Renewable doesn't mean unlimited supply. Wind and solar are too dilute. Most wind is too slow; most solar is too dark.
Electricity is a specialty product which will not scale up to the transportation level. A massive increase in infrastructure and electric lines would be required. There is no space for itwithin cities or the countryside.
Bureaucrats require by law that electric motors must get 96% efficiency creating big expectations for electrifying the transportation system. Nothing could be more ludicrous than 96% efficiency in the applications of electricity. Anyone who has ever seen a copper wire should know that.
There is a physical barrier preventing any transformation of energy into kinetic energy from getting more than 40% efficiency including electric motors. Real engineers have been working with this barrier for more than a hundred years requiring fans and cooling mechanisms with motors including electrical ones.
On top of that, electricity wastes about 88% of its energy before doing what other sources of energy do, because two energy transformations are needed with electricity instead of the usual one.
Here are some of the losses with electrical energy: Electrical generators salvage a maximum of 40% of the energy that goes into them. Short transmission lines have 20% loss built in, long lines have 50% (35% loss average). High voltage transformers have 90% efficiency, household level transformers have 50% efficiency. That's 0.40 x 0.65 x 0.90 x 0.50 = 0.117 = 12% of electrical energy recovered (88% loss) before getting to end use, where 25% is typically salvaged. That's 3% of the starting energy being converted into the kinetic energy of motion with an electric motor, plus other losses in regulating and converting. (12% x 25% = 3%)
In 2015 the amount of electricity used in the US was 4.14 peta watt hours (PWH). The amount of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) used was 24.8 PWH. Dividing shows a ratio of 6.0. This means that replacing fossil fuels with electricity would superficially require an increase in electrical infrastructure by a factor of 6.
But it's infinitely worse. Something like 12% of the energy is salvaged in getting electricity to the source. It means 50 times as much electrical energy as presently exists must be used to replace fossil fuels. That's 6 ÷ 12% = 50.
In addition to the efficiency problem is an increase in transmission lines, which would be between a factor of 9,000 and infinity. Wind and solar must be located hundreds of miles away from end use. When covering the total U.S. instead of the show-peace examples near the source, there would often be 1,000 mile lines instead of the one mile lines from generating plants to cities. With wind and utility solar, transmission lines cost as much as infrastructure. If the entire U.S. were covered, transmission lines would cost more than all other expenses associated with the production of electricity.The Problem
The stated goal is to produce 100% carbon free, renewable energy and power self-driving, electric vehicles with it.
The result is physically impossible, but promoters are not saying there are boundaries or what they would be. They need to absolutize to 100% to avoid an explanation of complexities at a lower percent which they have no ability to evaluate.
RenewablesThe simple facts:
1) Solar is going nowhere, because it is only used in the South West.
2) Windmills are going nowhere, because each one costs a fortune, and long lines cost even more.
3) Neither are going anywhere, because disruptive variations cannot be managed and they waste resources trying.
4) Renewable doesn't mean unlimited supply. The low hanging fruit is gone already.
5) Solar and wind are very dilute. Concentrating dilute energy is very inefficient. It takes huge amounts of metal. Electrons have to be surrounded by a lot of metal or chemicals.
6) You couldn't cover the planet with enough wires to make it work. The electrical infrastructure would have to be multiplied by several thousand to produce 100% renewable energy, even if it were possible. There wouldn't be enough space between transmission towers for anything else.
The Fracking Problem
Solar only gets sun power for a few hours per day. It must have 100% back up for most of the day. The back up is said to require natural gas electric turbine generators, because only they can be started and stopped easily. But natural gas is only available through fracking or imports. Before fracking, there was a shortage of natural gas. Fracking is expensive and only exists while OPEC is doing Americans the favor of holding oil prices artificially high. With oil producers increasing output in Iran, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere, OPEC is not easily holding the price up. When the price of oil drops, fracking stops, the energy moguls will be building coal plants like there was no tomorrow and solar will be unusable.
The Efficiency Problem
Electricity is very inefficient, because it is lost to heat in every device and wire. As stated above, the amount of energy from fossil fuels is six times electricity, while electricity is said to produce more CO2. It means electricity is less than one sixth as efficient as fossil fuels based on the amount of CO2 produced at the present mix (with no significant electric vehicles).
Even if renewables could get rid of the CO2, they would produce overwhelming clutterin fact, so much clutter than no one gets past 15% wind or solar, even without electric vehicles adding to it.Break Time
If these statements don't look credible because too many persons are saying the opposite, we need to take a look at the difference. First and foremost, who are these other persons? They are activists and journalists who have never studied an iota of science or engineering.
They are assuming there will be an electric take-over of the energy and transportation systems, because scientists have improved the chemistry of solar cells. That doesn't wash. Scientists have improved the fabric of shoes, which is about as relevant.
The contrivers are omitting the fact that long transmission lines cost more than producing the energy, while solar energy would have to be shipped from the southwest to the other forty five states to get where they claim energy is going. Wind energy would also have to be shipped long distance.
Skipping over the transmission lines, in addition to back up systems, shows the ignorance and contrivance of the promoters of the cause. Real scientists and engineers used to explain the absurdities, but activists flushed them down the drain and substituted in their ignorant claims.
Causes seem to do that in the minds of persons who have not learned the discipline of correct evaluation. It includes too many scientists, so you can always find a few to promote any cause, while journalists determine which ones prevail and how much lying to do about the percent who are on their side.
There are a lot of ignorant scientists who should have never been scientists. Journalists and activists bring them to the surface and suppress the others. That doesn't mean activists have science on their side.
