You Can Be Sure That Net Zero Carbon Emissions from Electricity Generation Will Never Be Achieved. Here’s Why.


Francis Menton

The currently-proclaimed goal of the climate movement is to achieve “Net Zero” economy-wide carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner. The governments of essentially all the Western countries with the most advanced economies have committed, in one form or another, to achieve this goal. (OK, in the EU there are a few laggards among the former Soviet satellites, but then it is questionable how advanced their economies are.). Many of these countries with Net Zero commitments have even earlier goals, often in the 2030s, for achievement of Net Zero emissions from electricity generation. And the electricity generation sector is clearly the easiest part of an economy to get to Net Zero. Surely, if all of the countries with the best technology and the most sophisticated governments say that this Net Zero thing can be done in short order in the electricity sector, then it can be done and it will be done.

In fact, it will not be done. Not just will Net Zero in electricity generation not be achieved worldwide by 2050 or any time close to that, but it also won’t be achieved in any individual country, no matter how committed to the Net Zero goal that country may currently seem to be. If you have any doubt about that, I suggest looking to some of the following indicators:

There is a total absence in the entire world of any functioning Net Zero demonstration project.

It is truly astounding how many seemingly sophisticated governments have made the Net Zero electricity commitment without there existing anywhere in the world a demonstration project showing how this can be done and at what cost. Historically, major innovations in provision of energy have begun with demonstration projects or prototypes to establish the feasibility and cost of the endeavor, before any attempt at widespread commercialization to a full state or country. Thus in the 1880s, when Thomas Edison wanted to start building central station power plants to supply electricity for his new devices like incandescent lightbulbs, he began by building a prototype facility in London under the Holborn Viaduct, and followed that with a larger demonstration plant on Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan that supplied electricity to only a few square blocks. Only after those had been demonstrated as successful did a larger build-out begin. Similarly, the provision of nuclear power began with small government-funded prototypes in the late 1940s and early 1950s, followed by larger demonstration projects in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Only in the late 1960s, twenty years into the effort and after feasibility and cost had been demonstrated, were the first large-scale commercial nuclear reactors built.

Today there is no such thing anywhere in the world and on any scale, whether large or small, as a functioning wind/solar electricity system that functions free of full fossil fuel backup, or even close to that. The few places that have made attempts at fully wind/solar/storage systems have fallen woefully short, and at this point are not even trying to bridge the remaining gap to get to Net Zero.

Commenters on some of my recent posts have referred to the projects on some small islands like El Hierro (one of Spain’s Canary Islands, population about 10,000) or King Island (off Tasmania in Australia, population about 1500). But those projects only serve to illustrate how far short efforts toward Net Zero have fallen, and how enormous would be the costs to go the remaining distance. I have previously covered the El Hierro project multiple times, for example here and here.

The bottom line for El Hierro is that it has wind turbines with supposed “capacity” of more than double average demand (but which operate at annual capacity factors of under 40%), and also a pumped-storage facility with hydro generators for more than double average demand, and also back-up diesel generators for more than double average demand – three separate and redundant systems, all of which must be paid for. And for all that, they struggle to get half of their electricity from the wind/storage system, averaged over the year. And they must retain the full diesel backup, fully maintained and ready to go, for the regular times, even in the windiest months, when the wind fails to blow.

The operator of the wind/storage system on El Hierro, Gorona del Viento, has a website where data from the island are published (although the most recent data are from September 2021). In 2021, the island got 28% of its electricity from the wind/storage system in January (and the rest from the diesel backup), 36% in February, 48% in March, 21% in April, 77% in May, 72% in June, 81% in July, 59% in August, and 34% in September. The cover page of the Gorona del Viento report brags that the island had 1293 hours in 2020 when it got all of its electricity from the wind/storage system. How embarrassing is that? — there being 8784 hours in a leap year like 2020.

If Net Zero emissions electricity generation could be achieved for a major economy like the U.S. or Germany or the UK or Japan by 2050, or for that matter by 2035, there would be a functioning demonstration project operating today that achieves that goal. In fact, there is nothing that comes close, and nothing on the horizon.

Every wind turbine or solar panel that gets built depends on a government subsidy

The U.S. Congress has just passed its big climate subsidy act (is it still called the Inflation Reduction Act?), containing some $370 billion of subsidies of various sorts for “green” energy projects, predominantly wind and solar generation facilities, but also things like electric cars and electric heat systems for homes. Undoubted, this will get a lot of wind turbines and solar panels built, and electric cars bought and heat pumps installed.

But here’s the rub. Nobody builds any wind turbine or solar panel, or any other element of this new “green” energy utopia, based on the usual capitalist motivations of making a profit by fulfilling organic consumer demand. Crony capitalists will undoubtedly emerge to build something to collect the subsidies, but they have no particular incentive to put together all elements of a system that works. Who does have that incentive? Nobody, except maybe government central planners — a category that has never had a success in the history of the world.

For a few examples of bottlenecks to come, here is a piece in something called The Conversation from August 19, title “Big new incentives for clean energy aren’t enough – the Inflation Reduction Act was just the first step, now the hard work begins,” by Daniel Cohan of Rice University. Cohan points to one missing element after another of the supposedly coming new green energy system, each one of which will require its own new massive government subsidies:

Wind and solar farms won’t be built without enough power lines to connect their electricity to customers. Captured carbon and clean hydrogen won’t get far without pipelines. Too few contractors are trained to install heat pumps. And EV buyers will think twice if there aren’t enough charging stations.

