the eagle. That means, a temporary loss of saleable power, along with the salary and infrastructure (watch tower, controls for the turbines, accommodations for a human such as a bathroom and treatment of wastes). They are attempting to automate the detection of eagles with cameras and AI; however, while that might be cheaper, it still costs money that probably isn’t reflected in the analyses.

It is hard to put a value on the life of a raptor.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 18, 2021 1:09 pm

Just spitballing here, but I think one wind energy executive or investor for every eagle would be a fair valuation! It would probably solve several problems simultaneously!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 18, 2021 1:53 pm

Those blades have a lot of momentum, and they are fragile. I would imagine that it takes several minutes to bring one to a full stop.
To be safe, they would have to stop any windmill that is within several minutes of flying time for the eagle.

Brooks H Hurd
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
June 18, 2021 11:41 am

Frequently the proponents of renewables quote the nameplate production as if it were reality. If they used the capacity factor for realistic electricity production, the costs of wind and solar would not look so cheap.

They also over estimate the usable life of wind and solar. They typically assume a 20 year life, when a realistic lifetime is 8 to 14 years.

June 18, 2021 6:37 am

Ask i look for a place to retire, I am seeing idiotic trend to air source heat (all electric) pumps in northern states.

Like Texas….

Below about 35f (give or take a few degrees) heat pump compressors shut down which means full electric.

Electric usage for these systems triple…

Wind and solar inadequate crashing electric grid…

Natural gas pumping stations that used to be energy self suficent that were switch to elect for guess why, shut down.

The entire energy system shuts down.

In you come across a builder in the north pushing air source heat pumps for some green dream, walk away.

I have ground geo with propane backup and wood. I have a switch to turn of electric backup to keep it sane.

Ed MacAulay
Reply to  Devils_Tower
June 18, 2021 2:22 pm

Our Canadian heat pumps must be more robust than yours. The current models typically work down to -20C, or just below zero F. We have 2 offices that are 30 years old and the auxiliary electric heat does not kick in untill -15 C.

Reply to  Ed MacAulay
June 18, 2021 3:04 pm

Thanks for info. I have ground geo and the thermostats are realy optimized for air source heat pumps and are a pain to get the backup stuff to kick in right for ground source heat pumps. I assumed the default air source setting shut off in mine was general but I could see a Canadian version being different. A ground source heat pump does not shut off but the electric heat kicks in if it can not keep up. The air source thermostats in a geo source application can give fits and that is the honeywell way.

Anyway, -15c is 5f. We had 2 weeks at -20f this last year.

You sure you have a air source heat pump and not a geo.

I usually start supplementing my geo with propane around 5 to 10 f

I turn off the elect back up and stay with propane backup, even though I can do both

al in kansas
Reply to  Devils_Tower
June 18, 2021 3:03 pm

“Below about 35f (give or take a few degrees) heat pump compressors shut down which means full electric.
Electric usage for these systems triple…”

Not correct. The compressors stay on(at least mine does), the efficiency drops more or less linearly as the temperature difference (interior vs. exterior) increases. The resistance electric comes on if the temperature in the heated space does not rise fast enough or after a timed interval. The majority of the heating season is not as cold as the extremes so average efficiency is not as poor as you might think but is always better than the “100%” of plain electric heat.
Ground source rather than air is more efficient, but is more costly. An engineering cost benefited analysis, your mileage may vary. Propane or natural gas in some areas may have has cost or availability issues. If you also need air conditioning, all electric can make sense.

Reply to  al in kansas
June 18, 2021 3:47 pm

May be i am wrong, but air source compressors that are outside need to turn off at some point or you will damage/wear them for no reason. When back up elect kicks in you are basicly paying 3x for you heat over having the heat pump working. I suppose you could leave them run but for what reason.

I have geo heat and a/c and a backup propane system. I can use back up electric but at a much higher cost than propane.

If I had geo with back up electric only, not sure I could sleep at night.

My electric usage goes up about 3x when geo is off if on electric.

Wait until every one has calif electric rates.

