Why Are We Doing This? A Trove Of New Research Documents The Folly Of Renewable Energy Promotion

The advocacy for widespread growth in renewable energy (especially wind, solar, and biomass) usage has increasingly become the clarion call of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) movement.  And yet more and more published research documents the adverse effects of relying on renewables.

Image: Wasili Karbe, cropped from video here.

Over the course of the last year, at least 30 papers have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature detailing the fatuity of promoting renewable energy as a long-term “fix” for climate change mitigation.  A categorized list of these papers is provided below.

1. “More Renewables Mean Less Stable Grids”

Schäfer et al., 2018    “Multiple types of fluctuations impact the collective dynamics of power grids and thus challenge their robust operation.”
(press release)   More renewables mean less stable grids, researchers find …  [I]ntegrating growing numbers of renewable power installations and microgrids onto the grid can result in larger-than-expected fluctuations in grid frequency.”

2. Increasing Fossil Fuel Use (Natural Gas) Reduces Emissions More Than Increasing Wind/Solar Energy

Anderson et al., 2018     “Before considering the future, it is worth examining just how far we’ve already come without any federal CO2 regulation (for existing power plants) in the U.S. Figure 1 illustrates historical CO2 emissions and natural gas prices from 2005 through 2017 (estimated). During that period, emissions have declined from nearly 2.7 billion tons to approximately 1.9 billion tons (∼30%), while revealing a strong link to natural gas prices. To be sure, while other factors (such as renewable energy incentives) also had an impact, the clearest means by which to reduce CO2 emissions has been to reduce the cost of generating electricity with less CO2-emitting fuels (i.e., substituting natural gas for coal)So successful have market forces been under the existing regulatory framework to date that estimated 2017 CO2 emission levels are already at the CPP’s 2025 target(albeit without accounting for electricity demand growth between 2017 and 2025), well exceeding the AEO’s own Reference Case projections for 2025.”
Jewell et al., 2018     “Hopes are high that removing fossil fuel subsidies could help to mitigate climate change by discouraging inefficient energy consumption and leveling the playing field for renewable energy.Here we show that removing fossil fuel subsidies would have an unexpectedly small impact on global energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions and would not increase renewable energy use by 2030. Removing [fossil fuel] subsidies in most regions would deliver smaller emission reductions than the Paris Agreement (2015) climate pledges and in some regions global [fossil fuel] subsidy removal may actually lead to an increase in emissions, owing to either coal replacing subsidized oil and natural gas or natural-gas use shifting from subsidizing, energy-exporting regions to non-subsidizing, importing regions.”

3. Renewables Fail To Deliver: When Demand Is High, Generation Capacity Is Low

Cradden and McDermott, 2018     “Prolonged cold spells were experienced in Ireland in the winters of 2009–10 and 2010–11, and electricity demand was relatively high at these times, whilst wind generation capacity factors were low. Such situations can cause difficulties for an electricity system with a high dependence on wind energy.”

4. Renewable Energy Becomes More Costly The More It Is Deployed … Renewable Energy Expansion Ensures More Fossil Fuel Installation Is Necessary As Backup

Blazquez et al., 2018     “However, promoting renewables –in liberalized power markets– creates a paradox in that successful penetration of renewables could fall victim to its own success. With the current market architecture, future deployment of renewable energy will necessarily be more costly and less scalable. Moreover, transition towards a full 100% renewable electricity sector is unattainable. Paradoxically, in order for renewable technologies to continue growing their market share, they need to co-exist with fossil fuel technologies. … The paradox is that the same market design and renewables policies that led to current success become increasingly less successful in the future as the share of renewables in the energy mix grows. … Full decarbonization of a power sector that relies on renewable technologies alone, given the current design of these markets, is not possible as conventional technologies provide important price signals. Markets would collapse if the last unit of fossil fuel technologies was phased out. In the extreme (theoretical) case of 100 percent renewables, prices would be at the renewables marginal cost, equal to zero or even negative for long periods. These prices would not be capturing the system’s costs nor would they be useful to signal operation and investment decisions. The result would be a purely administered subsidy, i.e., a non-market outcome. This is already occurring in Germany as Praktiknjo and Erdmann [31] point out and is clearly an unstable outcome. Thus, non-dispatchable technologies need to coexist with fossil fuel technologies. This outcome makes it impossible for renewables policy to reach success, defined as achieving a specified level of deployment at the lowest possible cost. With volatile, low and even negative electricity prices, investors would be discouraged from entering the market and they would require more incentives to continue to operate.”
Marques et al., 2018     The installed capacity of wind power preserves fossil fuel dependency. … Electricity consumption intensity and its peaks have been satisfied by burning fossil fuels. … [A]s RES [renewable energy sources] increases, the expected decreasing tendency in the installed capacity of electricity generation from fossil fuels, has not been found. Despite the high share of RES in the electricity mix, RES, namely wind power and solar PV, are characterised by intermittent electricity generation.  … The inability of RES-I [intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar] to satisfy high fluctuations in electricity consumption on its own constitutes one of the main obstacles to the deployment of renewables. This incapacity is due to both the intermittency of natural resource availability, and the difficulty or even impossibility of storing electricity on a large scale, to defer generation.  As a consequence, RES [renewable energy sources] might not fully replace fossil sources …  In fact, the characteristics of electricity consumption reinforce the need to burn fossil fuels to satisfy the demand for electricity. Specifically, the ECA results confirm the substitution effect between the installed capacity of solar PV and fossil fuels. In contrast, installed wind power capacity has required all fossil fuels and hydropower to back up its intermittency in the long-run equilibrium. The EGA outcomes show that hydropower has been substituting electricity generation through NRES [non-renewable energy sources], but that other RES have needed the flexibility of natural gas plants, to back them up. … [D]ue to the intermittency phenomenon, the growth of installed capacity of RES-I [intermittent renewable energy sources – wind power] could maintain or increase electricity generation from fossil fuels.  … In short, the results indicate that the EU’s domestic electricity production systems have preserved fossil fuel generation, and include several economic inefficiencies and inefficiencies in resource allocation. … [A]n increase of 1% in the installed capacity of wind power provokes an increase of 0.26%, and 0.22% in electricity generation from oil and natural gas, respectively in the long-run.”

