BigWind ‘spins’ the TRUTH at Ohio House

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Last week the Ohio House Energy Generation Subcommittee heard a presentation from Dayna Baird Payne on behalf of AWEA and Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of several wind developers and the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC).  They asserted that there was an effective moratorium on new wind development in Ohio due to what they believe are restrictive setbacks measured from property lines.  As a result, they complained that this situation could force Ohio to become a net importer of renewable energy.   Given that Ohio prides itself on being a “choice” state where energy users can choose any kind of power they prefer from throughout the PJM system, being a “net importer” of renewable energy is only an issue to developers who want to force projects in Ohio’s rural communities. If their assertions are true, then why are there so many BigWind projects in planning stages???

When asked by Committee Co-Chairman Michael O’Brien how Ohio’s setbacks compare with other states, Payne acknowledged that some states do regulate at the county level but the “industry norm” is 1.1 times the turbine height from the property line – which was the law prior to 2014.   It strains credulity to think that standards adopted a decade ago when turbines were half the size they are today would still be considered the “industry norm.”  And while the wind industry may hold that 1.1x turbine height is their standard, no community would adopt it as their standard. 

 

It was reported that Co-Chair Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) challenged Payne’s claim that the wind industry generated 96,000 megawatts (MW) last year.  She then had to admit her figure did not reflect actual output, and that wind farms generally operate at a third of their “nameplate” capacity. O’Donnell went even further saying it might be as high as 40%.   Payne added that she did not know whether wind generation contributes to the capacity market operated by PJM.  Yeah, sure.  Generally we understand that PJM assigns a value of 13% to wind.  PJM will be the next Committee presenter and that question will be cleared up.

 

O’Brien asked about the offshore Windbreaker facility underway in Lake Erie, and O’Donnell said competition is “fierce” for offshore wind developments, especially on the eastern seaboard.  To compare, or better, to “confuse” enthusiasm for offshore wind in the ocean with the Windbreaker project in Lake Erie is misleading.

 

While wind was making its case to the legislature, the Ohio Democratic Party was unveiling their “Ohio Promise” agenda designed to address numerous education, human services, environmental and social justice concerns.  A list of priorities is reported below and, of course, along with gender equity, increased minimum wages and mandatory overtime pay is “ loosen wind farm restrictions.”

 

Distributed to all members of the House and Senate Energy Committees was the Michael Shellenberger article on the destruction of the landscape by wind and solar as well as an article from the National Review.  Rep. Seitz points out to his colleagues that while much of the NR article “is a well-deserved deconstruction of the “Green New Deal”, the portions that I have circled also indicate that renewables are not the answer. As that article notes, only 13 states allow all customers a choice of electricity supplier– and we are one of them. The author makes the point that in customer choice states, customers have an option to select clean energy and that is why I have long maintained that renewable portfolio mandates are unnecessary as those who wish to make these choices are perfectly free to do so now, absent the heavy hand of government. “

 

Counties considering granting PILOT should give serious consideration to the experience of Oklahoma communities where a five year tax abatement program for industrial wind has wreaked havoc.  An important report included below recounts that lobbyists for the wind industry have been handing out brochures touting the millions of dollars in property tax revenues that Oklahoma schools and counties have received as a result of wind farms being built in their jurisdictions.  “But there’s something those brochures don’t say: Most of those property tax payments to date have not been paid by wind company owners. Instead, they’ve been paid by Oklahomans whose income tax and other tax payments have been used to reimburse school districts and counties for revenue lost due to a five-year property tax exemption granted to wind farm owners by the Oklahoma Legislature. New wind farms no longer qualify for that exemption, which is being phased out. There’s something else those brochures don’t say: Once the five years of exemptions are over, wind companies have been sending lawyers to county courthouses to file tax protests and lawsuits contending the value of their equipment is worth hundreds of millions of dollars less than the values assigned to them by county assessors.” 

 

Some of those lawsuits have dragged on for years, leaving millions of dollars in disputed tax payments sitting in escrow while some school districts have struggled to make bond payments and pay operating expenses.

A good example is Comanche County, where the owners of Blue Canyon Wind Farms have tax protests pending covering five consecutive years.  EDP is the developer of Blue Canyon Wind as well as the Timber Road projects in Paulding County. The Paulding County Commissioners designated the county as an AEZ eligible for PILOT.  It will be interesting to see what EDP does when the Timber Road PILOT expires.    

