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.
This entry was posted in Alternatives to Oil, Financial Implications and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,326 Responses to Understanding Why the Green New Deal Won’t Really Work

  1. Kowalainen says:

    GM workers strike on fears of being replaced by robots as EV’s contain fewer parts and are easier to assemble.

    “Electric cars have far fewer parts, which means far fewer people are needed to put them together. When one analyst took apart a Chevrolet Bolt and Volkswagen Golf, he found that the Golf had 125 more moving parts than its electric counterpart. What’s more, the electric vehicles’ parts are often easier to put in place using automated machines. The UAW’s own estimates that the move to electrification may cost 35,000 members to lose their jobs may not be the most scientific study ever done, but it’s also probably not far off.”


    Yep, the government corporate drone is going the way of the dodo.

    • Get HaPpY says:

      Same as far as cashiers at the checkout line in Supermarkets and now at retailers like Home Depot! BTW, these are the vast majority of employment for the average citizen.
      Not everyone has the ability to get a higher education and compete for the few posts they employ in their field.
      Notice now even at McDonald’s there is a self service Kiosk to place your order.
      The fewer the bodies, the less cost there is on the bottom line.
      BTW, as a Union worker myself and under contract negotiations, the biggest issues are Health Care and Contracting out work. Back with Harry Truman as President, he had a full plate with the Korean War and all and he decided to let the Labor Unions negotiate for Health Care. Turns out it wasn’t the best way.

      • Rodster says:

        In my immediate area, I have never seen anyone use the kiosk at McD’s. I tried several times and couldn’t figure it out so I just went to the cashier and placed my order.

        • Get HaPpY says:

          See folks trying to use it and get frustrated because seems they STILL need to go to the cashier! Anyway, this is version 101….imagine next upgrade will be improved.
          Target, Publix now have self service check out…soon we probably won’t need to do anything but sales will be in the cloud

          • Robert Firth says:

            “Anyway, this is version 101….imagine next upgrade will be improved.”

            Another quote (by me) from my days in the IT industry: “The biggest improvement in any software product is between the version you have now and the version they promise next.”

            IT doesn’t get better, because IT people prefer writing code to fixing code. So it just gets more complicated, harder to use, and with an ever longer minefield between your needs and their satisfaction.

        • Robert Firth says:

          A few years ago, my (then) local food store went self service. Six stations, hardly ever used, and only one or two human cashiers, usually with long queues. The cashiers that had been present were still present, helping the odd baffled customer navigate the truly terrible IT system.

          And the killer? The system would not accept cash, only plastic. But many older people, and me, pay only with cash; it is much, much simpler to keep track of ones expenditure that way. And many younger people had store loyalty cards, which the IT system also would not accept. So much for “smart city” Singapore!

        • Hubbs says:

          It was bad enough when I stooped so low as to go to a McDonalds, but when I saw the Kiosks, I turned around and looked for a Subway, but discovered that had been closed down. So I said screw it. I’m 40 lbs overweight and the fasting will do me some good. Haven’t been to a McDonald’s in a year.

        • kita says:

          Kiosks all tested positive for fecal matter.

    • The only problem is that people won’t really buy these electric vehicles. Given a choice between an electric vehicle and nothing, people will keep old ICEs indefinitely.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Oh, don’t you worry, nobody believed cars and trains would replace horses.

        The transition will happen no matter what. If people can’t afford one, well, too bad – for them.

        • Slow Paul says:

          If people can’t afford one, we will build robots that can!

        • DJ says:

          20M by 2025, roughly half EV. Will take forever reaching a fleet of 1B.

          I don’t have a hard time imagining 100% EV, only that we all Will have one.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Used Leaf around here is about $7K with 20-30K miles. Not sure if MN has a higher registration fee for electric vehicles. Use it in the city, rent for a vacation(who takes those now?), rent a truck when needed. Cheaper vehicles insure for less, registration is less and if one is careful use much less fuel.
        We have far more stuff than we need and even someone on welfare makes more than most of the world, what they seem to lack is a sense of responsibility at least for the men, men thrive on responsibility.

        Around here there seem to be tons of union trade jobs, they are advertised on bill boards along the highway.

        Dennis L.

      • Grant says:

        Not sure about that, Gail.

        It would be relatively easy to force ICE vehicles off the roads by taxation, hiked insurance, scarcity of parts (already a problem in some cases), lack of quality service providers and, ultimately, lack of fuel starting with lack of fuel at affordable prices.

        The manufacturers would, initially, go with that. It’s a bandwagon they have been promoting for over a decade (though they would deny it.)

