Delingpole: Biden’s Green New Deal Is an ‘Impossible Cluster****’

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: U.S. President Joe Biden departs the Oval Office on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden is traveling to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit with wounded service …
Drew Angerer/Getty

President Joe Biden’s Green New Deal is an ‘impossible clusterf***.’ You probably knew this already but below are the raw details.

If the world is to wean itself off fossil fuels and go “carbon neutral” by 2050, here is what might possibly need to be done:

To summarize: to get the world to zero emissions by 2050, our options are to build, commission, and bring on-line either:

 One 2.1 gigawatt (GW, 109 watts) nuclear power plant each and every day until 2050, OR

 3,000 two-megawatt (MW, 106 watts) wind turbines each and every day until 2050 plus a 2.1 GW nuclear power plant every day and a half until 2050, assuming there’s not one turbine failure for any reason, OR

 96 square miles (250 square kilometres) of solar panels each and every day until 2050 plus a 2.1 GW nuclear power plant every day and a half until 2050, assuming not one of the panels fails or is destroyed by hail or wind.

The calculations come courtesy of Willis Eschenbach at Watts Up With That? Feel free to check the math yourself. It is based on the following assumptions:

People generally have little idea just how much energy we get from fossil fuels. Figure 1 shows the global annual total and fossil energy consumption from 1880 to 2019, and extensions of both trends to the year 2050. I note that my rough estimate of 2050 total annual energy consumption (241 petawatt-hrs/year) is quite close to the World Energy Council’s business-as-usual 2050 estimate of 244 PWhr/yr.

Figure 1. Primary energy consumption, 1880-2019 and extrapolation to 2050. A “petawatt-hour” is 1015 watt-hours

So if we are going to zero emissions by 2050, we will need to replace about 193 petawatt-hours (1015 watt-hours) of fossil fuel energy per year. Since there are 8,766 hours in a year, we need to build and install about 193 PWhrs/year divided by 8766 hrs/year ≈ 22 terawatts (TW, or 1012 watts) of energy generating capacity. (In passing, for all of these unit conversions let me recommend the marvelous website called “Unit Juggler“.)

Starting from today, January 25, 2021, there are 10,568 days until January 1, 2050. So we need to install, test, commission, and add to the grid about 22 TW / 10568 days ≈ 2.1 gigawatts/day (GW/day, or 109 watts/day) of generating capacity each and every day from now until 2050.

The cost will, of course, be stupendous:

The nuclear plants alone will cost on the order of US$170 trillion at current prices. And wind or solar plus 75 per cent nuclear will be on the order of US275 trillion, plus decommissioning and disposal costs for wind turbines and solar panels.

But maybe the most stupid thing of all is no-one, apart from the crony capitalist troughers who are going to make like bandits from this scheme, and a few doctrinaire eco-fascist loons, actually wants any of this stuff. It’s being pushed by the Climate Industrial Complex on the basis of claims which turn out to be completely untrue. The “most significant public health issue of our time” line being promoted by White House climate advisor Gina McCarthy, for example, is false:

And guess which country is going to be the biggest beneficiary of all this green boondoggling…


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