 

Elsewhere:

 

OPSB reschedules the adjudicatory hearing for Republic Wind Farm for June 3rd.  A local hearing to receive comments is scheduled for May 14, 2019, from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Bellevue High School, 200 Oakland Avenue in Bellevue, Ohio. Republic Wind is an Apexproject.

 

In the Seneca Wind project, a judge denied sPower’s request for a temporary injunction that would have allowed it to have access to properties where owners believe the leases have expired.  “In his eight-page ruling, the judge said the Ohio Constitution “places great importance on the rights of property owners” and had little sympathy for sPower’s argument that it was running out of time to keep the project on schedule because of annual restrictions on clear-cutting that take effect March 31 to protect endangered bats. Although sPower only came into possession of signed leases a few years ago, the judge noted that it and its predecessor had more than a decade in most cases. The company asserts there was a clause that automatically renewed the leases after the initial 10-year contracts had expired.”  The issue concerning the validity of the leases will be heard in court at a later date.

 

MaterResource featured an article on a letter that audiologist Dr. Jerry Punch sent to the OPSB in January concerning the potential impact of Seneca Wind on a client with severe vertigo.  Punch’s assessment of the situation for  his client is grim.   Punch points out that “In the 2009 guidelines, the World Health Organization (WHO)  recommended that average, A-weighted noise levels outside a residence, designated as LAeq, outside, not exceed 40 dB to avoid substantial annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other adverse health effects. It established limits specifically for wind turbine noise for the first time in its most recent guidelines, [3] recommending that noise emissions from turbines not exceed 45 dB Lden.  The Lden metric penalizes evening and nighttime noise levels by 5 and 10 dB, respectively, relative to daytime levels, and a level of 45 dB Lden is equivalent to an Leq of 38.3 dB. Levels between 38-40 dB Leq are in agreement with those recommended by Dr. Paul Schomer, a prominent acoustician who is the former Director of the Standards Division of the Acoustical Society of America.”

 

In Findlay, Ohio (home of former Senator Cliff Hite) plans to build one or two 400-foot wind turbines southeast of the intersection of Crystal and Bigelow avenues were rejected by the Findlay City Planning Commission.

“The action was a foregone conclusion after the city zoning appeals board last month denied One Energy’s request for a variance from city laws setting a 40- to 100-foot limit on wind turbines. Crystal Avenue residents have denounced the proposed wind turbines as an eyesore which would sink their property values and flicker shadows into their homes. They also have expressed concerns that the wind turbines would harm their health. One Energy may next challenge the city in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.”

 

An April 3rd date has been sent for the new public information meeting on the Apex  Emerson Creek Wind Project.  The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Bellevue VFW, 6104 U.S. 20.  This meeting was ordered after the first meeting was held in a private venue and a wind opponent was forced by the Sheriff to leave at Apex’s request.   Following lawmaker complaints, the OPSB ordered a second public meeting.  Apex continues to assert it followed all regulations governing a “public” meeting.

 

Kaleab Mammo-Jegol, the state director of the US Youth Climate Strike, is working to make Ohio commit to 100% renewables as part of a social justice platform.  Conveniently, this radical group is supported by the fake Conservative Energy Forum whose director, Tyler Duvelius remarked,  “The Constitution guarantees property rights” for people to use and lease their property as they see fit, Duvelius said. “The Constitution does not guarantee a right to a view,” he added when asked about opponents’ nuisance claims.”  Kaleab Mammo-Jegol and Tyler Duvelius have now found common cause.

 

While the Youth Climate circus was playing out in Ohio, the county presidents of the Ohio Farm Bureau were in Washington visiting US Senator Portman who explained that the Green New Deal would be disastrous to farmers : “We can do better in terms of energy efficiency and that is a great way to reduce emissions but also to add more jobs. We should be able to use technology and innovation better and we are starting to do that. I support legislation to give our power companies incentives to be able to capture carbon and sequester it and start a carbon market. Finally I will say that people who are really serious about climate change ought to look at nuclear power. There are advanced nuclear power technologies out there. It is emissions free,” Portman said. “There are ways we can make sure we have the base power we need. We have solar and wind. We have it in Ohio and we like it, but sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. You need to have that base power also. We have two nuclear plants in Ohio and they are both aging. We need newer, safer, more innovative plants that are much more efficient. There are lots of things that can and should be done and we are doing some of them, but to take up the Green New Deal and put that on the American people and the American farmer would be disastrous. It would increase everyone’s costs of electricity dramatically.”

