“We Need to Get Honest” on Energy and Climate

November 12, 2020

OK, agree, but we need to get a nuanced perspective, as well.

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman was interviewed by Andy Kroll in Rolling Stone.

Fetterman has been a presence in media during the Pennsylvania electoral process of the last week. He’s charismatic and obviously smart.
I recommend the whole piece – this is the part that caught my attention.

Rolling Stone:

I want to talk about another issue that came up a lot during the presidential race: fracking. Where did you come down on this issue? How do you see it play out in 2020?
In 2015, I signed the no-fossil-fuel-money pledge and I have never taken a dime from that industry, or ever will. Fracking is complicated because right now over 60 percent of our nation’s [newly installed] electricity is derived from natural gas. That’s a fact. And another scientific fact is it is dramatically cleaner than coal. So our country has transitioned away undeniably from coal to natural gas, and that has reduced our greenhouse emissions. That being said, we need to move along the arc of clean energy, and I would hope we eventually reach a threshold where 80 percent or all of our electrical needs come from renewable sources. But right now, we’re not there. 

I’ve said this line time and again: that Republicans must become honest about our climate, and Democrats need to get honest about energy. And if you take nuclear out of the equation and you want to take natural gas out, well, OK, where does 60 percent of our electricity come from overnight? 

I have people in my own community that can’t afford to keep gas on in their house during the winter. If we ban fracking, for example, overnight, how do people heat their homes or afford to heat their homes or cook their food? These are all practical issues, and it requires a true bipartisan Marshall Plan. And right now, unfortunately, it’s hopelessly divided. The truth of the matter is, climate change is real and we must act as stewards of the environment for our children and our grandchildren and their grandchildren. And we also have to do it in a way that acknowledges that we all can’t work for Google. I’m a 51-year-old man, and I wouldn’t like it if someone sneered and said, “Go learn how to code.”

What’s that plan for the future?
It is a complete reinvestment in figuring out what and where as much renewable energy can come from [as possible]. 

Climate change is the ultimate tragedy of the Commons. It’s game theory. This idea that it’s in each individual nation’s [interest] to cheat, so to speak, but it’s all in our collective [interest] to save the planet’s climate. So it’s complicated, because you have Russia, you have India, you have China, and all of these other actors that are cheating.

So recognizing that even if the United States got its act together overnight tomorrow, it still wouldn’t stop our march to the 2 degree Celsius right away. But again, on social media, you can’t have those kinds of conversations. Either you want the planet to burn or you’re some dopey tree hugger. Neither one is true. It’s about figuring out how we can make it work so we can get the clean energy that we need and acknowledge that fossil fuels should be transitioned out for the health and viability of our planet. 

And you think nuclear has possibly some role?
I do. I don’t know how you don’t have it in the conversation. And this is coming from a kid that had to evacuate my home when I was nine, during the Three Mile Island crisis. I grew up in the shadow of it. People joke that [it] explains my appearance. But seriously, nuclear power is not what it was when Three Mile Island happened. So if you’ve lost your appetite for nuclear, fair enough. But math is math. Science is science. You can’t selectively ditch or dodge science when it’s not compatible with your political worldview. And if you’re taking nuclear off the table, that complicates the physics in that equation of our power needs dramatically. 

I’ve described the proper messaging that Democrats need to adopt on energy and climate here.
It’s possible that Biden would have done better in Texas, as well as even Pennsylvania, (where he won) – had Democrats crafted a more mature and realistic message on climate and the solutions. Clearly the Biden folks are new at this, and they didn’t consult me, but the result is you get good people like Fetterman who sounds like he’s only been exposed to a somewhat poorly nuanced dichotomy of Treehugger vs DrillBabyDrill.

The correct answer, as I explained:

First of all, you don’t say that “I will close down he oil industry” – Joe, I think you know that.
That is basically quoting a Fox News talking point verbatim.

“We are already seeing massive unemployment in the oil and gas sector, in part because of the virus, but in large part because your friends, Mr Trump, in Saudi Arabia and Russia, have decided to under cut the price of oil and drive American competitors out of business.”

“That is likely to continue, as the fact is, Electric vehicles are coming. GM just launched an all electric, 1000 horsepower Hummer. They are as unstoppable as iPhones.
Exxon has dropped off the Dow Industrial Average, and is no longer in the S&P 500 top ten.

