It’s Time for Transparency of The Embedded Costs of Going “Green”

Supplies to support “green” inflict environmental degradation, humanity atrocities, and increases in emissions, not transparent to the green movement.

Published April 12, 2021, at CFACT https://www.cfact.org/2022/04/12/its-time-for-transparency-of-the-embedded-costs-of-going-green/

By Ronald Stein  Pulitzer Prize nominated author, and Policy advisor for The Heartland Institute on Energy

The worldwide movement toward the electrification of everything, from intermittent electricity by industrial wind and solar farms, to more electric vehicles, the political actions are supportive of jumping onto the green train, most-likely not knowing  there is a darker side of green technology, associated with environmental degradation, humanity atrocities, and other embedded costs for materials. 

A recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) notes: “A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired plant”.

  • Nickel: A major component of the EV batteries, is found just below the topsoil in the Rainforests of Indonesia and the Philippines. As a result, the nickel is extracted using horizontal surface mining that results in extensive environmental degradation: deforestation and removal of the top layer of soil. 
  • Lithium: Over half of the world’s Lithium reserves are found in three South American countries that border the Andes Mountains: Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. These countries are collectively known as the “Lithium Triangle”.
  • Cobalt: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) produces 70% of the world’s Cobalt. While there is no shortage of environmental issues with its Cobalt mining, the overriding problem here is human rights: dangerous working conditions and the use of child labor. Cobalt is a toxic metal. Prolonged exposure and inhalation of Cobalt dust can lead to health issues of the eyes, skin, and lungs.
  • Copper: Chile is the leading producer of the world’s Copper. Most of the Chile’s Copper comes from open pit/strip mines. This type of mining negatively affects vegetation, topsoil, wildlife habitats, and groundwater. The next three largest producers of copper are Peru, China, and the infamous Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For the last few decades, policy has been dominated by ideological pipe dreamers that the world can survive and prosper with intermittent and unreliable electricity generated from breezes and sunshine, and to-date they have succeeded in wrecking livelihoods inflicting shortages, inflation, and undermining national security. It’s time to look again at fracking, at nuclear, and focus on conservations, improving efficiencies, and adaptation. It’s time to get serious about climate and electricity.

The non-existing transparency of human rights abuses and environmental degradation occurring in developing countries with yellow, brown, and black skinned people are obscured from most of the world’s population. Both human rights abuses and environmental degradation are directly connected to the mining for the exotic minerals and metals that are required to manufacture wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries.

An electric vehicle battery does not “make” electricity – it only stores electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, and occasionally by intermittent breezes and sunshine. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid as 80 percent of the electricity generated to charge the batteries is from coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

  1. Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from coal-fired plants, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered.
  2. Since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from natural gas, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are natural gas-powered.
  3. Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from nuclear, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are nuclear-powered.

For a pleasant and educational Fireside Chat on Energy Literacy between Ronald Stein and avid Environmentalist Nancy Pearlman, check out Nancy’s Environmental Directions 30-minute YouTube interview “ED 2298 Ronald Stein Clean Energy Exploitations” for discussions are about the messages in the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy“.  

To make the embedded costs of going “green” transparent to the world, the book highlights how Asians and Africans, many of them children from the poorer and less healthy countries, are being enslaved and are dying in mines and factories to obtain the exotic minerals and metals required for the green energy technologies for the construction of EV batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, and utility-scale storage batteries.

America could promote sustainable mining in those developing countries to restoring the land to a healthy ecosystem after the mine closes and by leaving surrounding communities with more wealth, education, health care, and infrastructure that they had before the mine went into production. Like the mining in America, the mining in developing countries must be the objective of corporate social responsibilities and the outcome of the successful ecological restoration of landscapes.

America’s obsession for green electricity to reduce emissions must be ethical and should not thrive off human rights and environmental abuses in the foreign countries providing the exotic minerals and metals to support America’s green passion. And before we get rid of crude oil, the greenies need to identify the replacement or clone for crude oil, to keep today’s societies and economies running with the more than  6,000 products now made with manufactured derivatives from crude oil, along with the fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 jets and more than 50,000 merchant ships, and the military and space programs.

