Virtue Signalling and Renewable Energy

Alex Epstein:

Stories about “100-per-cent renewable” locations like Georgetown, Tex. are not just anecdotal evidence, they are lies. The Texas grid from which Georgetown draws its electricity is comprised of 43.7 per cent natural gas, 28.8 per cent coal, 12 per cent nuclear, and only 15.6 per cent renewable. Using a virtue-signalling gimmick pioneered by Apple, Facebook, and Google, Georgetown pays its state utility to label its grid electricity “renewable” —  even though it draws its power from that fossil-fuel heavy Texas grid — while tarring others on the grid as “non-renewable.”

Apple's renewable claims have always irritated me so I am glad to see someone pointing this out.


  1. Illini Marine:

    What? You don't believe in perpetual motion machines?

  2. Ruggerbunny:

    We are conducting a LEED project at a state university. We need additional points, so we have decided to spend some money to say that the project is using the wind energy from a nearby wind farm. Granted this farm was installed well prior to the project, and the windmills are tied directly into the grid and not directly to the building.

    I also see this same thing with 0 use buildings. They don't use 0 resources, they offset what they use against what they possibly generate and savings in other areas to reach the label of 0 energy use buildings.

  3. SamWah:

    I understand that in Oregon, hydroelctric dams are considered NOT-renewable sources.

  4. Don:

    I lived in G-town for almost a dozen years, it used to be a relative Oasis of sanity in the orbit of The People's Republic of Travis County and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Austin.

    Alas, no more.

  5. randian:

    Tim Cook is just virtue signaling with his shareholders' money.

  6. MJ:

    Does "zero use" apply to other aspects of the building's operations besides energy? Like water, for example?

  7. Bruce Zeuli:

    In our area we have approved "Renewable Energy" service providers. They advertise right in the envelope you use to pay your current utility bill. These "Renewable Energy" providers don't have any power generation or transmission capabilities at all. You just pay them a fee on top of your regular energy bill and they send a portion of that fee to other companies to subsidize the creation and operation of renewable energy sources. It's the Emperor's New Clothes writ large.

    My neighbors who buy into these schemes claim that they only use green electrons. Now if this were true then their electricity would shut off every time the wind stopped at night and sometimes on cloudy windless days. They laugh and say I don't understand how green electrons work.

  8. Ruggerbunny:

    Yes. The energy "savings," rain water retention for landscaping use, and other measures, offset the water use.

  9. cc:

    Martin Luther railed against buying indulgences in 1517, but its baaaaaaack!

  10. Bill Drissel:

    Yeeeah, the wind is renewable but how about the wind turbine / tower / transmission line. Bearing in mind that wind turbines don't generate 24 x 7 x nameplate_capacity, does a wind generation installation during its lifetime generate enough energy to build another turbine / tower/ transmission line (including metallugy)?

    If not, the turbine system isn't renewable.

    Bill Drissel
    Frisco, TX

  11. randian:

    Progressives universally ignore capital costs. Just watch a virtue-signaling government or company touting how much they saved every year on their power bill by installing a solar system or doing a LEED building. Their return on investment is close to zero and often outright negative.