Why Renewable Energy Won't Save Us from Climate Change

The growth rates of solar and wind energy may have taken to the sky, but renewables alone won't stop climate change. Source: NASA.

Renewable energy installations have soared in recent years. Wind energy has grown at an average rate of 30% since 2007 and now supplies 3.4% of the nation's electricity. The photovoltaic segment of the solar industry grew at a 35% clip in the year preceding the third quarter of 2013. More impressive is the fact that residential solar installations from companies such as REC Solar, SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY  ) , and SunPower  (NASDAQ: SPWR  ) have grown at a nearly 50% annual clip in recent years.

Even energy generators are getting in on the action. NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE  ) generates 52%, or 9.2 gigawatts, of its power from wind and another 19% from nuclear, hydroelectric, and solar power. Numerous other power generators have increased the presence of renewables in their portfolios in the last decade. That means we can sit back and watch climate change worries vanish into the midday sun and cool summer breeze, right?  

Not quite. James Hansen, the former chief climate scientist at NASA, captured headlines in early January by smacking green enthusiasts with a dose of reality at a press conference held to discuss a climate change study titled Assessing "Dangerous Climate Change": Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature. His central argument was that relying on renewable technology to save planet Earth from the devastating effects of climate change was irresponsible and impossible, instead suggesting that the world needed vast quantities of nuclear power to have any real shot at averting disaster.

You may not agree with Hansen's comments, but the hard numbers prove him correct. Here's what the data show and how it could affect your investments.

Easter Bunny. Tooth Fairy. Renewables?
Hansen didn't pull any punches in delivering his message:

Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

Sorry, kids. It's a bit harsh, but it accurately conveys reality. Barring a significant and overnight technological advancement that makes renewable energy drastically cheaper, more accessible, and more efficient than existing sources of energy (including current-generation renewables), renewable technologies are not our best bet to combat climate change.

For instance, despite the impressive growth of solar installations the entire solar industry only generates 0.12% of the nation's electricity. Wind has been more successful -- and got a technological head start -- but still accounts for just 3.4%. I actually think that's quite impressive, especially considering that wind energy generation increased more than 23-fold from 2000 to 2012. But it means little in the grand scheme of things.  

In 2000, renewable energy as a whole -- wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, wood, and waste -- generated 9% of the nation's electricity. Despite the impressive growth in the years since, the United States will likely only generate about 13% of its electricity from renewable sources. Worse yet, traditional renewables (wind and solar) will generate slightly more than 3.5% of the total. We could -- and probably will -- produce a majority of our energy from renewable sources one day in the future, but if that future is decades from now it will be too late. We need to take climate action now. 

What does it mean for your investments?
Renewables alone may not help the world avert a climate disaster, but that fact doesn't alter the investment thesis for companies such as SolarCity, SunPower, or NextEra Energy. In fact, it may bolster the reasons to own the companies. Why? Each company offers a solution to one or more of the problems plaguing the large-scale adoption of renewable energy.

Consider that the residential and commercial solar platforms of SolarCity and SunPower crush the obstacle of geography. The bulk of renewable resources are located in geographically remote regions far from urban centers that consume the most electricity. It simply isn't realistic to build large new transmission lines -- or even tap into existing lines -- to distribute renewable power throughout the grid. Enabling households and businesses to generate power locally certainly solves that issue, which partially explains the exploding growth opportunities for SolarCity and SunPower.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

Another problem with thinking traditional renewables will quickly provide any significant portion of the nation's electricity is the obstacle of replacement. A recent article in Scientific American estimated that fossil-fuel-related infrastructure had a global value of $20 trillion. Why, then, should we expect global companies to abandon their capital-intensive assets already in the ground and with years of useful life ahead of them in favor of more capital-intensive renewable assets? The numbers simply don't work.

NextEra Energy is proving that power generation portfolios don't need to rely on fossil fuels for the majority of their capacity. When older, dirtier power plants are retired and utilities search for cleaner, cheaper sources of generation, NextEra will have the national reach and expertise to answer the call. It's also difficult to argue with the combination of market growth, dividends (3% at the moment), and a swelling bottom line offered by the company.

