Cost Of the Green Energy Transition: Who You Gonna Believe, Some Research Assistants from Oxford or Your Lyin’ Eyes?

From the Manhattan Contrarian

Francis Menton

Over in Europe, and particularly in those countries in the vanguard of the green energy transition, the enormous costs of this folly have begun to hit home. In the UK, average annual consumer energy bills were scheduled to rise as of October 1 to £3549/year, from only £1138/year just a year ago. (The figure may now get reduced somewhat by means of massive government subsidies, which only conceal, but do not obviate, the disastrous cost increases.) Germany’s regulated consumer gas bills are scheduled for an average annual increase on October 1 of about 480 euros, about 13%, from an already high 3568 euros.

Anyone with a pair of eyes can see what has happened. They thought they could get rid of fossil fuels just by building lots of wind turbines and solar panels, which don’t work most of the time. Then they suppressed fossil fuel production, because that is the virtuous thing to do. Somehow they lost track of the fact that they needed full backup for the wind and sun, and have no alternative to the suppressed fossil fuels. With supply of fossil fuels intentionally and artificially constrained, prices spiked.

And they have not even yet gotten to 50% of electricity, or 15% of final energy consumption, from wind/sun on an annualized basis.

Is anybody learning a lesson here? Doubtful.

Into the mix has just arrived on September 13 a big new paper from a group of geniuses at Oxford University, with the title “Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition.” The lead author is named Rupert Way. For your additional reading pleasure, here is another link to some 150 pages of “Supplemental Information” that go along with the article. The release of the Oxford paper was immediately followed by some dozens (maybe hundreds) of articles from the usual suspects in the press exclaiming the exciting news — Switching to renewables will save trillions!!!!!

Could anybody really believe this? A few examples:

  • From the BBC, September 14: “Switching to renewable energy could save trillions – study.” “Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050, an Oxford University study says.” The BBC interviewed one of the study’s co-authors: “[T]he researchers say that going green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables. ‘Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re advocating,’ Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School told BBC News. ‘Our central conclusion is that we should go full speed ahead with the green energy transition because it’s going to save us money,’ he said.”
  • From MSN, September 13: “Going green could save world “trillions” – study.” “The Report says predictions that moving quickly towards cleaner energy sources was expensive are wrong and too pessimistic. Even without the currently very high price of gas, the researchers say that going green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables.”
  • Nature World News, September 14: “Due to the Increase of Oil Prices, Switching To Renewable Energy Could Save Trillions Than Using Fossil Fuels.” “An Oxford University study claimed that switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy might save the world $12 trillion (£10.2 trillion) by the year 2050. . . . However, the researchers asserted that the declining cost of renewable energy means that going green currently makes financial sense.”

There are dozens more of these out there should you care to do an internet search.

My main response is: This paper and others like it are exactly why we citizens and taxpayers need to demand a working and fully-costed demonstration project before we allow ourselves all to be used as guinea pigs in the implementation of these preposterous wind/solar fantasies. As I wrote in a post just a few days ago, if this is so easy and will save so much money, then California and New York should show the rest of us how it’s done before everyone else is forced to go along.

The basic technique of the authors here is to snow anyone who attempts to read their work with mountainous piles of sophisticated-sounding mumbo-jumbo. Example (from Summary): “[W]e use an approach based on probabilistic cost forecasting methods that have been statistically validated by backtesting on more than 50 technologies. . . . “ Clearly the hope is that nobody will be able to penetrate the thicket, and all anyone will come away with is “We’ll save $12 trillion!”

Well, the Manhattan Contrarian is not quite that easy to snow. Based on the waste of several valuable hours of my time, here are what I believe to be the main problems with the work:

  • The principal driver of the whole thing is a forecast of rapid and continuous declines in the cost of wind turbines, solar panels and batteries. The assumption is that costs of these things will continue to decline exponentially without limit indefinitely into the future. From the “Results” section: “We know of no empirical evidence supporting floor costs and do not impose them . . . “ Of the three technologies at issue (wind, solar, and batteries), the one I know the most about is batteries. Here is the Way, et al., chart of price history of batteries and the projection they use for the future:

That’s a logarithmic scale over at the left. So the chart is showing the cost of Li-ion batteries going down from about $100/[k]Wh in 2020 to something between $2/[k]Wh and about $80/[k]Wh by 2050, with a mid-point of the forecast around $20/[k]Wh.

And in the real world? In June 2021 the government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory put out a document called its “Cost Projections for Utility-Scale Battery Storage: 2021 Update.” NREL’s figure for the 2020 cost of utility-scale Li-ion batteries (page iv of the Executive Summary) is $350/kWh, compared to the $100/kWh of Way, et al. The difference appears to lie mainly in elements of a real-world battery installation other than the core battery itself, like a building to house it, devices to convert AC to DC and back, grid connections, “balance of plant,” and so forth. So let’s say that we begin with a small discrepancy in the starting point. NREL also forecasts declining costs going forward, but only to a mid-point of about $150/kWh by 2050, which would be 50% above Way et al.’s starting point and well more than an order of magnitude greater than the mid-point of the Way, et al. 2050 forecast.

And we are a couple of years beyond 2020 now, so how is it going? Utility Dive has a piece from April 12, 2022, reporting on the progress of New York in acquiring grid-scale batteries to advance its highly-ambitious Net Zero agenda. Excerpt: “The cost of installing retail, non-residential projects that recently won awards was an average $567 per kWh, according to an April 1 storage report by DPS. In 2020-21, the average installation costs of such projects was $464 per kWh.” In other words, instead of going down, the costs are rapidly going up. Reasons, from Utility Dive: “Crimped supply chains, rising demand for batteries and higher costs of lithium used in ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries make for a steep climb ahead, experts say.” Utility Dive then quotes New York regulators as saying that they expect the costs to go way down by the end of the current decade. Sure.

  • As to continuing rapid declines in the prices of wind turbines and solar panels, I’ll believe it when I see it. Yes there have been substantial declines to date. But at this point these strike me as mature technologies. The main issues in getting them built and operational are mining and processing huge quantities of metals and minerals, forming the metals and minerals into the devices, transporting the (very large and heavy) devices to their sites, and installing them. How are those things going to get cheaper by any substantial amount, let alone another order of magnitude?
  • The treatment of the energy storage problem in this paper is wholly inadequate, and bordering on the fantastical. The cost fantasies as to short-term storage are discussed above. As to longer term storage, from the Supplemental Information, pages 38-45, it appears that the proposed solution is almost entirely hydrogen, supposedly to be produced by electrolysis from water. (Here, they mostly.call the proposed storage medium “P2X fuels,” somehow implying that it might be something other than hydrogen, much like with New York and its “DEFR” fantasy.). There is currently essentially no existing prototype or demonstration project of this so-called “green hydrogen” anywhere in the world from which realistic cost projections can be derived. (From the 2022 JP Morgan Asset Management Annual Energy Paper, page 39: “Current green hydrogen production is negligible. . . .”). Way, et al., do cite some costs of existing electrolyzers, but I can find no discussion in the paper of the issue that producing hydrogen on a scale sufficient to back up the entire world electricity system is going to require electrolyzing the ocean. And the millions of tons of toxic chlorine gas thereby produced are going to go — where? The problems of dealing with enormous amounts of hydrogen — like explosiveness, embrittlement of pipelines, and the like — are dealt with with a wave of the hand. The creation of a massive green hydrogen infrastructure as the backup for wind and sun hasn’t even been begun by the most fanatical of the green energy crazies like Germany, California or New York. They take one look at the real costs and balk.

