Renewables Runaway Train Rumbles On

September 15, 2017

If you have not seen, watch. If you have not shared, share.
New video shows why renewables are unstoppable. By Trump, by Putin, by Tillerson, by anyone.

And wait, there’s more.


GE has just launched a new wind turbine that spells bad news for fossil fuel power generation. The “brand new machine” is GE’s its biggest onshore turbine to date, and more to the point, it provides a low cost pathway for harvesting energy from less than ideal wind speeds. That opens up a whole new wide swath of new siting possibilities for wind farms taking advantage of the low-to-medium range, and GE is eyeballing German, Turkey, and Australia just for starters.

The new GE wind turbine will likely rev up the already-hot US wind market, which has been chugging along strongly in spite of President* Trump’s antipathy to wind energy (hello, Scotland!).

Also in spite of Trump, his own Department of Energy has been promoting wind with great enthusiasm — and backing that up with taxpayer dollars, too.

In the latest development, the Energy Department just threw down $50 million for new energy infrastructure resiliency projects, including a pathway for ramping up the penetration of “clean” distributed energy resources in the nation’s electricity grid (to be clear, the agency includes natural gas in the “clean” category).


France will stop granting new exploration permits next year as it seeks to end all oil and gas production by 2040, according to a draft bill presented at a cabinet meeting Wednesday.

The move would allow the government to turn down more than 40 exploration requests already made, while some existing permits may be extended to respect contracts, the presentation showed. That includes the Guyane Maritime license off French Guiana, in which Total SA has a stake, according to an adviser to Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot, who briefed reporters in Paris.

This legislation would “allow us to progressively free ourselves,” Hulot said after the cabinet meeting, also confirming that current exploration permits off French Guiana would remain valid. “It will allow investors to go much further in their renewable investments. Currently oil and gas leave us dependent on geopolitics.”


Recently, deadly floods ravaged India and South Asia, and powerful storms in United States knocked out power to millions. But when people’s lives are thrown into chaos by devastating natural disaster, using alternative energy source may not seem like an obvious response. However, since energy grids are often the first to fail when a disaster hits, and outages hamper recovery efforts, energy entrepreneurs believe that off-grid renewable energy could provide an instant source of power to those who need it most.

“After a natural disaster hits, it can take weeks or longer for power to be restored and the expense of repairing transmission lines can be very high. Solar and battery mini-grids are a more resilient solution, as it allows local and remote communities to regain access to power, clean drinking water, medical facilities and communications immediately,” says William Brent, director of Power For All, a coalition of 200 public and private organizations campaigning to deliver universal energy access by 2030.

“Also, in the case of renewable mini-grids, the fuel — the Sun— is local, unlike diesel generators, which are subject to disruption in fuel supply because of a disaster,” says Brent

In August, Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, faced its worst flooding in decades, affecting 13 million people. With uncertainty about the availability of grid power, renewable energy mini-grids — Tara Urja and Desi Power — stepped up to provide back-up power and assist with relief operations in eight villages. 
Tara Urja and Desi Power are private energy service companies working with the Smart Power India, an initiative funded by Rockefeller Foundation to help scale mini-grids in India.

“In Bihar, mini-grids and  battery energy storage ensured relief operation was not hampered due to power outages, and the affected villages were not plunged into darkness by night,” says Mukesh Khandelwal, COO of Tara Urja.
“Our electricians maintained a round-the-clock watch during the peak days of flooding to make sure that the village-level office received electricity through a feeder line to coordinate relief operations,” adds Khandelwal.



21 Responses to “Renewables Runaway Train Rumbles On”

  1. Canman Says:

    For those who want to hear the other side of banning gasoline powered vehicles, I recommend this excellent post by David Middleton:

    • patricklinsley Says:

      Take your spam elsewhere. No one here is buying what you’re selling.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I think you should post that in China someplace, not here. That’s who’s driving the change.

