A key claim of the green energy movement has long been that the intermittent “renewables” – wind and solar – provide the cheapest form of energy. This is not true.
Climate alarmists fail to include the cost of energy storage and/or backup, the costs of overbuilding, and the costs of additional transmission.
Although voters in Europe may not be using complex spreadsheets showing costs, they have noticed skyrocketing energy bills. And in the UK the costs of “green” energy are starting to change the “net zero” debate. However, “back here in the US, the Biden administration continues with its wrecking ball approach to destroying our energy economy,” Francis Menton writes.
By Francis Menton, 9 October 2023
A key claim of the green energy movement has long been that the intermittent “renewables” – wind and solar – provide the cheapest form of energy. Therefore, the advocates say, just build enough wind turbines and solar panels, convert all use of energy to electricity, and sit back and enjoy a future of affordable energy without adverse environmental consequences.
Meanwhile, a key theme at Manhattan Contrarian’s blog has been exposing the incompetence and chicanery of the claims of low cost for electricity from wind and sun. Although it may often seem as if nobody is listening, I reassure myself that when the full costs of wind and solar electricity eventually get exposed, the people will catch on and not allow themselves to be impoverished.
Over in Europe, it looks like enough of the costs have now gotten exposed to cause the beginning of a public awakening. In August, I had a post on how the costs of “green” energy were starting to change the “net zero” debate in the UK. Now, add to that report the results of the elections this past weekend in Germany and Luxembourg. In both countries, parties now standing at least somewhat against the green transition scored gains, while Greens lost ground. The process of ultimate political transformation looks to be long and slow, but I have faith that reality will eventually win out.
First, a short refresher on the claims of green energy advocates that the wind and sun provide the cheapest power. If you only read Manhattan Contrarian or other climate sceptic sources, you may find it incredible that anyone could believe such assertions. But you must remember that the self-designated climate advocates repeat these claims to themselves endlessly in an echo chamber where no one ever pushes back. Eventually, it appears, they come to believe that the claims are true.
And thus, here is my blog post from 16 August 2022 reporting on a Soho Forum debate on the energy future, between Steven Koonin and Andrew Dessler. Dessler, arguing for a future of wind and solar power, had as his main contention that those are cheaper than the fossil fuel alternatives, and therefore they will inevitably sweep the fossil fuel infrastructure away. Although he is some kind of leader in the climate alarm movement, Dessler appeared to have no clue that there was any counter-information to his contentions about the costs of wind and solar power. In support of his position, Dessler used as his main metric the Levelised Cost of Energy (“LCOE”) as published by investment bank Lazard. The LCOE metric is ridiculously flawed, and should not fool anybody, but seems to have fooled not just Dessler but also the entire green energy movement – and for that matter the entire Democratic Party and the President of the United States.
And nothing about LCOE and fraudulent advocacy based on it is going away. Long after the Soho Forum debate last August, Lazard went right ahead and came out with a new and updated report in April titled ‘2023 Levelised Cost of Energy+’. Here is the key chart from that report: