Big-Idea Energy Alternatives Are Costly And Puny

Posted: June 24, 2019 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy, propaganda
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How feeble are wind and solar power in the big energy picture i.e. not just electricity production? It could be much worse than we/you thought, but many policymakers don’t seem to know – or don’t want to know – about such realities.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Those who believe in the existence of adequate non-fossil alternatives essential to achieve a “carbon-neutral” U.S. — much less global — energy balance anytime soon, or at any cost, are dreadfully misguided.

Nevertheless, there are very understandable reasons why such delusions continue to persist.

One reason behind this facetious fantasy has resulted from massively funded “renewable energy” industry subsidy-seeking propaganda campaigns.

Another is due to great successes of ideological anti-fossil activists in conflating carbon dioxide emissions with “climate pollution,” polar bear perils, and virtually any other “crisis” de jour.

A third, and one that I find particularly disturbing, is because even information sources we should expect to trust, continue to perpetuate a disingenuous and dangerous myth that non-fossil “alternatives” can meet any truly significant U.S. energy needs.

In preparing for this article, I checked data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) with a very…

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Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    Also consider that constructing a two-megawatt wind turbine requires about 260 tons of steel which, in turn, requires about 300 tons of iron ore processed by about 170 tons of coking coal which is transported by fossil fuel. It will never generate as much energy payback during its short 15-year or less operating lifetime as was invested in building it.

    Not to mention the 800+ tons of energy-intensive concrete base that each one needs, which can’t be re-used as wind turbine sizes are always changing. Or the service roads carved across countryside if on land, and transmission lines to sometimes distant places.

  2. stpaulchuck says:

    the first thing to look at is the energy density of the production of energy. A nuclear plant of many Megawatts takes a couple dozen acres. Similar story for gas or coal fired units.

    gas fired plants take an average of 0.343 acres per megawatt. Solar takes about 10 acres, and wind takes about SIXTY acres per megawatt. [ https://www.strata.org/pdf/2017/footprints-full.pdf ]

    It is painfully obvious that wind and solar are both inefficient and wasteful of land resources and produce a “spit in the ocean” of power for any given plant size. If they were truly and immediately “saving the planet” then the costs would be reasonable.

    If we could get fusion plants working then once again the output per acre would be very very small large compared to twelfth century windmills and New Age solar bird cookers and pilot blinders.

  3. stpaulchuck says:

    [ooooops!]

    ” then once again the output per acre would be very very small compared to ”

    I got that reversed. I was thinking of the acreage when I said ‘small’. In point of fact the output per acre would be VERY large indeed.

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