        You might ask how they would see themselves surviving and developing in the future in such severe situations.

        I would suggest they don’t. The current batch of corporate executives in large organisations all seem to be short termists and tempted by the needs of lining deep pockets as quickly as possible – presumably because they think that a million or a billion dollars “in the hand” is going to be worth more than any share options and bonuses in the medium term.

        Plus it’s easier to farm government money than it is to create, develop and exploit markets oneself in order to make profits from the fickle fashionista buyers.

        The traditional manufacturers are struggling and the new wave manufactures are not making profits. Doing so may not have been a real part of their business plan.

        The fully autonomous transport model does not work unless it is greatly simplified.

        100% autonomous only – to simplify away from systems complexity

        100% trackable and billable by unit of usage (whatever that might be – probably a taxi like time and distance combination). For “security” and fiscal control.

        Unified technology – to simplify and make possible at economies of scale. Manufacturers will mostly end up being just that – businesses that produce a common product for a fully controlled market. They have been pushed in that direction for several decades already so are well used to the concept.

        No one will want to “own” anything in that sort of environment. Already in Europe people they are becoming used to renting their lives in the same way that the USA has done for many years.

        Products, no matter how complex and expensive they might be to manufacture and buy in order to add a claimed modicum of energy efficiency, will last far less time than should be expected given the energy and materials inputs.

        When things do head that way in earnest may be hard to perceive an upside to the policy.

        • Regarding the future of a carbon neutral economy… From DeSmog……
          “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the city is scrapping plans for a multi-billion-dollar update to three natural gas power plants, instead choosing to invest in renewable energy and storage.
          “This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The climate crisis demands that we move more quickly to end dependence on fossil fuel, and that’s what today is all about.”
          Last year America’s carbon emissions rose over 3 percent, despite coal plants closing and being replaced in part by natural gas, the much-touted “bridge fuel” and “cleaner” fossil fuel alternative. 
          As a new series from the sustainability think tank the Sightline Institute points out, the idea of natural gas as a bridge fuel is “alarmingly deceptive.” 
          But signs are emerging that, despite oil and gas industry efforts to shirk blame for the climate crisis and promote gas as part of a “lower-carbon fuel mix,” the illusion of natural gas as a bridge fuel is starting to crumble.
          Market Forces
          While Mayor Garcetti may be right in predicting the downward slide of natural gas for power generation, climate concerns won’t drive that change — just simple economics.
          It wasn’t long ago that President Obama — who was accused of starting “the war on coal” because of air quality regulations — was touting the benefits of “clean coal.” But automation in the coal mining industry and competition with cheaper renewables and natural gas began taking a toll on coal.
          The struggling coal industry thought things were looking up when Donald Trump was elected, with his promise to bring back coal.
          But he has failed.
          Most recently, President Trump tweeted that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) should vote to keep two old coal power plants open.
          Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and @TVAnews should give serious consideration to all factors before voting to close viable power plants, like Paradise #3 in Kentucky!
          — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2019
          Nevertheless, the TVA voted to close those coal plants and said it expected the move would save a billion dollars in future costs. Burning coal for electricity is increasingly incompatible with profits.
          Gary Jones, the economic development director for the Kentucky county where one of the closing coal plants is located, acknowledged this economic reality in his comments to The Wall Street Journal, saying: “We definitely don’t blame him [Trump] for this. It’s the market.”
          Exactly. Coal can’t compete with the historically low and unsustainable price of natural gas in the U.S. when it comes to power generation. And it can’t compete with renewables either.
          In July 2016 I wrote the following about a presentation on coal at the annual Energy Information Administration conference:
          “The presentation on India ended with the following conclusion: Cheap coal remains critical to Indian economic growth.”
          India was all-in on coal for the next few decades, and yet in the two and half years since I wrote that, renewables have been hurting India’s coal industry. Why?
          Just like in Tennessee and Kentucky, it’s the market. But it isn’t natural gas taking down coal in India, it’s wind and solar, according to a recent Reuters column by Clyde Russell:
          “… the main reason coal may battle to fuel India’s future energy needs is that it’s simply becoming too expensive relative to renewable energy alternatives such as wind and solar.”