I would not by an all electric house….

al in kansas
Reply to  Devils_Tower
June 18, 2021 5:56 pm

By the time the back-up kicks in on an air system (mine also seem to be rated down to 0F), the COP is nowhere near 3 (your system). It is likely closer to 1. Your geo system should not have this problem, outside temperature would not affect the amount of heat it delivers. In other words I have 2 issues as temperature drops, diminishing output capacity and increasing load, you have an increasing load but your geo capacity is constant. That is the advantage of geo systems. The back up and the compressor run at the same time, it does not switch from one to the other. I think my compressor ran continuously for 3 weeks during this super cold snap. Normally it shuts off 5 minutes every few hours. The electric bill was about 40% higher for that month. 68F in the rooms being used. In my experience, compressors (scroll type) last about 10 years. An other than electric back up would be nice and has its advantages, but costs vs needs vs logistics. As they say, ” You pays your money and takes your chances”.

Dave Yaussy
June 18, 2021 6:40 am

I like this, coming from a green organization. It helps demonstrate that people, and governments, don’t really want to give up fossil fuels. It’s a point that we can make time and again to just about everyone who pontificates about global warming- you don’t want to change, because you aren’t changing. Very few people have adopted anywhere near the lifestyle needed to meet Biden GHG reduction targets, and they aren’t going to.

Hypocrisy is something that everyone understands and it is effective to point it out, as I imagine North Face is learning.

Ron Long
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 18, 2021 7:55 am

Dave, I agree with your “Hypocrisy…” comment, and the green organization is about to double down. I just watched a short story on CNN where they were thrilled to see an answer to one of the electric car problems, the slow re-charge rate. Their solution, develop batteries that are easily removable and swap them out for a fully charged one at the re-charge stations, no waiting. The problem is that you now would need double the batteries, which means double the raw material mining mess and something less than double the electricity demand because all batteries will be fully charged and not just enough to get you home.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Ron Long
June 18, 2021 8:00 am

Probably a lot more than double for days when everyone is on the road, vacationing or whatever. If you drive several hundred miles in a cross country trip- you’ll need to reload batteries several times- so I suspect the world having just double the number of batteries as EVs won’t be enough. And I wonder what it’ll cost to just exchange batteries? Will an attendent do it or the EV owner will have to do it? Won’t be fun. How about the little old lady who can’t lift one? How many are in an EV? Doesn’t seem like a great solution.

Rick C
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 10:03 am

Yup, all that and will they standardize battery packs or will each vehicle model have its own version? Will battery swap stations need to inventory dozens of different battery packs? Each perhaps with unique voltage, connections, charging rates etc.?

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Rick C
June 18, 2021 1:26 pm

Vehicle manufacturers have not even been able to standardise the much smaller 12-volt batteries. That would require design-affecting cooperation between rivals, so it ain’t going to happen.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 10:37 am

How long does it take to change out a 150 Kwatt hour F-150 battery pack that weighs in at about 1800 pounds.

Reply to  DipChip
June 18, 2021 3:31 pm

I was waiting for the f150 hybred. Looks like they skipped it. The electric f150 is a joke. Pulling a full load you might get a 100 miles. I have 750 mi range unloaded and a 350 mile range fully loaded. 12k lbs

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 11:49 am

nice to swap out an old underperforming battery for good new one . not all batteries are equal

Mike Lowe
Reply to  garboard
June 18, 2021 1:28 pm

With consequent price-charging for newer batteries. Would you want to receive an older battery with less future life remaining?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 12:39 pm

It isn’t just “little old ladies.” Even the Hulk might find it challenging. The Tesla battery packs weigh somewhere between about 1,200 and 3,500 lbs. Nobody can personally handle a one-ton object. It will require special lifts to remove them, which the average person probably wouldn’t know how to handle. Besides, there would be liability issues of allowing owners to swap out batteries at a re-charge station.

If someone had a brand-new battery, would they be keen to swap it for one of unknown age and reliability?

The people advocating for EVs simply haven’t thought the issue through.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 18, 2021 4:33 pm

“If someone had a brand-new battery, would they be keen to swap it for one of unknown age and reliability?”

