We made it through one convention week and are bracing for the next. As far as the nation’s energy policy goes, the two political parties could not be more different. We bring you a smattering of what we read. Of interest is that there are now growing concerns internationally about the unintended consequences of countries trying to jam more renewables onto their grids. No less than the New York Times -YES!- the ideologically challenged NYT- ran a story with such shocking pronouncements as:
· “But in what may be the most worrisome development in the combat against climate change, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-carbon electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy. The United States, and indeed the world, would do well to reconsider the promise and the limitations of its infatuation with renewable energy.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/business/energy-environment/how-renewable-energy-is-blowing-climate-change-efforts-off-course.html?_r=1
· “An analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, narrowly distributed two weeks ago, estimated that nuclear reactors that produce 56 percent of the country’s nuclear power would be unprofitable over the next three years. If those were to go under and be replaced with gas-fired generators, an additional 200 million tons of carbon dioxide would be spewed into the atmosphere every year.”
· “In Germany, where renewables have mostly replaced nuclear power, carbon emissions are rising, even as Germans pay the most expensive electricity rates in Europe. In South Australia, the all-wind strategy is taking its toll. And in California, the costs of renewables are also apparent.”
· “Displacing nuclear energy clearly makes the battle against climate change more difficult. But that is not what is most worrying. What if the world eventually discovers that renewables can’t do the job alone? “I worry about lock-in,” Ms. Mazurek said. “If it doesn’t work, the climate doesn’t have time for a do-over.”
Is the left starting to “get it”? Reminds us of Pogo’s cartoon words on the first Earth Day in 1970: “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
Former New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman believes in the need to address climate change but she is also concerned about growing demand for electricity, “we’re not going to be able to meet our needs if we’re looking at a 40 percent increase in electricity demand by 2030 whatever the numbers are today; 23 percent demand. I can’t even remember now, but we’re looking at demand growing. If we’re going to meet that by 2040, we’re not going to get there with renewables. We’re going to have to have some other form of base power.” Gov. Whitman goes on to say in an interview included below that “Westinghouse is building four, right now under construction, four nuclear reactors in China that’s accounting for 15,000 jobs in this country. So that will address climate issue. No matter where those nuclear reactors are built, although I would prefer they’d be built in this country as well and especially small modular reactors, the next generation, but still that’s a job creator. That’s something Republicans should like. So whether they believe in climate change or care about clean air, OK. Take that off the table, but say here. You can get to where we want to go on those other two issues, but do it without emphasizing that.” Translation: if you want to address climate and if you want clean air – Republicans can get you there with new generation nuclear energy but you will NEVER get there with renewables.
When you put the NYT story alongside of Governor Whitman’s remarks, it is all the more maddening to see AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION the phony Ohio Conservative Energy Forum to pushing a renewable energy policy for the country and for Ohio. But more disturbing is that they co-opted (or created) the Young Conservatives for Energy Reform to work with the Christian Coalition to implement their crony, taxpayer-subsidized renewable agenda. As reported, “The two organizations are busy this week at the Republican National Convention. They are not addressing the delegates or holding press conferences. Instead, they are waging a guerilla war to change the minds of elected Republicans and party officials about the need to embrace renewable energy technologies. The two joined with a new Ohio-based conservative group, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, on Monday evening to host a two-hour party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tower City.” Reports say that Senator Faber was there. Makes you want to tear your hair out….
…Come being a cap on carbon, which is what the Clean Power Plan was really getting at and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been so supportive of nuclear energy because, well, we can and will do better with the renewables, with wind and solar and hydro, we’re not going to be able to meet our needs if we’re looking at a 40 percent increase in electricity demand by 2030 whatever the numbers are today; 23 percent demand. I can’t even remember now, but we’re looking at demand growing.
If we’re going to meet that by 2040, we’re not going to get there with renewables. We’re going to have to have some other form of base power —
Monica Trauzzi: How about natural gas?
Christine Todd Whitman: Well, natural gas is certainly better than coal. No two ways about it as far as being clean, but not nearly as clean as nuclear. Nuclear’s the only form of base power that produces no greenhouse gases while it’s producing power. The good thing about nuclear is that uranium takes such a small amount of uranium to produce so much power that you can lock in long-term contracts. So you’re not subject to the whims of natural gas fluctuations and prices and effects of weather and things like that that have an impact on the prices…