          A coal power plant in Datteln, Germany. Credit: Cropped from image by Arnold Paul, CC BY-SA 2.5
          A similar situation is unfolding in Germany, which aims to close all its coal plants in the next 20 years. The natural gas industry initially saw this as an opportunity to slide in and replace coal, but the lower cost of renewable energy may lead Germany to skip the “bridge” offered by natural gas and move straight to renewables, which already provide over 40 percent of the nation’s power.
          According to Bloomberg, a large German energy company’s study predicts natural gas use in Germany (and other European countries) will likely decline. Why?
          “… the cost of solar and battery systems will fall far enough that renewables may become the most cost-effective way to generate new flows of electricity.”
          Compare that to 2014, when industry giants were trash-talking the future of renewables in Europe. At an energy industry conference, Paolo Scaroni, the CEO of oil and gas company Eni, said that Europe is realizing that renewables are “more a problem than a solution,” and Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said, “Using solar panels in Germany is like growing pineapples in Alaska.”
          Now renewables are the solution. And that certainly poses a problem for the fossil fuel industry.
          Coal is dead. Soon enough, natural gas will also be dead. The economics alone will drive the world to wind & solar.

          An appropriate recognition of the social cost of CO2 & methane will greatly accelerate this transition. https://t.co/lZUF8iXhmr
          — Robert Howarth (@howarth_cornell) February 20, 2019
          Building new natural gas infrastructure looks like a bad investment right now to cities like LA when renewables are already competitive. Natural gas seems poised to join coal as another fuel that just couldn’t compete with renewables.
          Here are more reasons why that’s the case.
          Natural Gas Prices Headed Up, Renewables Down

          A Nordex wind turbine parts manufacturing facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Credit: Department of Energy, public domain
          The price of renewable energy and storage is trending downward while the already super-low price of natural gas — especially in the U.S. — has nowhere to go but up.
          While India and Germany already are finding renewables cheaper than fossil fuels for power generation with today’s technology, further advances in research and development as well as manufacturing will continue making renewables even more competitive.
          MIT professor and former CIA director John Deutch recently presented a study entitled, “Demonstrating Near Carbon Free Electricity Generation from Renewables and Storage,” at a Stanford University energy seminar, in which he said:
          “You are going to find yourselves very shortly in a situation where you have storage alternatives that, when matched with existing solar and wind generating systems, will be able to meet load extremely effectively.”
          Meeting power demand effectively and as the lowest-cost producer — using fuel sources (wind and sun) that are free.
          According to Greentech Media, energy industry analysts at Wood Mackenzie say the combination of renewables with battery systems can currently replace approximately two-thirds of U.S. natural gas turbines — right now. Estimates predict the cost of storage alone could drop 80 percent by 2040.
          Who wants to own a gas power plant in 2040 knowing that?
          Meanwhile, the cost of producing power with natural gas is dependent on the cost of the fuel.
          Right now, gas companies are losing money — and have been for some time — at the current price of natural gas in America. As DeSmog has detailed, the fracking industry, which is responsible for most U.S. natural gas production, has been on a decade-long, money-losing streak.
          The industry has proven unable to turn a profit at current natural gas prices. So, unless Wall Street wants to lose billions more subsidizing the natural gas industry, prices will have to go up at some point. And when natural gas prices go up, residential electricity rates go up.
          Additionally, if all of the planned infrastructure gets built to export U.S. natural gas in liquid form (known as liquefied natural gas, or LNG), prices for natural gas are very likely to rise. This is the industry’s survival plan for the future. However, the higher prices natural gas producers need possibly will kill off one of the industry’s main markets.
          ☀️ Solar is beginning to outshine other forms of energy in Alberta. Three new #solar farms—which will provide the provincial government with 55% of its electricity needs—were contracted at a lower cost than natural gas. #abpoli https://t.co/NhwN4z9S6H pic.twitter.com/egTS6qPq6W
          — Clean Energy Canada (@cleanenergycan) February 19, 2019
          Tom DiCapua, managing director of wholesale energy services at Con Edison Energy, recently summed up the situation to Reuters: “As LNG exports increase, so will future gas prices.”
          When it comes to the long-term economics of power generation, it isn’t a fair fight. There is no clear way natural gas can compete with renewables on an economic basis in the coming decades. Which is why the oil and gas industry works so hard to convince people gas is clean and cheap.
          It knows it can’t win a fair fight.
          Structural Financial Issues With Natural Gas Industry
          In a July 2017 Forbes column, energy industry expert Art Berman laid out the details of the structural problems in the finances of natural gas production. Since then, things have only gotten worse as huge volumes of gas are pumped simultaneously out of Permian oil wells in Texas and New Mexico.
          However, even before the huge ramp-up in the Permian, Berman made the case that the natural gas industry was producing record amounts of gas at prices in which companies could not make money. How could they do that?
          Wall Street’s coffers.
          As Berman explained, “Credit markets have been willing to support unprofitable shale gas drilling since the 2008 Financial Collapse.”
          Of course, now credit markets are not as willing to loan money to shale companies to produce gas at a loss. Berman estimated that natural gas producers needed prices of $4 per million Btu of gas to break even. Prices are below $4, and the average price has been below that for years.
          Not looking good for natural gas.
          If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

