Global warming protesters hold signs (Shutterstock/Piotr Wawrzyniuk)
The world needs to triple annual investment in green energy technology to keep global warming within the bounds of the Paris climate accord, according to a new report.
Yearly investments in green energy need to hit $2.3 trillion over the next 24 years, according to a Stanford University report that lays out the cost of keeping global greenhouse gas concentrations at 450 parts per million.
The report comes as United Nations delegates prepare to meet in Bonn, Germany, for a major climate summit in early November. The UN has also released an “emissions gap” report, claiming not enough is being done to limit global warming.
“Global investment totaling $58 trillion over the next 25 years in clean energy could bring with it major economic, security and health benefits,” reads the report co-authored by five analysts from Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance and two Hoover Institution analysts.
The report emphasizes that attracting $2.3 trillion every year requires governments to “derisk” in green energy investments, which the report says can be done with policies like carbon taxes, energy mandates and subsidies that curb fossil fuel use. Analysts based their findings on International Energy Information claims on what’s needed to stave off “dangerous” global warming.
To “decarbonize” the global economy, the report says $58 trillion needs to be invested in green energy technologies, including “energy efficiency, the full range of renewables, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, natural gas, cogeneration, as well as key enabling technologies including transmission, storage, and demand response.”
“Anything close to tripling spending of this magnitude is a monumental financial challenge, on par with the challenge of rebuilding the world’s energy system,” reads the report.
That $58 trillion over a quarter century is what energy experts claim is needed to keep future global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, which is the goal laid out in the Paris climate accord.
The Steyer-Taylor Center was founded in 2010 by billionaire investor Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor. Steyer was the single largest political donor in the 2016 election cycle, giving $91 million to Democrats and liberal causes.
The Hoover Institution is a conservative think tank. The study was funded by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch and published by the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy.
Stanford’s $58 trillion estimate is a big price tag, but estimates of what it would cost to meet the Paris agreement vary wildly.
A recent report by the Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) claims “additional investments of around $300-$600 billion per annum” over the next two decades are needed for the world meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement.
By 2040, ETC claims the world needs “investment in renewables and other low-carbon technologies some $6 trillion higher ($300 billion per year); while the largest required increases – of almost $9 trillion ($450 billion per year) – will be in more efficient energy saving equipment and buildings.”
That’s a $15 trillion price tag. Another recent report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) projected a total of $12.7 trillion to keep projected global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
BBC Discover Paris Agreement Was Worthless After All!
By Paul Homewood
In its annual review, the UN says the gap between carbon cutting plans and the reductions required to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius is “alarmingly high”.
Pledges made so far cover only one-third of the cuts needed by 2030 to keep below that goal, the review warns.
Even if all the promises are kept, temperatures might still rise by 3 degrees by 2100.
However, cost-effective options are available that can close the gap.
The UN has published an annual analysis of emissions every year since 2010.
This year’s instalment re-iterates the point that current pledges are insufficient to keep within the temperature limits agreed in the Paris climate pact….
By 2030 the UN says that the global scale of emissions needed to keep within the 2-degree path should not exceed 42 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent. Based on the promises made, this report projects a gap of 11 to 13 gigatonnes, while for the 1.5-degree target, the gap is 16 to 19 gigatonnes.
“The Paris agreement boosted climate action, but momentum is clearly faltering,” said Dr Edgar E Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Costa Rica’s minister for environment and president of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly.
“We face a stark choice: up our ambition, or suffer the consequences.”
Ominously, the report warns that if the emissions gap is not closed by 2030 then “it is extremely unlikely that the goal of holding global warming to well below 2 degrees C can still be reached”.
The report suggests that signatories of the Paris accord must significantly increase their ambitions in the new and updated national plans that will have to be submitted by 2020.
I don’t know why Matt McGrath is so surprised. If he had been following this blog, he would have known two years ago that the Paris Agreement was not worth the paper it was written on.
He also shows this graph:
You can ignore the Baseline, as this is simply a projection of the Business As Usual forecasts, which developing countries have artificially inflated to make their INDCs look better.