Etc., etc., etc. When gasoline-powered cars became a thing in the early 1900s, thousands of entrepreneurs sprung into action, without government subsidies of any kind, to set up gas stations all across the country to keep the cars running. Now, people are waiting around for the government handouts that may or may not come, or may be insufficient, to set up the charging stations. Supposedly the Congress is going to come through with hundreds of billions more in subsidies just when needed for all of these things (and twenty more such that nobody has thought of yet), along with an all-knowing bureaucracy to coordinate it all. No government has that level of competency, or ever will.

We’re watching Europe hit the green energy wall in real time

The major European countries, like Germany and the UK, are just now coming up on the position that El Hierro has been in since its system opened in 2014. That is, Germany and the UK have plenty of “nameplate” capacity of wind and solar generators to supply all the electricity they need when the wind is blowing and the sun shining, and even excess at times of full wind and sun. But they have no non-fossil-fuel plan for the regularly-occurring times of low wind and sun. This problem cannot be solved by building more wind and solar facilities.

Here’s a report on the latest from the UK from City AM, August 17:

Based on current forecasts, clean energy specialist Squeaky has calculated that UK industry could be hit with £49.2bn bill for wholesale gas and electricity costs combined in 2023. Overall, this is a 260 per cent increase from the industry’s energy bill in 2021.

Price increases to consumers for electricity and gas have been even higher in percentage terms. And here’s the latest from Germany, from something called the Local, August 17:

Coal is experiencing a comeback on several fronts in Europe’s top economy. A looming shortage of Russian gas in the wake of the Ukraine war has reignited enthusiasm for this method of heating private homes despite its sooty residue and heavy carbon footprint.

Nobody in Europe thought to make a plan for the non-fossil fuel backup to get to Net Zero electricity generation.

So if you have a chance to make a bet, you’ll be extremely safe betting against Net Zero generation of electricity any time during your life.

To read the full article, click here.

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August 25, 2022 2:24 pm

NetZero – an impossible quest.

It’s simply not possible for a wind turbine nor a solar panel to generate enough electricity in their respective lifetimes to replace themselves.

If it ever happens we will have cracked perpetual motion and we can forget about seeking to conquer fusion energy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  HotScot
August 25, 2022 2:30 pm

“NetZero – an impossible quest.”

Yes, it is. And it is totally unnecessary.

Reply to  HotScot
August 25, 2022 5:59 pm

Eh, you left out the storage systems. That’s all they need to make this work.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Felix
August 25, 2022 7:42 pm

If you do the math on storage you find it is extremely expensive. In the first instance it is cheaper to increase intermittent generating capacity and curtail it when it produces too much. On King Island it gets to heat the atmosphere by being dumped into a large resistor a.k.a open air electric fire. Batteries tend to get used as ways to help smooth flickering renewables outputs, though on El Hierro the pumped storage system fills that role and is also used to dump wind surpluses by pumping water uphill and letting it flow back down again in the twin penstock which is set to bypass its turbine in that mode. The pumped hydro system has a very limited capacity and would be far too small to cover wind lulls.

These island systems peak at about 65% renewables before the storage and curtailment costs get much too high to go for more. It gets embarrassing when 100% diesel is cheaper.

Reply to  Felix
August 25, 2022 8:54 pm

And the solar wind specific transmission lines specific grid system.

John Brown
Reply to  Felix
August 26, 2022 10:41 am

When you do the maths on using hydrogen for energy storage using “excess” wind turbine power, taking a wind turbine capacity factor of 30% (UK Government statistic) and 60% efficiency for both electrolysis and electricity generation plus a 13% energy loss to compress hydrogen for storage, then you find that you need 8 times the installed wind capacity for any given final power output. For instance, if a constant 40 GW is required then you need to install 320 GW of wind power, plus invest of course in a massive electrolysis/hydrogen storage/gnerator plant.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  John Brown
August 26, 2022 1:53 pm

It’s not quite as bad as that because you can use some of the wind output directly rather than routeing it all via storage. I did detailed calculations for a wind plus storage system to power the UK in 2021, finding that you would need over 150GW of turbines plus over 50TWh of hydrogen storage, occupying the space of 150TWh of methane storage, plus over 50GWe of hydrogen fuelled CCGT and over 100GW of electrolysers. The UK has about 16TWh of cavern methane storage.

I also did the sums for pumped hydro/batteries at 75% round trip efficiency. They come in a little lower. See linked chart.

Reply to  HotScot
August 25, 2022 6:06 pm

Speaking of government dishonesty, Zuckerburg says that one of the reasons why Facebook tried to squash the Hunter Biden story prior to the election was because he had gotten a call from the FBI stating that the whole story was nothing more than Russian propaganda.

Joao Martins
Reply to  HotScot
August 26, 2022 3:29 am

NetZero – an impossible quest.

Not really: it can be made possible with NetZeroBrains.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joao Martins
Reply to  Joao Martins
August 28, 2022 6:42 am

And apocalyptic human death and misery.

Reply to  HotScot
August 26, 2022 6:38 am

Nut Zero

Richard Page
Reply to  HotScot
August 26, 2022 8:18 am

Sorry to put a dampener on this but ‘Net Zero’ is purely a political idea – it’ll be achieved as soon as the politicians want it to, one way or another. All they have to do is redefine gas, oil and petrol as ‘green’, stroke the msm a bit and, hey presto! we just achieved net zero, ain’t it grand! They might have to muzzle a few of the more rabid green activist groups but it’s all good.

Reply to  HotScot
August 26, 2022 9:02 am

’s simply not possible for a wind turbine nor a solar panel to generate enough electricity in their respective lifetimes to replace themselves.