          In 2017, workers clean Heliostats at the Ivanpah Solar Project, a concentrated solar energy project. Credit: Dennis Shroeder, National Renewable Energy Lab, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
          Similar to the fossil fuel industry, electric utilities also have fought renewable energy options. In 2016, utilities in Florida spent almost $30 million to limit residents’ ability to install rooftop solar — perceived as a direct threat to the utilities.
          Much like coal’s prospects in India, a couple of years has made a huge difference, however. In February, the Christian Science Monitor reported that utilities in Florida have begun embracing utility-owned solar farms. And while utilities have still been fighting residential rooftop solar, it’s started making gains in Florida anyway — despite regulatory restrictions. 
          “The utilities are putting out solar like you wouldn’t believe,” said James Fenton, director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center.
          The utilities didn’t suddenly decide the climate was more important than profits. They just see a better path to profits with solar, as long as they can be in control of it, at least.
          “It is simply undeniable now that this is often the lowest cost source of generation,” Ethan Zindler, the head of U.S. research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, told the Monitor. “So you can pat yourself on the back for doing something environmentally conscious, but at the same time, you’re also actually doing something to procure power at the lowest cost for your customers.”
          Arizona Public Service (APS) is the largest investor-owned utility in the state, and it spent big money to help defeat a 2018 ballot initiative that would have required Arizona get 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.
          However, because APS is “investor-owned,” the utility is now investing in solar and claims that solar plus batteries are an even cheaper option than natural gas power plants for peak power. The need for so-called gas “peaker plants” that can quickly ramp up electricity in times of peak demand is one of the energy industry’s favorite arguments against renewables and for natural gas.
          But because investors want to make money, APS is moving forward with solar and batteries.
          “This is a head-to-head [economic] comparison where we’re trying to select the best resources to meet our customers’ needs,” Brad Albert, vice president of resource management for APS, told Greentech Media.
          In that head-to-head comparison, natural gas lost.
          Historic shift: @APSfyi making big investment in batteries to capture surplus solar energy, which it says is now the most cost effective way to meet energy demand in the Southwest. https://t.co/qHv4H2dUbt
          — Ryan Randazzo (@utilityreporter) February 21, 2019
          As usual with the oil and gas industry, it’s best to watch what it does, not what it says.
          The Permian Basin is the heart of the shale oil fracking boom in the U.S. and is producing so much natural gas along with the oil that the price of natural gas there actually went negative in 2018. 
          It takes a lot of electricity to power the fracking boom. And the Permian needs more. But is the industry taking advantage of all that cheap natural gas to produce that power?
          Nope. Plans for new electricity generation in the heart of the Permian oil and gas region include a solar farm and the world’s largest battery.
          Renewables have become the low-cost source for new power generation much faster than most anticipated, which is great news for the climate.
          Natural gas, with its potent globe-warming effect, is a climate-killer. And a money loser.
          If the lobbyists don’t win and the free market is allowed to work for power generation, natural gas — like coal — looks less and less like a “bridge fuel” and more like a fuel of the past.”

          The shift to renewables has begun….. with storage……

          Don’t think so….

          Musk built a virtual 100 Mwe power plant in Victoria, Australia using….. BATTERIES !!


          It’s making $$$$$ !!!!


          • Our fundamental problem is that all energy types are becoming unaffordable. Renewables only appear better, because of all the subsidies that they receive. Solar in Alberta is a joke. How do you heat and light your home in winter with solar in Alberta? Backup power needs to be paid year around, or Alberta has a real problem in winter.

            • Rodster says:

              “Our fundamental problem is that all energy types are becoming unaffordable.”

              That’s the Peak Oil part everyone keeps missing.

          • Lewis L Ludwig says:

            Yes but Musk’s battery in Australia could only power New York City for 3 minutes at average demand. When someone builds a battery that can power the entire US East Coast for 3 days, then I’ll take notice. Until then, battery storage is not a viable option, way too expensive. So the only way to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce man made CO2 is nuclear. Otherwise the best we can do is a 25% reduction in man made CO2 and that is not going to do the job. You might as well try and stop a volcano from erupting, you’re not going to stop that either. Besides, there is no agreement as to how much man made CO2 is affecting global climate, only that it is one factor in the recent warming of the earth. How much of a factor is not agreed upon at all.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Lewis, the only way to significantly reduce man made CO2 is to reduce the number of people. Drastically. Which will happen.

