The Trump strategy of slapping penalties on these technologies and giving fossil fuels subsidies has a very limited shelf life
Wind energy (a variant of solar energy, if we are truthful with ourselves and our understanding of planetary physics) is almost a no-brainer where winds are dependable. Having traveled to the maritime provinces of Canada this summer, I saw numerous wind farms in just such places. Clearly, the “free market” capitulated to wind-energy economic advantages that were exploited by fore-thinking communities (and/or utilities?). Renewable solar energy, including wind energy, is the only moral course for humanity going forward. The past forty or more years have been squandered in that moral pursuit while the very few desperately sought to hold on to their power via concentrated energy stores of fossil fuel and nuclear fuel. Again, I view this as a moral issue. Nothing less. You missed this one Moses.
That comparison of per capita carbon footprints near the end of the article was chilling.
Thank you Juan Cole for some good news - succinctly presented.
And what about in markets where winds are less dependable?
Wind, storage and back-up system designer
Peak demand, wind and back-up power / energy usage and storage capacity calculator
For the specification and design of renewable energy electricity generation systems which successfully smooth intermittent wind generation to serve customer demand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year.
Adopting the recommendations derived from scientific computer modelling, the tables offer rows of previously successful modelled system configurations - row A, a configuration with no back-up power and rows B to H offering alternative ratios of wind power capacity to back-up power. Columns consist of adjustable power and energy values in proportion to fixed multiplier factors.
The wind power generation Capacity Factor percentage can be adjusted too. The recommended energy storage capacity is about 90% of one day’s average energy generation.
Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland
- Wind, storage and back-up system designer
- Double Tidal Lagoon Baseload Scheme
- Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power
- World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
- Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power
- Scotland Electricity Generation – my plan for 2020
- South America – GREAT for Renewable Energy
During these times of questionable morals the push for rationalism has to win.
Yes, and the biggest carbon footprints include areas that think of themselves as “green” (California) and even have mild winters with low heating requirements. The reason? The automobile, the suburbia that deliberately makes all other alternatives impractical, and a deliberate dismantling of public transit and/or USAns refusal to use public transit even when it is available (“onlt n—gers an retards and creeps ride the bus”).
But not only that, the majority of those system-mandated cars on US roads are monstrous pickup trucks (the F150 is the single hottest selling vehicle in the USA) and huge SUV’s which - in a testament of the power of capitalist advertising-brainwashing, are not even financially practical or necessary for the purposes the household uses them - they literally spend 2 to 3 times more money than necessary on gasoline for no good reason whatsoever.
That a screenplay writer in the early 20th century for a film of a future dystopia could not have imagined the absurdities of the present-day US automobile culture.
Live in California and can attest that many transportation planners pull their hair out over the situation we created here in the mid-20th century. Hyper inefficient transportation networks expensive to maintain. Only in the last two decades has the state fully grasped the problems it has created. There are far more complete street projects being funded nowadays to improve bike and pedestrian travel than there ever were. And, of course, California has taken strides to incentivize the adoption of cleaner more efficient vehicles.
The above being said, and as you note, commuting in large pickups (as you’d see in my office parking lot) and SUVs is way too common. We all need $50,000 raised step-sides to sit in office lots, or so Ford tells me every Sunday.
What’s holding up Puerto Rico’s decentralized off the grid energy renewal? Elon Musk did it for PR’s Children’s Hospital in six days.
Is it economic aid, trade unions seeking to re-establish the traditional bankrupted electrical system, PR’s Statehooders and others invested in American energy companies selling fuel to PR, believers in PR Independence worried about disaster capitalists, island government worried about losing PREPA’s votes, those who want to be off the grid and still connected so as to sell their excess energy generation to it, those that think it would be less expensive to go back to the ancient grid, etc.??
While in sunny, windy Puerto Rico this mess promises to go on for years, Scotland and others have solved their energy problem by going off the grid.
As another poster pointed out part of the obsession with big oversized cars is specific to the infrastructure in being able to get from one place to another. But it is also a symbol of success. It is a very strong concept that we export. Look at Puerto Rico that has more cars than people. It is pretty insane in CA if you listen to the traffic report it is rather violent. With those reports of the many accidents the reports include how much longer it is going to take to get where you are going. No wonder we have road rage.
Like our neighbours, the Norwegians, we may wish ourselves to have a green renewable energy but when it comes to the world, both Scotland and Norway protect and promote the North Sea oil industry and rely on its global marketing.
Much of the case made by the nationalists in the 2014 Independence Referendum relied upon the North Sea oil tax revenue
Juan is a bit misleading by blaming the English government and its oil links. Scotland is as just as much shackled to the oil industry even though it has banned fracking - a recognition of the reality that shale fracking is not feasible in the heavy populated lowlands of Scotland.
“All in all, Scottish shales may well have a success factor of zero,” says the study, published in the Edinburgh Geologist by the Edinburgh Geological Society.
Photovoltaics, where the economics work. Ideally, morals will drive the economics to work through subsidies and the like. Political will is required to fight the well organized energy-industrial complex.
Believe it or not in some countries like the USA, solar and wind actually receive far more subsidies for electrical generation than fossil fuels, hydro and nuclear. Furthermore I would like you to look into the issues of supply for battery storage that is a necessity for intermittent forms of power like wind and solar. Before you look only at LCOE (which doesn’t even include the costs storage or observe externality cost by all industries), please take a moment to recognize that we do not have enough supply for batteries to store energy for 100% wind and solar communities.
Did it ever occur to you that the reason why renewables had any money in investment from the Norwegian government is because it came from taxes on the oil industry? If Norway didn’t have Statoil, renewable development would not exist in that country over the last 15-20 years. If you do not have oil development, then there are no more taxes for the government on the oil development. If there are no more government funds from taxes then you do not have the Government Pension Fund of Norway. This is an undeniable fact on Norwegian energy policy.