Electrical Wiring Problem
Non-technically minded persons don't understand the electrical wiring problem. Electrons require a lot of metal around them. Electrical wiring is strung everywhere, but out of sight. And that's just for household trivia. It has to be multiplied by tens of thousands for 100% renewable. Actually, everything hits infinity before getting there, so exact numbers don't exist. The numbers become self-contradictory, physical impossibilities around 30% renewables as solar and wind.
Right now, there is an extreme shortage of grid scale transmission lines, because they cost too much. The problem is a national security threat, but the government will not require the problem to be solved, because the public would be up in arms over the environmental damage and clutter. That's before electric vehicles.
You say, these aren't the numbers we are getting. Before the numbers are relevant, there has to be reliable standards of communication. The communication standards for everything related to this subject would be criminal in a dictatorship. The methods of presentation scream fraud. It's like going into a bank with a ski mask and gun.
It's not a problem of disagreement; disagreements can be resolved; it's about fraud. The fraud is in walling off claims from any possibility of being investigated while adding authority which cannot be disputed. Factual data like miles of wire are skipped over being replaced by fake physics on efficiencies which supposedly take care of everything, so you don't need to know the specifics.
Batteries Are Useless
Electric utilities require constant voltage. Batteries do not function at constant voltage, which means they are useless for electric utilities.
The only way to keep voltage constant with batteries is to have the same amount of power going in and out. Any difference changes the voltage.
Computer chips will function at 1.3 volts while supplied by 5 volt batteries. This range allows battery voltage to go up and down between charges while regulating the supply at 1.3 volts. Commercial utilities cannot allow voltage to change. Therefore, they cannot use batteries.
Social Criticism Problem
Social criticism gets more and more difficult, as the subject matter gets more and more unreal. Getting unreal is how criticism is evaded. The more unreal, the more impossible criticism becomes.
For this reason, social fantasies are going off the charts. A group of connected fantasies are being contrived around global warming, renewable energy, carbon free electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles and going to Mars.
To criticize such fantasies requires mowing down a lot of developed verbiage. Doing so is not allowed. All criticism must be superficial and trivial.
The problem is that the contrivers get by with it. Significant social criticism is not being allowed, while contrivers get more and more unreal.
The specific examples of how this works are very clear. Renewable energy is a contrived absurdity, as demonstrated in Europe, where Germany is building new coal plants, and England is building a new nuclear reactor, because their economies cannot survive more renewables. They have 25% renewables (15% solar and wind), while the price of their electricity is 8 to 10 times what it costs with coal.
Solar energy can never be relevant on a large scale for two major reasons. One: Solar will never be used on a significant scale outside southwestern US, where there is low overcast and bad weather. Two: Six hours per day of high intensity radiation (one fourth of the time) will never be significant. Backup systems gain almost nothing but more expense from solar disruption for six hours per day.
Increasing the time by turning with the sun increase the required surface area proportionately, while less light gets through the longer path through the atmosphere. This means there must be more space between each collector to avoid shadowing from another collector.
Wind power has similar problems. Wind can stop blowing for days at a time. A backup system of 100% is required. Having that system sit around unused is extremely wasteful. Wind changes so fast that backup systems need to be always on.
Transmission lines are required for wind and utility-scale solar. Transmission lines generally cost as much or more than the production costs for the energy, and they lose energy along the lines.
For short lines, a minimum of 20% loss is built in; for longer lines it is 50%. The reason is because there is resistance in the metal which creates heat as a loss of energy. To reduce the resistance by half requires twice as much metal. To reduce loss from 20% to 10% would require two lines instead of one. To reduce loss on long lines from 50% to 25% would require two long lines instead of one.
This is why there is a shortage of transmission lines in the US. The distances that must be covered are too large. It's a losing battle between energy loss and massive lines. It doesn't pay. Explanations of Energy Efficiency
The metals which make transmission lines expensive are refined with coke, which comes from coal.
Energy storage systems which convert to other forms of energy lose about 60% transforming in, and another 60% transforming back to electricity. Salvaging 40% of 40% is 16% recoverable.
Environmental damage and human disturbance are usually unacceptable for both solar and wind energy, even on a small scale. Scaling up would be prohibitive.
Solar and wind run into a barrier around 15% of electrical power, because electrical systems cannot tolerate more than 15% fluctuations, and backup systems are not perfect enough to remove fluctuations. No one can get past the 15% barrier with solar and wind combined beyond obfuscation over numbers and diversions.
The 36% wind energy in Iowa is not an exception. The lines are connected to a larger area which reduces the real average, while much of the energy goes into ethanol production. With only 5.6% of the electrical generation from natural gas, what does Iowa do when the wind stops? It shows that the wind energy which is used for normal electrical purposes is a small part of the surrounding systems which it is integrated intocertainly a lot less than 15%.
Soak the Rate Payers
All of this expensive garbage is being glamorized as endless development with no end in sight. Supposedly, the proof is in he puddinga pudding of jobs, jobs, jobs and free energy.
The real pudding is bankruptcy for the consumers who have to pay for it particularly the lower classes. No one asked the lower classes if they want to pay an additional $200-300 per month to reduce the temperature 0.7°C. Energy companies used to bitch about the expense, but they have since learned that there is more money in waste, fraud and abuse than in real products. Governments now allow them to pass on the expenses to the consumers; so the more waste in the process, the higher the profits. There is no end until the public gets tired of paying for the expensive destructivity.
Renewable energy exists for one reason only: cost-plus. Nine percent of waste, fraud and abuse is a lot more profit than 9% of efficiency.
The larger a windmill is, the less efficient it is, because the stand is 90% of the cost (including more than a hundred truckloads of concrete at the base). Yet windmills keep getting larger, because there is a lot more profit in the cost-plus of waste, fraud and abuse than in efficiency.