Foolish takeaway
The growth of renewable energy in terms of technological advancement (increased efficiency, falling costs) and contributions to the national grid is impressive and welcome. It will certainly play a critical role in reducing the world's reliance on energy imports, and will help in answering the challenges presented by climate change. However, renewable energy alone won't be the planet's savior.

It's important to note that Hansen isn't saying renewable energy represents a waste of research dollars or that it should be abandoned. Neither am I.That doesn't mean investment opportunities don't exist and, as I've outlined, it may even strengthen the investment thesis in renewable technologies.

Will renewable energy continue its torrid pace of growth?

There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. There may be a massive opportunity in residential solar for SolarCity and SunPower, but with such large share gains in recent years investors may be wondering how much growth is left in the tank. Luckily, the Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

 


Read/Post Comments (42) | Recommend This Article (7)

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  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 2:15 PM, tigerade wrote:

    The human race has serious challenges in front of us - not just climate change but also overpopulation, water and food production, deforestation, ocean acidification, extinction of certain species of plants and animals.. I am confident that we can solve these problems before they create a crisis. But before that, we have GOT TO solve the problem of science denial, aka willful ignorance that prevents us from working together as a species to solve complex tasks. I can't even read a science article anymore without a flood of Luddites coming in and posting rage, fear and ignorance. This has be overcome if we are to be successful.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 3:50 PM, JePonce wrote:

    Man-made Climate Change. Consensus is not science, political science is!

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:47 PM, piasabird wrote:

    So are you trying to discourage renewables because you are in bed with the existing power companies or what? What is the purpose of the article and who is behind it?

    You can hype up global warming or climate change but what if this is just a drought we can not do anything about? What does global warming exactly get us? Nothing at all. This cold winter is not over yet.

    So what is next? What are your solutions? Build smaller houses. Build more apartments and use central heating. Use smaller cars. America is not willing to do what is needed to make a change.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:48 PM, ordoglaci wrote:

    the only thing can save us from a catastrophic climate change is NUCLEAR POWER.... hello dummies of America... hello... good morning...

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:48 PM, piasabird wrote:

    Calling people stupid that dont agree with you does not solve our energy problems.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:51 PM, walt8960 wrote:

    I expected more from the fools at motley...how do we expect to ''save ourselves'' from something that is inevitable...the climate of the earth has been changing since the moment of its creation and it isn't going to stop simply because we humans decided we liked the climate of the 1980s the best...that's not to say I don't support advancement of clean renewable energy sources, because I do, but to try to force their development and use through fear mongering is beyond acceptable to me.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:53 PM, piasabird wrote:

    A lot of the USA is in a flood plain last I checked. Then there are earth quakes in california. Nuclear power has an inherent problem. Where do you put all the spent nuclear materials? We would need Nuclear Breeder Reactors to recycle fuel rods or something like that.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 5:20 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @plasabird

    The aarticle States numerous times that renewable energy by itself won't save us from climate change. Not once do I say we should abandon the development of alternatives.

    However, nuclear energy is likely our only available option to cut carbon emissions dramatically and overnight. In fact, Generation IV reactors capable of consuming used nuclear fuel do exist.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/02/could-a-nuc...

    Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 5:25 PM, klausmager wrote:

    any which way you cut it, we are in for interesting times. The water shortage in California is going to wreck havoc to food prices (50% of produce, over 80% of dates, figs, olives, dates, avocados come from CA).

    No we don't want to go backwards. But if the guys from NASA are correct in their assessment, and I do believe they are, what in the world are we doing? Arguing over spilled milk? Think about issues that will arise.

    Millions of people displaced in countries that do not have the resources to cope (climate refugees) looking for food and space. Food security will become an issue everywhere. Energy production. This is likely to become an existential challenge unless we can figure out how to pull together and create mitigation strategies, seriously disruptive.

