A dirty little secret of Green power is that coal and gas are full-time sources while wind and solar are not. Wind and solar produce little or no energy about 70 percent of the time. This means that to replace 1,000 MW of coal, it will take 3,500 MW of wind turbines’ “nameplate capacity,” or 5,000 MW of solar’s. That’s about 1,200 3 MW wind turbines or 13 million solar panels, in either case occupying nearly 40 square miles and will still have to be backed up by fossil-fuel energy sources. About 240 coal plants in the United States deliver about 22% of our electricity. About 71,000 wind towers produce about 9 percent of our electricity on a part-time, when-the-wind-blows, basis. We are adding about 3,000 wind turbines a year, in the whole country. If wind didn’t have the part-time problem, those 3,000 could replace 2.5 coal plants a year. At that rate, it would take 96 years to replace them all. Grid operators in Texas and California have lately warned of the potential for rolling blackouts this summer, in part because traditional power plants are being retired more quickly than they can be replaced by renewable energy.
Recently, India has ordered the reopening of more than 100 dormant coal mines to meet skyrocketing domestic power demand. This will help ensure a seamless supply of coal to power plants that generate more than 70 percent of the electricity consumed by the subcontinent’s industries that green energy simply cannot reliably meet. Germany, with the highest installed wind power capacity in Europe, has among the highest electricity prices worldwide. It had a bad year for wind in 2021, with onshore electricity generation only 87% of that produced in 2020 and was forced to crank up more coal plants to make up the difference.
Recently, New York Times Magazine published an interview with Vaclav Smil, probably the world’s greatest expert on energy. He said that to make the cuts the progressive’s suggest to fossil-fuel energy sources, substituting wind, solar, and other “renewable” sources, are unrealistic. They don’t take into account the vast scale of the energy needed to serve even the basic needs of the world’s roughly 8 billion people-food, clothing, shelter, transportation, protection from cold and heat, and all the industry that makes these things happen. He stated that “Germany, after nearly half a trillion dollars, in 20 years went from getting 84 percent of their primary energy from fossil fuels to 76 percent. Can you tell me how you’d go from 76 percent fossil to zero by 2030, 2035? I’m sorry, the reality is what it is.”
Green energy sources simply are not capable of meeting the high energy demands of the world and are unreliable with fossil-fuel sources having to be ready as backup even where these Green energy sources are used. Further, the Green sources are extremely expensive to operate which will drive up the cost of energy which hurts the poor the most. There are large numbers of scientists that are starting to reject the cataclysmic forecasts of the Global Warming/Climate Change theorists. More scientists are starting to speak out and more are scared to speak in this Cancel culture which does not value critical thinking and open debate. It is clear that we do not need to dismantle our fossil fuel infrastructure which is the only reliable way to generate energy today.
2 thoughts on “Green Power”
Well said. In America the Government is not in control of power, rather private industry /Coops as our Constitution limits. Our migration from fossil fuel should be market driven, rather than by government edict. We suffer record gas prices because our corrupt president and his Cabal of handlers have illegally exceeded their authority. The best decisions are made by the people/markets not quack scientist prognosticators, nor corrupt politicians. The nanny state is slowly killing her charge instead of caring for it. Beware – Big government is not your mommy.