renewable energy

Tucson City Council and the “Climate Emergency”

On September, 9, 2020, the Tucson City Council unanimously passed a very politically correct resolution that declares a “climate emergency” and vows that Tucson will become “carbon neutral” by 2030. You can read the entire 14-page resolution here. In my opinion, this quixotic resolution demonstrates the incredible ignorance of the council on matters of climate and energy. So far, I have not seen any figures on what this quest will cost the taxpayers.

The first eight pages of the resolution contain the “whereas” clauses citing the reasons for the resolution, most of which are political propaganda that have been scientifically debunked.

For instance: “WHEREAS, in April 2016 world leaders from 175 countries recognized the threat of climate change and the urgent need to combat it by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep global warming “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C;”

Debunked: If the Paris Agreement were to be fully implemented by the whole world it will cost only $12.7 Trillion and prevent global warming of 0.17°C by 2100. (Source)

See also: Who Is Afraid of Two Degrees of Warming?s (We’ve been there and done that already.)

The “be it further resolved” section begins on page 9. These are what the Council hopes to do.

A sample: “…the City of Tucson commits to a citywide urgent climate mobilization effort to reverse global warming and the ecological crisis, which, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from local, state and federal authorities, reduces citywide greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible towards carbon neutrality by 2030; immediately initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere through massive tree planting…and the Tucson Million Trees campaign. ” Where will the water come from? One of the “whereases” is to reduce water use.

The effort will be very, very politically correct: “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City of Tucson recognizes that the full participation, inclusion, support, and leadership of community organizations, faith communities, youth, labor organizations, academic institutions, businesses, non-profits, Indigenous groups, and racial, gender, family, immigrant, and disability justice organizations and other allies are integral to the climate emergency response and mobilization efforts;”

 

For some real science, see my blog article: A Review of the state of Climate Science

This will give you an overview of climate issues and provide links to more detailed articles.

Why Wind and Solar Generation of Electricity Fail – California learns the hard way

The Science and Public Policy Project (SEPP) publishes a weekly newsletter (on Mondays) that review the week’s happenings in energy and climate. The newsletter is called “The Week That Was” (TWTW). The often 20+ pages provide commentary and links to many papers. You can get the newsletter in PDF form from SEPP at http://www.sepp.org/ .

The newsletter is also published at https://wattsupwiththat.com/ on Mondays. See the August 22 issue here.

The following are comments by Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP):

I’m shocked! Shocked! To protect the energy system which provides electric power for most of the state, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) was forced to create rolling blackouts during unusually hot days this past week. Immediately the chief executive of the state, Governor Gavin Newsom began blaming others for these needed actions, sending a letter to CAISO and the Public Utility Commission. According to the state constitution, the Commission “consists of 5 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, a majority of the membership concurring, for staggered 6-year terms.” CAISO has no authority over the Commission.

Newsom’s letter claimed: “These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” and he later declared “This cannot stand.”

For years, CAISO has been warning anyone who will listen of the dangers of relying too heavily on unreliable renewables, particularly solar power, which requires rapid increases in reliable power in the late afternoon of sunny days when the sun goes down. These power outages are a result of legislative and executive errors from failure to recognize the serious damage that relying on untrustworthy power will do.

To illustrate the risks involved, CAISO used its Duck Chart [presented in the links below] showing the risk of overgeneration from solar power during the middle of the day as compared with the net load and the rapid ramp-up needed to meet the net load in the early evening. From 2012 to 2020, each year the belly of the beast descended, showing the overgeneration risk increased, and the ramp-up needed from reliable generation increased. As estimated on March 31, for 2020 the ramp need was about 13,000 megawatts in three hours – about one-half of the maximum net load (consumption or demand) which occurs around 8 pm.

Providing such ramp-up is highly inefficient. If realized in time, hydro-electric can do it, but the cost is excessive wear on heavy turbines. Pumped hydro storage can do it, but the power needs to be replenished daily, something that cannot be assured if the primary sources of power are unreliable solar or wind. The likely choice is gas turbines which can ramp-up in about 15 minutes. But these are far less efficient than modern natural gas combined cycle (NGCC). Straight gas turbines have about 35% to 44% efficiency, depending on the model, its age, and the amount of ramping up and down it has to do. The efficiency diminishes when run at variable speeds. Thanks to continued innovation, the efficiency of NGCC is exceeding 60% Thanks to continued innovation, the efficiency of NGCC is exceeding 60%.

Blackouts in California have provided a stark example of how green ideology has so blinded some government officials that they ignore stark warnings that their policies are leading to economic disasters. There is no magic technology or pixie dust that can make unreliable solar and wind reliable. Government officials who claim the problems have been solved are irresponsible.