“Big investors are backing away from Big oil, and will back away from gas just as they have been fleeing coal.

“The most important industrial transition of this century is the move from fossil to renewable energy, solar and wind – and the United States needs to lead it. 
Importantly, we need to provide for those folks who are going to be displaced by this gigantic transition.”

“For example the Fracking industry in the US has been massively hurt by the Covid-19 crisis,  tens of thousands skilled jobs are gone with uncertain prospects of returning. But we can immediately put their skills to work plugging orphaned frack wells ( there are millions leaking toxic waste and greenhouse gases).”

“Idled offshore drilling companies have the skills and tools to transition to building offshore wind power, and many are moving in that direction.  Drillers will also be needed to ramp up geothermal energy, which can be much larger than it currently is.”

“The future is bright if we pro-actively grasp it. Our competitors in Europe and Asia get this, and are moving ahead smartly. We would be wise to take the chance to lead, while we still have it.”

And insofar as nuclear, by all means, if you have an operating nuclear plant, keep it running. But it’s naive to say “Why don’t we just build nuclear?” if you have no clear idea what the obstacles to nuclear development have been, and just assume it’s the damn Tree huggers.
It wasn’t hippies with protest signs that killed nuclear. See Below:


13 Responses to ““We Need to Get Honest” on Energy and Climate”

  1. Roger Walker Says:

    Jacobson sums it up at 4:15. Never mind the economic factors, nuclear new build is just too damn slow. We need solutions now. I really don’t see why we continue to waste time and resources talking about the so-called nuclear “option”.

    1. Stop subsidizing fossil fuels.
    2. Deploy existing renewables technology on a massive scale.
    3. Improve it as you go.

    The model to follow is Tesla:

    “…they constantly improve, upgrade, redesign, invent better tech and incorporate the improvements into the products. Immediately. Other automakers are much more monolithic and inflexible.”

    Now where did I read that…?


    • greenman3610 Says:

      you saw it here first….

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      “You can’t selectively ditch or dodge science when it is not compatible with your political worldview”
      New 800 bed hospital here took 6 years to build. Wuhan city built 2000 bed hospital in 10 days.
      The ability of people to accomplish that what is required accepts no limits. Or, stop making excuses and rationalizations for avoiding what is needed.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        China is run by a fiat government. They can order people to build hospitals at the drop of a hat. They can build nuclear plants (or giant dams or huge “ghost” cities) whenever and wherever they want.

        We are held hostage by a do-nothing Senate, populated by the distorted politics of voting based on state boundaries rather than people:

        California’s ~40 million people get 2 senators.

        Conservative states Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, ND, SD, Montana, Idaho, WV, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma have a population of about 26 million people but 28 senators.

        • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

          The obvious view of fiat government is WW2, where it worked everywhere. Totally useless observation in 2020 except that it is actually possible. BOL.
          Please excuse me for making the following observation re USA politics. A supreme court is theoretically the third pillar of democracy and is supposed to be NON POLITICAL. (Except in dictatorships and even then it can be.) This democratic failure never seems to be considered by Mericans.

          The applicability of all this is that the majority of people believe AGW is a problem, but the minority control the agenda. A universal problem. Prepare to man, and woman, the barricades dear friends.

  2. doldrom Says:

    Affording cooking gas …

    We use gas for heating, hot water, and cooking.
    I have kept a spreadSheet for a period (in the past), mostly in connection with teen-age daughters and their shower time.

    My conclusion, checking the meter:
    Cooking 1-2% max
    Showers 6-7% max
    Heating 92%

    My conclusion was there’s no point fighting about shower time, although I hate seeing energy wasted and fungus grow. There should be a way to win back the heat.

    » Cooking is like, nothing, not worth thinking about.

    It’s all heating … and according to the gas company we use about 30% as much gas as they would estimate for a house/household of this nature. We don’t have severe winter here, so the lopsidedness would only increase with colder climes.

  3. J4Zonian Says:

    “dramatically cleaner than coal. “

    Gas is as bad as coal for climate. Though so far it seems not to have as many and probably not as severe effects as coal in terms of air pollution—cancer, diseases of every organ, increases in violence, aggression, depression, dementia, mental illnesses, and other effects—gas does cause air pollution and has other effects on water, earthquakes, etc.

