While brandishing the moral cudgel with full force – President Biden describes climate change as “an existential crisis,” i.e., every person and puppy will die if we don’t submit to his agenda – the left also suggests the transition will be easy-peasy: Just build some windmills, install some solar panels, and swap out your car, stove, and lightbulbs for cleaner and cheaper alternatives.
Though much of the cheerleading media downplays this fact, it is already clear that Biden’s enormously expensive, massively disruptive goal is a pipe dream. In a recent series of articles, my colleagues at RealClearInvestigations have reported on several of the seemingly intractable problems that the administration and its eco-allies are trying to wish away.
The dishonesty begins with the engine of the green economy – the vast array of wind and solar farms that must be constructed to replace the coal and gas facilities that power our economy. James Varney reported for RCI that the Department of Energy’s official line is that the installations required to meet Biden’s goal of “100% clean electricity” by 2035 will require “less than one-half of one percent of the contiguous U.S. land area” – or roughly 15,000 of the lower 48’s roughly 3 million square miles. However, Varney noted, “the government report that furnished those estimates also notes that the wind farm footprint alone could require an expanse nine times as large: 134,000 square miles. That is equivalent to the land mass of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky combined – plus all of New England.
Echoing the 19th century adage that figures don’t lie, but liars figure, the discrepancy mostly involves estimates of what can be built around the windmills. Each turbine’s footprint is relatively small, but they have to be spaced far apart. The DOE’s smaller number is based on the fanciful assumption that all the surrounding land can be used for agriculture and other purposes, while the larger figure assumes none of it will. The truth probably is somewhere in between. That the government is trumpeting the impossibly small number – while ignoring the additional land needed to build transmission lines which will carry the current to end users – is telling and troubling.
Given Biden’s aggressive timeframes for the build-out – 2035 is a mere dozen years from now – one might expect that the administration has a master plan detailing where and when these green farms will be constructed. It does not. And, as Steve Miller reported for RCI, this challenge already seems insurmountable given the “grassroots resistance … coalescing in varied new state laws and local ordinances that threaten to bog down solar and wind development in a multi-front legal and regulatory war on a scale not seen before.”
In a stinging irony, opponents are routinely invoking arguments regarding endangered species and wetlands that environmentalists have long deployed to kneecap pipelines, gas fields, and other fossil fuel projects.
Another largely ignored problem area is charging stations for electric vehicles. John Murawski reported for RCI that California’s first-in-the-nation move to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars after 2035 is highlighting an array of challenges and dislocations. To keep electric cars rolling, the state “may need to install at least 20 electric chargers for every gas pump now in service to create a reliable, seamless network” – or more than 2 million new stations during the next decade, which is about 10 times as many EV ports as gas station nozzles.
It might be hard to convince private businesses to house the chargers, because, as a 2022 report from the California Energy Commission noted, “Revenue from electricity sales alone is often not enough today for chargers to be profitable, especially for stations with lower utilization.” That’s why California is investing at least $14 billion to subsidize this fantasy.
Even if the EV infrastructure gets built, it will require a massive change in behavior. The days of fill ’er up once or twice a week will likely become a distant memory. Most public stations will only be able to provide between five and 60 miles of range for an hour hook-up. Private citizens will need to pony up for their own charging infrastructure at home, while renters and low-income drivers will have to rely on employer and municipal largesse to supply chargers.
The green dream also involves knotty geo-politico issues.Ben Weingarten reported for RCI that America’s transition to renewables is empowering its most formidable economic adversary. “China currently holds a commanding position in the clean energy industry, controlling the natural resources and manufacturing the components essential to the Biden administration’s desired alternative energy transition,” Weingarten wrote. “Energy experts believe that its dominance will become more entrenched in the years ahead because of domestic environmentalist opposition to perceived ‘dirty’ mining and refining operations, and the Biden administration’s ‘clean energy’ spending blitz – which could provide Chinese companies and subsidiaries billions in subsidies.”
What’s more, if the U.S. slows its production of oil and gas in the coming years, hostile or problematic nations that continue to drill – including Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela – will reap the benefits should renewables fail to become a reliable source of power.
Finally, the systematic erasure of these and other consequential questions is part of a broad effort to quell dissenting views.
While climate action advocates in the government, media, and academia argue that the science is settled, Murawski reported for RCI that a growing number of experts are courageously challenging this orthodoxy. In August, for example, “more than 1,600 scientists, including two Nobel physics laureates, signed a declaration stating thatthere is no climate emergency, and that climate advocacy has devolved into mass hysteria,” Murawski wrote. “The skeptics say the radical transformation of entire societies is marching forth without a full debate, based on dubious scientific claims amplified by knee-jerk journalism.”
In detailing the central arguments of these skeptics, Murawski reported that few fall into the camp of “climate deniers” – itself a shameful label used to equate climate change with the Holocaust. They acknowledge the Earth is warming. Some, however, question whether human activity is to blame and, if it is, whether the massive human interventions being demanded can make much difference. Others say that the money spent retooling the economy would be better spent spurring economic growth that will allow people to adapt to a changing world.
Murawski reported that many dissenters believe that “[S]logans such as ‘follow the science’ and scientific consensus’ are misleading and disingenuous. There is no consensus on many key questions, such as the urgency to cease and desist burning fossil fuels, or the accuracy of computer modeling predictions of future global temperatures. The apparent consensus of imminent disaster is manufactured through peer pressure, intimidation, and research funding priorities, based on the conviction that ‘noble lies,’ ‘consensus entrepreneurship,’ and ‘stealth advocacy’ are necessary to save humanity from itself.”
A lie is rarely noble. It is almost always evidence of a weak argument and contempt for those it seeks to influence. Those who see climate change as an urgent danger and believe they know how to counter the threat should make their case forthrightly instead of recycling tired myths. Our democracy faces an existential threat when the will of the people gives way to the coercion of the masses.
“If renewables are so gosh-darn cheap, why does Germany now have the highest electricity prices in Europe?” In fact, the average cost of electricity is nearly 30 cents per kilowatt hour, almost three times higher in Germany than it is in the United States.
The price of electricity in Germany is three times higher than in the USA. Criticism of Germany’s energy policy is being voiced, reports Blackout News.
Financial expert Jan Viebig criticises the fact that the phase-out of coal and nuclear energy is not well coordinated with the European Union. Energy policy has three main objectives: low prices, security of supply and environmental protection with regard to CO₂ emissions. German energy policy performs poorly in all three areas (focus: 03.11.23).
Germany has the highest electricity prices in Europe and the world
Energy prices in particular are high. There are differences in the prices of fuel, natural gas, heating oil and electricity, depending on contracts and volumes. But overall, prices in Germany are the highest in Europe and among the most expensive in the world. For example, average prices for corporate customers in Germany are 42 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is more than three times higher than in the US.
Germany’s dependence on foreign suppliers and the risks to security of supply
Germany fares slightly better here, although it is still dependent on foreign suppliers. Germany has coped well with the loss of Russian natural gas supplies, mainly through the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Federal Network Agency says that security of supply is guaranteed. However, in the fall of 2022, the four grid operators had to undergo a stress test, during which Economy Minister Robert Habeck noted that under certain scenarios, such as very cold winters and large outages of nuclear power in France, there could be a threat of shortages that lasted for hours.
