Yet, when used at scale, solar power is an inefficient contributor to the power grid. Solar has a use-it-or-lose-it dynamic that is unavailing in darkness or bad weather. When the solar field is producing electricity, it may not match the grid’s needs at the time.
Huge amounts of land are needed to build large-scale fields. Batteries are a solution to unreliability, but they create their own problems in terms of expense, maintenance, and space. Also, the manufacture and disposal of batteries with poisonous chemicals and metals creates environmental problems at odds with the problems it is intended to solve.
Solar has its place, but the contribution is marginal. It cannot replace carbon-based fuels.
Wind turbines are less efficient than solar panels and are not practical in terms of a robust replacement for oil and gas. Wind turbines are capable of generating significant amounts of energy without CO2 and CH4 emissions in their operation.
Of course, this ignores the enormous amount of carbon-based energy used in the manufacture, transportation, and installation of turbines. Wind turbines are an efficient substitute or alternative to photovoltaic systems in terms of the amount of space utilised relative to electrical output.
Despite that efficiency, wind turbines are subject to the same problems as solar panel systems. They produce power on an intermittent basis. For solar power, that means when the sun is shining. For wind power, that means when the wind is blowing. While engineers will search for optimal locations, it’s the case that the wind doesn’t always blow, even in the windiest corridors.
This leaves wind power in the use-it-or-lose-it category also. Wind power can feed the grid, but it cannot be relied upon by the grid operators. Power cannot be stored without expensive batteries, which are impractical on a large scale.
Electric vehicles, or EVs, are not an efficient solution to carbon emissions either for two reasons. The first is that the EVs need to be charged with electricity from the grid, which is still powered by oil, natural gas, and coal.
In fact, China has the largest potential market for EVs, and more than 50% of China’s domestic energy comes from coal-fired plants. China is building new coal-fired plants at a rate of two per week. The supposedly clean EV is just a battery-powered intermediary for coal-generated electricity.
The other problem is the same issue we have encountered with solar power and wind turbines — batteries. Unless you are feeding the grid on an intermittent and unreliable basis, wind and solar depend on batteries.
If neither renewable sources such as wind and solar nor the EV is a complete answer to the issue of carbon emissions, why do global elites insist on a radical overhaul of the existing energy system? What accounts for the climate hysteria of the political and media elites despite the lack of scientific evidence for human-caused global warming?
Some of those repeating outrageous claims are doing just that — repeating things they’ve heard from other media or political leaders without independent inquiry or investigation.
Unfortunately, the public relies on media elites and political leaders for their information. As decades roll by and scare stories are discredited time and again, public scepticism will rise, and the alarmists will lose credibility.
The danger is that alarmists may pass legislation, limit choices, and impose costs in the name of climate change before the public catches on to the scam. At that point, the economic damage becomes semipermanent even if alarmism fades.
Strategist, The Daily Reckoning Australia
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