Re-blog: Clean Energy’s Dirty Secrets By Rupert Darwall September 23, 2014

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms,” Warren Buffett told Berkshire Hathaway’s investors. “That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

“Perhaps the dirtiest secret of renewables is how ineffective they are at displacing carbon dioxide emissions. Brookings senior fellow Charles Frank has calculated that replacing coal with modern combined-cycle gas turbines cuts 2.6 times more emissions than using wind does, and cuts four times as many emissions as solar.  If anything, these figures are likely to be too generous to renewables. Frank uses conservative assumptions about the energy consumed for balancing and cycling (starting up or shutting down gas-fired plants). Based on recent research, Edinburgh University’s Professor Gordon Hughes found that balancing costs are nearly ten times higher than Frank’s assumptions and that cycling reduces the amount of CO2 up to 50 percent more than wind turbines do (relative to the classic grid-average method of calculation used by most official bodies such as the International Energy

About budbromley

Life sciences executive, retired
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