Failure of German energy policy: CO₂ emissions rise despite high subsidies
Despite the federal government’s efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions, they increased in 2021 and 2022. According to the Federal Environment Agency, the generation of one kilowatt hour of electricity caused an average of 434 grams of CO₂ in 2022. Due to its heavy dependence on fossil fuels, Germany has a worse carbon footprint in the electricity industry than most European countries. In short, German energy policy is currently receiving little praise and is poorly coordinated with its partners in the European Union.
Germany’s electricity market on the verge of collapse? Subsidies as a bailout or a risk?
The German energy market is highly regulated, and due to high electricity prices and decreasing security of supply, the exodus of energy-intensive industries could continue to increase. Industry associations, trade unions and, last but not least, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy are therefore considering limiting the price of electricity for companies with high energy consumption and compensating for the difference to the market price through subsidies.
However, flat-rate subsidies mean a departure from market-based principles in the energy market. Experts such as Veronika Grimm, a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, emphasise the importance of the price mechanism in order to promote energy savings or alternative energy sources in the right places.
Further subsidies could lead to necessary adjustments being postponed into the future. A capped industrial electricity price shifts the problems and burdens the state budget as well as taxpayers. It’s also unclear who should and shouldn’t benefit from government support. This could lead to political conflicts and market distortions.
European Energy Union: Joint solution or national unilateralism?
The idea of a European Energy Union is seen as sensible. It makes little sense for Germany to shut down its nuclear power plants while France is building new nuclear reactors in Flamanville on the English Channel and examining the possibility of small nuclear power plants, so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMR). France operates 56 nuclear power plants while investing in offshore wind farms and photovoltaics. As Germany increasingly relies on wind and solar energy, it must not be forgotten that conventional energy sources are needed when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.
In Europe, we are a long way from the contractually agreed solidarity between Member States in energy policy. Mistakes in one country’s energy policy also affect other EU members. Deep integration of national energy markets is necessary to ensure security of supply, increase energy efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint and enable more competitive energy prices in Europe. Stronger European integration reduces the risks of national unilateralism, or even wrong decisions.
Following the news that offshore wind prices will rise to over £100/MWh in the next round of CfDs, it is worthwhile recapping what we are currently paying existing wind farms.
The older wind farms, which are covered by ROCs, are currently paid a subsidy of £125/MWh, on top of the market price for the electricity they produce, which was £96/MWh in September. In September therefore we paid a total of £221/MWh. ROC account for about a half of total generation.
Newer wind farms are paid via CfDs. Theses guaranteed strike prices vary from one wind farm to another, but in September the average was £176/MWh.
There are of course a couple of offshore generators which have refused to trigger their CfDs at the low prices they originally agreed to, and these receive the market price instead.
CfD strike prices are guaranteed and index linked for 15 years, so even the oldest projects will still be subsidised well into the 2030s.
Based on current market prices, we are paying a total annual subsidy of £4.8 billion to offshore wind, on top of the wider system costs. With a government offshore target of 50GW capacity by 2030, this subsidy will rise to over £11 billion a year.
CFACT student chapters are thriving on college campuses from coast to coast. Our bright young collegians are speaking out on issues of energy, environment, and individual liberty at public and government forums alike — and making their voices heard.
Maggie Immen, one of our Driessen Fellows at the University of Wyoming, recently presented hard-hitting facts on how wind turbines are a threat to birds before her state’s Public Service Commission. She did it dressed as an eagle.
The media loved it! She got a full write-up in the Cowboy State Daily showcasing her stunt.
At stake in Wyoming is a proposed 30 percent hike in electricity prices being sought by the utility called Rocky Mountain Power (RMP). The rate increase, according to RMP, is necessary to pay for the escalating costs attributed to new wind power being deployed throughout the state. Wyoming, rich in fossil fuels, used to get 97% of its power from coal and gas, but that has dropped to 70% in recent years. It was this rate hike to fund more wind power that Maggie was protesting. We now await the Commission’s final decision.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, CFACT students in Maryland and Virginia weighed in with public testimony opposing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) stamp of approval for two proposed wind farms 10 miles offshore of Ocean City, Maryland. Jamahl Evans, a CFACT Driessen Fellow from Old Dominion, took the lead in offering testimony. He stated during the online hearing, “Despite substantial subsidies, inflation has driven up the cost of building these steel wind towers to such a degree that companies have abandoned projects mid-build. To bail out these failing companies would require major electricity rate increases. This places an undue burden on the average and lower-income families in America, who are already struggling with rising costs of living.”
Of course, our student interns weren’t the only ones at CFACT taking aim at Big Wind over the past couple of weeks. I, too, had the honor of offering my testimony to BOEM against a ridiculous offshore wind proposal in Oregon. That proposal called for employing flimsy “floating wind” turbine technology to provide a pitiful amount of unreliable electricity generation to that state. You can read the full story about this and also find my comments HERE at cfact.org.
Biden Administration officials are beginning to discover that tremendous numbers of citizens are now emboldened to stand up in opposition to their irresponsible push for renewable energy expansion.
Best of all, the numbers keep growing, and they’re from diverse political affiliations.
For our part, CFACT is dedicated to providing the policy expertise and grassroots creativity needed to help the public not just push back but, one by one, score important energy victories that count.
Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president. Widely heralded as a leader in the free market environmental, think tank community in Washington, D.C., Rucker is a frequent guest on radio talk shows, written extensively in numerous publications, and has appeared in such media outlets as Fox News, OANN, Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Hill, among many others. Rucker is also the co-producer of the award-winning film “Climate Hustle,” which was the #1 box-office film in America during its one night showing in 2016, as well as the acclaimed “Climate Hustle 2” staring Hollywood actor Kevin Sorbo released in 2020. As an accredited observer to the United Nations, Rucker has also led CFACT delegations to some 30 major UN conferences, including those in Copenhagen, Istanbul, Kyoto, Bonn, Marrakesh, Rio de Janeiro, and Warsaw, to name a few.
If we looked at the picture for Australia in the mid-90s, the electricity industry was massively overstaffed and the gas industry was dissipating the wealth that Exxon had discovered in Bass Strait.
In the case of electricity, Victoria led the way, and one simple figure illustrates the benefits brought about by privatisation and the introduction of competition. Generation Victoria was the monopoly supplier. Prior to reforms, which were ironically initiated by socialist Premier Joan Kirner, it employed 25,000 people; by the early 2000s, the numbers employed, including consultants and contractors, were under 3,000. At the same time the output, in terms of the power stations’ availabilities to run, had lifted from somewhere in the mid-70 per cent range to the mid-90s.
So, we had over 20,000 surplus personnel who only gummed up the work. Similar savings can be found in the distribution and transmission businesses, albeit to a lesser degree.
Australia was largely traversing the path that had been trailblazed by Margaret Thatcher’s administration in the UK and, less systematically in the US, where The Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland network (PJM) showed the way in which independent generator businesses could compete while cooperating thereby bringing about lower prices with considerable incentives to invest where investment would be profitable.
Within six or seven years of initiating the reforms, Australia had achieved what was probably the lowest electricity prices in the world and an electricity system, which was no longer plagued with downtime, strikes, and blackouts. We saw new investment responding to commercial, not political, incentives.