The answer of Way, et al., to any of these objections is, you just have to start building the facilities in large enough quantities, and we can assure you that costs will promptly drop like a stone. After all, we have “probabilistic cost forecasting methods” that have been “validated by backtesting on more than 50 technologies. . . .”

Perhaps I should mention that the authors of Way, et al. consist of one senior professor and a bunch of research assistants and post-docs. The senior professor (J. Doyne Farmer) is a mathematician and economist. Way himself is a “Postdoctoral Research Officer.” Matthew Ives is a “Senior Reseach Officer” who previously worked on implementing the Net Zero plans of South Australia. Penny Mealy is an economist at the World Bank with a title of “Associate” at Oxford. All four are part of something at Oxford called the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Lead author Way looks to be under 30. All four specialize in mathematical modeling, and none appears to have any expertise (at least none they are willing to admit to) in how to engineer an electrical grid that works.

We can all see in Europe what happens when you try to suppress fossil fuels and replace them with wind and sun, without having the alternative plan for storage and backup fully costed and engineered and in place for when you need it. But in the face of the ongoing disaster, Way, et al., say, double down! We assure you that if you just spend enough now on renewables and an untried hydrogen system, costs will drop and it will all save you trillions in the end. And after all, they are a bunch of really smart people who work for Oxford.

For the full article click here.

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Tom Halla
September 18, 2022 2:11 pm

More mathematicians acting as if Moore’s Law applies to batteries and wind and solar.

Editor
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 18, 2022 2:37 pm

I don’t think they are mathematicians. They are all from the same two institutions:

Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UQ,
UKSmith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK

RevJay4
Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 18, 2022 3:17 pm

Yep. Grifters and con artists in the climate idiotology. Just writing for the money, grant money that is. Plenty of it around. I’ve never seen so many flimflam artists in my 80+ years as there are around the climate circus.

Macha
Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 18, 2022 3:31 pm

Peer review each other.

Reply to  Macha
September 18, 2022 11:51 pm

As in ‘peering up each other’s anal fissures’ ?

David A
Reply to  Macha
September 19, 2022 12:44 am

“Post Normal Science”,
sad, tragic, and disingenuous.

No doubt they base the cost of coal and NG on the current cost, greatly amplified by government regulations that have tremendously increased operational costs while substantially decreasing revenue.

David A
Reply to  David A
September 19, 2022 12:56 am

And you can expect zero analysis of how much the world will Global Mean Temperature will change because of the doomed attempt to do this.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 18, 2022 11:07 pm

The fall in the cost of batteries over the last decade was driven entirely by improvements in manufacturing efficiency. However, raw materials now make up 76% of the cost of batteries. Since demand for the raw materials used in batteries is increasing with greater numbers of electric cars, the price of these raw materials will only rise in the future. This guarantees that the cost of batteries will rise in the future, not fall. This has become very obvious in the last year with battery prices soaring.

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/breaking-down-the-cost-of-an-ev-battery-cell/

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/28/ev-makers-face-cash-squeeze-amid-soaring-battery-production-costs.html

Last edited 8 days ago by Bill Toland
Bill Toland
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 18, 2022 11:44 pm

Wind power is not getting cheaper. Analysis of the audited accounts of wind farm operators show no sign of falling costs over the last decade.

https://briefingsforbritain.co.uk/the-costs-offshore-wind-power-blindness-and-insight/

David A
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 19, 2022 12:48 am

And what about replacement costs? There is an old eastern saying, ” Cows require care of Cows.” The wind turbines, the solar, and the batteries will ALL have to be replaced, and sooner than they think, if they are thinking at all.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  David A
September 19, 2022 9:06 am

Wind Europe say 38GW of Europe’s onshore wind capacity will reach the end of its normal life by 2025. Some may be ‘re-powered’ but much will be scrapped.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 19, 2022 6:04 am

They seem to assume that the cost of wind power is the turbine and blades. They ignore the enormous amount of land prep and concrete required to anchor the device.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
September 19, 2022 7:32 am

They also ignore the cost of the new transmission lines required to transport electricity from the wind turbines to the national grid. Even worse, they ignore the cost to the electricity grid incurred by coping with the intermittency of wind power. This additional system cost is so large that it ensures wind power will never be cost competitive with reliable sources of power.

Last edited 7 days ago by Bill Toland
Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
September 19, 2022 9:11 am

And the labor associated with the installation. Labor costs are not going down. Just one component of the cost, but shouldn’t be hand-waved away.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 19, 2022 8:54 am

The IEA say the cost of lithium rose by over 700% between Jan 2021 and March 2022 and they can foresee worldwide shortages of both lithium and cobalt as early as 2025.

They also say that there will need to be 30- 50 new lithium mines, 41-60 new nickel mines and 11-17 new cobalt mines to get the world to 200m – 250m EVs by 2030. (Even they admit it can take many years, 6 to 18, to bring a new lithium mine to full production and that “the exceptional demand for lithium is now outstripping supply, with new mines not being built fast enough”)

They also say the cost of batteries could rise by up to 15% this year and that “lithium is the most critical metal for EVs as it has no commercially available substitute at scale”

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 19, 2022 6:02 am

Considering Moore’s Law is not a real law but just an observation about memory chips, they are really far off base.

Pete
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
September 22, 2022 9:04 pm

Moore’s Law does not work for chips anymore either,maxxed out

John Garrett
September 18, 2022 2:18 pm

[Just in case you were wondering— according to NPR— it has nothing to do with Brandon’s war on fossil fuels, it has nothing to do with unreliable wind and solar electricity generation]

Why Your Electricity Bill Is So High— and Why Your Heating Bill Might Be Next

(NPR) If air-conditioning your home felt expensive this summer, get ready, because turning up the heat may cost even more this winter.

The rising utility bills are being driven by the surge in the price of natural gas, which generates about 40% of the United States’ electricity.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects this surge to last through the winter, given that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reduced overall supplies while global consumption remains high.

Here’s what’s behind the spike in prices and how it could impact you.

Russia is weaponizing its natural gas supplies
There’s much less natural gas in the world these days because of Russia.

For years, Russia supplied Europe with cheap natural gas to power its factories and heat its homes. But after the West imposed sanctions for the war in Ukraine, Russia slashed its supplies, effectively weaponizing its natural gas.

While the global supply has dropped, demand has remained high.

In the U.S., half of homes use natural gas for heating or cooling.

Given how hot this summer was for parts of the U.S., many had their air conditioners working overtime.

U.S. natural gas inventories have also dropped this year, which together has driven up prices around 300% from just a few years ago.

What will this mean for prices in the U.S.?
Prices are expected to keep climbing.

Even though the country’s inventory of liquid natural gas is low, this hasn’t stopped the U.S. from exporting large amounts to Europe to help fill the void left by Russia.