Ronald Stein, P.E.

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure

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Tom Halla
April 12, 2022 10:04 am

As the Green Blob generally hates people, third world children in pit mines does not bother them at all.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 12, 2022 11:18 am

In some places you and all your kids work in the mine….or your family all die of starvation. When the big equipment moves in to do the mining for you….again you all are going to die of starvation….think of something better genius GreenBlobbers, cuz right now a warlord that keeps out the big corporations provides a better living for these artisanal miners, than starving to death while big machines with a half dozen union pay operators with health benefits and a pension plan do the work of a few hundred people just getting by….

Gary Pearse
Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 12, 2022 2:31 pm

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/12/its-time-for-transparency-of-the-embedded-costs-of-going-green/#comment-3497185

Good on you MacKenzie. I’ve tried get this type of NGO propaganda neutralized in comments by folk who are otherwise fighting the good fight against the civilization destroyers.

The Saint
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 12, 2022 7:51 pm

No one would advocate green energy if they ever watched Michael Moore’s free green energy documentary on YouTube, Planet of the Humans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

Trebla
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 24, 2022 10:49 am

Why is this site so 100% negative about alternative methods of transportation ? Even if electricity is generated by a coal fired or gas fired plant, these plants are far more efficient than a gasoline internal combustion engine that wastes as much as 75% of its energy as heat. A combined cycle gas fired electrical generation plant is over 60% efficient. Deliver that electricity to an EV over high efficiency high voltage power lines and there is no contest in terms of efficiency. Add to that fact that the EV recaptures as much as 70% of its kinetic energy when braking and you have a further gain in efficiency. We shouldn’t be wasting our fossil fuels and being reactionary and negative doesn’t help.

Ron Long
April 12, 2022 10:19 am

Mr. Ronald Stein makes some good points, especially as regards the true cost of EV’s and going green. However, there are several issues where he is off the mark. The children extracting cobalt ore in the Central African Copper Belt, mostly in the Congo, use the little money they are paid to buy food. You can’t just stop their money delivery without a back-up/substitute plan, otherwise they starve. Copper mines in Chile affecting the vegetation? Very few copper mines in Chile are in zones that have vegetation, you ought to travel along the Atacama Desert sometime if desolation and barren are your favorite words. I have walked along west of the large Chilean copper mine Escondida for hours at a time and not seen any living thing. When you see something living it usually is a buzzard checking you out to see if you are about to fall over. Modern mines post reclamation plans and guarantee bonds and behave themselves. Sure, this EV, etc, is Green Nonsense, but mining is not intrinsically bad.

commieBob
Reply to  Ron Long
April 12, 2022 11:44 am

Yep.

Someone I know was loaned to a third world country. He was taken to his villa and introduced to his servants. He said he was Canadian and wasn’t comfortable having servants. His guide pointed out that their jobs as servants were the only thing keeping their families from a miserable existence.

As for humanity despoiling the environment, there’s this.

Humanity, given the choice, improves the environment.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Ron Long
April 12, 2022 2:31 pm
Elle Webber
April 12, 2022 10:24 am

It’s not about the environment or the climate. It’s about making people miserable do they can be controlled.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Elle Webber
April 12, 2022 11:44 am

It must be that they’ve brainwashed themselves into believing it’s a moral
imperative to use any means necessary to achieve total control. This
propels the Team™ with the True Believers’™ blessing forward.
It’s a perfect description of a cult, which always ends badly for everyone
affected by them! 😮 😮 😮

Last edited 2 months ago by Old Man Winter
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Old Man Winter
April 13, 2022 3:59 am

“It must be that they’ve brainwashed themselves into believing it’s a moral imperative to use any means necessary to achieve total control.”

Yes, I think that applies to a lot of alarmists, including the President of the United States.