    And gas does other harm: it makes too many people believe we’ve accomplished something by switching to it from coal, which relieves pressure on governments and corporations to build the renewable energy capacity we need. Gas replaces renewable energy as well as coal; even though without subsidies it can’t compete on price any more in the US, inertia and political power mean it continues to be built, although the amount is shrinking for economic reasons. Because a lot of gas’ immediate result is increased methane rather than CO2, when CO2 is used to indicate warming rather than CO2e, the accounting obscures the fact that gas warms as much ass coal. Gas spews as much CO2 as coal, but switching reduces cooling aerosol pollution, which temporarily hides warming, so while so many are feeling or faking complacency and thus not replacing fossils with renewables, warming is jumping up.

    Comment: https://grist.org/article/40-million-americans-depend-on-the-colorado-river-its-drying-up/#comment-4281827809

    “I don’t know how you don’t have it [nuclear] in the conversation”
    You do that by admitting that it’s an unnecessary and unacceptable risk, because we can build enough clean safe renewable energy capacity to provide 100% of the energy (not just electricity) humanity needs. Dozens of countries and studies show that, clearly.

    “taking nuclear off the table, that complicates the physics ” No. It doesn’t. It simplifies and makes faster and more affordable the solutions to climate catastrophe. Fetterman’s vagueness here implies something that’s often used explicitly; he attempts to slip it by unnoticed by making it a platitude. He’s talking about the discredited concept of baseline power, which is a hindrance to the functioning of a renewable energy-based smart grid.

    “people in my own community that can’t afford to keep gas on in their house during the winter. ”
    Renewables reduce the cost of energy. The faster we build them, the faster the price goes down and the sooner Fetterman’s alleged neighbors will be able to afford the energy they need.

    Referring to people with the word “that” instead of “who” exacerbates the serious problem of objectifying living beings. See Jessica Benjamin, The Bonds of Love.

    “I would hope we eventually reach a threshold where 80 percent or all of our electrical needs come from renewable sources. But right now, we’re not there. ”
    We’re not there because of the naked use of right wing political power, because of deception like Fetterman’s, because lies like his have kept us from getting there, despite the fact that current technology is perfectly able to do the job right now. Anytime anyone starts talking about “transitioning fossil fuels out” it’s obvious they’re procrastinating, saying yeah, we need to do this—after I’m retired. It’s denial of the seriousness of the crisis, and it has to be corrected, rejected, and the people using it to lie banned from our conversations.

    Fetterman doesn’t seem smart to me; he’s afflicted by SISS, pSychologically Induced Stupidity Syndrome that’s made him deny that gas is as bad as coal for climate and that nukes can play no major part in the transition to a negative emissions society.

    “where does 60 percent of our electricity come from overnight?”
    “If we ban fracking, for example, overnight,”
    Doubling down on one of several false dichotomies he uses, repeating it to try to sneak it past people’s conscious minds, to deceive them. Electricity doesn’t have to come from anything new overnight. It has to come from efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy within 10 years. We can do that, if we stop listening to people like Fetterman.

    Aren’t we sick of Republicans beating their breasts and gnashing their teeth along with this kind of crocodile tear crap: “how do people heat their homes or afford to heat their homes or cook their food?”
    Fetterman’s a Republican! His job is making sure people can’t heat their homes or cook their food! There will be no “true bipartisan Marshall Plan”. Any actual climate solutions will be driven by progressives; the Republican-Democrat corporate duopoly has done nothing but resist solutions, through the forked strategies of denial (rampant in various forms in both halves of the duopoly) and the snares and delusions of dead end non-solutions like fracking, nukes, CCS, “innovation”. Republicans simultaneously hold out a carbon price as a solution and spend millions to defeat it whenever it comes up. The only way to avoid catastrophe is to replace them all with progressive climate-aware people—or at least enough to scare them into cooperating.

    Fetterman goes on to spew platitudes completely at odds with everything else about him, to blame countries who all have less responsibility for the crisis than the US, to obscure the facts that personal lifestyle choices will have virtually no effect on the outcome of the climate crisis, and that only political change matters now, and that political change consists of removing everyone like him from power. He uses vagueness in the context of ten-thousand-times-repeated lies as a weapon.