For some reason, McGrath also chooses to ignore the pre-2025 numbers, which would have shown that emissions will rise substantially from 49 GtCO2e, even under the Paris trajectory.
Or, for that matter, the post-2030 ones, which show that under the Paris Agreement National Plans emissions will carry on rising rapidly:
Unfortunately we are now in for another few years of being bombarded with propaganda from the BBC and the rest of the media. Year after year, there will be more climate conferences, all leading up to the next submission of national plans in 2020.
I make three predictions now:
1) The BBC will hail the 2020 plans as world saving.
2) The next set of national plans will do no more than kick the can down the road for another five years.
3) In 2022, the UN will be telling us that we need to take drastic action by 2025, if we are to keep temperatures within the 2C target range.
German wind farms to be terminated as subsidies run out
Wind power is the most important component of Germany’s green energy transition. The end of subsides for older turbines, however, threatens countless wind farms. By 2023, more than a quarter of Germany’s onshore wind farms may be gone.
Several thousand wind turbines in Germany are likely to be closed down in the next decade because they will no longer receive any subsidies. “If electricity prices do not rise over the next decade, only a few plants will survive on the market without subsidies,” says an analysis by the Berlin-based consulting firm Energy Brainpool. This assessment is shared by most professionals. “In any case, by 2020, the shutdown of existing facilities is to be expected to a greater or lesser extent,” an article by several economists of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig concludes.
The sticking point is the electricity price of 2021, which nobody knows today. Older wind turbines who have been running for 20 years or more will lose their subsidies under the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), but not their operating permit. They could go on generating power, if they would be profitable. Like all older technology, after 20 years of wear and tear, wind turbines are prone to repairs and are more maintenance-intensive than new products. Operating costs are higher too. The current electricity price of around three cents per kilowatt hour would not be enough to keep wind farms running – with perhaps a few exceptions in particularly good locations.
By 2021 alone, 5,700 wind turbines with a capacity of 4,500 megawatts will be closed down. In the following years, 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts each will be decommissioned. The German Wind Energy Association estimates that by 2023 around 14,000 megawatts of installed capacity will be gone. That would be more than a quarter of the currently installed onshore wind power capacity which would be eliminated.
The planned expansion corridor for onshore wind energy envisages that 2,900 megawatts of power will be installed in 2020 and in subsequent years. But that’s gross, not net. Decommissioned and dismantled facilities are not considered. In light of the current situation, more wind capacity would be decommissioned than new capacity added. Onshore wind energy would shrink, not grow.
Why Wind Power is the Greatest Economic & Environmental Fraud in History
When called upon the think of certainties, gravity springs to mind (at least on earth). Although, for the wind industry it does tend to deliver harsh results – see above, yet another fatal collapse, this time in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Another certainty, is that once people tackle the facts, they turn against wind power with a vengeance. Tom Brewer is a Senator from Nebraska who has not just turned on the wind industry, he is determined to destroy it. Here he is doing just that, a couple of months ago.
Brewer at the Legislature: Wind energy is testament to greed
North Platte Bulletin
Sen. Tom Brewer
22 August 2017
I went to a meeting about Wind Energy in Mitchell, S.D. this week. There, I met representatives from more than a dozen South Dakota counties, a member of the South Dakota legislature, county commissioners and nearly that many people from Nebraska.
While I sat and listened to the many horror stories of citizens being forced to live with wind turbines near their home, it reminded me of how important our struggle against the wind energy scam really is.
I wonder how many land-owners willing to sign the 50-year easement to build one of these 550-foot towers planned for sites in Nebraska are actually willing to live near one?
I wonder how many wind energy company executives are willing to live near one? The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln is only 400-feet-tall, by comparison.
The collusion between wind energy and government disgusts me. If the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy didn’t exist, you would not see another industrial wind energy turbine built. As Warren Buffet said,
“….on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
He is absolutely right. Wind is an incredibly inefficient way to make electricity. Something that only makes electricity 30-40% of the time is why the industry will never stand on its own, without being propped up by tax dollars. These dollars are taken by the federal government in taxation from all of us and then transferred to a few lucky people who own wind energy companies.
