Overview summaries of renewable energy feasibility
The fundamental feasibility issues associated with a transition to renewable energy resources is summarized in two videos. Michael Mills Prager University video “How much energy will the world need?” explains that oil, natural gas, and coal provide 84% of the world’s energy today despite great expenditures to wean the world off fossil fuels over several decades. He points out that the materials needed to develop wind and solar require massive amounts of mining to produce which in turn requires major increases in energy use. Dr. John Robson Climate Discussion Nexus video “American Energy for Grownups” describes how the Biden Administration’s goal of phasing out fossil fuels has increased the difference between supply and demand such that costs have increased dramatically. In addition, Robson explains that due to environmental regulations and climate regulatory expectations has led to a lack of infrastructure investments. He points out that the existential threat of climate change claims are overblown and that the actual effects of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change are vastly out-weighed by the benefits of plentiful and affordable energy provided by fossil fuel use. Francis Menton sums it all up in a blog post showing that society cannot develop “green” energy using only green energy.
This very good overview of all the problems associated with green energy by Andrew Roman points out and documents six issues ignored by New York State energy policy:
All energy sources have some adverse effects on the environment, including wind and solar:
- extensive use of scarce minerals supply, largely controlled by China;
- massive concrete bases and steel towers of wind generators require extensive use of coal in manufacturing;
- low energy density requires huge amounts of land (some 25 per cent of the US land area if all electricity was to be generated by solar panels);
- wind turbines kill birds and bats;
- both solar panels and wind turbines create huge amounts of un-recyclable waste
- China dominates solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing by burning a lot of coal.
Francis Menton makes the point that the easiest Net-Zero goal is to eliminate emissions in the electric generation sector. However, he points out that not only has no jurisdiction successfully made the transition but also argues that it will be never be achieved. He notes that wind and solar development is entirely dependent upon government subsidies. All other energy transitions have been based on organic consumer demand not on government mandates. His article describes the current situation in Europe where net-zero energy transition policies have created a situation where they don’t have dispatchable, emissions-free generating resources available for extended periods of low wind and solar resource availability causing raffordability and reliability issues.
Road to Climate Neutrality The EU’s 2050 climate neutrality strategy involves a high risk of ineffectiveness. The anticipated energy transition, however, can hedge against this risk by deploying ‘no regrets’ solutions that are resistant to climate-related ineffectiveness. Nuclear power is such a solution.
Australian wind energy intermittency in three parts:
- Analysis for the South Eastern area of South Australia, and the Central West area of Victoria is where. the largest number of wind plants are located in AEMO grid. By constructing MORE wind plants in that area, it has not been part of the solution of this perceived problem of intermittency. They have in fact made the problem WORSE.
- There were large power losses over short time frames. Analysis showed power losses over three short time frames, (a) in less than one hour, (b) in one hour, and (c) between one and three hours were due to high wind speeds.
- There were even larger power losses over sustained long time frames. Power generation falls away continuously, and just keeps falling, sometimes to the point where very little power is being generated by the whole range of EVERY wind plant in the Country,
Video from Mark Mills and Prager is a great summary explaining the key points with wind and solar deployment
The concept of renewable energy is problematic and should be abandoned in favor of more unambiguous conceptualization
Can renewable energy sources supply the world with a large share of the energy it requires? While some environmentalists advocate the total replacement of fossil fuels by solar, wind and battery power, Dr Lars Schernikau explains why this is impossible.
Biden’s Not-So-Clean Energy Transition The IEA assembled a large body of data about a central, and until now largely ignored, aspect of the energy transition: It requires mining industries and infrastructure that don’t exist. Wind, solar and battery technologies are built from an array of “energy transition minerals,” or ETMs, that must be mined and processed. The IEA finds that with a global energy transition like the one President Biden envisions, demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth metals would explode, rising by 4,200%, 2,500%, 1,900% and 700%, respectively, by 2040. The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions IEA, May 2021,