At first glance, wind and solar power seem like attractive alternatives to fossil fuels: clean, abundant, and cheap. What’s not to like?
Other than that they’re both frauds, as Alex Epstein explains for Prager University:
The diluteness and intermittency problems Alex mentions are worth repeating. Solar power can’t be generated at night, nor can wind power be produced when the wind stops blowing or blows too strongly. Because both are intermittent, backup coal and gas-fired plants need to be kept spinning 24-by-7 on standby to make sure the power we need still flows into the grid. Kind of defeats the whole environmentalist point, doesn’t it?
“Diluteness” –the fact that energy from wind and solar is not concentrated, unlike energy from fossil fuels– requires that wind and solar “farms” take up a much larger area than fossil-fueled or nuclear plants in order to generate a given amount of usable power, thus blighting the landscape. Oh, and killing lots of birds. There’s that quandary for Environmental Justice Warriors, again.
And don’t get me started on how uneconomical both are, requiring massive taxpayer-funded subsidies to operate at all.
It’s not that I’m a great fan of coal and oil. Eventually, we will find a way to at least minimize our need for them. But, for foreseeable future, they’re the cheapest, most efficient means for powering this amazing civilization we’ve built. (1)
RELATED: A good book on the problems with wind power is “The Wind Farm Scam” by John Etherington.
(1) Though Bill Gates is on the right track.