Top Google Engineers Say Renewable Energy “Simply won’t work”

Google Corporation has been in the forefront of developing renewable energy projects. One of their goals was to run Google completely by renewable energy.

Google is part owner of the infamous Ivanpah solar station, west of Las Vegas, the plant that fries birds and needs to use natural gas to produce electricity, but even with use of natural gas the plant produces only one quarter of the advertised electricity. See these stories:

Avian mortality from solar farms

Ivanpah solar plant wants to burn more natural gas

Ivanpah solar seeks government grant to pay off government loan

A few years ago, Google started a project called RE<C, which aimed to develop renewable energy sources that would generate electricity more cheaply than coal-fired power plants do.

“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope… As we reflected on the project, we came to the conclusion that even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions.” (Source)

Now, after 4 years of effort, Google engineers who led the program conclude the research effort by Google corporation has been a complete failure, renewable energy “simply won’t work.”

“The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.” (Source)

The State of Arizona has not yet realized that renewable energy “simply won’t work.” They persist in imposing the State’s Renewable Energy Mandate and Tariff which has raised our electricity rates. December is a good time to write to your state legislators asking them to repeal the mandate. In December the members are composing new legislation for the upcoming legislative session.

For some background and ammunition to repeal the mandate, see my ADI article:

Five reasons Arizona should repeal its renewable energy standards mandate

One comment

  1. Yes, I agree, renewable energy simply won’t work, especially, if you think, you can heat the boilers with a pure light. The announced solar resource at Ivanpah, 2717 kWh/m²/yr, is the total available solar energi including ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation. From this only 42% is usable thermal energy, which is capable to heat the Solar plant boilers.

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