You mean kinda like going to Lowes or Home Depot and swapping out a well conditioned propane tank for a relatively clapped out replacement?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 20, 2021 3:48 pm

Although, the inconvenience of having to fall back on charcoal briquettes for the cook out pales in comparison to being stranded in the middle of nowhere in Nevada in the Summer, and not even have the AC working.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 18, 2021 9:46 am

Use rate determines energy demand by batteries, not the number of batteries in play.
(yes small corrections for storage inefficiency)

By analogy:
When Nike imports shoes, they don’t care how many barges they arrive in, they only care that the correct number arrives at the same unit cost.
(yes small corrections)

Reply to  Ron Long
June 18, 2021 9:53 am

More than doubling the number of batteries. Way more.
The second thing is that making a machine that can quickly change out 1000 pound batteries is neither easy, nor cheap.
The maintenance on it is going to be a nightmare as well.

Ron Long
Reply to  MarkW
June 18, 2021 10:54 am

Looks like none of the WATTS readers will be buying stock in the battery exchange company!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
June 18, 2021 12:43 pm

And, that increases the cost for re-charging by maintaining one or more service personnel 24/7, maintaining a battery inventory, and amortizing the infrastructure and maintenance. That means the formerly low cost per mile will substantially increase!

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 18, 2021 7:51 pm

G’day Clyde,

“…maintaining a battery inventory…”

To that you might add “insurance”, and it won’t be cheap.

Also consider location. U-Haul has too many vehicles in Phoenix and not enough in Los Angles. The cost of one-way trips between these two cities have about a 2 to 1 ratio depending on direction.

Either a customer gets a much reduced rate to California, or the company has to pay someone to move the vehicle to CA where the demand is.

I can see the same sort of thing happening with different make/models of batteries.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
June 20, 2021 3:49 pm

Isn’t that “G’dye?”

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 21, 2021 10:06 pm

G’day Clyde,

The pronunciation might suggest ‘dye’, but my reading education in the 1940/50’s time frame didn’t include ‘sounding’ the words, strictly sight recognition, not even subvocalizing, or, heaven forbid, lip movement.

Then again, when it comes to homophones such as ‘their’, ‘there’, ‘they’re’ I’ve come to the conclusion that speech to text programs aren’t perfect.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 18, 2021 11:55 am

Plus, if you had paid for a (very expensive) EV battery, would you like to enrer the lottery wherein you might well receive a near-dead one for your exchange?

Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 18, 2021 11:52 am

But don’t you remember the rebuttals to the North Face debacle. They may use gas and petroleum sources for their raw materials but they don’t really WANT TO so they aren’t REALLY hypocrites.

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
June 18, 2021 12:17 pm

And there’s be a few physical issues to overcome…
E.g. how to make a battery easy to swap out but still ensure it’s not prone to damage while it’s in use.

June 18, 2021 6:41 am

China, India, Indonesia etc. can’t afford to spend double, triple etc. the fossil rates for fake green electricity. That has been made the hobby horse of still rich regions like California, New York, Germany or the Netherlands by the “green” lobby. Green as in greenback $$$$$$$$.

Gary Pearse
June 18, 2021 6:47 am

It is a no-brainer that 10yrs hence, FF will be a substantially higher percentage of the energy mix. Windmills and solar have peaked and will be declining, first in Germany, then US, followed by the rest of Europe. Australia with its ARC centers for idiocy in climate science, will eventually let go.

Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 6:54 am

it is now cheaper to build new wind or solar photovoltaic plants than to operate existing coal plants”

Uh, if you don’t count all the subsidies and tax breaks for “renewables” and especially if you don’t count the loss of ecosystem values when converting fields and forests into wind and solar “farms”- and if you don’t count the loss of real estate values for land next to such “farms” and all the costs for grid enhancement and the cost for industrial sized battery systems. Oh, and the damage to the local environments where solar panels are produced in China- and the damage to the environment where the rare minerals are mined. Uh, and if you don’t count the cost to dismantle wind and solar systems after a few decades or less. Otherwise, it’s a correct statement! But wait, is it really true that BUILDING new renewable energy plants are cheaper than OPERATING existing coal plants? Maybe cheaper than BUILDING new coal plants, ignoring all the items above, but cheaper than OPERATING coal plants?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 8:22 am

Joseph, the other huge loss to government, and hence the taxpayer, is that FF producers pay huge taxes. The other stuff receives subsidies.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 11:52 am

I live on solar electricity . my batteries and controllers cost me about 4 times what the panels cost .

