Wow. This is a new low from the renewables fans. It cuts deep, because normally I respect Naomi Oreskes. But that’s gone now. She is not an expert in the subject she’s discussing, and quotes a very dubious study into 100% renewables that obviously supports some anti-nuclear meme she’s inherited, and suggests James Hansen is a denier to boot.
I have not had time to research the more peer-reviewed responses to Mark Jacobson’s 100% renewable plan. But here’s a comment from Frank Jablonski, a reader at Brave New Climate. Once again we see the common renewable themes that somehow magically switching to renewables reduces electricity consumption, despite needing to manufacture or recharge all our alternatives to oil. I am left saddened by the political divide around renewables.
The Left says “Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, and 100% renewables is the only answer so we all have to tighten our belts, change our behaviour, and generally Powerdown and feel guilty.”
The Right says “There is no climate change, and nuclear power is the answer.” They trust to market forces, and cannot see a role for public ownership of nuclear power for safe, reliable, accountable and affordable ‘energy embassies’ as described by Tom Bless in Chapter 10 of Prescription for the Planet.
Where I am open to whatever works to solve climate change, including convenient, reliable, baseload nuclear power that can be deployed fast enough that any energy efficiency gains we make along the way will just boost our economy. Anyway, over to Frank.
The website touting Mark Jacobson’s plan (linked by Naomi Oreskes while decrying James Hansen as a “denier”) has now responded to me with a link to the background analytical information. Good for them.
Here it is:
As I indicated before, with tongue-in-cheek, and, unfortunately, to Mr. Greisch’s chagrin, the “WWS” Terrawatts (seemingly capacity – I don’t know what happened to Terrawatt hours) needed are reduced, worldwide, by 32%, with the claim being that this is because of the switch to “WWS.” (see: the ppt file referenced on the linked page, slide 12).
For the US, the projected reduction is 37%.
And, as indicated before, this capacity reduction, to intermittent sources, appears to take place while simultaneously switching uses to electricity, and to hydrogen, which they get from the electricity when there is oversupply:
“[Loads for the “lower 48″ of the United States] are first estimated for 2050 assuming each end-use energy sector (residential, transportation, commercial, industrial) is converted to electricity and some electrolytic hydrogen after accounting for modest improvements in end-use energy efficiency (22).”
(see: p. 1)
The referenced note “(22)” refers to: “Ackerman TP, Toon OB (1981) Absorption of visible radiation in atmosphere containing mixtures of absorbing and nonabsorbing particles. Appl Opt 20(20): 3661-3667.” (id, p. 33)
Also, of note:
“all 2050 loads are supplied only with WWS technologies”
http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CombiningRenew/CONUSGridIntegration.pdf(id.: p. 3)
The projected cost, accounting for externalities, is asserted to be negative:
” . . . whereas the 2050 business costs of WWS and conventional electricity are similar, the social (overall) cost of WWS is 40% that
of conventional electricity (id.: p.6)
I am not going to write anything more because I am striving like the dickens to avoid sarcasm. However, please have a look, if you like.
This is the articulated analysis that people like Naomi Oreskes reference as they label people “deniers” for advocating nuclear energy as a carbon free option.