With 8% inflation and gas at $5.00 per gallon – the last thing Americans want to hear is the Democrat's ridiculous windmill and solar fairytale bullshit.
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) March 7, 2022
Robert Bryce has a great article over at Quillette in which he discusses the incredible amounts of land that would be needed for renewable energy would cause a backlash in rural areas. Here’s the deal:
Jacobson had vastly underestimated the amount of land required for his scheme, an error that he repeats in his latest report. Clack and colleagues determined that Jacobson’s plan would require “nearly 500,000 square kilometers, which is roughly 6 percent of the continental United States, and more than 1,500 square meters of land for wind turbines for each American.” In other words, as I reported in National Review, Clack and colleagues:
…found that Jacobson understated the amount of land needed for his all-renewable dystopia by a factor of 15. But even that understates the amount of territory needed. Jacobson’s plan requires about 2.5 terawatts (2.5 trillion watts) of wind-energy capacity, with the majority of that amount onshore. The Department of Energy has repeatedly stated that the areal footprint of wind energy—known in physics terms as its capacity density—is a mere 3 watts per square meter. A bit of math shows that 2.5 trillion watts divided by 3 watts per square meter equals 833 billion square meters (or 833,000 square kilometers): That’s a territory nearly twice the size of California.
The idea of using two California-size pieces of territory—and covering them with hundreds of thousands of wind turbines—is absurd on its face.
Over at the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton points out the limitations of renewable energy. It’s a great read! Here’s the introductory paragraph:
In the field of litigation settlements, people sometimes talk about a “win, win” scenario — a settlement structure where both sides can get some advantage and simultaneously claim victory. By that criterion, what is “green” energy (aka intermittent wind and solar power)? The public pays hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies to get the things built, and in return it gets: sudden shortages and soaring prices for coal, oil, gas and electricity; and dramatically reduced reliability of the electrical grid, leading to periodic blackouts and risks of many more of same; and despite it all fossil fuel use doesn’t go down. It’s a “lose, lose, lose.”
Over at the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton has penned a thoughtful piece on the true costs of a solar-powered grid without fossil fuel back-up. Hint: it would be extremely expensive.
Over at the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton has a thoughtful post on the full costs of renewables that should be of great interest to electric utility ratepayers.
In the news today…
- The Guardian reports a new study warns that steps must be taken to avoid damage to wildlife habitat from mining materials needed for clean energy technology.
- In Real Clear Energy, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark discusses the problem of California’s rolling blackouts and offers a warning for the rest of the country.
- WOSU Radio reports that in Ohio, Democratic lawmakers push for a swift repeal the state’s power plant bailout law, while Republican leaders say they want to avoid being “hasty and reckless.”
- Cleveland.com reports State Rep. Larry Householder returns to the state House chamber for the first time since being charged with overseeing a bribery scandal involving the power plant bailout law, saying he will plead not guilty and that the law is “good legislation.”
- Bismarck Tribune reports North Dakota utility officials discussed challenges with financing carbon capture projects during a visit by U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.
The Tennessean carries an interesting op-ed by Michael Stumo, in which he argues that the NEPA reforms to streamline the regulatory review process for mining permits will lead to increased availability of renewable energy.
Real Clear Energy carries a piece by one of my favorite energy authors, Robert Bryce. In the piece, he explains that new wind energy projects – both onshore and offshore – are facing increasing opposition and that, in turn, could cause the all-renewable goals (enacted by many cities and states) to be missed.
One of my favorite blogs, Not a Lot of People Know That, never fails to bring some sanity to the Climate Change Debate. Today it carries a cautionary tale entitled ‘Unprecedented’: Energy operator in daily fight to keep lights on in Australia. It describes that the problems caused by an increasing level of wind and solar power have forced the power system to change faster than expected and that it was failing to keep up. Apparently, the grid is holding up but only because the energy market operator is intervening on a daily basis to keep the lights on.
This is one of the problems with relying too heavily on one source of energy, especially when that form of energy (renewables like wind and solar) only generates electricity intermittently. Wind and solar are becoming a more important part of our energy mix, but moving too fast, too soon is a recipe for disaster. It’s much better to have an “all of the above” strategy when is comes to energy policy in the United States.
Good Tuesday Morning!
Over at the National Review, Travis Kavulla & Marsha Smith have written a thoughtful piece on why we need to base renewable energy prices on competition, not government estimates. It is well written and spot on.
Both Travis and Marsha are former colleagues of mine. Travis is a former Republican commissioner of the Montana Public Service Commission and now the director of energy and environment policy at the R Street Institute. Marsha is a retired Democratic commissioner of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. They are both past presidents of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.