This was done as a result of profits-oriented businesses, in retail as well as generation – not all of them privately owned – competing for business within a known framework of rules. These as the very conditions under which capitalism generally has prevailed and brought the wealth of nations we enjoy today.
But the situation in the energy industry was always precarious. Even while the reforms were taking place, Victorian Treasurer Alan Stockdale felt obliged to introduce regulatory arrangements for pricing and for ombudsman arrangements that went far beyond those seen in other industries.
At the start of the 21st Century, and for the next few years, electricity prices (and to a lesser degree gas, having fallen immediately after the reforms), were increasing more or less in line with inflation.
But the germs of the present disaster were already starting to infect the industry – and the economy as a whole.
Spurred on by claims that carbon dioxide emissions were causing global warming, and a fantasy that wind and solar energy would soon become cheaper than ‘dinosaur’ coal and gas and supposedly inherently dangerous nuclear, the first tentative steps were taken to favour renewable industries. Amusingly, we see agencies like CSIRO and others claiming even more stridently that wind and solar are cheaper and – often within the same sentence – adding that they therefore need to continue receiving the subsidies they enjoy.
In response to climate scares and skilful lobbying, John Howard introduced requirements for ‘2 per cent of additional energy’ to be supplied by wind and solar. The method of arranging, for this was through the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) whereby energy certificates, which provided a subsidy to wind and solar, equivalent in those days to about $30 per MWh (providing a 70 per cent premium on the commercial market price).
John Howard has since said that this 2 per cent additional energy policy was his greatest political error. He sought to cap the level of support and appointed an inquiry, chaired by former Senator Tamblyn, to advise on this. As is often the case, the inquiry was captured by the bureaucrats and recommended the expansion of the scheme from what had been quantified at 9,500 GWh to 16,000 GWh. To his credit, Howard rejected this but was quickly replaced by Australia’s new economic and political saviour, Kevin Rudd.
Under Rudd/Gillard, the MRET scheme and its roof-top sister scheme went into break-neck expansion until the Abbott victory in 2013. Abbott wanted to wind back the scheme but, fearing radical advice and conscious of political opposition to this, appointed the sensible Dick Warburton to head the inquiry, and the best he felt he could do was to cap the scheme.
So the subsidies have continued. They have transformed what was a supply comprising 85 per cent coal 10 per cent hydro and 5 per cent gas to the present output of 60 per cent coal 25 per cent solar/wind and 15 per cent hydro and gas. The present government seeks to eliminate coal altogether and, ostensibly at least, the Opposition is not far behind.
In terms of subsidies, the PC has put their effect as follows
In annualised dollar terms, the energy subsidies to renewables, the flip side of which is a tax-type penalty on fossil fuels come to over $9,800 (million):
LRET SRES ACCUs $3,980 RERT, FCAS and system security $400 Clean Energy Regulator $750 Expansion of transmission $510 CEFC $1,333 ARENA $100 Snowy 2 $1,333 State schemes $1,410
The subsidies do far more damage than a simple transfer of money from one party to another. Because wind is subsidised (and is favoured by the market operator’s dispatch algorithm that gives it preferred access), it can bid into the market at anything above negative $40-50 per MWh. This not only displaces coal but forces up its costs since the generators are capital-intensive and designed to operate for much of the day but are being forced to fill in when the wind/sun is not producing.
As a result, we see prices forced down as the coal generators meet the market pressures from wind and solar that will seek to run at anything over its (subsidised) break-even of about $50 per MWh. Prices then shoot up when those distorted market pressures add costs (by forcing the capital-intensive coal plant to operate part-time) and at the same time squeeze prices. That process forces a facility to close once a new lick of new capital is required to supply – not at the steady rate of the original design – but as a filler for when lack of wind and sun prevent intermittent renewables from generating. The pattern can be observed in prices depicted below.
This year’s closure of Liddell brought what the Australian Financial Review called a revelation, ‘Had Liddell’s capacity still been available, prices would have been lower.’ Chanticleer noted, that the average realised wholesale price increased 32 per cent in NSW, 27 per cent in Victoria, 100 per cent in SA and 14 per cent in Queensland.
The pressures on electricity have been increased by regulatory constraints on new developments and tax increases (called royalty increases) on coal and gas. For gas, Australia now has shortages due to regulatory restrictions that largely outlaw developments in all eastern states other than Queensland.
The outcome has seen Australia being transformed from its former position of enjoying very low-cost energy supply. Australian electricity prices are now twice those of China, Russia and Vietnam and much dearer than other nations following us down the climate energy wormhole, like Canada, the US, and Korea.
One solution according to our politicians and those who advise them is to re-nationalise the industry and double up on the subsidies to renewables.
Former Premier Andrews set re-nationalisation in train for Victoria. Fortunately, his government would be unable to raise sufficient funds to implement this.
The latest subsidy expansion is the Safeguard Mechanism but the Prime Minister has foreshadowed a new array of subsidies and regulatory impediments. And hydrogen is a popular elixir to fix the system but one that cannot conceivably work if only because it takes more energy to produce than if provides.
The further we go along this path of replacing coal with intermittent solar and wind supplies, the more expensive the firming operation becomes. With a 100 per cent renewables supply and no transmission constraints, Global Roam has put the firming costs as the equivalent of 25 Snowy 2’s or 70,000 Hornsdale batteries which would cost some $6 trillion and, even if amortised over a 15-year period would require one-third of annual GDP – and that is just for the batteries. Even larger costs are estimated by others like Francis Menton, who estimates that just to keep the lights on would require a backup of 25 days supply with 100 per cent wind supply. Pumped hydro might have a firming role alongside batteries but it cannot be a major one given Australia’s limited river flows.
One solution proposed by the Opposition is to adopt nuclear but this – at the present time – is nowhere near as economical for Australia as coal. It is even less so in the way Peter Dutton expressed it – as an adjunct and firming mechanism for renewables, a role that nuclear (like coal), with its high fixed costs, is intrinsically ill-placed to perform.
Of course, the real solution is that adopted by China, India, and others.
But for the time being Prime Minister Albanese, reeling from the Voice debate, is preparing for a redoubled support for renewable energy. In doing so he is tacitly supported by the finance industry that is cowering from the ‘global boiling’ incandescents and refusing to finance energy sources other than those renewables requiring government subsidies. We therefore, at the very least, face a considerable increase in national misery before sensible energy economic policies are restored.
A prominent energy project in the UK is reportedly considering the option of engaging in private agreements to secure its future. This potential shift towards private power agreements is driven by mounting concerns regarding the project’s escalating financial costs.
Ørsted has confirmed it may give up some government support that would apply to Hornsea 3, off the coast of Yorkshire, amid concerns that the subsidies it has been awarded are too low.
Instead, a spokesman said the company may seek to sell 25pc of the scheme’s power on a so-called merchant basis – where it receives no state support but can potentially reap bigger returns.
This would amount to selling about 700 megawatts of the wind farm’s planned 2.8 gigawatt (GW) output, a total which is enough to power three million homes.
The move comes as Ørsted’s bosses scramble to boost the viability of the scheme ahead of a final investment decision, expected by the end of this year.
On Friday, bosses at Ørsted told financial analysts they were examining an option to pass over 25pc of the CfD contract so the company would instead be free to sell power from the scheme for a higher market rate.
