Understanding Why the Green New Deal Won’t Really Work

The reasons why the Green New Deal won’t really work are fairly subtle. A person really has to look into the details to see what goes wrong. In this post, I try to explain at least a few of the issues involved.

[1] None of the new renewables can easily be relied upon to produce enough energy in winter. 

The world’s energy needs vary, depending on location. In locations near the poles, there will be a significant need for light and heat during the winter months. Energy needs will be relatively more equal throughout the year near the equator.

Solar energy is particularly a problem in winter. In northern latitudes, if utilities want to use solar energy to provide electricity in winter, they will likely need to build several times the amount of solar generation capacity required for summer to have enough electricity available for winter.

Figure 1. US daily average solar production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Hydroelectric tends to be a spring-dominated resource. Its quantity tends to vary significantly from year to year, making it difficult to count on.

Figure 2. US daily average hydroelectric production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Another issue with hydroelectric is the fact that most suitable locations have already been developed. Even if additional hydroelectric might help with winter energy needs, adding more hydroelectric is often not an option.

Wind energy (Figure 3) comes closest to being suitable for matching the winter consumption needs of the economy. In at least some parts of the world, wind energy seems to continue at a reasonable level during winter.

Figure 3. US daily average wind production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Unfortunately, wind tends to be quite variable from year to year and month to month. This makes it difficult to rely on without considerable overbuilding.

Wind energy is also very dependent upon the continuation of our current economy. With many moving parts, wind turbines need frequent replacement of parts. These parts need to be precisely correct, with virtually no tolerance for change. Sometimes, helicopters are needed to install the new parts. Because of the need for continued high-technology maintenance services, wind energy cannot be expected to continue to operate for very long unless the world economy, with all of its globalization, can continue pretty much as today.

[2] Depending upon burned biomass in winter is an option, but we already know that this path is likely to lead to massive deforestation.

Historically, people burned wood and other biomass to provide heat and light in winter. If biomass is burned for heat and light, it is an easy step to using charcoal for smelting metals for goods such as nails and shovels. But with today’s population of 7.7 billion people, the huge demand for biomass would quickly deforest the whole world. There is already a problem with growing deforestation, especially in tropical areas.

It is my understanding that the Green New Deal is focusing primarily on wind, hydroelectric, and solar rather than biomass, because of these issues.

[3] Battery backup for renewables is very expensive. Because of their high cost, batteries tend to be used only for very short time periods. At a 3-day storage level, batteries do nothing to smooth out season-to-season and year-to-year variation.

The cost of batteries is not simply their purchase price. There seem to be several related costs associated with the use of batteries:

  • The initial cost of the batteries
  • The cost of replacements, because batteries are typically not very long-lived compared to, say, solar panels
  • The cost of recycling the battery components rather than simply leaving the batteries to pollute the nearby surroundings
  • The loss of electric charge that occurs as the battery sits idle for a period of time and the loss related to electricity storage and retrieval

We can get some idea of the cost of batteries from an analysis by Roger Andrews of a Tesla/Solar City system installed on the island of Ta’u. The island is in American Samoa, near the equator. This island received a grant that was used to add solar panels, plus 3-day battery backup, to provide electricity for the tiny island. Any outages longer than the battery capacity would continue to be handled by a diesel generator. The goal was to reduce the quantity of diesel used, not to eliminate its use completely.

Based on Andrews’ analysis, adding a 3-day battery backup more than doubled the cost of the PV-alone system. (It added 1.6 times as much as the cost of the installed PV.) The catch, as I pointed out above, is that the cost doesn’t stop with purchasing the initial batteries. At least one set of replacement batteries is likely to be needed during the lifetime of the system. And there are other costs that are more subtle and difficult to evaluate.

Furthermore, this analysis was for a solar system. There seems to be more variation over longer periods for wind. It is not clear that the relative amount of batteries would be enough for 3-day backup of a wind system, or for a combination of wind, hydroelectric and solar. The long-term cost of a solar panel plus battery system might easily come to four times the cost of a wind or solar system alone.

There is also the issue of necessary overbuilding to make the system work. On Ta’u, near the equator, with diesel power backup, the system is set up in such a way that 40% of the solar generation is in excess of the island’s day-to-day electricity consumption. This constitutes another cost of the system, over and above the cost of the 3-day battery backup.

If we also eliminate the diesel backup, then we start adding more costs because the level of overbuilding would need to be even higher. And, if we were to create a similar system in a location with substantial seasonal temperature variation, even more overbuilding would be required if enough capacity is to be made available to provide sufficient generation in winter.

[4] Even in sunny, warm California, it appears that substantial excess capacity needs to be added to avoid the problem of inadequate generation during the winter months, if the electrical system used is based on wind, hydroelectric, solar, and a 3-day backup battery.

Suppose that we want to replace California’s electricity consumption (excluding other energy, including oil products) with a new system using wind, hydro, solar, and 3-day battery backup. Current California renewable generation, compared to current consumption, is as shown on Figure 4, based on EIA data.

Figure 4. California total electricity consumption compared to the sum of California solar, wind, and hydroelectric production, on a monthly average basis. Data used from the US Energy Information Administration through June 30, 2019.

California’s electricity consumption peaks about August, presumably due to all of its air conditioning usage (Figure 5). This is two months after the June peak in the output of solar panels. Also, electricity usage doesn’t drop back nearly as much during winter as solar production does. (Compare Figures 1 and 5.)

Figure 5. California electricity consumption by month, based on US Energy Information Administration data.

We note from Figure 4 that California hydroelectric production is extremely variable. It appears that hydroelectric generation can vary by a factor of five comparing high years to low years. California hydroelectric generation uses all available rivers, so any new energy generation will need to come from wind and solar.

Even with 3-day backup batteries, we need the system to reliably produce enough electricity that it can meet the average electricity generation needs of each separate month. I did a rough estimate of how much wind and solar the system would need to add to bring total generation sufficiently high so as to prevent electricity problems during the winter. In making the analysis, I assumed that the proportion of added wind and solar would be similar to their relative proportions on June 30, 2019.

My analysis suggests that to reliably bridge the gap between production and consumption (see Figure 4), approximately six times as much wind and solar would need to be added (making 7 = 6 +1 times as much generation in total), as was in place on June 30 , 2019. With this arrangement, there would be a huge amount of wind and solar whose production would need to be curtailed during the summer months.

Figure 6. Estimated share of wind and solar production that would need to be curtailed, to provide adequate winter generation. The assumption is made that hydroelectric generation would not be curtailed.

Figure 6 shows the proportion of wind and solar output that would be in excess of the system’s expected consumption. Note that in winter, this drops to close to zero.