While the California officials have been congratulating themselves on green power, as Steve Goreham notes, from 2008 to 2017 the state had the most power outages of any state, 4297, more than 2.5 times the number of the next highest state, Texas. And, as Robert Bryce notes some of the highest electricity rates in the country, “19.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is 47% higher than the national average of about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.”

Destabilizing Wind: As discussed above, the Duck Curve illustrates how overreliance on solar power can destabilize the grid, especially on hot, sunny days with evening approaching. The question is, does wind power have similar weaknesses? In a presentation titled “The Storage Delusion” at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) physics Professor emeritus Howard Hayden shows that it does and explains why.

Wind power can ramp up and down very quickly and unpredictably, based on wind speed and unrelated to time of day. This can destabilize the grid without warning. Thus, a grid with a high percentage of wind power is subject to not only sudden drops in power, but also rapid increases requiring equally rapid decreases in conventional power. It is exceedingly difficult to keep the grid stable with a lot of wind power on it.

To illustrate the weaknesses of solar and wind, Hayden asks, Can you buy electricity from it at midnight or when the wind does not blow? The answers are obvious. But usually advocates claim you can store it, or the wind is blowing somewhere. The latter response is foolish, one cannot build wind turbines everywhere, and the cost of providing transmission lines to carry it to wherever it may be needed is prohibitive.

In addressing storage, Hayden shows that the only proven storage on a utility scale is pumped-hydro storage. As for other types, most hydrogen comes from natural gas, creating CO2, which contradicts the goal of avoiding creating CO2. Compressed air has been tried but has not been well received. The earliest system, Huntort CAES was created in Germany in 1978.

As Hayden states, flywheels just spin and are excellent for brief backup in data centers and electronic manufacturing such as computer chips until other generating systems such as diesel can be brought online.  They are certainly not grid scale. Capacitors are unsuitable on a grid scale, and a solar/molten-salt scheme has been tried in Nevada and failed.

All backup and storage systems involve a loss in energy. Hayden uses an estimate of the loss from pumped storage which was based on a dated (not clear) table by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA’s most recent estimate of loss in a closed system where water is pumped uphill is from 15 to 30%. Discussed in the June 13 TWTW, the largest pumped-storage facility in the world, Bath County Pumped Storage Station, in Virginia, reports an operating loss of 20%.

As presented by Hayden, wind and solar cannot be considered reliable forms of electricity generation, and except for pumped-hydro storage, energy storage is a delusion. Electricity storage is only in batteries which are not feasible on a utility scale. Until this problem is addressed, deployment of wind and solar will continue to be unreliable and a waste of resources. Please note that Howard Hayden is a director of SEPP.

Click the links above to read more.

 

 

 

 

Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy: A Reality Check

Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy: A Reality Check
by Mark P. Mills, Manhattan Institute
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy. Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars. Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

This paper turns to a different reality: all energy-producing machinery must be fabricated from materials extracted from the earth. No energy system, in short, is actually “renewable,” since all machines require the continual mining and processing of millions of tons of primary materials and the disposal of hardware that inevitably wears out. Compared with hydrocarbons, green machines entail, on average, a 10-fold increase in the quantities of materials extracted and processed to produce the same amount of energy.

Among the material realities of green energy:
Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.

A single electric car contains more cobalt than 1,000 smartphone batteries; the blades on a single wind turbine have more plastic than 5 million smartphones; and a solar array that can power one data center uses more glass than 50 million phones.

Replacing hydrocarbons with green machines under current plans—never mind aspirations for far greater expansion—will vastly increase the mining of various critical minerals around the world. For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.

By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.
(Download full report)

Problems with wind and solar generation of electricity – a review

This post consolidates the main points of many of my articles on wind and solar generation of electricity. The [ir]rationale behind the renewable energy campaign is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions which are alleged to be the main cause of global warming despite the lack of any supporting physical evidence. We will see that replacing electricity generation from fossil fuels with wind or solar will have no significant effect on global warming; that it significantly raises the cost of electricity; that it destroys wildlife and wildlife habitat; that wind generation has deleterious effects on human health; and that because wind and solar generation is intermittent and unpredictable, fossil fuel generation or nuclear generation will still be necessary. At the end of this post are links to some of my articles on the subject.

1. Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by switching to wind and solar will have almost no effect on global warming.

Carbon dioxide (which makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere) is continually being emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, plants, formation of limestone, etc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy annual emission reports, humans are responsible for about 3% of total CO2 emissions; the rest is from natural sources. Carbon dioxide constitutes about 3% to 4% of total greenhouse gases by volume (water vapor is the main greenhouse gas); therefore anthropogenic CO2 represents just over one-tenth of one percent (0.12%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year. The U.S. is responsible for about 18% of global emissions, so elimination of U.S. emissions will make a difference of about 0.02% of total emissions.

