In Katowice, Poland, last week and this, there was a gathering of 22,000 bureaucrats and functionaries. (You know, the one French President Macron hastily abandoned to deal with Yellow Vest rioting in Paris.) Their mission? To sound the alarm on the evil of fossil fuels and the need to transition to clean energy.
The lead speaker at a U.S. sponsored panel was Wells Griffith, an advisor to President Trump at the Department of Energy, reports Francis Menton.
Griffith was quoted as saying “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security.”
What happened next? From the Independent:
Mr. Griffith spoke for about ten minutes before the audience started laughing, mocking, and yelling at him. Eventually, they started chanting “keep it in the ground” and “shame on you.”
For all the serious talk in Poland, out in the real world, no one is taking the idea of reduction in carbon emissions from fossil fuels seriously, notes Mr. Menton.
China’s U-Turn on Green Energy
After talking a big green game for the past several years and increasing dramatically the use of solar and wind energy, China has taken a U-Turn on energy policy.
Given the paucity of domestic supplies, China has become the world’s largest importer of crude oil and, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), it will be the world’s largest gas importer within two to three years. Next to Japan, China is the world’s largest importer of LNG, with imports surging last year by 50%. . . .
Well, doesn’t the world have massive investments in wind and solar energy? According to Mr. Menton, regardless of how many wind and solar energy facilities are built, a decrease in world CO2 emissions by 10-15% probably isn’t going to happen. Here’s why.
- First, this only addresses the electricity sector, which is only about 40% of emissions – the rest being things like transportation, shipping and industry.
- Second, the wind and solar only work part time (30% at best) and you need full fossil fuel backup to run the rest of the time. At best you save 30% of 40%, which is 12% — and that assumes that you actually get the 30% from the wind and solar, and that you have no efficiency losses on the fossil fuel plants running in back-up mode.
Trillions Upon Trillions of Dollars Worth of Batteries?
To get higher than the 10-15% emissions savings from wind and solar, you need things that haven’t been invented yet, that nobody is actually working on or seriously considering, and that look to cost wildly too much to ever be realistic. Things like trillions upon trillions of dollars worth of batteries (see my post from last week here), or maybe the ability to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere (which will take a huge amount of new energy – from where?).
Read more from the Manhattan Contrarian here.