This could potentially boost returns from the scheme – assuming the company can secure better prices for the power privately than what it is guaranteed under Hornsea 3’s CfD.
Ørsted, the world’s biggest offshore wind developer, has insisted it intends to press ahead with Hornsea 3 in “all scenarios” but has yet to take a final decision.
The project is scheduled to begin generating in 2026 and has been awarded a subsidy deal worth about £45 per megawatt hour in today’s prices – less than what was offered in the most recent subsidy auction.
The pool of potential buyers for the 700 megawatts of power on offer is likely to be confined to heavyweight companies with big electricity demands.
Kathryn Porter, an independent energy consultant and founder of Watt Logic, said Ørsted faced a difficult choice between “locking in at a really low level of return or taking bigger risks and being able to make more money”.
She added: “They may take a view that they can get the project over the line because electricity prices will be high enough that they can make a decent enough return.
“Experience to date, however, shows that UK power market investors do not have much appetite for risk.”
A key risk is whether the Government would extend the Electricity Generator Levy – which affects receipts from power sold at more than £75 per megawatt hour – beyond March 2028.
Ørsted was threatened with a credit downgrade by ratings agency S&P last week after taking huge writedowns on the value of its offshore wind projects in the US.
The terms of the CfD are quite clear – it is all or nothing. Orsted are under no legal obligation to trigger their contract, in other words take up their option to sell. However, if they do, they must sell all of the electricity they supply to the Grid under CfD terms. The only way to avoid this would be to transmit power direct to an end user, bypassing the Grid.
And, I suspect, the government will be loathe to amend the contract to allow what Orsted want.
With market prices as they are at the moment, there is no logical reason why Orsted should not sell all Hornsea’s power via PPA’s. But as Kathryn Porter points out, investors in offshore wind farms like certainty, not risk. And the Electricity Generator Levy, if extended past 2028, would take away a large chunk of any excess profits.
Work on installing the turbines is not expected to start till 2026. Despite Orsted’s protestations, there is an increasing likelihood that they will pull the plug on Hornsea.
But whether they do, or sell via PPAs, private consumers will not benefit from the low prices already contracted.
Meanwhile SSE’s Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, which began generating last month, has still not appeared to have triggered its CfD, currently priced at £49.77/MWh.
I’m waiting confirmation from the Low Carbon Contracts Company, but it seems that they too will sell at much higher market rates.
Morano: “Everything is collapsing on its own now. You can no longer virtue signal this nonsense. We had world leaders at UN summit all proclaim to limit the earth’s temperature to two degrees all go to 1.5 as though they were playing The Price is Righ spinning a giant dial.
It’s no longer possible, as you just laid out, Jesse, on every metric of Biden’s green energy agenda. It is in complete collapse. And this is the key part despite the massive Inflation Reduction Act –so called. Despite subsidies, mandates, tax credits, and I’m talking about not just now but subsidies for many years in the future… It’s easier to transition your gender than your energy. It’s just not happening… This is a celebration. They’re collapsing; it’s time to celebrate.”
Jesse Watters: Primetime has just scored another big victory. The whales have received the stay of execution, along with my beach views. We’ve been telling you for months that Biden’s offshore wind projects are destroying the Jersey Shore. But just yesterday, the Danish Windmill company pulled the plug on two massive projects off the Jersey coast. The company’s admitting Bidenomics doesn’t work. Despite billions and giveaways the windmills still won’t work. They won’t make money because of high rates of inflation and China. But that’s not all. Offshore wind farms in Massachusetts were just cancelled. Offshore wind in Connecticut is collapsing. And offshore wind projects in New York are about to get canceled.
The whole Green New Deal is falling apart right before our very eyes. Biden’s favorite electric bus company Proterra just filed for bankruptcy. It’s what happens when your buses catch on fire. General Motors and Honda just killed their low-price electric car joint venture. Ford just stopped work on their new Michigan electric battery plant. The company is losing $36,000 per Evie per Biden’s handing out $7,000 coupons to buy electric cars and no one’s buying them. This is what happens when companies make cars for politicians instead of companies making cars for customers. No one even thought to ask the customers if they wanted an electric car.
The smart money is an oil. That’s right. Exxon Mobil and Hess have discovered 11 billion barrels of oil off the coast of South America. It’s the biggest discovery in a decade. It appears we’re going to run out of minerals for batteries before we run out of oil for cars.
Joe Biden tried to run our economy like Joe Stalin. But just like the Soviet Union, the math doesn’t add up. And now billions of dollars are gone. And all we have are cars that never made it off the lot and windmills that never made it out of the warehouse. Now we find no Democrats, and I do. We’re about to witness one of the biggest green bailouts in history. Marc Morano is the Climate Depot publisher and author of the Green Fraud. Did you see this coming?
Morano: I hate to say I told you so. But absolutely. I was working in the US Senate Environment Public Works Committee when what was really the first governor to make a splash with climate, was Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. He did it 2006, the California climate bill, the Global Warming Solutions Act, and he was praised as a man saving the planet. It was the ultimate virtue signal. Well guess what? Many other governors, Senators, countries, all wanted in on that virtue signal. So for decades, they kept coming up with the net zero the solar, the wind mandates, the tax credits, the subsidies, and it was small enough that it didn’t really affect the energy mix, or we weren’t feeling it, obviously enough.
And all of this happened as well as the Inflation Reduction Act last year. Everything is collapsing on its own now. You can no longer virtue signal this nonsense. We had world leaders at UN summit all proclaim to limit the earth’s temperature to two degrees all go to 1.5 as though they were playing The Price is Righ spinning a giant dial.
It’s no longer possible, as you just laid out, Jesse, on every metric of Biden’s green energy agenda. It is in complete collapse. And this is the key part despite the massive Inflation Reduction Act –so called. Despite subsidies, mandates, tax credits, and I’m talking about not just now but subsidies for many years in the future. And you’re right. We look to Europe to see the future. Germany is already bailing out offshore wind, they’re already going to double down and start bailing out. A report came out and said we have to spend 75 trillion on these green energy mandates.
It’s easier to transition your gender than your energy. It’s just not happening.
Jesse Watters: Marc, How arrogant you have to be to think you all of a sudden can just build all brand new cars, all brand new energy, put windmills all up and down the coast, put solar panels all over and just change the entire world economy like that. How arrogant you have to be?
We asked the question: ‘Where are the Volvo driving, save the whale liberals, when you need them? Well, the liberals came out and now you have 50 mayors in New Jersey opposing the offshore wind.
This is arrogance at its height. You can’t manage an energy economy. Before save the planet, you need to save the people in it. They forgot that simple rule, and they literally came up with their 5, 10, 20-year plans, and they’re not backing down. This green energy failure is only proof that they haven’t spent enough, or mandated enough.
This is a celebration. They’re collapsing; it’s time to celebrate.
Climate Depot’s Morano: “The Treasury Dept report is complete nonsense. The report claims that ‘climate change’ will have ‘substantial financial costs,’ create unemployment, food shortages, inflation, and make energy bills rise. The Treasury report has it completely backward: it is the Biden administration’s climate & energy policies that are already having ‘substantial financial costs,’ creating unemployment, food shortages, inflation, and making energy bills rise.”