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            hi, George…

            wow, man, that is such a huge pile of RHETORIC!

            I suppose rhetoric must be your thing…

            peace, dude…

          • Niko B says:

            George you are using up my time scrolling down to relevant comments.
            Though I had enough time to refill my drink while I pressed the down key.

        • Rodster says:

          “It would be relatively easy to force ICE vehicles off the roads by taxation, hiked insurance, scarcity of parts (already a problem in some cases), lack of quality service providers and, ultimately, lack of fuel starting with lack of fuel at affordable prices.”

          That only works if wages keep rising and people have the money to afford electric vehicles. It appears both rising wages and expandable cash are in short supply these days. That’s what will hurt EV’s in the long run especially having the expense of replacing all the batteries.

          • Grant says:

            If you can simplify the system (and the vehicles) you can (potentially) control costs in ways the current “traditional” manufacturers will rarely be interested to consider.

            The level of complexity (and therefore cost) in the transportation system could be dramatically reduced by simplifying requirements and maximizing utility.

            A Ford exec touched on this recently when he suggested that future personal transport vehicles would be designed more for the needs of a 24/7 “taxi” based system where the vehicles clocked up such huge distances that it would make economic sense to replace rather than maintain after about 4 years of service.

            One of the economic problems of personal “ownership” (given financing preferences in recent times one might discuss the meaning of “ownership” and whether it really exists these days) is that the asset rarely gets close to its proposed cost benefit roi based on economic use and utility.

            Attempts to marginally reduce “carbon” output from transport by introducing ever more stringent regulations add to costs but deliver little else in real terms yet demand a manufacturing complexity that is likely to greatly reduce the ability to use it for its full design life. In a resource constrained future, if that is what we are heading for, it would make no sense whatsoever.

            The future of city traffic is surely cheap and cheerful electric pods rented by the hour. (Or part hour.)

            I could suggest more details but I doubt they would really matter to this part of the discussion.

            • It is the infrastructure that the pods or whatever runs on that is generally the deal killer. Roads and bridges are very expensive. Substituting a different system, such as a track system, is very expensive. People tend to forget the cost of the built infrastructure and its need for maintenance. If it freezes and thaws, there will soon be potholes. If heavy trucks run over it, it will soon be degraded. Removing a few cars will not reduce maintenance proportionately.

        • You are saying something I would agree with–these new high priced automobiles are not really sustainable. People will not buy them; they will only want to rent them, for as little time as possible. But the automobiles will not last long enough to really be worthwhile.

          • Grant says:

            It would seem that some people with Teslas (having been around a while with “free fuel” to entice high mileage users) would disagree with that.

            Likewise very high mileage ICE vehicles, if correctly designed to start with and maintained well, can achieve very cost effective high mileage usage. However that would hardly be in the interests of the vehicle manufacturers under current ownership regimes.

            Meanwhile the buyers accept enormous instant capital losses and high per mile running costs on vehicles that sit idle most of the time.

            Given a cheap on-demand pay as you go transport system that picks you up where you are and takes you to where you wish to go combined with what has become the horror of travelling in many countries, I suspect that a mist of today’s younger citizens and perhaps all of those who are or will soon be Older citizens would be delighted to offload the burden of vehicle ownership if an appropriate mode for both travel and the economics of travel appears in the near future.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Grant, a great plan. I would make only one change to your autonomous transport model: make it free. And then design it so that the cost of running it is less than than cost of collecting fares.

      • Currently, there is a huge shortage on batteries, not enough production capacity for the would be ordered vehicles, waiting lists etc..

        • I have had that impression as well, but I haven’t seen articles specifically saying that. Do you have links?

          • Rodster says:

            Chris Martenson has run the numbers and says the same thing including not enough rare Earth materials for the build out.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “not enough rare Earth materials for the build out.”

              This problem affects one of the power satellite designs. The designer wants to use 40% efficient concentrated PV. The problem is that we need around 3000 of them and the indium production would let us build about one per year.

          • For example google LG Chem(Korea) or Pansonic(Japan) and problem with EV battery suppliers etc. Musk and VW, .. talk about it all the time as well..

            Besides, there seem to be two mega trends ongoing:

            – largest car manufs finally investing into the build up of the industry, but that will materialize for mass consumer with a delay say ~2023 onwards

            – the batt tech itself is going through rapid evolution cycles, e.g. Muskians will have new shorter batt assembly plant soonish, but also the development of batt chemistry and mass production know how continues

            So, lot of people are still waiting it out as by early 2020s the price might get a bit lower, or more specifically lower segment EVs will appear as well, and the batteries will have longer cycle life almost without noticeable aging degradation etc..

