An August EIA report shows my prior calculations were too low by half
In calculating subsidy per unit energy delivered it is important to note that electricity is special because it can be used in many more applications than simply heat. Further, it is non-polluting at the point of consumption. 1 EJ of fossil gas will likely generate around 0.4 EJ of electricity. Electricity has currency! Since wind and solar produce electricity directly, they end up displacing about three times as much of coal or gas. BP Statistical Review and the EIA acknowledge this fact when making direct comparisons between the different energy sources.
Is the subsidy for hydrocarbons a transfer or a reduction in taxes?
Haha it is even worse than I thought. Brutal reporting from Robert Bryce.
Keep choppin RB
I noticed during the Republican Presidential debate this week that there wasn’t as much as a single word mentioned about nuclear energy. That’s concerning to me.
Mr. Bryce reference a NREL study on estimated that it costs roughly $20 to $30 to recycle a panel versus $1 to $2 to send it to a landfill. Does anyone reading this have a citation for the NREL study?
Thanks for the recalculation on the solar mess. I propose that a structure be developed called the Futility Index that measures and handicaps cost, output, inadvertent waste/environmental damage per unit, etc.
Thanks Robert. I always look forward to your data and insight. Most sheeple (my favorite new term for Americans who are emotional responders) won't read or try to understand what you're saying. They merely accept that the human race will cease to exist if we don't do everything possible to combat climate change. They want to end fossil fuels, so I say we shut down all oil and gas production in the U.S. for just 1 week and show Americans what their life would look like. What will it take for the sheeple to wake up and see that it will take an all of the above energy strategy to fuel our nation that involves as little subsidies as possible.
"In turn, this would catapult the LCOE (levelized cost of energy, a measure of the overall cost of an energy-producing asset over its lifetime) to four times the current projection."
Step 1: the regime creates bogus comparison (LCOE) to portray watts that show up reliably on-demand as no better than those that arrive whenever the weather cooperates.
Step 2: despite the rigged game, it still takes several years before the math works out: "Yes! We finally got the price of wind powered warships to be lower than nuclear powered ships!"
Step 3: The regime gets undone not by their corrupt sales pitch, but instead because the gusher of subsidies buries them in a mountain of their own trash they didn't factor into the original crooked formula.
I’m a construction inspector and I’ve been working on utility scale solar in California and Arizona the last 2.5 years. The size of these PV fields is immense compared to even a few years ago. The mass clearing and grading required is anything but green. They’re essentially giant erector sets and can be slapped together in months. At least out here the sun is plentiful and constant. BESS battery yards are being paired with these fields to store and sell the energy at peak times but they don’t make up for when the sun goes down.
Personally, I thought the idea of using decommissioned windmill blades, which are nigh on indestructible, as the basis for a wall along the southern border was the most sensible use of the technology as clearly producing energy is a money losing exercise
Robert - thanks! I continue to ponder how pro-solar folks propose to feed all-electric cars that are raising demand when renewables cannot even support current levels - I mean the cars certain people can afford. There are not enough solar subsidies to keep up the pace, once all-electrics become affordable (through subsidies?!). Fortunately I'm so old my hybrid will last me the rest of my life that'll end before all-electric cars are mandated.
It would be interesting to also include a comparison of costs due to government regulation and taxation. My bet is that unreliables are lightly regulated if at all, while hydrocarbons face a gauntlet of regulations and are more highly taxed.
Great piece Robert. A couple of comments
Oil and gas subsidies are mostly externalities, like road repair due to gas powered car use. Those don’t seem to apply to EVs or renewable generation. amazing that we are willing to create toxic waste dumps for no benefit.
California is actually worse. The grid will need $100 billion in upgrades to get past 50% renewables. Renewable projects and batteries being studied for inter connection now won’t be in service until 2030 and the numbers are a joke.
As to Rate increases for California’s low income people... environmental Justice? As Mel Brooks famously said in History of the World “ Fuck the Poor”
and ... Atlas Shrugged
Once again, the climate-panic crew passing these subsidies has given zero thought to current and long-term/projected costs and consequences.