Rob_Dawg
April 12, 2022 10:32 am

True costs also include end of life. Wind turbine blades are piling up in landfills.

https://stopthesethings.com/2020/05/13/the-big-cover-up-wind-industry-burying-millions-of-toxic-turbine-blades-in-landfills/

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
April 12, 2022 10:53 am

You can add to the list the pollution to manufacture wind power & EVs as well
as the waste from lithium batteries, too. It’s definitely not Net Zero when it
comes to pollution! 😮

griff
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
April 13, 2022 1:14 am
Oldseadog
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 2:36 am

Now there is a first, griff has given us a link to prove his point.
Well done, griff, keep it up.

Intersting, though, that the linked article doesn’t seem to think much of wind power.

Editor
Reply to  Oldseadog
April 13, 2022 7:00 am

This recovery of the component parts will dramatically increase the cost of the turbines and so far the technology does not actually exist on a commercial scale

tonyb

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 8:32 am

According to Wind Europe in a press release with the European Chemical Industry Council and the European Composites Association dated May 25th 2020 recycling of wind turbines presents specific challenges.

They estimate that 14,000 WT blades will be decommissioned in the EU by 2023 and note that “there are various existing technologies to recycle WT blades but these solutions are not yet available at industrial scale and economically effective” .

Naturally they call on the EU (ie, it’s citizens) to prioritise Research and Investment funding to diversify and scale up recycling technologies and to develop new high performance materials for blades. More subsidies please!

Going to your link I see that the French Zebra project aims to achieve 100% recyclable WTs in the next 3 years having just successfully launched a 100% recyclable blade in March this year.

Meanwhile in January 2022 the US WT Database listed over 70,800 existing turbines and in March 2022 the UK had 11,900 existing turbines. That’s 212,400 WT blades in the US and 35,703 WT blades in UK that total 248,103 blades in two countries alone! Think of all the other WTs installed around the world.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Andrews
Old Man Winter
April 12, 2022 10:50 am

I’d add to the list the fact that more CO2 & global warming are better for all
of us versus being a detriment which is the basis for their scam in the first
place. With the global temperature having been very stable over the past
600M yrs- ~±3%- & CO2 having been 10X what it is today while being in a
similar cold period, it’s obvious they are hiding these facts to promote fear
with CO2 & runaway temperature myths, just for the sake of gaining power.
Everything they promote is a totally unnecessary cost- money that could be
used for basic human needs- food, clothing & shelter. It’s criminal what
they’re doing

Mikeyj
Reply to  Old Man Winter
April 12, 2022 11:13 am

And very racist. Biggest impacts are on “people of color”.

April 12, 2022 11:03 am

The so called ‘cure’ is far worse than the problem.
Fossil fuels are good as long as particulates are dealt with and the local environment is protected. CO2 is net beneficial.
The heart of the Industrial Revolution in Shropshire England is a green and peaceful scene these days despite it once having accommodated those ‘dark, satanic mills’.
The offshore windfarms in the Irish Sea are an eyesore with huge damage to the sea bed biosphere and severe depredation of migrating birds. The materials are not even recyclable.
Environmentalists are perpetrating a catastrophe for the planet.

griff
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
April 13, 2022 1:13 am

Irish Sea wind – UK offshore wind generally – does not kill migrating birds. It has been situated so it doesn’t. Please do check what the RSPB has to say on that

n.n
April 12, 2022 11:05 am

High assertions, ecological hazards, and low returns. The Green Blight has a lot of ‘splaining to do.

Terry
April 12, 2022 11:06 am

Don’t forget the increasing slaughter of raptors, birds and bats, both by wind and solar. There are reports of birds flying over solar installations and catching fire. According to a local newspaper in Coachella valley they are called streamers.

griff
Reply to  Terry
April 13, 2022 1:12 am

That’s only with concentrating solar – and as you know they fixed that issue.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 4:20 am

They fixed it by closing the facility down. That put a stop to the bird killing.

