Impossible Dream: Busting The Grand Wind & Solar ‘Transition’ Myth (With Numbers)

It only takes eighth grade mathematics and a little logic to work out that there will never be any grand transition to an all wind and sun-powered future – it’s an impossible dream, to top them all.

As Leen Weijers explains below, the fact that this is even a subject for discussion is based on a grab bag of lies and sleight of hand rhetoric, whereby meaningless averages are used to downplay and overwhelm minute-by-minute actuality, of the kind that matters when you’re trying to keep modern civilisations running around-the-clock.

There Is No Energy Transition, Just Energy Addition
Watts Up With That?
Leen Weijers
12 March 2023

As Liberty Energy CEO Chris Wright explained in his viral video a few weeks ago, dishonest terminology surrounds the climate debate.  One of these terms is “Energy Transition”.  The term’s use gives the impression that there exists a quick, easy and scalable alternative to eliminate fossil fuel use without serious impact on people.

Current primary energy distribution by source, and forecasts by organizations like the EIA in their International Energy Outlook 2021, show that this “energy transition” is non-existent.  As you can see in the title graph above, and also in Liberty’s ESG report on Bettering Human Lives, no present quantity of primary energy generated by oil or gas is currently replaced by renewables.  A couple of headlines from the report that you don’t hear a lot:

  • Global primary energy use is about to grow by almost 50% between 2020 – 2050 as impoverished people rise from poverty;
  • Oil consumption rises in all EIA scenarios. In their “Reference Scenario”, oil consumption rises at about 1 million bopd/year for the next 30 years, almost the same steady yearly increase of the last 5 decades;
  • Natural gas consumption will continue to growth through 2050.

The reason for this growth is simple: fossil fuels are abundant, cheap and efficient to provide reliable and dense energy at scale.  They have helped to generate a quality-of-life revolution for a portion of humanity, and people in poverty who have missed out on this blessing rightfully want what you and I already have.

Sadly, few report on this blessing we take for granted. Good news about renewables breaking records, however, is widespread and often inflated.  There are a few marketing strategies renewable advocates have used that make it appear as if renewables have a larger market share than they really have:

First, using the word “energy” or “power” when they mean “electricity”.  Take this Reuters report as an example: “Renewable energy is expected to account for around 46% of German power consumption this year….” This sounds like Germans are running on renewables for almost half of their energy needs.  But this is JUST for electricity.  According to the BP Statistical Review and graphed below by for world electricity vs primary power, worldwide electricity represents only 17% of all primary power.  That’s also where is currently stands in Germany. In 2021, Germany’s top three primary energy sources were oil, natural gas and coal.

Second, reporting renewable records without mentioning they only last a short time.  As an example, this article boasts renewables powering 85% of Germany’s electricity needs.  But like the electricity primary power sources reported in the plot below reported by Timera Energy, records in wind and solar don’t last very long, and there are times when they don’t provide anything at all.  Fossil fuels are there to back them up – you are welcome.  Energy reliability is a marathon, not a sprint.

Third, reporting power capacity, not energy output. Renewables really shine using this metric because they don’t work most of the time.  If you have ever spent time in western Europe, you will know that the sun there, like most Europeans, only has a 32-hour work week, while it gives little heads up when it will show up.  What to do during the remaining 136 hours that week? You need to build a lot of power capacity to harvest a little energy.  As per BP Statistical Review, the world capacity factor is only 14% for solar and 26% for wind.  Therefore, if you see a historical power capacity growth curve, divide the solar curve’s slope by 7 and the wind curve’s slope by 4 to get energy output.  Consumers pay for MWh, not MW.

Lastly, lumping in “traditional biofuels” to boost the share of renewables as part of total energy needs.  These traditional biofuels kill millions of people yearly through PM2.5 particle release during indoor cooking.  If there is a “transition” humanity needs ASAP, it is the transition from the traditional renewable cooking fuels to clean-burning fossil cooking fuels.

These unfair reporting methodologies have led to confusion and a belief that an “Energy Transition” is currently in the making.  It is not.

The EIA primary energy forecast for the next 30 years shows that ALL sources of energy are growing. While renewables claim a larger fraction of a growing pie, fossil fuels are expected to grow faster in absolute terms.

Recently, a spark of sanity has returned to the debate about nuclear power.  For a reliable, cost-effective, low-carbon and scalable energy transition, we need to take the path proposed by Robert Bryce in his book Power Hungry.  In the near-term, we need more natural gas, which reduces our CO2 footprint and is cheap, reliable and abundant.  For the long-term, we need to build nuclear energy, hopefully eventually nuclear fusion. Before that, let’s hope a spark of sanity returns to the discussion about the “Energy Transition”.
Watts Up With That?

Safe and reliable nuclear: a welcome addition in an energy-starved world.


March 28, 2023 at 01:30AM

Chris Tomlinson: Muckraking on Texas Grid Unreliability

“Fossil fuel-supporting Chicken Littles have done their best to spread fear of renewable energy, warning that relying on wind, solar and storage would lead to blackouts and economic devastation.”  (Tomlinson, pre-Storm Uri)

“The Republicans’ goal [with new legislation] is to keep coal plants open and burn more natural gas … [and] wreck the climate….” (Tomlinson, today) 

Chris Tomlinson rides again–bashing gas/coal-based grid reliability in favor of more wind, more solar, enormous battery reliance, and government demand-side management to ration demand to (wounded)  supply.

