Green Power? Not So Fast, Sonny!

I just received an offer that was easy to refuse. “Invest in green power to save the planet.”

It is no great secret that I think the planet could be in a lot better shape than it is. That trail of largely Asian plastic endlessly circling in the Pacific Gyre; the one the Greenies claim is twice as big as Texas, but is actually twice as big as Connecticut, is a typical example of things that should be cleaned up.

My disdain for Al Gore and Company, who sent millions of jobs from a country that has effective anti-pollution laws to a country with no enforced pollution laws is also well known.

But “save the planet?” From “manmade global warming?” What man made global warming? This graphic from wattsupwiththat* shows the “hockey stick” temperature increase the warmists computers claim versus mean European temperatures temperatures since the Middle Ages obtained from various reliable proxies:

Note that there has been, if anything, global cooling since the middle ages. For the last few years we have had a brief period of increased solar activity that has slightly and temporarily lifted global temperatures. And not incidentally sent the academic “grant grubbers” into paroxysms of ecstasy over the huge grants various governments granted those antithesis of scientists.

A number of “green energy” schemes have sprung up as a result of this pseudo-scientific scam. “Solar power” is one of the most popular. The cost/return ration for solar power is extremely poor. As the Spanish experience with solar power demonstrates.

Oh, yes, the Greens are correct. If the sun shone 24 hours a day, we could literally power the United States with a solar farm roughly the size of the Mojave Desert. If we had some way to store the energy, and to transport the energy without loss we could power the western half of the United States with such a solar farm. But we have no way to store the energy, and a superconductive power grid is far beyond our capability

Wind? Oh yes, the Greens are pushing wind power as well. And there some problems with that. Starting with the fact that the United States uses roughly 20^20 Joules/second in electrical power. The global mean energy contained in the winds is 20^20 Joules/second of energy. If we could convert all of the wind energy in the world to electricity, and transmit it to the US without loss, it would be enough. But we cannot do that.

And even the wind generators we have do not operate any substantial portion of the time. Here is a shot* of a typical California wind farm, where most of the time only 25% of the generators are usable:

As you can see, many of these wind turbines are bladeless, victims of wind gusts in excess of their maximum design wind speed. Worldwide, only one installed wind generator in four will be producing power at any given time. Worldwide, only six in ten of the installed wind generators will be capable of producing power at any given time.

And that makes green energy less than feasible on any scale larger than an individual building in daylight, and as much of the night as its battery banks will allow.

So do not invite me to “invest in green energy.” Mathematically, solar and wind energy cannot provide the constant electric power we now require to maintain our technological society. A few hours a week when the sun shines or the wind is between 9 and 9.33 KM/hr cannot sustain our society. Period.


* The asterisked graphics have been e-mailed to me, and posted here to accompany further discussion of the subject at hand. The images are copyright by the person or organization cited, or by persons who could not be located after diligent search. If this use in any way disturbs the rightful copyright holder, please say so in the comments, and I will promptly remove the offending material.


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