U.S. natural gas producers have an incentive to export since they stand to profit from the spike in global prices…

more…

https://www.npr.org/2022/09/17/1123042757/electricity-power-utility-heating-bills-natural-gas-russia-ukraine-heat-wave

Old Man Winter
Reply to  John Garrett
September 18, 2022 4:56 pm

“U.S. natural gas producers have an incentive to export since they stand to profit from the spike in global prices”

Since they couldn’t blame Trump, they blamed those greedy, evil capitalists.
But then again, they may be saving him as their scapegoat for next time!

commie15.jpg
Jtom
Reply to  John Garrett
September 18, 2022 5:01 pm

Domestic dry natural gas production in 2020 was 33.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), or 91.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), In 2020, the U.S. exported almost 2,400 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas in the form of LNG. That’s only about 7% and can not substantially grow because of LNG infrastructure limitations.

Moreover, NG prices went from $1.88 in Apr 2020 to $5.85 by Jan. 1, 2022, a 300+% increase. Putin did not invade Ukraine until Feb 2022. The price now stands at $7.82. About two-thirds of the increase since Apr 2020 took place BEFORE the invasion. Biden did that.

NPR would not notice a loss of power. They have been living in the dark for a long time.

David A
Reply to  Jtom
September 19, 2022 12:59 am

“Russia is weaponizing its natural gas supplies”

? No mention of the sanctions placed against Russia, the business and property sized?

oeman 50
Reply to  Jtom
September 19, 2022 8:42 am

After the current administration announced no new drilling on federal lands the prices started going up. They also started slow-walking permits and stopped leases in the Gulf. But it’s all Putin’s fault.

Ben Vorlich
September 18, 2022 2:21 pm

Wind turbines reach baseplate output at wind speeds of about 30mph, datasheets can be found on line.
But the energy depends on the cube of wind velocity,
KE = 1/2 m v^2
But m= πr^2VD. R is blade length and D is air density

So a wind speed of 20mph means 30% of wind energy, 10mph wind means 3.5% of wind energy, which explains the cutoff at 6mph. If the wind speed exceeds 30 mph you don’t get more than baseplate.

Using the weather for energy is certifiably stupid.

Dennis
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 18, 2022 6:26 pm

Maybe that explains why commercial sailing ship owners replaced their ships with steam engine power, and didn’t follow wind turbine installation back up planning applied today, which would have been to buy steam tug boats to follow the sailing ships to tow them when the wind stopped or changed direction?

Last edited 8 days ago by Dennis
Reply to  Dennis
September 19, 2022 6:38 am

Dennis,
Wonderful!
I nearly lost a monitor!!

Auto

Pablo the Magician II
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 18, 2022 10:57 pm

baseplate output” ? what’s that?

bwegher
Reply to  Pablo the Magician II
September 19, 2022 6:02 am

Capacity at maximum as designed by the engineer.
A one liter bottle has a capacity of one liter, but not more.
A one megawatt wind generator can produce and deliver one megawatt of electrical energy at maximum without failing, but not more.

BallBounces
September 18, 2022 2:23 pm

 “those countries in the vanguard of the green energy transition” Perhaps “vainguard” would be better.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  BallBounces
September 20, 2022 3:54 am

How about “most delusional of the deluded.”

Richard Page
September 18, 2022 2:28 pm

I’d have to dispute their core principle that battery prices will reduce drastically by pointing out that supply is limited, a lot scarcer than hydrocarbons, and with demand outstripping the supply, it’s unlikely to reduce and probably increase the prices. It’s just childish wishful thinking from academics that, one would have hoped, should know better.

Reply to  Richard Page
September 18, 2022 3:15 pm

As an example, as long as EV’s are a niche market, battery prices for them go down as technology improves. Being a niche market, it doesn’t put a great strain on supplies of materials (eg., Lithium,cobalt, copper) . However, but when one tries to expand a niche market to the whole market, demand outstrips supplies (there’s just not enough Lithium, cobalt, copper in the world) and battery prices will skyrocket. Also add in the fact that the strategic minerals are currently mined using fossil fuel powered equipment — just wait until they’re all EV’s!!!

Dave Andrews
Reply to  rigelsys
September 19, 2022 9:35 am

The IEA already say that lithium prices rose by over 700% between Jan 2021 and March 2022 and they can foresee worldwide shortages of lithium and cobalt by 2025. And that demand for battery metals is now rapidly outstripping supply as new mines cannot be opened fast enough. This is happening whilst EVs are a niche market!

(Global Supply Chains of EV Batteries IEA July 2022)

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Richard Page
September 18, 2022 3:26 pm

One of my children, a biologist, told me some years ago that scientific research that gives the best value for money is not the “glamorous” work that gets most of the funding but the mundane and to many seemingly boring stuff. He has been horrified by the enormous spending on wasteful reseach in the field of biology and medicine. He believes that this can be massively reduced and channelled to better use but governments and major companies for whatever reasons are not prepared to do proper cost-benefit analyses.

Slowroll
Reply to  Richard Page
September 19, 2022 10:09 am

Today’s academics know nothing. They merely repeat the incantations of their cult witch doctors.

Last edited 7 days ago by Slowroll
Rud Istvan
September 18, 2022 2:33 pm

Res Ipsa Lociter.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 20, 2022 1:20 pm

Loquitur

Editor
September 18, 2022 2:35 pm

Rupert Way’s affiliations are given as:

Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UQ,
UKSmith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK

No wonder his economic figures are so far out: An “Institute for New Economic Thinking” evidently has abandoned all existing economic thinking – the thinking that has worked reasonably well for quite a while and underpins the western economies – and tries to come up with a new economic model to replace it.

Let me guess: Their “new” economic model isn’t new at all. it’s Karl Marx’s.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 18, 2022 5:18 pm

Their “new” economic model isn’t new at all. it’s Karl Groucho Marx’s.

David A
Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 19, 2022 1:02 am

And the science is “Post Normal Science”

markl
September 18, 2022 2:54 pm

It’s all part of “the plan” to control world energy. Another conspiracy theory coming true. These days anytime someone is accused of harboring a conspiracy theory when they state an opinion that’s possible, but extreme, you know they’re right over the target.

September 18, 2022 2:57 pm

“[W]e use an approach based on probabilistic cost forecasting methods that have been statistically validated by backtesting on more than 50 technologies. . . . “ 

yup thats exactly what you do to forecast how a technology cost will decline.

unless youre a luddite

Philip
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 18, 2022 3:12 pm

Not quite. It’s missing a very important word: comparable.

HotScot
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 18, 2022 4:32 pm

Sorry? Is this the English teacher, promoted to ‘scientist’ until people began to laugh, who has no idea what capital letters are and can’t punctuate therefore reducing you’re to youre, now lecturing people on cost forecasting?

Tell us all Steven, just how does one generate enough power from a single wind turbine, or a single solar panel, in their lifetime to replicate themselves?

When you figure it out, please let us all know as you will have mastered perpetual motion and saved everyone the bother of hunting for a fusion solution.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 18, 2022 4:45 pm

Who are you calling a Luddite, you Dolt?

michel
Reply to  Gregory Woods
September 18, 2022 11:08 pm

Please don’t do this. If you have serious points, make them. There are some to be made, and others in the thread have. If your idea of debate is shouting insults, go somewhere else.

By the way, also, what Mosher got his degree in, all those years ago, is completely irrelevant to his argument. Invoking that in a denigrating manner is the kind of idiotic ad hominem stuff you find in the worst areas of climate fanaticism, and it should have no place here.

David A
Reply to  michel
September 19, 2022 1:11 am

SM says, “yup thats exactly what you do to forecast how a technology cost will decline.
unless youre a luddite”

S.M. deserves the mirror he gets. Besides, three typos in two sentences?

