The undoubted benefits and uses for ‘renewable’ energy, which we at this site don’t oppose at all, will nonetheless never make up for its unreliable nature, no matter how strenuously green sector and supply chain lobbyists, climate alarmists and state-funded scientists try to coordinate their narrative to the contrary.
The material and land use requirements to make renewables reliable without fossil fuels quickly become unfeasible and just plain ridiculous, and even then they won’t reach the levels of reliability required for the type of modern-day energy supply that the developed world already enjoys and, as we constantly point out on this site, should be pursued as quickly as possible for the developing world, as humanity’s number one priority, if only for simple moral reasons.
Some may argue that trying to engineer the future global climate (with no guarantees and thousands of unknown variables) is more important than prioritizing investments in today’s energy poor, which is a very real, unavoidable trade-off that we have explained on this site many times before (and is well displayed in the article below), but we see that as an entirely immoral and just plain unreasonable pathway that most people, once shown the stark reality, will not pursue.
Others may argue about how much material and land use is considered unfeasible, perhaps preferring, on the one hand, millions of hectares of solar panels, wind turbines and new dams, and thousands of mines, big batteries and hydrogen plants (see images below) to, on the other hand, the continued use of fossil fuels and having more CO2 in the global atmosphere, but that argument is at least a much clearer juxtaposition between highly visible land use changes and general environmental damage, on the renewables side, and higher CO2 levels, on the fossil fuels side (yes nuclear is a key to this, but we leave that for another day/post).
And, even then, the reliability question for renewables will still not be answered, for a number of reasons, including:
- natural disasters can easily wipe-out massive swathes of renewable generation at a single blow, with no quick and simple fix; think major volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hail storms, hurricanes etc. etc.
- manmade errors including electrical fires, bad design, industrial sabotage, war, etc. etc.
- political NIMBY issues, as in many, once confronted with the reality of how much physical space renewables take up, those from the ‘not in my back yard’ crowds may quickly change their allegiances, rendering the projects untenable
Yes, challenges also exist for non-renewable energy sources, but thanks to their density and mobility advantages these can be addressed much quicker and less painfully than for renewables, and, either way, if these types of issues are sure to affect our energy systems shouldn’t we be as prepared as possible and use all possible sources (including, primarily, nuclear) to spread the risk, rather than, as the renewable crowd preaches, take fossil fuels completely off the table, purely to try to somehow influence the future climate while condemning the world to more unreliable energy systems with less total, global supply than would otherwise be the case?
Well, if we ask those currently in energy poverty, the answer is clear and loud:
But if that simple, common sense statement is not enough for you, just listen to the Ugandan president’s words, copied below.
When it comes to the reliable nature of energy supply that most in the developed world take for granted, most of the world’s population just isn’t included in the conversation.
But they need to be, of course.
And that means that unreliable energy sources, and the massive land and materials use that comes with the overly-complicated schemes and ideas that try to make them more reliable, are way down the pecking order of priorities.
And possibly shouldn’t even be on there at all.
Fossil fuels, on the other hand, and hopefully nuclear, should be in the top slot, if only to ensure that global life expectancy continues the epic rise that coal, oil and gas have driven since the industrial revolution.
ARTICLE / SOURCE:
Solar and Wind Force Poverty on Africa – Wall Street Journal
…many developed nations are pushing an accelerated transition to renewables on Africa. The Western aid-industrial complex, composed of nongovernmental organizations and state development agencies, has poured money into wind and solar projects across the continent. This earns them praise in the U.S. and Europe but leaves many Africans with unreliable and expensive electricity that depends on diesel generators or batteries on overcast or still days. Generators and the mining of lithium for batteries are both highly polluting.
Saying any of this meets with backlash from developed nations. Instead of reliable renewables or greener fossil fuels, aid money and development investments go to pushing solar and wind, with all their accompanying drawbacks. And many Western nations have put a blanket ban on public funding for a range of fossil-fuel projects abroad, making it difficult for Africa to make the transition to cleaner nonrenewables.
In the coming decades my continent will have a strong influence on global warming. But it doesn’t now. Were sub-Saharan Africa (minus South Africa) to triple its electricity consumption overnight, powering the new usage entirely by gas, it would add only 0.6% to global carbon emissions.