Net-zero US carbon goal is unattainable – Washington Examiner

Posted: June 20, 2022 by oldbrew in Analysis, climate, Critique, Emissions, Energy, net zero
Tags: , ,

The net zero emissions concept is once again exposed as a Hollywood-type fantasy. Regardless of whether carbon dioxide is seen as a credible climate problem or not, it just isn’t achievable in time.
– – –
The goal of the U.S. government is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, per the Paris agreement, says the Washington Examiner.

A three-step analysis establishes this as an impossible goal.

Three possible alternatives — wind, nuclear power, and utility photovoltaic solar (PV) — are analyzed separately in a three-step process to determine the amount of new capacity needed for any of them to meet net-zero carbon by 2050.

The same process then is used to determine whether any combination of the three can achieve the goal.

Step one determines the amount of new wind, nuclear, or PV capacity needed to replace all the electricity generated by fossil fuels in 2021.

A second step identifies the amount of each energy source needed to double the supply of electricity to meet demand when all light vehicles are battery-powered and homes use electricity for heating rather than natural gas. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that electricity consumption will nearly double from current levels to meet the added demand.

Finally, in the third step, we calculate the amount of each energy source needed to generate the electricity required to produce enough hydrogen to make steel and cement that meet net-zero carbon requirements. Producing steel and cement generates 14% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, with the use of hydrogen virtually the only way to eliminate these emissions. (Cement will also require carbon capture and sequestration to be fully net-zero carbon.)

Listed below are the amounts of new capacity for each power source that must be installed over the next 28 years for any one of them to achieve net-zero carbon.

995,141 new wind turbines rated at 2.5 megawatts (MW), or 35,551 units annually
881 new nuclear plants, or 31 annually
3,918,996 MW of new PV, or 139,954 MW annually
As a reality check, we researched the most capacity installed in one year since 2000 for each power generation method. The numbers are as follows:

5,680 wind turbines rated 2.5 MW
1 nuclear plant
21,500 MW of PV

A comparison of what is needed in new generation with historical data clearly shows the goal to be a physical impossibility. For example, installing 35,551 new 2.5-MW wind turbines every year far exceeds the 5,680 wind turbines ever installed in one year.

Larger wind turbines are being developed, but even 10-MW units would greatly exceed the number of units ever installed in one year.

Full article here.

  1. Gamecock says:

    ‘The goal of the U.S. government’

    Here we go again. A government ‘of the people’ setting goals for the people.

    Not their job. Anti Constitutional in spirit, if not in fact.

  2. ilma630 says:

    The Washington Examiner and others still haven’t realised that it’s not “it just isn’t achievable in time”, but ‘it just isn’t achievable’.

  3. oldbrew says:

    The article concludes by attacking ‘carbon offsetting’ before saying:

    Attempting to achieve the impossible goal of net-zero carbon will wreak havoc on the U.S. economy and harm everyone. Now is the time to abandon net-zero and stop the war on fossil fuels.
    – – –
    In the UK version the price of housing is forced up:

    Net-zero rules set to send cost of new homes and extensions soaring
    20 Jun 2022

    They came into force in England last week to help the UK hit environmental goals by 2050, but this means short-term pain for long-term gain

  4. oldbrew says:

    Calls for Boris Johnson to pause Net Zero policies after Auditor General warns costs risk spiralling out of control
    JUNE 20, 2022
    By Paul Homewood

    London, 20 June — Net Zero Watch is calling on Boris Johnson to pause Net Zero policies and spending plans after the UK’s Auditor General has warned that their costs risk spiralling out of control.

    Climate policy group Net Zero Watch has welcomed the decision by the Auditor General to speak out over the cost of the Government’s decarbonisation policy. The UK’s spending watchdog has warned of a serious risk of cost and waste, as money is thrown at ill-considered schemes.
    – – –
    ‘ill-considered schemes’ – no kidding…

    Craig Mackinlay MP, chairman of the parliamentary Net Zero Scrutiny Group, said:

    “The government’s policy of achieving Net Zero at any price and at an arbitrary date has been forensically taken apart as a fruitless ambition by the National Audit Office (NAO). We’re now seeing a reality check as the various ‘greenwash’ initiatives are being shown not to work. They cannot produce reliable, economic energy and the costs of immature technologies to be borne by the public directly or through taxpayer subsidy are seen to be shambolic and wasteful.”

  5. oldbrew says:

    Net-zero plans ‘risk being a waste of taxpayer money’, says spending watchdog

    The Auditor General warns the Government must ensure people are not shortchanged by environmental policies during the cost-of-living crisis

    By Camilla Turner,
    19 June 2022

    Gareth Davies, the Auditor General, said that the ambitious target could lead to costs spiralling out of control on projects which fail to deliver “significant environmental benefit”.
    [scroll down the article to the section with the AG’s own remarks]
    – – –
    Counting the huge cost of net zero – and who’s going to pay it
    Global effort to hit climate targets by 2050 will cost $275 trillion, McKinsey believes

    By Louis Ashworth
    25 January 2022

    Assuming the ‘efforts’ get made?

  6. Gamecock says:

    “Global effort to hit climate targets by 2050 will cost $275 trillion, McKinsey believes”

    If the world hits its “climate targets,” it won’t have a trillion. Net Zero means a neolithic economy. You can’t spend money you don’t have. The more you do it, the less money you will have.

    And, by the way, there is no “global” effort. It’s just dumbasses in the West.

  7. oldbrew says:

    By 2050, all the renewables now operating will have long since been retired.
    – – –
    Getting the export/import terminals etc. sorted out will allow US LNG (nat. gas) to move around the world more freely. The UK government would rather deny workers jobs and ship in fracked gas, than use its own.

  8. oldbrew says:

    JUNE 17, 2022
    Researchers explore new method for glacial melt reduction
    by Chinese Academy of Sciences

    The results showed that material-covered areas could slow down glacier melting by approximately 29–56% compared with uncovered areas. The researchers also found that the nanofiber material showed higher efficiency (56%) than the geotextiles used in the experiment.

    The method of artificial reduction of glacial ice melt provides a scientific and practical basis for decision-making on mitigating and adapting to climate change.
    – – –
    Another world saver’s whacky wheeze.

  9. ilma630 says:

    007, your mission is….

  10. oldbrew says:

    News editor, Chemistry World writes:
    To prevent catastrophic climate change we’d need to install 1500 carbon capture plants sucking 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air every year. Oh, and did I forget to mention that we’d need to build this number of plants every year between 2030 and 2050, by one estimate?
    – – –
    That’s just the UK. Forget that then.

  11. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Net zero is a very stupid idea and anyone who believes in it should stop exhaling CO2, right now!

  12. Phoenix44 says:

    The truly absurd point is that a transition on this scale at this speed will require vast amounts of fossil fuels. We will double or triple our emissions as these projects are massively emissions-heavy. Just the concrete alone for all those nuclear plants!

    If CO2 is the problem, then this cannot be the solution.

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