Rich Davis
Reply to  David A
September 20, 2022 1:32 pm

Yes, it was one of his better efforts. Almost decipherable.

Tim Spence
Reply to  michel
September 19, 2022 2:24 am

Oh dear, fake concern, very Karen.

michel
Reply to  Tim Spence
September 20, 2022 2:58 am

I’m not concerned, I’m annoyed. By idiots who misuse one of the few forums in which people can have intelligent evidence focussed discussions on climate as a vehicle for the expression of their unfocused anger, and so indulge in personal insults instead of contributing to the discussion.

If you have nothing to say on a subject, don’t speak.

Mosher is wrong to defend the paper, and wrong to use the general argument he invokes. As people have pointed out, the particular case of storage and renewable technologies are not amenable to the forces which have prompted steep cost declines in some other areas. Its not at all like semi conductors, and wind and solar are now pretty mature technologies, the easy cost reductions and those due to scale have already happened.

You cannot reason in a particular industry like this from generalities. You have to look at what they are actually making and identify where the cost reductions are going to come from.

Wind turbines are actually, as they increase in size, approaching the design complexity of large aircraft. If you want to make the case that huge manufacturing cost reductions are likely over the next 20 years, you have to do proper analysis of the technology. Its not enough to generalize, and Mosher is wrong to defend doing that.

There is something called an experience curve. And there are methods for estimating what it is in a particular segment. The paper’s authors don’t seem to have done this for any of the areas they are forecasting to reach these huge cost reductions.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  michel
September 21, 2022 9:01 am

Yep. The costs of wind are no longer falling. It is now a mature and much bigger industry.

Earlier this year Wind Europe reported that all 5 of Europe’s wind turbine manufacturers were operating at a loss.

The answer seemed to be more subsidies!

Rich Davis
Reply to  michel
September 20, 2022 1:31 pm

Thanks Karen and no thanks. Mosh never fails to insult while deigning to share his doltish holding forth. Let him try to be civil before we refrain from responding in kind. Or perhaps you think Luddite is a term of endearment?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Gregory Woods
September 20, 2022 1:27 pm

Careful, you’re using those big letter thingies and the dots and squiggly marks betwixt the words . Mosh won’t be able to read it.

ATheoK
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 18, 2022 5:57 pm

Hmmm… So, climate models are validated by backtesting…

Well, climate models are definitively awful at forecasting.
Even for the luddites depending upon climate models.

Last edited 8 days ago by ATheoK
Hasbeen
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 18, 2022 7:55 pm

The LiPo batteries for my remote control planes have increased in price by 350% over the last 3 years.

I have given up waiting for the big price reductions.

Reply to  Hasbeen
September 18, 2022 11:53 pm

Have they? they came down by 70% from the early noughties

Philo
Reply to  Hasbeen
September 19, 2022 5:21 pm

You’ll likely see price declines as other battery type take hold. Possibilities: Sodium sulfur, Nickel-iron, zinc-mangan3se oxide, nano volt lithium tungsten, organosilicon electrolyte, gold nanowire gel electrolyte, Tank Two string cell
and more and more, considering the variety.
Somethings bound to work better than most.

Last edited 7 days ago by Philo
LdB
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 18, 2022 8:03 pm

Apparently even with an English Lit degree you don’t read … inflation has already wiped out any cost savings you care to model in that manner 🙂

David A
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 19, 2022 1:05 am

Ha, we already know what works for fossil fuels does NOT work for wind and solar. Dictating policy with baseless irrelevant tautology is criminally stupid.

Derg
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 19, 2022 3:59 am

Bitcoin profits got you down 🤔

AZeeman
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 19, 2022 7:28 am

Backtesting is curve fitting and has no predictive value because the data is unchanging and a perfect fit can always be made using sufficient parameters.
A relation between the various parameters has to be determined first and then used for future predictions. Only if those future predictions are correct the model can only be described as useful, not but not correct.
Newton’s model of gravity was useful, but not correct as Einstein and GPS satellites have proven. Einstein’s theories are useful, but have not and cannot be proven correct.
Climate models are useless and have been proven wrong repeatably.

Slowroll
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 19, 2022 10:17 am

Back testing against other technologies produces nothing of value. Even financial model backtesting within the same financial instruments produces some epic failures. Why? Because nobody can think of every possibility. I suppose backtesting the cost of massive batteries against the developed improvements and cost reduction in stereo amplifiers is relevant?

MeanOnSunday
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 20, 2022 8:48 pm

It’s wrong because it’s just the usual survivor bias argument. Yes, the price of successful technologies drops quickly, and unsuccessful technologies normally disappear. But you can’t make it get cheaper just by refusing to let it disappear. The authors are just making the success an assumption of their model and creating a circular argument, not a scientific demonstration.

tgasloli
September 18, 2022 2:58 pm

We don’t need “demonstration projects” we need the election of politicians who will pull the plug on the climate fraud altogether. No demonstration projects, no subsidies, no purchase mandates, and no more funding for “climate research.” You want money to improve short term weather prediction, fine, but no more funding for the climate lies.

Dr. Bob
September 18, 2022 3:23 pm

I reviewed a number of papers on the Hydrogen Economy and E-Fuel which from the Professor view had costs for hydrogen electrolysis at $300/kW-h capacity. I reviewed a quote from a vender that is a major producer of electrolysis cells and the installed cost was 3X higher than the quoted cost in the “peer reviewed” article. No surprise here, but anything done by academia is questionable in the extreme.

Mr.
Reply to  Dr. Bob
September 18, 2022 3:59 pm

Of course.
Since none of them will ever be required to stump up any $$$s from their own pockets.

RickWill
September 18, 2022 3:23 pm

I know for a fact that Way et al would not have any idea of the energy consumed to get any of their system components into operation. If they did they would be able to advise the required operating life of each component to return the energy that went into making it and getting it into operation.

The whole charade is an illusion based on China mining and importing ever more coal to produce these trinkets. China has nudged past 4,000,000,000 tonnes per year of coal consumption. They are going to need to at least quadruple that to produce all the trinkets needed to make a significant dent in the developed world NutZero targets.

The solar panels I have on my roof would need to operate for 80 years to return the energy that went into making them and getting them on my roof. Each one represents about 2 tonne of coal. Fortunately average coal cost for their manufacture was less than $100/tonne.

UK does not supply any of the raw materials that China needs to make the trinkets. So UK has no capacity to make their own trinkets. The entire developed world is completely reliant on China to achieve any progress on NutZero.

Mr.
Reply to  RickWill
September 18, 2022 4:07 pm

Which reminds me to ask about the mega solar powered hydrogen production plant planned for the Pilbara desert region of Western Australia by a Fortescue Metals offshoot –

how many years will it take this project to neutralize the CO2 emissions deficit it will run up by burning all the coal needed to manufacture the thousands of panels required to set up the hydrogen production plant?

RickWill
Reply to  Mr.
September 18, 2022 5:05 pm

Engie has a USD33M grant to build a 18MW solar 8MW battery to power a 10MW electrolyses to produce 650tpa hydrogen going to make 3700tpa ammonia. At current ammonia price, it would have a 10 year payback just on the subsidy. That excludes any operating or maintenance costs.

The ammonia will be feedstock for an adjacent fertiliser/explosive producer now running solely on natgas.

If hydrogen was such a brilliant store of energy why wouldn’t they just make more hydrogen to feed a fuel-cell to avoid the cost of the battery?

