Biden addresses his own political disaster with energy fantasy – Watts Up With That?

This review was first published January 2, 2022 at the Washington Times

by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels – January 4, 2022

Predicting earlier in December that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) could tweak his climate plan (which he did on December 19 on Fox News), President Biden signed an Executive Order. The order dictates that all electricity used by the federal government be from “100 percent carbon-free sources” by 2030.

This order means that the federal juices must either come from zero-emissions sources (such as solar and wind) or any sequestered carbon dioxide emissions, which usually means burying them underground. soil. There hasn’t been enough success with this “isolation” to make any dents in the growing global emissions curve. Biden’s non-carbon dioxide sources apparently include electricity from nuclear fission, which his green allies are desperately trying to shut out of business.

Our Energy Information Administration (EIA) claims to be completely 40% carbon dioxide-free, with 20% coming from “renewable” solar and wind turbines and 20% from nuclear. .

Rapeseed field in front of the nuclear power plant

The kernel is off the table. California is about to shut down its lone nuclear at Diablo Canyon, which provides nearly 10% of the state’s energy. Last April, (then) Governor Cuomo shut down one of New York’s Indian Point factories, which the AP boldly titled “Gone Fission”. There are three reactors left in state.

So how will the government deliver the remaining 60% of electricity by 2030, which now comes mainly from natural gas (40%) and coal (20%)? It won’t be made up of nuclear, as there’s only one new plant in the existing pipeline, Georgia Power’s Vogtle plant, slated for completion in 2024. It’s unlikely that any will happen. other until after 2030.

Biden’s order means all of this electricity will come from wind and sun. (New zero-emission hydropower is a politically unwise thing.) But they are extremely unreliable. The sun is below half the horizon and too close to the horizon to produce a lot of electricity for at least an hour after sunrise and before sunset. Ninety percent of the incoming solar radiation can be blocked by the dense gloom. And some of the coldest temperatures occur when the wind isn’t stirring the air, which also causes electricity demand to peak without a supply from the wind.

Because a stable grid requires a steady supply of electricity, quick redundancy can only be achieved by maintaining a large number of gas-fired generators. The magnitude of this became apparent last February in Texas, when improperly insulated gas plants were unable to make up for the shortfall in wind generation. The Texas power grid, independent of the rest of the country, went completely black within minutes, restarting from there will take up to a month. With frigid temperatures, it would be one of the biggest disasters in American history.

Aside from handling the disaster, Biden’s Executive Order is a fantasy. The government cannot deploy enough solar and wind power – let alone make it reliable – to provide all the electricity without emitting carbon dioxide. No battery technology can reliably respond to wind and solar disruptions. Protecting this fragile grid from its apparent inability to provide a steady stream of electricity 24/7 will require massive redundancy from a source as nimble as natural gas.

It’s not clear that Biden – or whoever was handing him the flashcards before he faced the cameras – was interacting with reality when ordering the federal government to do the simply impossible. .

Fortunately, people are catching up. The likelihood that he will have any legislative power after next year’s election is slim. The Democrats made an unrealistic deal that they could push such a weak and damaged president for four years without an electoral disaster interfering. Barack Obama lost 65 hours in his seat to political excesses in the 2010 congressional races. Biden’s poll numbers – as shown by the general congressional vote – were even worse, much worse. For now, the resignation of the largest ruling political party in US history seems not only possible, but likely.

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels was a senior fellow at the CO2 Alliance in Arlington VA, a Virginia State Climatologist from 1980-2007, and a past President of the American Association of State Climatologists. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental and Science Policy Project

This review was first published January 2, 2022 at the Washington Times


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