The American Enterprise Institute estimates that eliminating all carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel generation of electricity would cut the global increase in temperature by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius, by 2100.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg (president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of the book: The Skeptical Environmentalist) estimates that U.S. climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.031°C (0.057°F) by 2100. (Source)

2. Cost of transition to 100% renewables

An analysis from Scottish consulting firm Wood Mackenzie estimates the cost of transitioning the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, as recommended by the “Green New Deal” and other overzealous climate change plans, would cost at least $4.5 trillion over that time period. The American Action Forum estimates the costs of moving the entire country to 100 percent renewable sources would be $5.7 trillion, or $42,000 per household. The several states that have imposed Renewable Energy Mandates (requiring a certain percent of electricity be produced from wind and solar) have already raised electricity prices by 11percent, which has cost us $125.2 billion. (Source)

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 the graph below the vertical scale is Euro cents per kilowatt-hour, the horizontal scale is the installed capacity of renewables (solar and wind) per capita. (For reference, the U.S. average residential cost is 12 cents/kwh which is about 9.6 euro cents/kwh, lower than all European countries on the graph.) (Source)

3. Enormous land footprint of wind and solar destroys wildlife habitat

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, for the contiguous U.S.:

If all electricity were to be supplied by solar generation it would require 11,674 solar farms with a total footprint of 525,312 square miles.

If all electricity were to be supplied by wind generation, it would require 6,954 wind farms with a total footprint of 1,808,166 square miles.

If all electricity was supplied by nuclear generation, it would require 3,553 nuclear stations with a total footprint of 4,619 square miles. (Source)

 

4. Destruction of wildlife:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats.

“New studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, ‘eco-friendly’ wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year.” (Source)

Many birds are also killed by concentrating solar installations: see Avian mortality from solar farms.

5. Human health problems from wind turbines:

Wind turbines produce low-frequency sound, called infra-sound, which may cause many health problems. Infra-sound affects the vestibular system, causing symptoms resembling seasickness, accompanied by headache, dizziness, and “deep nervous fatigue.” It can affect ocular reflexes, causing nystagmus; spinal reflexes, causing tremors; and autonomic reflexes, causing shortness of breath. Infra-sound can lead to well known consequences such as tumor development, cardiac infarcts and/or the need for cardiac bypass surgery.

6. Wind and solar generation makes the electric grid unstable.

Wind and solar generation are unpredictably intermittent. Adding an unpredictable supply to the mix makes grid management very complex and increases the danger that the grid will become unstable and fail. The problem is multiplied as wind and solar generation become a larger percentage of the total power sources.

7. Renewable energy is not as green as advertised

PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels. (Source)

8. Wind farms decrease weather radar ability to track storms – puts people in danger

A new report from the National Weather Service says that wind farms have some unfortunate negative impacts on the ability of Doppler radar to track storms.

“Wind farms affect … radars in several ways; first, the turbines can block a significant percentage of the radar beam and decrease the radar signal power down range of the wind farm, particularly if the wind farm is within a few miles of the radar. Second, the wind farm can reflect energy back to the radar system and this appears as clutter or false reflectivity data. This reflectivity can create false precipitation estimates and disrupt precipitation algorithms used by the radar and other software programs. Finally, wind farms can significantly influence velocity and spectrum width data, which can cause bad data sampling of rotating storms and false storm motions, along with impacting algorithms used by the radar to process this data. Since the wind turbines have motion and produce reflectivity, schemes designed to filter out the clutter do not work properly.”

 

Former EPA scientist and economist Alan Carlin opines, “Climate alarmism is probably the most insidious, largest, and most dangerous scam ever perpetrated on the American public and most of the developed world. Unless brought down by reality, it is now reaching such dimensions that it could even end the position of the current developed countries as the primary engine for economic and technological progress. Instead, the dictates of climate alarmism may eventually consume as much as half of the resources available and yield nothing but climate virtue signaling.” (Source)

References on  Wryheat:

Six Issues the Promoters of the Green New Deal Have Overlooked

The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

Avian mortality from solar farms

Big Wind gets “get out of jail free card” from Obama Administration

Wind turbines versus wildlife

Wind turbines killed 600000 bats last year

Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

How infrasound from wind turbines can cause cancer

Why alternative energy is not a viable alternative for electrical generation

Winds farms decrease weather radar ability to track storms

Solar energy cannot economically compete in electricity generation

Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate

Why you should vote NO on Arizona proposition 127

Winds farms decrease weather radar ability to track storms

 

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The Broken Greenhouse – Why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

How much global warming is dangerous?

