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« Shale and hearty | Main | NOAAgate - Josh 280 »
Sunday
Jun292014

Renewables just aren't worth it - Josh 281

 

 

Many thanks to Bjorn Lomborg for his help in putting this Infotoon together. There are also a couple of short but excellent videos on Bill Gates blog here - worth retweeting/sharing widely.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (33)

#GreeniesAreStupid

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

"IT" should be "IF" in left column, or am I missing something? Otherwise this shows the incredible stupidity of politicians and the greens.

[Fixed - many thanks! J]

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:29 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It's a great cartoon, but only if the facts are correct. Postponing warming by only one day seems hard to believe. One year seems intuitively more likely.

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

Ah yes, renewables. I check this site frequently:

http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

to see how well our ruinously expensive windmills are doing. Over the last week they have produced almost nothing. This site will probably disappear soon as it should be a massive embarrassment, and wake-up call, to all the misguided advocates of this expensive non-solution to a non-problem.

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Copy to all MPs, members of the House of Lords, Permanent Secretaries, Government scientific advisors, editors of all national and regional dailies and news editors of all TV and radio organisations, vice-chancellors of universities, presidents of learned societies (I use the word 'learned' advisedly!), Bob Ward ...
Have I missed anyone?

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:49 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Not quite...as if we were to stop all activities on climate change...UKIP would be in power and they would cut ODA completely.

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

The total of all the windmills in the UK aqnd France have been producing between 0.75GW and 2GW over the past week although that site doesn't give the rate in real time (I think).
But don't worry, Segolene Royal, Dave are going to add another 1000 or so to the mix so we should be getting an extra Watt or two in the next 3 yrs. ;)

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Jun 30, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

The total of all the windmills in the UK aqnd France have been producing between 0.75GW and 2GW over the past week although that site doesn't give the rate in real time (I think).
But don't worry, Segolene Royal, Dave are going to add another 1000 or so to the mix so we should be getting an extra Watt or two in the next 3 yrs. ;)

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Steve Jones:

At the moment, the UK's 5000+ wind turbines are reported by gridwatch to be generating 120MW.

Ten percent of Sizewell B's output capacity.

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:10 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I don't like either side of the equation in the cartoon. State idiocy on the left vs State dependency on the right. Nor do I like the "we" pronoun that is used. I'm not spending anything - the politicians in government are.

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterA

There is a note on gridwatch to explain that the wind output figure is the metered output and there is about another 50% from other turbines.

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:32 AM | mike fowle

Mike,

That means the windmills might be generating 0.18 GW as of 0937 BST which is approx 1.8% of installed capacity. Much better than I thought!

Regards,

SJ

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Steve. Quite. It's wonderful, isn't it. Such a worthwhile investment.

Jun 30, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

I'm not spending anything - the politicians in government are.
Two problems there, A.
First, whose money do you think it is?
Second, at least by implication it's our government which we elected so we are the ones spending the money.
And it's no good saying you didn't vote for them. You and millions of others did nothing to stop them — and I don't mean "vote UKIP"; I mean use whatever power you have to make your MP come round to your way of thinking and if he/she won't then replace him/her with someone who will.
It's long past time the grass roots made their feelings crystal clear on this as on so many other subjects (immigration, overseas aid, etc.).
And it has to be done from inside the political parties unless enough of you are (literally) prepared to take to the streets with pitchforks and flaming torches. (or their 21st century equivalent)

Jun 30, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

So you (Bish) agree that the 'rich world' should increase it's investment in research into green energy? As that is what Dr Lomborg is promoting.

Jun 30, 2014 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Of all the points listed, it's the bio-fuels that make me angry.
We still have an out of control expanding population where millions are starving. Charities are advertising every night on television for more money so they can help the sick in Africa, scientists are working tor try to prevent malaria, both of which, if they succeed, will push up the population further still. So we waste food, or land which could be used to produce food, in favour of bio fuels. To me, it's total madness.

Jun 30, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterEnglish Pensioner

Richard: Who cares if Lomborg is promoting increased investment in research if his numbers are the best that Josh could find. Bill Gates also finds some of his numbers persuasive - but "I certainly don’t agree with Bjorn (or the Copenhagen Consensus) on everything".

How many "Infotoons" has Josh done before? Like others, this doesn't strike me as perfect but it seems the most important thing he's ever drawn at the same time. I hope it becomes an interactive series, where one can drill down from the pictures to the sources for the numbers underneath. But great work.