 

In Ireland, Seven Cork families could be on course to receive damages after a wind farm operator admitted liability in a High Court action over noise pollution.  The case is next listed for hearing on April 25, and will be closely observed by many of the families living in close proximity to wind farms and who claim that there should be a greater distance between homes and turbines.  “Planning regulation around wind turbines remain governed by 2006 guidelines which allow companies to build turbines within 500m of private dwellings. Updated guidelines stipulating how far wind turbines should be set back from residential homes are three years overdue. These guidelines will also deal with noise and ‘shadow flicker’ from the turning blades. Up to 7,000 submissions were made in the public consultation process that followed the issuing of draft guidelines by the then minister for housing Jan O’Sullivan, which set down a mandatory minimum setback of 500m “for amenity considerations”.  [1,640’] The draft guidelines also set a maximum day and night noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy development, measured outdoors at the home nearest to the wind turbine. The guidelines also stipulated that there should be no shadow flicker at home within 10 ‘rotor diameters’ of a turbine.”

 

The left-wing NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has proposed a grand bargain for saving Ohio’s nuclear plants.  The want to trade short term support for a long term commitment to transition Ohio to 100% renewables.  They claim “Ohio will be left behind our neighboring states throughout the Midwest if we do not have strong policies for a transition to the clean energy economy. We should be leading, not swimming against the economic wave that is lifting up other states; and not protecting Wall Street speculators but investing in local renewable energy generation and all the benefits for Ohio that would come with it.”  Many people consider the NRDC and Sierra to be domestic terror organizations.  Why on earth would policy-makers let them determine Ohio’s energy policy?

 

Some Ohio renewable energy advocates and lawmakers who are being asked to support saving the nuclear plants have some significant items on their wish list for any compromise agreement.  “At the top is a repeal of 2014 restrictions on wind farms. The law has the effect of limiting how many turbines can be placed in a project area, which has slowed development. “We don’t like bailing out nuclear plants, but we don’t rule out supporting a package if the package on balance is a good one for consumers and the environment,” said Rob Kelter, a senior attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center.”

 

Developer EDP surfaces again in Illinois where they are suing a township that adopted strict siting provisions.  In addition, they are promoting legislation to restrict wind farm regulations outside of a municipality to the county alone, excluding townships.   Ohioans should be on guard for any pre-emptive moves advanced by the wind industry in the context of a setback compromise.  We know where EDP stands.

 

Minnesota farmers are fighting against industrial wind and express remorse for prior support.  “Given the choice, no sentient being would ever tolerate an industrial wind turbine anywhere near their home or property. Merrily wrecking rural communities wherever it goes, the wind industry is facing real, red-blooded American resistance across the Midwest. In this piece from Minnesota’s The Globe, locals lament the day the wind industry rolled into town.”

 

The last article addresses the ever growing community of opponents to renewable projects.  The author feels opponents should be recognized and basically run over.   This is an inside the beltway perspective that is unable to appreciate why anyone would turn down the money to host wind or solar.  They really do not get it.  sPower commissioned a poll to measure support for a solar project in Virginia. They got the results they wanted but the reality was quite different and locals sought to block the project.  The article tries to understand if climate denial is the reason for opposition – they might as well blame the Easter bunny.  This is proof of a profound inability of urban elites to appreciate the value of rural living.  It is an article worth reading if for nothing more than the enjoyment of learning that when the San Bernardino chapter of the Sierra Club decided to support a ban on all renewables, the nationals ordered them to stand down.  Instead, they changed their name and kept on fighting.

House Democrats roll out new ‘Ohio promise’ agendaBy Jim Siegel
The Columbus Dispatch Posted Mar 14, 2019

OPSB reschedules adjudicatory hearing for Republic Wind FarmCOLUMBUS, OHIO (March 14, 2019)

Judge: Landowners don’t have to let Seneca wind farm company on propertyTom HenryBlade Staff Writer MAR 13, 2019

Judge denies wind farm company injunction in Seneca County By Jonathan Monk | March 12, 2019 at 5:29 PM EST – Updated March 12 at 9:34 PM

Wind Turbine Syndrome

Findlay

Bellevue, Ohio

Wacky Ohio youth

Ohio senators and climate change

school finance problems

Wind farm admits liability

Ohio’s grand bargain

nuclear bailout?

