Discusses wind and solar energy today.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder - President of Environmental Progress: If solar and wind farms are needed to protect the natural environment, why do they so often destroy it?
James Temple, writer for MIT technology Review: Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice—but they are far too expensive to play a major role. Relying on renewables alone significantly inflates the cost of overhauling energy. At current prices, a battery storage system of that size would cost more than $2.5 trillion. Repeat that every time the batteries are worn out.
Richard McPherson, electrical power and grid security expert: America is now living with a horrible electricity supply system. At the same time the nationwide system is vulnerable to the effects of weather, humans, EMP and solar events. A situation created by politicians for their benefits. A system, China, Russia, North Korea and their proxies love.
Jack Ponton, Emeritus Professor of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering: Most renewable energy enthusiasts now seem to understand that powering a modern society will require something else in addition to intermittent electricity generation. The currently fashionable ’something else’ is storage. This paper will discuss storage technologies, Britain’s current facilities and what might be needed to provide reliable power from wind, solar and tidal generation. There seems to be no possibility that any existing storage technology can handle the intermittency of wind generation. Solar plus battery storage is probably already cost-competitive for locations in or near the tropics, where year-round load factors are acceptable and so only overnight storage is required. In the UK, low winter load factors mean that essentially no useful generation takes place in December and January.
David Wojick, Heartland Institute, Ph.D. Philosophy of Science and Mathematical Logic, B.Sc. Civil Engineering: The brutal cold wave that just struck America provides a stark example of why 100% renewables cannot possibly work. Once the massive high pressure system was in place there was almost no wind, so no significant wind power. And the coldest temperatures by far were at night or early morning, when there was no solar power either. The first drawing shows Germany aiming for 100% wind and solar and they are using coal as backup, essentially no reduction in fossil fuel capacity. Colorado and California are mandating 100% wind and solar (with fossil fuel backup?). It is the worse possible energy plan for modern economies. Thank the politicians who planned this.
Paul Driessen, senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow: The IPCC says it’s still possible to limit planetary warming to an additional 0.5 degrees C (0.9 F) “above pre-industrial levels” – but only if global CO2 emissions are halved by 2030 and zeroed out by 2050. So climate alarmists intend to carbon-tax, legislate and regulate our energy, factories, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and lives to the max. We went to war with King George over far less serious abuses and usurpations.
National Economics Editorial Staff: Renewable energy advocates have claimed for decades that solar and wind power are the future. Some boldly state that the world could be powered by renewable energy sources as early as 2030, given the exponential growth of solar and wind electrical capacity. And of course, the mainstream media plays up the importance of solar and wind energy in defeating the scarecrow that is climate change. While 13.6% of world energy comes from renewable sources, the vast majority—72.8%—is just people in developing countries burning wood, charcoal, and dung for energy. That’s right: feces is a more important energy source than wind power.
Jerry Brown, two time governor of California is mandating that the state use mostly wind and solar. He promises that utility bills will drop and life will be better. No dictator of any persuasion has imposed such liability on their citizens. What will happen when the sun doesn't shine, the wind doesn't blow and the state needs lots of energy to recover from the Ring of Fire Earthquakes. Who? Jerry Brown and his voters care about reality? No, just their environmental dogma.
Oddvar Lundseng, Hans Konrad Johnsen, Stein Storlie Bergsmark, specialists in energy, Norway: The dream of supplying Germany with mainly green energy from sun and wind turns out to be nothing but a fading illusion. Solar and wind power today covers only 27 percent of electricity consumption and only 5 percent of Germany’s total energy needs. Construction of solar- and wind farms has already caused massive devastation to German nature. The northern part of Germany looks like a single big wind farm. There is no indication that the world consumption of coal will decline in the next decades. Large countries in Asia and Africa continue to build coal-fired power plants. More than 1,500 coal-fired power plants are under planning and/or construction. This will provide affordable electricity 24/7 to 1.3 billion people not having electricity today.
Praveen Duddu: Eight of the 10 largest wind farms in the world are operated in the US, with five situated in Texas alone. Just one offshore wind farm has made to the list, while all others are onshore. Power-technology.com profiles the world's 10 largest wind farms based on installed capacity.
Mark Mills, economics21.org: Not satisfied with the mere claim that solar and wind are reaching parity with the costs of conventional energy technologies, green enthusiasts are upping the ante claiming that by “2030, the cost [of solar] could be so near to zero it will effectively be free.” But no amount of research or torturing of reality, however, will lead to that result. Both physics and history offer instructive lessons. That scenario has played out in Germany and Britain, both far further down the green path, leading to radically higher electricity prices there — 200% to 300% higher than in America.