    I can already hear the responses; enviro nazis imposing their world view.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 5:29 PM, MarkGoldes wrote:

    Breakthrough renewable technologies will provide power 24/7.

    Though still not accepted by most scientists, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions "Cold Fusion" is clearly real. Commercialization for industrial heat has begun.

    BlackLight Power issued a Press Release and held a private demonstration last month claiming they can produce 10MW of power from water vapor. They have raised $80m and secured a number of patents with more pending. Their work is even more controversial.

    Atmospheric heat, an untapped solar source containing thousands of times more energy than all of the planet's fossil fuels can run engines and provide power 24/7. See the AESOP Institute website.

    All of these may provide practical and cost-competitive alternatives to radioactive fuels. They are inherently much safer and simpler. See CHEAP GREEN on the same website.

    Desktop versions of NO FUEL PISTON ENGINES designed to run on atmospheric heat are being prototyped. Once validated by independent labs they will be scaled to ever larger sizes.

    FUEL-FREE TURBINES will also run on atmospheric heat combined with atmospheric pressure. They promise hybrid cars with unlimited range that can sell power to utilities when suitably parked, perhaps eventually paying for themselves. No wires needed.

    A few scientists post extensive rants in the erroneous belief that our claims reflect dishonesty and fraud. Prototypes examined by independent laboratories will prove them wrong in the not-too-distant future.

    These alternatives are Black Swans - highly improbable innovations with enormous implications. Not the least of which is the opening of paths to a stronger economy. Radioactive and fossil fuels can fade away.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:04 PM, True411 wrote:

    Nuclear power IS the only way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Renewables are either too unreliable (wind, solar) or they're environmental disasters themselves (biofuels).

    The environMENTALists won't ever support nuclear, so is a climate disaster unavoidable? NO! Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a SCAM.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:15 PM, ShadowOfTheVoid wrote:

    Hansen is absolutely right. While we should continue to invest in renewables, we should not delude ourselves into thinking we can quit fossil fuels cold turkey and immediately switch to solar, wind, etc. The tech just isn't there yet. It will be one day, but this is not that day. However, we can not only switch to nuclear now, we were capable of doing so a long time ago. But green groups keep shooting themselves in the foot by fighting against nuclear. Every time they succeed in shutting down a nuclear plant, said plant will not be replaced by wind or solar but by coal, and despite the fossil fuel industry's claims, there's no such thing as "clean coal." All coal produces CO2 when burned. With the anti-nuclear movement gaining momentum after exaggerated fears following the Fukushima incident, some countries are going to start replacing their existing nuclear plants with more coal. This despite nuclear being many times safer than coal power. Countless more people die as a direct result of coal power in a single year than have ever died because of nuclear.

    So, in what is some of the worst sort of irony imaginable, every victory for the anti-nuclear movement is a victory for the coal industry. The longer we wait to switch to nuclear, the more damage is done to the environment by ever-increasing levels of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by coal plants.

    @JePonce. Do you have a problem with consensus science? Every other standard theory — evolution, the Big Bang, quantum theory, atomic theory, the theory of relativity, the germ theory of disease, the theory of plate tectonics, and so forth — has near-universal acceptance in the appropriate fields. In other words, the consensus is these theories are the best explanation of the observations and data. AGW theory is no different. As an astrophysicist named Tim Thompson once said "Standard theories are standard for a reason, and it's not prejudice or bias, as the supporters of much alternative 'science' would have you believe. They are standard because they work, and really for no better reason than that."

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:26 PM, Smitovsky wrote:

    There is nothing from which we need to be "saved", folks...wake up. You honestly think if we switch to nuclear power the "climate" will "change"? To what? Somehow different than it is now? Perhaps more like the early 1900's....killer typhoons, devastating hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornados, etc.? We should all be embarrassed at the whole conversation. What about poverty, hunger, wars, genocide, murder, terrorism, etc....these are all more real, more devastating, more insidious, more current...and yet we'd rather waste time worrying about something that isn't even here. What is wrong with our species?

