Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about a conversation with a supporter of green energy. The green energy supporter was speaking about a hotel they had invested in that had gone entirely to solar power.
The article reports:
…Knowing that the sun actually goes down and stops supplying electrons, I asked the obvious question:
“So, is the hotel disconnected from the grid?”
You don’t need to guess what the answer was, and why the claim that any building is “100 percent powered by renewables” (like Apple) is the epitome of fake news. Whereupon this Klimatista explained that before long we’ll have these terrific batteries that we can charge up during the daytime to supply our electricity over night. Problem solved! The planet is saved!
Although electricity is indeed the best and most efficient form of power in the abstract, I’m always amazed that no one bothers to ask a simple question: assuming we can get the cost of better batteries down, and increase their functionality (charging time, etc), has anyone‚ Bueller? Bueller?—bothered to do the materials calculations of increasing our battery production at least 1000-fold (just for the United States)? Ever seen what a lithium mine looks like, let alone all of the other materials required for batteries? How many new lithium, cobalt, and copper mines are we going to need to scale up 1,000x?
The article then goes on to explain the negative side of green energy:
The technical journal article that explains this, “Bulk Energy Storage Increases United States Electricity Systems Emissions” in Environmental Science & Technology, is unfortunately behind a paywall, but Dave Roberts—a deep greenie (the founder of what he calls “Climate Hawks”) summarizes the study in plain English for us in “Batteries Have a Dirty Secret” at Vox:
[E]nergy storage has a dirty secret. The way it’s typically used in the US today, it enables more fossil-fueled energy and higher carbon emissions. Emissions are higher today than they would have been if no storage had ever been deployed in the US . . .
I guess this green energy thing needs a little more work.