What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

 

Six Issues the Promoters of the Green New Deal Have Overlooked

Although the Earth’s climate has been changing for more than 4 billion years all by itself, we are now told that we can stop climate change simply by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Ignorance-based plans such as the Green New Deal propose that we terminate electricity generation by fossil fuels and replace all of it with renewables such as wind and solar. Proponents of such plans have not considered the environmental nor economic implications.

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

1)The Enormous Land Requirements of Wind and Solar Electricity Generation

The enormous land requirements for enough wind and/or solar to replace fossil fuel generation will wreak havoc with agriculture, and will destroy wildlife and their habitats.

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, for the contiguous U.S.:

If all electricity was supplied by nuclear generation, it would require 3,553 nuclear stations with a total footprint of 4,619 square miles.

If all electricity were to be supplied by solar generation it would require 11,674 solar farms with a total footprint of 525,312 square miles.

If all electricity were to be supplied by wind generation, it would require 6,954 wind farms with a total footprint of 1,808,166 square miles. (Source)

A minor problem: Because wind and solar generation are unreliable and intermittant, these methods would still require backup generation with is usually natural gas or coal generation. Because those backup units would have to be cycled up and down depending on wind and sunlight conditions, one ironic effect would be greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas–fired backup generation  are 22 percent higher than normal operation according to a study by the American Enterprise Institute.

Carbon dioxide (which makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere) is continually being emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, plants, formation of limestone, etc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy annual emission reports, humans are responsible for about 3% of total CO2 emissions; the rest is from natural sources. Carbon dioxide constitutes about 3% to 4% of total greenhouse gases by volume (water vapor is the main greenhouse gas); therefore anthropogenic CO2 represents just over one-tenth of one percent (0.12%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year. The U.S. is responsible for about 18% of global emissions, so elimination of U.S. emissions will make a difference of about 0.02% of total emissions. Is stopping U.S. emissions worth spending trillions of dollars and disrupting our economy? Will that save the planet?

2) The deadly toll on wildlife from all these additional wind or solar installations:

Wind turbines versus wildlife:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats. Newer studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year. See also: Avian mortality from solar farms

3) The Green New Deal Would Have ‘No Effect’ On Climate Change

By Emily Zanotti

A new study from the American Enterprise Institute questions whether the Green New Deal would have any real impact on climate change at all — leaving it little more than an effort to dismantle industry.

The AEI report breaks down the GND into bite-sized policy proposals, assessing not simply the cost, but the proposed effectiveness of each legislative item to address the core goal of the GND: reducing American carbon emissions to a “net zero” by 2050.

The researchers’ ultimate conclusion? “It is not to be taken seriously.”

The “net zero” emissions proposal is particularly nonsensical, AEI warns, given that such an effort would require an estimated $490 billion per year investment in “green energy” ( $3,845 per year per household) and a sharp decrease in land available for agriculture. It also fails to address a very specific problem when it comes to U.S.-specific plans for climate change abatement: it fails to consider that the U.S. is only one of several heavy carbon-emitting nations, and that the vast majority of industrial pollution comes from the developing world and from countries like China and India.

In total, completely enacted, funded, and efficiently meeting goals, things AEI does not anticipate the GND would ever do — the full plan would cut the global increase in temperature by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius, by 2100, a number, the report says, is “barely distinguishable from zero.” (Source) ☼

4) Another part of the Green New Deal is retrofitting all buildings to be more energy efficient.

A study in the UK estimated that retrofitting British homes would cost $5.6 trillion and retrofitting U.S. homes would cost $26 trillion while achieving only a 50-60% CO2 reduction. (Read more)

5) For most of geologic history, there is no correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2 content. Water vapor is the major greenhouse gas, about 25 times more abundant than carbon dioxide.

A major ice age occurred during the Ordovician Period 450 million years ago even thought atmospheric CO2 was 4,000ppm, 10 times higher than it is now. Carbon dioxide dropped during the Carboniferous Period because many of the Earth’s coal deposits formed then. By coincidence, a major ice age occurred at the end of the Carboniferous related to the 145 million year cycle of ice ages. Temperatures rose prior to rise of atmospheric CO2 at the end of the ice age. During the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods,150 million years ago, CO2 began a long slide from about 2,500ppm to about 350ppm. However, global temperatures remained steamy for 50 million years during the Cretaceous Period at about 13°C warmer than now. The Cretaceous was another period of coal formation.

There is an apparent correlation during the glacial-interglacial cycles of our current ice age. But ice core data shows that temperature changes preceded changes in CO2 by about 800 years (because temperature controls CO2 solubility in the ocean). During the latter part of our current ice age, glacial-interglacial cycles occurred with a periodicity of about 100,000 years which correlates with the changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun as it changes from nearly circular to elliptical with an eccentricity of about 9%. Read more ☼

6) How Infrasound from Wind Turbines Can Cause Cancer

This article from the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions reviews several research studies that show infrasound from wind turbines can cause cancer. Read the full paper at http://wiseenergy.org/Energy/Health/LFN_and_Cancer.pdf

Here is an introduction:

Recently, President Trump made a statement about the possibility of wind turbine noise causing cancer. Predictably much of the press scoffed at this claim. Even some Republican legislators objected. But what are the facts?