5. Biofuels – Declared Carbon-Neutral Renewables By The EU – Increase Emissions More Than Coal 

Sterman et al., 2018     [G]overnments around the world are promoting biomass to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Union declared biofuels to be carbon-neutral to help meet its goal of 20% renewable energy by 2020, triggering a surge in use of wood for heat and electricity (European Commission 2003, Leturcq 2014, Stupak et al 2007). … But do biofuels actually reduce GHG emissions? … [A]lthough wood has approximately the same carbon intensity as coal (0.027 vs. 0.025 tC GJ−1 of primary energy […]), combustion efficiency of wood and wood pellets is lower (Netherlands Enterprise Agency; IEA 2016). Estimates also suggest higher processing losses in the wood supply chain (Roder et al 2015). Consequently, wood-fired power plants generate more CO2 per kWh than coal. Burning wood instead of coal therefore creates a carbon debt—an immediate increase in atmospheric CO2 compared to fossil energy—that can be repaid over time only as—and if— NPP [net primary production] rises above the flux of carbon from biomass and soils to the atmosphere on the harvested lands. … Growth in wood supply causes steady growth in atmospheric CO2 because more CO2 is added to the atmosphere every year in initial carbon debt than is paid back by regrowth, worsening global warming and climate change. The qualitative result that growth in bioenergy raises atmospheric CO2 does not depend on the parameters: as long as bioenergy generates an initial carbon debt, increasing harvests mean more is ‘borrowed’ every year than is paid back. More precisely, atmospheric CO2 rises as long as NPP [net primary production] remains below the initial carbon debt incurred each year plus the fluxes of carbon from biomass and soils to the atmosphere. … [C]ontrary to the policies of the EU and other nations, biomass used to displace fossil fuels injects CO2 into the atmosphere at the point of combustion and during harvest, processing and transport. Reductions in atmospheric CO2 come only later, and only if the harvested land is allowed to regrow.”
Fanous and Moomaw, 2018     “These nations fail to recognize the intensity of CO2 emissions linked to the burning of biomass. The chemical energy stored in wood is converted into heat or electricity by way of combustion and is sometimes used for combined heat and power cogeneration. At the point of combustion, biomass emits more carbon per unit of heat than most fossil fuels. Due to the inefficiencies of biomass energy, bioenergy power plants emit approximately 65 percent more CO2, per MWH than modern coal plants, and approximately 285 percent more than natural gas combined cycle plantsFurthermore, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that combustion of biomass generates gross greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions roughly equivalent to the combustion of fossil fuels. In the case of forest timber turned into wood pellets for bioenergy use, the IPCC further indicates that the process produces higher CO2 emissions than fossil fuels for decades to centuries.”

6. Biofuels “Use More Energy At A Higher Cost” And Produce More Air Pollution Than Fossil Fuels

Richardson and Kumar, 2017     “A growing human population creates a larger demand for food products and makes conservation of resources and increased efficiency of agricultural production more vital. … These results conclude that feed production systems are more energy efficient and less environmentally costly than corn-based ethanol. … [A]ccording to the findings of this study, biofuels, derived for the purpose of producing energy with little environmental impacts, actually use more energy at a higher environmental cost than the alternative crop use. As technology stands now, in terms of energy and environmental sustainability, the benefits of switching land uses to the production of corn-based transportation biofuels are not as favorable as continuing to produce corn for feed/food consumption.”
Emery et al., 2017     “Although climate change mitigation and energy security policies are generally expected to be compatible with air pollution and health cost reductions (McCollum et al., 2013), there is evidence that first-generation alternative fuels such as corn ethanol lead to higher health costs due to air pollution than conventional fuels [gasoline]  (Hill et al., 2009). … We find that life-cycle non-GHG air pollutant emissions, particularly NOX [nitrous oxides] and PM [particulates], are higher for corn ethanol and other biofuel blends than conventional petroleum fuels. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) increase by 9–50% per 100 km traveled for high-ethanol blends from corn grain and combined grain and stover feedstocks. NOX, PM [particulates], and SOX [sulfur dioxides] increase by 71–124% from corn grain and 56–110% from combined grain and stover, relative to conventional gasoline. Biodiesel blends show an increase of 1–11% (B20) and 4–55% (B100) in air pollution, with the largest increases in VOC [volatile organic compounds] and SOX [sulfur dioxides] emissions. … The total social costs of ethanol blends are higher than that of gasoline, due in part to higher life-cycle emissions of non-GHG pollutants and higher health and mortality costs per unit.”

7. Proximity To Wind Turbines Significantly Reduces Quality Of Life, Well-Being For Nearby Residents

Barry et al., 2018     “The findings indicate that residential proximity to wind turbines is correlated with annoyance and health-related quality of life measures. These associations differ in some respects from associations with noise measurements. Results can be used to support discussions between communities and wind-turbine developers regarding potential health effects of wind turbines.”
Krekel and Zerrahn, 2017     We show that the construction of wind turbines close to households exerts significant negative external effects on residential well-being … In fact, beyond unpleasant noise emissions (Bakker et al., 2012; McCunney et al., 2014) and impacts on wildlife (Pearce-Higgins et al., 2012; Schuster et al., 2015), most importantly, wind turbines have been found to have negative impacts on landscape aesthetics (Devine-Wright, 2005; Jobert et al., 2007; Wolsink, 2007). … We show that the construction of a wind turbine within a radius of 4,000 metres has a significant negative and sizeable effect on life satisfaction. For larger radii, no negative externalities can be detected.”
Gortsas et al., 2017     Infrasound, low frequency noise and soil vibrations produced by large wind turbines might disturb the comfort of nearby structures and residents. In addition repowering close to urban areas produces some fears to the nearby residents that the level of disturbance may increase. Due to wind loading, the foundation of a wind turbine interacts with the soil and creates micro-seismic surface waves that propagate for long distances and they are able to influence adversely sensitive measurements conducted by laboratories located far from the excitation point.”