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 7:04 PM, GrayPlayer wrote:

    Fossil, solar, hydro, wind, nuclear have not altered the landscape as much as humans.

    Man's insatiable quest for temporary satisfaction trumps longevity.

    NASA and astronomers search the heavens for distant "earths" in preparation of mans total destruction of earth.

    Do world leaders know something the "man on the street" is unaware of!!!

    Will the next world war destroy earth!

    Man's desires eclipse's his intelligence!

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 7:15 PM, christian1269 wrote:

    Maybe we should harness the energy of hurricanes? tsunamis? earthquakes? sunlight from global warming? floods? the energy of juvenile delinquents and criminals? Put a windmill in a hurricane's path?

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 7:35 PM, LarryMDR wrote:

    This article is 'lopsided' because it focuses only on electricity generation which accounts for only 38% of carbon dioxide generation.

    Fully 62% of the carbon dioxide generated in the US comes from transportation, industrial, etc.

    The article ignores the progress made in these other areas accounting for 62% of emissions, leading the reader to believe it all depends only on electrical generation. A holistic article or at least a mention that electricity generation is only a minor part of the carbon problem is appropriate for the reader to get the full picture.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 7:56 PM, kukailnguk wrote:

    Non renwable energy means it runs out, the fossil fuels peak was in 2008 world wide, takes millions of years to make, so it is no longer available to pollute and destroy the health and the life on earth.

    You can support fossil fuels all you want, but once it is gone, it is gone. so it is best to prepare. Don't you think?

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 9:53 PM, pvs58 wrote:

    Well I see a lot of open roofs and yards with no solar panels. But the article is correct in the sense that nothing will be quite as cheap as oil flowing from an easy to extract source. Yet we've seen that easy to extract oil is diminishing. Mexico already hit peak oil in 2006. New technologies may extend "peak oil" but at a high cost. For one, it lulls us into a false sense of an eternal supply of fossil fuels. And of course as the remaining oil becomes harder to get, the cost of fuel rises. This can create inflation, of the "cost-push" variety. We saw what that did to the late-1970s when gas more than doubled in price to a very pricey $1.29 (for 1980 that was high!).

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:10 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    Silly article. No can predict what gasoline will cost next month but somehow this guy is able to predict how much renewable energy will be produced for years into the future. Many places in the world can use more solar energy than the US because they lie closer to the tropics. So humans will have to do what they have always done; which is muddle through every crisis that we have ever had.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:13 PM, emjayay wrote:

    OK, renewables aren't enough. Fine. Flacking for nuclear isn't the only solution.There are a hundred ways we could reduce carbon and CO2. A carbon tax would be a start. A CO2 tax on cars like in the UK is another place to start.

    The big and easy thing we could do is conservation. We use far way more energy heating and air conditioning than we could. We have millions of uninsulated and inadequately insulated houses, apartments, and buildings. Even if the government (all the taxpayers, really) has to insulate buildings for free it would be worth it. Most Americans including building owners aren't smart or foresighted enough to understand the investment pays off. Once LED lightbulbs get a lot cheaper in a few years, give them out for free.

    Cut airplane flights by putting in high speed rail from Boston to Miami. Maybe that would have been a good idea instead of a pointless unprovoked war in Iraq.

    Do everything we can to limit population growth all over the world. Stop deforestation which is still rampant.

    And that stil leaves a hundred things to do.

    This is an impending worldwide emergency and if we don't do big things now we will have to do bigger things in the future.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:13 PM, trilene wrote:

    The so called green energy movement is totally miss leading.

    !. Solar cells are very toxic to produce and are less than 25% efficient.

    2. Wind energy; the wind does not blow all the time and the power grid where it does is very limited. so transferring the power produced even if the infrastructure is built will make it to expensive.