Since this is a technical matter, let’s clarify some basics… Infrasound is Low Frequency Noise (LFN)… Industrial wind turbines generate substantial LFN… A variety of wind turbine LFN caused human and animal health problems have been well-documented (see this small sample of studies)… But what about cancers?

The medical term genotoxins is separated into three main groups: carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens (i.e. toxins that cause cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects)… LFN has been identified as a genotoxic agent of disease, capable of inducing blood vessel wall thickening as seen in autopsy, as well as through light and electron microscopy studies. This can lead to well known consequences such as tumor development, cardiac infarcts and/or the need for cardiac bypass surgery. The pathology caused by excessive exposure to LFN is termed vibroacoustic disease (VAD), and has been diagnosed among several occupational and environmentally exposed populations.

See also: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect ☼

UPDATE: Paul Driessen, senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow takes apart Joe Biden’s “Clean energy revolution”

Read the full article: Reality bites Joe Biden’s “Clean Energy Revolution”

Among his points:

Before we destroy our energy and economic system, we need to see solid, irrefutable proof that we face an actual climate crisis – and be able to debate and cross examine those who make such claims. So far, instead of a debate, climate crisis skeptics just get vilified and threatened with prosecution.

There’s nothing clean, green, renewable or sustainable about wind, solar or battery power. Those technologies require enormous amounts of land, concrete, steel and other raw materials – and many of their most critical materials are extracted and processed using child labor and near-slave wages for adults, with few or no workplace safety rules, and with horrific impacts on land, air and water quality.

The Biden plan would cost many times the “$1.7 trillion in federal funds over ten years” that his talking points use to entice voters: dollars, lost jobs, lower living standards and fewer freedoms.

Modern industrialized societies simply cannot function on expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent electricity. As Germany, Britain, Spain, Australia and other countries have shown, that kind of energy eliminates 3-4 times more jobs than it creates – especially in factories and assembly lines, which cannot operate with repeated electricity interruptions … and cannot compete with foreign companies that get affordable 24/7/365 coal-based electricity and pay their workers far less than $15, $25 or $45 per hour.

The Tale of a Texas Town on 100% Renewable Energy

Seven years ago, the city fathers of Georgetown, Texas, decided that the town should rely on 100% renewable energy for its electricity needs. Georgetown is a small college town (pop. 71,000) about 25 miles north of Austin, Texas.

The town obtained long-term (20 years), fixed-cost contracts with a solar company and a wind company to provide electricity. The contracts were to buy nearly 900,000 Mwh per year. Georgetown’s average annual consumption is about 575,000 MWh with a peak of 145 MW, but they were thinking of future expansion. They could always sell the excess on the Texas energy market. Georgetown did remain connected to the Texas energy grid so they could buy electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear in case the unreliable solar and wind generation failed.

But the shale revolution hit. Natural gas prices decreased and made electricity cheaper, but Georgetown was locked into higher contracted prices. They also had to sell the excess contracted electricity on the open market at a loss. This caused the city budget to run multimillion dollar deficits. Guess who paid? Georgetown residents are now paying electric bills of more than $1,000 extra per year. Had the city remained on the state grid, the residents would be paying electric rates lower than they originally paid before the city got “100% renewable” energy.

Read more from Forbes.

See also:

The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

For Arizona voters – Let’s Finish the Job and Repeal Arizona’s Existing Renewable Energy Mandate

In the November election, Arizona voters rightly and overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 127 which would have established an amendment to the Arizona Constitution requiring that 50 percent of electricity be generated from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. We need to finish the job and get the Arizona legislature to repeal the existing 15 percent renewable energy mandate imposed upon us by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in 2006.

In 2013, I wrote an article outlining why this mandate is very bad policy, see:

Five reasons Arizona should repeal its renewable energy standards mandate.

Here is a brief summary of those reasons:

1) Electricity generated from solar and wind is much more expensive than conventional generation. That expense is reflected in higher electricity bills. My current bill from Tucson Electric Power shows “surcharges” directly attributable to the mandate totaling an extra $230 per year. I expect those charges to double as we transition from the current 7 percent renewables to the mandated 15 percent. The ACC itself estimated that, through 2025, the mandate would cost consumers $1.2 billion more than they would have paid for conventional energy sources.

2) Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent, unpredictable, and unreliable. The electric grid is the lifeblood of modern civilization. Solar and wind generation can make the grid unstable and unreliable.