Photosynthetic life would disagree. They would argue (if they could argue) that something that gets its energy from the sun can replace itself.

Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 11:49 am

That doesn’t address the argument. A solar panel isn’t a tree. The amount of energy necessary to grow a tree is less than, or equal to, the amount of energy a tree can gather in its lifetime. The amount of energy necessary to manufacture a solar panel is more than that panel can gather and transform in its lifetime.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Archer
August 26, 2022 5:23 pm

Is that true? How do you know?

Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
August 26, 2022 7:20 pm

Basic conservation of energy.

Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 12:03 pm

And once you have gengineered a tree that grows into a windmill, or an electric-eel / giant kelp hybrid, let me know. But current methods for building solar panels and wind turbines (and collecting the materials used) take more power than they will produce over their expected useful lifetime. Building them may make economic sense in niche applications (it’s too expensive to run 30 miles of wire for a vacation home, diesel fuel is too awkward to deliver) but you’ll need the energy produced to be more considerably more valuable than the energy you use to make the panels or turbines.

Bryan A
August 25, 2022 2:37 pm

Net Zero will be achieved. By the same dodgy bookkeeping and modeling that brought you Global Warming.
Creative Bookkeeping

Reply to  Bryan A
August 25, 2022 4:33 pm

Can’t we all purchase some carbon credits and carry on with business as usual?

Reply to  observa
August 25, 2022 8:55 pm

Maybe we ask for forgiveness but I understand that Mother Nature is part of the hierarchy.

Reply to  observa
August 25, 2022 10:19 pm


Purchasing carbon credits just falls into the hands of the greens and the elites.

We would implicitly acknowledge CO2 as a dangerous thing, which it’s not

Gary S
Reply to  Bryan A
August 26, 2022 12:50 am

Or that other ‘B’ word – Creative Bullshitting.

Sean Galbally
August 25, 2022 2:38 pm

Net Zero achieves nothing. It should not even be contemplated. Carbon dioxide is a good gas essential to life and crops. Atmospheric CO2 is at almost the lowest level it has ever been, it is almost at the level where plants will die. Man made CO2 consists of 0.04% of greenhouse gases. 90% consist of clouds and water vapour. These are facts. Carbon dioxide is not the culprit. Governments and elites are making everybody unnecessarily poor. We need to use our fossil fuels and reserves NOW to save lives until we have a sustainable alternative. There is no climate crisis. More and more scientists who do not depend on alarmist funding now recognise this.

Reply to  Sean Galbally
August 25, 2022 3:21 pm

We have a sustainable alternative, nuclear power.

Reply to  HotScot
August 26, 2022 7:46 am

Have you seen the pits where they dig out the raw material? Have you seen the massive trucks that they use? Have you seen one of those trucks with a small nuclear reactor attached?

Reply to  Spetzer86
August 26, 2022 12:11 pm

Actually, I think those massive trucks might benefit from carrying nuclear power plants. If I remember the pictures of the MSRE correctly, the whole building would fit under the hood. No concern about fueling, power the rest of the mine from your ‘hot-standby’ spare trucks.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Spetzer86
August 26, 2022 5:26 pm

Have you ever seen an open-pit coal mine to compare?

Reply to  Sean Galbally
August 25, 2022 5:00 pm

” Carbon dioxide is a good gas essential to life and crops” most people fail to understand every carbon atom in their body was once part of a CO2 molecule.

Nick Graves
Reply to  mal
August 26, 2022 12:26 am

Yesterday I watched an interview of Dr. Patrick Moore by Reiner Füllmich. It was very long, but he explained that really well. It never occurred to me that we all risked nearly died out because the shellfish had sequestrated so much of it that atmospheric levels fell to ~180 ppm and we’re in fact re-balancing it.

I’m off to the fishmonger’s -best we eat more of the little buggers.

Reply to  Sean Galbally
August 25, 2022 9:42 pm

Note how the environmentalists categorize that 0.04% as 400 ppm. 400 sounds a lot bigger than 0.04%.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Mike
August 26, 2022 4:33 am

I’m surprised they don’t resort to saying it’s 400,000 ppb.

August 25, 2022 2:44 pm

Net Zero effect. That said, do your part, albeit a perturbation, for a green and greening world, full of organic complexity in “the People” and “our Posterity” carbon effect.

Old Man Winter
August 25, 2022 2:52 pm

“Going Green” is tragically the biggest man-made disaster EVER. The grand
plan was to install as much Green energy & policies ASAP regardless of
whether or not they would work and/or were economically viable. Before
any serious person would’ve installed the first solar & wind (SAW)
farms, they would’ve demanded there was adequate storage included to
make the generation reliable & dispatchable. Peak electricity demands
are on cold, low/no wind nights & hot- possibly hazy & windless-
afternoons, times when one or both aren’t at peak production. Having
adequate backup for SAW isn’t even being demanded now which only
exacerbates the problems of both massive over & under production that
are already here.

“Gong Green” was totally political, which means winning is the goal &
“anything goes”- lying, cheating, stealing, …, to eventually get
complete control. It’s obvious there was no grand plan to succeed.
Warnings from others & signs of impending failure as the plan progressed
were ignored. Those who had enough power & technical knowledge to stop
this madness, continued to promote it. Since any group of a dozen
competent people could have easily devised a much, much better plan
to transition to Green, this leads me to believe even more that those
with enough technical & business knowledge (and/or advisers) to stop
this were looking to profit handsomely from its failure, with the amount &
makeup of the “total profit” yet to be determined.