8. “Renewable Energy Consumption Has A Negative Effect On Economic Growth”

Lee and Jung, 2018     “The results of the autoregressive distributed lag bounds test show that renewable energy consumption has a negative effect on economic growth, and the results of a vector error correction mechanism causality tests indicate a unidirectional relationship from economic growth to renewable energy consumption. The empirical results imply that economic growth is a direct driver expanding renewable energy use. In terms of policy implications, it is best for policy makers to focus on overall economic growth rather than expanding renewable energy to drive economic growth. … [O]ur result suggests that renewable energy policy should be implemented when the real GDP is enough large to overcome the negative impact from renewable energy, because the causality from economic growth to renewable energy consumption in the long run as one of our result is caused by both low productivity of renewable energy production and expansion of government-led renewable energy.”

9. Research: 100% Renewable Energy Is “Unattainable” In Reality – Decarbonization Is “Arguably Reckless”

Clack et al., 2017   The scenarios of [Jacobson et al., 2015, “Low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes”] can, at best, be described as a poorly executed exploration of an interesting hypothesis. The study’s numerous shortcomings and errors render it unreliable as a guide about the likely cost, technical reliability, or feasibility of a 100% wind, solar, and hydroelectric power system. It is one thing to explore the potential use of technologies in a clearly caveated hypothetical analysis; it is quite another to claim that a model using these technologies at an unprecedented scale conclusively shows the feasibility and reliability of the modeled energy system implemented by midcentury. From the information given by [Jacobson et al., 2015], it is clear that both hydroelectric power and flexible load have been modeled in erroneous ways and that these errors alone invalidate the study and its results.”
Heard et al., 2017     While many modelled scenarios have been published claiming to show that a 100% renewable electricity system is achievable, there is no empirical or historical evidence that demonstrates that such systems are in fact feasible. Of the studies published to date, 24 have forecast regional, national or global energy requirements at sufficient detail to be considered potentially credible. We critically review these studies using four novel feasibility criteria for reliable electricity systems needed to meet electricity demand this century. [N]one of the 24 studies provides convincing evidence that these basic feasibility criteria can be met. Of a maximum possible unweighted feasibility score of seven, the highest score for any one study was four. … On the basis of this review, efforts to date seem to have substantially underestimated the challenge and delayed the identification and implementation of effective and comprehensive decarbonization pathways. … To date, efforts to assess the viability of 100% renewable systems, taking into account aspects such as financial cost, social acceptance, pace of roll-out, land use, and materials consumption, have substantially underestimated the challenge of excising fossil fuels from our energy supplies. This desire to push the 100%-renewable ideal without critical evaluation has ironically delayed the identification and implementation of effective and comprehensive decarbonization pathways. We argue that the early exclusion of other forms of technology from plans to decarbonize the global electricity supply is unsupportable, and arguably reckless. … The realization of 100% renewable electricity (and energy more broadly) appears diametrically opposed to other critical sustainability issues such as eradication of poverty, land conservation and reduced ecological footprints, reduction in air pollution, preservation of biodiversity, and social justice for indigenous people.”

10. Wealthy Countries Foist Social-Environmental Disruption From Wind, Solar Onto Poorer Countries 

Shakespear, 2018     “A trend was found, whereby developing countries tend to suffer the most socio-environmental disruption from material extraction for solar-panels and wind-turbines while exhibiting lower implementation of these technologies, and developed countries show opposite effects. This indicates that EUE [ecologically unequal exchange] effects constitute global solar-panel and wind-turbine systems, and that developed countries displace socio-environmental disruption from energy innovation onto developing countries. … [I]mplementation of solarpanels and wind-turbines tended to be the most prevalent within countries that suffer the least environmental and socio-economic consequences from the extraction of materials for these technologies. This effectively means that efforts to increase sustainability in relatively powerful countries via renewable energy implementation exacerbates unsustainable practices in the relatively less powerful countries that extract the minerals for these technologies.”

11. Wind Power Harming The Environment, Biosphere – Destroying Habitats, Endangering Rare Species 

Millon et al., 2018  (full paper)   Wind turbines impact bat activity, leading to high losses of habitat use … Island bats represent 60% of bat species worldwide and the highest proportion of terrestrial mammals on isolated islands, including numerous endemic and threatened species (Fleming and Racey, 2009). … We present one of the first studies to quantify the indirect impact of wind farms on insectivorous bats in tropical hotspots of biodiversity. Bat activity [New Caledonia, Pacific Islands, which hosts nine species of bat] was compared between wind farm sites and control sites, via ultrasound recordings at stationary points [A bat pass is defined as a single or several echolocation calls during a five second interval.] The activity of bent winged bats (Miniopterus sp.) and wattled bats (Chalinolobus sp.) were both significantly lower at wind turbine sites. The result of the study demonstrates a large effect on bat habitat use at wind turbines sites compared to control sites. Bat activity was 20 times higher at control sites compared to wind turbine siteswhich suggests that habitat loss is an important impact to consider in wind farm planning. …  Here, we provide evidence showing that two genera of insectivorous bat species are also threatened by wind farms.  … To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies quantifying the indirect negative impact of wind turbines on bat activity in the tropics. … The lower attractiveness of the foraging habitat under wind turbines, both in a tropical and in a temperate climate, indicates that the indirect impact of wind turbine is a worldwide phenomenon.”