[5] None of the researchers studying the usefulness of wind and solar have understood the need for overbuilding, or alternatively, paying backup electricity providers adequately for their services. Instead, they have assumed that the only costs involved relate to the devices themselves, plus the inverters. This approach makes wind and intermittent solar appear far more helpful than they really are.

Wind and solar have been operating in almost a fantasy world. They have been given the subsidy of “going first.” If we change to a renewables-only system, this subsidy of going first disappears. Instead, the system needs to be hugely overbuilt to provide the 24/7/365 generation that backup electricity providers have made possible with either no compensation at all, or with far too little compensation. (This lack of adequate compensation for backup providers is causing problems for the current system, but it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss them here.)

Analysts have not understood that there are substantial costs that are not being reimbursed today, which allow wind and solar to have the subsidy of going first. For example, if natural gas is to be used as backup during winter, there will still need to be underground storage allowing natural gas to be stored for use in winter. There will also need to be pipelines that are not used much of the year. Workers will need to be paid year around if they are to continue to specialize in natural gas work. Annual costs of the natural gas system will not be greatly reduced simply because wind, hydro, and water can replace natural gas usage most months of the year.

Analysts of many types have issued reports indicating that wind and solar have “positive net energy” or other favorable characteristics. These favorable analyses would disappear if either (a) the necessary overbuilding of the system or (b) the real cost of backup services were properly recognized. This problem pervades studies of many types, including Levelized Cost of Energy studies, Energy Returned on Energy Invested studies, and Life Cycle Analyses.

This strange but necessary overbuilding situation also has implications for how much homeowners should be paid for their rooftop solar electricity. Once it is clear that only a small fraction of the electricity provided by the solar panels will actually be used (because it comes in the summer, and the system has been overbuilt in order to produce enough generation in winter), then payments to homeowners for electricity generated by rooftop systems will need to decrease dramatically.

A question arises regarding what to do with all of the electricity production that is in excess of the needs of customers. Many people would suggest using this excess electricity to make liquid fuels. The catch with this approach is that the liquid fuel needs to be very inexpensive to be affordable by consumers. We cannot expect consumers to be able to afford higher prices than they are currently paying for fossil fuel products. Also, the new liquid fuels ideally should power current devices. If consumers need to purchase new devices in order to utilize the new fuels, this further reduces the affordability of a planned changeover to a new fuel.

Alternatively, owners of solar panels might be encouraged to use the summer overproduction themselves. They might set the temperatures of their air conditioners to a lower setting or heat a swimming pool. It is unlikely that the excess could be profitably sold to nearby utilities because they are likely encounter the same problem in summer, if they are using a similar generation mix.

[6] As appealing as an all-electric economy would seem to be, the transition to such an economy can be expected to take 150 years, based on the speed of the transition since 1985.

Clearly, the economy uses a lot of energy products that are not electricity. We are familiar with oil products burned in many vehicles, for example. Oil is also used in many ways that do not require burning (for example, lubricating oils and asphalt). Natural gas and propane are used to heat homes and cook food, among other uses. Coal is sometimes burned in making pig iron and cement in China.

Figure 7. Electricity as a share of total energy use for selected areas, based on BP’s 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Electricity’s share of total energy consumption has gradually been rising (Figure 7).* We can make a rough estimate of how quickly the changeover has been taking place since 1985. For the world as a whole, electricity consumption amounted to 43.4% of energy consumption in 2018, rising from 31.2% in 1985. On average, the increase has been 0.37%, over the 33-year period shown. If we assume this same linear growth pattern holds going forward, it will take 153 years (until 2171) until the world economy can operate using only electricity. This is not a quick change!

[7] While moving away from fossil fuels sounds appealing, pretty much everything in today’s economy is made and transported to its final destination using fossil fuels. If a misstep takes place and leaves the world with too little total energy consumption, the world could be left without an operating financial system and with way too little food. 

Over 80% of today’s energy consumption is from fossil fuels. In fact, the other types of energy shown on Figure 8 would not be possible without the use of fossil fuels.

Figure 8. World Energy Consumption by Fuel, based on data of 2019 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

With over 80% of energy consumption coming from fossil fuels, pretty much everything we have in our economy today is available thanks to fossil fuels. We wouldn’t have today’s homes, schools or grocery stores without fossil fuels. Even solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and modern hydroelectric dams would not be possible without fossil fuels. In fact, for the foreseeable future, we cannot make any of these devices with electricity alone.

In Figure 8, the little notch in world energy consumption corresponds to the Great Recession of 2008-2009. The connection between low energy consumption and poor economic outcomes goes back to many earlier periods. Energy consumption growth was unusually low about the time of the Great Depression of the 1930s and about the time of the US Civil War. The vulnerability of the financial system and the possibility of major wars are two reasons why a person should be concerned about the possibility of an energy changeover that doesn’t provide the economic system with adequate energy to operate. The laws of physics require energy dissipation for essentially every activity that is part of GDP. Without adequate energy, an economy tends to collapse. Economists are generally not aware of this important point.

Agriculture is dependent upon fossil fuels, particularly oil. Petrochemicals are used directly to make herbicides, pesticides, medications for animals and nitrogen fertilizer. Huge quantities of energy are necessary to make metals of all kinds, such as the steel in agricultural equipment and in irrigation pumps. Refrigerated vehicles transport produce to market, using mostly oil-based fuel. If the transition does not go as favorably as hoped, food supplies could prove to be hopelessly inadequate.

[8] The scale of the transition to hydroelectric, wind, and solar would be unimaginably large.

Today, wind, hydroelectric, and solar amount to about 10% of world energy production. Hydroelectric amounts to about 7% of energy consumption, wind about 2%, and solar about 1%. This can be seen on Figure 8 above. A different way of seeing this same relationship is shown in Figure 9, below.

Figure 9. World hydroelectric, wind and solar production as share of world energy supply, based on BP’s 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 9 shows that hydroelectric power is pretty well maxed out, as a percentage of energy supply. This is especially the case in advanced economies. This means that any increases that are made in the future will likely have to come from wind and solar. If hydroelectric, wind and solar are together to produce 100% of the world’s energy supply, then wind and solar, which today comprise 3% of today’s energy supply, will need to ramp up to 93% of energy supply. This amounts to a 30-fold increase in wind and solar between 2018 and 2030, based on one version of the Green New Deal’s planned timing. We would need to be building wind and solar absolutely everywhere, very quickly, to accomplish this.

[9] Moving to electric vehicles (EVs) for private passenger autos is not likely to be as helpful as many people hope.