    3. There is no device that can store enough energy to make either wind or solar viable (The wind is unpredictable and the sun doesn't shin 24 hours a day). The base load for a consistent and reliable power grid still has to have coal, gas, hydro and nuclear power sources. By adopting this inefficient green energy we would be doubling our environmental impact

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:25 PM, RobP1965 wrote:

    A step to where I knew we would go. Very soon, there will be an article talking about Nuclear being unsafe. More on global warming, more on over population and so on. The end game is not to lower carbon emissions or curtail global warming. Many of these people want an extinction of mankind. In the near future, they will most likely succeed.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:31 PM, DaSky wrote:

    AGW is a hoax and con Fool, please catch up!

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:48 PM, fireofenergy1 wrote:

    The perfect grid would be one with no moving parts that can be ramped up or down instantly, but solar PV and batteries need to be mass produced by machine for almost an order of magnitude less. If cars can drive themselves, it seems this could also become a possibility.

    In the meantime, we must develop the closed cycle molten fuels nuclear reactor designs and deploy at planetary scales!

    Either way, we will need a better grid, far cheaper electric car batteries and MORE overall energy (so the rest of the world can develop).

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:53 PM, fireofenergy1 wrote:

    Empirical evidence of global warming (excess CO2) is the expansion and the lowering of the pH balance of the oceans. Objective evidence is in the fact that CO2 is an infrared absorber, that is, if we didn't have any. the Earth would freeze up (so more is NOT good).

    We WILL eventually run out of cheap fossil fuels.

    Humanity in depletion mode is humanity at WAR (especially if in an overheated biosphere)!

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:03 PM, fireofenergy1 wrote:

    Without subsidy, solar and wind may get 20% growth. But at that rate, it could still "power everything" in just a few decades. The problem with that is the same enviro's who are fighting tooth and nail against closed cycle melt down PROOF nuclear are the same ones already opposing large scale wind and solar.

    Bty, it will take close to half a million square miles of solar to power just half of a fully developed planetary civilization of 10 billion.

    Those that say we can conserve our way out of fossil fueled depletion (and an over heated biosphere) are NOT thinking about the needs of the developing world and our own future.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:05 PM, fireofenergy1 wrote:

    Not to say we shouldn't conserve, though!

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:14 PM, durhamkid wrote:

    I am a physicist and have worked in the energy conservation field for over 30 years, with a minor side business in renewable energy (solar pv).

    This article, like almost every other one that attempts to address this issue, fails to identify the most immediately deployable, greatest job creating and MOST cost effective energy source: CONSERVATION.

    Furthermore, the premise that nuclear energy, the most subsidized energy source in history, can save us is absurd: the safety record is horrific and waste disposal, security concerns and decomissioning costs have never been adequately addressed. Furthermore, like all finite fuel sources, the supply of nuclear fuel will not last forever.

    We MUST stop behaving like children, thinking about how much energy we "need" - and start learning to live within our renewable energy budgets, which are capable of providing a very high standard of living IF it is deployed intelligently and efficiently.

    Nuclear power will result in more Fukashimas, either by accident or by the deliberate action of terrorists. More nuclear plants simply means more opportunities for things to go wrong.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:19 PM, fireofenergy1 wrote:

    We need to demand molten fuels which are inherently safe and thus meltdown proof. Any scientist knows that the energy density of fission will out perform renewables because of intrinsic costs. Nuclear fails miserably because the light water reactor is NOT inherently safe (but has a better safety record than coal, oil, NG, and even hydroelectric (sadly).

    The bad water dams are comparable to bad water reactors. We can improve the dams so they don't break but we must ditch the LWR for the closed cycle.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:47 AM, speculawyer wrote:

    "instead suggesting that the world needed vast quantities of nuclear power"

    NO! It is not INSTEAD .. . it is in addition to renewables.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:53 AM, greenknight32 wrote:

    Nuclear can't be built out fast enough, either, and it creates major disasters when it goes wrong - and it will go wrong from time to time, nothing is perfect.

    Conservation is a big key, we have to stop using energy wastefully.

    We also need to reform our food production system - industrial agriculture puts vast amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, a major contribution to global warming. Organic farming, on the other hand, increases the carbon content of the soil, removing more greenhouse gas from the atmosphere than it releases.