Jun 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

At least in the UK there is a movement edging towards deconstructing the scam that is state-imposed climate policy.
The US is going full steam ahead with a President living completely in his echo chamber of rent seeking advisers.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

It is the whole premise of the cartoon, that I question. I.e. Suddendly, if we were to withdraw money from renewables, we'd shift our attention to overseas poverty.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard: I could be wrong but I always thought the word 'could' as in 'We could feed 30 million hungry people' was different from 'would' as in 'We would feed 30 million hungry people'.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

hunter: Comparisons between the UK and US are invidious. I'd be very concerned if I was living under Obama given his determination to bypass Congress via the EPA to clobber a reasonable free market in energy. (Who's paying 'em to clobber coal? Given the history I'd be asking.) But in the UK it seems to me that by now we're much further from a reasonable free market in energy, meaning the prospects for shale here lag way behind you. So best of British is a phrase that probably isn't that apt. :)

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Sorry that link in my last post no longer reaches the blog post in question. Try instead, on the same story, Time Magazine's How the Sierra Club Took Millions From the Natural Gas Industry—and Why They Stopped from February 2012. It shouldn't just be alarmists who don't entirely trust all the actions of fossil fuel companies.

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

[...]this expensive non-solution to a non-problem.
Jun 30, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Out of all of it that there is what really burns me. IF there actually was a PROBLEM the various solutions do nothing to solve the imaginary problem. They have gone so far as to actually through regulation declared that burning bio-fuel is carbon neutral and by some magic CO2 is not produced during the combustion of bio-fuel. -GAH- @#!$*^#

Jun 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

Just a thought...
If the UK is (legally - ha!) required to produce 30% of its energy from renewables by 2020 (or is it 2030..?) - is that 30% of CAPACITY..? Or is it - hysterically funny, this - 30% of ACTUAL output..? On that basis, we need about another 277000 wind turbines - as we are ACTUALLY producing at present about 1.8% of capacity...
But - hey - the DECC (bless) tells me that 'The UK has a significant wind resource..'

Jun 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Is that 2012 figures?
Is it for one year?
Is it investment that year or running costs?

So spending 79 billion usd postpones GW one day. That sounds like a really good deal...

Jun 30, 2014 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterHalken

This is good. Could Josh or someone please publish something similar using UK figures?

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Earl

So, it looks as if the global warming that would otherwise take place by 2100 will be postponed by one day, thanks to Green Policies.

Shouldn't 31 December 2099 be declared a public holiday all over the world? The people living then could have a hell of a New Year's Eve party to celebrate "success" in postponing global warming!

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

"take to the streets with pitchforks and flaming torches"

That will be easy, if not inevitable, if/when the grid goes off for any length of time.

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamesp

English Pensioner (10:46 AM): it has been shown that raising a population out of poverty is a way of controlling the population growth. Okay, the effects might take a few years to appear, but consider the average Victorian family compared with that of just a few decades later – 16 against 6. Expand that globally, and you get natural population control – by wealth! Very non-Socialistic.

On a different vein, I have said it before, and say it again: almost everyone agrees that weather and climates are driven by energy; almost everyone agrees that much of this energy is harnessed in the wind. So… what effect on the weather and climates will there be by the removal of energy from the atmosphere by wind turbines?

Has ANYONE actually considered that aspect? Would it be possible to encapsulate that in a cartoon?

Jun 30, 2014 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

In the news today:

Consumer energy bills to rise to keep power plants open

Households will fund retainer payments to keep more than 53GW of power stations ready to fire up when needed.

So the UK now has to pay these power stations to sit around and do nothing, fully staffed, just in case the wind temporarily stops blowing. Has it occurred to anyone they could just dynamite the wind turbines and let the power stations make the power, thereby saving everyone a shedload of money?

Logic seems not to be a strong point with Mr Davey. Nor science.

Jun 30, 2014 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce of Newcastle

David Porter Jun 30, 2014 at 8:01 AM
It's a great cartoon, but only if the facts are correct. Postponing warming by only one day seems hard to believe. One year seems intuitively more likely.
///////////////////////

I do not know whether the facts are correct, but I do recall having seen on a number of occassions claims (which are apparently based upon government statistics) that the effect of the UK's reduction in emissions will delay the onset of global warming by a matter of hours.

Of course solar and wind renewables do not lead to any significant reduction in CO2 emissions, in view of the need for conventional backup. Wind only produces about 22% of its nameplate capacity, and that 22% contribution towards energy on the grid, does not result in any substantial reduction in CO2 emissions since the ramping up and down of conventional powered generators is inefficient, and uses almost as much coal/gas as if the conventionally powered generator had been run at steady continued base load. It is akin to hte urban fuel consumption of a car, motorway driving at about a constant 60mph requires considerably less fuel than the constant start stop of town driving.
The same is so when conventionally powered generators have to fill in for the 78% of the time (ie., 100 - 22%) when wind is not producing power.

Bio-fuel increases CO2 emissions, since it has considerably less calorific value to that of coal or gas.

Over-all no net reduction in CO2 emissions, and hence the reason why the policy is so futile and a complete waste of money.

Jul 1, 2014 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Radical Rodent: "So… what effect on the weather and climates will there be by the removal of energy from the atmosphere by wind turbines?

Has ANYONE actually considered that aspect? Would it be possible to encapsulate that in a cartoon?"

I have a vague memory from The Day Today or something similar a news bulletin about a wind farm that had used up all the wind or run out of wind..

Jul 2, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

If we did not spend $2 TRILLION on one war in Iraq, it would all become academic.

Jul 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGarethman

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