    He uses multiple straw people, false dichotomies, and other distractions and deceptions. Come to think of it he IS smart; he’s gotten people who should know better to listen to his horseshit and offensive characterizations of the ecologically sophisticated, and further delay solutions to the climate and larger ecological crisis.

    Yes, you do and yes, we must say “I will shut down the fossil fuel industry” because that’s what’s necessary and it’s time we stopped lying to the public. It’s time we stopped trying in vain to appease those who have made themselves the enemy of humanity and the biosphere. Saying it’s an emergency while continuing to take NO emergency measures makes it first, confusing, and second, seem like you don’t think it’s an emergency. People take their cues more from behavior than words; ours have to match to move people. Reinforcing pluralistic ignorance is not the way to move society.

    It’s time to not just call it an emergency but act like it’s one. Nationalize the fossil fuel industry; try, and convict, the leaders of the denial industry of crimes against humanity and the Earth (and then offer them a way out through a Truth and Reconciliation process); mobilize all the resources of the US to efficientize, create wiser lives, build clean safe renewable energy, transform industry, forestry, and chemical industrial agriculture. Drastically reduce our militarization and high tech distractions, and transform our lives by focusing them on what’s important for human development and fulfillment.


    • leslie graham Says:

      Thank you J4Z.

      You just saved me an hour of my time and helped defuse my impending apoplexy.
      So infuriating to see the same old thousand times debunked memes trotted out – especially by people who really should know better.

      “dramatically cleaner than coal. “

      For ***** sake!

      Unbelievable that this utter **** still turns up in print.

      Sorry – can’t comment any more – on medical advice.

    • John Oneill Says:

      ”“taking nuclear off the table, that complicates the physics ” No. It doesn’t. It simplifies and makes faster and more affordable the solutions to climate catastrophe.’
      At the moment, France is getting 68% of its power from nuclear, and making 45 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour. Germany, which has built 110 Gigawatts of wind and solar in the last decade or so, and decommissioned half its nuclear plants, is making 304 g/kwh, nearly 7 times as much. At midday, when their solar peaked, they were still doing 311 g/kwh. Germany has enough wind and solar to power the country twice over at times of low demand, and about 50% more than peak demand, but for some reason, they still have to rely on a good deal of efficiency – and gas, and lignite. https://www.electricitymap.org/zone/DE?wind=false&solar=false
      ‘Renewables reduce the cost of energy.’ Germany and Demark have the highest household power prices in Europe, and South Australia has the highest in Australia. California, which mandates wind and solar, pays nearly twice as much as places like Florida, which don’t. It does average nearly half the emissions per kwh of some of the more fossil heavy grid operators, but still up to ten times as much as Ontario, which is mainly nuclear. Still, all those wind turbines and roof panels might make people think somebody cares about the climate.
      ‘..people using it to lie banned from our conversations.’ No point listening to people when you already know everything, is there ?

      • J4Zonian Says:

        Sign. More lies. I’ll deal with the rest of O’Neill’s crap some other time if I feel like it but here’s a little information dealing with his or her lies about the cost of energy.

        I just wish there were some place on the net that provided a safe haven from this kind of world-treasonous delusion.


        Wind & Solar Are Cheaper Than Everything, Lazard Reports
        November 15th, 2020


        Plummeting Solar, Wind, And Battery Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Electricity Future
        Offshore wind cost down by 24% in a year.
        Onshore wind down 10% to $50/MWh.
        Utility PV down 18% to $57/MWh.
        Lithium-ion batteries down 35% to $187/MWh since the first half of 2018.
From 2010 to 2018:
        Onshore wind down 49%.
        PV down 84%.
        Offshore wind down by 56%.
        Lithium-ion battery storage down by 76% since 2012.

        “An analysis by Energy Innovation shows that in 74% of cases it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than to keep running existing coal plants today and that number will increase to 86% by 2025.”

        Concentrated Solar Power Costs Fell 46% From 2010–2018
June 4th, 2019
        “…with its costs expected to decline further.”

        2017 Offshore wind cheaper than C&G
        Cost down 63% in 6 years, >10%/yr.


        And of course, both coal and gas are cheaper than old nukes which are much cheaper than new nukes.

