Why replacing fossil-fuel generation of electricity with solar or wind is dangerous

Renewable energy for generation of electricity (solar and wind) is the politically correct panacea to fight the bogeyman of global warming. However, experience has shown that replacing electrical generation by fossil fuels with wind or solar generation makes the power supply unreliable and leads to electrical grid instability, much higher electricity costs, environmental problems, and very little decrease in carbon dioxide emissions. The renewable energy industry would probably not exist without mandates and subsidies. Fossil-fuel generated electricity responds to demand and is available 24/7; solar or wind generated electricity is not.

There is currently a campaign by the Arizona Corporation Commission to mandate that 50 percent of electricity be generated from renewable sources. This is very dangerous as noted below.

Experience from Europe shows that the more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity. In some European countries, electricity prices are three times higher than the average price in the U.S., see:


Also, there is no physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels intensifies the greenhouse effect. On the other hand , there are several lines of physical evidence that such emissions do not enhance the greenhouse effect, the alleged cause of global warming:


Following are some articles on this issue. Perhaps these stories will convince Arizona voters and Arizona legislators of the foolishness of renewable energy mandates.

AZ Clean Energy Constitutional Amendment Would Shut down Nuclear Power in State

By H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute

California hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer is pushing a ballot measure in Arizona to amend the state’s constitution requiring utilities to get 50 percent of their electricity from favored renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, by 2030.

The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, HCR 2017 increases the current renewable power mandate from its present requirement of 15 percent by 2025, in an attempt to reduce the carbon dioxide generated from electric power production in the state to fight climate change.

Effect on Nuclear Power

Arizona Public Service Company (APS), the owner of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (Palo Verde), warns if voters approve this constitutional amendment, its nuclear plant would have to close in six years instead of continuing to generate electricity for 27 years as its current operating license permits.

Palo Verde is the largest source of electric power in Arizona, providing 36 percent of the state’s electricity. By comparison, non-hydro renewables in Arizona, dominated by solar power, generate about 4 percent of the state’s electricity. Coal produces about 25 percent and natural gas about 30 percent of the state’s electric power.

Palo Verde just received a 20-year extension from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate the plant until 2045. Attempting to build sufficient renewable power to take the place Palo Verde, as well as also replacing the electricity from coal-fired power plants in the state, which will also have to be closed prematurely, will require almost 30 times the amount of electricity from renewable sources as they produce now, to be online in less than 12 years.

APS officials say under the measure solar and wind development would produce more electric power than is needed during half the year when Arizonans are not using their air conditioners, with the oversupply forcing the closure of baseload nuclear and coal-fired power plants, which provide a constant flow of electricity. APS also says the cost of electricity would rise significantly if this measure passes. Read more ☼

Why Proposed Wind and Solar Power Projects Should Be Rejected Nationwide

by Alan Carlin

While USEPA is trying to reduce the number of regulations it has, the climate industrial complex (CIC) is busy making use of Federal and other subsidies to promote their inefficient, unreliable, and expensive “renewable” sources of electric power. America, however, is more and more dependent on reliable and inexpensive electric power for almost everything it does. One problem is that each proposed new “renewable” site has its own environmental problems such as killing birds or offensive sounds bombarding humans. They are also all very high cost when the costs of turning intermittent, unreliable electric power into useful, continuous, reliable energy are taken into account.

And now that it has been rigorously shown that higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have no significant effect on global temperatures in the real world it is long past time to bring a halt to the use of taxpayer and ratepayer money to build additional wind and solar generating plants in addition to removing all regulations which have the effect of killing existing “non-renewable” power plants without a solid environmental justification. The case that the CIC has long made that CO2 has a significant effect on temperatures has always been shaky at best and has never been proved. Now we know that it is simply wrong. Yet the CIC is continuing to try to spend other people’s money–that of ratepayers and taxpayers–to build ever more wind and solar power plants. If this is allowed to continue, it will hobble America’s future just as it already has Germany’s and other Western European nations who have bought into the climate alarmist scam. Read more ☼

All-Renewable Energy Is a Prescription for Disaster

by Robert Bryce, Manhattan Institute

Last year, an all-star group of scientists thoroughly debunked the work of Mark Jacobson, the Stanford engineering professor who for years has been claiming the US can run solely on renewables.

In a paper last June in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists — including Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Dan Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley, former EPA Science Advisory Board chairman Granger Morgan and Jane Long of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — concluded that Jacobson’s all-renewable scheme used “invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.”

Those errors “render it unreliable as a guide about the likely cost, technical reliability, or feasibility of a 100-percent wind, solar and hydroelectric power system.”

The scientists also concluded that Jacobson’s all-renewable proposal would require covering about 500,000 square kilometers — a land area larger than the state of California — with nothing but wind turbines.