Morano: “Everything is collapsing on its own now. You can no longer virtue signal this nonsense. We had world leaders at UN summit all proclaim to limit the earth’s temperature to two degrees all go to 1.5 as though they were playing The Price is Righ spinning a giant dial.
It’s no longer possible, as you just laid out, Jesse, on every metric of Biden’s green energy agenda. It is in complete collapse. And this is the key part despite the massive Inflation Reduction Act –so called. Despite subsidies, mandates, tax credits, and I’m talking about not just now but subsidies for many years in the future…
It’s easier to transition your gender than your energy. It’s just not happening…
This is a celebration. They’re collapsing; it’s time to celebrate.”
At that pressure, the energy that one gets out of one litre of hydrogen is one sixth of the energy one gets out of one litre of gasoline. The Hydrogen Crusade is exorbitant because the costs are unbearable and unsustainable, a ruinous drain on our energy resources.
Those promoting hydrogen as a substitute for carbon fuels are blind to the physical and economic facts, as well as miscontruing CO2 as some kind of demon gas boiling the planet. Thus their crusade is absurd, exorbitant and pointless.
Hydrogen Replacing Carbon Fuels Is Absurd
The absurdity is explained by Sabine Hossenfelder in the video below: Hydrogen Won’t Save Us. Here’s Why. For those who prefer reading, I provide a transcript in italics with my bolds and added images.
Today I want to talk about something light. Hydrogen. Hydrogen is one of the currently most popular alternatives to fossil fuel in transport. Many companies and nations have put money into it.
In 2021, the number of hydrogen-fueled passenger cars bought in the UK was 12. Does that sound like a booming business? Not exactly. Indeed, a report from the British Science and Technology Committee that just appeared last month warned that “we do not believe that [hydrogen] will be the panacea to our problems that might sometimes be inferred from the hopes placed on it”.
Ouch. So what’s the deal with hydrogen? Hope or hype? That’s what we’ll talk about today.
Hydrogen is the first element of the periodic table. If you mix it with oxygen and put fire to the mixture you get water. This reaction releases energy, so if you do it under controlled conditions, you can drive a motor or turbine with it. The only exhaust you get is pure water, no carbon dioxide, no nitrogen oxides, no particulates, no radioactive waste, no chopped-up birds. It’s really difficult to complain about pure water.
But let’s not give up that easily, certainly we can find something to complain about. For example, hydrogen is a gas that, at normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, takes up a lot of volume, and it’s somewhat impractical to drag a zeppelin behind your car. That’s why to store and transport hydrogen, one compresses it by putting it under a lot of pressure. Typically, that’s something like 700 bar, or about 700 times atmospheric pressure.
At that pressure, the energy that one gets out of one litre of hydrogen is one sixth of the energy one gets out of one litre of gasoline.
This means if you power a car with hydrogen, one needs more litres of hydrogen than one needs litres of gasoline to cover the same distance. But litres are a measure of volume. The amount of energy you get out of hydrogen per mass is about twice as high as what you get from gasoline. Then again, since the hydrogen must be kept under high pressure hydrogen tanks tend to be heavy compared to gasoline tanks. When everything is said and done, hydrogen-powered cars end up being somewhat heavier than gasoline-powered ones, but it’s not such a big difference.
Okay, but how do you get the energy out of the hydrogen? The technology for this isn’t new, it’s been around for more than 200 years. The first hydrogen fuel cell was developed by William Grove in 1839 but it was only in the 1960s that two engineers at General Electric proposed a smart way to go about it. They developed what’s now called a Proton Exchange Membrane. Those keep the hydrogen and oxygen largely separate and allow chemical reactions only at the membrane. That way it’s much easier to control the reaction which also makes the system safer.
Those hydrogen fuel cells were then further developed by NASA. One of the first uses was on the Gemini spacecraft, which was launched in the mid-1960s. They were later also used on the Apollo spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon and for the space shuttle. The International Space Station uses hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity and also to produce drinking water for the astronauts on board.
The Hydrogen Market
So, hydrogen fuel cells have been around for a long time, but they’ve never been particularly popular. One of the reasons has certainly been that there was simply no need for them, because fossil fuels are considerably more convenient. Unfortunately, they have side-effects, which is why companies like Hyundai and Toyota have been selling hydrogen-fuelled cars for about a decade. BMW, Ford, and other automobile giants have plans for hydrogen cars, and some governments are looking at hydrogen to power their transit systems, for example Scotland and Germany.
The UK with its measly 12 sales in 2021, I admit, is a particularly sad example. For one thing, that’s only passenger cars. They also put about 50 hydrogen-powered busses on the road. And globally the market doesn’t look quite as dire. In total, about 16 thousand hydrogen powered cars were sold in 2021, about three thousand 500 of those in the US. The total number of new cars sold in 2021 was about 67 million, so at the moment it’s about one in four thousand new cars that’s hydrogen powered. It’s a small market, but it’s an existing market.
Some plans are extremely ambitious. For example, in May last year, the European Union rolled out a strategy called REPowerEU, with the goal of replacing up to 50 billion cubic meters per year of imported Russian gas with hydrogen. This’d mean replacing almost 10 percent of the EU’s total gas consumption with hydrogen power. That’s substantial.
It’s not only Europe. Many other countries are also investing in hydrogen production facilities, that includes Japan, Canada, Egypt, China, and the United States. For example, in March last year, the company Green Hydrogen International unveiled plans to create a plant in Texas that’ll use 60 Gigawatt of electricity from solar and wind to produce 2 point 5 billion kilograms hydrogen per year. It’ll be called Hydrogen City. And Individual companies are investing in it, too. Microsoft, for example, wants to use hydrogen fuel cells as climate-friendly backup generators for their data centres. As you see, hydrogen is booming. But.
The Colors Of Hydrogen
The first “but” that might spring to your mind is: But where does the hydrogen come from? Now, hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Indeed, three quarters of all normal matter in the universe is hydrogen, but you normally can’t buy it in the supermarket. So where do you get it? Naturally occurring geological deposits of pure hydrogen are rare on Earth. Most of the hydrogen we have is bound, either in water or in methane. And this is where the problem begins. Because you have to break those chemical bonds to get the hydrogen and that requires energy.
Hydrogen is therefore not really a source of energy, but a storage system. You use energy to create it in its pure form, transport it, and then you release this energy elsewhere.
How environmentally friendly this is depends strongly on where the hydrogen comes from. To keep track of this, scientists are using a color scale. You all know this, but this is YouTube, so I have to say this anyway: The hydrogen itself has always the same color, which is transparent. This color scale is just a way of keeping track of the production method.
On this color scale, the rare, naturally occurring hydrogen is white. Hydrogen obtained from water using coal or lignite has the colors black or brown, respectively. Its production emits carbon dioxide and methane; both are greenhouse gases. Grey hydrogen is derived from methane and water; this also produces carbon dioxide and usually some of the methane escapes.
At the moment, almost all hydrogen is produced in one of those ways by using fossil fuels. According to the World Energy Council, in 2019 more than 95 percent of the hydrogen worldwide was assigned one of those colors, black, brown, or grey. This releases about 830 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s 2 percent of the total global emissions and about the same as air traffic.