      • Canman Says:

        I think the Chinese energy bureaucrats and industrialists would do well to read Middleton’s post. It’s long and very detailed. It doesn’t say there’s no place for electric vehicles, but for a government to just outlaw ICEs by fiat, is something to be rightly skeptical of. BTW Anthony Watts is a big electric car enthusiast who owned leased one of GM’s ill fated EV1 electric cars.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          Perhaps Chinese leaders will take your advice.
          But it’s just China, (you obviously did not watch the video) — Norway, Germany, France, Holland – India.
          China is looking at what it needs to do to compete and dominate in the industrial revolution of the new century, and they are not alone. The US is, more and more, alone in the drive to return to 19th century technology – for no clear reason other than that a major political party is owned and operated by the fossil fuel industry.
          In the same way, China is, by government declaration, proceeding with nuclear energy development – necessary because private capital has been steering clear of Nuclear since 1977 in the US and elsewhere.
          Anthony Watts is a psychopathic liar, and a pathetic human being, by the way.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      I don’t think you should be banned from driving a gas-powered vehicle. I just think you should have to pay for killing our ecosystem.

      • sheilach2 Says:

        How can you make fuel from renewable energy when it can only produce electricity? Fuel is either a solid, liquid or a gas, it’s not electricity.
        Most of our fuel is refined from oil, alcohol from plants is added to some petrol & plant oils can be refined into a diesel but again, there is more energy input than output.

        Then there is this quote “just ask the US military, which has been trying to convert to biofuel operation for decades now .” Yes, they tried & failed, they failed because you still end up expending more energy producing it than you can get in return, it’s a loser. The land needed to produce enough biofuel would leave no land for growing food.
        I’ve gotten rather fond of eating.
        Instead of trying to build so many electric cars, why not produce more electric assisted enclosed trikes?
        Much more scalible than cars.

        I’m no “Luddite” & they were right in the end, those new fangled powered looms took away their livelihoods.

        • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

          Energy is energy, whether it comes from renewables, fossils, nuclear or batteries.
          Life is a collection of levers and ratchets using cleverly constructed structures called proteins and enzymes to force smaller molecules together so that they can react and end up with a higher energy level than before.
          In plants, chlorophyll does this by capturing the energy in the sun’s photons to break CO₂ and convert into oxygen and hydrocarbons.
          Those photons can also come from LEDs powered by renewable electricity to grow plants, and from which fuel can be extracted.
          This is just one pathway – there are many more, with more yet to be discovered.

        • You know, I wonder if there is some process that could, say, take biomass and use electricity to convert it into a liquid fuel….

          Wait a second… while the traditional energy source for the Fischer–Tropsch process is to burn some of the feedstock, it is quite possible to use an external energy source.

          Yes, the production of liquid fuels does involve reduced efficiency: The trick is that you are taking energy that would normally be lost, (e.g. electricity storage systems are full and demand is below supply), and applying it to a system that can run when there is surplus supply.

  2. […] via Renewables Runaway Train Rumbles On | Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  3. sheilach2 Says:

    I think what we are forgetting about “renewables” is that 1. only their source of energy is renewable & 2. they depend upon OIL to exist.
    Oil is a energy dense, liquid fuel & has essential raw materials, “renewables” have none of that & produce no raw materials.
    The materials for those solar cells & wind turbines are mined with huge, oil guzzling machines, shipped from all over the world in dirty oil burning ships or trains, OIL is needed to process & manufacture the raw materials into the components used by manufacturing which also uses COAL & NATURAL GAS in production before the final product is shipped overseas again using dirty oil.
    There is also a problem with some of the raw materials used to produce “renewables” in that they are scarce & getting scarcer, we will never be able to build enough solar cells, wind turbines, inverters, converters & batteries or other storage systems to meet more than a fraction of just the 5% of the electricity we now get from burning oil & OIL, COAL & NATURAL GAS are still needed as a source of high grade energy & raw materials & to provide electricity when the wind don’t blow & the sun don’t shine.