3) Because generation from renewable energy sources is intermittent and unpredictable, these sources require backup generation which is usually by burning fossil fuels. Experience in Europe shows that backup generators actually use more fuel and produce more carbon dioxide emissions and pollutants such as sulfur dioxide than they normally would if they were run efficiently for primary generation.

4) Use of renewable energy will not impact climate. If Arizona stopped all carbon dioxide emissions it could theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.0014°C by 2050. (source)

5) Finally, renewable energy is not as green as advertized.

The manufacturing and disposal processes for solar panels put several dangerous chemicals into the environment. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats. Wind turbines also have deleterious effects on human health, see: Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

Petition the Arizona legislature to end the mandate.

Article 15 of the Arizona Constitution deals with the ACC. Perhaps section 6 of that article provides a means for the legislature to rescind the mandate. It reads:

Section 6. The law-making power may enlarge the powers and extend the duties of the corporation commission, and may prescribe rules and regulations to govern proceedings instituted by and before it; but, until such rules and regulations are provided by law, the commission may make rules and regulations to govern such proceedings. [my emphasis]

Perhaps the legislature could pass a law that says: The ACC shall not mandate the method by which electricity is generated in Arizona. Any and all existing mandates are hereby rescinded and declared null and void.

 

Such a law does not mean that electric companies can’t use renewable energy. It just means that government bureaucrats can’t tell them they must.

The Arizona legislature reconvenes in mid January. Between now and then, please contact your state senator and two state representatives and urge them to repeal the ACC mandate.

To find contact information for your state legislators:

First find your Arizona legislative districthttps://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

You will have to type in your address or zip code. This site will show both your federal congressional district number and your Arizona legislative district number.

Find an alphabetical list of members of the legislature (with phone numbers and email address):

https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/

Scroll down the list until you find the legislators in your district.

To send a message from the roster:

You can click on the name in the 4th column to get to a message form. Or to send an email directly, use the name in the 4th column on the list and add: @azleg.gov

For regular mail, use this address: Legislator name, Arizona State Senate (or House of Representatives), 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007.

We should rely upon the free market and let utility companies generate electricity by the method they see as most efficient, cost effective, and reliable. Most renewable energy sources are none of those things.

 

Why You Should Vote NO on Arizona Proposition 127, the renewable energy mandate (Update)

Proposition 127 is very bad policy because: 1) wind and solar generation of electricity are both expensive and unreliable; 2) wind and solar generation can be dangerous to wildlife, human health, and the environment; and 3) the perceived need for more wind and solar generation is based on the false assumption that carbon dioxide emissions are a major cause of global warming.

The method of generating electricity should not be determined by one-size-fits-all government mandates, but rather by local market conditions and resources.

In the following summary I explain the problems with renewable energy. More background is available in the references at the end of this post.

Arizona proposition 127, dubbed “The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Amendment” will amend the Arizona Constitution to require affected electric utilities generate at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The amendment defines renewable energy sources to include solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, and other sources that are replaced rapidly by a natural, ongoing process (excluding nuclear or fossil fuel). Distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, must comprise at least 10% of utilities’ annual retail sales of electricity by 2030. The Amendment allows electric utilities to earn and trade credits to meet these requirements. (Read full text)

Arizona currently produces half of its renewable energy from hydropower generated at the large dams on the Colorado River, but, according to the proposed amendment, this electricity is not to be counted toward the 50% mandated goal. According to the Energy Information Administration, power plants in Arizona generate more electricity than the state consumes, and Arizona generating stations supply electricity to consumers throughout the southwest.

 

Expensive:

Promoters of proposition 127 claim that (based on computer modeling) more renewable energy generation will decrease the price of electricity. The computer model claims that “average electricity bills in 2030 would be three dollars a month lower if Arizona pursues a high-renewables future, and five dollars a month lower in 2040.”

Contrary to claims of proposition promoters, real-world experience shows that the price of electricity can triple as the percentage of wind and solar generation increases. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Arizona’s existing 7 percent renewable power mandate (on its way up to 15%) cost the average Arizona household $304 in higher electricity charges in 2017. At 50 percent renewables, as required by prop. 127, that could rise to an additional $2,179 per year compared to present electricity costs. (Source: The Heartland Institute) Higher electricity rates disproportionally impact the poor. (See this story)

My own electric bill from Tucson Electric Power is running at the rate of an extra charge of $230 per year due to the renewable energy mandate. A curious thing: These charges used to be listed on the bill as “Green Energy Charges” but since March, 2017, they are listed merely as “Surcharges.”

Electricity produced by wind and solar turns out to be much more expensive than electricity produced from coal and natural gas. That is mainly because wind and solar are unreliable, they can’t respond to demand. Therefore they need nuclear or fossil fuel generated electricity as backup which causes the fossil fuel plants to run inefficiently which is more expensive (and produces more carbon dioxide).

