The question they never ask about renewables

Posted: August 9, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics

[credit: New York Daily News]

[credit: New York Daily News]

Christopher Booker highlights the obvious key issue facing those who promote renewable energy – intermittency.

Last week in the White House, to a roomful of 150 cheering environmental activists, President Obama unveiled his answer to what he called “the greatest threat facing the world”. Variously billed as a bid “to cement his legacy as a world leader” and an attempt to salvage brownie points from December’s talks on a global climate treaty (which he knows will fail, because India, China and the Republican majority in Congress won’t buy it), Obama’s “Clean Energy Plan” for the US is twofold.

On one hand, to bypass those Republicans in Congress, he wants to use federal regulations to impose crippling new CO2 emissions cuts on the fossil-fuel power plants that still currently supply the US with about 70 per cent of its electricity. This even poses a serious threat to the shale gas industry, which has more than halved US energy costs and played a key part in its economic recovery.

On the other hand, Obama plans a further huge boost to wind and solar power which, despite billions of dollars of subsidies, still only manage, intermittently, to produce a mere five per cent of America’s electricity.

Inevitably the BBC Today programme wheeled on one of Obama’s senior “climate” advisers, to tell us how wonderful this all is, and how it will slash US energy bills so dramatically that, between 2020 and 2030, it will save consumers “$139 billion”. This is implausible enough, but, equally inevitably, what the BBC interviewer did not ask was how America can keep its lights on and its economy running when, after all those “dirty” coal-fired power plants have been closed down, the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

But that is precisely the all-important question which, when faced with such insanity, either in the US or here in Britain, the BBC’s journalists are careful never to ask.

Original report: Thank Goodness, the Republicans will squash Obama's climate lunacy – Telegraph.

  1. oldbrew says:

    [quote] between 2020 and 2030, it will save consumers “$139 billion”

    Did the BBC also forget to ask how this nonsense number was arrived at? Every other country spending heavily on wind and solar power has seen energy prices rise at a sharp rate, to generate the massive subsidies needed by the suppliers.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    What he didn’t say was that “it will save consumers $139 billion – and cost the taxpayers $1500 billion”

  3. oldbrew says:

    ‘Obama plans a further huge boost to wind and solar power which, despite billions of dollars of subsidies, still only manage, intermittently, to produce a mere five per cent of America’s electricity.’

    Is that how Americans – and others – see their future? Spending fortunes on part-time power will never secure anyone’s energy supply.

  4. Jerry says:

    President Obama forgot to mention the adverse effects of solar power. The manufacture of solar panels produces, as byproducts, hexafluoroethane, nitrogen trifluoride, and sulfur hexafluoride. Relative to the CO2 green house gas effect, C2F6, NF3, and SF6 have green house gas effects 12,000, 17,000, and 23,000 times more powerful.

    Further, C2F6 survives for 10,000 years when introduced into the atmosphere. By comparison, the atmospheric residency of CO2 is said to be only a few decades.

    These important considerations seem to be largely ignored, at least, in the press.

    Do I recall correctly that solar panels have a useful lifetime of only twenty years, and then require replacement?

  5. tom0mason says:

    The politicos like children play,
    with whirly things on a dreary day.
    And so to toy with many futures.
    Generations lost to green looters,
    and unseen “batteries not included”
    Still advocates’ paid those so deluded.

  6. M Simon says:

    Jerry says:
    August 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Those same chemicals go into the production of useful semiconductors.

    Let us no get in a hole similar to the one Maggie put us in. The miners got trounced and we got left with global warming.

  7. Ben Vorlich says:

    I worked in an office with a couple of solid green renewables fans.All arguments fell on deaf ears, but what convinced the neutrals that renewables were a problem not a solution was the question

    “Where will power come from on a freezing windless January night during a prolonged cold spell and at slack water?”

    There was never a practical answer. Gradually the subject of renewables moved onto rising sea levels, which resulted in some very complex discussions.

  8. Gail Combs says:

    Ben Vorlich,

    Here is some ammo on the sea level rising fallacy