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
August 25, 2022 3:27 pm

There’s also the NWO emerging from the cocoon of AGW/climate change. Whether by opportunism or design, it’s happening, and anyone dismissing it as a conspiracy theory need only examine the history of former right wing countries progression to left wing dictatorships to understand how and why.

It’s happening before our very eyes in the west and it will descend into violence if it’s not stopped.

August 25, 2022 2:58 pm

We should be demanding a functional and practical renewable energy demonstration on a grid scale capable of servicing a large city before proceeding any further. Period, end of discussion.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  markl
August 25, 2022 7:51 pm

And I nominate any or all of the cities that have declared climate emergencies and are filing lawsuits on the oil industry for “climate damages.”

They should have one year to set up their utopia, without climate “reparations”, and then they are entirely cut off from all sources of hydrocarbons.

This will be a city in the NE, and we will disassemble and repurpose sections of the Mexican wall to enclose them so they can’t leave.

Cheap in comparison to destroying the entire continent.

Richard Page
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 26, 2022 8:26 am

Don’t worry the way Biden is going, it’ll happen all over the USA at one go. As to the rest, I saw that ‘people identifying as people of colour’ (I think that’s how we’re supposed to say it) are leaving the USA in some numbers to live in other countries – Mexico and European countries (France and Germany seem popular) in particular.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Richard Page
August 26, 2022 5:29 pm

You can’t just up and immigrate to Europe. You have to be employable and have a job offer. Or seek asylum.

H. D. Hoese
August 25, 2022 2:59 pm

But we must according to this fantasy. 13 authors studied 25,000 species at risk (SSP5-8.5) but “Mitigating emissions (SSP1-2.6) reduces the risk for virtually all species (98.2%).” 
Boyce, D.G.,et al. A climate risk index for marine life. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2022). 

August 25, 2022 3:02 pm

Net Zero depends on how willing our elites are to destroy the standard of living of the majority of people to reach their arbitrary goal. So far I’d say they are more than willing to sacrifice us.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  tgasloli
August 25, 2022 7:44 pm

It depends on the willingness of the people to be sacrificed.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 25, 2022 10:23 pm

So far I’d say the sheeple are more than willing to be sacrificed.

They’re even prepared to buy their own mint sauce

Bill Toland
Reply to  Redge
August 25, 2022 11:03 pm

It’s amazing what believers in doomsday religious cults will do.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
August 26, 2022 8:52 am

This is what we are up against outside of climate science. Quote from a 22 year old UK student taking part in a ‘Just Stop Oil’ blockade of petrol stations on the M25 around London –

“We have such a short time to act to avoid the complete destruction of all we know and love.”

She also claimed that ending fossil fuel consumption was this generation’s “mission”

Guardian 25th Aug 2022

Rud Istvan
August 25, 2022 3:03 pm

Net zero electricity could in theory be achieved by 2050 IF we started building lots of Gen 3 nuclear now. They take about 10 years to complete, so we get 3 sets of starts before 2050. It would, based on Vogtle 3 and 4 be very expensive, raising electricity prices a lot. But in theory could be done.

But would be very foolish and wasteful. Thanks to fracking (and maybe someday again Russia) the world has lots of natural gas to fuel 61% efficient CCGT. These plants last 40-50 years. During those decades, 4 Gen nuclear (several candidates outlined in essay ‘Going Nuclear’ in ebook Blowing Smoke) can be explored, prototypes built, and then the best selected for future implementation. That way, in half a century from now the world’s remaining natgas is reserved for highest and best uses (heating, cooking, chemicals) and E net zero is ‘achieved’ by maybe 2070 or 2080–which is fine since there simply isn’t any climate emergency with observational ECS around 1.7C

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 26, 2022 6:40 am

” there simply isn’t any climate emergency with observational ECS around 1.7C”

I believe that ECS estimate assumes all warming since 1975 was caused by CO2. That seems unlikely, so the real ECS is probably lower.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 26, 2022 8:58 am

CO2 levels increased from around 280ppm to around 300ppm from 1850 to 1950.
CO2 levels increased from around 300oom to around 420ppm from 1950 to 1920.
A bit less than half of the warming from 1850 to 1920, occurred prior to 1950.

This means one of two things.
Either the first 20 ppm had slightly more impact on temperature than did the next 120ppm.
Or that CO2 is a bit player when it comes to temperature and something else is the driving factor.

August 25, 2022 3:11 pm

Just for the sake of argument, say by some miracle they manage to install enough “renewable energy” sources to create enough electrical power. How do you get fertilizer and plastic from electricity? How about the other stuff using petrochemical feedstocks like medicines?
Where is all the copper, aluminum, cobalt, zinc, lithium, and nickel going to come from without turning the world into an open pit mine?

The green loonies may have convinced politicians (paid off) with their utopian dreams but the rest of us aren’t as gullible and willing to sacrifice our fellow humans to the green blob. There will be mass upheavals and politicians locked up (if they’re lucky) if the western world continues on this path.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 25, 2022 3:38 pm

Laughably, were petrol and diesel consigned to the scrap heap of time, and all transportation run on electricity, that leaves humanity with a huge headache as every barrel of oil contains roughly 75% Petrol/Diesel/jet fuel.

We’ll still need plastics and asphalt etc. so we have to pump the stuff out the ground, so just what do we do with the 75% we don’t need?

Sure, some of it can be repurposed, but I’m fairly certain not 75% of it.

Screenshot 2022-08-25 at 23.33.35.png
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 25, 2022 7:30 pm

That’s part of the point of the war on fossil fuels. With no fertilizer except dung, and no labor assistance except what we can get from animals (because no fuel for AG equipment), we peons will have to move to where there is water (because there is neither fuel nor electricity for irrigation) and expend our lives in subsistence agriculture. The number of peons will naturally be reduced by starvation to a more “sustainable” level.

