How wind and solar power are destroying the planet

One of the greatest lies ever told is that unreliable wind and solar can save the planet.

When touting their ostensibly environmental credentials, crony capitalists, rent-seekers, and adoring advocates fail to account for any of the associated costs.

As far as the wind and sun cult is concerned, it's all sunshine and appropriately stiff breezes.

The need to account for all costs and weigh them against any alleged benefits is at the heart of economics.

Then, and only then, can the net benefit of any course of action be calculated.

There are obvious costs associated with unreliables: the need for every single MW of wind or solar capacity to be backed up every single minute of the day by a MW of dispatchable power generation capacity (typically coal, gas, or nuclear); the need to build capacity and transmission networks to bring wind and solar power from the far-flung reaches where it is occasionally generated to the markets where it is ultimately consumed; and the need to take swaths of productive farmland out of production.

The myth is that wind and solar power always and everywhere reduce CO2 emissions.

No, it does not.

Simply because of the massive stock and variety of mineral resources, as well as the enormous volumes of energy used and combined to create panels and turbines.

Processes that emit far more CO2 than can ever be offset by intermittent wind and solar power generation.

Keeping in mind the need for fossil-fuelled power sources to be constantly running in the background, ready to fill the gaps whenever the sun goes down and/or the weather becomes calm.

Along the same lines, Gail Tverberg makes an admirable attempt to account for the enormous costs associated with our so-called "inevitable transition" to an all-wind and sun-powered future.


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