Old Man Winter
April 12, 2022 11:15 am

This graphic shows the hypocrisy of greens pretending to use alternative
energy when they’re really using the evil, but reliable, 24/7 solar!

EVcoal.jpg
Andy Pattullo
April 12, 2022 11:51 am

So much sanity and truth in a few short paragraphs. I imagine this is all unintelligible to the radical environmental loons and all the blindly adherent politicians and policy makers. My hope is all those wing-nuts lead the way by starting their life today without any of the benefits of fossil fuels or the products produced from them. If they can show the rest of us how they make a happy life without relying on oil, gas, plastics, electronics, nuclear energy or anything made using internal combustion engines or derivatives of fossil fuels then I will be mightily impressed, but I am also not waiting for the return of rainbow-farting unicorns anytime soon.

AndyHce
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 12, 2022 1:11 pm

Try asking some of them. If they will speak, they will declare that it is impossible to do the right thing in their own lives as long as all that coal, petroleum, and natural gas are being burned. They are just trying to make thing better. And, they will be rather angry that you dare to bring up the subject.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AndyHce
April 13, 2022 4:22 am

“they will declare that it is impossible to do the right thing in their own lives as long as all that coal, petroleum, and natural gas are being burned.”

I think that is exactly the way they look at it. That allows them to do nothing and feel good about it.

griff
April 12, 2022 12:19 pm

Well just 2% of UK electricity is from coal… solution: close US coal plants

b.nice
Reply to  griff
April 12, 2022 12:54 pm

UK wind absolutely NEEDS that coal fired power to make up for when it is providing nothing.. which happens quite often.
Or do you think they should continue using very expensive gas instead. 😉

griff
Reply to  b.nice
April 13, 2022 1:06 am

It really doesn’t. UK coal has been turned off for months at a time in last 3 years. Read it again TWO PERCENT

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
April 12, 2022 1:58 pm

We need coal plants in the U.S. to power wood pellet mills and loading facilities to ship wood pellets across the Atlantic to the UK to burn.

griff
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 13, 2022 1:07 am

I’m always pleased when Watts readers join Greenpeace in denouncing the non green Drax plant

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 4:27 am

If it’s stupid, it’s stupid. If Greens wake up to that fact, good for them.

And a large amount of coal is located near the Drax plant, yet they burn imported wood pellets. It doesn’t get much more stupid than this.

This is where our “leaders” and their propagadists have led us. Idiocracy.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom Abbott
LdB
Reply to  griff
April 12, 2022 7:14 pm

Even you must realize that statement is non sequiter

Streetcred
Reply to  griff
April 12, 2022 9:27 pm

Most of UK’s thermal coal comes from Australia … closing US coal does nothing and Australia can just as easily sell it to Asia. You can live your miserable existence in the cold dark for all I care.

Last edited 2 months ago by Streetcred
griff
Reply to  Streetcred
April 13, 2022 1:07 am

but it would mean US EVs are run on renewables or less polluting electricity!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 4:36 am

Those with any sense in the U.S. are expecting the UK and the EU to show us a good example of what *not* to do when it comes to CO2 regulation. You will be our crash-test dummy. Carry on.

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
April 12, 2022 11:35 pm

Griff,

If you care to read what I have just posted above you might learn something about power generation.
With few exception (Hydro) fossil fuelled generation is essential to running a grid. Renewables can’t as they are uncontrollable feeding a system that must be under tight load supply balance.

griff
Reply to  Iain Reid
April 13, 2022 1:08 am

I don’t think you are keeping up with latest efforts on (e.g) frequency response and managing inertia on an increasingly renewable UK grid.

Editor
Reply to  griff
April 12, 2022 11:42 pm

Its a much larger percentage of that when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. At 7.45Am here, there hasn’t been sun or wind the last 12 hours and today the forecast is for limited amounts of both. I am sure Griff will curtail his energy consumption accordingly

griff
Reply to  tonyb
April 13, 2022 1:09 am

And when it is shining and blowing? Up to over 60% this week around mid day…

so I think we have to take the yearly average, eh?

Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 3:18 am

so I think we have to take the yearly average, eh?

Sorry, the best I can do on such short notice is monthly data (from January 2018).

The graph below shows the min-max “Percentage of Total System Demand (TSD)” values for individual (30-minute) “Settlement Periods” for the GB electricity grid each month …

GB-Electricity_Wind-percent-min-max_Jan2018-March2022.png
Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 3:22 am

… while this one shows the min-max for (30-minute / SP) generation numbers (from January 2018 to March 2022), along with the “nominal / nameplate capacity” ratings (up to last autumn).

How much will your vaunted “about 48GW of offshore wind already in the build/planning process in the UK” actually end up producing during “a sustained blocking high over western Europe” conditions in the 2030s ?

GB-Electricity_Wind-min-max_Jan2018-March2022.png
Last edited 2 months ago by Mark BLR
Editor
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 4:06 am

Griff

By all means-take the yearly average whereby the Govts own figures show solar doesn’t work for 89% of the time, on shore wind 78% and off shore 66%.

The vagaries of the weather gods and hours of darkness-especially long in winter with lack of sun and wind for weeks- is a lethal combination.

BTW 60% of sun this week around midday? There are 15 hours or so of light at this time of the year, but solar power is sharply reduced, except for the hour each side of mid day.

Tonyb

Dave Andrews
Reply to  tonyb
April 13, 2022 9:08 am

Probably 60% for five minutes each side of midday.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 9:05 am

OK the past year totals

Solar 4.1%
Wind 19.8%
Fossil Fuels 41% (of which gas 39%)
Nuclear 16.8%
Biomass 6.9%

So biomass supplied more than half as much again as solar and solar one tenth as much as FF.

https://grid.iamkate.com

Steve Richards
April 12, 2022 12:20 pm

Perhaps new metrics are required?

Children killed per EV delivered

Slaves per PV panel

Large birds killed per wind turbine

and so on.

griff
Reply to  Steve Richards
April 13, 2022 1:05 am

Deaths from small particulates in children?

Disputin
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 1:46 am

Oh, thank you. I’ve never been able to find any data on that. I look forward to you providing some figures (/s)

Editor
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 4:09 am

Griff

There has been one court case in the UK just last year which Parliament subsequently debated concerning the death of a highly asthmatic child living very close to a London main road. So no doubt we need to do more to clean up particulates but fortunately the proven numbers are small

tonyb

Rusty
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 8:42 am

Absolutely – it’s caused by indoor fires burning things like dung.

Coal is much better and more efficient when burnt in a power station and then people can have electricity to cook with rather than see their children with respiratory problems.

ResourceGuy
April 12, 2022 1:55 pm

As always, it’s a battle of the lobbyists buying favor with political parties. The latest example is the screaming of the high-cost rooftop solar lobby and news media when the DoC started an investigation on trade practices.

SEIA speaks on potential devastation of the solar anticircumvention investigation – pv magazine USA (pv-magazine-usa.com)

Gary Pearse
April 12, 2022 2:18 pm

Ronald has the energy politics aspects right of course, but he truly ruins his case strongly by ranting about environmental damage of mining, dying child workers in Africa, and the like. All the ‘knowledge’ we have about these chestnuts comes from the exact same marxist propaganda sources that are presently destroying economies, free enterprise, freedom itself.

I’ve tried to straighten out these NGO chestnuts with Paul Driessen also of Heartland when he repeats this same refrain in his otherwise great posts. I want to assume he missed my critical comments and didn’t in fact just ignore them. I’m not up to enlightening once again on this topic at this time except to say I’ve been in in the mining industry since the the late 1950s across Canada, US, Brazil, Europe and a dozen countries in Africa so my views are not hearsay.

jeffery p
April 12, 2022 3:09 pm

Most of the green foot soldiers don’t know and they don’t care. They are chasing windmills and are willfully blind to reality. Math, science, engineering, mathematics and economics aren’t real barriers, they are excuses created by the fat cats and the fossil fuel barons to keep the people in line and dependent.

