Surprise: “Green” Technologies Are Far From Being Ready For Primetime

Many skeptics, including myself, have said for a long time that there needs to be more research and development rather than just slapping up projects, along with demand that Things Get Done. Most of us may not believe that ‘climate change’ is mostly/solely caused by Mankind, and particularly CO2, but, we do agree with clean energy and such. Clean energy is nowhere close

Many technologies needed to solve the climate crisis are nowhere near ready

Global warming can often feel overwhelming, given its political, social, and economic complexities. From a purely engineering perspective, though, it is surprisingly simple. There is a clear goal and a bounded set of technological tools to achieve it — just the kind of problem engineers like to solve.

The clear goal is net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a target around which much of the world is coalescing. (snip)

Net zero is the clear goal. The tools available for achieving it are clean energy technologies. Given the time it takes for new technologies to scale up to mass-market significance, the 2050 target will almost certainly be met (if at all) with clean energy technologies that currently exist. Some of them may still be in the early stages of development, but they’re already out there somewhere. It’s a large set of tools, but a bounded set.

From an engineering perspective, the central question is whether the tools available are up to the task required of them.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently set out to answer that question, under the rubric of its Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) program, which this month issued its latest Clean Energy Innovation report.

The (comprehensive and fascinating) report surveys the field of clean energy technology and determines where various technologies are on the development curve and where they must get to achieve net zero by 2050. It reveals a problem that is at once politically daunting and, from an engineering perspective, eminently solvable — even, or perhaps especially, in the Covid-19 era.

Being that this is Vox, it’s the typical long, long, long article, which has all sorts of charts showing that most technologies aren’t ready. Interestingly, one of the ones that is ready, nuclear, is opposed by most climate cultists. Same with hydrothermal. Things like solar and wind are considered “early adoption”, despite being around for 50+ years.

Altogether, “around 35% of the cumulative CO2 emissions reductions needed to shift to a sustainable path come from technologies currently at the prototype or demonstration phase,” the report says. “A further 40% of the reductions rely on technologies not yet commercially deployed on a mass-market scale.”

So, climate cultists keep releasing plans for net zero which rely on technologies that aren’t ready for morning cartoons, much less prime time? Huh.

Interestingly, and not quite unexpected, these technologies at all stages are designed to be implemented by government force, which will impact your life. Because that’s the only way this happens. Surprise?

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2 Responses to “Surprise: “Green” Technologies Are Far From Being Ready For Primetime”

  1. Dana says:

    I’ve harped here on the need to get ready for the government to force people into rechargeable electric vehicles. Vice President Joe Biden’s ‘plan’ is to require all new personal vehicle sales to be ’emissions-free’ by 2035. This means replacing the energy produced from the infernal combustion engine with electricity, replacing the energy produced by burning home heating oil and natural gas with electricity, and that means a huge increase in the demand for electricity. The green plans have to do more than just replace coal and natural gas fired generation capacity, but account for the tremendous increase in demand.

    This website worked out the numbers. For the US, using 2015 numbers, we would require a huge increase in electric generation capacity.

    But that’s just for replacing gasoline and diesel fuel for transportation. The numbers assume that homes won’t be forced off of natural gas and does not take into account replacing fossil fuel electric generation capacity with ‘renewables.’

  2. jimS says:

    I did some research back when some idiots tried yo amend the state constitution here in MI to require the use of renewables. The typical base load power plant is 1000MW, be it nuclear, coal or whatever. MI has the equivalent of 17 such plants. The biggest windmills are in the 3.5 MW range. So simple math would tell you that you’d need almost 300 windmills to replace a single power plant. In reality, it’s worse than that, since the windmill’s output is quoted at a given wind speed, usually 20mph, and the actual output is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. So if your wind drops by half to 10mph, you need eight times as many windmills to replace that single plant. I would rather not have my landscape defaced with thousands of whirring bird killing turbines.

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