The Chaos and Calamities the Green New Deal Promises

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


California is always ahead of other states — in pursuing dumb ideas. It has been practicing a Green New Deal approach to energy for years with awful results.

The Green New Deal has been underway in California for some time now, yielding market distortions, high electric rates and impossible tax burdens. It is also failing miserably with respect to its underlying objective; reducing emissions. The reasons are hard to explain, yet states such as New Jersey and New York seem determined to emulate the California Green new Deal foolishness.

Here’s what I mean by the failure to meet goal:

green new deal

Notice that Pennsylvania and Ohio, the heart of the Appalachian Shale Basin, where the glorious shale permitted access to inexpensive clean natural gas to replace coal achieved CO2 reductions of more than three times those of California with its green new deal. Moreover, both states achieved absolute CO2 emissions of roughly 2.5 times California. And, that was starting out with emissions that were only about 70% of California’s.

The state that wants to imagine itself as the leader doesn’t even come close to Appalachian shale states. It’s green new deal is a dud when it comes to what it’s supposedly all about. Indeed, its CO2 emissions reduction of 6.9% just barely rises to the national average of 13.4% over the 2005-2016 period.

California does excel at raising residential electric rates, though, according to the Energy Information Administration’s data for 2017:

green new deal

California, in other words, has brought the German Energiewende to America; lots of political correctness and virtue signaling, little to no progress on emissions and out-of-sight electric prices. And, New Jersey and New York want in on the game.

What all of these states haven’t understood, because they don’t want to understand, are the problems associated with the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy. It’s all revealed in a very neat chart updated daily at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) website. The chart for yesterday, which is typical, follows:

green new deal

This chart shows how California’s energy demand is spread throughout the day and how much is supplied by solar and wind. That’s the light green portion of the chart. The light blue portion is what has to be made up with dispatchable energy from nuclear and natural gas fueled power plants. Despite the theoretical capacity of solar and wind, it is incapable of producing energy on demand, which means the dispatchable energy facilities have to be ramped up to the point they supply more than 90% of all energy demanded.

This is why solar and wind have such low capacity factors. They’re so inefficient as to be all but useless after 5 PM until 7 AM the next morning; about half the day overall. Worse, because the gas plants have to constantly ramp up and down, they are made more inefficient as well and they generate more expense and more CO2 than would ever be required if they were simply to operate more or less around the clock. This tends to off-set any gains made by substituting solar and wind for gas. And, the more solar and wind added to the system, the worse everything gets, especially financially.

To top it off, too much solar and wind energy produced when not needed must be nonetheless purchased and disposed of at a loss, which only raises electric prices further. This is not to mention the duplication of investment required when natural gas or nuclear plants capable of supplying more than 90% of all energy demands at a give moment are necessary.

This is the lunacy of the California’s green new deal and green new deals in general. They raise electric prices, while worsening the ability to meet emissions goals, damaging the entire energy system in the process. It’s chaos and calamities all along the way. God forbid we try this on a national scale.

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7 thoughts on “The Chaos and Calamities the Green New Deal Promises

    • Electric prices skyrocketing, emissions progress almost zilch compared to us; what more do you need to know. And, they haven’t closed coal plants yet. That’s the point. They’re still mining the dirtiest coal in the world as we’ve been cleaning the air with gas substitutions.

  1. Thank you for all this information!!

    Note: I unfortunately was raised in C.A., bought a house and looked into those solar panels to be put on my house. The key to selling the solar panels, forces owner to find aqualified buyer that must keep those solar panels up, or no sale. Big C.A. SCAM!!

  2. Good article but just scratches the surface of what is happening in CA. CA id like an alcoholic as it must apparently goes further into the depths of depravity before it wakes up. I have said that before, and it is truer now than ever. The new GQ Governor is adamant into turning this state into a solar and Cuisinart farm and ending all fossil fuel production. The man and his sycophants are either energy innumerate or simply incapable of objective thinking. I expect, as an oilman, the next eight years will be probably the last for most independents who simply are tired as heck of all this bs. There are still about 40% of the population that is conservative and don’t cotton to all this nonsense, but that group is now out-voted mainly due to the recent Hispanic invasion that are allowed to vote without citizenship. The Dem experiment with open borders has worked better than they expected – to the peril of the rest of us in innumerable ways.

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