ATheoK
Reply to  jeffery p
April 12, 2022 6:37 pm

The EPA’s comments in some of the mine permit applications is responsible for much of this misinformation; e.g. The Pebble Mine paperwork, where EPA pushed 19th century mining abuses as current practice.

RickWill
April 12, 2022 3:23 pm

Most of the Chile’s Copper comes from open pit/strip mines. This type of mining negatively affects vegetation, topsoil, wildlife habitats, and groundwater.

When something as silly as this gets stated, it kills credibility.

Only someone unaware of the Atacama desrt would write such nonsense:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-24.2707521,-69.1419344,24466m/data=!3m1!1e3

Collahasi is similar country but even higher elevation:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-20.9946173,-68.7366419,12528m/data=!3m1!1e3

griff
Reply to  RickWill
April 13, 2022 1:04 am

And quite a lot of those mines have solar power…

Just one example:

BHP turns to renewables to power huge copper mine in Chile | RenewEconomy

jeffery p
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 5:21 am

Right-O! There are some cases where solar is the best solution therefore solar is best everywhere…

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 9:16 am

It’s a desert Griff, in fact the Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth. So solar works well there. Surprised you haven’t moved in yet.

Or perhaps not because it is extremely cold at night when the sun isn’t shining.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Andrews
Iain Reid
April 12, 2022 11:28 pm

Quote from the article:-

  1. Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from coal-fired plants, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered.
  2. Since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from natural gas, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are natural gas-powered.
  3. Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from nuclear, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are nuclear-powered.

This is a common assumption but is inaccurate because the grid is fed by sources that cannot react to load increase which include wind, solar and nuclear because they tend to run at maximum available output. Other sources are required to be able to modulate output to keep the grid in supply and load balance. These tend to be fossil fuel plants but hydro is also capable of being run for a load balancing.

Any increase in demand increases CO2 from generation, so it follows that adding extra demand increases CO2, so EVs and heat pumps are essentially fossil fuel powered. The above statements understates the actuality by a big margin.

The only rider to the above is that if non CO2 plant average output increases by adding more such generation this distorts the simple calculation.
Average output is important as renewables generate far less power than the installed nameplate capacity by between 10% (higher latitude solar) to 50% (large offshore wind) for renewables and near 100% for nuclear.

Certainly, in the U.K. I think the extra demand is going to outstrip non CO2 installation, especially as most of our nuclear will close in just a few years?

griff
Reply to  Iain Reid
April 13, 2022 1:03 am

Coal is just 2% of UK electricity and has been for last 3 years… there won’t be any after 2024. The is about 48GW of offshore wind already in the build/planning process in the UK, twice the current total of all wind.

The pipeline for grid storage batteries just hit 32GW

There are 900 solar projects proposed, 300 in planning

given average UK mileage, most cars will need to charge only twice a week or less.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2022 10:51 am

griff you prattle on ceaselessly about wind.

Professor Dieter Helm is Professor of Economic Activity at Oxford University and is by no means a climate change sceptic. But he acknowledges that the UK Government, green groups and people like you effectively lie to the British public about so-called renewables, especially wind.

Here are some quotes from an article published on his website on 7th January this year entitled ‘The first net zero energy crisis – someone has to pay.’

