Shiny Inexperienced California Dreaming

Visitor Submit by Willis Eschenbach

In my latest publish yclept Shiny Inexperienced Impossibilities, I confirmed that it isn’t humanly attainable to get rid of fossil gasoline CO2 emissions by 2050. I stay in California, the center of the inexperienced lunacy. Right here, there’s a bunch referred to as Local weather-Secure California. Provided that there isn’t any signal of the much-hyped “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” I’m unsure what they’re making an attempt to maintain us “secure” from … however I digress. Their genius plan is to scale back fossil-fuel emissions by 80% beneath 1990 ranges by the yr 2030.

Now, vitality use will proceed to extend in California, however that can largely be offset by will increase in effectivity and adjustments in manufacturing, with much less CO2 per unit of fossil gasoline used. Actually, present California emissions are solely about 1% larger than they had been 30 years in the past in 1990. So to achieve their purpose, if we miss magical fairy mud and big imaginary vacuums sucking CO2 out of the air, we’d have to scale back fossil gasoline use by 80% by 2030.

The inexperienced of us suppose this may be completed with wind and photo voltaic … however the unhappy reality is, you want one thing near 100% backup for the occasions when the wind doesn’t blow and the solar doesn’t shine. We’re already struggling occasional blackouts as a consequence of our insane dependence on costly, intermittent wind and photo voltaic. Given the existence of that ugly factor referred to as “actuality” that inexperienced of us wish to ignore, meaning now we have to exchange fossil fuels with nuclear-generated electrical energy.

So how a lot fossil gasoline does California presently use? Seems its about 1.7 petawatt-hours (PWh, or 1015 watt-hours) per yr. And to exchange 80% of this with nuclear, permitting for peak energy and downtime, now we have to extend our era capability by about 307 gigawatts (GW, or 109 watts). By comparability, Diablo Canyon, the one remaining nuclear energy plant in California after inexperienced activists have had their say, generates 2.3 GW of electrical energy … 307 GW wanted, 2.3 GW per huge nuke plant, 8-1/2 years to do it … are you able to see an issue creating right here?

Now, they need to do that by 2030. So we have to discover websites, do feasibility research, buy land, get permits and licenses, manufacture, excavate, set up, check and hook as much as the grid a 2 GW nuclear plant, a bit smaller than Diablo Canyon, every three weeks from now to 2030. And that’s beginning tomorrow …

It’s value noting that within the US, the timespan from feasibility research to grid hookup is longer than ten years … so if we began tomorrow, by 2030 we’d have precisely zero new nuclear crops on-line. Right here’s an outline of the US course of:

And other people with business expertise say that timeline is optimistic, it may be 15-20 years … to not point out the extraordinary opposition from California greens to something nuclear.

Nonetheless need wind? To do it with wind, we’d have to seek out websites, do feasibility research, buy land, get permits and licenses, manufacture, excavate, set up, check and hook as much as the grid at least 1,000 two-megawatt (MW, or 106 watts) wind generators, every single week from now to 2030. And that’s beginning tomorrow … a thousand per week.

Photo voltaic sound higher? NREL says the precise supply 24/7/365 of of grid-scale photo voltaic farms averages 8.3 W/m2 of floor space (not panel space). That’s 8.3 MW per sq. kilometer of floor space. So to do it with photo voltaic, we’d have to seek out websites, do feasibility research, buy land, get permits and licenses, manufacture, excavate, set up, check and hook as much as the grid at least 83 sq. kilometers (32 sq. miles) of photo voltaic farms, every single week from now to 2030. And once more, that’s beginning tomorrow …

Simply discovering appropriate land for that scale of improvement is sort of unimaginable. Right here’s some data from California concerning how arduous it’s to seek out appropriate land for solar energy.


… One other difficulty is the truth that such photo voltaic ‘farms’ require enormous tracts of land. The Bureau of Land Administration (BLM) has been tasked with discovering 24 tracts of public land of three sq. miles every with good photo voltaic publicity, favorable slopes, street and transmission line availability. Moreover, the land put aside for utility-scale photo voltaic farms should not disturb native wildlife or endangered species such because the desert tortoise, the desert bighorn sheep, and others. The wildlife difficulty has proved to be a contentious one. Initiatives in California have been halted as a result of risk prompted to endangered species leading to a backlog of 158 industrial tasks with which the BLM is presently contending.

Word that the BLM is having hassle discovering a mere 75 sq. miles of land for solar energy era that doesn’t have an excessive amount of impression on the surroundings, and we’re speaking about constructing 31 sq. miles of latest solar energy per week … for the subsequent 446 weeks … yeah, that’s completely legit.

Then, after all, there may be the stupendous value of this complete enterprise. Along with the decommissioning prices of our present producing amenities, the fee to construct 100 plus new nuclear crops, plus placing lots of of 1000’s of individuals out of labor, and eliminating lots of of 1000’s of automotive gasoline stations, the complete electrical grid must be massively upgraded to permit it to hold all the ability for newly electrical properties, companies, industries, and vehicles.

And that’s not simply changing the wires, together with rewiring each residence like mine that makes use of gasoline for cooking and for water and area heating. It’s changing the transformers, switches, substations, management techniques, overload safety, breaker packing containers, and each different a part of the grid as effectively.

Actually, to try this the California grid must deal with at least 3.75 occasions the ability it’s presently carrying … that’s what “massively upgraded means”. Not simply upsized by 10%, and even 100%. It can require three and three-quarters occasions the quantity of wiring, switches, substations, and all the remainder.

In keeping with the California Public Utilities Fee, California has 25,526 miles of upper voltage transmission traces and 239,557 miles of distribution traces, two-thirds of that are overhead and one-third underground. So we’d want to put in one other 94,000 miles of high-voltage line and 886,000 miles of distribution traces. At a fee of 440 miles each workday. From now till 2030. Beginning tomorrow.

Or we might pull out all ~ quarter-million miles of traces, above and below-ground, and exchange them with a lot, a lot larger wires.

Billions and billions and billions of {dollars} in pursuit of an unattainable chimera, on a quest that can do nothing to alter the local weather.

I gotta say … the truth that impassioned however completely innumerate of us just like the “Local weather-Secure California” individuals get listened to in any respect offers me nightmares about how many individuals have fallen for the Nice Inexperienced Local weather Rip-off … let me be clear:

It. Can’t. Be. Achieved. That is simply one other shiny inexperienced unimaginable fantasy.

Sigh …


AS ALWAYS: I can defend and clarify my phrases and am joyful to take action. I can’t defend or clarify your interpretation of my phrases. So please, QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING.


  • California CO2 Emissions By Yr: EIA
  • California Main Vitality Consumption: EIA
  • California Complete System Electrical Era By Gasoline: California Vitality Fee

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS: I gotta give enormous props to Anthony Watts, who conceived of and created WUWT, and to Charles The Moderator and the entire volunteer moderators all over the world. My because of you all.

Charles noticed the draft of what I used to be writing and despatched me the next, one issued an hour in the past and one a couple of minutes in the past immediately (Wednesday, June 16) by CAISO, the California Impartial Methods Operator chargeable for the operation of the California electrical grid. Prime one is the latest.

An hour in the past … “no anticipation of outages”. One minute in the past … “Flexalert”, and “preserve electrical energy” … the lunacy of unreliable, intermittent, principally ineffective renewable vitality by no means ends.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t be misled by my contempt for the trendy “environmental” teams. I’m and have been since my youth what I might describe as a real environmentalist, versus immediately’s “watermelon environmentalists”, who’re inexperienced on the surface and strong Marxist crimson on the within … right here’s a publish on that.

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