Lopucki et al., 2018      “Living in habitats affected by wind turbines may result in an increase in corticosterone levels in ground dwelling animals… Environmental changes and disturbance factors caused by wind turbines may act as potential stressors for natural populations of both flying and ground dwelling animal species. The physiological stress response results in release of glucocorticoid hormones. … The common vole showed a distinct physiological response − the individuals living near the wind turbines had a higher level of corticosterone [physiological stress affecting regulation of energy, immune reactions]. … This is the first study suggesting impact of wind farms on physiological stress reactions in wild rodent populations. Such knowledge may be helpful in making environmental decisions when planning the development of wind energy and may contribute to optimization of conservation actions for wildlife.”
Ferrão da Costa et al., 2018     “According to a review by Lovich and Ennen (2013), the construction and operation of wind farms have both potential and known impacts on terrestrial vertebrates, such as: (i) increase in direct mortality due to traffic collisions; (ii) destruction and modification of the habitat, including road development, habitat fragmentation and barriers to gene flow; (iii) noise effects, visual impacts, vibration and shadow flicker effects from turbines; (iv) electromagnetic field generation; (v) macro and microclimate change; (vi) predator attraction; and (vii) increase in fire risks. … Helldin et al. (2012) also highlighted that the development of road networks associated with wind farms could promote increased access for traffic related to recreation, forestry, agriculture and hunting. The consequence, particularly on remote places, is the increase in human presence, affecting large mammals via significant disturbance, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. These negative effects are expected to be particularly relevant for species that are more sensitive to human presence and activities, such as large carnivores. Large carnivores, such as the wolf, bear, lynx or wolverine, tend to avoid areas that are regularly used by humans and—especially for breeding—show a preference for rugged and undisturbed areas (Theuerkauf et al. 2003; George and Crooks 2006; May et al. 2006; Elfstrom et al. 2008; Sazatornil et al. 2016), which are often chosen for wind power development (Passoni et al. 2017). … Results have shown that the main impact of wind farms on wolves is the induced reduction on breeding site fidelity and reproductive rates. These effects, particularly when breeding sites shift to more unsuitable areas, may imply decreasing survival and pack viability in the short term.”
Watson et al., 2018     “The global potential for wind power generation is vast, and the number of installations is increasing rapidly. We review case studies from around the world of the effects on raptors of wind-energy development. Collision mortality, displacement, and habitat loss have the potential to cause population-level effects, especially for species that are rare or endangered.”
Aschwanden et al., 2018    The extrapolated number of collisions was 20.7 birds/wind turbine (CI-95%: 14.3–29.6) for 8.5 months. Nocturnally migrating passerines, especially kinglets (Regulus sp.), represented 55% of the fatalities. 2.1% of the birds theoretically exposed to a collision (measured by radar at the height of the wind turbines) were effectively colliding.”
Naylor, 2018     “While wind energy provides a viable solution for emission reductions, it comes at an environmental cost, particularly for birds. As wind energy grows in popularity, its environmental impacts are becoming more apparent. Recent studies indicate that wind power has negative effects on proximate wildlife. These impacts can be direct—collision fatalities—and indirect—habitat loss (Fargione et al. 2012; Glen et al. 2013). Negative impacts associated with operational wind farms include collision mortalities from towers or transmission lines and barotrauma for bats. Habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as avoidance behavior, are also consequences resulting from wind farm construction and related infrastructure. The potential harm towards protected and migratory bird species are an urgent concern, especially for wind farms located along migratory flyways. In terms of mortality, wind turbines kill an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 birds, annually (Smallwood 2013). The high speed at which the fan wings move and the concentration of turbines create a gauntlet of hazards for birds to fly through. … [T]he height of most wind turbines aligns with the altitude many bird species fly at (Bowden 2015). Birds of prey— raptors—are of particular concern because of their slow reproductive cycles and long lifespans relative to other bird species (Kuvlesky 2007).”
Lange et al., 2018     “Results from our surface water extractions and aerial surveys suggest that the wind farm has negatively affected redheads through altered hydrology and disturbance displacement. Our surface water extraction analysis provides compelling evidence that the local hydrology has been greatly affected by the construction of the wind farm. … Our results suggest the occurrence of direct habitat loss and disturbance displacement of redheads from the wind farm along the lower Texas coast. Although our study was directed solely toward redheads, it is likely that this wind farm has affected other species that use these wetlands or migrate along the lower Texas coast (Contreras et al. 2017). Studies in Europe investigating the effects on waterfowl by wind turbines have reported similar results, showing that turbines have likely compromised foraging opportunities for waterfowl through disturbance displacement (Larsen and Madsen 2000).”
Chiebáo, 2018     “I studied the large-scale movements of white-tailed eagles during the dispersal period, assessing their space use in relation to the distribution of existing and proposed wind farms across Finland. I found that a breeding pair holding a territory closer to an installation has a lower probability to breed successfully when compared to a pair from a territory lying farther away. Such lower probability may in part reflect a harmful interaction between the eagles and wind turbines in the form of collision mortality, to which the adults appear to be particularly vulnerable during the breeding season. Regarding the post-fledging period, I found that the probability of a young eagle approaching a wind turbine decreases sharply as the turbine is installed at increasing distances from the nest.”
Frick et al., 2017     “Large numbers of migratory bats are killed every year at wind energy facilities. However, population-level impacts are unknown as we lack basic demographic information about these species. We investigated whether fatalities at wind turbines could impact population viability of migratory bats, focusing on the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), the species most frequently killed by turbines in North America. Using expert elicitation and population projection models, we show that mortality from wind turbines may drastically reduce population size and increase the risk of extinction. For example, the hoary bat population could decline by as much as 90% in the next 50 years if the initial population size is near 2.5 million bats and annual population growth rate is similar to rates estimated for other bat species (λ = 1.01). Our results suggest that wind energy development may pose a substantial threat to migratory bats in North America. If viable populations are to be sustained, conservation measures to reduce mortality from turbine collisions likely need to be initiated soon. Our findings inform policy decisions regarding preventing or mitigating impacts of energy infrastructure development on wildlife.”
Hammerson et al, 2017      “Conservationists are increasingly concerned about North American bats due to the arrival and spread of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) disease and mortality associated with wind turbine strikes. To place these novel threats in context for a group of mammals that provides important ecosystem services, we performed the first comprehensive conservation status assessment focusing exclusively on the 45 species occurring in North America north of Mexico. Although most North American bats have large range sizes and large populations, as of 2015, 18–31% of the species were at risk (categorized as having vulnerable, imperiled, or critically imperiled NatureServe conservation statuses) and therefore among the most imperiled terrestrial vertebrates on the continent.”
Vasilakis et al., 2017     Numerous wind farms are planned in a region hosting the only cinereous vulture population in south-eastern Europe. We combined range use modelling and a Collision Risk Model (CRM) to predict the cumulative collision mortality for cinereous vulture under all operating and proposed wind farms. Four different vulture avoidance rates were considered in the CRM.  Cumulative collision mortality was expected to be eight to ten times greater in the future (proposed and operating wind farms) than currently (operating wind farms), equivalent to 44% of the current population (103 individuals) if all proposals are authorized (2744 MW). Even under the most optimistic scenario whereby authorized proposals will not collectively exceed the national target for wind harnessing in the study area (960 MW), cumulative collision mortality would still be high (17% of current population) and likely lead to population extinction.”