            But the bottom line remains, it’s good enough today – if you don’t have to fast charge regularly and don’t park it all the time in hot/freezing climate, it’s good for ~20yrs.. already.

            • FarmerChet says:

              Seems odd you are so steadfast in your EV beliefs after reading articles from Gail.
              Gail provides facts, and those facts don’t mesh with your words.
              No one will get 20yrs from a Tesla or any EV. Not one sold in the past and not one sold in the future. There are 3 reasons based on physics alone, and a few others based on people ignoring all externalized costs.
              We have no recycling process or capacity for batteries of any type, and that toxic mess alone negates much of the benefits of EV cars.
              You may be surprised to find out that in the last 10 years there are groups of people that will no longer buy a new car due to the excessive price, numerous unwanted nanny features, and subsystems which can only be serviced by a dealer.
              There are millions of such people.
              These people will not buy an ICE car because of its cost and complexity, and so they will never buy an EV.

      • daniel says:

        what about an electric bicycle? The range is pretty far and most driving is within 25 miles…Rad sells one for 1400 that is a cargo bike….only the strongest survive..

        • Electric bicycles are sort of like electric scooters. They conflict with other traffic. It is hard to keep electric bicycles from bumping into pedal bicycles, if they are sharing the same lanes. Electric scooters mow down pedestrians if they are on the sidewalk. On the road, they get in the way of cars. We need vehicles of a very similar type, moving together. If we don’t have this, we get a lot of accidents.

          • Artleads says:

            There are bike lanes on our (embattled) scenic highway. One supporter for cyclist feels that their presence will slow down car traffic. I don’t quite buy that, although I get the point. The problem is that the DOT has historically done nothing but widen and straighten the road, thinking of it more as an efficient freeway than a scenic road. So you get more cars going faster. That leads to more danger for cyclists. That leads to wider bike leans… It’s nuts.

        • Yes, bicycles remain the most efficient mode of personal tech transport humans ever developed, and it could be integrated with HSR or regional train or subway or even trolley/trams with added robotized hop on/off bicycle storing extra wagon..

          The energy savings are staggering. I wrote about it numerous time already.
          For example regional EMU train with average occupancy draws ~7kW per passenger,
          HSR slightly more with the advantage in speed/distance. Properly designed E-bike (not hub) for the last mile stage needs ~.4kW.. and you can pack lot of groceries etc..

          Compare contrast with single or low occupancy cars, that’s like 300-500% + more..
          (at the point of final motive work)

  2. TIm Groves says:

    Putting other considerations to one side for a minute, let’s consider how much space would need to be devoted to “renewable” energy sources in order for the UK to meet its current target of “zero emissions by 2050.

  3. erwalt says:

    Thanks for the article which I think summarizes very good several issues with GND (and similar initiatives like “Energiewende” in Europe/Germany).
    Knowing from own experience that in times of scarcity (which I think our path leads to) it’s a challenge to just maintain existing infrastructure I wonder how its possible to maintain all additional infrastructure that would be required by GND for a significant time period.
    I think the predicament should be clear: there is no transition that would allow us to power our current level of IC for much longer.

  4. erwalt says:

    Potential destruction of supply chains

    As the disproportion increases between affordability of energy products and required sales prices to cover all costs of production, conversion, and distribution of those it seems plausible that companies involved in this chain of production and distribution will try to cut expenses wherever possible. Sooner or later this can lead to reduced maintenance of affected industrial plants, reduced and less qualified or motivated staff.

    I suspect that this in turn can cause an increased number of incidents at such industrial installations.

    • erwalt says:

      Sorry for this kind of spam and its condensed format. Here’s an (incomplete) list of fires/explosions at chemical plants (they are using also fossil fuel as resources), refineries during last 12 months.