One issue is that it is possible to mandate the use of EVs, but if the automobiles cost more than citizens can afford, many citizens will simply stop buying cars at all. At least part of the worldwide reduction in automobile sales seems to be related to changes in rules that are intended to reduce auto emissions. The slowdown in auto sales is part of what is pushing the world into recession.

Another issue is that private passenger autos represent a smaller share of oil consumption than many people would expect. BP data indicate that 26% of worldwide oil consumption is gasoline. Gasoline powers the vast majority of the world’s private passenger automobiles today. While an oil savings of 26% would be good, there would still be a very long way to go.

One study of EV sales in Norway suggests that, with large subsidies, these cars are disproportionately sold to high-income families as a second vehicle. The new second vehicles are often used for commuting to work, when prior to the EV ownership, the owner had been taking public transportation. When this pattern is followed, the savings in oil use from the adoption of EVs becomes very small because building and transporting EVs also requires oil use.

Figure 10. Source: Holtsmark and Skonhoft The Norwegian support and subsidy policy of electric cars. Should it be adopted by other countries?

If one of the goals of the Green New Deal is to level out differences between the rich and the poor, mandating EVs would seem to be a step in the wrong direction. It would make more sense to mandate walking or the use of pedal bicycles, rather than EVs.

[10] Wind, solar, and hydroelectric have pollution problems themselves.

With respect to solar panels, a major concern is that if the panels are broken (for example, by a storm or near the end of their lives), water alone can leach toxic substances into the water supply. Another issue is that recycling needs to be subsidized, to be economic. The price of solar panels needs to be surcharged at the front end, if adequate funds are to be collected to cover recycling costs. This is not being done in the US.

Wind turbines are better in terms of not being made of toxic substances, but they disturb bird, bat, and marine life in their vicinity. Humans also complain about their vibrations, if the devices are close to homes. The fiberglass blades of wind turbines are not recyclable, and many of them are too big to fit into standard crushing machines. They need to be chopped into pieces, in order to fit into landfills.

Adding huge amounts of 3-day battery backup for wind turbines and solar panels will create a new set of recycling issues. The extent of the recycling issues will depend on the battery materials used.

Of course, if we try to ramp up wind and solar by a huge factor, pollution problems will rise accordingly. The chance that raw materials will prove to be scarce will increase as well.

There will also be an increasing problem with finding suitable sites to install all of the devices and batteries. There are limits on how densely wind turbines can be spaced before the output of one wind turbine interferes with the output of other nearby turbines. This problem is not too different from the problem of declining per-well oil production caused by too closely spaced shale wells.  


I could explain further, but that would make this post too long. For example, using an overbuilt renewables system, there is not enough net energy to provide the high salaries almost everyone would like to see.

Also, the new renewable energy systems are likely to be more local than many have hoped. For example, I think it is highly unlikely that the people of North Africa would allow contractors to build a solar system in North Africa for the benefit of Europeans.


*There are two different ways of comparing electricity’s value to that of total energy. Figure 7 uses the more generous approach. In it, the value of electricity is based on the amount of fossil fuels that would need to be burned to produce the electricity amounts shown. In the case of electricity types that do not involve the burning of fossil fuels, these amounts are estimated amounts. The less generous approach compares the heat value of the electricity produced to the total heat value of primary energy sources. Using the less generous approach, electricity corresponds to only about 20% of primary energy supply. The transition to an all-electric economy would be much farther away using the heat value approach.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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1,326 Responses to Understanding Why the Green New Deal Won’t Really Work

  1. Dennis says:


    I always understood that the more in demand your currency was, the higher its value. And since the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency of choice, then for the USA deficits truly shouldn’t matter, as Dick Cheney had it. But elsewhere others tell me no. Here is one response, for instance, from another forum:

    “As I understand it, euro/dollar exchange rates run at a lot less than 0.5% for big players, and any profits do not go exclusively to the US gvt by any means (as against seigniorage on paper which in some circumstances is near 100% profit for the Fed). So while there surely is some kind of profit to be got from getting your currency preferred when prices are quoted, you do not quantify the cash value of that preference, and I suspect it is quite small in practice.”

    Who can give me a definitive answer on this issue and explain the technicalities? I always understood that when Saddam Hussein spoke of pricing Iraqi oil in euros instead of dollars, he sealed his fate and more or less made invasion by the neo-cons inevitable.

    • There are couple of issues, firstly Russia announced it for future deals, and they are preferably long term deal country anyway (existing deals run as signed), so the full effect of it will be delayed. That’s partly a reason it made little news few days ago. Secondly, it’s true “the world” is trying to get out of it, China-Russia-India-(+) are aiming to slash USD priced deals bellow 50% of their totals relatively quickly.. Nowadays, they (+ other junior partners) seem to have enough leverage finally to sort of force such outcome near-mid term, but this is obviously not the end of the international status of the USD, only the advanced beginning on this path. So, again the attempted relapse into block structure on the global scene emerges..

      • Isn’t the question whether the dollar-based selling price will still underlie the price, whether it is priced in rubles or something else.

        When you talk about reducing USD priced deals below 50%, I am presuming you are talking about a quantity of a certain type of transaction change, not a difference in price. If I am right, prices won’t be hugely affected.

        • Yes, I should have stated it more clearly.
          And to your first question as Dennis also hints it’s the issue of the whole int USD nexus,
          in the world where the global flows are divided between various “reserve” currencies the DoD won’t be able so to spend so easily ~10x more than top adversaries and so on..

    • the ”value” of any currency can float around for a while on the collective beliefs of governments and speculators.

      that is short term

      long term the value of any currency is specifically tied to the energy availability within the country whose currency it is

      thus the USA acquired the dominance of the dollar because the combination of ww2 and oil volumes conspired to make the dollar the safest stable world currency

      before that the british pound held top position because we had the biggest energy production–coal, together with a vast navy to hold our empire together

      when the coal ran out, the the military was unsustainable and the empire collapsed. We had a 50 year denial phase.

      right now, the USA is in the denial phase (all the cheap oil has gone) people are reluctant to recognise that the dollar will collapse. becase that will collapse the world economic structure.

      But nevertheless the dollar must collapse because its underpinning energy resource is no longer there. Fracked oil is too expensive to support “the American dream” (not enough surplus energy available) The USA wouldnt be in the middle east if there was enough oil available on home territory

      The oilwars are really denial wars. Trump is a denial president. All part of the same problem. The unthinking masses have nothing left to believe in, so they voted for Trump.

      When he fails there will be civil unrest—again–part of the denial phase.