12. Wind Turbine Blade Waste Disposal A Growing Ecological Nightmare

Liu and Barlow, 2017     “Wind energy has developed rapidly over the last two decades to become one of the most promising and economically viable sources of renewable energy. Although wind energy is claimed to provide clean renewable energy without any emissions during operation, but it is only one side of the coin. The blades, one of the most important components in the wind turbines, made with composite, are currently regarded as unrecyclable.  With the first wave of early commercial wind turbine installations now approaching their end of life, the problem of blade disposal is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future. … The research indicates that there will be 43 million tonnes of blade waste worldwide by 2050 with China possessing 40% of the waste, Europe 25%, the United States 16% and the rest of the world 19%.”
Ramirez-Tejeda et al., 2017     “Globally, more than seventy thousand wind turbine blades were deployed in 2012 and there were 433 gigawatts (GW) of wind installed capacity worldwide at the end of 2015. Moreover, the United States’ installed wind power capacity will need to increase from 74 GW to 300 GW3 to achieve its 20% wind production goal by 2030.  … The wind turbine blades are designed to have a lifespan of about twenty years, after which they would have to be dismantled due to physical degradation or damage beyond repair. … Estimations have suggested that between 330,000 tons/year by 2028 and 418,000 tons/year by 2040 of composite material from blades will need to be disposed worldwide. That would be equivalent to the amount of plastics waste generated by four million people in the United States in 2013. This anticipated increase in blade manufacturing and disposal will likely lead to adverse environmental consequences. … Despite its negative consequences, landfilling has so far been the most commonly utilized wind turbine blade disposal method. …  Landfilling is especially problematic because its high resistance to heat, sunlight, and moisture means that it will take hundreds of years to degrade in a landfill environment. The wood and other organic material present in the blades would also end up in landfills, potentially releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and other volatile organic compounds to the environment.”

67 responses to “Why Are We Doing This? A Trove Of New Research Documents The Folly Of Renewable Energy Promotion”

  1. Sommer

    On the subject of harm due to proximity for nearby residents, take a look at this recent presentation given by Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira to professional in Slovenia:

    There are many other references, in the public domain, to evidence of harm to humans that ought to have resulted in precaution and protection to nearby residents.

    1. Yonason

      Looks like it’s going to be a great reference.


  2. Penelope

    Why are we doing it? Surely it is obvious by now that those who are paying for the entire hoax– the “science” and the media– are doing it. Those who have gotten control of our governments are channeling govt money and legislation into it.

    After such a long period of time surely we must acknowledge that the results are the DESIRED results.

    The “conspiracy” to rule the known world happened in Venice, it happened in Rome, it happened in Britain, and now it is happening among a Western coterie of a few thousand men, who employ especially America and Israel towards this end.

    What is so shocking about it? How many times and places can you name where men were free economically, where they could educate their children as they saw fit, where their privacy was assured, where censorship was impossible, where a small group did not control money & trade & development?

    “We” are not doing it, except by doing nothing. Shake yourself loose from the propaganda; we are not recovering economically because those who control The Fed do not wish it.

    Sustainability generally and AGW specifically are a part of the public relations to cover bald tyranny. The PR convinces some, and makes the rest of us blame THEM instead of those who have brought about the hoax.

    1. Yonason

      Here’ Something I just stumbled upon, advocating for reconsidering a kinder gentler fascism administered by goons of exemplary incompetence and malice.

      It appears to be following the model outlined in one of the links you posted.

      1. Penelope

        Unfortunately,the bad guys got in early with the NAMING of what we’re opposed to: “Globalization.” Is that really what we’re against? Clearly we’re against globalized oligarchy; in fact, local oligarchy too.

        So now they can fill the empty name “Globalization”or “Anti-globalization” with meanings like “disliking that the world has gotten smaller, xenophobia, racism, isolationism, fear of change, etc”

        I notice the smarmy music being pushed that seems to say that if we only love each other enough there won’t be any wars. Like hatred of Iraqis caused Americans to go to war against them. Like we had any say whatsoever when oligarchs chose to bomb Libya, eradicating an astounding primary water system that sourced to the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer Fossil System.

        Should you chance to be interested in the real origins of WWI & II, try Wm Engdahl’s “A Century of War.” Or a fascinating, free online book by a Russian http://lit.md/files/nstarikov/rouble_nationalization-the_way_to_russia%27s_freedom.pdf .

        Some chapters deal with the effect of the Fed/IMF system on Russia and every other “developing” country. But others deal with fascinating details of how Russia came to be subjugated and extraordinary details of WWII.

        Sorry I ran on so, but it is all connected. AGW is just a step in the plan, of which the Fed/IMF is an earlier one.

        1. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

          By defining how we talk about things they do control the narrative, which gives them control of how people think. I would have thought there’d have been more push-back from those who knew better, but apparently there aren’t many.

          1. Penelope

            There was pushback YEARS earlier than my knowledge. It was my reading of history written by men educated 30-50 years before me that clued me in to the falsity of what we’re taught.

            Canadian Economist Michel Chossudovsky, who heads up Globalresearch.ca, has written numerous books about the global economic takeover, impoverishment of developing countries, etc. He was actually in two countries as a visiting professor when the countries & economics depts were violently taken over.

            Wm Engdahl, a historian, is author of “Gods of Money” & “Full Spectrum Dominance” & others.

            Economist Michael Hudson has been writing for decades about the alternative to our present fascistic union of govt/corporations. He’s all over the net in interviews– the only economist who is frank and actually amusing.

            His group, which speaks in several countries, calls this alternative econ system MMT, Modern Monetary Theory– It’s updated Classical Economics.

            A member of the group has put out a huge book, which is a history of money & contradicts almost everything I thought I knew about it. “Debt: the First 5000 Years.”

            But Agenda 21? There are a few articles on globalresearch.ca & I know of 3 people who are speaking on it. There are a number of filmed confrontations between the public and local officials at public meetings on youtube. There’s Rosa’s “Behind the Green Mask”.

            And that’s all I know of. People are distracted by the hoax of Trump’s being an outsider with the establishment trying to unseat him.

            I talk to people everywhere I go– the doctor’s office, the grocery line, fellow shoppers. I mostly ask them what they think about this or that. I try to take them just one step further than their current insight. NOBODY cares about AGW; it’s just created propaganda & they try to make us think that people believe it; I don’t see any sign of it in the real world.

          2. Yonason


            As profoundly anti-Semitic as “globalresearch” is, I don’t trust anything they have to say about anything else.

          3. SebastianH

            I don’t see any sign of it in the real world.

            Of course you don’t. You aren’t looking. You are deep in conspiracy territory and your imagination is running a bit wild regarding how stuff works.

            Your perception of what Trump is and represents seems to be equally as flawed …

            It is really sad to witness people who seem to be eloquent and somewhat educated to fall for these kind of things.

          4. spike55

            Poor seb ,

            Your perception of reality ios so warped you wouldn’t have clue about anything

            Your case of chronic DTS is hilarious to watch as he MsAGA. 🙂

            “It is really sad to witness people who seem to be eloquent and somewhat educated to fall for these kind of things.”

            Your ranting is NOT eloquence, seb..its just ranting

            and you also miss on the “somewhat educated” part.. in your case its more like an anti-education, where everything your think you learnt was diametrically opposed to reality.

            But yes, it is sad to see someone so deranged as you.

            But also funny in a weird slap-stick kind of way

  3. Steve

    Is there any benefit to the environment and the economy with the use of alternative energies?
    Does not look like it to me!

    1. SebastianH

      Yes there is.

      1. spike55

        NO, there most definitely IS NOT.

        No environment benefit.. Wind, solar, biomass are all Highly destructive to the natural and the human habitat.

        And a MASSIVE BURDEN on the economies of countries because of the huge subsidies and the “second string” nature of their erratic energy supply given precedence over regular supplies this destabilising the whole electricity supply system.

        1. Bitter&twisted

          Yes there is.
          The blades from these bird-slicing, bat-bursting, eco-crucifixes could be much better used to shred the enormous volume of useless climate-alarmist/sciactivist literature.
          All the better to burn it and generate some useful electricity, unlike what they currently do.
          PS DNFTT

  4. Yonason
    1. SebastianH

      Conservatives … the always backward facing kind of people.

      However, Australia seems to be a special country in regards to the usage of renewables. I get why spikey “feels” that renewables are somehow “destabilising” the electric grid. It does work in the rest of the world though.

      1. spike55

        “It does work in the rest of the world though.”

        NO it doesn’t.

        Germany only gets by by either dumping it excess on countries that don’t need it, thus destabilising their grid,

        .. or by RELYING on the nuclear and fossil fuel from neighbouring countries

        The “whole of Europe” grid takes a LOT more to destabilise it.. But they are gradually getting there.

        1. SebastianH

          Stop lying Spikey …

  5. Penelope

    Sommer, thanks for the useful reference. In her CV at your link are pages of article titles that she’s written. The titles alone are fairly horrifying: effects on coagulation, on the cochlea of the ear, on the pericardium, the digestive & urinary tracts.

    I looked up just one, on ventilatory drive:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16969569 (It’s brief)

    Of course it’s not referring to just wind turbine noise, but it’s particularly insidious because of 24 hour duration.

  6. Marshall Rosenthal

    Please read titles by Drs. Tim Ball, Ian Plimer, Howard C.Hayden, Misters Marc Morano, and Bernie Lewin. That should keep you pretty busy. In the meantime, you might try to eradicate “renewable energy” projects like solar and wind, and discourage all thoughts that present battery systems can store the intermittent spikes of electricity produced by wind electricity or solar (definitely not at night) generated electricity. I call these “toy” power generating sources, expensive toys that will leave people sitting in the dark wondering what happened. If “evil” aliens wanted to do in human beings and everything else that makes life a gift, they couldn’t do a better job. As it is, the state of California pays the state of Arizona to take its excess “Renewable Grid Energy” so it can continue this farce. Crazy, huh?

  7. Why Are We Doing This? A Trove Of New Research Documents The Folly Of Renewable Energy Promotion | Un hobby...

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  9. SebastianH

    1. “More Renewables Mean Less Stable Grids”

    Less stable doesn’t equal unstable. So far Germany doesn’t experience wide spread blackouts as some skeptics like to imagine happening if a country goes all in on renewables. How about Portugal with a very high renewable share? They famously ran their electricity grid completely on renewables in March 2018. Remember?