        Building new renewables is now cheaper than just running old coal and nuclear plants.
        November, 2017
        A widely-used yearly benchmarking study (1)— the Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) from the financial firm Lazard Ltd. — reached this stunning conclusion: In many regions “the full-lifecycle costs of building and operating renewables-based projects have dropped below the operating costs alone of conventional generation technologies such as coal or nuclear.”
        (1) lazard[DOT]com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-2017/

        “Despite years of plummeting prices for renewables, BNEF [Bloomberg New Energy Finance] project[ed in 2017] that over the next two decades, the cost of solar power will still drop another two-thirds, onshore wind costs will be cut nearly in half, and offshore wind costs will drop a stunning 71 percent.”

        Everything to do with renewables and batteries is happening much faster than expected.

        Wind Energy Is One of the Cheapest Sources of Electricity, and It’s Getting Cheaper
        “A comprehensive survey of the wind industry shows wind energy is routinely purchased in bulk for just two cents per kilowatt-hour [equal to or below all competitors except solar]—and turbines are only getting cheaper, bigger, and better”
        August 28, 2017 blogs.scientificamerican[DOT]com/plugged-in/wind-energy-is-one-of-the-cheapest-sources-of-electricity-and-its-getting-cheaper/
        DOE report: energy[DOT]gov/eere/wind/downloads/2016-wind-technologies-market-report

        “Turbines have evolved from tiny 50-kW generators to mammoth 8-MW machines in just 30 years. [A 160-fold increase]

        For the last year a 12 MW GE Haliade-X has been tested on the Rotterdam docks. It and a new 13 MW model will go into a number of offshore wind farms this year.

        The cost of offshore wind has tumbled as turbine designs have got better and bigger, with each machine providing 30 times the output of the first ones deployed 18 years ago.

        Wind and solar power are saving Americans an astounding amount of money
        Not getting sick and dying from pollution is worth quite a bit, it turns out.

        NREL has provided a 15 MW open source reference turbine design to stimulate further development, while Siemens-Gamesa is planning to use 15 MW turbines in a 2.6 GW wind farm off the coast of Virginia. (A typical nuke is 1 GW or 1000 MW.)
        Germany is working on a 20 MW model.


        And a 50 MW turbine is in the design and testing stages.


        New Wind and Solar Power Is Cheaper Than Existing Coal in Much of the U.S., Analysis Finds
        “An analysis by Energy Innovation shows that in 74% of cases it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than to keep running existing coal plants today and that number will increase to 86% by 2025.”

        Not a single coal-fired power plant along the Ohio River will be able to compete on price with new wind and solar power by 2025, according to a new report by energy analysts.
        The same is true for every coal plant in a swath of the South that includes the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.
        March 25, 2019

        All this is continuing to happen much faster than expected, so like all their projections these are underestimations. High and rising capacity factor plus continuing price drops of wind and solar mean gas can no longer compete, either. As the industry collapses, investments are looking like a worse and worse idea, as every fossil and fissile fuel facility built from now on will lose money and cause horrendous social and ecological damage as become a stranded asset.

        Part of renewablizing is electrifying; it will reduce the energy we need and thus the price we pay for energy by by ⅓-½.

        As of 2017, 10 states produce 20% or more of their energy from wind and solar, including Iowa at 37%, Kansas 36, Oklahoma 32, South Dakota 30, North Dakota 27, Vermont 24, California 22, Maine, Minnesota, and Colorado at 20. Texas, Idaho, and Nebraska are at 15%. Denmark gets 44% just from wind. All of them can increase even more what they get from wind, dramatically increase complementary solar, provide most of their electricity with clean safe renewable sources, and reduce prices further in the process. (Note: none of these numbers includes other CSRE like hydro, geothermal, etc.)
        Studies have been done by independent grid operators, state governments, academic experts, and others. At least 15 confirm that as wind energy in the grid increases, electricity prices come down.(And grid stability is enhanced.)
        For example, research from New England’s grid operator concludes that when wind provides 14% of electricity, prices drop 10%, and when it reaches 24%, prices decline 15%. Links to these studies are in AWEA’s white papers:


        In Colorado, a glimpse of renewable energy’s insanely cheap future:
        Even with storage, new renewables beat existing coal.
        David Roberts Jan 16, 2018
        Report: energyinnovation[DOT]org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Coal-Cost-Crossover_Energy-Innovation_VCE_FINAL.pdf
        States: Wind Up, Price Down
        “The 11 [now at least 14] states that get more than 7% of their electricity from wind energy have seen their electric prices decrease by 0.37% over the past five years, in contrast to all other states, where electricity prices have increased 7.79% during that time.
        “Atlantic coastal states use more than a quarter of the nation’s energy,” Gideon Weissman, a policy analyst with the Frontier Group and one of the study’s co-authors, said in a statement.
        Almost every state along the Atlantic coast — 12 out of 14 — has offshore wind potential that exceeds its current electricity needs, according to a new study.
        Currently in the planning stage are more than 25 offshore wind projects, with a generating capacity of 24 gigawatts…”

        Most of the electricity not provided by wind is from gas, so yes, it can be lumped with coal, oil, and nukes, in terms of collapsing business model, rapidly disappearing ability to compete with solar and wind, terrible health and environmental effects, dependence on outsized subsidies and externalities, and the lumpen name: fossil fuel industry.
        Necessary and happening electrification of transport, heating, and industry put oil in the same hole. The US of course is lagging because the insane right wing is in power for now, but market share of EVs in Norway is 65%, in Sweden, 30%, Iceland 25%; Netherlands, Portugal, France: 10-11%. In the US it’s 2%.
        Three scenarios for Colorado, and the cleanest is the cheapest
        “…in all scenarios, average retail electricity rates decline over time, but they decline most and fastest through deep decarbonization. Cleaner energy benefits all Colorado ratepayers, not just those who have an EV or solar panels.”

        “Hawaiian Electric Companies, a group of utilities, last week released the winning bids it had received to build seven solar arrays with energy storage. …
        “The bids ranged from 8-12 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for fossil fuel power, the company said.”
        Dan Gearino, Clean Energy Jan, 2019”
        Clean safe renewable prices have dropped everywhere in the world. These are just a few examples:
        In less than 10 years [Uruguay] has slashed its carbon footprint and lowered electricity costs (2015)
        Renewables, storage poised to undercut natural gas prices, increase stranded assets
        If all proposed gas plants are built, 70% of those investments will be rendered uneconomic by 2035, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute.
        “Carbon-free resources are now cost competitive with new natural gas plants, according to a pair of reports released Monday by the Rocky Mountain Institute.


        “Wind, solar and storage projects, combined with demand-side management, have reached a “tipping point,” one report finds, meaning they’re now able to compete alongside natural gas on price while providing the same reliability services. But unlike the fluctuating price of fuels, these technologies’ prices are expected to continue dropping, the reports’ authors [said].”

        Like everything else to do with clean safe renewable energy development, all of this is happening much faster than anyone expects. The oil and gas industry is imploding now, and investments in gas already make no sense. If we want to keep the owners from leaving the industry’s toxic wreckage everywhere, leaking into streams, groundwater, the atmosphere, and the economy, we have to nationalize the industry and shut it down as fast as it can be replaced with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy, under the umbrella of a comprehensive global emergency Green New Deal.

        “CSP is cheaper than natural gas across the Middle East and North Africa”
        (CSP provides 24/7 power.)
        New Renewables Cheaper Than Old Coal In Southeast Asia
        October 30th, 2018
        A new analysis from independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker
        ”Unsurprisingly, low-cost wind and low-cost solar are now able to beat dirty energy on cost alone in South East Europe as well — just as they can on islands, across the United States, in the Middle East, across Asia, across South America, and elsewhere.”

        ”Even in the rainy UK, solar has been cheaper than nuclear for several years.”

        Solar Delivers Cheapest Electricity ‘Ever, Anywhere, By Any Technology’
        “In last week’s energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

        The [new] world record for solar [for now] has been set in Portugal at 1.476¢ /kilowatt-hour.
        “The US will certainly begin to see costs that low and lower.”

        Unsubsidized renewables have become the cheapest source of new power — by far — in more and more countries, according to a new report from the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

        “In just one year, the cost of solar generation worldwide dropped on average 17%, the report found. The average costs for onshore wind dropped 18% last year, while those for offshore wind fell a whopping 28%.
        The result is “more bang for the buck,” as the U.N. and BNEF put it. Last year saw 138.5 gigawatts of new renewable capacity. That not only beat the 2015 record of 127.5 GW, but it was built with a total investment that was 23% lower than in 2015.
        $29.10 for solar in Chile, in August
        $55 for offshore wind in Denmark, in November
        Note that $29.10 per MWh is 2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour. For context, the average U.S. residential price for electricity is 12 cents per kWh.

