Bill Gates Dismisses Solar And Wind Energy, “Can’t Do The Job” …Cost “Beyond Astronomical”!

Another prominent thumbs down against wind the current renewable energy craze, this one from Bill Gates.

The UK online Register here reports that the technology guru is not impressed by fad renewable energies wind and sun: “Renewable energy can’t do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D“.

Moreover Gates thinks they “aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels” and that power coming mainly from solar and wind energy “would be beyond astronomical“.

Gates made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times. The Register reports:

As for a possible solution for energy with low CO2 emissions, Gates thinks the answer lies in technology innovation. The Register writes: In Bill Gates’ view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funnelled to renewables owners to R&D instead.

Gates also believes that divesture from oil and coal companies will have little impact, and that batteries for storing the sporadic supplies of wind and sun energy are not the answer. Part of the answer, Gates believes, is in nuclear power.

Read the whole article and analysis here.

48 responses to “Bill Gates Dismisses Solar And Wind Energy, “Can’t Do The Job” …Cost “Beyond Astronomical”!”

  1. lemiere jacques

    what job exactly…

    wind and solar can make us poorer…they can do THIS job.
    something i love with renewable is : ‘ hey it is very cheap…but don’t use it please”.

  2. Harry Dale Huffman

    R&D won’t do the job either, so Bill Gates’s reputation (among educated Windows users like me) as an idiot elite remains untarnished. “No, don’t put the money into something that already works; throw it at the ‘problem’ caused by dismissing any common sense.” Of course, they could not take the money into government hands in the first place, but criminals in high places never think of that.

    1. DirkH

      “R&D won’t do the job either, so Bill Gates’s reputation (among educated Windows users like me) as an idiot elite remains untarnished.”

      Ah well.
      In the 80ies, Microsoft sold a Unix. Xenix I think it was called.
      Before Windows, Bill Gates asked Steve Jobs for a license to sell a Microsoft branded MacIntosh Windowing system for IBM PC’s.
      Steve Jobs, who had hired Alan Kaye from Xerox PARC who re-implemented the Smalltalk Windowing system on the MacIntosh (violating Xerox’ patents, but Xerox only noticed years later and couldn’t sue anymore), declined Gates’ request.

      So Gates had his guys develop an own Windowing system from scratch. Windows 1 and 2 were duds, Windows 3 took the market and destroyed the market for the expensive Unix workstations running XWindows/Motif – delivering the same performance for a tenth of the cost – as the Microsoft programmers had handcoded the library in X86 Assembler.

      You might call that idiotic, I don’t.

  3. sod

    Please read the original article, the Register piece is not giving all information and is at least a little bit confusing:

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4f66ff5c-1a47-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html

    The original title is:

    “Gates to double investment in renewable energy projects”

    And Gates in the video interview clearly names climate change as a serious problem and he is speaking in a positive way about renewable energy (like high wind power, for example).

    1. Stephen Richards

      INVESTING IN RENEWABLES AND THINKING THEY ARE THE SOLUTION ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. I have invested in renewables although I know they are useless but the returns are very good. I also invest in Fossil Fuel energy because I know we will always need them.
      Gates is a canny investor

      1. Moose

        “I have invested in renewables although I know they are useless but the returns are very good.”
        Right.
        You know renewables are heavily subsidized?

    2. Ilma

      Bill just needs to understand not that the root of the conversation (scam), the ‘deadly gas’ CO2, is not actually a problem. He’s understood the economics, now he needs to understand the real science (& not the pseudo-science that is defying any economic rationality that the world once had).

  4. AndyG55

    The planet is going to need higher atmospheric CO2 levels if it is going to feed the gradually increasing population,….

    ….. so why not use COAL, OIL and GAS.

    They have been the main stay for the development of the western world, they are cheap, the technology is already there, (just need to keep trying to reduce any real population problems), they have a myriad of useful by-products, and most importantly, they release much needed carbon back into the carbon cycle.

    1. Suzie

      We do not need higher CO2 levels for more plants to feed from… That’s not how it works at all. Actually plants can get CO2 poisoning if there’s too much of it. Even if it did, we already have 50% more CO2 in the air now than in any time in the last 800,000 years (currently around 290ish ppm trending +2 ppm per year).

