OOPS! Solar power causes climate change. Green cultists, rent-seekers hardest hit

November 4, 2015
Climate changer

Climate changer

Hat tip to Pirate’s Cove, this little item in The Washington Post should have the climate alarmists, well, alarmed:

Large solar arrays could have some surprising side effects, according to a new study, including causing changes in the local climate.

On a global scale, these changes will be minor compared to what would happen if humans continue to burn fossil fuel for energy instead, but are still worth watching, scientists say.

Figuring out how renewable energy sources will affect their local landscapes is an increasingly relevant challenge for scientists, as more and more nations are vowing to slash their carbon outputs and switch to alternatives, such as solar and wind energy. Previous studies have shown that both solar arrays and wind farms have the potential to cause regional changes in temperature and precipitation by altering the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth or disrupting local airflow patterns.

With this in mind, Aixue Hu, a climate change research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, conducted a study, published Monday in Nature Climate Change, that attempted to predict the climatic effects of solar arrays.

Part of the magical thinking of the Climastrologists is that their alternative energy sources are so clean and pure that it’s worth any inefficiencies and higher consumer costs to save the Earth. Rent-seeking captains of Green industries claim the subsidies they receive (read: taxpayer money) are for a good cause.

Which, of course, is so much horse manure. At a minimum, solar plants and wind farms need back up power plants spinning on standby 24-by-7, ready to take up the slack for those times when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow (or blows too hard). They have to be ready at a moment’s notice, which means they have to be reliable, which in turn means they run on… fossil fuels. Fuels that spew evil, demonic, Gaea-hating CO2 into the atmosphere.

And that’s just from the back-up plants. As the article suggests, the heat generated by solar plants and the changes to wind patterns (as wind farms take energy from the wind to convert to electricity) have to have some local and regional effects.

But, don’t worry. Per the article, this is nothing compared to GLOBAL DESTRUCTION!!! that’s coming from anthropogenic global warming.

On a planet that hasn’t warmed for 18 years.

But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of a good racket.

 

 

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(Video) Why we can’t rely on wind and solar power

October 19, 2015
"Epic fail"

Not reliable

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.

Footnote:
(1) Though Bill Gates is on the right track.


Green Fail: windfarms contaminate the water supply?

July 18, 2015
"Epic fail"

What could go wrong?

I don’t see what the problem is; since Human activity causes global warming, shouldn’t this be condign punishment for our sins against Gaea?

Campaigners in Scotland are calling for a full, independent investigation into allegations that wind farms are contaminating water supplies across large areas of Scotland.

They have written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd calling for an immediate halt on all wind farm development north of the border until the government can guarantee safe drinking water for everyone.

The problem first came to light when residents living near Europe’s largest wind farm, the 215 turbine Whitelee farm in Ayrshire, began to suffer from diarrhoea and severe vomiting. Tipped off by an NHS report which mentioned that difficulties in treating the water supply may pose health risks, local resident Dr Rachel Connor, a retired clinical radiologist, started digging into the council’s water testing results.

She found that, between May 2010 and April 2013, high readings of E.coli and other coliform bacteria had been recorded. In addition, readings of the chemical trihalomethane (THM), linked to various cancers, still births and miscarriages, were way beyond safe limits.

Scottish Power, who run the wind farm, denied causing the pollution but admitted that they hadn’t warned residents that their water supplies may be contaminated.

In other words, “we couldn’t have caused this problem, but maybe we should have warned you.” Right. So we’ve gone from wind farms chopping up birds to poisoning the water supply. They’re not economically viable without public subsidy, they never meet their promised power generation or reliability, but, hey, they do give you diarrhea. And maybe kill your unborn child. All to fight catastrophic man-caused global warming, a problem that does not exist.

What on Earth are you complaining about?

Now, of course, nothing is proven yet, but I’ll wager dollars to donuts there’s more to this than the hysteria over fracking and earthquakes.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Thanks, Glenn!


Britain Announces Emergency Measures To Prevent Winter Blackouts

October 28, 2014

This is where the cult of “Green energy” leads — brownouts and blackouts. By heavily subsidizing inefficient, unreliable wind power and eschewing new coal and (until recently) nuclear facilities, Britain has to take draconian steps to avoid a climate-caused disaster: not warming, bit freezing to death in winter. And if the Enviro-radicals have their way in the US, we won’t be far behind.

Watts Up With That?

MODIS_UK_SnowFrom the GWPF: Cold Winter Could Cause Britain’s Lights To Go Out

Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent.
–Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge.
–Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

National Grid has warned that there has been a significant increase in the risk of electricity shortages and brownouts this winter after fires and faults knocked out a large chunk of Britain’s shrinking power station coverage. The grid operator admitted that in the event of Britain experiencing the coldest snap in 20 years – a 5 per cent chance – then electricity supplies would not be able to meet demand during two weeks in January.
–Tim…

View original post 80 more words


The wind-power farce

July 3, 2011

Maybe “scam” would be a better word for something that is pushed as a “green solution” to anthropogenic global warming (1) , yet doesn’t do what it promises to do, but what it does do is done at tremendous public cost, all while making the alleged problem worse. In the UK, wind farms have become the government’s centerpiece for fighting climate change (2). Christopher Booker, writing about this policy in the Telegraph, explains why wind power is a chimera worthy of Don Quixote tilting at windmills:

Centrica and other energy companies last week told [the Department of Energy and Climate Change] that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.

We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.

Two things make this even more absurd. One, as the energy companies pointed out to DECC, is that it will be amazingly costly and wildly uneconomical, since the dedicated power plants will often have to run at a low rate of efficiency, burning gas but not producing electricity. This will add billions more to our fuel bills for no practical purpose. The other absurdity, as recent detailed studies have confirmed, is that gas-fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out much more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency – thus negating any savings in CO2 emissions supposedly achieved by the windmills themselves.

And before we laugh and point at the Brits for their folly, keep in mind that these are the very same “solutions” that the Obama administration, its eco-statist allies, and the corporations that would benefit from the required government subsidies all want to impose on us. We even have a whole government agency devoted to pimping wind power, while the administration has shown repeatedly its hostility toward developing our vast coal and oil supplies.

Rather than laugh, we should look to Britain for a warning.

Footnotes:

(1) A problem, remember, that does not exist.

(2) Attempting to control the world’s thermostat. Someone should introduce these idiots to King Canute.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


But… But… But I thought wind power would save the planet!

February 17, 2011

Apparently they don’t do well in harsh winters, which isn’t good for their customers:

A $200-million wind farm in northern New Brunswick is frozen solid, cutting off a supply of renewable energy for NB Power.

The 25-kilometre stretch of wind turbines, 70 kilometres northwest of Bathurst, has been shut down for several weeks due to heavy ice covering the blades. GDF Suez Energy, the company that owns and operates the site, is working to return the windmills to working order, a spokeswoman says.

“We can’t control the weather,” Julie Vitek said from company headquarters in Houston.

No, really?

Let’s see. Wind power has been sold to us by the Green Statists as one of the perfect solutions for a problem that does not exist, anthropogenic global warming. Trouble is, wind turbines are no good when the wind is too slow or too fast. They still require old-fashioned electrical power stations to be online constantly as backups. They are sound neither from an economic nor an engineering standpoint. The need lavish subsidies to turn a profit at all.

And now they can’t keep the heat running when you need it most.

Genius.

via Fausta

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)