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 1:34 pm

Are they merely confusing the Capital Expenditure Budget with the Operating Budget, or willfully confusing 2 entirely different situations to confuse the uninitiated? Probably the latter!

June 18, 2021 6:58 am

I find this hilarious. This is the equivalent of them being surprised that people haven’t abandoned cars in favor of walking everywhere.

Hokey Schtick
June 18, 2021 7:07 am

I generate as much carbon dioxide as I personally can to offset the effects of renewables. Sure its not much but if everybody did their bit, together we could make the world a slightly more pleasant place to live.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Hokey Schtick
June 18, 2021 9:16 am

My tomatoes and I thank you!

June 18, 2021 7:19 am

A high-density, low mass, reliable energy source that when combusted greens the Earth, and a nutrient rich diet for the simpler organisms that form the foundation of our food pyramid. Affordable and available hydrocarbons to improve our quality of life.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  n.n
June 18, 2021 8:03 am

Too bad FFs weren’t advertised that way for the past century- if they were, people would be less likely to become born again greenies.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 18, 2021 9:05 am

Yes, with rare exceptions for universal moral principles, in all things, even physical laws to the best of our knowledge, a frame of reference is imperative.

Peta of Newark
June 18, 2021 7:24 am

Let’s say that ‘they’ are the authors of this.
Might equally be climate scientists and, whether actually or not, almost all western politicians.

It revolves around (one of) my pets raves – a World populated by Zombies =chronically depressed shells of people.

It is that ‘they’ simply don’t understand other people, or make any effort to.
Classicaly as we see in all of CliSci, buck-passing, data-adjusting, authority appeals and flat out mendacity.

For this story, the lack of understanding is described by Jevon’s Paradox, Tragedy of Commons or what the UK Telegraph newspaper called, the Rebound Effect.

It is that increasing the efficiency of something/anything works NOT to reduce its consumption, but actually increase it.
Thus with high efficiency (condensing) gas boilers here in the UK. the endless endless extortions and coercions concerning ‘insulation’

A gorgeous Urban Legend/ myth concerend a London (hybrid electric) bus driver who was told that when she pushed the brake pedal, it charged the battery and saved energy.
So she drove around London all day with one foot permanently on the brake.

Are people really that dumb?
Somebody certainly is, but who?

And its so nicely exemplified when everyone is told that renewable energy is cheap cheap cheap.
(We do all recall when nuclear electric was gonna be so cheap as no need to even meter it dont we?)

When told that renewable is ‘cheap’, folks are simply gonna go off and use ever more. Totally convinced by the garbage junk media & science, that:
The more of this ‘goodness’ they use, they more they save the world. Win Win Win
As per the bus driver story.

Yet the muppets behind this simply don’t realise. They don’t get it

While the solutions they propose, the haha Infrastructure, are all no more than kiddies plastic toys and designed to fail junk coming from China – that we are now coerced into buying.

What happened. Why are our teachers, scientists and politicians so convinced that everyone else are lazy, dumb, planet-wrecking slobs who have to be regulated taxed and coerced to virtual, or actual financial, extinction?
Has not a single one of them ever heard of ‘projection

Too Damn Right Warmists – Yes We Do Need A Great Reset
Just not the sort you envision

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 18, 2021 12:48 pm

Are people really that dumb?

I suspect that, unfortunately, the answer is “Yes.”

Somebody certainly is, but who?

