-By Dan Scott
Recently, President Bush has seemly signed onto the AGW bandwagon by giving it legitimacy. While his approach in elevating nuclear power as the solution to this non problem is rational from the energy independence, national security, foreign policy and balance of trade perspectives, no AGW promoter will sign on to such a solution. Not Al Gore, not Nancy Pelosi, not Harry Reid. There is a reason why no nuclear power plant has been built in the US since the Three Mile Island incident, which by the way no one was killed. The idea of nuclear power generation is dead in the US, even if the NRC grants the permits to build the power plants, the environmental lobby supported by their allies in the Democrat Party will tie up such permits with ceaseless litigation as they tried with the border fence. Department of Homeland Security played its trump card of the national security waiver to stop the environmental excuses. The result will be a minimum of 10 years (2018) before the first power plant comes on line if the power companies have deep enough pockets to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation costs.
Given the recent actions of State Power Commissions blocking numerous coal fired electric plants, the country will be faced with the harsh reality of soaring electric rates and soaring natural gas prices. Why soaring natural gas prices? The only alternative to nuclear and coal is the natural gas. Electrical power generation by natural gas is in direct competition with residential use for cooking, laundry and heating (space & water) in addition to general industry. The competition for this limited resource will spark price hikes just as in the 1970s since we are importing natural gas. This one – two punch on the consumer will condemn the economy to anemic growth rates indefinitely. The cost of electricity under this scenario will go up 5 fold by 2025. Take your current electric bill and multiply by 5, can you afford AGW?
Some of you, reading this are shaking your heads violently saying there are alternatives such as solar, wind power and conservation. Let’s examine all three so called alternatives. First let’s state a reality that politicians and environmentalists have refused to discuss with the public regarding their target dates, the population of the US is projected to increase to 350 million people in 2025, a 20% increase. The second fact politicians and environmentalists gloss over is the fact that energy consumption is proportional to population increase. The truth is for the last 30 years, the per capita rate of energy consumption in this country has been flat, it hasn’t increased nor has it decreased. The reason for this is all the energy efficiency gains we have achieved through technology have been taken up by the rising standard of living.
The solar power alternative touted as the PC thing to do has three major drawbacks. Firstly, the period of power generation for solar is during the daytime only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Due to the angle of the sun rising and setting, there isn’t very much power generation before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m. This leaves us with a problem, the other 20 hours of the day. As of 2006, the US consumes 4,065 Billion kwh (4.065 trillion) per year! Let’s do some rough estimates of what it would take in land area just to supply 4 hours worth of electricity a day using solar (4,0654 billion/365 days/24 hrs x 4 hours) 1.856 billion kwh for the peak electric use of the day. This represents 16.7% ((1.856×365)/4065) of the total electricity used and as such is the maximum theoretical limit of solar power. Now the greatest demand for electricity is during this peak time period of 10 to 2, so the hourly average kwh use over 24 hrs is going to be substantially less than what is used during this time period. Using this rather conservative number will allow for the existing power generation to supply the base amount needed for the country. Current photovoltaic systems produce approximately 12 watts per square foot. We said the country uses 1.856 billion kwh for 4 hours so that’s 1,856 billion watthours. Dividing by 4 for the per hour rate is 464 billion watthours per hour. Dividing by 12 to get the square footage necessary to produce that electricity is 38.66 billion square feet. There are 43,560 square feet in one acre, dividing by this figure will give us some perspective – 887,511 acres of solar panels (that’s if there were no space between the solar arrays). There are 640 acres in a square mile, so that’s 1,386 square miles of land area. So in terms of land area, is this outside the realm of reason? You tell me. Now if you overcame the issues of electrical storage with new high tech batteries not yet invented, Multiply by 6 to get the total land area needed for solar power. Third, at the current $8 per watt installed cost, we would need $3.712 trillion to produce electricity for 4 hours a day. And we haven’t even entertained the idea that these panels might last 20 years whereas conventional power plants can last up to 50 or more years.
Wind power is being touted as the means to over come the problems with the limited hours of solar power. We have a problem, a typical wind turbine only produces power 40% of the time due to the variability of wind. The Danes have found this out the hard way. That leaves us without power for 60% of the time which means we must have 100% backup capacity using a coal or natural gas fired electric plant. The total backup requirement means not only do you have to spend money on building a wind turbine but also for a complete backup power station, which means essentially no cost savings what so ever as the installed cost is literally double just to start off.
Now let’s talk conservation, the largest area where a significant amount of energy reduction can be had for the fewest amount of dollars (the low hanging fruit) would be namely getting rid of all those incandescent light bulbs and replacing them with compact fluorescents which use 75% less power. No other area of electric use has this type of possible energy savings, never mind the cost of investment to achieve even 10% from the other uses. So what if we did that, what would be the results? In 2001, the latest figure available, we used 100.1 billion kwh for residential lighting, commercial buildings primarily use fluorescent so we won’t get that much savings there. Let’s for the sake of argument say all of that was incandescent lighting to give us a very generous savings of 75 billion kwh. The problem is this, never mind the mercury issue, no big deal, due to population growth at 20% by 2025, that one shot savings in electricity which represents 1.8% (75/4,065) of the current electricity used will be overtaken within one year since our annual growth in electric use is 3% due to population growth. There is no way, save for some magical waving of the conservation wand, that will stop the annual increase of electric consumption due to population growth, never mind using LESS in 2025.
What does this all mean? If you are an AGW believer you have a choice, either accept nuclear power and tell your representatives to stop listening to the environmental wackos who insist upon wind and solar or give up on AGW. Pick one, because you can’t do both. Of course you could always insist on an immediate halt to all immigration into the country to forestall the population increase or you could accept a reduction in your living standard by having to pay a 5 fold rate increase. If you are a non believer, a skeptic or flat earther, you have a choice, go along with the insanity and be ready to accept a reduction in living standard or call/email your representative today and tell them to demand a national security waiver for nuclear power plants to sidestep all the litigation and say ENOUGH ALREADY! Folks, I haven’t even talked about the proposed INCREASE in the ethanol requirement and the effect on poor people worldwide at this time. Nor did I cover the HCFC reductions, the refrigerant for your air conditioners and refrigerators. We are about to embark on the greatest self-inflicted economic wound in history.
Dan Scott calls himself a “Member of the Global Capitalist Cabal preaching Capitalism and personal responsibility as the economic solution to world poverty.” He is also a member of the 14th Amendment Society — victimhood is a liberal code word for denying the civil rights of others. He is also a proud member of the Global Warming Denier Cabal, insisting that facts not agendas determine the truth.
Dan can be seen on the web at http://www.geocities.com/fightbigotry2002/ as well as http://www.geocities.com/dscott8186/saidwebpage.htm, And can be reached for comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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