The answer to that question is that it would show that hydrogen is an extremely expensive store of energy.

Ammonia is a more likely path to a useful transport fuel than hydrogen.

Mr.
Reply to  RickWill
September 18, 2022 8:12 pm

So Rick has Twiggy soaked Albo yet for a subsidy of a $billion or so of taxpayers money to send to China for shitloads of solar panels?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  RickWill
September 18, 2022 9:18 pm

“Ammonia is a more likely path to a useful transport fuel than hydrogen.”

Ammonia can be stored at a reasonable cost. It is also more useful than pure hydrogen.

PCman999
Reply to  RickWill
September 19, 2022 12:53 am

I think the battery is there so the ammonia production can continue when it gets cloudy, so the workers aren’t standing around.

Was that a 8MWh battery? A bit less than 1hr of backup?

If they really wanted to run this instead of this obvious subsidy mining project, for a 10MW plant to run a least 2 shifts, 16hrs would be difficult most times but almost impossible during the short days of the winter.

Aren’t solar panels giving something like 15% of nameplate when averaged out over the whole year. So they are going to run a 10MW plant on an average of 3MW of power – they can’t recharge the batteries at night and the batteries aren’t big enough to to really give them a headstart by the charging that will happen on the weekends assuming there aren’t any shifts – but most going concerns, most real industrial companies want to run 24/7 on continental shifts or maybe 3x8hr shifts, 2x10hr shifts even – to get the most out of the plant.

PCman999
Reply to  PCman999
September 19, 2022 12:57 am

Is there not even some token wind turbines? At least they might be able to charge the battery at night.

Graeme#4
Reply to  PCman999
September 19, 2022 3:51 am

The adjacent Yara Pilbara ammonia plant already produces 5% of the world’s ammonia using cheap local gas as an energy source. It seems to me that this latest venture, which would only produce a minor amount compared to what the plant is already producing, is just to harvest govt subsidies.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  RickWill
September 20, 2022 4:07 am

Hydrogen is not an energy “source” and never will be. It’s just another ‘green’ delusion.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  RickWill
September 18, 2022 9:15 pm

China has plenty of coal. it is the slaves that they will run out of when they finish killing off the Uyghurs .

Geoffrey Williams
September 18, 2022 3:42 pm

The people who make these grandiose predictions of the decline and fall in the costs of renewable energy have no knowledge or experience as to the real world practical costs of manufacture, delivery and installation of large engineering projects.
They are likely university desk academics playing with computers and imaginary data. They really don’t have a clue how the real world works . .

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
September 18, 2022 4:15 pm

Minecraft.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 18, 2022 8:01 pm

Well, now, some few don’t act as though they can just suspend a cubic meter of iron up in the middle of the air and expect to find it there when they come back.

Some few…

Slowroll
Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
September 19, 2022 10:22 am

Because they only theorize, they never actually produce anything functional.

RM Hoperent
September 18, 2022 3:54 pm

What a despicable and disgusting CONspiracy theory fueled bunch of disinformation, misinformation and malinformation.
You nasty and disgusting ‘people’ make us 😫

Reply to  RM Hoperent
September 18, 2022 4:18 pm

*kisses*

HotScot
Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 18, 2022 4:40 pm

What an idiot. He posted his email address as his username……LOL.

[I should fix that and will~cr]

Last edited 8 days ago by Charles Rotter
Scissor
Reply to  HotScot
September 18, 2022 5:35 pm
Redge
Reply to  RM Hoperent
September 18, 2022 5:04 pm

Bless

Bill Toland
Reply to  RM Hoperent
September 19, 2022 2:02 am

RM Hoperent personifies the success of the unceasing propaganda from the media about renewable energy.

September 18, 2022 4:12 pm

If you tell people well-crafted lies for long enough, most of them will believe the lies and will not question the bases of the lies, until pain hits their wallet.

Bob
September 18, 2022 4:15 pm

These people are disgusting. I hate liars and cheats, these people are liars and cheats.

John Sandhofner
September 18, 2022 4:30 pm

“going green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables.” Cost is not the issue. Even if it were totally free it will never generate enough energy at the right time to meet the demand. Availability is the issue. Cost is just a sideline issue.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  John Sandhofner
September 18, 2022 5:39 pm
PCman999
Reply to  John Sandhofner
September 19, 2022 1:11 am

Cost is definitely the issue – energy goes into everything you buy whether it’s manufactured or grown, so high energy costs are disastrous.

The green cult believes that availability can be solved by JUST over-building and adding on a token battery – usually quoting a 4hr capacity.

However, the one study I read here, that used real data from the UK for several years, calculated that 21 DAYS worth of storage would be needed. It’s not that a 3 week becalming or eclipse was typical, but there could be long stretches where production would be too low to charge the batteries and supply demand.

If green-minded politicians were smart, they would leave the fossil grid alone and continue to maintain it, while they build up the so-called green grid.

But they are not. And they don’t seem to care about people going without heat and light, and being able to live and work in peace.

But after all, thay “care about the environment”, but apparently don’t give a damn about people.

September 18, 2022 4:47 pm

2 Batteries in comparison (both operated by the same provider):

a) Build in 2020, has 14.2 MWh capacity, costs 7.2 Mio Euros. Or ~500 Euro/Dollar per KWh. Life expactancy: ~10 years

https://www.verbund.com/de-at/ueber-verbund/news-presse/presse/2020/09/17/blue-battery-eroeffnung#!/

b) Build in the 1970s, has 588 GWh capacity, costed ~1 Bio Euros inflation adjusted. Or about 1.6 Euro/Dollar per KWh. Life expactancy: 100s of years

comment image

Old Man Winter
Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 18, 2022 5:59 pm

The Austrians have a great network of dams that do provide a lot of
cheaper hydro & stored hydro versus other renewables & battery.
(Kölnbrein Dam pictured above). AFAIK, they’re mostly used for
electric generation & don’t have other major demands like flood
control, irrigation, city water supply, & navigation. This sort of
renewable energy makes sense!

The beautiful view from this dam is an added bonus!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6lnbrein_Dam

PCman999
Reply to  Old Man Winter
September 19, 2022 1:13 am

And flood control too!

Barrie Etherington
September 18, 2022 4:50 pm

I am not so sure the trillions in savings will be realized once the cost for $50+ trillion in required energy storage and transmission costs are included to make a renewables based power system anywhere close to reliable.

H.R.
Reply to  Barrie Etherington
September 18, 2022 6:39 pm

“A $trillion here, a $trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking real funny money.”

~Everett Dirksen, (slightly modified)

Michael Fox
Reply to  H.R.
September 18, 2022 10:54 pm

I’m glad someone around here remembers Everett Dirksen! Even as a kid, I loved the Ev and Charlie show.

Redge
September 18, 2022 5:08 pm

Let’s say using wind and solar, we can generate enough electricity to run our homes, transport and businesses with enough to spare so it can be stored in Li-Ion batteries for an extended period.

What happens in the middle of winter when the air is still and the sun doesn’t shine and those batteries go up in smoke?

I wouldn’t want to be living anywhere close to that fire.

Editor
Reply to  Redge
September 18, 2022 5:35 pm

In the middle of winter when the air is still and the sun doesn’t shine, those batteries will only last for a certain length of time. Then there’s total blackout.

