Discusses wind and solar energy today.
Andrew Kenny, physicist and mechanical engineer: South Africa faces energy calamity on two fronts. First is the disaster of Eskom. Second, and potentially worse, is the disaster of our REIPPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers’ Procurement Programme) and our lunatic IRP 2018 (Integrated Resource Plan). If the market could choose, our future electricity would be nuclear followed by coal, and perhaps gas or imported hydro in the future. There would be no wind or solar on the grid.
[Note by Howard "Cork" Hayden, physicist: Solar and wind are basically worthless without stabilization from the grid. Left to themselves, but with HUGE battery backup, they "could" run the zoo, but the backup systems would have to be able to provide FULL power for days --- occasionally weeks --- at a time. By contrast, a battery backup system to handle conventional power --- increased baseload (possibly all-nuclear) to include charging the batteries at times of low demand --- would have to store about 20% of one day's energy and deliver about 20% of the power demand. Civilization is far more likely to disintegrate from do-gooders trying to save the world from putative climate change than it is from people using fossil fuels.]
[Note by John Shanahan, civil engineer: In the USA, states are vying with each other to be first to have 100% renewable power with no fossil fuel backup. If political leaders don't come to their senses before installing all those wind turbines and solar panels and stick with fossil fuels and nuclear for baseload energy, their costs for electricity will go up, energy stability and reliability will go down and their global adversaries will be jumping for joy that their enemy is destroying itself - already happening in Germany.]
David Wojick, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, CFACT, Washington, D.C., Ph.D. Philosophy of Science and Mathematical Logic, B.Sc. Civil Engineering: I doubt the average customer will be excited about coughing up a billion dollars just so the greens can feel good by forcing use of solar energy. But the utility loves it because, as a regulated monopoly, the more money they spend the more guaranteed profit they make. I can see their stock price and executive salaries going up as a result. Simply put, this is battery trickery.
Viv Forbes, Executive Director of The Salt Bush Club, Australia: The media loves disaster stories – floods, cyclones, heat waves, droughts and fires - each one “the worst Evaaaah” (evaah since the last one). Each report of catastrophe is usually followed by a religious chant about “man-made global warming”. Pretending we can change global climate by waging a war on carbon dioxide is foolish and dangerous nonsense. When cyclones, floods, droughts and bushfires strike we need disaster-proof helipads, rail links, roads, bridges, water and electricity supply.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder - President of Environmental Progress: This is an excellent review of wind and solar energy. It doesn't work. Michael and his science advisor, James Hansen are determined to stop use of fossil fuels because of their convictions that they are causing catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. John Shanahan points out that this website has hundreds of articles on wind, solar and man-made global warming. Based on these articles, he concludes that the world needs fossil fuels far more than any possible problems with global warming they cause. The problems with stopping use of fossil fuels are tremendous, existential. Extreme environmental and man-made climate change alarmists are determined to save the world with their solutions. They are not the best persons to help the world. China is doing a far better job of helping millions out of poverty by using fossil fuels than extreme environmentalists like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council or James Hansen are doing by forcing stopping use of fossil fuels.
Andrew Follett, energy and science reporter for The Daily Caller: Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of electricity generated than nuclear power plants. They use heavy metals, including lead, chromium and cadmium, which can harm the environment. The hazards of nuclear waste are well known and can be planned for. But very little has been done to mitigate solar waste issues.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder - President of Environmental Progress: If solar and wind farms are needed to protect the natural environment, why do they so often destroy it?
James Temple, writer for MIT technology Review: 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. Relying on renewables alone significantly inflates the cost of overhauling energy. At current prices, a battery storage system of that size would cost more than $2.5 trillion. Repeat that every time the batteries are worn out.
Richard McPherson, electrical power and grid security expert: America is now living with a horrible electricity supply system. At the same time the nationwide system is vulnerable to the effects of weather, humans, EMP and solar events. A situation created by politicians for their benefits. A system, China, Russia, North Korea and their proxies love.
Jack Ponton, Emeritus Professor of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering: Most renewable energy enthusiasts now seem to understand that powering a modern society will require something else in addition to intermittent electricity generation. The currently fashionable ’something else’ is storage. This paper will discuss storage technologies, Britain’s current facilities and what might be needed to provide reliable power from wind, solar and tidal generation. There seems to be no possibility that any existing storage technology can handle the intermittency of wind generation. Solar plus battery storage is probably already cost-competitive for locations in or near the tropics, where year-round load factors are acceptable and so only overnight storage is required. In the UK, low winter load factors mean that essentially no useful generation takes place in December and January.
David Wojick, Heartland Institute, Ph.D. Philosophy of Science and Mathematical Logic, B.Sc. Civil Engineering: The brutal cold wave that just struck America provides a stark example of why 100% renewables cannot possibly work. Once the massive high pressure system was in place there was almost no wind, so no significant wind power. And the coldest temperatures by far were at night or early morning, when there was no solar power either. The first drawing shows Germany aiming for 100% wind and solar and they are using coal as backup, essentially no reduction in fossil fuel capacity. Colorado and California are mandating 100% wind and solar (with fossil fuel backup?). It is the worse possible energy plan for modern economies. Thank the politicians who planned this.
Paul Driessen, senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow: The IPCC says it’s still possible to limit planetary warming to an additional 0.5 degrees C (0.9 F) “above pre-industrial levels” – but only if global CO2 emissions are halved by 2030 and zeroed out by 2050. So climate alarmists intend to carbon-tax, legislate and regulate our energy, factories, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and lives to the max. We went to war with King George over far less serious abuses and usurpations.