Where Would We Be Without Renewable Energy?

Big wind and solar were supposed to replace coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants . . . any time now. And yet, something is happening to global investment in big wind and solar that calls the entire “renewables revolution” into question.

Over the last five years, subsidies or mandates have been cut in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs were made in Bulgaria, Greece, and Spain. Germany cut feed-in tariff subsidies by 75 percent and levied grid fees on residential solar owners. In 2015, the UK government suspended all new subsidies for onshore wind farms and reduced subsidies for residential solar installations, causing a steep fall in investment in both 2016 and 2017. __ WUWT via DC

Let’s look at the drastic reduction in the UK’s renewables investment:

Investment in wind, solar, biomass power and waste-to-energy projects will decline by 95% between 2017 and 2020 … __ Guardian

Gone are the days when the US government squandered tens and hundreds of $billions on bankrupt subsidy schemes from Obama to well – connected political cronies. The administration of US President Trump has no need to hand out huge payoffs to campaign bundlers and organisers. All the worse for big wind and big solar robber barons.

Some claim that renewable energy can power modern society. A 2017 paper by Mark Jacobsen and others at Stanford University, calls for 100 percent renewables by 2050, with wind and solar providing 95 percent of the energy. But this wishful thinking is not supported by the trends. __ Steve Goreham

In percentage terms, big wind and big solar have added a lot of “generating capacity,” at least nominally. That trend seems to be slowing, and will almost certainly reverse as the consequences of over-investment in intermittent and unreliable energy sources become more obvious.

To be sure, wind and solar have increased dramatically. Since 1990, wind-generated power has grown 26% per year and solar a phenomenal 48%. But the growth has been from almost nothing to slightly more than almost nothing. In 1990, wind produced 0.0038% of the world’s energy; it is now producing 0.29%. Solar-electric power has gone from essentially zero to 0.04%. __ Bjorn Lomborg

Wind and solar are intermittent and thus cannot be counted upon to support critical infrastructure:

April 2005 California

Modern societies can never count on their wind & solar energy supplies, so they must generally maintain an exquisitely expensive on-demand fossil fuel backup supply at all times. Not only does this create an unwise wear and tear on the backup energy infrastructure — leading to premature failure — but it also causes companies to shut down reliable fossil fuel power plants permanently, leading to an increasing potential for a catastrophic supply shortfall. Germany can see that problem coming on rapidly.

Paying the subsidies to keep this great green scheme going is not affordable in the long run. And since intermittent power sources can never supply the life-or-death crucial power supplies reliably, they will never be more than a ruinously expensive but virtuous window dressing.

Europeans discovered that subsidy support for renewables was unsustainable. Subsidy obligations soared in Germany to over $140 billion and in Spain to over $34 billion by 2013. Renewable subsidies produced the world’s highest electricity rates in Denmark and Germany. Electricity and natural gas prices in Europe rose to double those of the United States.

Worried about bloated budgets, declining industrial competitiveness, and citizen backlash, European nations have been retreating from green energy… __ Source

Investments are being cut back because subsidies are being cut back. Subsidies are being cut back because the entire enterprise is a grand scam that cannot possibly keep a high tech infrastructure going without bleeding the underlying society dry in the long run.

Electric power is the life and death foundation for a modern society’s crucial infrastructure. Playing “virtue signalling” games with the future of one’s society is a sign of either madness or ideological fanaticism.

… [A] renewable power grid needs an oversized power generation and transmission capacity of up to ten times the peak demand. It also requires a balancing capacity of fossil fuel power plants, or its equivalent in energy storage… Consequently, matching supply to demand at all times makes renewable power production a complex, slow, expensive and unsustainable undertaking. ___ http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2017/09/how-to-run-modern-society-on-solar-and-wind-powe.html

This entry was posted in Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Green Quagmire and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Where Would We Be Without Renewable Energy?

  1. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2018/02/11) - Social Matter

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