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Editor / Researcher
Many people are hoping for wind and solar PV to transform grid electricity in a favorable way. Is this really possible? Is it really feasible for intermittent renewables to generate a large share of grid electricity? The answer increasingly looks as if it is, “No, the costs are too great, and the return on investment would be way too low.” We are already encountering major grid problems, even with low penetrations of intermittent renewable electricity, which in the U.S. was 5.4% of 2015 electricity consumption. In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines… [more]View Discussion
UFA Ventures, Inc.
There have been many voices lately saying that renewables could produce 80% or more of the world’s energy by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 2.5°C, as long as we develop sufficient energy storage and bring up efficiency and conservation. But the real issue is steel. It takes about 500 tons of steel and 1000 tons of concrete per MW of wind power. Even more to connect them to the grid. The United States has used 40 million tons of steel to build 48,800 wind turbines totaling 74,512 MW and costing about 150 billion dollars. Wind energy produces… [more]View Discussion
Full Title: The Limits of Wind Power Author(s): William Korchinski Publisher(s): Adam Smith Institute Publication Date: February 2013 Full Text: ->DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT<- Description (excerpt): Environmentalists advocate wind power as one of the main alternatives to fossil fuels, claiming that it is both cost effective and low in carbon emissions. This study seeks to evaluate these claims. Existing estimates of the life-cycle emissions from wind turbines range from 5 to 100 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour of electricity produced. This very wide range is explained by differences in what was included in each analysis, and the proportion of electricity… [more]View Discussion