      We can only hope that the denial phase isn’t too unpleasant. In a fully armed country, hope is all there is.

      • Yes, and about the peculiarities of post mature – early collapsing empire (British) it’s good to study these kind of folks – I guess you know that better than most but lets put it here..

        • Xabier says:

          The British Empire was always very pragmatic, rather than ideological, and never developed a militaristic culture (unlike Germany, Russia, etc) , and so was better placed philosophically to back down more or less gracefully, although hitting out hard enough when directly challenged with force by freedom fighters, or hurried along too quickly by nationalists, eg Aden, Kenya, Egypt.

          As to American psychology, I can only look on and wonder: one hopes the US generals and the MIC are reasonable as their very comfortable gravy train comes to a halt……

      • Phil D says:

        I would think Bush the 2nd and Obama were much more denial presidents than is Trump, at least as far as being involved in the middle east is concerned. Look at the track records of the former two versus the latter, so far.

        • oil denial began after 1970, when us oil peaked and went into decline

          The only one who tried to tell the truth was Carter—he was booted out of office because no one wanted to hear it—in any event North Slope came on stream, so he was ”obviuosly lying’

          the decline-collapse phase seems to be around 50 years or so—ie from 1970 until now.

          The common opinion on collapse seems the early 2020s. Energy depletes from excess to deficit. The result is certain.

          Trump seems to be the final manifestation of the denial problem. After him the godbotherers will take over, and blame it all on lack of prayer and the sinful ways of all of us.
          I do not jest. There will be no options left.
          That will be the foundation of your next fascist dictatorship. (Denial and desperation added together if you like.)

          we still have the same problem as with Carter. Presidents now tell lies because they have no option, they fight oilwars because they have no option.

          While each leader promises ‘forever’.

          without oil the US economic system collapses and the nation itself collapses and secedes into separate nations, each with its own take on the problem, none admitting what the problem really is. Each fighting to prove itself right.

          • Tim Groves says:

            I would like to congratulate and applaud the present POTUS for finally having the temerity, the gumption and the guts to say “Enough with this nonsense regarding war.” If the issue of Syria and how the Deep Staters are going berserk does not tell you that Trump is doing something right, then nothing will.

            But of course, Norman, if your analysis is correct, and it may well be—I can’t put my finger on any flaws in your prediction that everything is going to collapse and all is kaput—then we might as well all party like its five minutes to the Day of Judgement and lay in a large stock of cyanide capsules for when the hangover starts to hit. We could pass them around to friends and neighbors for when the time comes.

            But before we bite into our pills, lets give this great president his due. He has been under considerable pressure to fight new oil wars and intensify ongoing ones, and so far he has resisted the pressure to do so for close to three years now. By comparison, President Peace Prize only got two years and two months into his reign before he was bombing Libya back into the dark ages.

            I know it is difficult for people to remember or absorb inconvenient facts, but Obama—just like Bush the Elder, Clinton, and Bush the Younger—was a war maker, even if he didn’t come across as a war monger. Trump, for all his faults, has so far refused to follow his predecessors in this respect. No wonder he is so hated by the war-profiteering elite and so loved by ordinary decent people the world over.

            • there might be some sense in your points

              but with the don, I think we are dealing with someone who is lacking in mental comprehension of world affairs

              the fundamental problem is the oil reserves of the middle east, on which the global economic system pivots, whether we like it or not

              if /when that goes down, we all go down.

              since 1945 the overall thrust of world affairs has been centred around that inescapable reality–from Roosevelt onwards. Each president has been tasked with maintaining the status quo—ie keeping the oil flowing.
              You can track all major political problems back to that.

              Oil provides employment/wages/taxes/stable government.

              There wereno oilwars until USA peaked in 1970—we have had endless oil conflict since then.

              (yes I know the German/japanese fought over oil supply, but that wasn’t a terminal shortage)

              Trump has convinced himself that USA can pull up its drawbridge and carry on forever with fracked oil and gas, while the rest of the world crashes and burns. Somehow he will be immune to it all if he is rich enough. America first!! We have enough oil/coal for 400 years!!

              This reveals his mental defects.

              A string of his utterances shows the man to be off his head or in senile decline.

              Take the latest:

              Why should we help the Kurds. They didn’t help us in WW2.

              What further proof do you need that the man is mentally ill? You really want this guy in charge of the nuclear codes? Trump makes America distrusted now.
              What happens when he’s either impeached or voted out? He’s going to be screaming fake and doing as much damage as he can until he is physicallt dragged out of the building

              People like him always gather lunatics around them to carry out crazy orders—and they do, eagerly. Millions think he’s god’s messenger. They are all equally dangerous people.

              They will eagerly lend a hand to run the fascist state before the final crash

            • It is not oil reserves that are important, but prices that are high enough to make it worthwhile to get the oil out. It is low prices that are sending production down. The attack on Saudi Arabia occurred on September 14, or about half way through the month. Saudi Arabia’s oil production per day was reported to be down by 1.28 million barrels per day in September 2019, compared to August 2019. The reduction to Saudi Arabia’s oil production might be as much as 2.5 million barrels per day in the second half of the month.

              With these new figures, OPEC’s World Oil Market Report for October is still showing world peak crude oil production in October-November 2018.

              I checked the EIA’s international data through June 2019. It shows a similar pattern. The peak month is November, 2019. World crude oil production is down 2.94 million barrels a day between November 2018 and June 2019. In fact, total liquids production is down 2.25 million barrels between November 2018 and June 2019, using the EIA International data.

            • That is another way of making more or less the same point I think

              Oil reserves back in the 30s-to 60s were in such cheap abundance that they delivered mass employment, either through wars or consumer economics. The more fossil fuels we burned, the more jobs we created. (or people killed).

              Oil not only delivered employment. it accellerated the market year on year because a way had to be found to use the stuff.

              a barrel of oil only acquires tangible value through the act of converting it into something else.

              That ‘something else’ has to be bought and sold to sustain our economic infrastructure. One might be ten times removed from a barrel of oil, but the stuff it produces passes through our hands cconstantly as ‘surplus energy’. The ultimate result of that is a population 7x what it would otherwise be.

              So a growing population (itself oil driven) has to be found fresh employment (as well as life support growing up) As long as cheap oil was available, and other raw materials linked to oil consumption, then employment could be thought of as ‘infinite’—the stupidity of such a concept could be conveniently ignored.

              As long as oil was cheap in production terms, we had colossal surpluses by which we employed ourselves.

              Now oil is no longer cheap in production terms, so the surpluses are no longer available to create jobs, and to support those 7bn people.

              The oil is still there, but it costs us too much to get hold of, relative to the benefit we get out of it.

