Renewable Energies Failure

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shocked the world with its forecast of glaciers melting, rising oceans, flooded cities and widespread starvation. Now it has issued a stunning report on the difficulties of creating renewable energy. It is a killer for the Obama administration’s wildly optimistic promise of a future world of renewable energies.

The 1,000-page IPCC report presents an assessment of the scientific, technical, environmental, economic, and social aspects of the contributions of six renewable energy (RE) sources to the mitigation of climate change.

“Increasing the share of RE in the energy mix will require policies to simulate changes in the energy system. Their share is projected to increase substantially under most ambitious mitigation scenarios,” said the report. But additional policies would be required to attract the necessary increases in investment in technologies and infrastructure.

More billions in federal subsidies, for instance? The Obama administration has spend at least $70 billion so far on subsidies for renewable energies of one kind or another.

On a global basis, it was estimated that RE accounted for 12.9 percent of the total primary energy supply in 2008. The largest contributor was biomass (10.2 percent) with the majority of it being used in cooking and heating in developing countries. Hydropower represented 2.3 percent. Other RE sources accounted for only 0.4 percent. Solar power was 0.1 percent, wind energy was said to be a bare 0.2 percent of energy produced worldwide.

Technical potentials indicate a limit to the contribution of some RE technologies. Factors such as “sustainability concerns, public acceptance, system integration, and infrastructure restraints or economic factors may also limit deployment of renewable energy technologies,” the report said. “The costs associated with RE integration, whether for electricity, heating, cooling, gaseous, or liquid fuels are “contextual, site-specific, and generally difficult to determine.” The number of people without access to modern energy services is expected to remain unchanged “unless relevant domestic policies are implemented, which may be supported…by international assistance as appropriate.”

Bioenergy can be produced from a variety of biomass feedstocks, including livestock residue, energy crops, and organic waste systems. “Advanced biomass integrated gasification combined-cycle power plants and lignocellulose-based transport fuels are examples of technologies that are at pre-commercial stage, while liquid fuel from algae and some other biological conversion approaches are at the research and development (R&D) phase.”

Direct solar energy technologies “harness the energy of solar irradiance to produce electricity for photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) to produce thermal energy, to meet direct lighting needs, and potentially, to produce fuels that might be used for transport and other purposes…. Solar energy is variable and, to some degree, unpredictable.”

Geothermal energy uses energy from the earth’s interior. Fluids of various temperatures can be used to generate electricity. Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are in the demonstration and pilot stage.

Hydropower harnesses the power of water moving from higher to lower elevations. Think of the Hoover Dam.

Ocean energy comes from the potential kinetic, thermal, and chemical energy of seawater, which can be transformed to produce electricity. These projects are at a pilot project phase.

Wind energy uses the kinetic energy of moving air to produce electricity from large wind turbines located on shore and at sea.

Wind is unpredictable. But many wind farms are successful. The problem is transmission lines connecting the turbines to the power plants.

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  • Jim

    So how many jobs for Americans has this new energy created?

    • Harvey

      None thats permenant,and never will.

  • geez

    When you see the government throw that much money down a rat hole like RE it's about redistribution of wealth. They are going to eventually put us in a position that forces us to bow down to their agenda as they consistently take away our rights and freedom. Why wouldn't we drill for our own oil when that would give us freedom from the Arabs? Control comes to my mind.

  • Harvey

    Renewable energy,that sounds good but in reality will never work in this Country for everyone.Cost will eventually cause the idiots in Washington to see that there are some areas in this Country that useing this kind of energy cant be done.That is after they have wasted another 100 billion or so,or until the voters get enough of the ever riseing price of gas and finally wake up and kick the fools out of office.It may be to late already.

  • Raymond in DC

    The subsidies required to promote technologies that are not otherwise economically viable has the potential to bankrupt a nation's economy – witness Spain, for example.

    We will remain dependent on fossil fuels (and nuclear) until long past the time we are all dead. Those who face that reality will prosper. Brazil is drilling. China is drilling. Even Israel, based on newly discovered offshore gas fields, is drilling.

    • alexander

      do not expect logic from commie kooks

  • Wesley69

    I don't understand why a deal can't be struck between politicans favorizing renewalables and those favoring drilling. Both can be done with one, possibly, financing the other. Yet, the opposite is taking place in Washington. The administration, while saying it favors drilling, puts more and more restrictions on drilling both onshore and offshore. It talks about leasing, but that is not drilling permits. Then, it favors drilling in Brazil?????

    There is more than energy policy going on here. It is about control, transfer of wealth and taking care of your political base. That is the game the administration is playing. It is creating a crisis. Already, it is blaming the oil companies for the high prices of gasoline, where in reality, if the government allowed drilling, prices on oil futures would come down. This is something the administration DOES NOT want.