    We must attack this problem on all fronts, not just energy production.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 1:40 AM, KeytoClearskies wrote:

    Mark Goldes' "Aesop Institute" has engaged for many years in the very dishonest and unscrupulous practice of soliciting loans and donations under an endless series of false pretenses, that it is developing and even "prototyping" various "revolutionary breakthroughs," such as "NO FUEL ENGINES" that run on ambient heat alone - or run on "Virtual Photon Flux" - or on "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits" - or even on the acoustic energy of sound from a horn.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe strictly ambient heat engine is ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This has been understood by physicists for at least 180 years. There is no "new science" that has ever determined such an engine to be possible.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe "Virtual Photon Flux" engine is based on the idea that accessible electric power "is everywhere present in unlimited quantities" - which we know to be false.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits" engine is based on Randell Mills' theory of "hydrino" hydrogen, which every scientist knows to be false.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe horn-powered engine is based on the pretense that a magnetized tuning rod could somehow "multiply energy" - a ludicrous notion, which is obviously ruled out by the law of conservation of energy.

    Aesop Institute's very latest make-believe engine is a perpetual motion machine in the form of a self-powered air compressor, which proposes to use a turbine to compress air to spin the turbine to compress air to spin the turbine.

    Aesop Institute has never offered the slightest shadow of evidence that it is actually developing or "prototyping" any of these make-believe physics-defying "revolutionary breakthroughs." All it has ever offered are mere declarations that it is doing so - unsupported by any proof whatever, of any kind whatever.

    There are no "revolutionary breakthroughs" to be found on Goldes' fraudulent "Aesop Institute" website. There is only pseudoscience, relentless flimflam, and empty claims of engines that are ruled out by the laws of physics.

    http://physicsreviewboard.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/perpetual...

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 1:41 AM, lordhoff wrote:

    You can't fight mother nature.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:22 AM, McSniperliger wrote:

    Climate Change cannot be altered. Its a natural occurrence that happens. It is not human made. Humans came around towards the end of the last Ice Age...what happens after every winter???? It warms up. Its nothing we can control but forcing the indoctrination that Humans cause Climate change is complete BS. Scientists do not even have accurate reads of how the world was back in the 1700s and even before then. Computer models don't tell you much and those can be changed to go one way or another.

    Overpopulation will happen way before anything else happens. The best thing we can do is drop the political BS about Global Climate Change and start coming up with ways to handle the world population. Space Colonies is one great step for humanity, however one of its major downsides is the cost. Instead of racing against China and Russia we should work with them in creating ways for the Human race to go on. Colonizing the moon and Mars is a great step.

    Send up rovers that can put together Pre-fab shelters in space and have Space Stations in orbit around Mars. If we start now I'll bet by 2040 we'll have colonies in space and 20,000 people living up there.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 4:49 AM, energielibera wrote:

    Doamnelor si Doamnelor,

    Articolul este excelent .Am preocupari in dezvoltarea sistemelor de conversia energieie regenerabile sau neconventionala.sper sa pot comunica cu dumneavoastra si sa ma ajutati sa mediatizez realizarile mele in domeniul conversieie energiei.Echipamente brevetate :

    -motor cu implozie,

    -generator neconventional,

    -motor magnetic,

    -motorgrnrrator cu tripla conversie,

    etc.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 6:12 AM, oneofthemasses wrote:

    Global warming! I've seen enough and heard enough to know it's all bunk. Ex IPPC scientist quitting because they can't support the fraud. Others looking at legal problems for lying on a previous report. Hacked emails discussing the details of the fraud. Climate scientist around the world threatened with cutting of funding if they don't go along with the fraud. Enough! Let this fraud die it due death.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 7:43 AM, RedaP wrote:

    It should be noted that renewables here are only for electricity. There very small contribution in that sector does nothing for transportation, heating, and animal agriculture.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 8:53 AM, Dahun wrote:

    The 3.4% of power from wind is overstated. This is the based on the nameplate capacity of the wind turbines. In fact, wind power generates on average 25 % of the time.