Illinois legislation

Minnesota meltdownRural landowners air opposition to industrial wind farms
The Globe
Julie Buntjer
27 February 2019

nontraditional alliances

 

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What would Ohio farmer do with this ‘rare’ BigWind event?

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Why is it that something, BigWind touts as ‘RARE’, seems to be occurring so darned often?? We have blogged about countless fires. This nacelle (middle of machine) is described as being as large as a school bus and we know the blades to be longer than a football field.  People, mistakenly, do not realize the size and danger of these machines.  We liken it to walking the strip in Las Vegas.  A casino may ‘appear’ to only be a block away, but our view is distorted because of the size. The walk ends up being much farther away.  Turbines ‘appear’ to be small machines, from a distance, but in reality, they are very large industrial machines.  Such machines do NOT belong next to a child’s playground or a home! Imagine if this fire had occurred in Ohio during a summer? The fire would have spread like a wildfire out West!…..

A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.

Firefighters were called to the scene…there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.

“We couldn’t get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades,” he said. “So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn’t safe to go nowhere near the tower at all.”…

Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground….

Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that’s “almost as big as a school bus” was also seriously damaged…

Amiro said it’s a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.

“If that would have been August, we’d still be there trying to put wood fire out,” he said Saturday morning.

Original article

What is the TRUTH about USA emissions?

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What is the truth about emissions? Not what you think, if you only listen to the climate activists of today (and BigWind) Go to our EPA website and you can easily click on tabs and see emissions from the 70s to today. These charts show the largest ‘supposed’ climate changers.  Private industry and innovation are changing processes and making great strides in the reduction of emissions. Additionally, remember that the USA has largely converted to natural gas, which burns very clean fuel.  The same cannot be said for a majority of other countries across the globe, however.  Irregardless, we do not demonize the fuel sources that have propelled the USA into prosperity. We thank the businesses like nuclear/clean coal/natural gas which are the backbone of a vibrant economy!!….

Power Plant Emission Trends

EPA collects detailed sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission data and other information from power plants across the country…

Note that we recently changed the formatting of this page to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The content of this page has not changed.

Download charts and a summary of EPA’s 2018 emissions data.(36 K) Get the free Excel reader.

Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides

Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides Emissions, 1997-2018

Ozone season nitrogen oxides emissions have decreased from 2.57 million tons in 1997 to 0.44 million tons in 2018. Electricity use, measured in heat input, has increased from 10.59 mmBtu in 1997 to 11.04 mmBtu in 2018.Ozone season nitrogen oxides emissions have decreased from 2.57 million tons in 1997 to 0.44 million tons in 2018. Electricity use, measured in heat input, has increased from 10.59 mmBtu in 1997 to 11.04 mmBtu in 2018.

Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides Emissions Changes, 1997-2018

US EPA

Does BigWind actually reduce Honda’s energy consumption? NOPE

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In Union County, Honda speaks out about its two wind turbines – which are owned by an LLC that does not appear related to Honda.  According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.  “The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”  This statement is also interesting from the perspective of Ohio’s energy efficiency mandates.  Is Honda saying that not taking steps to meet efficiency requirements, they are in compliance with the law by using on-site wind??????…Another interesting note is that BOTH turbines had SIGNIFICANT repairs, in the past couple of years, including replacing bearings. Blades and nacelles were removed to accomplish this, no easy task. As for today? In all of this NW Ohio wind, 1 was intentionally turned off.  Was today simply another day of ‘routine service’? Hmmmm……

At the beginning of 2014, Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America (HTM) welcomed a pair of wind turbines at its Russells Point, Ohio, facility. Fast-forward five years, and the machines are generating more than 10% of the electric needs of the plant…

According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.

“The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”…

Owned and operated by a ConEdison Solutions subsidiary, RP Wind LLC, the project comprises two GE 1.7 MW turbines, which, importantly, are sited in favorable wind conditions, according to Schmitt, who points out that the location is “near the point of the highest elevation in the state of Ohio.”

With blades 160 feet long and towers 260 feet high, the GE machines generated approximately 8,300 MWh of electricity during HTM’s last fiscal year, translating to nearly 11% of the electric needs of the plant, which makes Honda transmissions, gears and four-wheel-drive components….