              Which is another way of saying we can no longer afford the stuff. But of course crazed politicians tell us we can.
              We believe them because the alternative is just too awful to take in.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Why should we help the Kurds. They didn’t help us in WW2.

              Trump isn’t a professional politician, thank the Lord. He bumbles and rambles and doesn’t have the smooth delivery of an Obama or a Clinton, or even a Reagan. And the Deep State and the media lackies work overtime to try to make sure the public gets the most negative impression possible of the man.

              But the record is clear. He hasn’t started any new wars yet and he’s doing his best to stop existing wars. I think that’s commendable, given that the US is controlled by a warmongering elite that is avid for mass bloodshed. I think that you too, find this commendable, although for some reason you find it difficult to enunciate because you’ve made a vow of sorts to the devil sitting on your left shoulder never to speak good of Trump. 🙂

              I have a generally favorable view of Trump because I listen to his own speeches and press conferences all the way through and what I see is someone who is trying to do his best under difficult conditions. And then I see his sorry pack of political opponents focusing all their efforts on trying to prevent him from doing the things that need to be done in order for the US to cope with these difficult conditions.

              I don’t like everything Trump does—and I can see how he may judged a mental defective by some standards—but with the opposition he has I am afraid to criticize him because I don’t want to give his opponents any support whatsoever. Because if Trump falls or is not re-elected in 2020, the real crazies will take over.

        • Ed says:

          Yes, Trump is the peace president. He has my vote again.

          • looking in from the uk—i need some serious help here

            Politicians, by the nature of the job, must be a bit nuts to take the job on

            but the don, by the words he utters on a daily basis, is clearly in some kind of mental decay, advancing senility, or plain crazy

            “the Kurds weren’t with us on the beaches of Normandy”

            seems to defy any level of sanity, even by his standards.

            If I’m missing some high level political point here, I would seriously like to have it explained to me by folks closer to the action, so to speak

            • Thinkstoomuch says:

              It is pretty simple. Ignore his tweets. Seem to be red flags and bulls type thing.

              Pay attention to what actually happens. If you can figure out much of the way our Federal Government works(other than poorly, it was designed that way) you are way ahead of me. We have added more employed in the last year than Civilian noninstitutional population. According to bls.gov(https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.a.htm) anyway, if I read their numbers right.

              But generally I do not consider myself all that smart, certainly not enough to figure the whos, wheres, whys, hows and when.


            • the kurds at normandy was part of a recorded speech

            • Thinkstoomuch says:

              My mistake. Figured it was another twitter thing.

              Again what is he accomplishing.

              Who really believes what a *US* politician says(their lips are moving)? Flub a silly line that really means nothing. After all one them(paraphrasing) said the US had 57 states, Guam was going to tip over, the US national debt was just a silly accounting trick (my favorite he was my representative even though I didn’t vote for him), …

              President Trump flubbed a line. Still I will not get worked up about it. People spend entirely too much effort on the inconsequential. I know I have said some obviously stupid stuff in my day. Including some real bonehead basic math stuff that cost me money on bets. Listen to some audio books some time after you have read the book. Paid story tellers screw up. Sometimes VERY spectacularly!


            • Kowalainen says:

              People who read and write too much confuse the real world with symbols and representations ultimately end up as complex ignorants.

              As T2M states, stop caring about verbal and written diarrhea and start perceiving what is actually happening in the world, perhaps even reconsider long held beliefs.

            • considering that in 2011 i wrote that ”a trump” was inevitable by 2016 or 20 at the latest, i think the stuff i read now only serves to confirm my long held certainties

              one can now ignore written stuff, and listen to it direct from its original sources, albeit still in disbelief that someone in high office could utter an endless stream of lies and drivel

              unfortunately that drivel-stream has a direct effect on world affairs which we cannot ignore, because it affects all of us

              the driveller in chief has it fixed in his orange head that he can run the country on mafiosi rules. I won’t say principles because he has none. I want to be proved wrong on that btw—seriously. the don is now fitting himself into his own name

              Diplomacy has become a shakedown, and seems to be drifting into a straightforward protection racket. The idea seem s to be that the USA is to withdraw into itself, sufficient unto inself, with no awareness of how world infrastructure functions.

              If UK leaves the EU, then we too will get ‘deals’ with the USA on mafiosi rules—ie the shakedown. The world is either part of the crime family, or against it. Then you’ll get turf wars over resources.—which effectively are happening now.

              Take a long look at the map—you have two massive continental blocs.

              Those blocs tell you what world politics is going to be.

            • Dana says:

              Dear Norm, I voted for Trump, yes, I’m a deplorable, white, late middle aged woman. We got 2 choices for president, thanks to political machinations. Trump, and that psycho woman. It was obvious that Trump was supposed to lose, we were told so every day by the MSM, because he was a “bad white man”. So we deplorables basically said, “frack it, I’d rather see DC burned to the ground than reward that vicious hag the seat in the oval office. So here we are.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              You need to go back to the stone age to understand how stressed humans respond.

              In those days population growth led to resources being stressed. Due to evolutionary selection, humans have psychological mechanisms that lead them into wars with neighbors. This *always* solved the problem of too many people for the resources, but due to taking the young women of the defeated tribe, the genes for this behavior were conserved.

              One of the psychological mechanisms leftover from those days is that irrational leaders become attractive to a stressed population. The current US situation is not unique. Consider what happened in Germany in the 1920.

              While the worldwide economic stress increases the chances of war, it might not happen.

            • for once we are in complete agreement Keith

              View at Medium.com

            • Thinkstoomuch says:

              Why Germany of the 20’s. No hyper inflation *at the moment*, low unemployment. Heck I read a FBI 2018 UCR violent crime is down year to year, property crime down year to year, robberies are seriously down year to year, number of homicides is down for the first time since 2014(IIRC), not much but …

              Why not England & France of mid 30’s. Or the 20’s for that matter

              Whole thing started with throwing “allies” to the wolves(which also happen to be allies but it is way more complicated than that). More like Mexico and Poncho Villa, I think.

              That way more of a limited pie got ate at home. Seems to fit to me. But then again I am not knowledgeable of English and French history.

              But all of this part of the discussion is for some other place and if our gracious host feels this post should go away, I mostly agree. If she feels I should go away, I gotta say I mostly agree, I enabled this whole diversion screwing up answering a question. Worse, apparently I am unable to stay away from it.

              Which leads to a Joke(stolen of course, I really am not that smart), You know how to save on Christmas presents bring up politics at Thanksgiving Dinner.

