If the delusional but dead serious demands coming out of the international climate crisis community are to be believed, and as documented in the earlier two segments of this report, achieving universal energy security in the world will require wind energy capacity to increase by a factor of 60, while solar capacity increases by a factor of 100. The mix between wind and solar can vary, of course, but the required overall increase is indisputable. As noted in Part One of this report, that would be a very best-case scenario, where extraordinary improvements in energy efficiency meant that total energy production worldwide would only have to increase to 1,000 exajoules per year, from an estimated 600 exajoules in 2022.
Finally, and as explained in Part Two, this is preposterous. Wind and solar energy cannot possibly increase in global capacity by a multiple of 50-100 times. It is utterly infeasible. As noted, “The uptick in mining, the land consumed, the expansion of transmission lines, the necessity for a staggering quantity of electricity storage assets to balance these intermittent sources, the vulnerability of wind and solar farms to weather events including deep freezes, tornadoes, and hail, and the stupefying task of doing it all over again every 20-30 years as the wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, and storage batteries reach the end of their useful lives—all of this suggests procuring 90+ percent of global energy from wind and solar energy is a fool’s errand.”
One may nonetheless argue that other forms of energy can supplement wind and solar in order to still fulfill the climate community’s goal to completely displace oil, natural gas, and coal. But what then, and in what proportions? Here are the alternatives:
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