But there are more colors on the hydrogen rainbow. Next there is blue. Like grey hydrogen, blue hydrogen is made from methane, but the carbon dioxide is stored underground and does not escape into the atmosphere. This method is currently only used for1 percent of hydrogen production, but it could be expanded. The industry association Hydrogen Council has touted blue hydrogen as a climate-friendly initiative. It’s not entirely irrelevant, so let me mention that this council was created by the oil and gas industry. Many of its members have a financial interest in switching from natural gas to hydrogen produced from natural gas.
So maybe one shouldn’t take their argument that blue hydrogen is climate-friendly for granted. Hasn’t someone looked into this? Well, since you asked, in 2021, two American researchers calculated the amount of greenhouse gases released by grey and blue hydrogen technology. They not only took carbon dioxide into account, but also methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas. To make comparisons easier, the greenhouse effect from methane is usually converted to a carbon dioxide equivalent, which is the amount of carbon dioxide that would have the same effect.
They came to the conclusion that grey hydrogen has a carbon dioxide equivalent of about 550 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour and blue only slightly less, 486 grams. That’s about the same as the emissions you get from using natural gas directly to generate electricity. Part of the reason blue hydrogen performs so poorly is that not all the carbon dioxide from hydrogen production is captured and stored. Another reason is that the process of storing the carbon dioxide also requires energy and leads to carbon dioxide emissions. The authors estimate that under the most favourable conditions, it might be possible to reduce those emissions to around 200 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour by using renewable energy sources. So blue hydrogen doesn’t help much with climate protection.
Then there is green hydrogen, which is produced from water using renewable energy. Again that sounds good, and again, it’s not that simple. According to a calculation by researchers from Australia, greenhouse gas emissions from green hydrogen produced with solar energy are ideally about a quarter of those from grey hydrogen. Under realistic conditions, however, they find that emissions are comparable, particularly due to fluctuations in solar radiation that make hydrogen production inefficient. There is neither data nor any study for hydrogen production from wind but you expect this method to suffer even more from fluctuations because wind is far less reliable than sunlight.
And since these methods are inefficient, they are also expensive. Indeed, producing hydrogen with solar and wind is pretty much the most expensive way you can do it, according to a review in 2019. Now maybe those costs will go down a bit as the technology improves. But seeing that the biggest problem is that energy input fluctuates I doubt it’ll become economically competitive with the “dirty” hydrogen. This problem can be fixed by using nuclear power to generate hydrogen which has been assigned the colors pink and purple. A few projects for this are underway but it’s early days and nuclear power isn’t exactly popular.
OK, so we have seen that it isn’t all that clear whether hydrogen is climate friendly, and also, it’sexpensive. And this is only the production cost. It doesn’t include the entire infrastructure that’d be necessary to fuel a fleet of hydrogen cars. Remember you have to keep the stuff at several hundred bars and you can’t just use a normal gas station for that.
Let’s move on to the next problem that might come to your mind: where do we get the water from? From a distance, the world has no shortage of water, but freshwater can be scarce in certain regions of the planet. According to estimates from researchers at the University of Delaware, however, water supply issues probably won’t stand in the way of a hydrogen economy. They looked at a scenario in which we replace 18 percent of fossil fuels with hydrogen, and found that this would require about 2 percent of the amount of freshwater that’s currently used for irrigation.
Watch out, this figure has a logarithmic scale. You also see on this figure that using fossil fuels requires freshwater too, for cooling, mining, hydraulic fracturing, and refining, and it’s currently actually more than the projection for hydrogen. That’s 2 percent on the global average, but in some regions the fraction can be higher. For example, estimates for Australia are that you’d need about 4% of the water amount used for irrigation. So that seems a manageable amount, but it’s something to take into account if you want to make this work.
The Cold Start Problem
Another problem with water is that it can freeze. This is why you shouldn’t leave the beer in the car in the winter. And it’s also why hydrogen fuel cells like it warm. If the temperature drops more than a few degrees below zero, the water that the fuel cells create at start will freeze immediately, which swiftly degrades the membranes and tubes. It’s known as the “Cold Start” problem of hydrogen fuel cell. And, no, you can’t just pour antifreeze into it, remember the water is created in the fuel cell. So, you’ll either have to stay in California or keep your car warm. The solution that manufacturers pursue at the moment is pre-heating systems.
Rare Metal Shortages
But the biggest problem for a hydrogen economy may be making those proton exchange membranes to begin with. It’s not because it’s so difficult, but because they’re made of platinum and iridium. Platinum you may have heard of, it’s an expensive noble metal that’s also used for jewellery. The reason it’s expensive is that it’s rare. Iridium is also a noble metal. It’s so rare that most people have never heard of it. Both of those metals are difficult to replace with anything else in the hydrogen fuel cells.
That’s a problem because it means that the entire hydrogen economy hinges on the availability of those two metals. There’s only so much of those in the world and they are only in very specific geological formations. Almost all the platinum and iridium supply comes from only three countries: South Africa, Russia, and Zimbabwe, and colonies have gone out of fashion recently. China, which has invested heavily in hydrogen technology is already feeling the consequences.
And we’ve only just barely begun with building the hydrogen economy. This issue has been highlighted recently in reports from various international organizations including the International Energy Agency and the World Bank. According to the business consulting group Wood Mackenzie, the increased demand for platinum might be manageable in the near future, but it looks like by 2030 demand for iridium will be several times higher than the supply. I don’t know much about trade, but I think this isn’t good.
It’s possible to make fuel cells somewhat more efficient and decrease the demand for those rare metals. But this situation isn’t going to change and iridium isn’t going to move to the US even if you ask it really nicely.
One final problem that’s worth mentioning is that hydrogen is just nasty to deal with. Hydrogen is the smallest molecule. If you squeeze it into a tank, it’ll creep into the walls of the tank. That destroys the chemical structure of the material and makes it brittle. It’s called “hydrogen embrittlement”. For this reason, hydrogen tanks must be thick and specially coated, which makes them both heavy and expensive. Like the cold start problem, this one’s basic chemistry and isn’t going to go away. And the need to keep the hydrogen under pressure makes the stuff inconvenient to handle. The city of Wiesbaden in Germany, for example, recently retired its six new hydrogen powered buses because the filling station broke down, sinking a few million Euro.
In summary, hydrogen production at the moment has a high carbon footprint because it’s almost exclusively done using fossil fuels. Reducing the carbon footprint of hydrogen production seems difficult according to estimates, but at the moment there’s basically no real-world data. Hydrogen produced by wind and solar will almost certainly not be economically competitive with that derived from fossil fuels but using nuclear power might be an option. Building infrastructure for a transport-system based on hydrogen would eat up a lot of money. It seems that rare metal supply for hydrogen fuel cells is going to become a problem in the near future which won’t help making the technology affordable. Keeping hydrogen stored and under pressure adds to the cost and makes those systems heavy which isn’t great for transport. And finally, hydrogen-powered cars don’t like cold temperatures.
So. Well, it seems to me that the British Science and Technology committee is right. A hydrogen economy isn’t a panacea for climate change. Indeed, the French have a similar committee that likewise concluded “l’hydrogène n’est pas une solution miracle”. I must admit that I was considerably more upbeat about hydrogen before I started working on this video. How about you? Did you learn something new? Did you change your mind? Let us know in the comments.