      1. AndyG55

        Actually plants can get CO2 poisoning if there’s too much of it.”

        That is a load of rubbish. (unless you are talking massively high levels)

        Food plants are regularly grown in greenhouse with CO2 levels up to 2000ppm. And they LUV it !!!

        Those winter tomatoes, probably green house grown in 1200ppm +

        Do you have indoor plants?
        Indoors regularly reaches 500ppm+.

        280ppm is subsistence level. Plants start to shut down at below 250ppm. That is why you see those jagged up and down graphs of CO2.

        When plants on this planet developed the CO2 level was much, much higher than now.

        With the increase in atmospheric CO2, the world biosphere has expanded by something like 20% because it is no longer being starved.

        I strongly suggest you do some reading. http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/photo/photo_subject.php

        read the “click here” on the first line.

      2. AndyG55

        CO2 is current right at the very bottom of the amount during the whole of the Earth’s history. It is dangerously low.

        Somewhere below 250ppm, plant stop the food making process called photosynthesis

        280ppm was “survival rations” that’s why you see those graphs of swings from 280 to 150 and back again

        http://aps.group.shef.ac.uk/apsrtp/aps-rtp-2008/taylor-lyla/webphanerozoic.jpg

        1. DirkH

          Probably the C4 cycle only found their opportunity to spread because there was a die-off of C3 plants when CO2 dropped below 150 ppm or so.

          C4 plants (the grasses) can photosynthesize down to 0 ppm CO2.

          1. AndyG55

            Yep, a 4th biological process (hence C4).

            But it makes them rather inefficient.

            There are some papers that seem to indicate that if CO2 levels rise, C4 plants can actually switch off this extra process and basically do photosynthesis as if they were a C3 plant, thus gaining efficiency.

            Cleverer than humans !

          2. AndyG55

            “Cleverer than humans !”

            Humans (of the political kind) seem to be opting for the most INEFFICENT ways of doing things like providing energy.

            Oh well. 🙁

        2. DirkH

          AndyG55 says:
          2. July 2015 at 1:25 PM
          “Humans (of the political kind) seem to be opting for the most INEFFICENT ways of doing things like providing energy.”

          The modern state came about through thinkers like Hobbes and derives its legitimacy ONLY by protecting its inhabitants from “the state of Nature” as Hobbes called the fight All Against All. And that is the ONE thing the modern EU state REFUSES TO DO. (They refuse to protect us from criminals of unknown identity crossing over the border into the area the state is supposed to protect.)

          Everything else is windowdressing. A state cannot derive legitimacy from subsidizing wind turbines, or community housing or what have you.

          So, the current illegitimate Neo-states will be replaced.

      3. AndyG55

        Trees being discovered under receding glaciers have been found to have DIED from CO2 deprivation.
        That’s how perilously low the CO2 levels have been for a long, long time.

  5. sod

    In the Heartland book discussion, i did answer a (off-topic) post about wind power with this AGORA Study about 50% renewabels in Europe:

    http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/downloads/publikationen/Studien/Pentaflex/Agora_European_Flexibility_Challenges_Integration_Benefits_WEB.pdf

    Page 9 ha s a nice graph, showing how flat wind power over all of Europe will get at high penetration and good interconnection.

    For some reason, nobody wants to discuss stuff like that, but instead i get asked “how much output can you guarantee on a single wind mill/plant”. Or “how much CO2 will be emmited, if a single coal plant is load following that single wind plant?

    and i get links like this, to blog posts citing “special reports” , showing graphs like these:

    https://stopthesethings.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/picture1.jpg

    and being lessoned by 2010 “discussions” about more coal use under high wind output.

    http://stopthesethings.com/2014/09/07/why-intermittent-wind-power-increases-co2-emissions-in-the-electricity-sector/

    1. DirkH

      Again, you demand that the grid everywhere in Europe must be prociding a multiple capacity of the electricity usage at that place – as the violent power spikes of wind power can happen anywhere anytime, and must from there be distributed all over Europe.

      This is a weird plan. Don’t you think this wasteful use of copper and Aluminum is detrimental to the environment?

