Why Wind and Solar Are Not Currently the Answer on Emissions Reductions

I have made this point forever, but it always bears repeating -- the variability of wind and solar require hot fossil fuel backups that leads to little reduction in total fossil fuel generation capacity (so that wind and solar investments are entirely duplicative) and less-than-expected reductions in actual emissions.

I don't think wind will ever be viable, except perhaps in a few unique offshore locations.  Solar is potentially viable with a 10x or so reduction in panel costs and a 10-100x reduction in battery/energy storage costs.  I honestly think that day will come, but we are not there.

From the Unbroken Window comes this slide from an interesting presentation at the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, essentially making the same points I and others have been trying to make for years.


I made the point about nuclear in my climate legislative proposal here.


  1. LoneSnark:

    Now that is an interesting result. I guess Ontario has already exceeded the possible hot-backup of the available hydro-electric generation.

  2. herdgadfly:

    On the other hand, a switch to LFTR based power might end the waste of money going to rent-seeking Wind and Solar crony capitalists. The US has already built a molten salt nuclear breeder reactor using thorium back in 1968 at Oak Ridge that Nixon squelched because we needed uranium waste for bombs - but now we are helping China build an operating LFTR power plant. And gosh-o-gee, Canadian Engineers, the smallish LFTR units will not spew life-giving CO2!

    The only thing preventing us from going to Thorium is stupid government bureaucracy aided by the rent-seekers. This technology will result in the cheapest source of electric power.

  3. wreckinball:

    Good site on Ontario's power mix.