Moreover, the project is benefiting the local electric cooperative’s grid, says Schmitt, who explains the turbines are “boosting local power production, especially in times of increased demand.”

In the past five years, HTM has discovered no “unforeseen outages or malfunctions,” notes Eric Mauk, Honda North America’s corporate communications specialist, adding that the only downtime has been due to “routine service.”...

honda

 

Honda article

Will Batteries be the savior for BigWind? No and they are NOT green

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So, why not just use batteries to store BigWind energy? Battery storage is simply not dense enough. Read below and you will see the limitations. It does not make sense. We need energy DENSE sources that are efficient, dispatchable and inexpensive (nuclear/gas/coal/hydro) for our homes and businesses. Batteries, though rechargeable, are not green. Visit a lithium mine in northern Chile(pic above). Texas would not permit such a facility, and consider trying to open one in California or Massachusetts. And keep in mind, that lithium, like lead and cadmium, also popular for batteries, is a poisonous heavy metal. This is another aspect of the fake news about new renewables. And consumers need a lot of mines and batteries. A new battery for a full-size car stores 1 kWh. Running New York City for two cloudy, windless days would require about 530 million such batteries, about 62 per person….Read through the article(s) below and you will see that just 1 Tesla car battery uses 63 kg of lithium= more than the amount in 10,000 cell phones….

The Battery Series - Part 1The Battery Series - Part 2The Battery Series - Part 3The Battery Series - Part 4The Battery Series - Part 5
The Battery Series: Our Energy Problem: Putting the Battery in Context

OFF= BigWind production during PolarVortex

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It is beyond absurd when environmentalists call for 100% renewable energy. The reasons why are endless, as we discuss them regularly, but our recent Polar Vortex is a great reason. Had it not been for our reliable coal/gas/nuclear energy production, millions of us would have frozen to death. In fact, BigWind TOOK ENERGY FROM THE GRID during the blizzard cold temps….

As residents of the Twin Cities awoke on Jan. 29, the first of three straight days of subzero temperatures, about half of the region’s electricity was coming from wind farms dotting the Upper Midwest….

But grid operators would watch as electricity from wind steadily tailed off during the next day and a half…

That dip in wind output during last month’s deep freeze is now fueling debate about the nation’s embrace of renewable energy. The polar vortex arrived as calls grew on the left for a “Green New Deal” to transition to renewables and tackle the threat of climate change, all while various state-level proposals to increase renewable energy penetration circulated across the country.

It was also fresh ammunition for a fossil industry and other critics of renewable energy mandates that have long sowed doubts about the ability to maintain reliability on a grid growing increasingly dependent on intermittent energy sources….

Other turbines across the Upper Midwest shut down due to plunging temperatures.

Output from wind farms — a technology dubbed as the new baseload energy in the Upper Midwest — fell off even faster than anticipated starting the night before as temperatures fell below minus 20 F, the cutoff point below which turbines automatically quit operating.

A MISO presentation released ahead of the committee meeting today shows that when the grid operator declared a “maximum generation event” just before 3 a.m. on Jan. 30, only about half of the almost 14,000-MW forecast of wind generation to be available was actually producing energy.

Brian Draxten, manager of resource planning for Otter Tail Power Co., said wind turbines across North Dakota shut down because of the extreme temperatures. In fact, he said the wind farms went from a power producer to a 2-MW load on its system because they required heat to avoid being damaged….

Extreme cold takes a toll on various parts of a turbine, from electrical cabinets to the gearbox, the generator, lubricants and steel components, which can become brittle if the temperature goes low enough, Skjoeth said.

While turbines can be equipped with de-icing systems to help operate through snow and ice, that isn’t the problem seen in extreme cold, such as what the Upper Midwest saw during the polar vortex, he said.

Meanwhile, Skjoeth said there’s been little focus in the industry on developing turbines to operate below minus 20 F because the economics of producing energy in such extreme conditions wouldn’t justify the additional cost.

“Historically, the really cold weather comes with a decline in wind speeds,” he said. “When you get that low, you don’t get that much wind, normally.”…

Within days of the polar vortex, a lobbyist for Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission cooperative, told a Minnesota legislative committee hearing on the bill that wind energy didn’t show up when it was needed.