The difference between this and fossil fuels or nuclear is quite striking. To keep a fuel-based power station supplying electricity, you acquire more fuel. To keep a battery supplying more electricity, you have to produce more electricity, and if the air stays still and the sky stays cloudy then you are quite simply stuffed.

Redge
Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 18, 2022 11:08 pm

Apologies. Mike, my question was rhetorical

PCman999
Reply to  Redge
September 19, 2022 1:15 am

Apparently the energy and reliability from so-called renewable energy sources are also rhetorical…

ATheoK
September 18, 2022 5:25 pm

As Francis Menton points out, at best, the alleged paper lacks rigor. At worst it is flat out willful misinformation and delusions.

NREL also forecasts declining costs going forward, but only to a mid-point of about $150/kWh by 2050, which would be 50% above Way et al.’s starting point and well more than an order of magnitude greater than the mid-point of the Way, et al. 2050 forecast.”

Ignored by Way et al are the increase in costs due to lack of materials.

Nor does Way et al, consider that renewable energy sources are incapable of mining, smelting, refining, industrial manufacturing, aluminum manufacturing, steel and iron processing, etc. They are all physically and technologically impossible.

Way et al, are a total embarrassment.

Lil-Mike
September 18, 2022 5:42 pm

From an earlier post on WUWT, the efficiency of hydrolyzing water, and burning the hydrogen returns about 4% of the energy used in the hydrolyzation.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Lil-Mike
September 20, 2022 4:18 am

Like I said elsewhere in this thread and many ti.es, hydrogen is not and will never be an energy source.

Barnes Moore
September 18, 2022 5:46 pm

I look at this stuff and just head to the bar for another drink. We have highly educated idiots making absurd claims that brain dead liberals buy into 100% – like the LA Times article I linked to in a prior post – https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-13/california-electric-grid-batteries-heat-wave-september-2022

And from this post:”As to continuing rapid declines in the prices of wind turbines and solar panels, I’ll believe it when I see it. Yes there have been substantial declines to date. But at this point these strike me as mature technologies. The main issues in getting them built and operational are mining and processing huge quantities of metals and minerals, forming the metals and minerals into the devices, transporting the (very large and heavy) devices to their sites, and installing them. How are those things going to get cheaper by any substantial amount, let alone another order of magnitude?”

Anyone care to explain how they are going to do the mining, processing, transportation, manufacturing, site prep, site assembly, life cycle maintenance, ultimate decommisioning and disposal without using fossil fuel powered machinery? And that’s only a part of the whole picture as many posts on this site have cataloged. As I keep asking any of the true believers, tell me how you plan to build the infrastructure required for unreliables without using fossil fuels given that things like wind turbines, solar panels and batteries can’t produce the energy needed to power the machinery used to reproduce themselves? And since batteries are not a source of energy, they are simply a storage device, they don’t really belong in that question to begin with. Yet, I get into not so polite discussions in WSJ comments and Facebook posts with people who buy into the drivel peddled by the LA Times and other MSM news sources.

Even a mass casualty event that is directly attributable to over-reliance on unreliables will not convince the true believers. If it were only the true believers who were affected by such an event, I would be ok with it, frankly – they would get what they deserve. Sadly, far too many who speak out against this madness will be affected as well.

Mike Maguire
September 18, 2022 5:49 pm

Wonderful article!
Twenty-Five Industrial Wind Energy Deceptions
https://www.masterresource.org/droz-john-awed/25-industrial-wind-energy-deceptions/

“They get away with this scam primarily for three basic reasons.
a) Wind proponents are not asked to independently PROVE the merits of their claims before (or after) their product is forced on the public.
b) There is no penalty for making bogus assertions or dishonest claims about their product’s “benefits,” so each successive contention is more grandiose than the last.
c) Promoting wind is a political agenda that is divorced from real science. A true scientific assessment is a comprehensive, objective evaluation with transparent, real-world data. Instead we get carefully massaged computer models and slick advertising campaigns, which are the mainstay of anti-science evangelists promoting political agendas”

Calculating The Full Costs Of Electrifying Everything Using Only Wind, Solar And Batteries
https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2022-1-14-calculating-the-full-costs-of-electrifying-everything-using-only-wind-solar-and-batteries

“Gregory provides a tentative number for the additional storage costs that could be necessary for full electrification of the United States system, with all current fossil fuel generation replaced by wind and solar. That number is $433 trillion. Since the current U.S. annual GDP is about $21 trillion, you will recognize that the $433 trillion represents more than 20 times full U.S. annual GDP. In the post I will give some reasons why Gregory may even be underestimating what the cost would ultimately prove to be.”

Dennis
September 18, 2022 6:23 pm

I have read on blogs that lack of wind is not a problem, somewhere in Australia the wind will be blowing.

All you need to do is install batteries.

/sarc.

Sean
September 18, 2022 7:53 pm

Fossil fuel power production wasn’t suppressed because it was virtuous. It was suppressed because power prices are set by availability of supply. If supply is abundant, the price is low. If supply can’t meet demand the price rises dramatically. By eliminating competition, you get high prices. Enron did this kind of manipulation to the power markets in California and rightly got called out. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000–01_California_electricity_crisis Enron did this manipulation with “maintenance” during peak demand. Europe did the by intentionally strangling supply of fossil fuels and permanently shutting down power plants, pipelines, drilling and mining. Enron’s manipulation didn’t destroy the reliable system that generated power. The EU manipulation did.

David A
Reply to  Sean
September 19, 2022 1:27 am

Anything crime a criminal can do, a government politician can do better.

September 18, 2022 8:05 pm

“Go Green now! I have my eye on this nice little island for my retirement mansion…”

Walter Sobchak
September 18, 2022 9:11 pm

“mining and processing huge quantities of metals and minerals, forming the metals and minerals into the devices, …”

The main thing holding the prices of thise gizmos down has been China’s willingness to use coal fired power planst to power the processes and slave labor. They have plenty of coal, but eventually they will have killed off the last Uighur so they will run out of slaves.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
September 19, 2022 1:11 am

“eventually they will have killed off the last Uighur so they will run out of slaves.”

That’s why they will invade Taiwan !!!
China is already using Tibetan ‘migrant workers’
https://newbloommag.net/2020/10/03/tibet-work-camps/

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
September 20, 2022 4:43 am

They’ll probably find more to “import” via the Belt and Road Initiative, after their “deals” impoverish those countries receiving the “benefits.”

John Hultquist
September 18, 2022 9:12 pm

 From the Wall Street Journal – Sept 12th 2022
As the Biden administration plans for the country’s first West Coast offshore wind turbines, interests ranging from commercial fishing fleets to powerful environmental groups are complicating the road ahead for the California projects.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expects to hold a lease sale for two offshore regions by the end of the year, one north of Santa Barbara near Morro Bay and another more remote site off Humboldt County just south of the Oregon border.

– – –
I expect to live for another 10 years.
I do not expect these projects to be sending electrons to CA before I check out.
Can ask for 20 years?

H Fan
September 18, 2022 10:30 pm

Why do the places with the highest green energy penetration always have the highest costs per kwh? In “green” California peak rates can be over 50 cents per kwh whereas in frackllevania (PA) they are less than 10 cents.

Dean
September 18, 2022 10:57 pm

No floor to costs?

How about the stuff the devices are manufactured from?

Current battery technology has gained a large chunk of the easy and moderately easy wins in terms of reducing costs. Current battery cost is made up of raw materials being approx 68% of the total cost.

