Guest contribution by Willis Eschenbach
In my last post “Bright Green Impossibilities” I showed that it is not humanly possible to eliminate CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 2050. I live in California, the heart of the green madness. There’s a group here called Climate-Safe California. Given that there are no signs of the much hyped “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” I’m not sure what they’re trying to keep us “safe” from … but I digress. Their brilliant plan is to reduce fossil fuel emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Now, energy use in California will continue to increase, but that will largely be offset by efficiency gains and changes in manufacturing, using less CO2 per unit of fossil fuel. In fact, California’s current emissions are only about 1% higher than 30 years ago in 1990. So to achieve their goal, we need to eliminate the magical fairy dust and giant imaginary vacuum cleaners that suck CO2 from the air by 2030 reduce fossil fuels by 80%.
The greens think this is possible with wind and sun … but the sad fact is you need near 100% backup for those times when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. We already suffer from the occasional power outage due to our insane reliance on expensive, intermittent wind and solar systems. Given the existence of that ugly thing called “reality” that green people like to ignore, that means we have to replace fossil fuels with nuclear-generated electricity.
How Much Fossil Fuel is California Consuming Right Now? It turns out to be around 1.7 petawatt hours (PWh or 1015 watt hours) per year. And to replace 80% of that with nuclear power to account for peak performance and downtime, we need to increase our generation capacity by around 307 gigawatts (GW or 109 watts). For comparison, Diablo Canyon, the only remaining nuclear power plant in California after green activists had their say, generates 2.3 GW of electricity … 307 GW needed, 2.3 GW per large nuclear plant, 8-1 / 2 years to run do … do you see a problem here?
Now they want to do this by 2030. So we have to find locations, do feasibility studies, buy land, obtain permits and licenses, build, excavate, install, test and connect a 2 GW nuclear power plant, a bit smaller than Diablo Canyon, every three weeks from now until 2030. And that works tomorrow …
It’s worth noting that in the US, the time span from feasibility study to grid connection is more than ten years … so if we started tomorrow we would have exactly zero new nuclear power plants online by 2030. Here is an overview of the US process:
And people with industry experience say the schedule is optimistic, it can be 15-20 years … not to mention the strong opposition of the California Greens to anything nuclear.
Do you still want wind To do this with wind, we would have to find locations, conduct feasibility studies, buy land, obtain permits and licenses, produce, excavate, install, test and connect to the grid no less than 1,000 two-megawatt (MW) 106 watt) wind turbines, every single week from now until 2030. And it starts tomorrow … a thousand a week.
Solar sound better? According to NREL, the actual delivery 24/7/365 from solar parks on a grid scale averages 8.3 W / m2 floor area (not panel area). That is 8.3 MW per square kilometer of floor area. So, to do it with solar energy, we would need to find sites, conduct feasibility studies, purchase land, obtain permits and licenses, manufacture, excavate, install, test, and connect to the grid no less than 83 square kilometers (32 square miles). ) of solar parks, every single week from now until 2030. And tomorrow it starts again …
Finding only suitable land for this size is almost impossible. Here is some information from California about how difficult it is to find suitable land for solar power.
… Another problem is the fact that such solar “farms” require huge areas of land. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was tasked with finding 24 public areas of three square miles each with good sun exposure, favorable slopes, road and transmission lines. Additionally, the land earmarked for utility-scale solar parks must not disturb native wildlife or endangered species such as the desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, and others. The wildlife issue has proven controversial. Projects in California have been halted due to threats to endangered species, resulting in a backlog of 158 commercial projects the BLM is currently grappling with.
Note that the BLM is struggling to find only 75 square miles of land for solar power generation that won’t pollute the environment too much, and we’re talking about building 51 square kilometers of new solar power a week … for the next 446 weeks … yes, that is completely legitimate.
Then of course there is the enormous cost to this whole company. In addition to the costs of decommissioning our existing generation facilities, the cost of building over a hundred new nuclear power plants, laying off hundreds of thousands of people and eliminating hundreds of thousands of car filling stations, the entire power grid would have to be massively upgraded to provide all the electricity for new electrical households Can transport companies, industries and automobiles.
And that doesn’t just mean replacing the cables, including rewiring every house like mine that uses gas for cooking and water and space heating. It replaces transformers, switches, substations, control systems, overload protection, circuit breaker boxes and every other part of the network.
In fact, the Californian grid would have to cope with no less than 3.75 times the current consumption that it currently carries … that means “enormously upgraded”. Not just enlarged by 10% or even 100%. It will require three and three quarters the volume of wiring, switches, substations and everything else.
According to the California Public Utilities Commission, California has 25,526 miles of power transmission lines and 239,557 miles of distribution lines, two-thirds of which are above ground and one third are underground. So we’d have to install another 94,000 miles of high-voltage line and 886,000 miles of distribution lines. At a rate of 440 miles per working day. From now until 2030. From tomorrow.
Or we could all pull out ~ a quarter of a million miles of wires above and below the ground and replace them with much, much larger wires.
Billions and billions and billions of dollars in search of an unattainable chimera, in a search that will be enough Nothing to change the climate.
I have to say … the fact that passionate but totally countless people like the “Climate Safe California” folks are being listened to makes me nightmares about how many people fell for the Great Green Climate Scam … let me be clear:
It. Can not. Be. Fulfills. This is just another bright green impossible fantasy.
AS ALWAYS: I can defend and explain my words and I like to do that. I cannot defend or explain your interpretation of my words. QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: I have to give great props to Anthony Watts who designed and developed WUWT, as well as Charles The Moderator and all volunteer moderators around the world. My thanks go to all of you.
Charles saw the draft of what I was writing and sent me the following, one an hour ago and one a few minutes ago today (Wednesday June 16) from CAISO, the California independent system operator responsible for the operation of California’s power grid . The top one is the newest.
An hour ago … “no expectation of failures”. A minute ago … “Flexalert” and “Save electricity” … the madness of unreliable, fluctuating, mostly useless renewable energies never stops.
DISCLAIMER: Don’t be fooled by my disdain for the modern “environmental” groups. I am and have been what I would call a real environmentalist since my youth, in contrast to today’s “watermelon environmentalists” who are green on the outside and solid Marxist red on the inside … here’s a contribution to that.