The 100% Renewable Energy Myth

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: The goal for 100% renewable energy in the U.S. is unrealistic because wind and solar electricity are intermittent and cost too much. The great irony is that this means that renewables thereby require backup from the very sources of energy they seek to displace, namely coal, gas, and nuclear. Not just having lower capacity factors, wind and solar also require huge amounts of materials and land. Simply put, setting a national 100% renewable energy goal within a decade would lead to catastrophe - to the tune of trillions of dollars lost. 

The idea that the U.S. economy can thrive on 100% renewable energy is a complete myth.

The main focus for “more renewables” is wind and solar power. These sources of electricity are intermittent and require backup from the very fuels that they are supposed to replace: coal, gas, and nuclear.

In addition, because of such low capacity factors (making them more often unavailable than available) wind and solar power require massive amounts of land. For example, a study from Harvard found that for the U.S. to get all of its electricity from renewables could require one-third of the country to be covered by wind and solar facilities.

The costs would be absolutely overwhelming for American taxpayers. Germany today shows the enormous costs and higher prices that result from such lavish tax credits and subsidies for wind and solar generators. The situation in Denmark is even worse.

Further, converting the world’s largest economy to renewable energy would vastly increase demand for thousands of materials overnight. Many of these supply chains are tightly controlled by China.

The various pronouncements that glibly peddle reliance on wind and solar energy should be met with demands for verifiable, in-depth analysis of how to do it.

Such insight has been severely lacking.

 

Read the full study here.

Feature Charticle

Projected U.S. Renewable Power Capacity: Well Short of What's Required

IER

Findings: 

Intermittent wind and solar cannot stand on their own, and they require backup from the very fuels they are supposed to replace.

• Wind and solar power require huge swaths of land, thousands of materials, and lavish subsidies and tax breaks.

• We know that those countries that have pursued the most wind and solar power have the highest energy prices.

• Setting a U.S. goal of relying upon 100% renewable energy within a decade is unrealistic and would lead to catastrophe, to the tune of trillions of dollars lost. 

 

Read the full study here