Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
Energy realities are the proper tools of rebuttal for cleaning up the green slime generated by crackpot and frackpot utopians with ideas that can’t work.
Mark Mills is one of those experts at the Manhattan Institute who are so darned good at confront fantasy with facts. I previously published some of his material here and here, but now he’s gone one better. He’s put together a list of 41 energy realities in an article titled “Inconvenient Energy Realities” on the Manhattan Institute website E21. It’s well worth reading in its entirety, but I thought I’d just highlight a few of the most stunning energy realities.
- The small two percentage-point decline in the hydrocarbon share of world energy use entailed over $2 trillion in cumulative global spending on alternatives over that period; solar and wind today supply less than 2% of the global energy.
- A 100x growth in the number of electric vehicles to 400 million on the roads by 2040 would displace 5% of global oil demand.
- Renewable energy would have to expand 90-fold to replace global hydrocarbons in two decades. It took a half-century for global petroleum production to expand “only” 10-fold.
- Efficiency increases energy demand by making products & services cheaper: since 1990, global energy efficiency improved 33%, the economy grew 80% and global energy use is up 40%.
- Since 1995, energy used per byte is down about 10,000-fold, but global data traffic rose about a million-fold; global electricity used for computing soared.
- Batteries produced annually by the Tesla Gigafactory (world’s biggest battery factory) can store three minutes worth of annual U.S. electric demand.
- To make enough batteries to store two-day’s worth of U.S. electricity demand would require 1,000 years of production by the Gigafactory.
- It costs about the same to build one shale well or two wind turbines: the latter, combined, produces 0.7 barrels of oil (equivalent energy) per hour, the shale rig averages 10 barrels of oil per hour.
- It costs less than $0.50 to store a barrel of oil, or its equivalent in natural gas, but it costs $200 to store the equivalent energy of a barrel of oil in batteries.
- In order to compensate for episodic wind/solar output, U.S. utilities are using oil- and gas-burning reciprocating engines (big cruise-ship-like diesels); three times as many have been added to the grid since 2000 as in the 50 years prior to that.
- At least 100 pounds of materials are mined, moved and processed for every pound of battery fabricated.
- It takes the energy-equivalent of 100 barrels of oil to fabricate a quantity of batteries that can store the energy equivalent of a single barrel of oil.
Pretty fascinating energy realities, aren’t they? So, the next time you hear or read something from some crackpot ideologue or frackpot (a term for which I give credit to a faithful reader) trust-funder stating how the world will be shifting to all renewables in a blink of the eye, retort with some of the above. You might also mention it is the massive lowering of electric generation costs by fracking that has allowed states such as New York to redeploy the savings by using them to finance ridiculous renewables subsidies at ratepayer expense. The community profits of fracking are too often being wasted on more green eggs and scam.