Reply to  Kemaris
August 25, 2022 11:48 pm

It is the end result that is important. Reducing the world’s population of deplorables has been a goal of leftist thinking for a very long time. After all, using the earth’s resources is not sustainable as we are constantly told.

Reply to  Doonman
August 26, 2022 9:02 am

It seems that deplorables isn’t strong enough.
Biden recently refered to Trump voters as being semi-Nazis.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 26, 2022 9:02 am

The IEA say that getting the world to 200m – 250m EVs by 2030 would require up to 127 new lithium, nickel and cobalt mines.

Then think of all the new mines needed to replace all the over 1.4 billion ICEVs currently in the world. Not possible.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Dave Andrews
August 26, 2022 2:52 pm

The IEA mistake is simple. They think the mineral resource is there and what is lacking is just mines. Nope. The mineral resource isn’t there in the needed quantities. No minerals, no mines. One example, cobalt. 60% of the worlds known reserves are in the Congo, and those are being mined. And since cobalt reserves form in very specific geological environments, there are unlikely to be a lot of unknown reserves that could someday at some price be technically exploited.
Geology is hard for greenies. But just is.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 27, 2022 8:34 am

Thanks for that.

A recent report for the European Commission ‘Critical Raw Materials in Technologies and Sectors in the EU. A Foresight Study’ also noted that the increased requirements for nickel were 500kt by 2030 and 1700kt by 2050. But,

“The multiplication factor for nickel is in comparison to EU consumption of all nickel of any quality. However to meet rising demands for batteries, all of the additional demand and thus the newly commissioned capacity must shift to high purity nickel. This structural change in the nickel market faces severe technological challenges, geological resource availability issues and trade barriers”

August 25, 2022 3:24 pm

Here is a graph of load, wind, and solar electricity in CA since 2018. Electricity accounts for less than a third (maybe less than a fifth) of CA’s energy consumption.
Going to net zero is going to be impossible, if the past is any guide to the future.

CA Wind Solar Demand.png
Christopher Hanley
Reply to  Joel
August 25, 2022 3:42 pm

Going to net zero is going to be impossible

Some Californians are showing how it can be done.

Reply to  Christopher Hanley
August 25, 2022 5:03 pm

good one…. I would add New Yauk to that mix also

Reply to  Christopher Hanley
August 25, 2022 5:27 pm

Yeah, fast forward to 2035 and that’s what net zero will look like, Christopher.

BTW, that guy doesn’t look particularly happy. Maybe it’s because he still owns some things. Someone needs to relieve him of the rest of those possessions so he will own nothing and will be happy.

Christopher Hanley
August 25, 2022 3:27 pm

I think it was Richard Lindzen who commented that it’s a matter of which will run out first: the public’s patience or the money.
For Europe particularly the coming northern winter will be a test.
At least some of the lucky few can skip off all expenses paid to the COP27 conference 6 to 18 November in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Christopher Hanley
August 25, 2022 4:20 pm

It will be the public’s patience. Because as Biden is showing, printing unlimited money works for the Green New Deal. There is, however, a negative feedback mechanism—resulting inflation further shortens public patience. In the EU, lack of gas plus high inflation are a BAD combo for Greens.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 25, 2022 9:18 pm

But it is all the fault of the greedy fossil-fuel companies. I read that in the MSM, so it must be true.

Carl Dyubus
August 25, 2022 4:31 pm

California to ban the sale of ICE cars after 2035…

“California, the country’s most populous state and the center of U.S. car culture, is banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035, marking a historic step in the state’s battle against climate change.

The rule, issued by the California Air Resources Board on Thursday, will force automakers to speed up production of cleaner vehicles beginning in 2026 until sales of only zero-emission cars, pickup trucks and SUVs are allowed in the state.”


The ban still allows the ownership of existing ICE cars and the sale of used ones. Still, it should be fun to see how California expects to meet all that electricity demand (when EV charging is added to the grid) at night after the sun goes down.

California has not built any new traditional power plants in something like 20 years now, correct?
Net-zero is a joke.

Reply to  Carl Dyubus
August 25, 2022 8:16 pm

Incorrect. California has built some newer combined cycle natural gas turbines to backfill the renewables when they aren’t working.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Kemaris
August 26, 2022 5:05 am
Reply to  Carl Dyubus
August 25, 2022 9:20 pm

California to ban the sale of NEW ICE cars after 2035…

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 25, 2022 10:25 pm


The UK has beaten California by 5 years

Bill Toland
Reply to  Redge
August 25, 2022 11:08 pm

Yes, we will show the rest of the world how it should be done. The UK will be the first lemming over the cliff.

Reply to  Bill Toland
August 25, 2022 11:37 pm

 The UK will be the first lemming over the cliff

Another fake story by the Misleadia

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 26, 2022 5:18 am

Yes, NEW ones. Which leads me to wonder if a Californian could travel to a neighboring state to buy a new ICE car and drive it home to California and get it registered.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 26, 2022 9:08 am

If they allow people moving to the state to register their existing cars, then I don’t see how they can stop residents who buy cars in other states from registering them in-state.

The only problem with this idea is that you may end up having to pay sales taxes in both states.

Reply to  Carl Dyubus
August 26, 2022 9:07 am

Washington and Maryland are getting ready to join California in this race to destruction.