To obtain the additional material you MUST get additional production from the upper end of the cost curve in the absence of finding additional low cost sources (which take 20 years to get to first production based on current mining approvals and assessment methods).

The higher cost ores will require more energy to mine as well, that is usually just powered by unicorn farts in these models.

michel
September 18, 2022 11:18 pm

Another excellent piece by Francis Menton. Nothing needs adding to it. The Contrarian is one of the most incisive comenters exposing the current wave of climate madness.

The uncritical mainstream media reporting of the study he analyzes is a real symptom of how completely crazy its getting.

Iain Reid
September 19, 2022 12:12 am

I think that one of the problems with academics is they don’t bother to find out how the grid actually works and don’t seem to be aware that renewable generation is not equivalent to conventional.

griff
September 19, 2022 12:57 am

The usual nonsense… without political action on Russia’s part there is more than enough natural gas…

Much of Europe is at over 40% renewable electricity, if not 50%.

In the current circumstances we’d be worse off without renewable electricity.

Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 4:57 am

You don’t know what you are talking about. It’s not even close to 25% if that.

Mason
Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 7:09 am

And when was your lobotomy?

Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 7:56 am

Much of Europe is at over 40% renewable electricity, if not 50%.

If renewables are so wonderful then why has the island of Great Britain been a net exporter of electricity since the middle of April ?

GB-Electricity_RE-ICTs_Jan2021-August2022.png
Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 8:05 am

In the current circumstances we’d be worse off without renewable electricity.

Alternatively, why people shouldn’t “rely” on activists making claims along the lines of :
“But wind turbines can provide an average of [ up to … ] 14 GW of electricity per month !”.

GB-Electricity_Wind-min-max-avg_Jan2021-August2022.png
Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 10:17 am

And in the UK at the moment wind is supplying 3.62GW (15%) and fossil fuels 14.33GW (60%). So how are we better off with unreliable electricity?

Slowroll
Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 10:29 am

Over 40% for some minutes of some hours of some days. Hard run an economy on that, or even make your coffee.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
September 19, 2022 8:06 pm

Germany produced 40% of their electricity through renewables last year, maybe 7% of all energy.

They did this at ruinous cost and ignored the reliable generation such that they are now dependent on Russia

Because they didn’t plan.
Or maybe because they did plan, have to ask Merkle about that on her way to jail.

The reality is they already have two grids worth of renewable generation to get that 40%.
They could build two more grids for trillions more and only get a few percent more

Because that’s how it is.

I’m sorry you’re so stupid

You are representative of what is wrong with people.

Tom.1
September 19, 2022 1:02 am

The use of metal piping for hydrogen service over a wide range of operating conditions and purities is already widespread, so cross that one off your worrying list.

Disputin
Reply to  Tom.1
September 19, 2022 4:35 am

Yes, but we’re only really interested here in long-lasting cast-iron pipes under ground. I think I’ll continue worrying.

Tom.1
Reply to  Disputin
September 19, 2022 6:32 am
Mason
Reply to  Tom.1
September 19, 2022 7:11 am

This is an industrial network running from plant to plant. It is not from supplier to home user. That piping system is larger and mostly iron pipe with leaks.

Tom.1
Reply to  Mason
September 19, 2022 7:28 am

There are also many, many miles of similar piping inside refineries and chemical plants. If properly designed and maintained, they do not leak. Refineries and chemical plants are required by OSHA to use a leak detection and repair program (LDAR). It’s standard procedure now.

ih_fan
Reply to  Tom.1
September 19, 2022 12:11 pm

The use of metal piping for hydrogen service over a wide range of operating conditions and purities is already widespread, so cross that one off your worrying list.

And where does the hydrogen come from? How much energy does it take to produce?

Tom.1
Reply to  ih_fan
September 19, 2022 12:37 pm

Completely irrelevant to the point I was making. There are no technical reasons stemming from hydrogen attack of steel or steel alloys that precludes transporting hydrogen by pipeline.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Tom.1
September 19, 2022 8:01 pm

Tom, quit being like this. Switch from gas to hydrogen requires replacing ALL the existing piping.
All of it, everywhere.
With expensive stuff you are linking to.

You never seem to think much.

michel
Reply to  Tom.1
September 20, 2022 2:37 am

Yes its available. But that does not mean its either cost effective or practical to use it in the same setting as natural gas is currently being used.

Look at a typical terrace house street in London – or indeed in any UK city. You have to get specific to understand it. The gas supply comes in to the houses on old cast iron pipe. Have to replace that, and who knows what the mains supply in the street is carried on. Probably a lot of cast iron there, too.

Then its carried to the different appliances in the building over copper pipe.

Fine, you say, just replace it all. And replace the appliances as well. And the in-house pipes too.

Not so fast. Think about what is involved. First you have to have safe mains supply into the street. Then you have to convert all the houses internal and feed in pipes, and their appliances. Its an absolutely massive task. It means digging up every street in the country. And are you going to do it one street at a time? Otherwise, if you try to do it house by house, you are proposing running a dual duplicate system all over the country.

And think about what it means to relay all those pipes in the houses. They are mostly now buried under floor. The time, expense and disruption would be enormous. How long am I going to be without heat or hot water, while the street gets converted?

This is a whole different story from the conversion from coal gas to natural gas in the last century. There, they did not have to relay all the pipes everywhere, including in the houses.

In addition, the real craziness about the proposals in the UK are that, at the same time as this shiny new hydrogen network is installed, everyone shall be converted to electricity – heat pumps for heating and electricity for cooking. This is a recipe for abolishing the market for the hydrogen before you incur the massive costs of being able to deliver it to everyone. Its completely crazy, and that is even before you consider where this hydrogen is going to come from in the first place. There is no obvious source at the moment except the natural gas people are burning now. Mad.

Michael in Dublin
September 19, 2022 1:14 am

Perhaps these Oxford research assistants should get away from sitting behind their computer screens looking at models and go outside more often?

Disputin
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
September 19, 2022 4:35 am

And stay out?

Joao Martins
September 19, 2022 2:29 am

No models needed.
The best evaluation of what they call “energy transition” is made with a single, simple and widespread instrument present in all households: the wallet.

Last edited 7 days ago by Joao Martins
yarpos
September 19, 2022 2:58 am

Why do we buy into the alarmist BS language.
There will not be a “transition” and there cannot be a “transition” with the current technology set. They can talk about it as if its real all they like , but the reality is unfolding all around the world.
Do nuclear, or do not, there is no “renewable” transition.

Last edited 7 days ago by yarpos
September 19, 2022 3:02 am

Net Zero is a policy of constraining the supply of fossil fuels, until fossil fuels are so expensive that people are forced to use eco-nutter (not green) alternatives.

Which sounds like it might work, until you realise that fossil fuels affect the price of almost everything in a modern economy, and as fossil fuel prices rise, so do the things made with fossil fuels, like windmills, and PV solar, and new power lines, and electric cars.

So, rather than the price of energy rising so that the eco-nutter alternatives become affordable, instead, what happens it that the eco-nutter alternatives start to rise in price, so that they are always more expensive than the fossil fuels.

Of course, if China and Russia just produce winmills and all the econutter variants with fossil fuels, then their price does not rise. But, all that then happens, is that fossil fuels stop being used in the countries that adhere to the econutter cult, and just as many, if not more, are burnt in those that don’t to allow us to buy supposed “Net Zero” energy, which is just exported fossil fuel.