        Wind and solar are able to generate three times more power [in 2019] than they could five years ago.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Posted a reply to the trollery, but left an extra link in so it will show up in a few weeks. Hope the world doesn’t end before then when it could have been saved by this information. Also, sorry about the long-tailed links. I don’t know why they didn’t turn into images, unless it only does that when it’s accepted for acceptable acceptability.

          So, so, so sick of the lies.

    • smithpd1 Says:

      Gas is not as bad as coal for climate. Coal produces half the energy as gas for each molecule of CO2 produced. Or, coal produces twice as much CO2 for a given amount of energy.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        It’s not just about CO2; it’s about CO2 plus methane. The entire fossil gas system, especially fracking, leaks, and the extra methane emitted makes gas at least as bad as coal.

        In the future, it might work better to make sure you know what you’re talking about before you correct people, instead of after.
        Fracking releases large amounts of methane, a much more powerful GHG than CO2, so gas warms as much as coal.

        Fracking’s other harm (low birth weight babies, water contamination, earthquakes, and all the unknowns) is less well documented because it’s so new and the Halliburton loophole has prevented adequate research. It’s probably not as horrific as coal in other ways (lead, mercury, cadmium, particulates/sulfate aerosols, radiation, etc. cause physical, mental, and social health effects). How much less worse gas is in other ways remains to be seen. But because of inertia and political power, gas investments also still compete with clean safe renewable energy, delaying the transition to a solarwind economy. Warming hidden by coal aerosols’ cooling effect is rebounding fast as less coal is burned; substituting gas keeps the warming increasing while some people believe there’s some benefit to gas and ease up on political pressure to increase efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy. The rich, the right, and the fossil fuel industry take advantage of the misconception by surprise, lying, keeping the industry rich, powerful, and going.

        Cheney’s secret energy meeting
        Exempting fracking from the many environmental laws that would have made it somewhat cleaner and much more expensive and so stopped it from ever happening, may turn out to be the worst single decision humanity has ever made. Without it we’d very likely be so much closer to a fully renewable economy that that our future with clean safe renewable energy would be simply assumed. It’s less likely der Gropenführer would have been elected—with RE that much more ascendant and less money and desperation in the oil and gas industry, few would have believed his lies about bringing back coal. With the failure of that symbol and revenue stream the political power of the fossil fuel industry would have been reduced. No gas bridge mythology, faster recognition of the need to rely on clean safe renewable energy… different world. We can’t get to that world from here but we can base our decisions on reality rather than fantasy.

        Solar, wind and battery prices continue to drop so fast, the gas wells and lines being built today will be obsolete in less than 5 years, leaving every bit of the existing gas infrastructure as stranded assets, toxic to the landscape, economy, and political system as we fight over who pays for it all. So many coal and other fossil corporations have become bankrupt that vast areas of desolation were being left behind with inadequate taxpayer funding to superficially clean them up that even the pro-fossil Democratic wing of the corporate duopoly passed rules recently requiring corporations to put aside money to clean up after the fields are exhausted. The Republicans rescinded those not-nearly-strong-enough rules.

        Methane Leaks Erase Climate Benefit Of Fracked Gas, Countless Studies Find

        Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse

        Ditto from TomGram

        Methane Leaks Erase Climate Benefit Of Fracked Gas, Countless Studies Find

        Further disadvantage—very low cost gas replaces renewables as well as coal.

        More natural gas isn’t a “middle ground” — it’s a climate disaster

        NASA Study Nails Fracking as Source of Massive Methane ‘Hot Spot’
        commondreams[DOT]org/news/2016/08/16/nasa-study-nails-fracking-source-massive-methane-hot-spot August 16, 2016

        Fracking Boom? gas per well declining, a sign of a shrinking industry; in fact, growing slower than renewables

        B.C., Alberta methane pollution higher than disclosed, reports suggest
        Environmental groups use ‘sniffers’ and infrared video to detect release of potent greenhouse gas

        Apr 26, 2017

        Yes, Those Earthquakes Are Caused by Fracking Boom, Studies Confirm

        Gas and Oil Subsidies

        The Evidence Of Fracking’s Health Effects Keeps Mounting

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