    2. Increasing Fossil Fuel Use (Natural Gas) Reduces Emissions More Than Increasing Wind/Solar Energy

    No, just no. Reducing your diet from tonnes of cake to only low carb cheese cake is admirable, but doesn’t solve the problem. You’ll eventually have to stop eating cake anyway, so why invest in cheese cake as a unneccessary step in between?

    3. Renewables Fail To Deliver: When Demand Is High, Generation Capacity Is Low

    True for some weeks in winter. Not at all true for solar in summer months. Demand is highest when solar peaks. Also: storage will smooth everything out eventually. This focus on the here and now is pretty telling about skeptics. TomOmason just pointed out in another post that current CO2 concentration is not dangerous and he thinks AGW proponents are saying that it is. No, everythign the sane people on this planet do is about the future. Conservatives and apparently some skeptics are about preserving the past status quo.

    4. Renewable Energy Becomes More Costly The More It Is Deployed … Renewable Energy Expansion Ensures More Fossil Fuel Installation Is Necessary As Backup

    That sounds too ridiculous to be true. The more we deploy the cheaper it becomes per kWh generated. It’s generally called “the learning curve” and has been true for decades now. And why would it be necessary to build more fossil fuel power plants as a backup? Is electricity demand increasing because renewables are expanding? Why would we need less fossil fuel power plant if there were no wind turbines or solar power plants?

    5. Biofuels – Declared Carbon-Neutral Renewables By The EU – Increase Emissions More Than Coal

    We had this discussion. It assumes that biofuels would be harvested in an unsustainable way. In that case it might be possible to cause more emissions, but just how low has the regrow rate to be for this? If wood (there are other biofuels too, but who cares, right?) really emits 65% more CO2 than burning coal for the same amount of electricity, then a regrow rate of just over 40% would be better than burning coal. That should be easily achievable. If those
    285% compared to natural gas would be correct, you’d need to regrow 155% of the wood to get even with natural gas. That little calculation should be enough to demonstrate how ridiculous the claim is.

    6. Biofuels “Use More Energy At A Higher Cost” And Produce More Air Pollution Than Fossil Fuels

    The first part of your claim/category is about alternative crop use, not higher cost compared to fossil fuels. You even marked this part in red.

    I can not find this paper you reference: Emery et al., 2017
    The link doesn’t work and by searching parts of you quote I get nothing. So can not check the validity of those claims. If they are correct though, they failed to update Wikipedia to reflect their claims. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_biodiesel (looks like biofuels are on par or better with regular liquid fossil fuels)

    7. Proximity To Wind Turbines Significantly Reduces Quality Of Life, Well-Being For Nearby Residents

    Yes, there is a term for this: Wind Turbine Syndrome

    8. “Renewable Energy Consumption Has A Negative Effect On Economic Growth”

    Hmm, you ignored what I told you when you initially presented this paper. Surprise. The causality is the other way around in that quoted paper. A high economic growth causes renewables to expand. But expanding renewables doesn’t cause economic growth. Understood?

    9. Research: 100% Renewable Energy Is “Unattainable” In Reality – Decarbonization Is “Arguably Reckless”

    There is so much research saying otherwise … well, you do believe what you want while the rest of us make energy consumption more sustainable than it is now.

    10. Wealthy Countries Foist Social-Environmental Disruption From Wind, Solar Onto Poorer Countries

    A Shakespear quote … wow 😉 That is however something that happens with all kinds of resources and products where countries seem to be in some kind of competition to offer at the lowest possible prices without any regard for human health and paying fair. Not a specific problem of renewables, but I agree … needs to be solved, especially since the resource costs aren’t the main costs of these products anyway.

    11. Wind Power Harming The Environment, Biosphere – Destroying Habitats, Endangering Rare Species

    As compared to burning fossil fuels? Good one, really 😉

    You really must hate renewables to come up with all these straws to grasp. What is the share of wind and solar again? And how did they develop over the last decades and will develop over the next decades?

    1. Josh

      Thanks for showing us again that you are clueless.

      1. SebastianH

        Thank you for your reply without much content. Care to elaborate?

        1. spike55

          Why should Josh elaborate for saying your baseless OPINION is based on your cluelessness.

          Its the truth.

          Your OPINION has been proven wrong on basically every point above, you just IGNORE the truth and keep cackling.

          How about YOU elaborate about the effects of CO2 by answering these two simple questions.when you refuse to answer two simple questions

          Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, and how are those changes scientifically attributable to human activity ?

          Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

  10. Yonason


    Death and destruction.

    No! It is NOT “free.”

  11. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

    What’s not to hate?

    The world of government driven renewable energy promotion is built upon a foundation characterized by two huge fundamental deceptions.

    First and foremost is the deception that man made CO2 emissions are controlling global climate. This deception has been exposed as wrong as clearly demonstrated by flawed and failed climate models, failed projections of coastal sea level rise acceleration, failed projections of increased extreme weather and failed politically driven efforts to expunge the decades long global temperature hiatus.

    Second is the deception that renewable energy is cost effective and reliable both of which have been exposed as wrong as demonstrated by the need for massive and decades long government “must take” mandates and huge cost subsidies.

    I hate being lied to.
    I hate being cheated.
    And I hate it when an anonymous random propagandist tells me not to hate what I have every right and obligation to hate!

  12. Bitter&twisted

    Does the troll actually have a job? It seems to have a lot of time on its hands,

    If it does it won’t be a real one, rather it will be one of those taxpayer subsidised “diversity coordinator”, or “Greenpiss outreach manager”, non-jobs that are parasitic on society.

  13. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

    “All-renewable energy is a prescription for disaster”

    One more case that proves that there is an inverse correlation between a person’s zeal for ruinable energly and the degree that person is connected to reality.

  14. Penelope

    @ Yonason 10. July 2018 at 2:43 PM

    Globalresearch.ca is antisemitic? Really? There’s not a hint of it in the three books of Chossudovsky that I’ve read.