But, let’s suppose the whole world joined the Net Zero cult, what happens. What happens, is that the cost of living literally becomes too high … and many people cannot create enough wealth in the now impoverished economy to buy food & heating to live, so they die. We also see that the cost of fertilisers, pesticides, etc. all rise with the rise in fossil fuel prices, so the output of farming diminishes … until we get back to the kind of outputs available in the 16th century. And, we also get back to the kinds of population levels that we had in the 16th century, and we get back to the kinds of wealth we had in the 16th century and we get back to the same kind of hierarchical societies where democracy has gone, as were present in the 16th century.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
September 20, 2022 6:11 am

You’re forgetting that the Nut Zero stupidity won’t just lead to a lack of AFFORDABLE energy, it will frequently mean the lack of ANY energy.

So forget the notion of 16th Century living – think Stone Age, since absent fossil fuels you will have nothing made of metal or plastic, in addition to a catastrophic shortfall of food production and a lack of transport.

Gerry, England
September 19, 2022 3:40 am

I doubt many here will be surprised to find the World’s most evil man, Bill Gates, and his money laundering foundation are one of the funders of this crap. Rockerfeller is in there too.

I was met with astonishment when I told one person that battery cars would not get cheaper with volume. He was not aware that battery cars use large amounts of minerals that are expensive compared to steel or even aluminium. You dig tons to get just a few pounds and they are ‘dirty’ to mine. So it is easy to see why storage batteries will not get cheaper with increasing demand, and neither will windmills.

The UK has an energy crisis due to decades of idiots in government and a flawed policy of dumping coal generation and not renewing nuclear plants which only leaves gas as a reliable source of power. A grain of common sense would have cautioned against blowing up the coal plants as soon as they had cooled down, and would have allowed the building of the clean coal plant at Kingsnorth.

observa
September 19, 2022 4:05 am
Red
September 19, 2022 4:23 am

The entire “climate change” narrative is a fantasy. ~20K years ago much of the US was covered in ice. Now there are ~7.5B people on the planet, there is more vegetation, more potable water, more arable land, an increasing greening of the earth. Yet the wealthy globalists are telling us we’re all going to die if we don’t do something about climate change!!! In reality, we’re all going to die if we listen to Schwab, Gates, and the globalist cabal at the WEF. If we do what they want us to do, no food, no energy, no money, if you don’t obey them!

Maureen
September 19, 2022 4:57 am

Love the last sentence in the second last paragraph. For some reason all these wonks never include Electrical Engineers. The City of Regina in Saskatchewan produced a Renewable Energy Plan with great fan fare but NO Electrical Engineer anywhere in the mix, lots of advocates and other types of engineers such as systems engineers etc, but nothing from those that design, develop, build and run the systems that actually generate electricity. I think we know why that is.

Yooper
September 19, 2022 5:35 am

Cap has a good section today, here’s a bit of it:

New Study Finds There Is No Climate Emergency
Four leading Italian scientists have undertaken a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data — another story our corrupted corporate media will be quick to bury.

The study“A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming”, assessed time series and crisis indicators –such as hurricanes, flooding, heatwaves, crop yields, etc.– and concluded that observations show “no clear positive trends of extreme events.”

Alec Rawls
September 19, 2022 10:14 am

Phony economics to go with their phony climate science.

richard
September 19, 2022 10:42 am

“And it gets worse, when it comes to electricity. There is a so-called EU Electricity Market Reform in progress. According to it, producers of electricity – from solar or wind – automatically receive “the same price for their ‘renewable’ electricity they sell to the power companies for the grid as the highest cost, i.e. natural gas.” No wonder the cost of electricity in Germany for 2022 increased by 860% – and rising.”

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/germanys-energy-suicide-an-autopsy/

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  richard
September 20, 2022 8:34 am

The level of circular logic and self-delusion is astonishing. They build up useless, intermittent wind and solar, force feed it with “priority” into the grid, do everything possible to abandon coal and nuclear, make themselves completely dependent on gas to back up the worse-than-useless wind and solar, do everything they can do to strangle oil and gas development in their own back yard, and it’s the “high cost of natural gas” that’s the cause of their energy poverty?!!

I’m sure when they start their oil and gas exploration ‘at home,’ they’ll go through similar pretzel logic to credit wind and solar for the decrease in energy costs.

SMH!!!

Alec Rawls
September 19, 2022 2:37 pm

Can you spot the selection bias:

“… probabilistic cost forecasting methods that have been statistically validated by backtesting on more than 50 technologies…”

Would those by any chance be *successful* technologies, where technological advance uncovered new ways that things can actually be done in the real world that are much more efficient than old ways were? Because for every successful new way of trying to do things there are multiple failed ideas and failed attempts.

These idiots just assume that green energy transition will be efficient/successful and hence will follow the same trajectory as other advances that opened the door to the reaping of vast efficiencies in the real world, when the actual median outcome for a random attempt to find a mother lode of real efficiencies that are there to be reaped in the real world is miserable failure. Most holes come up dry.

Prospecting for efficiency gains is still plenty worthwhile because when a mother lode is discovered, it creates whole industries. It’s the road to the future. But assuming that any particular possible road to the future will turn out to be the road to the future, before any bonanza of efficiency gains has been discovered, that is the mania of an individual prospector, optimistically digging in a barren hole until he dies and his dream dies with him.

Society needs those optimistic gamblers, because sometimes they do hit a mother lode. But only then can society follow. Society can only follow a discovered road.

With their selection bias, these Oxford phonies are taking their mere hope that the road to the future will be found in the particular direction that they are looking and proclaiming it to be an actual discovery of the direction in which efficiency gains will turn out to lie.

No, the directions where transformative efficiencies will turn out to lie cannot be predicted. They are features of reality that need to be discovered. Only once discovered can these roads be followed.

That is the sequence that the 50 earlier breakthroughs followed. Efficiencies were discovered and then followed. The Oxford imbeciles are claiming that is this sequence is reversed it will yield the same results: we can just go in some direction, and the fact that we are heading in that direction will cause us to find efficiencies there.

After all, hasn’t there always been a close correlation between the direction we travelled and the discovery of vastly more efficient ways of doing things?

Yes, because we followed the discovered efficiencies. If we choose our direction first and assume that the efficiencies will follow us, that is how we end up dead at the bottom of an empty hole.

DrTorch
September 20, 2022 8:54 am

This paper and others like it are exactly why we citizens and taxpayers need to demand a working and fully-costed demonstration project 

Best statement in a long while. The US Dept of Energy has spent approx $1T in its existence, and while a good portion of that is dedicated to nuclear issues, I have long been frustrated why they don’t firstly operate some demonstration projects (wind, PVs, solar thermal, etc) in various geographic locales so citizens can get a real cost of new technologies.

Insisting on such a sound approach, and musing why it doesn’t happen, can influence even some very “green” people.

MACK
September 20, 2022 3:18 pm

The DoD is going nuclear with Project Pele, Japan’s ruling party is now formally pro-nuclear, and South Korea has a plan for nuclear to make up 30% of their energy. That all suggests nuclear technology will become more efficient and cheaper. I look forward to Rupert Way’s analysis of nuclear. https://www.cto.mil/pele_eis/ https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/skorea-lift-nuclear-powers-share-energy-mix-30-by-2030-2022-07-05/

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