Europe has been a world leader in using wind and solar energy. The price, however, is high. Real operational data show that the more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity. (Source) In some European countries electricity prices are triple the average cost in the U.S. Ironically, carbon dioxide emissions in those countries are rising while in the U.S. emissions are decreasing. Also ironically, according to the New York Times, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-emissions electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.

Australia has been flirting with replacing coal generation with renewables. Australian engineers warn 55% renewables will add $1400 to electricity bills, an 84% increase in electricity rates. (Source) The state of South Australian generates about 50 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power. South Australia’s consumer electricity prices are the highest in the world and electric reliability is one of the worst in the developed world. (Source)

California: According to Environmental Progress, a pro-nuclear advocacy group:

Between 2011 and 2017, California’s electricity prices rose five times faster than they did nationally. Today, Californians pay 60 percent more, on average, than the rest of the nation, for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity. California’s high penetration of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind are likely a key factor in higher prices. (LinkHad California spent an estimated $100 billion on nuclear instead of on wind and solar, it would already have had enough energy to replace all fossil fuels in its in-state electricity mix according to a new analysis by Environmental Progress.

study by the left-of-center Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices 50 percent, and replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs.

From the Brookings report:

Costs are much higher for three reasons. First, the cost per MW [megawatt] of capacity to build a wind or solar plant is quite high (and much greater than that of a gas-fired plant). The cost per MW of solar capacity is especially high. Reductions in the cost of solar-voltaic panels have reduced the cost of building a solar plant by 22 percent between 2010 and 2012, but further reductions are likely to have a lesser effect because the cost of solar panels is only a fraction of the total cost of a utility-scale solar plant.

Second, a wind or solar plant operates at full capacity only a fraction of the time, when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. For example, a typical solar plant in the United States operates at only about 15 percent of full capacity and a wind plant only about 25 percent of full capacity, while a coal plant can operate 90 percent of full capacity on a year-round basis.

Third, the output of wind and solar plants is highly variable—year by year, month by month, day by day and hour by hour—compared to a coal-fired plant… Thus more than six solar plants and four wind plants are required to produce the same output with the same degree of reliability as a coal-fired plant of the same capacity.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. They conclude: “As a means of producing useful electrical power, wind and solar are very expensive generating technologies because of their low capacity factors and because of their non-dispatchability and intermittency.” (Source)

It has been proposed that the intermittency problem with wind and solar can be solved by battery storage. But an MIT Technology Review article says that would be too expensive: “The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid: 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.” The $2.5 trillion battery system would provide just 12 hours of storage for the entire U.S. (Link)

Dangerous:

Utility scale wind and solar installations require vast expanses of land that affect local habitats. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats, including endangered species. Solar installations burn up birds and other flying animals. Low frequency sound from wind turbines causes a variety of human ailments. The manufacturing and disposal of solar panels put dangerous chemicals into the environment. For example, many PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels. Does that sound like “clean energy”?

recent study shows that solar modules cause more greenhouse gas emissions than modern coal power plants. It turns out that because of the emissions of extraordinarily potent greenhouse gases nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride and energy requirements of manufacturing solar modules, solar energy ends up being worse for the climate than burning coal.

(See references 5 & 6)

Another danger is that proposition 127 is intended to be an amendment to the Arizona Constitution rather than a statute. It will therefore be much harder to repeal once its utter folly is realized.

The false assumption:

The push for renewable energy, especially wind and solar generation, is based on the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are a significant cause of global warming.

This claim is not based on physical evidence but only upon garbage-in, garbage-out computer models, the results of which diverge widely from observations. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the major promoter of the human-caused global warming scare. Yet, in five major reports, the IPCC does not provide any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in global warming. I have asked several university climate scientists who support the claim to cite supporting physical evidence. Although they are alleged experts in the field, they could not cite any physical evidence. They devolve to computer modeling. On the other hand, there are several lines of physical evidence that show carbon dioxide emissions do not enhance the dread greenhouse effect. (See references 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 & 9) Many scientific studies present physical evidence showing that carbon dioxide is but a bit player among the many factors influencing climate change. (See these references: link)

A report from the Science and Public Policy Institute estimates the temperature savings theoretically obtained by stopping all carbon dioxide emissions for each state and for the U.S. as a whole. According to SPPI, if Arizona stopped all carbon dioxide emissions, it would theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.0014°C by 2050 and 0.0029°C by 2100. If the U.S. stopped all carbon dioxide emissions, it would theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.172°C by 2100. (Link to report) Do you think that’s worth the higher electricity prices and disruption of the electric grid?