      Do you ever think anything through and always believe the colorful pictures?

      1. David Johnson

        I think we all know the answer to that question Dirk!!

        1. AndyG55

          Its a very pretty piece of advertisement from Agora though. 😉

        2. AndyG55

          Designed specifically to hoodwink politicians and other non-thinking parrot.

          1. Graeme No.3

            I think sod must be Greek; full of expensive and unrealistic follies which he expects others to pay for.

      2. sod

        “as the violent power spikes of wind power can happen anywhere anytime”

        What violent spikes are you talking about?

        “At the European level, the instantaneous total wind power output is generally
        much less volatile, and lacks extremely high and low values. For onshore wind, the Europe-wide aggregation yields hourly output changes exceeding 5 percent of installed capacity for only 23 hours of the year. The single largest hourly ramp is -10 percent of installed capacity.”

        http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/downloads/publikationen/Studien/Pentaflex/Agora_European_Flexibility_Challenges_Integration_Benefits_WEB.pdf

        If you take a look at the map on page 8, you will see significant water power storage in Skandinavia and the Alps.

        1. David A

          Sod, all you are saying is more inefficiency, spread out to a large area of disparate flux, creates a steady flow of average power from wind. So what???

          It is mindless stupidity to incorporate more inefficiency. it is very expensive. The expense is amplified greatly by the fact that it is very costly to set up such a continuously fluctuating grid.

        2. DirkH

          sod says:
          28. June 2015 at 9:36 PM
          “as the violent power spikes of wind power can happen anywhere anytime”
          What violent spikes are you talking about?
          “At the European level, the instantaneous total wind power output is generally flat”

          Well, genius. How did you pass through your splendid maths education with a mushbrain like that. Before you have your nice flat power on a European level you have to DISTRIBUTE it. It is not FLAT on a local level, it is VERTICAL.
          Do I have to explain EVERY LITTLE STEP to you?

    2. Stephen Richards

      Page 9 ha s a nice graph, showing how flat wind power over all of Europe will get at high penetration and good interconnection. –

      This is the very stupid premise that politicians have been sold. It’s utter crap. You would have to cobble together every windmill with every other windmill and still the current would vary markedly when the wind blows in central Spain but not in France and then in Germany and not Poland. It’s lunacy

    3. AndyG55

      “showing how flat wind power over all of Europe”

      ROFLMAO..

      what a weird imagination you have.

      Wind power is NEVER flat.. that’s why its useless.

      Again, I ask, What percentage of nameplate can be guaranteed from wind turbine 95% of the time.

      How much electricity can they actually GUARANTEE to deliver?

      Keep dodging, you useless little activist. !!

    4. AndyG55

      ““how much output can you guarantee on a single wind mill/plant”

      No bozo… in April the WHOLE of the wind turbines in the UK could only manage 3% of total nameplate at a 95% supply level.
      We already know that a single wind turbine can’t guarantee ANY electricity at all.

      You are the one trying to sell these useless things, and you are doing an ABSOLUTELY WOEFUL job of it.

  6. DirkH

    I think this video might be informative for sod and David, so that they finally understand who the pied piper of warmunism is that they are following.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxSTmcwP4QI
    It is an 85 year old movement; Global Warming just being the last hope of this gerontocratic movement to achieve their goal.
    So sod and David can then grab a copy of the old Technocracy Study Course to prepare themselves for the Utopia that their leaders have in mind for them.
    (Or you can grab a copy of Vernor Vinge’s Across Realtime to see exactly how it must fail)

  7. Pero

    Bill Gates is correct, only real answer is nuclear, using improved existing technology, then thorium, and finally fusion.
    Wind and solar can suplement it.

  8. Mick J

    Bill Gates has an involvement with this company http://terrapower.com/ which is engaged in the development of Nuclear based generation systems. A while back there was talk of a cooperation agreement with Toshiba but have not read anything about that recently.

    Mick.

  9. John F. Hultquist

    Bill G. and I live in the same state – He on the west of the Cascade Mountains where most of the people live, I on the east, where the wind towers are. Washington and Oregon have quite a few wind towers, many feeding into a system that must be balanced by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).
    For the last couple of days the region has been under a high pressure system (descending air warms – look it up), and in case anyone has failed to notice the sun is near its maximum in the Northern Hemisphere.
    So 4 things: 1 – there is a lack of wind; 2 – it is hot; 3 – electrical demand for air conditioning is up; 4 – wind is AWOL.
    You can see it here:
    http://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg.aspx

    This graph refreshes every 5 minutes. Save a copy!

  10. ColA

    It appears from the original interview that Bill is still believing in global warming & CO2.
    It would be nice to see he actually did some more investigation and said its mainly natural variation and CO2 abatement is a total WAFTAM.
    Good on him for looking to nuclear but Thorium is a better option than TWR safety wise.

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  12. Scottar

    Why couldn’t he have gotten this smart on Windows development.

    Renewables are trying to harvest an energy source that is basically 1% that of fossils. Of course it’s very minuscule to nuclear.

    It’s why wind and solar farm require so much land and infrastructure while still basically tied to fossil fuel plants and nuclear. It’s not dispatchable 24/7. It’s like having 2 engines in one car.

  13. Mick J\

    This may interest money wise re. renewables.

    “Is Germany’s Green Energy Transition Running Out Of Money?

    Date: 01/07/15
    Andreas Mihm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    The expansion of Green energy is costing billions. The strain on utilities is so heavy that they threaten to fall away as capital providers. Other investors are needed – but that is easier said than done.

    The German energy transition has cost more than 100 billion euros so far. It has hit large and small electricity suppliers with force and put traditional business models in question. But 15 years after the start of the transition of the power sector with the aim of renewable, low-carbon generation, experts are asking themselves an anxious question: is the energy transition running out of money?

    Quite possible, is the answer that the German section of the World Energy Council and the consultants from Roland Berger provide. In an unpublished study they come to this conclusion: “The necessary equity funds for the expansion of the network infrastructure and offshore wind can probably be provided only with the participation of alternative and international investors. High risks however make it questionable whether the investment needs can be met at a sufficient capacity and speed.””

    http://www.thegwpf.com/is-germanys-green-energy-transition-running-out-of-money/

    1. DirkH

      Of course it’s running out of money -German politicians have found two ways to squander everything we can throw at them:
      a) Greece (and later, Italy, Spain, France and so on)
      b) “Refugees”. We got 220,000 last year, we’ll get 600,000 this year. only 10% are rejected. One costs about 30,000 EUR a year with all costs involved. Oh and later their family members can “unite” with them.

      So renewables subsidies swallow 24 bn a year ATM, the 2 million “refugees” and family members will cost about 60 bn EUR a year as of the end of 2015.

      So, German politicians have a newer, better, favorite way to misallocate OUR capital… and they won’t let go of it until they find something even WORSE. (Because that’s how they roll.)

      And that means that renewables are now old, boring, stupid for the pols. Old madness, make room for the new madness!

  14. Scott Palmer

    Here are a few thoughts that are on the positive side:

    1. Bill Gates is not a climate denier and knows we need to do something.
    2. By suggesting more R&D and nuclear power he is actively looking for a solution.
    3. His notion of using nuclear power means he knows that nuclear power with all its difficulties is not putting more CO2 into the air.
    4. He is speaking out on the issue.

    Bill Gates and his wife are doing wonderful work around the world to help mankind, so I take him at his word that he is telling us what he believes to be true. There is an opportunity here to convince him otherwise. Be thankful for what he does, be respectful of his opinion, and offer him information that shows we can afford renewable energy and it will work.

    CitizensClimateLobby.org

    1. AndyG55

      roflmao..

      a parody, it must be. !!

      1. The only problem with atmospheric CO2 is that it is still dangerously LOW.

      2. Renewables as they stand will never provide base load. They are inefficient, their supply is unreliable, and they are a disruption and a financial burden on the electricity networks and the economy.

      3. Yes we should always be working on R & D to find things that actually work, like the new USC coal fired power stations and the massively powerful and efficient gas turbines now being produced for REAL stable electricity supply.

  15. Jl

    “Gates is not a climate denier.” Or to put it another way, without the smug self-righteousness of the warmists, Gates interprets the data differently than those who think CO2 is not the predominant driver of the climate.

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