    Taking the actual electricity generated this would be 25% of the 3.4% or 0.85% of power from wind. This power is 4-5 times more expensive than conventional power even with the massive grants, tax credits and mandated usage at the cost of ratepayers.

    Another inconvenient truth is that wind (or solar) coupled with the required less efficient fossil fuel power plant uses more fossil fuel and produces mor carbon dioxide than having a modern efficient natural gas powwr plant that can run 100% of the time with a 20% greater efficiency than the back-up power that is required to be running when wind is idled.

    Wind and solar have no value; as power or as 'green' power.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 11:23 AM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @Dahun

    "The 3.4% of power from wind is overstated. This is the based on the nameplate capacity of the wind turbines."

    No, it's based on actual generation.

    Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:22 PM, Socal2014 wrote:

    I so think that it is important to continue to develop and invest in renewable energy sources, however I agree that renewable energy sources won't save us from climate change. For all of those who immediately think that climate change equals the infamous and hotly debated "global warming," well I am not saying they are equal.

    The fact is, the global climate has been changing at an accelerated rate over the past few decade when compared to past history. Unless you have been hold up in a deep hole in the ground for the past 50 years you should be able to look around and see this. I do think this is the earths' reaction to what man is inputing into the environment. You just need to review 5th grade climate science to realize that the huge amount of heat our cities generate must have some impact on climate patterns. Please notice I am not specifying carbon emissions, just the heat alone has to have some impact. If you believe that the effect of carbon emissions in the atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect is true, then the carbon emissions just make it worse.

    I don't think you can single out one cause for climate change. Some may be the natural cycle of the earth, but I see man's energy use as being a catalyst that is accelerating the climate changes we see. I suppose you could say that climate changes is the earth's immune response to man...

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 4:49 PM, FoolishCoyote wrote:

    This article and many of the comments tend to take a position that we merely need to change one thing and we will be able to continue using up more and more of earth's resources while liquidating all of the biosphere's processes for our own purposes and profit at an ever increasing rate. The problem is not simply switching one system of producing energy for another, but the need to change how we live on this planet. If we don't do it for ourselves we are going to be forced into it as more and more of earth's and our societies many self-maintaining systems increasingly collapse. At that not very far in the future, our investment porfolios will have as much use as the Roman baths after the German invasions.

    The comment from emjayay and some others had good points about conserving, but conserving just by better insulating our buildings (which in fact represent 40% of our energy consumption), is not enough. We could also build our houses and communities so they advantageously interact with the seasonal movements of the sun, as people used to build houses before the age of cheap energy, instead of simply plopping them down so they face the streets without regard for context. A growing number of architects are showing us how to orient houses towards the sun with systems of air flow and internal heat sinks to heat and cool the houses without using any energy at all, or even producing net energy. Simply retrofitting our housing stock to naturally heat and cool themselves according to relatively inexpensive already well-developed architectural techniques could greatly reduce the energy pressures while also providing immense numbers of jobs. Some smart business startups and investors could get in ahead of the game and do quite well, I think, instead of throwing their money onto risky nuclear power plants in which, as we saw in Chernobyl and Fukushima one disaster could have catastrophic results not just for large numbers of people and the environment, but for investor portfolios as well.

    The Mongolians have a saying that if you going to ride a horse then face the same direction that you are going, which is to say if you want to solve environmental problems do it in a way that doesn't create new ones. Nuclear power looks great because the studies saying otherwise produced from within the nuclear power industry, such as those from the 25 years work on nuclear safety produced by the late Dr. Stanley Thompson, former employee of GE and Westinghouse as well as the Oak Ridge National Weapons Laboratory, who I met and talked long with in Eugene, Oregon, a year before his death, have been suppressed by Oak Ridge.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2014, at 6:22 PM, swampdawg1 wrote:

    I don't agree with that, what we really need to do is lower population, which in turn will create less demand on energy use and it's the most Green Way to go about it.

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