    Israel Shamir is one of my favorite authors on the site, and I’m sure there must be others.

    I wonder. . . are you equating anti-zionism with antisemitic? Almost all of my New York friends are Jewish, and are uniformly opposed to the crimes of Israel and its use by the oligarchs to help in the attack against the Middle East.

    The people of Israel are the salt of the earth, but they are not free and many disagree w the actions of their govt, just like here.

    Here is an article by Israel Shahak & Chossudovsky which may serve to present you w an alternate view. Please do me the honor of reading it. https://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

    1. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

      Take your pick of their lies about Israel.

      There are plenty. All I need is one.

      1. Penelope

        Yonason, I see nothing that many others haven’t said about Israel. The actions by US military and special forces all over the world are criminal. My naming the fact doesn’t make me anti-American or anti-anglo-saxon.

        I am similarly critical of Israel, although her reach is not global. To call me or anyone else critical of Zionism “antisemitic” is unjust, a product of your passionate allegiance to Israel rather than any effort of investigation. Truly. I have Jewish friends who agree w me.

        Everyone wants to believe that somewhere there is someone or something clean, something to idealize. We can agree to disagree on this one please.

        1. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

          There is no comparison between the palestinan Arabs and Jews. Accusing Israel of war crimes is a lie, as is ignoring the perfidy of the so-called “palestinians.”

          Anyone who mistakenly sides with them hasn’t done their homework, or worse.

          Seriously, what other people in the world do this?

          There is no palestinian people. Jews didn’t steal their land.

          We are not persecuting them, nor are we committing war crimes.

          It’s an even bigger lie than global warming, and usually spread by the very same con artists. Why? Because Israel is a bigger threat to the globalists than any other country on earth. Always has been. Always will be.

          1. Penelope

            Yonosan, I’m sorry you’re offended. I will read your references, of course. I thank you for supplying them.

          2. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

            Not offended at you, Penelope, but those who are lying to you.

            Best Regards

  15. tom0mason

    It’s always instructive to see how others with more reliance on unreliable power generation have fared. El Hierro, the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Islands (an Autonomous Community of Spain), is such a place.
    “According to the Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce, El Hierro hopes to become the first island in the world to be self-sufficient for electrical energy. This will be achieved through a €54 million project combining a greater than 11 megawatt wind farm and two hydroelectric projects… This hydro and wind-power project, created by the local Gorona del Viento El Hierro consortium with financial aid from the European Union” (wikipedia).

    Roger Andrews does a nice job of reporting what is going on there with the wind and hydro generation (Euan Mearns’s blog) —
    http://euanmearns.com/el-hierro-second-quarter-2018-performance-update/ .

    In 2Q 2018 Gorona del Viento (GdV) supplied 64.2% of El Hierro’s electricity and 14.8% of its total energy consumption, up from 57.3% and 13.2% in 1Q 2018. In the three years since project startup in June 2015 GdV has supplied 44.0% of El Hierro’s electricity and 10.1% of its energy. In 2Q 2018 GdV supplied 100% of El Hierro’s electricity for a total of 23.8 days during fifteen high-wind periods up to 5.7 days long. Hydro continued to perform poorly, contributing only 8.7% of total 2Q generation . GdV seems to have reached the point where it can juggle diesel, wind and hydro to make optimum use of its wind generation without crashing the grid, but it remains to be seen whether any further improvements in operational procedures will be possible.

    Its hydro electricity and a pumped storage system still performed poorly due to ‘technical difficulties’ (more money need?). I note that all of this expense has not stopped a large chunk of the island folks’ electricity still coming from diesel generators! (see the graphics in the link above)

    So, it has everything a green hippy could wish for — a climate that should make solar usable, and strong winds over the mountains. Fortunately it’s not really an industrialized area, so thankfully only the locals and the tourist are inconvenienced during those odd days of reduced generation.

    If this is the future then we’ll all have to move to somewhere windier, with water that can be held in a reservoir, and be nicely sunny. Unfortunately we all can not live on tourist island idylls like this, so fire up the coal/gas/nuclear generators and let industry productively run.

    1. SebastianH

      Portugal Managed to run its grid on 100% renewables in March. Yes, a whole country …

  16. Penelope

    I tell the entire doctor’s waiting room that I am interested in what they think, and then ask, “What do you think our greatest problem is?” A number express no opinion. A guy who thinks he’s being a wise guy often says, “The govt’s out of control” to a chorus of laughs & nods. More often I hear “The economy.”

    No one has ever answered “global warming.” No neighbor has ever raised the issue, even while commenting on the weather.

    So I continue to wonder whether, in places like Germany where there are AGW-type demonstrations, there is true citizen concern. Are the activists representative of public sentiment? The fact that govt spends the nation’s treasure on the hoax may simply be emblematic of the people’s loss of power– like it is here in the US.

    1. SebastianH

      Why do you think it is a hoax? And no, it certainly is not our biggest problem. But problems aren’t usually dealt with in a serial fashion, right? And since achieving sustainability is a long term project we need to continue on that path instead of letting us distract by conspiracy theorists who think Trump is a godsend and that it is great that finally someone in power suffers the same delusion they are suffering from.

      1. spike55

        “Why do you think it is a hoax?”

        You do know that there is absolutely ZERO empirical evidence to back up even the simplest meme of the AGW scam don’t you seb?

        There is absolutely ZERO evidence of CO2 warming anything anytime anywhere, otherwise you would have produced it by now.

        .. BUT YOU HAVEN’T !

        and you KNOW THAT YOU CAN’T

        And there’s your TDS yet again.. hilarious. 🙂

        Also, thanks for being such a great advocate for the side that KNOWS that AGW is just a HOAX.

        Your EMPTY input is INVALUABLE in proving that point.

      2. Penelope

        You have to read more carefully, Seb. I’m not a Trump fan; he’s just another tool of the Deep State. The only good thing about his election is that they felt they had to pretend he was an outsider.

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