In reality, green energy increases total energy consumption

“There are unavoidable headwinds to this appealing fantasy…”
– Charles Hugh Smith

In reality, green energy increases total energy consumption

(Quoting from an article by Charles Hugh Smith)

Many people believe that alternative “green” energy will soon replace most or all hydrocarbon energy sources, but this belief is not realistic. All the “renewable” energy sources are about 3% of all energy consumed, with hydropower providing another few percent.

There are unavoidable headwinds to this appealing fantasy…

Reality Check

1. All “renewable” energy is actually “replaceable” energy, analyst Nate Hagens points out. Every 15-25 years (or less) much or all of the alt-energy systems and structures have to be replaced, and little of the necessary mining, manufacturing and transport can be performed with the “renewable” electricity these sources generate. Virtually all the heavy lifting of these processes require hydrocarbons and especially oil.

2. Wind and solar “renewable” energy is intermittent and therefore requires changes in behavior (no clothes dryers or electric ovens used after dark, etc.) or battery storage on a scale that isn’t practical in terms of the materials required.

3. Batteries are also “replaceable” and don’t last very long. The percentage of lithium-ion batteries being recycled globally is near-zero, so all batteries end up as costly, toxic landfill.

4. Battery technologies are limited by the physics of energy storage and materials. Moving whiz-bang exotic technologies from the lab to global scales of production is non-trivial.

5. The material and energy resources required to build alt-energy sources that replace hydrocarbon energy and replace all the alt-energy which has broken down or reached the end of its life exceeds the affordable reserves of materials and energy available on the planet.

6. Externalized costs of alt-energy are not being included in the cost. Nobody’s adding the immense cost of the environmental damage caused by lithium mines to the price of the lithium batteries. Once the full external costs are included, the cost is no longer as affordable as promoters claim.

7. None of the so-called “green” “replaceable” energy has actually replaced hydrocarbons; all the alt-energy has done is increase total energy consumption. This is what’s called Jevons Paradox: every increase in efficiency or energy production only increases consumption.

Here’s a real-world example: Building another freeway doesn’t actually reduce congestion in the old freeway; it simply encourages people to drive more, so both freeways are soon congested.

Read the full article here:

15 thoughts on “In reality, green energy increases total energy consumption”

  1. The “green energy” promoters purposely omit one very important detail that it may work only for a very limited number of human beings on the planet Earth – around 500 million…

    • damned ugly and disturbing the wind n rain patterns in areas they are as well as ruining some of the most stunning scenery
      oh and killing myriad birds n bats as a bonus prize!

      • Killing birds is a small price to pay for “Saving the Planet” and providing electricity to Karen and Ken.

  2. I really don’t like that last argument. The new highway have increased peoples standard of living.

    Sure something a king or some other elite person would like to front though.

    • It was an example. It’s an analogy. If more travel increases your standard of living, why are the people in the blue cities so miserable and hateful? They have a lot on highways and freeways.

    • another highway meant a whole lot of people got their homes n businesses bought out at pressured prices so a few people might? save 15min on the way to work

  3. Sir:

    I think that you may considering the works and publications of one Bernard Beaudreau. He teaches in the Department of Economics at université Laval in Québec City. He has, in the past, conducted research in the area of Energy Rents. And he asserts that the invention of James Watt’s steam engine. In fact the ‘Watt – Boulton Steam Engine,” expedited the development of what he termed ‘firepower.” He also asserted that the development of new, more efficient sources of energy, and the development of instruments and systems per which to usefully employ that energy, had the effect of lifting what he termed “the energy constraint.”

    The policies deployed by governments, particularly Western Governments, has only had, and can only have the effect of r e- imposing the energy constraint that our ancestors worked and thought so hard to reduce and eliminate.

  4. With the number of windmills that will be needed where the hell are we we going to live??
    It’s going to get very, very crowded.

  5. There’s a newish movie by Michael Moore(yes that guy) that rips the green energy scam a new one.
    I know. Sounds weird but its true. Exposes all the lies and nonsense surrounding it.

    Called “Planet of the humans”.

  6. This is what you get when politics and media use science. Science is severely damaged. The new Green religion draws on the faithful spirit of people. It is driven by the media and political interests.

  7. “Building another freeway doesn’t actually reduce congestion in the old freeway; it simply encourages people to drive more, so both freeways are soon congested.”

    Do they really believe people will drive to work TWICE EACH MORNING!
    Do they really believe is all roads were totally uncongested people would drop everything they are doing an go out to fill them up?

    • JimK, this is an economic concept. It’s true the new freeway won’t be packed the next morning. But at the margin, some commuters will choose the convenience of leaving when they want, parking close to where they work, etc., over sticking with the carpool. At the margin, companies will expand their present facilities to share overhead rather than building a new satellite plant closer to affordable housing. People will choose quality of life (better schools, less crime, etc.) and commute further if it takes no more time.

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