August 25, 2022 4:41 pm

As for the electrification of transport carmakers have already plumbed the cost bottom with technology and economies of scale and it’s all uphill from here-
Ford Raises Electric Truck Price By Up To $8,500 After Democrats Pass $7,500 EV Tax Credit | The Daily Caller
Nevertheless you still hear the constant mantra that lithium battery prices will come down and all will be well ditching the ICE. The climate changers are in constant denial.

Rick C
August 25, 2022 5:24 pm

The engineers I used to work with had an informal saying.

“We do the difficult everyday. The really difficult will take a little longer. The impossible – ask someone else.”

August 25, 2022 5:29 pm

Like a prior Manhattan Contrarian piece on the illdefined “Levelized Cost Of Electricity,” Net Zero is evel more poorly defined. It seems that only the annointed good sort of carbon emissions get a zero rating. It doesn’t matter that solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear generating facilities are the end products of vast industrial complex based on cheap fossil fuels, it is how you feel about it that really, really matters.

Steve G
August 25, 2022 5:44 pm

Perhaps the crazy green governments around the world should have asked the climate “scientists” to manipulated the climate first, that is, make it constantly windy &sunny (in renewable energy zones only) before ploughing head first to net-idiocy

George Daddis
August 25, 2022 5:52 pm

I’m 80. Does that up the odds that it will not be achieved in my lifetime, in my favor?
I’m more interested in the chance that there will be an awakening before my grandkids suffer substantial effects from this delusion.

Last edited 1 month ago by George Daddis
Reply to  George Daddis
August 25, 2022 8:24 pm

It is not mathematically possible to increase the odds above 100%.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Kemaris
August 25, 2022 11:15 pm

You obviously haven’t met any British politicians. To them, mathematics is just a word and all words can be redefined.

Jon Le Sage
August 25, 2022 6:26 pm

Intetsting… No proto type, no demonstration projects.? Could it be that these useful tools would expose renewables for the failures that they are. Why are western governments so determined to destroy life as we have known it for the past 100 years or so? Inquiring minds would like to know.. Anything of this magnitude, which will impact the lives of billions of people should be capable of demonstrating its feasibility, in addition to providing some sort of cost benefit analysis prior to implementation. That will never happen… The emperor would be exposed.

Reply to  Jon Le Sage
August 25, 2022 7:24 pm

“No prototype, no demonstration projects.?”

Lots of small-scale projects, often an island with lots of wind.
No successful prototype projects unless you define burning garbage or diesel fuel as “green” backup power.

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 25, 2022 8:03 pm

Islands and Off Grid applications are about the only place they make sense. Where bringing in reliables would be far too costly or where fuel sources have to be imported. However, where you have access to high density reliable energy sources and readily accessible fuel supplies ruinables make little sense.
Their fuel source is so low density that it’s far less dense than those who insist everyone needs them

Reply to  Bryan A
August 26, 2022 4:52 am

Speaking of islands going non-FF, isn’t Hawaii about to do that? What’s surprising is they haven’t gone big into geothermal which they have lots of.

Reply to  Yooper
August 26, 2022 9:12 am

I believe that only the big island has any geothermal heat.

Reply to  MarkW
August 26, 2022 1:56 pm

And their geothermal plant was partially covered by lava a few years back. The plant was producing 38 MW, there are plans to build back up to 46 MW, the basin is supposedly good for 200MW. The island uses about 400MW, so they are well behind the local power curve.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Yooper
August 26, 2022 11:53 am

Yes indeed: 100% renewable energy by 2045:


The herd of lemmings just keeps getting bigger, as long as the cliffs are still 20 years away.

Richard Page
Reply to  Jon Le Sage
August 26, 2022 8:29 am

There is no way of creating a prototype of pure fantasy.

August 25, 2022 6:56 pm

There is a reason our goal is Net Zero. No one knows what net zero is, it can be anything, everything or nothing. The key word is NET. If the goal was Zero we would all know what that means. Zero fossil fuels means no one can burn fossil fuels but the green devils know that can’t happen. With Net Zero you can not be compliant but still be legal because you give money to someone else and your transgressions are forgiven. That is why I am such a pain in the a$$ about clear, simple and easy to understand language.

Reply to  Bob
August 26, 2022 6:03 am
Reply to  observa
August 26, 2022 10:48 am

That article seems to be written by an alien race trying to rid a new planet they just landed on of what they don’t need to live. We are in deep doodoo

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  HOJO
August 26, 2022 5:47 pm

It’s long out of date, —I didn’t see a publication date but a banner warned it was more than 2 years old. It written before the collapse at COP26 where China and India finally showed their cards and said “Forget it.”

August 25, 2022 7:16 pm

I predict people will be instructed to go online to view their local windmills on closed circuit cameras to know when they can use electricity.
Of course they can assume the solar panels will work when the sun is shining. Their electric cars will be on smart timers that allow charging whenever sufficient electricity is available.

The key to Net Zero is to manage electricity demand to match electricity supply. Sure, this may be inconvenient. But this is how we save the planet for the children. If we don’t do this, our children will move to other planets and we will rarely see them again. Maybe once a year for Thanksgiving, if at all. That’s my prediction.

August 25, 2022 7:26 pm

Please remember the article is about Nut Zero Electricity.
Not Nut Zero everything
Electricity is from 20% to 25% of global primary energy use.

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 25, 2022 8:07 pm

But it will grow to greater than 50 – 70% once Transportation is forcibly electrified and over 85% with the electrification of heating and cooking

Bill Toland
Reply to  Bryan A
August 25, 2022 11:18 pm

Forced electrification of ships and planes should be interesting to watch.