In the entire geological history of the planet, there has been no known linkage between CO2 and temperatures other than that temperature controls the solubility of CO2 in the oceans. (See reference 8) The war on carbon dioxide tries to cure a problem that does not exist.

Generating more electricity from solar and wind is just a very expensive exercise in political correctness that will have little impact on carbon dioxide emissions, but a big impact on your wallet, and an adverse impact on electric grid stability and the environment. (See reference 7) If you really want low/no emissions generation of electricity, we should invest in more nuclear generation which is always there when you need it.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

Note: This article is based upon my own observations and research. I have had no dealings with any of the several PACs organized for or against the proposition. This article may be reprinted provided credit is given to the author and link back to the original.

References:

1. A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

2. Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

3. Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

4. Health Effects of global warming on humans

5. Avian mortality from solar farms

6. Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

7. The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

8. An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

9. What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

10. Audit of main temperature database used by IPCC finds multiple errors

 

Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate

Arizona proposition 127, dubbed “The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Amendment” has qualified for inclusion on the November ballot although it is still being challenged in court. If this amendment to the Arizona Constitution actually reaches the ballot it would, if passed, require affected electric utilities to provide at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The amendment defines renewable energy sources to include solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, and other sources that are replaced rapidly by a natural, ongoing process (excluding nuclear or fossil fuel). Distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, must comprise at least 10% of utilities’ annual retail sales of electricity by 2030. The Amendment allows electric utilities to earn and trade credits to meet these requirements. (Read full text)

Arizona currently produces half of its renewable energy from hydropower created by the large dams on the Colorado River, but, according to the proposed amendment, this electricity is not counted in the 50% mandate. According to the Energy Information Administration, power plants in Arizona generate more electricity than the state consumes, and Arizona generating stations supply electricity to consumers throughout the southwest.

In my opinion, this amendment is very bad policy. It is stupid, dangerous, and expensive. In the following summary I explain. More background is available in the references at the end of this post.

Stupid:

The push toward renewable energy, especially wind and solar generation, is based on a false premise: the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are a significant cause of global warming, and that global warming is dangerous. Utility scale wind and solar installations would not exist were it not based on this false assumption, mandates, and subsidies.

This claim is not based on physical evidence but only upon garbage-in, garbage-out computer models, the results of which diverge widely from observations. I have asked several university climate scientists who support the claim to cite supporting physical evidence. Although they are alleged experts in the field, they could not cite any physical evidence. On the other hand there are several lines of physical evidence that show carbon dioxide emissions do not enhance the dread greenhouse effect. (See references 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Dangerous:

Utility scale wind and solar installations require vast expanses of land that affect local habitats. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats, including endangered species. Solar installations burn up birds and other flying animals. Low frequency sound from wind turbines causes a variety of human ailments. The manufacturing and disposal of solar panels put dangerous chemicals into the environment. For example, many PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels.

new study shows that solar modules cause more greenhouse gas emissions than modern coal power plants. It turns out that because of the emissions of extraordinarily potent greenhouse gases nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride and energy requirements of manufacturing solar modules, solar energy ends up being worse for the climate than burning coal (assuming the greenhouse global warming hypothesis is valid). (See references 5 & 6)

Expensive:

Electricity produce by wind and solar turns out to be much more expensive than electricity produced from coal and natural gas. That is mainly because wind and solar are unreliable, they can’t respond to demand. Therefore they need nuclear or fossil fuel generated electricity as backup which causes the fossil fuel plants to run inefficiently which produces more carbon dioxide.

Europe has been a world leader in using wind and solar energy. The price, however, is high. 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 triple the average cost in the U.S. Ironically, carbon dioxide emissions in those countries are rising while in the U.S. emissions are decreasing. Also ironically, according to the New York Times, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-carbon electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.

 

Generating more electricity from solar and wind is just a very expensive exercise in political correctness that will have little impact on carbon dioxide emissions, but a big impact on your wallet and an adverse impact on electric grid stability and the environment.

 

References:

1. A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

2. Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

3. Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

4. Health Effects of global warming on humans

5. Avian mortality from solar farms

6. Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

7. The high cost of wind and solar generation of electricity

 

Vegan energy – greener than green

Only in England. A British energy company, Ecotricity, is promoting “vegan energy.”

So called “green energy” is that produced by harnessing power from solar, wind, wave and tidal sources. Ecotricity claims that some green energy companies, mostly those that burn biomass, also burn animal byproducts. The horror. The Ecotricity website lists those offending British companies.

Ecotricity claims, “We’re the only energy supplier in the UK that’s registered with The Vegan Society for our green electricity. We’ve verified all of the energy sources that go into making our electricity to ensure we aren’t inadvertently using animals in our energy production.” Read more

See more madness here:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

Climate Madness 10