Bjorn Lomborg

Onder de titel, ‘Blowing It On the Wind’, is Bjørn Lomborg er weer in geslaagd de mainstream media, waaronder de Duitse ‘Die Welt’, te bereiken met zijn ketterse, doch realistische ideeën over de tekortkomingen van windenergie.

Ik citeer:

When considering climate change, most people think wind turbines and solar panels are a big part of the solution. But, over the next 25 years, the contribution of solar and wind power to resolving the problem will be trivial – and the cost will be enormous.

The International Energy Agency estimates that about 0.4% of global energy now comes from solar and wind. Even in 2040, with all governments implementing all of their green promises, solar and wind will make up just 2.2% of global energy. This is partly because wind and solar help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions only from electricity generation, …. but not from the energy used in industry, transport, buildings, and agriculture.

But the main reason why wind and solar power cannot be a major solution to climate change stems from an almost insurmountable obstacle: we need power when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.

This has major implications for claims about costs. For example, wind power, we are repeatedly told, is just about to be cheaper than fossil fuels – or even, as a recent global news story claimed, that it is now cheaper than fossil fuels in Germany and the United Kingdom.

This is mostly a mirage – large-scale wind power will not work anytime soon without subsidies. ….[W] wind is cheaper only when the wind blows. When the wind is not blowing, wind-generated electricity is the most expensive electricity of all, because it cannot be bought at any price.

Installing more wind generators makes the electricity they produce less valuable. The first wind turbine brings a slightly above-average price per kWh. But with 30% market share, since all wind producers sell electricity at the same time (when the wind blows), the electricity is worth only 70% of the average electricity price. Solar prices drop even faster at similar market shares. So wind and solar generators have to be much cheaper than the average price to be competitive.

Moreover, wind and solar make fossil-fuel-generated electricity more expensive. Some people may think that is a good thing; but, if our societies are to continue functioning in cloudy, windless weather, that means relying on some fossil fuels. The IEA estimates that 56% of electricity will come from fossil fuels in 2040, with nuclear and hydro accounting for another 28%.

Significant wind and solar usage reduces the number of hours gas and coal generation operates; with large fixed costs, this makes every kWh more expensive. In a real electricity market, this would result in much higher electricity costs on windless evenings. But this is politically problematic, which is why markets are often constructed to spike much less. …

Keeping the lights on means either accepting much higher prices or emulating what many European governments are beginning to do – namely, subsidize fossil-fuel plants. For example, in 2018 alone, the UK will pay nearly £1 billion ($1.5 billion), mostly to fossil-fuel-based generators, to keep backup capacity available for peak power usage. Building more wind and solar generating capacity with subsidies means societies end up paying three times for power – once for the power, once for subsidies to inefficient renewables, and once more to subsidize our now-inefficient fossil fuels.

Many will say, “But at least we cut CO2.” That is true, although the reduction is perhaps only half of what is often touted, because the back-up power needed to smooth intermittent wind and solar is often more CO₂-heavy. Moreover, we pay dearly for these cuts. In 2013, the world produced 635 TWh of wind electricity and paid at least $28 billion in subsidies, or $76 per avoided ton of CO₂, and likely twice or more than that. When the estimated damage costs of CO2 are about $5 per ton, and a ton of CO2 can be cut in the European Union for about $10, we are paying a dollar to do less than 7-13 cents of good for the climate. And its positive impact on the climate is negligible. …

One day, when the wind price has fallen much further and solar is almost as cheap as wind, significant investments in wind and solar could be a great idea. But even after decades of capital reallocation, these sources might account for a bit less than a quarter of our electricity.

In short, a world powered by solar and wind – one that has resolved the climate challenge – is very unlikely anytime soon.

Lees verder hier.

De door Lomborg gepresenteerde cijfers voor windenergie laten zien dat deze vorm van energie nooit rendabel kan worden. Maar ze zijn nog gunstiger dan die welke door Kees le Pair en Fred Udo op grond van ervaringen in Ierland zijn berekend. In zijn laatste publicatie schreef Kees le Pair over het Nederlandse windenergiebeleid:

Mijn verwachting blijft: bij 25% windstroom is er geen brandstofbesparing, geen verminderde CO2-uitstoot en zijn we meer dan 60 miljard Euro kwijt.

Bjørn Lomborg is geen klimaatscepticus pur sang. Hij aanvaardt de AGW–hypothese (AGW = ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’). Er is wel eens gesuggereerd dat hij daar diep in zijn hart niet aan zou geloven, maar dat niet bekent omdat dit hem buiten de discussie zou plaatsen en nadelig zou zijn voor zijn toegang tot de media. Maar Lomborg heeft dat nooit bevestigd. Zijn kritiek beperkt zich tot het klimaatbeleid, niet de wetenschappelijke onderbouwing van het AGW–hypothese. Van het het beleid heeft hij overduidelijk aangetoond dat dit onvoorstelbaar duur is en geen aantoonbaar effect heeft op het klimaat.

Ondertussen blijven extreme AGW–adepten hem het leven zuur maken. Hij had vergevorderde plannen om aan de ‘University of Western Australia’ een studiecentrum op te zetten, naar het voorbeeld van zijn instituut in Kopenhagen. Maar daar is nu een stokje voor gestoken door de Australische regering.

Onder de titel, ‘Turnbull axes Lomborg Centre. No one who questions the holy power of Wind and Solar allowed in Australian academia’, schreef Joanne Nova daarover:

The Turnbull government has announced that that the offer of funding has now been withdrawn for the The Lomborg Consensus Centre in Australia. The bullies, and emotional hysterics win this round. At UWA he was called “dangerous”. At Flinders Uni people were “repulsed” by Lomborg. But the irrational emotional language means the fear of the freeloaders is on display. They are very very scared of critical press releases from any credible sources. No one who questions the holy power of the Wind and Solar Gods can be employed in Australian academia. Can wind-farms stop the storms? Thou shalt not ask!

We’ll spend $10 billion on “Clean Energy” but not even $4 million to analyze whether that money was well spent. Did it change the global climate? Anyone?

Lomborg accepts the establishment science, but even with a $4 million sweetener he is too threatening to the monoculture of Australian universities.
Turnbull must know that Lomborg’s economic analysis would have awful news for the renewables industry and would show up the emissions trading scheme for the pointless waste of money that it is. This tells us exactly how much Turnbull cares about academic freedom, the Australian taxpayer and the environment.

Aldus Jo Nova.

Lees verder hier.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.