…Net-Zero Reality Conclusions…
(This is the last of five articles, using published data and simple logic, to demonstrate net-zero carbon is unattainable with wind, solar or nuclear, or a combination of these methods for power generation.)
Three alternative methods for achieving net-zero carbon by 2050 have been evaluated, and it’s clear none of them can achieve net-zero carbon for the United States.
The recent closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan on May 20, reaffirms that nuclear is unable to contribute to achieving net-zero carbon.
Links to the articles supporting the following conclusions are listed below.
If wind turbines are used in an attempt to eliminate fossil fuels, it will require building more than 995,141 new wind turbines rated 2.5 MW between now and 2050.
The most wind turbines ever installed in one year has been 5680
- It will require installing 35,551 new wind turbines rated 2.5 MW every year between now and 2050 to achieve net-zero carbon. (This is six times more than have ever been installed in a year.)
- Building larger wind turbines rated 6 MW, or even 12 MW, will not resolve this issue even if larger units can be built for use on land.
If nuclear power is used in an attempt to eliminate fossil fuels, it will require building more than 31 new nuclear power plants every year between now and 2050.
If utility PV solar is used in an attempt to eliminate fossil fuels, it will require building over 3,918,996 MW of new utility PV solar capacity before 2050.
The most utility PV solar capacity ever installed in one year will be 21,500 MW in 2022.
- It will require adding 139,964 MW per year between now and 2050 to achieve net-zero carbon.
These calculations demonstrate it is virtually impossible to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050 using any of the above methods.
It’s also readily apparent that a combination of all three methods cannot achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.
While NREL estimates there is a very large potential for small scale roof top PV solar, the most small scale PV solar ever installed, according to the EIA, was 4,500 MW in 2020. Most residential roof top installations are less than 0.1 MW so a vast number of homes would have to install roof top PV solar every year. It’s not likely that small scale PV solar can contribute significantly to achieving net-zero carbon by 2050.
If storage was even possible, it would significantly increase the number of wind turbines and PV solar installations and increase the difficulty of achieving net-zero carbon by 2050.
Hydrogen has been proposed as the holy grail for resolving many of the above issues.
Using hydrogen to replace natural gas as the fuel for gas turbines would eliminate the need to use wind, nuclear or solar to replace the electricity currently being generated by natural gas power plants.
However, wind, nuclear, or solar would have to be used to generate the electricity needed by the electrolyzers to produce green hydrogen.
While there is high confidence that gas turbines can be modified to burn hydrogen, the amount of hydrogen required to generate the same amount of electricity isn’t as certain for several reasons.
For example, the BTU content of hydrogen is 325 BTU/cuft, while it is between 950 and 1037 BTU/cuft for natural gas.
Assuming it requires 50 kWh to produce 2.2 pounds of hydrogen from water using electrolysis, it will require 618,542 wind turbines to produce the hydrogen needed to power the gas turbine power plants. This is 1.7 times the number of wind turbines needed to merely replace existing gas turbine power plants with wind turbines.
In other words, hydrogen requires more wind turbines.
Hydrogen would also result in more PV solar installations when considering the PV solar alternative.
Hydrogen is not the holy grail promoted by the media.
In fact hydrogen is an energy loser.
The net, in net-zero
It’s patently obvious that wind, nuclear and solar cannot replace fossil fuels. However, because it is so obvious, the proponents of radical climate change had to muddy the waters by adding the idea of storing CO2 somewhere, such as in forests, etc., to accommodate the inability of wind, nuclear or solar to achieve zero carbon.
Offsets to achieve net-zero is a nebulous concept fraught with the potential for manipulation, e.g., double counting and leakage. Recently, due to the threat of manipulation, Indonesia has prohibited using its forests for new carbon offsets.
Net-zero requires offsetting the vast quantities of CO2 not eliminated by wind, nuclear and solar, which is another hopeless task.
The real intent of net-zero is to obfuscate the obvious.
Any reasonable person will conclude the United States can’t achieve net-zero carbon.
Efforts to replace fossil fuels with wind, nuclear or PV solar are an illusion that will harm all Americans.
The war on fossil fuels should be stopped now.
Use this link in a email to let others know about this article https://bit.ly/38ZVjDZ
Links for supporting documentation
Wind turbine https://bit.ly/3FWNYkA
PV Solar https://bit.ly/3PEnB7u
Combined reality check https://bit.ly/3NGE1uo
Hydrogen Special Report https://bit.ly/3ugzgz6
. . .
Hydrogen has a low energy density per cubic foot and, because of other peculiar properties cannot be distributed by existing natural gas systems and is difficult to distribute by other means, is difficult to store and difficult to compress. See the article below for details.
You are correct. My paper on hydrogen highlights many of the problems with hydrogen. The link to the paper is at the bottom of the article.
The paper you reference has some good information, but the paper is predicated on the assumption that fossil fuels are being depleted. Actually, we have a multi-hundred year supply of fossil fuels, so there should be no rush to eliminate their use. In comparing the two papers, I think my report provides more information and I hope you, and everyone else, will read it. Many thanks.
When all five parts are combined,
this is your best article so far.
I was waiting for the conclusion
to add it to my climate science blog.
which has had over 317,000 visits.
I’ll recommend your blog
for the second time
(I’ve only recommended two blogs
since 2014, and yours was one of them)
Two comments on the five articles:
(1) I didn’t notice any cost estimates
for likely battery needs, which would
be a guess, but likely to be astronomical,
even with current lithium costs.
(2) I understand your engineering
point of view but I have a different
view based on politics:
Nut Zero is designed to fail.
It will soon fall behind schedule,
assuming there is a schedule,
which will be spun as a new crisis.
And every crisis needs more government
spending and power, as the “solution”,
if you are a leftist. Leftists love crises!
My theory is based on the fact that
Nut Zero is just a long vision statement
with arbitrary completion timing.
There are no detailed plans for each
electric utiiity, and a combined national
plan, that could be used for a cost estimate.
And used for an engineering feasibility analysis,
which should include successful pilot
projects (so far none have reached
Battery capacity estimates must be
based on worst case weather conditions
(for solar and wind energy) in at least
the past 50 years. And then some
safety margin needs to be added.
So little has been done to support
the Nut Zero project so far, that I have
to assume failure is the goal (for political
reasons). I know engineers would never
think that way, but it is a possibility.
Leftists love to tell everyone what to do.
They also ruin everything they touch.
Why would Nut Zero be different?
It is the biggest government-led
boondoggle of all times.
Designed to fail.
The next government boondoggle
will be the repair the electric grid project !
My blog: http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com
I greatly appreciate your comments and your recommending my articles.
Your perspective on net-zero is very interesting. It has the sound of inevitability since net-zero is an impossible goal. By creating a new crisis, i.e., the failure of net-zero, it will give the left an opportunity to create more mischief. This has been the history of climate change from the very beginning with the Rio “Earth Summit” and the formation of the UNFCCC. Every pronouncement of impending doom never materializes, giving the left a new opportunity to inflict more damage, followed by the failure of the next pronouncement of doom. Etc.
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