    Without the raw materials from fossil resources we will also be growing & transporting far less food, we will not be able to feed the current population let alone one expected to bloat to 9 billion in the future.

    Renewables are a dead end who’s main reason for existence is profits & jobs, temporary profits & jobs.
    Fossil resources are going away & we were incredibly STUPID to feed our GROWTH on a temporary resource.
    We have nothing that can replace those resources, certainly not oil dependent “renewables”.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      you are correct about the current consumption of petroleum for transportation fuels.
      Stay tuned, the Tesla semi-truck is coming

      But as manufacturing becomes more and more reliant on renewable energy itself, the carbon cost of fabricating solar panels and wind turbines declines.
      The low hanging fruit is to kill the coal industry, which is happening.
      Down the road, we are already seeing evidence of how liquid transportation fuels will be replaced, even for air travel – I’ve posted many of those on these pages.
      the “scarce raw materials” for renewables is a canard, which Univ of California expert Dan Kammen addresses here

      Probably toughest will be ocean shipping, but I’m convinced that those barriers will fall just as what looked like insolvable problems for wind and solar just a decade or two ago.

      • sheilach2 Says:

        I think your still missing a very important point, “renewables” produce low density, eratic, unreliable electricity & ONLY electricity, they produce NONE of the ESSENTIAL raw materials so important to food production & the energy needed to manufacture those “renewables”.
        Do you really believe you can power an aircraft carrying cargo or passengers with just solar or battery power?
        A super lightweight solar powered aircraft carrying one skinny pilot or perhaps two doesn’t count.

        Do you have any idea of the processes needed to produce solar panels or wind turbines?
        Not only is their production dependent upon OIL, coal & natural gas, so is some of their raw materials made from OIL, other raw materials are mined with oil consuming machines & you cannot power those with solar panels or batteries, producing “renewables” is a very energy intensive process & I think if you dig into how they are actually produced, you will see the same problems I have seen.
        Those “renewables” will not last much beyond the oil age & not nearly enough can be produced to make much of a dent in electric generation, they are still too expensive for most countries to afford & they only last at best 40 years before they need replacement & some raw materials are now in short supply, battery life is much shorter & that is a major weakness for deploying “renewables” beyond powering portable radios or my watch.

        The end of the oil age will also mean the end of high tech “renewables” & most of our food production.
        Raw materials can be hauled across oceans by wind powered ships, they don’t have to be tied to oil but their cargo handling ability will be much reduced.
        This high tech way of life some of us enjoy now cannot be sustained, we are too dependent upon temporary resources & when they are gone, so will most of us be gone.

        • ubrew12 Says:

          “Do you really believe you can power an aircraft… with just solar… power?… their production is dependent upon OIL” Not true. Their production is dependent upon fuel, which is not OIL. Fuel can come from renewable energy, just ask the US military, which has been trying to convert to biofuel operation for decades now (the GOP Congress expressly forbids them from doing so, because this demand might decrease the demand for NONrenewable fuel sources, and what politician in the GOP wants that?).

          Once upon a time, you couldn’t light a city without whale-oil. Why aren’t you advocating for that? If you don’t think an airplane can be powered by an electric battery, you’re right. Your sour, head-in-the-sand, attitude is what makes you right. And you’ll BE RIGHT, RIGHT up to the moment the Chinese eat our lunch with new technology YOU didn’t think could happen. So, pat yourself on the back, Luddite.

    • Canman Says:

      Fossil resources are going away & we were incredibly STUPID to feed our GROWTH on a temporary resource.
      We have nothing that can replace those resources, certainly not oil dependent “renewables”.

      I’ve always preferred to call oil, gas and coal “hydrocarbon fuels” instead of fossil fuels. With enough energy, they can be synthesized out of carbon dioxide and water. I think the best prospects for getting this energy are with nuclear and many climate leaders such as James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel and Ken Caldera agree.

      • sheilach2 Says:

        “With enough energy, they can be synthesized out of carbon dioxide and water.”