The latest is his editorial in the Houston Chronicle last week, “Lawmakers to Send Electric Bill Much  Higher” (March 22, 2023). Rather than admitting that the unreliables have wounded (and will further wound) the reliables because of government intervention and planning (see here, here, and here), he  fusses at fossil fuels and muckrakes (hypocritically [1]) against the rich.

“[Dan] Patrick and [Charles] Schwertner want to funnel money away from clean energy and toward fossil  fuels just as we need to phase them out to stop global warming,” Tomlinson complains. “Their proposed  laws ignore new technologies that are revolutionizing the electric industry by boosting efficiency and  controlling demand.”

‘Controlling demand‘?  What Tomlinson touts is the eco-left’s latest: demand-side engineering to control  energy usage in your home via ‘smart’ meters. How much would that cost, Mr. Tomlinson? And will the  Big Brothers in Austin–ERCOT, PUCT, and politicians–really centrally plan supply and demand to the  satisfaction of ratepayers who want affordable, dependable electricity? Are you okay, too, with this loss of  energy freedom from Big Brotherism?

Tomlinson states: “Our widely-admired free market system would be replaced with the big-government  structure we abandoned in 1999.” Really? The Enron-driven Texas Electric Restructuring Act of 1999 was  not deregulation. Today’s electricity market is not “free market” but just the opposite. As I have

The Federal Power Act of 1935, Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, Public Utility Regulatory  Policies Act of 1978, Energy Policy Act of 1992, Texas Public Utility Regulatory Act of 1975, Texas Public  Utility Regulatory Act of 1995, Texas Electric Restructuring Act of 1999….

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (né Federal Power Commission), Security and Exchange  Commission, Public Utility Commission of Texas, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners…. The above whirlwind of laws and agencies serves as the foreword and afterword of the Great Texas Electrical Blackout of February 2021.

Tomlinson is correct when he states: “Texas’s GOP leadership is trying to destroy the system it built….” But some of us are not keen about the Ken Lay/Enron “deregulation” bill of 1999 and the subsequent support for wind and solar by George W. Bush, Rick Perry, and the rest.

Bottom line: Never has an electricity grid been so regulated and distorted by government intervention, and never has an electricity debacle occurred as bad as Texas’s. Rather than double-up on grid weakening and duplication, the Texas legislature should enact free market reforms to stop and retire existing intermittent, parasitic energies and to naturally incite thermal generation to enter and upgrade. The “good old days” were a lot better than what we have today, the the new era of true market reliance can include eliminating franchise protection from utilities and repealing those state and federal laws listed above.


[1] Chris Tomlinson is a rich man, in wedlock to a wind and solar developer who claims $2 billion in originations. Tomlinson’s wife has stated on LinkedIn: “Clean energy executive with track record of closing deals with $2B in transaction value.” (No breakdown on wind, solar, “clean” other, and others.)

An origination fee on two billion dollars would be $10 million (one-half-of-one-percent). And typically this is in addition to salary and expenses. I invite the Houston Chronicle‘s conflict-of-interest chief to tell readers what the lucre is–and whether/why their business editorialist should be trusted over a more neutral, nonconflicted replacement. And readers would like to know if the paper itself (or its parent) has received any grants from anti-fossil-fuel environmental groups or individuals to pay the likes of Chris Tomlinson.

The post Chris Tomlinson: Muckraking on Texas Grid Unreliability appeared first on Master Resource.

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March 28, 2023 at 01:11AM

EU abandons ban of combustion engine cars – Britain needs to follow suit


By Paul Homewood

London, 27 March – Net Zero Watch has welcomed yesterday’s EU agreement not to ban the sale of cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) after 2035.

Net Zero Watch is calling on Rishi Sunak to follow suit and abandon its 2030 ban of the sale of ICE cars.

According to the agreement conventional cars can continue to be sold and registered after 2035 if they only use fuels that are CO2-neutral. This will allow car makers to continue producing and selling conventional models indefinitely.

“Now that the European ban of the sale of combustion engine cars has been overturned, the government will come under growing pressure to follow suit if it wants to avoid destroying the British car industry for good,” said Dr Benny Peiser, director of Net Zero Watch.

The EU agreed in February to set the 2035 date for ending the sale of ICE cars, but Germany and a coalition of seven EU countries lodged last-minute objections and called for the use of e-fuelled ICE cars beyond 2035.
As a result, the EU has come to what appears to be a sensible decision to allow the sale and use of conventional cars that are fulled by synthetic and other CO2-neutral fuels.
For millions of Britons electric vehicles will not be a viable solution as they are much more expensive than cars with combustion engines. And electric cars will probably still be more expensive than conventional cars in seven years.

via Watts Up With That?

March 28, 2023 at 12:26AM

Tuesday Open Thread

Tuesday Open Thread

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March 27, 2023 at 10:10PM