      04 Oct 2019 (Fire, USA: fire at a chemical plant in Cobb County, Georgia …) 2019-09-26 (Fire, France: large fire … at a company that makes specialty chemicals – …) 2019-09-20 (Fire, India: major fire at the naphtha cracker unit of the Haldia Petrochemicals in West Bengal …) 2019-09-19 (Explosion, Turkey: blast caused by fire at a chemical factory in Istanbul sent a metal tank flying into the air …) 17 Sep 2019 (Fire, Mexico: fire at Antonio Dovali Jaime refinery in Selina Cruz, Mexico …) 2019-09-17 (Explosion, Italy: A blast hit an oil refinery in northern Italy … belonging to Eni … in a part of a gasification plant …) 2019-08-31 (Explosion, India: 12 people killed and 58 injured following explosions at a chemical factory in western India …) 2019-08-01 (Explosion, USA: explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Texas …) 2019-06-26 (Fire, Spain: A giant cloud of smoke over the town of San Roque near Gibraltar … following a fire at a chemical factory …) 2019-06-21 (Explosion, USA: fireball lit up the sky in South Philadelphia … an explosion at a local gas refinery …) 2019-06-04 (Explosion, USA: 4 people injured when an explosion ignited a fire at an oil and chemical storage terminal in Carson …) 2019-04-25 (Explosion, China: An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in northern China … 4 people dead 35 with injuries …) 2019-04-07 (Explosion, Taiwan: explosion at chemical plant … in Yunlin county … shook houses 5 km away …) 2019-04-03 (Explosion, USA: 1 person killed and 2 injured … in an explosion at the KMCO chemical plant in Crosby, Texas …) 2019-03-21 (Explosion, China: 6 people dead and 30 injured after massive explosion at chemical plant … pesticide factory …) 2019-03-16 (Fire, USA: fire at the Phillips 66 refinery in Carson) 14 Mar 2019 (Explosion, Venezuela: Multiple explosions … oil refinery near San Diego de Cabrutica in Anzoategui …) 2019-03-06 (Explosion, USA: reports of two explosions at the Holly Frontier refinery in El Dorado …) 2019-02-11 (Explosion, USA: explosion at the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery …) 2019-02-04 (Fire, USA: fire at the Delaware City Refinery …) 2019-01-12 (Explosion, Yemen: port city of Aden … fire at an oil refinery … sparked by an explosion …) 2019-01-09 (Explosion, USA: explosion at chemical and ammunition plant in Oxford …) 2018-12-19 (Explosion, Brazil: explosion of a tanker truck at Manguinhos refinery near Rio de Janeiro …) 2018-11-28 (Explosion, China: explosion near a large chemical plant in northern China …
      killed at least 22 …) 2018-10-31 (Explosion, USA – North-America: 3 men … admitted to a hospital with burns … following explosion due to equipment failure at the Delaware City Refinery …) 2018-10-10 (Explosion, Bosnia and Herzegovina: explosion hit the Brod oil refinery in northern Bosnia …) 2018-10-08 (Explosion, Canada: Irving Oil … massive oil refinery explosion …) 2018-10-05 (Explosion, Belgium: province of Limburg (Belgium) … explosion at chemical plant …)

      • erwalt says:

        I don’t know how many such incidents happened in previous years — so maybe that’s just the usual number.
        If not — and numbers are increasing?
        Is it a “hidden hand” at play trying to reduce supply/demand, or owners of companies creatively reducing overcapacity and trying to get some losses covered from insurances, or even some form of hidden warfare between big industry nations or a mix of all those?

        I think with high likelihood a simple explanation is: Without sufficient surplus energy it is getting harder and harder to just maintain our current infrastructure.

        • Get HaPpY says:

          Article about

          The ravaged country, once Latin America’s richest, is a riot of structures: parking garages used as shelter, colonial edifices, half-built socialist public works, improvised hillside slum complexes, malls without customers. But hundreds of notable buildings have been abandoned or wrecked. The capital city of Caracas is home to most of this heritage, especially Art Deco, Bauhaus and Brutalist constructions that made it a center of modern architecture in the region, along with Mexico City, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.

          “Modern architecture in Caracas is remarkable. It’s a major feature of this city,” said Hannia Gomez, an architect and head of the Venezuelan branch of Docomomo, an international nonprofit dedicated to conserving modern buildings. “But much of this heritage is badly deteriorated
          After Chavez’s death in 2013, the economy started crumbling as a result of declining oil prices and years of mismanagement and corruption. Starvation, hyperinflation and crime had pushed 4.3 million outside the country by August. Caracas is full of empty properties.

          “Society is so absorbed by problems that nobody pays attention to preservation,” said Neva, adding that it’s a mistake to consider heritage less important than food and medicine. “Devastated societies can overcome dark periods, thanks to the awareness of their heritage’s value. Heritage is the moral reserve that allows the resumption of development.

    • I expect you are right. I understand that fixes are not made to electric transmission systems until some part actually fails, because of a need for low costs, without costs being covered by the utility pricing system. We now have many parts of the grid operating with very old transformers and other parts. Many systems were installed in the 1950s and 1960s.

      Gas pipelines and oil pipelines are similar. We now hear about spectacular failures of gas pipelines. There are also some oil spills related to cracked pipelines.

      There is a grading system for infrastructure. A lot of it gets a D rating.