    • tanstaafl

      "Then, it favors drilling in Brazil?????"

      One word answer – Soros.

      • Wesley69

        The puppetmaster, himself. He must have a lot of stock invested in Libyan oil.

  • Cynic

    This article has been brought to you by the Oil Industry.

    • lscott

      'Big Oil' – the private oil industry – only controls 5% of the world's supply of oil. All the rest is controlled by governments, like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc. Blaming the private oil industry for current oil prices is ludicrous, and it's not their fault either that these alternative technologies are so worthless. Private capital will flow to where ever there is an opportunity to make a profit. The fact that these thechnologies are kept viable only through government subsidies tells me everything I need to know.

  • Carbondioxide

    "Wind is unpredictable. But many wind farms are successful. The problem is transmission lines connecting the turbines to the power plants."
    Define successful.
    Is this a quote from IPCC or the author? Regardless, the declaration that many wind farms are successful is true as long as you consider 4X cost of wind-generated electricity compared to coal as "successful".

  • Carbondioxide

    I do not work for coal or oil, but I farm. There might be an important difference between transportation fuels and the blue-sky energy sources trumpeted as "all of the above" by liberals and conservatives alike. The surcharge on the national economy trying to secure foreign oil (war, foreign aid, counterterror, OPEC and other thugs) should be compared to the ethanol blender's credit, $3.3 billion in 2007. Interestingly, the blenders credit is a favorite target of the conservative think tanks. Politicians should be attacking windmills and solar energy, but nooo that is too stylish. Lots of windmills are standing still in Iowa because the transmission lines are not there. I am sure the longsuffering Chicago ratepayers do not mind paying for these minor inefficiencies of the government agencies.
    The ethanol blenders credit benefits everyone who buys gasoline. Who benefits from windmills and other manifestations of "green" ideologies? The few. Certainly not the ratepayers.

    • Kitefisher

      What about the often overlooked fact that it takes much more energy to produce ethanol than the energy equivalent derived from the ethanol additive itself?

      What about all the unintended consequences of taking a wide-spread, indispensable food product basic to a dizzying array of other foods and consumables and burning it?

      Benefits everyone who buys gasoline? Really? Isn't it more about ethanol subsidies that only benefit those that grow corn.

      Corn…burning it as a fuel is sheer and fatally short-sighted stupidity in so many ways. Unless you just happen to own acres and acres of it; and, all you care about is getting the best price for your crop through yet another federally-sponsored farmer's entitlement program.

      Thanks to your mindset we could soon be paying $20 or more for a 12 ounce box of Corn Chex.

    • wdwrkr

      "The ethanol blenders credit benefits everyone who buys gasoline"

      Then why are gov't subsidies needed????

  • joelsk44039

    Our company produces baseload power from almost any kind of waste material and doesn't use any government incentives. We can capitalize projects for under $2,500 per installed Kw and make a profit on systems as small as 1.25 Megawatts in size.

  • Chris

    Unfortunately, Pres. Obama and the idiot liberals who surround him are all scientifically illiterate and proud of it.

  • alexander

    Electric CARS……the electric current does NOT come from that clean receptacle on the wall!!
    It comes – oh! – from that "dirty" COAL……you brainless treehuggers!!!
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • alexander

    end of May – and 42 degrees in Chicago….Hey, Algor, is this cold weather a sign of global "warming"? Of course, you say…..and a sign of global cooling would be………………..???
    Hello, I cannot hear you!!!! I can't hear you, you imbecile!!!!! Your used underwear has higher IQ than you.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I know that every month I intentionally decrease my electric consumption but
    the electric bill keeps going higher with less use and this I attributer to the
    fact rate payers are subsidizing new energy production. In the end I will not
    be able to afford the energy and I guess that is the success Obama is looking
    for. Obama will leave us in the dark and declare our wood fireplace as dangerous
    to the environment, who will be able to afford LPgas or Electric, or Oil or anyting
    else, the environmentalists are trying to kill us and the leftist government is
    their weapon of choice…………………………………………………………..William

  • wdwrkr

    "The Obama administration has spend at least $70 billion so far on subsidies for renewable energies "

    We would have been MUCH better off if just 1/2 this amount had, instead, been used to develop domestic oil resources and clean-coal technology.

    • Peak Oil

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as clean coal. Everytime a new coal processing plant is built with the intention of outfitting it as a 'clean coal' plant, the money falls through for the conversion – hence it becomes a typical coal processing plant. Furthermore, there is ALWAYS going to be a toxic byproduct from the extraction of coal that has to be dealt with. Just because we aren't burning it doesn't mean that these toxins aren't being released into the atmosphere. I highly recommend you read a book entitled 'Confronting Collapse.' It's practically a primer on how our dependance on fossil fuels is ultimately going to destroy our civilization.