The White House has awarded $7 billion dollars of tax money for the first seven U.S. hydrogen hubs. They say it will leverage $43 billion in private money. Yet, the rules only require a 50/50 match. We are far more likely to see a $7 billion private money match. Why put more of your own money at risk than you have to?
It is risky because green hydrogen costs at least five times more to produce than the methane reforming method, which makes 95% today. That is $5 versus $1. All of the regional hydrogen infrastructure will need to be built, and the future hydrogen demand will need to be created and incentivized. Because green hydrogen still costs more. Even with upfront and downstream aggressive subsidies.
Because it is tax money we don’t have, it is added to our unprecedented $33 trillion dollar national debt. We are at an inflection point where interest payments are more than our national defense budget. Debt interest is projected to be more than a trillion dollars by the end of the decade. And the Rich Men North of Richmond just keep spending.
It costs $5 or more to produce green hydrogen through hydrolysis. Which takes super heating, electrocuting, super chilling, and compression. Then additional costs for storage and transportation before it is used somewhere.
And it needs 53 times more water than hydrogen made. Not a good idea in dry California, which is awarded $1 billion in giveaway hub money.
All of this takes lots of full-time energy. Not the part-time unpredictable electricity wind and solar make. Let’s not talk about our stressed national grid with regular blackout and shortage notices. Or the fact that 60% of the electricity made for the grid comes from coal and natural gas.
Paying for full-time and part-time generation, and thousands of miles of transmission wires will at least triple our electric rates in no time.
This hurts the poor the most, because they use the biggest amount of their budgets on energy costs. Stressing their lives, hurting their ability to live independently. All of this, while Biden and the democrats blather about climate justice and social justice.
We are doing all this subsidizing to stop the addition of the super plant food CO2.
The Rich Men North of Richmond are going to waste 100s of billions on green taxpayer giveaways on top of the $9.5 billion upfront hydrogen give away.
Throwing money at a climate emergency that doesn’t really exist is part of Bidenomics. Fueling inflation by spending money we don’t have, fueling high interest rates by fueling inflation.Making it difficult and expensive to harvest the fossil fuels that supply 80% of our energy. And sending 100s of billions, if not trillions, to our main rival and biggest threat, totalitarian, communist China is the Biden way.
Wind, solar, batteries, and soon EVs made in China with forced labor, low-cost coal electricity and little environmental protections.
China burns more than half of the world’s 8.5 billion tons of coal used annually and is building hundreds of coal plants that last 50 to 75 years. I am sure they intend to use them for a few decades or 75 years.
For those that think CO2 emissions are important, China emits more than the U.S. and all the other industrialized nations combined. Including India, which is no slouch when it comes to using coal for power, getting even a larger percentage of their energy from coal than China.
We need to end this crazy fantasy of a centrally forced transition to hydrogen, wind, solar, batteries and electric vehicles. It isn’t working and is making everything more costly. Because energy is in everything we eat, buy, use, consume, even Netflix and AI.
Summation: The Hydrogen Crusade is exorbitant because the costs are unbearable and unsustainable, a ruinous drain on our energy resources.
Hydrogen Replacing Carbon Fuels Is Pointless
The greatest insanity is that all of this crusade is unecessary. The delusional premise of the Hossenfelder video is that we and the planet need saving from CO2. When in fact throughout history, atmospheric CO2 changes lag Temperature changes on all time scales; from last month’s observations to ice cores showing climate changes over thousands and millions of years. Nothing in nature can be the cause of an effect if it occurs afterward. A thorough debate on this issue occured recently at Dr. Judith Curry’s website Climate Etc. on the topic Causality and climate. My synopsis is below.
I recommend the discussion thread at climate etc. (on going) as a tutorial for the competing paradigms regarding the CO2 cycle. I gained clarity from the lead author (a frequent and constructive participant) as well others on the core misunderstanding that has plagued such discussions for decades. Some comments are below in italics with my bolds.
First, note that the paper had a narrowly defined scope: to demonstrate from available data that changes in atmospheric CO2 lag rather than lead temperature changes. Because the authors recognized that this finding is contrary to IPCC consensus climate science, appendices were supplied to counter the expected objections crediting human CO2 emissions from hydrocarbons as the main, or sole source of rising CO2 since the Little Ice Age (LIA). As Koutsoyiannis explained in a summary comment near the end:
Demetris Koutsoyiannis September 29, 2023 at 4:54 pm
I think I have rebutted all the different critiques ON MY PAPERS. I am not going to reply to critiques on any other issues related to the issue of climate. Please make your critiques SPECIFIC, by quoting phrases in my papers that you think are incorrect. And before it, please read the papers.
For example you say:
> And that would be the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere?
If you read the paper you will see that we write (p. 17): *What is the cause of the modern increase in temperature? Apparently, this question is much more difficult to reply to, as we can no longer attribute everything to any single agent. We do not claim to have the answer to this question, whose study is far beyond the article’s scope. Neither do we believe that mainstream climatic theory, which is focused upon human CO2 emissions as the main cause and regards everything else as feedback of the single main cause, can explain what happened on Earth for 4.5 billion years of changing climate.*
We have proposed a necessary condition for causality, which is time precedence of the cause over the effect. I hope you accept that necessary condition, am I wrong? We make our inference based on this necessary condition. Your numbers make no reference of time succession. When you find a way to test whether the direction in time is reversed, that will be great. But for now, all this looks to me an unproven conjecture. I hope you can excuse me that, being a Greek, I have to stick to Aristotelian logic.
You also say:
> While there is an elephant in the room, human emissions that released twice as much CO2 as measured in the atmosphere…
If this is the elephant, what is (copying from our paper, p. 25), *a total global increase in the respiration rate of ΔR = 31.6 Gt C/year. This rate, which is a result of natural processes, is 3.4 times greater than the CO2 emission by fossil fuel combustion (9.4 Gt C /year including cement production)*.
My Comment: The confounding issue in all this was identified as the mistaken analogy treating CO2 fluxes as though they are cash transactions between bank accounts. Within that notion, a natural source/sink must net out intakes and releases. Yet as others commented, geobiologists know that both absorption and release can be increasing or can be decreasing. The source/sinks function dynamically, not statically as assumed by the analogy.
What It Means: CO2 flows through Dynamic Reservoirs
The other puzzle piece is described by Ed Berry following his peer-reviewed paper Nature Controls the CO2 Increase II. A summary comment ties his analysis into the above discussion. Early in the thread the point was made that all CO2 sources are involved in supporting the level of atmospheric concentration at any point in time. Ed Berry made this point in this way.
He explained that when you look at the flow of carbon dioxide—”flow” meaning the carbon moving from one carbon reservoir to another, i.e., through photosynthesis, the eating of plants, and back out through respiration—a 140 ppm constant level requires a continual inflow of 40 ppm per year of carbon dioxide, because, according to the IPCC, carbon dioxide has a turnover time of 3.5 years (meaning carbon dioxide molecules stay in the atmosphere for about 3 1/2 years). 140 ppm divided by 3.5 is 40 ppm CO2.
“A level of 280 ppm is twice that—80 ppm of inflow. Now, we’re saying that the inflow of human carbon dioxide is one-third of the total. Even IPCC data says, ‘No, human carbon dioxide inflow is about 5 percent to 7 percent of the total carbon dioxide inflow into the atmosphere,’” he said.