        With enough energy almost anything is possible but even nuclear needs RESOURCES to exist & uranium is limited & we still have no means of safely storing it’s dangerous waste products so even with nuclear, it’s a temporary means of producing electricity & ONLY ELECTRICITY.
        Fusion is so far, just still off in the future where it’s been for decades & I suspect, given the energy & extremely high temperatures & pressures needed to operate a fusion reactor, it will always be somewhere off in the future.

        We are not “gods” we cannot produce resources, we can only use & consume them, it doesn’t matter whether you call them “fossil fuels,” “fossil resources” urainium or “hydrocarbon fuels” they are still LIMITED & without them, most of us won’t be EATING & I think even you like eating.
        We get our nitrogen fertilizers by synthesizing it from natural gas, manures are a weak source of nitrogen & that’s all we will have after natural gas & oil are no longer available, we cannot feed 7.5 BILLION + humans with just organic farming methods & we cannot mine the mineral fertilizers we currently need without a high density source of energy like, unfortunately, OIL. Sure we can hand mine that phosphate but not by the millions of tons we need now & we are running out of phosphate.
        Without a high density source of energy, we cannot maintain our way of life & without the essential resources available in hydrocarbon resources, we won’t be able to manufacture our high tech devices including those solar cells & wind turbines.
        Now just how will you “gods” “create” resources with solar panels or wind turbines?
        I suspect that’s impossible even for you.

  4. sheilach2 Says:

    That “fuel” is produced from oil in a process of distillation, some components of solar panels are produced from oil, their raw materials are extracted using the energy found in oil which is very energy dense, it’s then transported again burning oil in ICE, the entire process of manufacturing “renewables” is very energy intensive.

    It’s been discovered that “renewables” in spite of the hype actually consume more energy in their manufacture than what their lifetime production actually is. I was hoping for better performance from those “renewables”.

    I’m no “Luddite”, but this high tech way of life is not sustainable & “renewables” would not exist without oil, the raw materials found in oil have become essential to our civilization, you cannot substitute low density energy for high density energy, support 7.5 billion humans and also go without essential raw materials.
    In the future, there will be far fewer of us & we will be using much less energy than today. Most of our high tech gadgets will be but a fond memory.
    The “Luddites” were right in the end, those powered looms destroyed their livelihoods & their independence.

  5. Hmm
    I see the desperates are out.
    My question is why do they wish to slaughter most life on the planet. Sure they may think it will be mainly the “others”, you know the dark and yellow skinned ones, but it will come for them too

    • lesliegraham1 Says:

      You can actually ‘hear the fear’ in the fossil fuel shills increasingly desperate posts these days. They are finished and they know it.
      Personally I love it.

  6. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    New video shows why renewables are unstoppable. By Trump, by Putin, by Tillerson, by anyone.

    • sheilach2 Says:

      They will be stopped when they run out of the resources & the energy needed to access, refine & from those resources, manufacture them, they won’t be defeated by the oil industry or those in favor of maintaining the way of life made possible by those resources.
      I think you are confusing a “technology” with a “resource”, technology is just the TOOL we use to change a resource into something we can use, like a solar panels but without RESOURCES, that solar panel & wind turbine or any other high tech device would not exist!

      I’m not in favor of the oil industry any more than you are but it was that resource that made it possible for us to exist in such unsustainable numbers & to live the high energy, high consumption, UNSUSTAINABLE way of life we do.

      I suspect you are people who want to maintain the LIE that “renewables” can maintain this way of life & that is NOT possible oil or no oil.

      You “renewable” peddlers are either incredibly dense, stupid or your deliberately LYING to us about that technology. I suspect the latter.
      Lie all you want, the reality is that “renewables” cannot sustain us or our way of life without the necessary resources & the high density source of energy that made their existance possible.
      You cannot replace a high density source of energy with a low density source of energy that is totally dependent upon that resource, that’s a FACT like it or not.

      Now please crawl back under your rock or stop believing the hype put out by the manufacturers, advertisers & sales persons of those so called “renewables”!

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