              Just saying,

            • Phil D says:

              Keep in mind that 90% of the media goes out of their way to paint the worst possible picture of him that they can. He produces a lot of talk and if you’re only getting your sound bites from the MSM then you’re going to get a very biased sample.

              Do you remember Obama’s “57 states” flub? Yet the media loved him, so they covered for him. Trump gets the opposite treatment.

              As someone below said, focus on his actions and the summary-punchlines of his policy statements, not some random sound bites.

            • Phil D says:

              I’ll translate it for you: “they weren’t with us on the beaches of Normandy” = Trump’s version of “what have they done for us lately (or ever)?”

              Which isn’t insane at all. It’s a tongue-in-cheek way of pointing out the only reason the US has a relationship with the Kurds is because of 30 years of US meddling in the middle east. Outside of that there is zilch in common. It’s an artificial alliance of convenience…and he’s saying he’s over it.

          • Very Far Frank says:

            There’s a simple connection between resource availability and behaviour that you’re missing Norman. If there’s greater scarcity, leaders become more blusterous- this is absolutely necessary to their constituents because the people recognise they’re in a less secure position than they were. If you’re struggling day to day and the talking heads on the news disparage people like you for ‘priveledge’ you’ve never experienced, you’re hardly going to vote for a ‘right on’, ‘say all the right things’ progressive. I don’t understand this Orange Man Bad attitude of yours when it’s clear the whole process is deterministic and inevitable.

            • it is certainly inevitable

              i am the first to admit that

              and the don is certainly the symptom not the cause of this mess

            • hkeithhenson says:

              ” the whole process is deterministic and inevitable.”

              That’s what evolutionary psychology will tell you.

              Only it may *not* be the case if we understand what is leading up to war and can figure out how to work around the problems.

          • Tim Groves says:

            My advice to everyone is not to get into arguments with family, friends, colleagues or even online acquaintances over how bad or evil or mentally subnormal or fiendish or devious or maniacal or mentally ill or demented the current POTUS is.

            After all, he’s probably going to be in the job for another five years and then he’s going to ride off into the sunset, or maybe go back to building buildings. And that’s a long time to be arguing and possibly permanently damaging some good relationships.

            So let them rant and carp and snigger and snipe and snide and condemn, or whatever they feel they have to do in order to cope with Trump as President, and try to remain amiable and non-confrontational.

            To avoid rubbing people up the wrong way and guard one’s own reputation, Jane Austin’s characters were advised when meeting people at church or for dinner parties to talk about the weather. But these days I can’t recommend that with my hand on my heart, as your acquaintances may take this as an opportunity to wax apocalyptically about globbly wobbly!! But try to stick to safe subjects—if you can find any.

            Of course, I don’t often take my own advice in this matter. But I should. I really should.

            • I do tend to keep quiet about politics. And ask endless unknowledgeable questions, often about “Who is he?” (some associate or appointee of Trump.)

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “quiet about politics.”

              Evolutionary psychology connects economics to politics thus.

              Over a time frame plenty long enough for genetic selection to take place, human groups responded to a resource crisis by the development of xenophobic memes against neighbors and supporting irrational leaders who would take them into war. Win or loose, this always worked to get the population back into balance with the resources. Because the winners took the young women of the loosers, the genes for this psychological mechanism were positively selected at about 40% per generation. I can post the math analysis if someone wants.

              Most of this selection took place well before “economy” replaced “human ecosystem.” But we are left with hard economic times tripping off the psychological mechanisms that were selected in the stone age.

              If you want an EP example where the selection is easier to understand try http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Capture-bonding

            • Kowalainen says:

              Oh, come on Tim. Some controversy never hurts. Wear that cap with pride.


            • Tim Groves says:

              But what if this “make it great again” trend spreads to Italy? https://cdn2.kontraband.com/uploads/image/2019/2/22/preview_3e590c17.jpeg

            • The Roman Empire was huge at one time, but things change.

    • Sorry, this link is not working for me. Could you find a link directly to the you tube video, not to a facebook share?

      • Artleads says:

        Sorry about that. If this doesn’t work, then I don’t have a solution. I posted it on FB, since it seems basic and easy to grasp for people who don’t think about the system they live in. I suggest they listen to the first 10 and last 10 minutes. First 5 and last 5 minutes minimum.

    • The link you provide is to a great post by Tim Watkins. Watkins is a British observer who says a whole lot that parallels what I say.

      One quote I liked:

      The fall in oil prices from 2014 did, however, put an end to mainstream concerns about peak oil. The economists, it seemed, were correct in assuming that higher prices would merely result in additional reserves of oil being extracted; as was evident in the US “fracking miracle.” Moreover, as the price of petroleum increased, that other canard of economics – “substitutability” – would kick in; in the shape of a new generation of electric vehicles.

      This gave rise to the theory of “peak oil demand,” which held that the electrification of the economy and the decoupling of GDP growth from energy and resource consumption was ushering in a new “fourth industrial revolution” that would eventually replace the Oil Age entirely. In the not too distant future, a new communications infrastructure built around renewable energy technologies would simultaneously save us from climate change and wean us off our addiction to fossil fuels.

      It was a myth, of course. The success of the “tech” sector of the economy has not been based on the widespread deployment of new technologies; but rather on the leveraging of the labour of an increasingly desperate precariat class at the base of western economies.

      I don’t remember hearing the term “precariat” before. It seems to be closely related to the word precarious. These are the people whose lives are marginalized by the unstable labor market today. This is a link to a story about the issue.

      Another quote I liked was this one:

      In Britain, utility costs – particularly energy prices – have accounted for the majority of the inflation since 2008. Meanwhile, in France a relatively small tax increase on fuel was sufficient to spark a “yellow vest” protest that continues to this day.

      This is the real peak oil demand in action. Not the techno-utopian fantasy of a world that no longer needs oil; but the stark reality of a world that can no longer afford it.

      Those of us in the US get less of this effect, because part of the problem is changing currency levels. When the Euro drops relative to the dollar, energy prices become more expensive for Europeans.

      • The term “precariat” has re/surfaced in the 2010s, recently has been more circulated thanks to the “pop star” euro socialist-marxist scholars like Zizek, Piketty and others..

        Funnily enough, the (third) guy who wrote the eponymous book – published it in the company, which refers in its name Bloomsbury to the pre WWII situation with the British elitist intellectual group I talked above with Xabier, it included the economist Keynes among others etc.

        What a nice circle around, and around..

        These guys will continue QE in all unimaginable forms till the last drop of bodily fluids..

        • Xabier says:

          They will certainly continue with some form of QE; and we should bear in mind that a state can exist as a kind of shell, while ordinary lives collapse, for quite some time.