The lights stayed on “only because of fossil fuel power plants that could be called upon and dispatched,” he said…

Original article

Why BigWind CAN’T save the Planet

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From the Time Magazine ‘Hero of the Environment’ and President of Environmental Progress, Michael Shellenberger shares the TRUTH about BigWind in a simple, sensible format.  You don’t need a PhD to understand the logic of his arguments. He was recently featured by Tucker Carlson for his insights. We hope you will pick up on some of these truths and share them with your friends, family and, of course, your legislators….

…After college, I moved to California to work on environmental campaigns. I helped save the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocked a proposed radioactive waste repository set for the desert.

In 2002, shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate myself to addressing climate change. I was worried that global warming would end up destroying many of the natural environments that people had worked so hard to protect.

I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward…

Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.

The first was around land use. Electricity from solar roofs costs about twice as much as electricity from solar farms, but solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, and are opposed by local communities and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.

Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.

Happily, there were a lot of people working on solutions…

Other problems didn’t seem like such a big deal, on closer examination. For example, after I learned that house cats kill billions of birds every year it put into perspective the nearly one million birds killed by wind turbines.

It seemed to me that most, if not all, of the problems from scaling up solar and wind energies could be solved through more technological innovation.

But, as the years went by, the problems persisted and in some cases grew worse….

Despite what you’ve heard, there is no “battery revolution” on the way, for well-understood technical and economic reasons.

As for house cats, they don’t kill big, rare, threatened birds. What house cats kill are small, common birds, like sparrows, robins and jays. What killsbig, threatened, and endangered birds—birds that could go extinct—like hawks, eagles, owls, and condors, are wind turbines.

In fact, wind turbines are the most serious new threat to important bird species to emerge in decades. The rapidly spinning turbines act like an apex predator which big birds never evolved to deal with…

As we were learning of these impacts, it gradually dawned on me that there was no amount of technological innovation that could solve the fundamental problem with renewables.

You can make solar panels cheaper and wind turbines bigger, but you can’t make the sun shine more regularly or the wind blow more reliably. I came to understand the environmental implications of the physics of energy. In order to produce significant amounts of electricity from weak energy flows, you just have to spread them over enormous areas. In other words, the trouble with renewables isn’t fundamentally technical—it’s natural…

Dealing with energy sources that are inherently unreliable, and require large amounts of land, comes at a high economic cost.

There’s been a lot of publicity about how solar panels and wind turbines have come down in cost. But those one-time cost savings from making them in big Chinese factories have been outweighed by the high cost of dealing with their unreliability.

Consider California. Between 2011–17 the cost of solar panels declined about 75 percent, and yet our electricity prices rose five times more than they did in the rest of the U.S. It’s the same story in Germany, the world leader in solar and wind energy. Its electricity prices increased 50 percent between 2006–17, as it scaled up renewables.

I used to think that dealing with climate change was going to be expensive. But I could no longer believe this after looking at Germany and France.

Germany’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009, despite an investment of $580 billion by 2025 in a renewables-heavy electrical grid, a 50 percent rise in electricity cost.

Meanwhile, France produces one-tenth the carbon emissions per unit of electricity as Germany and pays little more than half for its electricity. How? Through nuclear power.

Then, under pressure from Germany, France spent $33 billion on renewables, over the last decade. What was the result? A rise in the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and higher electricity prices, too…

Energy-dense nuclear requires far less in the way of materials, and produces far less in the way of waste compared to energy-dilute solar and wind.

A single Coke can’s worth of uranium provides all of the energy that the most gluttonous American or Australian lifestyle requires. At the end of the process, the high-level radioactive waste that nuclear plants produce is the very same Coke can of (used) uranium fuel. The reason nuclear is the best energy from an environmental perspective is because it produces so little waste and none enters the environment as pollution.

All of the waste fuel from 45 years of the Swiss nuclear program can fit, in canisters, on a basketball court-like warehouse, where like all spent nuclear fuel, it has never hurt a fly…

But aren’t renewables safer? The answer is no. Wind turbines, surprisingly,kill more people than nuclear plants.

In other words, the energy density of the fuel determines its environmental and health impacts. Spreading more mines and more equipment over larger areas of land is going to have larger environmental and human safety impacts.

It’s true that you can stand next to a solar panel without much harm while if you stand next to a nuclear reactor at full power you’ll die.

But when it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike…

Bat scientists recently warned that wind turbines are on the verge of making one species, the Hoary bat, a migratory bat species, go extinct

I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from an appeal-to-nature fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions.

Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?