Again, I have a suspicion that it tends to be those on the ‘Left’ side of the Bell Curve. 🙂

Jeff Corbin
June 18, 2021 8:16 am

It’s is awesome there is enough fossil fuel because I am still buying electricity generated using fossil fuel at 17% efficiency, pumping gas into my car and burning it at 47% efficiency and burning oil to heat water and my house at some ridiculously low efficiency. I am consuming many pounds of plastic, (made from fossil fuels) and eating a ton of food whose production is dependent on fossil fuel for fertilizer. I am receiving packages at my door from places that burn a ton of fossil fuel inefficiently and is delivered by trucks burning fossil fuel at 47% or less efficiency. I drive on roads built and maintained using fossil fuel. So no complaints here about fossil fuel! The globe is totally locked-in on fossil fuel (EU dumped nuke power for natural gas powered turbines); yet now they want to tax my fossil fuel even more and make it illegal for me to attempt any viable alternative such as going off grid, which I would do immediately if it was economically advantageous, (not a tax boondoggle). So the Climate Change mumbo jumbo must be serving someone other than the dystopic fears of lock-step environmentalists and tax/power hungry politicians. The globe’s consumers are all being put in a existential double blind because we are totally dependent on fossil fuel and thereby evil because we are, “destroying the planet for future generations”. Yet, there is no viable alternative to free us from it; unless of course it suits the fossil fuel companies, utilities and the politicians. I don’t even need to be convinced ‘yeah’ or ‘nay’ on climate change to know I am caught in the the middle of a much deeper conflict because I am constantly being propagandized like we are hoard of feeble serfs, (propaganda is expensive some one is paying for it). I love statistics and meteorology. This is how I discovered WUWT in 2008 when in August of 2008 my potatoes didn’t have a 3rd set and the sky looked like late September. I found WUWT looking for answers, and I discovered we were in a deep solar minimum. Who knew the sun had a cycle? I hope the science on WUWT isn’t slowed by the politics of our age but I understand truth must reign somewhere.

Reply to  Jeff Corbin
June 18, 2021 9:58 am

17% efficiency for fossil fuel plants? More like 60% and up.
47% for cars, that’s low as well.

As to the rest of your rant, as soon as I get it translated, I’ll respond.

Reply to  MarkW
June 18, 2021 11:16 am

CCG plants have a 60 to 70% thermodynamic efficiency.

Petroleum has a 42,000 kJ/kg energy density. Coal 32,000.

Each is a best in class choice in diverse applications.

CO2 is a first-ordet forcing of a green and habitable planet.

June 18, 2021 8:50 am

So, who fact-checks Reuters?

carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming.

it is now cheaper to build new wind or solar photovoltaic plants than to operate existing coal plants.

Renewables also are outcompeting new natural gas-fired power plants on cost in many locations, and are the cheapest sources of new electricity generation

three false claims, nearly in a row.

  • Water vapor is the main greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming, and naturally occurring methane is a greater contributor than CO2.
  • It is not cheaper to build wind or solar pv than operate coal: one side of the equation is subsidized while the other is heavily taxed and tariffed. In both sides, consumers are paying for the difference.
  • Renewables are heavily dependent on fossil fuels for construction and operations and are not competitive without the climate crisis hoax and fraudulent bookkeeping.
Reply to  dk_
June 18, 2021 9:20 am

I thought that H2O was the “main GG”.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Oldseadog
June 18, 2021 1:24 pm

Yeah, that dihydrogen oxide is easily the deadliest of the green house gases! We should do more to limit it’s presence in everything!

Reply to  Oldseadog
June 18, 2021 1:59 pm

The post is a little confusing.
I’m pretty sure that

three false claims, nearly in a row.

refers to the text above that line, not the text below it.

June 18, 2021 9:18 am

So maybe the people who whimper and are upset about the use of fossil fuels (and their sources) don’t understand that maybe – just maybe – the ONLY thing that is keeping the planet warm and cozy is the fact that we ARE using fossil fuels.

I know that’s kind of simplistic on my part, but — well, fossil fuels and the dreaded CO2 problem might be the ONLY things that are keeping us out of the onset of another prolonged cold period, frequently referred to as an ice age…. or something like that.

June 18, 2021 10:48 am

It is now cheaper to build new wind or solar photovoltaic plants than to operate existing coal plants.

It is now cheaper to ignore world government debt than to pay world government debt.

Steve Z
June 18, 2021 12:20 pm

The authors of the study did make a good point with “ the climate policy promises over the past ten years have mostly been empty words”.

Bingo! That’s a good reason not to listen to them! So can we just go on using whatever fuel is best at providing energy to a given market, and not worry about how much CO2 is in the air? The green plants of the world will take care of it, and probably produce more food in the process.