          And the masses will be lectured as it all goes down, as Macron likes to do: ‘You’ve nothing to complain about! And you, study and get a job before you talk politics!’ He is the authentic voice of those in charge.

          I suggest would should all think of ourselves as ‘ being part of the ‘precariat’ – much more realistic.

      • cassandraclub says:

        During the 2016 Bilderberg-conference one topic discussed was:
        Precariat and middle class

        Among the attendees: Christine Lagarde (future president of ECB), Ursula von der Leyen (new president of European Commission)

    • DJ says:

      The Four Tims of the Apocalypse: Watkins, Garrett, Morgan, Jackson.

  2. Ed says:

    Here in New York State the speed limits keep getting lower and lower. What used to be 55 is now 30. Has anyone else seen this? Make driving so unpleasant you 20s 30s don’t really want a car???

    • Grant says:

      Cognitive dissonance, Ed.

      As “safety” regulations require ever more materials, energy use and complexity in car designs adding weight an size (perhaps more obvious outside the USA?) the manufacturers have designed and manufactured ever more powerful vehicles (at least as Halo models) only to be restricted by ever slower default speeds over ever wider areas of the road network.

      It is of little surprise, perhaps, that the younger generations seem to be moving away from the traditional desire of young people to seek freedom and independence through interpersonal social interaction and readily available local travel on demand.

      They seem to save it up for parts of the world to which they travel to tick a box whilst going completely against what many of them would claim to be “green” leaning credentials.

      It would be interesting to see how things eventually turn out.

      • Hubbs says:

        Lowering speed limits= lowering the bar for triggering speeding violations= higher revenue from speeding tickets.
        (Will be driving trou PA and NY on my way to Albany, NY this weekend.

        • Tim Groves says:

          That’s absolutely a major factor. Although on the other side of the scale, lower speeds reduce the severity of accidents and increase fuel efficiency.

          Last week a friend of mine was caught not stopping before proceeding at a temporary stop sign (not a traffic signal but a sign by the side of the road and some white lettering on the asphalt) on a road with no oncoming traffic in view by a policeman waiting in ambush. Result, a ¥7,000 yen fine and the loss of their precious “gold” license status for the next three years.

    • Lastcall says:

      The same thing is happening with restrictions on speed, parking, street access and registrations here in NZ. I believe a brand new starry-eyed generation of ‘Town Planners’ are making their mark. Targeting ICE users is part of the educational matrix.

      ‘Millennials represent less than 25% of the total U.S. population, but they are over 40% of the working-age population defined as ages 25 to 65. Millennials are quickly becoming the generation that drives consumer, economic, market, and political decision making. Older millennials are in their prime spending years and quickly moving up corporate ladders, and they are taking leading roles in government. In many cases, millennials are the dominant leaders in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, social media, and alternative energy.


  3. Steve Kopits posted an article indicating that perhaps US’ electric vehicle sales are peaking at less than 2% of auto sales. From what I could see, Kopits put together a chart, based on tables of sales statistics compiled by a site called Inside EVs.

    Are US Electric Vehicle Sales Peaking?

    Since July, US sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) have been declining compared to the same month the previous year, according to sales statistics compiled by Inside EVs.

    Much of this is attributable to Tesla. With the roll out of the Model 3 in 2018, Tesla’s sales and market share soared, with Tesla controlling nearly 60% of the US electric car market since last summer. However, the Model 3 hit steady state sales in July 2018, and year on year sales have been negative since then. September 2019 sales of the Model 3, for example, were 9% below that of a year earlier.

    Unfortunately, the collective market share of the 40+ models offered by everyone other than Tesla amounts to only a bit over 40% of the market. Moreover, the non-Tesla market has seen sales below those of 2018 for every month since February, and down by about 20% on average. There is no indication that some great breakout is on its way.

    Unless EVs can dramatically reduce their cost and substantially increase their range or reduce their recharging time, the US electric car market looks to be peaking — at under 2% of US light vehicle sales.

    • It could be or not.

      The waiting lists are still in effect in many places, annoying the would be clientele, also lot of people waiting it out for more practical SUV/CUV model Y (model 3 with hatchback) or the VWs upcoming models etc.. Up to this point the market has been dominated by mostly quasi luxury segment only (or ~scams e.g. Nissan cutting corners on batt protection). South Koreans even increased prices recently on some models. lolz..

      It’s a tricky moment, either the industry manages to properly and fluidly enter the lower-middle class segment or not.. and in that case the stagnation – saturation theory would be correct.

      Besides hybrids are falling long term because of the preferred – desirable EV option and the saturation of corp/taxi fleets.. It’s not serious job to lump hybrid and EV sales together..

  4. Kowalainen says:

    This one goes out to the computer savvy preppers getting ready for instacollapse:

    “’Collapse OS’ Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse. The operating system is designed to work with ubiquitous, easy-to-scavenge components in a future where consumer electronics are a thing of the past.”

    Yup, it can run on basically anything that contains more than a couple of transistors.

    “Collapse OS is a new open source operating system built specifically for use during humanity’s darkest days. According to its creator, software developer Virgil Dupras”



    • The new bottom feeder budget Nokia smart phones (traditional keypad + small “size lcd) have some alt OS option as well already.. enough for online/offline browsing and multimedia. Basically we have reached a point thanks to small powerful cpu/boards at which ~near PC capability could be placed at “no cost” into consumer appliances from fridge to car, tv set, wearables, or throw away kiddie phone..

      • Tim Groves says:

        That’s all I need. Having my home entertainment and kitchen appliances joining forces with the local supermarket cash register to spy on me and telling the gubermint how much butter and milk I’m consuming and when.

        • Xabier says:

          I can see it coming:

          ‘We regret to inform you, Xabier, that our data shows that you’ve eaten far too much butter, milk and chorizo, washed down with an awful lot Spanish wine and cider despite all admonitions from your fridge, cooker and kitchen cupboards.

          Too many naughty ladies -with the same bad habits – have visited your studio, all too often ending up somewhat undressed -and don’t say it was ‘Art’! We have images and audio!

          No pension, healthcare or other state services for you, except immediate disposal in the eco-friendly state sludge pit (death is mercifully quick) which will render your pitiful remains suitable for spreading on the fields, benefitting better citizens than you……

    • DJ says:

      How are you supposed to boot this?

      Writing a tape loader is not that hard but before use you must have those 2-300(?) bytes in memory. In the 80s burnt into ROM.

      It’s not like you could find an 80s gaming console on the dump and reprogram it without specialised hardware.

      The “OS” is the least problem.