  5. Pingback: Co kontrolują Dominatorzy? |

  6. milan says:

    Wow, I just watched something truly astonishing. Where will one find in any Western Hemisphere a love for a politician like this. A politician without any fear of anyone in his own country? Excited for his own people’s happiness? I can’t begin to imagine a Washington politician seeing this video and then going out to his own car with the thought of driving throw the streets waving with excitement for his own country and people?

    I got to say I do not understand this? This is truly a first for me. Truly a first!!!!


    • doomphd says:

      yes, the USA-led UN coalition really fucked Kadafi and Libya. they lost a lot of wealth to the west, per this video, in particular to the Rothschild banking empire. the Russians effectively blocked a similar operation on Assad and Syria.

    • Robert Firth says:

      “My loving people.

      We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.”

      The address to her subjects at Tilbury, after the sailing of the Spanish Armada, by Queen Elizabeth I. And her successor, our present Queen, is driven around her capital city in an open carriage. What western President dare do the same?

  7. Chrome Mags says:

    If you go to 3:11 on that video it will list the amounts the FED plan to inject into markets to increase liquidity.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      Ok, I’ll provide the information from the video for easy reading.
      10/8 at least 45 billion
      10/10 ” ” 45 b
      10/11 45b
      10/15 35b
      10/17 35b
      10/22 35b
      10/24 35b
      10/29 35b

  8. TIm Groves says:

    On the convoy to the Hague of Dutch famers who are tired of being blamed for climate change, this man has an excellent sense of humor.

    • Xabier says:

      The road blockade of Vegans didn’t last long, one assumes?

    • But lets be real, especially the first one big Fendt tractor causes massive soil compaction, and there are even way bigger models out there, uh..

      • Grant says:

        Not so. Note the width of the tyres.
        The pressure by contact area is, apparently, quite low compared to older tractors.

        Using tracks offers even lower numbers.

        However if one was to try to provide a day’s worth of usable power using batteries alone … the additional weight would certainly be problematic in most, maybe all, scenarios.

      • Not necessarily, because in -no dig – agriculture you need only a small toyish tractor of upto ~30kW regular work.. And the big tractor could be hired for the specific extra hard duty task once, twice per year only (or not at all in mature stage).

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The world’s biggest government-debt markets are sending a clear signal that global economic growth is stalling and inflation expectations are fading fast…

    “ECB governing council member Ignazio Visco said on Thursday the central bank can’t risk losing control of inflation expectations, adding the more serious risk is “deflation in a situation of high public debts.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “If negative rates cause the next crisis by distorting capital allocation and encouraging unmanageable levels of debt, central bankers will discover that the real danger is to them personally. The whole idea that they are politically independent good guys will come tumbling down.”


    • Xabier says:

      Spot on Ignacio: but what are you going to do about it? What can you do? This is going to be fascinating to watch unfold – if only WE weren’t part of the experiment……

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Apparently it is not just Ignacio, bless him, who is alarmed. This statement has been signed by very august ex-central bankers, including former members of the ECB executive board:

        “…the longer the ECB stays its extremely accommodative path, the more the negative effects prevail. Interest rates have lost their steering function and financial stability risks have increased.

        “The longer the ultra-low or negative interest rate policy and liquidity flooding of markets continue, the greater the potential for a setback. Should a major crisis strike, it will be of very different dimensions than those we have seen before.

        “Like other central banks the ECB is threatened with the end of its control over the creation of money. These developments imply a high risk for central bank independence – de jure or de facto.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          Meanwhile, “Interest rates will stay lower for longer and force institutions like the Reserve Bank of Australia into more “unconventional” policy to boost economies, a special global report into the response of central banks to the global financial crisis has found.”


        • Christine Lagarde isn’t an economist. She is someone who gets people to compromise and work together well. I wonder how much she can do for the current situation.

          • Grant says:

            Probably about as well as she managed with Argentina?

            The ECB job has that whiff of “The job no one really wanted” about it.

            Or, as a prospective client in Florida once told me after we had failed to obtain some business to provide some software that would completely transform his employer’s business in a positive way … “A good one not to get …”

            It looks to my inexpert eye that Draghi has used up all the “Get out of Jail free” cards and a few fakes besides. Madame L’Orange will need some very special talents to make anything of the ECB job.

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “For a stark assessment of global recession risks, look beyond the world’s top currencies to the pronounced declines for their lesswell-traded peers.

    “The Australian and New Zealand dollars, which trade as proxies for Asian growth because of their commodity exports, are bumping along at some of the weakest levels since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

    “The tumble for Norway’s krone and Sweden’s krona takes them to lows dating back further still, almost to the start of the millennium.”


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