A series of simple myths have been spun out to the wider population which simply are not true. It is not yet true that renewables are cheaper than the main fossil fuels once intermittency is taken into account. Simply ignoring the need for back up in claims about renewables costs will not make them go away”

“It is not true that electrification of transport is going to be costless and painless after a short ‘transition'”

it is not true that we can bask in cheap offshore wind.On the contrary two inconvenient facts remain. First whilst intermittency was not much of a problem when there was very little wind capacity in the system it now very much is. Second is those subsidies still have to be paid and now make up almost 25% of energy bills”

“It is nonsense to compare the cost of wind with natural gas or nuclear without including the back up costs for wind”

“Now wind makes up a much bigger share of total capacity and it needs a much bigger investment in back up capacity. The economics of that back up capacity is seriously impaired by the wind at times producing wholesale prices of zero – when the wind is blowing well- and very high prices when it is not”

“In the old fossil fuel – nuclear system total capacity requirements were of the order of 70-80GW. For a system where wind sometimes can produce all energy demanded and sometimes very little, that firm capacity has to remain in place, plus the wind turbines too. We need a great deal more capacity to meet any given demand. That has to be paid for by someone”

Go read the whole thing. It will open up your mind.

http://www.dieterhelm.co.uk/energy/

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Dave Andrews
April 14, 2022 6:33 am

Dang! Dieter Helm is Professor of Economic Policy at Oxford. I should also have added that Energy Policy is one of his main areas of research

Mark BLR
Reply to  Iain Reid
April 13, 2022 3:03 am

Certainly, in the U.K. I think the extra demand is going to outstrip non CO2 installation, especially as most of our nuclear will close in just a few years?

NB : I’m actually a British ex-pat currently based in France (with my updated “Titre de Sejour” I should be OK as long as Le Pen loses in 11 days …), so I am interested in the GB (not “UK”, Northern Ireland is a special case …) electricity grid numbers but not directly affected by them.

The next 2 winters (2022/3 and 2023/4) will likely see electricity from “Coal” suffering from either a “haircut” or a “trepanning” (depending on your vocabulary).

“Nuclear”, however, looks like it is going to “run into a wall” in the summer of 2024 … just a few months before the final “Coal” units are shut down.

GB-Electricity_Coal-Nuclear_Jan2020-July2026_3.png
griff
April 13, 2022 12:59 am

Most mining in Chile is concentrated to the Norte Grande region spanning most of the Atacama Desert

How much environmental damage can you do in a super dry desert?

Wouldn’t fossil fuel power still demand a lot of copper?

Australia is now the largest supplier of Lithium.

Cobalt isn’t only used in renewables. Are Watts readers boycotting or campaigning around its use in non-renewables areas? why not?

VOWG
April 13, 2022 3:38 am

There is no such thing as going green.

Tom Abbott
April 13, 2022 3:50 am

From the article: “America’s obsession for green electricity to reduce emissions must be ethical and should not thrive off human rights and environmental abuses in the foreign countries providing the exotic minerals and metals to support America’s green passion.”

America is not obsessed with green electricity. It is America’s delusional politicians who are obsessed with green electricity. There’s a difference, you know.

jeff corbin
April 13, 2022 7:09 am

What is the efficiency of the hydrocarbon energy used to generate electricity, distributed via the grid to the battery in the EV and the EV’s efficiency in battery storage and discharge as E-motor consumes the electricity compared to the standard 4 cylinder 30 MPG car use of the same hydrocarbon fuel equivalency?. (Grid efficiency from generator to plug outlet in my house used to be 17%, now 28% is reported. I was also reported that a typical car engine was 47% efficient) I have tried to run these numbers myself but my math sucks. it would be good to have a EV efficacy/total emissions formula or calculator and publish so people can make informed decisions when considering buying a EV. Would I consume more hydrocarbon fuel with my EV than with my Honda Civic 4 banger?. I want a CNG car with a specialized tank so it’s not sitting in my trunk. Do electrical generating plants burning hydrocarbon fuel produce less emissions than a car per the same unit of fuel?

jeff corbin
Reply to  jeff corbin
April 13, 2022 7:14 am

BTW… the best marketing ploy is to provide free samples. The EV industry and the do good Mean Greenies are giving away electrical power for EVs. Kinda like the solar industry 20 years ago…. generating tax dollar incomes. Give me real capital that provides real income. Give me real efficiency and value…with out it I am the victim in the long run.

Matthew Sykes
April 13, 2022 9:54 am

Yep, that nailed it! EVs are a joke.

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