  5. Angus says:

    Hi Gail,

    A couple of points:
    1. in Australia, coal power is very unreliable because of the aging fleet. While renewables are ‘intermittent’, they are at least predictable. Our coal power stations have a bad habit of failing at very short notice when we need them most
    2. Jinko solar (a major PV manufacturer) is planning to power it’s factories with 100% PV power by 2025. If this happens, it will be a watershed achievement
    3. Agreed that it will be expensive to switch to 100% renewables with the grid as it currently exists. However, many assumptions about grid operation are based on inflexible “base-load” power (eg. discounted rates at night because coal power can’t switch off easily). This has never been what we really want (hence the discount), and what we really want is dispatchable power — renewables plus storage do this better, and potentially more cheaply, than does coal (eg https://reneweconomy.com.au/us-energy-giant-says-renewables-and-batteries-beat-coal-gas-and-nukes-78962/).

    Whether or not renewable price advantage remains true as we get higher proportions of renewables in the grid remains to be seen (I don’t think anyone really know what will happen). Personally, I think that demand management will be come important in a renewables dominant grid, but I think price signals *could* be used to achieve this. South Australia has about 50% renewable, and our supply is very solid (though we do sometimes import a small amount of electricity from an adjacent state):

    I’m not really disputing what you’ve written, but I don’t think you can *know* that you’re right either. This is all conjecture (though _useful_ conjecture 😉 ). Also, I’m aware that I’m talking about electricity here and that doesn’t cover liquid fuels. I’m not a big believer in electric cars as the path forward — I think we need smaller lighter transport + public transport. While I think it’s feasible to electrify trains and freight, I think air travel needs to become a lot more costly.

    Cheers, Angus

    • Grant says:

      The Brown Outs in South Australia are now definitely a thing of the past? Never to recur?

      From you first link the allegedly wonderfully cheap renewable supply is something that is yet to be tested as the the article points out.

      The chap being quoted is not so sure about effectiveness above about 40, maybe 50% Therefore presumably not about the economics either. He seems espcailly keen to suggest that about 70%, other than for short outages which may be OK for househ0ild appliances in the middle of the night but not so good for any businesses reliant on perpetually available good quality supplies to avoid major systems crashes and costly recovery operations, may be as good as it gets. He then goes on to talk about “demand management”. Sound like he’s try to get to a point where people accept supply failure and a prompt for them to adopt demand management.

      I note the writer mentions the scale and size of the company and so glazes it with some sort of credibility by existence.

      As I recall Enron was perceived in a similar light at its height.

      Time will tell. It sounds like there may only be a short wait. I’m going to guess that the man being interviewed will not be around by the time his 20130 predictions can be assessed. It’s the way things are these days. Talk up the money and run.

    • The problem is one of renewables not providing enough energy in winter, especially. The system really needs to pay fossil fuel providers for providing backup services, especially for the part of the year that renewables can’t provide enough. The batteries that they are adding are puny batteries. They talk about 2 or 4 hours of batteries, which is not much. They smooth out the electricity during a particular day. Demand management does something similar.

      The problem is seasonal intermittency, and year to year variability. This chart is a chart of US energy consumption by time of year. I have shown the three big pieces: electrical, transportation, and “all other.” A large part of all other is home and commercial business heating using natural gas. It also includes oil products used for farming, and natural gas and oil used by industry. Obviously the seasons are the opposite of those in Australia. You will notice that in total, the peak season for energy use is winter.

      In the US, we use a lot of natural gas to heat our homes and businesses in winter. Electricity tends to be used to operate air conditioners. This is a major reason that electricity use is somewhat higher in summer than winter.

      Solar energy has a very distinctive pattern to it. In the US, its production peaks in June, and its production is low in winter. (You would have the revere. It cannot be used to provide very much of the total electricity, because its pattern is quite different from what is needed by consumers, especially if you plan to get heat from the system (and year around electricity for industry), not just air conditioning.

      Wind varies a lot by part of the world. It tends to be quite variable. Before you count on it, you should check into what pattern it is giving you, in South Australia. This is what the US wind pattern looks like.

      Hydroelectric tends to be already built out, most places. US hydroelectric tends to come disproportionately in the spring (not in the winter, when you need it worst).

      Adding renewables to the grid tends to drive away backup electricity providers (such as coal) through too low rates. They can’t keep their systems in good repair, without fairly high rates. Subsidies for renewables, such as allowing them to go first, tend to depress the rates for backup electricity providers. Renewables can indeed provide what little they have, but without backup providers to provide the rest, especially in winter, you are likely to be in a heap of trouble.

      Matt Mushalik has detail data for Australia. Without looking closely at it, I would not get exited about tiny amounts of batteries and inadequate amounts of wind and solar doing very much. All they may do is drive away the producers you really need.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “2. Jinko solar (a major PV manufacturer) is planning to power it’s factories with 100% PV power by 2025. If this happens, it will be a watershed achievement”

      no, it won’t be a watershed achievement…

      there will still be massive fossil fuel usage to get the raw materials out of the ground (and processed) and onto the receiving dock of the factory…

      and then major FF usage to get the products out the door and delivered and installed…

      that middle part where the processed raw materials are assembled into panels is not insignificant, but it’s only part of the story…

      • I expect that the solar that Jinko solar uses will only be a quantity of solar energy, theoretically available from various times, not solar energy actually generated when it is needed. The problem, of course, is that solar energy doesn’t generate energy when you need it, only when it happens to be available. Grid management lets this basically undesirable form of electricity onto the grid, and forces other types of energy providers to fill in around when it happens to be available. As an increasing amount of intermittent solar and wind are added, this approach becomes more and more impossible. Other providers need to ramp up and down more frequently, wearing out their system more quickly. They need to make many payments (such as debt and insurance payments) the same as they always would, whether or not their services are used as previously. They need to pay their staff members for essentially a full year of service, even though some months their services will be needed very little. The backup providers are not paid adequately for all of the services they are providing.

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The global economy is careering headfirst into an economic crisis, and unlike the 2008 recession, there’s not much of a safety net.

    That is according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), which published its annual Global Competitiveness Report.”


  7. Neil says:

    Dyson has scrapped its electric car project

    The firm, headed by inventor Sir James Dyson, said its engineers had developed a “fantastic electric car” but that it would not hit the roads because it was not “commercially viable”.


  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…August figures show that global air freight demand contracted by 3.9 percent in August, marking the 10th consecutive month of year-on-year declines.

    “Capacity growth also outstripped demand growth for the 16th consecutive month.

    “The figures are worrying because the global air freight industry is seen as a bellwether indicator of the health of the global economy.”


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