Land owners are paid for their easement by the wind energy company with these dollars, many of whom live nowhere near the wind farm on their land. All of this is done because some wrong-headed mastermind in Washington D.C. decided wind energy was “green.”
I’m all for “green” or “alternative” sources of energy, but wind energy is neither of these.
An industrial wind turbine will never produce enough electricity in its entire lifetime to offset the so-called “carbon footprint” that is needed to manufacture, install and maintain it.
Aside from tax dollars, wind is also utterly dependent on “conventional” power plants (coal, gas, etc) because when the wind doesn’t blow, the wind farm still “owes” the power grid the rated generation capacity.
Roughly 800 megawatts are produced by about 475 industrial wind turbines currently in Nebraska. Those 800 megawatts have to be delivered to the power grid every single day, whether the wind blows or not.
Additional capacity has to be built into near-by conventional power plants to pick up the slack from the wind farm when it’s not making power. Additional generation capacity isn’t free, and its cost is reflected in the electric bill consumers have to pay. When you look at the “all-in” cost of electricity production, making these 800 megawatts all from coal in the first place would be “greener” and much cheaper than using wind.
People argue that wind energy is a “private property rights” issue. I hear it all the time – who are you to tell me what I can or can’t do on my land? I understand this, but my question is – who pays the neighbors who had no say in the siting of these things?
Who pays for their loss of property value? Who pays for the constant torment brought on by the incredible noise these turbines make? The 24/7 vibration constantly shaking their house? The flicker coming from the shadow of the blades causing migraines and nausea?
Can you imagine a constant 55-decibel noise (like a window air conditioner) invading your home and there was nothing you could do to stop it?
That was reported by a person whose house is 1.3 miles from a wind turbine. Imagine what it’s like for the person who is only 1,000 feet from one of these things.
One thousand feet is the setback the wind energy companies fight for from county planning and zoning boards. Who fights for the property rights of people affected by these things?
We will meet with executives from NPPD concerning the R (transmission) Line again next week. I’m sure we’ll hear the R Line has value in balancing electrical loads and relieving “congestion” on Nebraska’s power grid.
As I have stated before, I believe the chief purpose behind the current routing of the line is to service future wind energy projects in the Sandhills. I hope to convince them to change the routing and avoid the most environmentally fragile area of our state, but I am not very optimistic.
The way Nebraska state laws are set up right now, the only citizen recourse to an NPPD board decision is litigation in the courts. Nebraska doesn’t have a “Public Utility Commission” like many other states do.
There is no entity of Nebraska state government to which a citizen can appeal an NPPD board decision.
Whether they keep making electricity or not, these gigantic steel and concrete structures will be there for generations, monuments to the greed of a few in a short-sighted land rush to hurry up and get them built and collect their profits off the backs of taxpayers before Uncle Sam wises up and shuts off this gravy train.
This is despicable public policy. It hurts people. It hurts Nebraska, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop it.
North Platte Bulletin
Here is Senator Brewer on the war path, again.
BREWER: Wind energy is not ‘Nebraska Nice’
Scottsbluff Star Herald
Sen. Tom Brewer
6 October 2017
There is a term used a lot in the Nebraska Capitol. “Nebraska Nice.” Wind energy is not Nebraska Nice. Wind energy is a scam that hurts people and animals, wastes billions in tax dollars, and isn’t “green” energy by any definition of the term.
Industrial wind energy projects also make terrible neighbors and will utterly destroy the most environmentally sensitive part of our State.
Last week the Natural Resources Committee held an interim study hearing on public power. A portion of that hearing was devoted to “renewable” energy (wind energy).
The chairman of the committee, Sen. Dan Hughes, supports wind energy, but to his credit, he ran an excellent hearing and was exceptionally fair to all who participated. Sen. John McCollister of Omaha is on the committee. He posted an op ed in the Omaha paper this week about how wonderful wind energy is.
