Remarkable Truths about Renewables

Remarkable Truths about Renewables

(As the country reopens from the Coronavirus, and begins to focus on other important issues, we will resume publishing articles on energy issues. We’ll start with one each week, and perhaps a second on some other timely and important issue. We hope everyone has remained safe during the past several weeks. Donn Dears)

Planet of the Humans, a video, by Michael Moore, is a remarkable compilation of facts about renewables.

He tells the dismal story about renewables with videos, which I have been trying to tell using words alone. Videos are far more powerful.

Videos of places and things I knew about and had pictures of, but that I hadn’t been able to visit and video myself.

Moore is an anti-capitalist. But he also exposes himself as anti-human, with the same message that Paul Ehrlich had in his book The Population Bomb and that the Club of Rome had with its Limits to Growth.

They all claimed there are too many people and not enough resources to sustain the Earth’s growing population. 

Moore is wrong about this Malthusian proposition.

First, population growth will eventually plateau when undeveloped countries, where populations have been growing rapidly, become richer. History has shown that rich countries have replacement rates that result in stable or declining populations.

Second, there are sufficient fossil fuels on Earth to sustain growth, in some cases for hundreds of years, and in other cases thousands of years.

  • There is at least enough coal on Earth to last for 400 years.
  • There is enough oil on Earth to last for at least 1,000 years.
  • And there is enough natural gas on Earth to last for at least 2,000 years.

With respect to coal, there is probably enough to last hundreds of years longer when Lignite and other soft coals are included. In addition, reserves are based on coal that’s easy to mine, while there is more coal that’s currently uneconomical to mine.

Peak oil has been a mistaken concept for decades. The arctic hasn’t been explored, and many years of potential supply are located there. In addition, we are finding huge new oil resources every year in deep water areas that have only recently begun to be explored.

Potential supplies of natural gas can be more easily quantified. Fracking has opened up supplies of natural gas around the world that weren’t even dreamed of a few decades ago. 

There are also huge supplies of natural gas locked up in methane hydrates lying on the outer continental shelf around the world. The US government has identified 51,338 trillion-cubic-feet of natural gas lying on the outer continental shelf of the US lower 48 states, and this is twenty times the current US reserves of natural gas.

From Michale Moore’s video, Planet of the Humans

While Moore exposes the dismal truth about renewables, he also lays bare his antihuman philosophy. 

Moore wants people to be deprived of the goods that make life livable and that can even save their lives. For example, MRIs and CT scans are made from materials that require the use of fossil fuels.

While Moore is wrong on whether we will run out of fossil fuels any time soon, his video makes it clear that renewables cannot, and should not, be used in any misbegotten attempt to replace fossil fuels.

Here is the link to the video:

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4 Replies to “Remarkable Truths about Renewables”

  1. Donn,
    Another excellent article. Keep up the great work. The thought occurred to me, that Hawaii Electric is a near perfect case study because they are moving toward mostly Renewables (but not really) and they are inflicting the people of Hawaii with the highest electric rates in the U.S.A.
    Here are some things to consider:
    Hawaii: A Glimpse into the future of the Impact on Electricity Prices of the
    “Green New Deal”, Hawaii is a model of the impact of applying carbon free electricity generation policies before storage technology catches up. “Green Policies” do not necessarily result in “Green Power” as I will close with the actual power generation in real time. As an engineer specializing in efficient and clean coal power generation for five decades, whenever a coal plant shutdown is in the news, it catches my attention. So, when I read about the plans to shut down the 180 MW, AES Barbers Point Coal Plant near Honolulu, it caught my eye.
    The title of the article in the Honolulu newspaper sums it up nicely: “Our Cheapest Power Is About to Go Away……. In 2016, HECO paid AES Hawaii an average of 5 cents per kilowatt hour. During the same period, wind was about 20 cents per kilowatt hour, solar about 21 to 23 cents.”
    Hawaii is a perfect laboratory to show the effect of implementing extreme green policies on electric generation. Why? Because as islands, they are not connected to the US Grid. Therefore, the policies as implemented will create a fairly swift impact on electricity prices. According to the EIA, the highest retail electricity price in the U.S.A.: Hawaii at $0.3099/kWh.
    Digging a little deeper the plans for the future are for 52% Renewables by 2021 and 100% Renewables by 2045.
    As the Democrats in congress push for the new Green Deal, Hawaii offers an example of the adverse impact on electricity prices. Later, when Barbers Point is shut down, reliability could also become an issue.
    If you are interested in the fuel mix for generation on the island of Oahu, here is a link for the real time power generation. As this is written, I checked and 90% of the power was Fossil Fuels and of the 10% Renewables. Renewables includes a waste to energy plant.
    I have always advocated a “Balanced Portfolio of Generation”. A plan to include LNG, Coal, Renewables, Oil and Waste to Energy would have been wiser, in my opinion.
    Dick Storm

    • Thanks. Great comments.
      I agree, Hawaii is good place to evaluate the effect of renewables.
      The link to islandspulse is a perfect way to see what is happening, at least in Oahu.Very little renewables lots of coal. What happens when coal goes away? I’m sure the cost of electricity will go even higher.
      The question isn’t wether renewables can work, they can. The real questions are: 1) Will they increase the cost of electricity for residents and 2) can thy work by themselves with high reliability, at 100% renewables, 0% fossil fuels?
      We can learn from Hawaii. However, we can’t wait that long. We need to know now. The first answer is clear, It will increase costs, the proof of that is already clear. Can they reliably carry 100% of the load. The answer is no, but everyone needs to understand why.
      My next book will be published in September and will address that question.

  2. Donn,
    Count me in as one of your largest Fans! Thank you for all you have done to move the needle on Common Sense!
    My take on the Greens is that it may not be a conspiracy, but the Greens are very much aligned with the CCP to weaken America and strengthen China. China is #1 in the rankings of world manufacturers. Energy and economic prosperity go hand in hand.