4-19-16 – Daily Kos authors on wind and solar

by John McClaughry

A forthcoming e-book by authors Mike Conley and Tim Maloney excerpted on the left wing Daily Kos website argues that wind and solar power plants are much worse for the environment than previously recognized … because they require natural gas backup.

Wind and solar plants produce far less energy than promised, and in the current energy environment natural gas is the primary “supplement” for renewable power generation.

They write, “A thousand megawatt solar farm with a 23 percent capacity factor is actually a 770-megawatt gas plant enhanced by 230 megawatts of sunshine.” The wind plants and solar plants being built today are really natural gas plants, they say. They acknowledge natural gas produces less than half the amount of carbon dioxide as coal and is less polluting than even the cleanest coal plants. However, natural gas plants produce methane, which has significantly higher “global warming potential” than carbon dioxide. They speculate if the natural gas leakage rate were to more than double, reaching 4 percent, using natural gas to supply electricity when wind and solar are offline is the same, from a greenhouse gas perspective, as using a coal-fired power plant….

Conley and Maloney say nuclear power is superior to other sources for carbon-dioxide-free electricity generation. They write, “Nuclear is even more reliable than coal, and it’s carbon-free. … While contamination is serious stuff, fear and paranoia are the two most common forms of radiation sickness.”

The most important point: if you’re worried about runaway climate change – or if you’re not – stop subsidizing wind and solar and go nuclear.

– John McClaughry is the founder and vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jim bulmer April 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Too bad Shumlin was unaware of this phenominon BEFORE he shot himself in the foot by closing Vermont Yankee AND proclaiming Vermont 95%renewables. What a mess, what an idiot!!!!!!


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