This probably explains why he left the hearing early and didn’t hear the many citizens who testified against it. I hope he shows more courtesy to his constituents than he did the people who took time away from work and family and drove hundreds of miles from all over the state to be at that hearing.
We are just beginning to understand the health effects on people and animals of the low frequency noise made by industrial wind turbines known as “infrasound.”
The aerodynamic reflection from the blade when in alignment with the tower causes a “thump, thump, thump” that cannot be ignored. The sound, which is most disturbing at night, invades the quiet of our bedrooms and disturbs Nebraskans who are trying to sleep.
The “shadow flicker” from the blades passing in front of the sun casts disorienting shadows in homes more than a mile from the turbine and causes vertigo and nausea and has been linked to migraine headaches.
Many industries in the U.S. receive some kind of government subsidy, but the wind energy industry is 100 percent reliant on federal subsidy known as the production tax credit.
Wind projects don’t farm the wind, they farm tax avoidance credits as confirmed by Warren Buffet who admitted, “That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” Under the current policy, the industry is forecasted to reap $24 billion in subsidies between 2016 and 2020 or electricity production subsidies — nearly double the subsidies planned for any other renewable option.
None of these figures include the significant benefits granted the industry in the form of state production tax credits, lower local taxes, and ratepayer-funded transmission. Our country is over $20 trillion in debt. Why are we paying this kind of money for an intermittent source of electricity that only makes power about 30% of the time?
Since wind power is intermittent, no amount of wind turbines installed in the U.S. will result in an existing “dirty” power plant being decommissioned nor will it negate the need to build reliable generation. Americans are being asked to pay for two energy systems, one that produces wind energy and the second that delivers reliable electricity. Obviously, this excess generation capacity costs money to build and operate and that cost gets added to the rate-payers bill.
My legislative aide and I just spent ten days in Germany. The Germans are finding out the hard way how disruptive and costly reliance on wind power is. Catastrophic, cascading failure of the national power grid is now a daily struggle to prevent in Germany. Plans to decommission their last remaining nuclear power stations have been put on hold because of how unstable their power infrastructure has become.
Connecting a wind farm to the grid often requires new powerlines and the use of eminent domain to forcibly take land from people to build a power line across their ground for no other reason than to cater to the wind developer. Despite NPPD denials, reports from their own meetings clearly state the “R Line” has been, “…proposed chiefly to provide access for wind energy developments in Cherry Co…” This project will tear through the heart of the most sensitive part of Nebraska’s Sandhills.
Wind energy development in the Sandhills of Nebraska will cause damage to the ground (blowouts) that can never be mitigated or repaired. Wagon ruts from pioneers from over a century ago are still visible in the Sandhills. How can 20 semi-loads (just to put up the construction crane) cross the Sandhills without permanent damage?
Countless more concrete trucks and loads of blades and tower sections will put a lasting scar on a place that has no equal in the world.
Untold numbers of birds and bats are killed, including threatened and endangered species. The government even issues 30-year permits for the “taking” (killing) of bald and golden eagles. Siting hundreds of turbines in the Sand Hills with blades spinning at 200 mph at the tip presents a danger to flying creatures like nothing else.
The lost property value a neighbor to a wind turbine suffers is not compensated. Who would buy a house next to an industrial wind energy facility? The lost use of that portion of a neighbors ground inside the minimum safe distance from a wind turbine is not compensated.
Wind Energy companies fight for the smallest set-back they can get to maximize the number of wind turbines they can build in an area with no regard for their neighbor’s property rights. Wind turbines run-off wildlife and spoil hunting in rural areas. They spoil pristine views and tourism.
The promised boon in property tax revenue for local governments is over-rated and often doesn’t materialize as promised. Unless the local resident has the proper licenses and training certifications, the so-called “jobs” that are created by a wind energy development are taken by here-today-gone-tomorrow workers from out of State.
One in four wind companies go bankrupt before their projects are even finished and are often bought by foreign investors. Much of the power wind energy does manage to generate in Nebraska won’t even be used in Nebraska.
Scottsbluff Star Herald