August 25, 2022 8:46 pm

Net zero nonsense is for the 95% sheeple who have net zero clue of physics. One good side effect is that these woke zombies might be persuaded to limit their greed for more energy, goods, space etc. a bit. Less air travel to the tropics to check the negative effects of anthrogenic CO2 and such. Let them sail.

August 25, 2022 9:07 pm

Economists arent scientists and scientists arent economists , and none are engineers ,politicians are neither but listen to both and are only interested in the next election .
Fear gets votes , common sense is out of the question .

August 25, 2022 9:36 pm

Ya but Net Zero looks good on paper and in some models. What could go wrong?

August 25, 2022 9:38 pm

The misconception is that it is thought that those in government want to help the citizens. Control is the main objective and green energy is the way to do it. For it is much easier to turn off electricity to limit people – especially with smart technology – than it is to do that to dumb technological gas cars or dumb gas or coal based home energy sources.

August 25, 2022 11:14 pm

The currently-proclaimed goal of the climate movement is to achieve “Net Zero” economy-wide carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner.

That’s not the goal. That’s the method employed to obtain the goal. The goal is to reduce global average surface temperature anomalies (GASTA) to the perfect level it was before man’s interference with nature.

What is perfect level of GASTA? I don’t know and no one has said which makes “perfect” subjective. But what I do know is I can hardly wait until the annual Frost Fairs return to the Thames and perhaps on the Delaware River.

Last edited 1 month ago by Doonman
Reply to  Doonman
August 26, 2022 4:57 am

Don’t forget the Potomac…..

August 25, 2022 11:29 pm

The engineering and economic impossibility is only the second reason Net Zero will never be achieved.

The first reason is that if we had Net Zero our Dear Leaders would lose their current excuse for saying that the weather is our fault and the only solution is more Communism.

Reply to  Lark
August 26, 2022 5:34 am

Hmm, I’m pretty sure they would dream up something else!

Steve G
August 25, 2022 11:30 pm

We do all know of course that a lot of the fiction of net-zero is informed by …………………..modelling..sigh– Models, models everywhere..

Reply to  Steve G
August 26, 2022 4:58 am

There are a lot of magazines devoted to showing off the good attributes of models….

August 26, 2022 5:31 am

‘you’ll be extremely safe betting against Net Zero generation of electricity any time during your life.’

Very true – but you will not, of course, live to take your winnings!

Coeur de Lion
August 26, 2022 5:55 am

For ‘government subsidy’ read ‘taxpayer subsidy’ throughout.
It’s a pity that the penny has not dropped with the public as to why this is happening. Its not Russia.
I thought Net Zero was the totality of society? Why has everyone been going on about electricity generation alone? When one had bought one’s very expensive virtue signalling gas, coal and nuclear powered electric car, do please get out of the way of the torrent of thundering twelve wheel artics that daily deliver our civilisation. Do you, oh virtuous one, think they can be battery driven? Do the sums and realise your ineffectiveness. Oh, and aviation? And shipping? And agriculture? And construction? It must be AWFUL to be On The Left and unable to do simple sums.

August 26, 2022 6:15 am

Anyone else notice the absence of Nick Stoles and Griff to a discussion using actual numbers?

Reply to  CoRev
August 26, 2022 8:14 am

I’ve been cooking my tea – using an induction hob, very responsive and energy efficient.

do remember I’m in a non US time zone and the powers that be moderate all my comments in advance, making prompt response difficult

Reply to  griff
August 26, 2022 9:15 am

So much paranoia. No wonder you always favor more government.

Reply to  griff
August 26, 2022 9:21 am

I like induction cooktops. I also like efficiency. Some electric heating can manage 96% or greater efficiency. That’s pretty good. However, the emissions per cup boiled is actually better for a gas stove (since you avoid the inefficiencies of conversion).
Heat pumps are far more efficient than direct heating though.

Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 2:03 pm

Though they need to be. If your heat pump isn’t offering well more than a 3:1 gain (power used vs heat delivered) then just burning the gas is as or more effective at heating the home.

Richard Page
Reply to  CoRev
August 26, 2022 8:31 am

They probably got a room. Inevitable really.

Steve Oregon
August 26, 2022 7:12 am

It’s like pretending that getting out of bed in the morning is progress towards a world wide tour. But with a massive (costly) orchestra and staff to wake you up and help facilitate the removal from the bed along with with reports of the tour intentions.

August 26, 2022 8:13 am

Once again I remind you any energy cost problems in the UK and Germany are entirely down to the price of gas and the effects on price of Russian actions.

Net Zero is going to be delivered by a large number of contributing actions… it isn’t something you can just package.

Reply to  griff
August 26, 2022 9:16 am

Is there no lie so venal, that griff won’t repeat it over and over again. Totally ignoring all the times it’s been refuted.
Energy prices were rising long before gas prices started rising.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
August 26, 2022 9:32 am

I think you made a few typos there

Net Zero is never going to be delivered …… it is something that cannot be achieved

That’s what you meant wasn’t it?

Reply to  griff
August 26, 2022 10:33 am

Yet you avoided making a comprehensive reply to the article claiming that Net-Zero isn’t possible thus your lie is all you offered here since energy prices soared long before gas prices went way up.

August 26, 2022 9:00 am

The author confuses Net-0 with Zero Emission. If I had a system with 60% wind/solar, 10% nuclear, and 30% gas (ERCOT in ~5 years) I could achieve Net-0 by using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) or Direct Air Capture (DAC).
These systems would add 10~20% to the cost of the Natural Gas portion of electricity and so raise the overall bill. However, it is not an unreasonable bill in the way that zero-emission would be.
Not that I’m advocating for such a system. My only point is that this system would be reliable, large scale, have little added cost, and achieve Net-0.

Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 9:25 am

“These systems would add 10~20% to the cost of the Natural Gas portion of electricity and so raise the overall bill.”
Another confirmation that Net-0 adds cost to a grid. What was ignored, again,was the already baked in added costs to the grid due to adding system with 60% wind/solar.

Reply to  CoRev
August 26, 2022 10:14 am

I think we have had this discussion previously. But whatever.
Let’s imagine you have a grid that is not growing (i.e. SPP). You already have enough natural gas, coal, and nuclear to meet demand every hour of the year. Now you put in a solar farm.
How much more does your natural gas plant cost? How many extra dollars do you have to pay to keep it up? The reality is that it doesn’t cost any more. That cost was already baked into the system. You don’t get to double charge for NGCC just because there is now a solar farm.
“Hi, this is the electric company. You already paid for that natural gas plant over there. Actually, it is already completely paid off (we installed it 30 years ago). However, we just installed a solar plant. Now we are going to raise your price by the cost of a solar farm, and to pay for that already paid for natural gas plant.”
Your problem is that you are misunderstanding allocated costs with total costs. You actual position is not (or at least should not be) that the cost is increased by the cost of maintaining back-up production. That cost is already baked in (and on most of our grids fully depreciated and paid for). Rather your position is (or should be) that when calculating the cost of solar we should allocate a portion of the fixed cost of NGCC, NTCT, Nuclear, and Coal to solar insomuch as that fixed cost remains when intermittent sources are added to the grid. You don’t think that NGCC should bear the full burden of its own fixed cost.
That said – yes, Net-0 adds cost to a grid. I don’t think I’ve read anyone who says otherwise.

Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 2:19 pm

In California, the utilities recover on a PUC approved cost+ or infrastructure+ basis. So if their costs increase, their profits increase. If they build new power structures, they can recover their costs plus a percentage. Manage operations wisely, be prudent and frugal, your profits will drop. Hence the lack of opposition to insanity.

Shutdown and sell off our paid for and efficient power plant and build wildly expensive GREEN plants instead. Sure! We can raise more revenue on the increased investment in physical plant. Now we need to build more peaking plants to cover for the lousy reliability of the GREEN power? Sure! Pay outrageous peak power charges to the other grid operators burning coal in AZ,NV,CO,UT,NM? Sure, we add our % markup to that too!

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 2:29 pm

You are wrong to treat backup as free depreciated assets. That means they are near end of life and will have to be replaced soon if backup is to be naintained. It makes much more sense to look at an annualised capital charge that covers depreciation and a cost of capital. Of course, the latter depends on interest rates, which are now in the process of normalisation, which makes asset intensive solutions less desirable.

In any event, the costs of accommodating intermittency go way beyond a portion of time with asset underutilisation. They include much less efficient operation and increased maintenance costs due to ramping up and down, and substantial increases in grid costs to provide transmission for the renewables output and grid stabilisation services.

Once renewables penetration increases beyond a certain point (essentially when its maximum output exceeds lowest demand less essential inertia providing generation) you start down the road of curtailment of excess renewables generation. That means it is either subsidised to curtail, or it must charge a higher price for its useful output.

As capacity grows further, curtailment grows initially quadratically as more hours produce curtailment surpluses, and as the size of the surpluses grows. The marginal useful generation from adding renewables capacity falls sharply, since mostly it adds to already surplus generation while contributing next to nothing during Dunkelflaute. The result is that the effective cost of additional renewables capacity becomes a multiple of a LCOE calculated figure, because most of the output must be thrown away.

Storage is not the answer for anything beyond short term oscillations in output on a small scale that allows the storage to be turned over rapidly. It is crazy expensive once you start looking at seasonal stores, and in any case depends on getting its input on the cheap.

Incudentally I have yet to see anyone with a CCS system that carries only a 20% cost premium, unless it is failing to capture a lot of emissions. The only ones that have been viable are where the CO2 is used for EPR reservoir flooding to produce more hydrocarbons.

Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 1:42 pm

Only 10 to 20%? You are delusional.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  MarkW
August 26, 2022 6:03 pm

Well, if electricity prices have already tripled because of heavy penetration by weather-dependent generators, then 10-20% on top of that higher price for. CCS + DAC might be believable.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  chadb
August 26, 2022 5:58 pm

I don’t think we say yet how much cost CCS and DAC would add to the grid since no pilot projects for the latter have yet been built, and even which of several technologies might win out. Sucking CO2 directly out of the atmosphere is thermodynamically difficult. CCS is considered unacceptable by the Greens because it presupposes that fossil fuels will continue to be burnt.

August 26, 2022 8:57 pm

34,936 power plants in the world (excluding those with primary solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, tidal and biomass). / 9,990 days until 2050 = we need to replace approximately 3.45 power plants PER DAY for the next 28 years.

Does that need any more comment on why this is impossible?

What’s the plan if a particular region doesn’t complete their conversion in time. Will they have any choice but to shutdown the plant by force and plunge all the customers into darkness? The fate of the Earth depends on it after all, right?


Last edited 1 month ago by wadesworld
Maureen from Regina
August 28, 2022 11:38 am

Sri Lanka was kind of a test, but it failed spectacularly at net zero. And it was a temperate climate where if net zero was ever going to succeed it would be there. Not like the Canadian Prairies where the winter temps routinely hit -40C and the summer temps routinely hit +40C. The only player with net zero on their bingo card is the City of Regina (in Saskatchewan) which is going full out on net zero – in the next 10/20 years watch our property taxes hit all time highs

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