Monday, July 6, 2015

Renewable-Energy "Fantasy"

The posting immediately below about green energy was strongly reinforced by my lunch reading, today's Wall Street Journal. It has an article about the "fantasy" of renewable energy. Before I excerpt the article keep in mind that five years ago Bill Gates and Google were buying into the catastrophic global warming hype and green energy. Now, reality has set in:

Recently Bill Gates explained in an interview with the Financial Times why current renewables are dead-end technologies. They are unreliable. Battery storage is inadequate. Wind and solar output depends on the weather. The cost of decarbonization using today’s technology is “beyond astronomical,” Mr. Gates concluded.
Google engineers came to a similar conclusion last year. After seven years of investigation, they found no way to get the cost of renewables competitive with coal. “Unfortunately,” the engineers reported, “most of today’s clean generation sources can’t provide power that is both distributed and dispatchable”—that is, electricity that can be ramped up and down quickly. “Solar panels, for example, can be put on every rooftop, but can’t provide power if the sun isn’t shining.”
The article below is about Europe and their 'head start' using 'green' energy. The WSJ article continues:

In 2007 the EU adopted the target of deriving 20% of its energy consumption from renewables by 2020. Europe is therefore around a decade ahead of the U.S. in meeting a more challenging target—the EU’s 20% is of total energy, not just electricity. To see what the U.S. might look like, Europe is a good place to start.
Germany passed its first renewable law in 1991 and already has spent $440 billion (€400 billion) on its so-called Energy Transition. The German environment minister has estimated a cost of up to $1.1 trillion (€1 trillion) by the end of the 2030s. With an economy nearly five times as large as Germany’s and generating nearly seven times the amount of electricity (but a less demanding renewables target), this suggests the cost of meeting Mr. Obama’s pledge is of the order of $2 trillion.
Let that sink in for a moment: Two Trillion Dollars for less reliable energy than we have now!

And, there is opportunity by being behind Europe:
There are other, indirect costs to consider. Germany is the world’s second largest exporter of merchandise, behind China and ahead of the U.S. But high and rising energy costs are driving German companies to locate new capacity overseas.
BASF, which operates the world’s largest integrated chemical facility, is shifting more production to America. “With such a huge difference in energy prices, the decision is clear that the money is now going there,” a BASF executive told a meeting of EU industry ministers last year. BASF has opened plants in Malaysia as well as Louisiana.
Great new jobs coming to America because we do not have as much green energy. While I am completely open to better and more reliable energy technology, wind is a loser and the current generation of solar, while well-suited for certain types of installations, does not make sense for mass market energy.

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