Of course, these authors conflated coal, petroleum, and natural gas into “fossil fuels”, without making any distinction between them, although natural gas emits about half as much CO2 as oil or coal per unit energy obtained. Couldn’t the authors have at least mentioned some of the shift from coal to natural gas over the past decade?

Likewise, “modern renewables” are considered to be wind and solar, and “others” are considered to be “traditional biomass” (wood or dung?) used to heat homes.

Where do nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power fit into this mix? They only provide over 80% of the electric power used in France, but these authors just casually ignore them. There are only a limited number of places where hydroelectric is feasible (both mountains and high rainfall are needed), but nuclear power plants can be safely built anywhere far from a seismic fault, and they do NOT emit CO2. Why weren’t they even mentioned in this study?

Abolition Man
Reply to  Steve Z
June 18, 2021 1:30 pm

Psst, Steve!
You just can’t say that! Nuclear plants are just bombs waiting to explode! Remember how many people died at Three Mile Island, and the newer models have been made even deadlier!
C’mon, man!

Reply to  Abolition Man
June 18, 2021 3:04 pm

Remember how many people died at Three Mile Island”
Fewer than at Chappaquiddick, as I suspect you know also, Abolition Man! 😉


Reply to  Steve Z
June 18, 2021 2:00 pm

Nuclear plants can be designed to survive earthquakes. It just costs more.

June 18, 2021 2:29 pm

Cost is a big issue, but this may be a game changer:


Reducing power plant and other uses of fossil fuels would allow more
for vehicles.

June 18, 2021 4:10 pm

I believe it could be completely true that it is cheaper to install new wind or solar than operate a coal plant – per MW of nameplate capacity. Never mind that the fossil fuel plant will produce twice as much energy as the ‘renewable’ system.

John Sandhofner
June 18, 2021 4:21 pm

“they have worked out that you cannot build an entire power grid around wind and solar power.” This has been known since day one but the greenies refuse to accept the truth. They have willing accepted a belief in a system that is easily shown to be undoable. Only blind faith can allow you to think it will ever work.

June 18, 2021 4:45 pm

The Eastern Coast of Australia has a single (semi) National Electricity Grid.
West Australia is a separate grid.
AEMO data dashboard records in 5 minute bids the cost for electricity in each of the 5 Eastern States.
Queensland has 80% plus of its electricity from Coal. NSW is also a Coal State.
SA and Victoria not so much.Tasmania is Hydro essentially.
Here is Price plus demand versus generation at 9-05 am on Saturday 19 June-
Qld – Price $47-62.Demand- 5572 Supply-6734
NSW- Price – $60-98 Demand- 9251 Supply- 8260
Victoria- Price-$110-36 Demand- 5361 Supply- 5261.
SA- Price-$110.00 Demand- 1489 Supply- 1452
Tasmania- Price- $114-34 Demand- 1328 Supply 981.
It’s a normal winters day in Eastern Australia.
Because Renewables drive out Coal and Gas power stations particularly during the day in bidding they can often show very low even negative bid figures.
But when the wind isn’t blowing and dusk arrives…..
I dread the day when the Greens succeed in closing the Coal and Gas driven power stations in Qld.and NSW.

June 19, 2021 4:57 am

Greentards have to keep rewording their lies and people are seeing through the veil of untruth which is all they have ever had.

Dennis G Sandberg
June 20, 2021 4:51 pm

REN21 said the share of fossil fuels in the global energy mix was 80.2% in 2019, compared to 80.3% in 2009, while renewables such as wind and solar made up 11.2% of the energy mix in 2019 and 8.7% in 2009, the report said.

Bull feathers, typical liberal spin directed at the low information non critical reading sunshine and breezes crowd to keep them donating and campaigning for the DNC candidates: “…RENEWABLES SUCH A WIND AND SOLAR MADE UP 11.2% OF THE ENERGY MIX IN 2019…).
What they don’t say is, most renewable is hydropower with wind and solar “contributing” less than 1/2 of the 11.2%, for example in the US wind and solar comprise about 2% of total energy consumption.

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