Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Hey Al Gore? Are You Seeing The Hand Writing On The Wall? Al Gore Wind and Solar Energy Are Dead Ends
Renewable energy is the way of the future, we are told. It is inevitable. Some renewable energy advocates boldly claim that the world could be powered by renewable energy as early as 2030 – with enough government subsidies, that is. And of course, the mainstream media play their part, hyping up the virtues of solar and wind energy as the solution to climate change.
In one regard, they are quite right: in terms of generational capacity, wind and solar have grown by leaps and bounds in the last three decades (wind by 24.3% per year since 1990, solar by 46.2% per year since 1990). However, there are two questions worth asking: (i) are renewable energies making a difference, and (ii) are they sustainable?
To answer the first question: No, wind and solar energy have not made a dent in global energy consumption, despite their rapid growth. In fact, after thirty years of beefy government subsidies, wind power still meets just 0.46% of earth's total energy demands, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The data include not only electrical energy, but also energy consumed via liquid fuels for transportation, heating, cooking, etc. Solar generates even less energy. Even combined, the figures are minuscule: wind and solar energy together contribute less than 1% of Earth's energy output.
Bottom line: Renewables are not making a difference. It would be far more cost-effective and reasonable to simply invest in more energy-efficient technology. But of course, doing so would not line the pockets of billionaires like Elon Musk.
To answer the second question: Is renewable energy sustainable? Is the future wind- and solar-powered?