[Today’s level of nearly 420 ppm means that 120 ppm of inflow is required annually, or 120 +2 ppm if it is to increase as it has been. Where does 122 ppm of CO2 come from? Well, let’s say we can count on 6 ppm of FF CO2 (5%) and the other 116 being non-human emissions.]
Summation: The Hydrogen Crusade is pointless because our carbon emissions do not determine either atmospheric CO2 or the Earth’s temperatures.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has expanded the availability of subsidies for green energy, with direct spending estimated to be over $1 trillion the next ten years. In addition to claims that these subsidies will address climate change, a primary justification for this increased spending is the claim that it will increase economic growth and provide millions of new jobs in green industries.
From the Global Warming Policy Foundation: We are keen to receive review comments for our new report which is now available for open review here.
Jonathan Lesser: Green energy and economic fabulism: The mirage of subsidy-propelled economic growth and employment.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has expanded the availability of subsidies for green energy, with direct spending estimated to be over $1 trillion the next ten years. In addition to claims that these subsidies will address climate change, a primary justification for this increased spending is the claim that it will increase economic growth and provide millions of new jobs in green industries. The economic reality is far different.
Given rising U.S. deficits, much, if not all, of the tax credits for green energy, especially wind and solar facilities, will be financed with additional debt. The staggering amounts of money available, more than even was spent by the government during the Great Depression, will have long-lasting and adverse consequences on energy supplies, economic growth, and the well-being of the citizenry. The subsidies will further distort energy markets and raise energy prices. The subsidies will crowd out more productive private investment and reduce the resources available for more efficient energy resources, such as nuclear power. As in Europe, the subsidies will result in higher energy prices that will cause economic and job losses throughout the entire economy. These losses will far exceed the gains provided by the subsidies themselves.
Although policy makers may choose to ignore basic economic principles in favor of political expediency and, in some cases, personal gain, those principles will not ignore them. Eventually, the profligate spending on costly, but low-value green energy will collapse under its own economic weight. The unanswered question is how high an economic and social price the U.S. will pay for this folly before that occurs.
Submitted comments and contributions will be subject to a moderation process and will be published, provided they are substantive and not abusive.Open review here.
From today’s  vantage point, the energy-policy lesson has been half-learned. It is widely known that major command-and-control regulations do not work. The lessons of the 1970s energy crises have not been forgotten, and another energy crisis cannot be expected without price and allocations regulations.
In October 1993, I published a pamphlet in Studies in Market-Based Energy Policy (#3) with the above title. On its thirtieth anniversary, I excerpt its major parts. So how does it read today–and compare to other writings of its time that were critical of fossil fuels? I report: you decide.
“From today’s  vantage point, the energy-policy lesson has been half-learned. It is widely known that major command-and-control regulations do not work. The lessons of the 1970s energy crises have not been forgotten, and another energy crisis cannot be expected without price and allocations regulations.”
Executive Summary (pp. 1–2)
This primer on energy choices and market decision making has direct implications for energy policy. If voluntary choices in a free-market setting result in efficient outcomes, many current energy policies based on taxation, subsidies, and regulation can be critically questioned. Such a re-examination is undertaken in this booklet….
Thorough-going free-market reliance remains a viable and unappreciated policy package for the U.S. energy market. The lessons of history strongly support relying on market processes and minimizing government intervention. While none of the present government energy policies or programs–even the frontal assault on domestic oil drilling–will produce another “energy crisis,” they do uniformly restrict supply and thus raise prices for consumers and/or require taxpayer funding. As part of a broad-based economic recovery and deficit-reduction program, a laissez-faire energy policy of deregulation, privatization, tax reduction and repeal, and de-subsidization should be seriously considered.
The Lessons of History (pp. 3–4)
Eight major conclusions can be gleaned from the long and storied U.S. energy experience:
The free market has reliably served U.S. energy consumers since inception. Energy choices based on market prices and profit-and-loss entrepreneurship have resulted in improved product quality, increasing supply, and falling prices for over a century. Central-planning episodes during World War I, World War II, and the 1970s energy crisis have proven the opposite point: government energy management distorts the market’s inherent order and creates supply and price problems.
From the beginning, crude oil has been more competitive than its synthetic counterpart, coal oil; manufactured gas (coal gas) was eclipsed with the availability of natural gas. Private and government attempts to make synthetic fuels economic have failed.
The conventional fuels (oil, gas, and coal) are characteristically and typically in “oversupply.” Transient fossil-fuel shortages were directly related to government regulation rather than market realities.
Consumers and the general economy have benefited from “the process of creative destruction” as new energies displaced existing ones. Coal displaced fuel wood as the dominant energy source in the 1750–1800 period. Coal oil and whale oil were replaced by crude oil; manufactured gas was displaced by natural gas. Electricity displaced kerosene illumination, while the later development of the internal combustion engine redirected petroleum to a more urgent use. Change also affected regions. At the turn of the century, the Appalachian area (Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, and Kentucky) was the center of the U.S. petroleum industry; two decades later the Southwest–Texas and Oklahoma, in particular–claimed this title. Changing technology–often unforeseen–will change energy fortunes in the future as it has in the past. The process of creative destruction continues to run its course.
Nonrenewable energies, such as oil and gas, have remained more competitive than politically favored renewable energies, such as solar and wind in electrical generation. While the cost differential has narrowed, it is still significant. The development of wind and solar has been largely the result of government and ratepayer subsidies.
Alternative motor fuels to gasoline and diesel are economic only in limited applications and with government favor. The natural gas-vehicle market benefits from a motor-fuel tax exemption and conversion and infrastructure subsidies from utility ratepayers.
Mandatory conservation is unwarranted and inefficient compared to market-oriented conservation because of the innate abundance of energy and the technological ability to control emissions from traditionally polluting sources.
The cleanest of the fossil fuels, natural gas, has been the most disadvantaged by regulation in decades past, while less environmentally preferred fuels–petroleum, coal, and nuclear energy–have been relatively advantaged. This irony illustrates a major theme of political economy: the unintended effects of government intervention. The Clean Air Act of 1990 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992, however, position natural gas as the politically favored fuel of the 1990s and beyond.
These lessons point toward a more fundamental one: the reliability of decentralized market prices and the dangers of centralized energy management through government agencies and edicts.
Conclusion (pp. 36–37)
From today’s  vantage point, the energy-policy lesson has been half-learned. It is widely known that major command-and-control regulations do not work. The lessons of the 1970s energy crises have not been forgotten, and another energy crisis cannot be expected without price and allocations regulations. But with a multitude of smaller regulations, subsidies, and taxes, the sovereignty of the energy consumer has not been respected.
Imagined market failures have given rise to government micromanagement of the energy choices of individuals. If energy consumers can be recognized as forward-looking and intelligent, activist policies can be rescinded and the supply of energies can rise and its prices fall.
In such a world, there would be no place for a Department of Energy or its state corollaries such as the California Energy Commission….
Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. I deal with evidence and not with frightening computer models because the seeker after truth does not put his faith in any consensus. The road to the truth is long and hard, but this is the road we must follow. People who describe the unprecedented comfort and ease of modern life as a climate disaster, in my opinion have no idea what a real problem is.