The idea of covering that much land with wind turbines is preposterous on its face, particularly given that rural residents from New York and numerous other states are already rejecting the encroachment of Big Wind.

The high cost of renewables can also be seen in California, which has mandated 50 percent of the state’s electricity be sourced from renewables by 2030. In February, Mark Nelson and Michael Shellenberger of the Berkeley-based think tank Environmental Progress reported California’s electricity rates rose at more than five times the rate of electricity prices in the rest of the US between 2011 and 2017. Californians now pay about 60 percent more for their electricity than residents of other states. Read more ☼

30-years later, James Hansen blasts renewables

The liberal news media lauded James Hansen, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, on the 30-year anniversary of his U.S. Senate testimony bringing global warming into the American political consciousness. Conveniently, however, most of the media failed to note Hansen’s criticisms of the environmental impacts of wind and solar power, while also failing to note his strong support for nuclear power. If not for Hansen taking matters into his own hands by writing multiple editorials on the topic, Hansen’s criticisms of wind and solar power may have never been known to anybody other than his close personal associates.

In a column this Wednesday in the Boston Globe, Hansen savaged the Paris climate accord and its predecessor the Kyoto Protocol as “wishful thinking” that allowed most countries to continue business-as-usual energy and environment policies. Sounds a little like President Trump, doesn’t it?

Hansen adds, “The notion that renewable energies and batteries alone will provide all needed energy is fantastical. It is also a grotesque idea, because of the staggering environmental pollution from mining and material disposal, if all energy was derived from renewables and batteries.” He follows that up by referring to the notion of an economy powered entirely by renewable energy a “fantasy.” (Source) ☼

A Trove Of New Research Documents The Folly Of Renewable Energy Promotion

By Kenneth Richard

The advocacy for widespread growth in renewable energy (especially wind, solar, and biomass) usage has increasingly become the clarion call of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) movement. And yet more and more published research documents the adverse effects of relying on renewables. Over the course of the last year, at least 30 papers have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature detailing the fatuity of promoting renewable energy as a long-term “fix” for climate change mitigation. (This article gives summaries and links to the research, read more) ☼

UK Study Debunks Efficiency of Rooftop Solar Battery Backup Power

by Bonner R. Cohen

A new study from Great Britain refutes claims backup battery storage systems can cost-effectively offset the intermittency of residential rooftop solar power.

In assessing the cost-effectiveness of backup battery systems for rooftop solar panel arrays, the study concludes “such an installation is unlikely to provide any financial benefit.”

“Battery Wastage: Why Battery Storage for Rooftop Solar Doesn’t Pay,” was written by Capell Aris, a fellow at the Institute for Engineering and Technology in the UK, and published by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation. Read more Read full study ☼

If Renewables Are So Great for the Environment, Why Do They Keep Destroying It?

By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes

If solar and wind farms are needed to protect the natural environment, why do they so often destroy it?

Consider that:

New offshore wind turbines in Germany could “lead to the extinction of individual species” including the rare, intelligent, and highly-threatened harbor porpoise, according to Friends of the Earth-Germany (BUND).

Migratory bat populations, including the hoary bat, could could go extinct, say scientists, if the expansion of wind energy in North America continues.

A single California solar farm, Ivanpah, required the killing of hundreds of desert tortoises, the state’s threatened reptile, and annually kills six thousand birds by lighting them on fire. Wind turbines on California’s Altamont Pass killed an estimated 4,700 bird kills annually including Golden Eagles. “Some lose their wings,” says the Audubon Society, “others are decapitated, and still others are cut in half.” Read more ☼

A Crisis In Electric Power Everyone Is Ignoring

by Stephen Moore

Is anyone paying attention to the crisis that is going on in our electric power markets?

Over the past six months, at least four major nuclear power plants have been slated for shutdown, including the last one in operation in California. Meanwhile, dozens of coal plants have been shuttered as well — despite low prices and cleaner coal. Some of our major coal companies may go into bankruptcy.

But this is not a free-market story of Schumpeterian creative destruction. If it were, then wind and solar power would have been shut down years ago. They can’t possibly compete on a level playing field with $3 natural gas.

In most markets, solar and wind power survive purely because the states mandate that as much as 30% of residential and commercial power come from these sources. The utilities have to buy it regardless of price. The California state legislature just mandated solar panels for homes built after 2020 (an added construction cost of about $10,000 per home).

Over $100 billion in subsidies have been doled out to big wind and big solar over the last decade. Even with the avalanche of taxpayer subsidies and bailout funds, many of these companies, such as Solyndra (which received $500 million in handouts), failed.

These industries are not anywhere close to self-sufficiency. Without a continuation of a multibillion-dollar tax credit, the wind turbines would stop turning. Read more ☼

Junk generators: 2 million expensive solar panels cut Australian total CO2 emissions by 1% Read story ☼