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Unvarnished Truth About Wind and Solar

August 21, 2015

When dyed-in-the-wool supporters of so-called clean energy say it’s time to stop wasting money on wind and solar, it’s time to stop tax payer funded subsidies.

Two Google scientists, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, were put to work by Google in 2007 to establish how renewables, such as wind and solar, could replace fossil fuels.

They were enthusiastic supporters of Google’s move, known as RE<C, which was to develop renewable energy that would generate electricity more cheaply than coal-fired power plants.

Koningstein and Fork admitted in an IEEE Spectrum article last November that it couldn’t be done.

They finally admit what thousands of engineers and scientists already knew: It’s impossible to cut CO2 emissions enough, using wind and solar, to prevent a climate catastrophe, assuming CO2 is the culprit.

And, these Google scientists also admit there is no currently available technology that can cut CO2 emissions by the amount needed to bring atmospheric CO2 levels down to below 350 ppm.

Now, Bill Gates, a huge financial backer of wind and solar projects, has changed his mind and admitted that wind and solar can’t stop climate change.

Bill Gates 2015 Meeting with UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening. Photo by Russell Watkins/DFID

Bill Gates 2015 Meeting with UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening. Photo by Russell Watkins/DFID

In a recent Financial Times (FT) interview, he said, “Today’s renewable-energy technologies aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels, and governments should divert their green subsidies into R&D aimed at better answers.”

He went on to say, quoting from the FT, “The cost of using current renewables such as solar panels and wind farms to produce all or most power would be beyond astronomical.”

While Gates intends to invest in R&D, he lambasted the prospects of battery technology, as it stands today.

He said, “There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables.” (Emphasis added.)

We now have important former supporters of wind and solar saying that wind and solar can’t replace fossil fuels, and that subsidies for wind and solar should be stopped.

While Musk and his acolytes, and the wind and solar lobbies (such as AWEA and SEIA) press for more subsidies for new wind and solar installations, and for more storage, those who have studied the issues are saying these subsidies should be stopped.

It appears as though we now have American tax payers footing the bill to support a political agenda that can’t stop climate change, even if CO2 is the cause.

When Google engineers and Bill Gates say that wind and solar can’t stop climate change, it’s time to side with the thousands of engineers and scientists who have already reached that conclusion, and stop the subsidies for wind, solar, battery and storage installations.

* * * * * *


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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Catcracking permalink
    August 21, 2015 10:04 am

    Excellent article, unfortunately actual real technical message has not reached many in Washington or the MSM as they insist in wasting $$$ on windmills and solar panels despite numerous failures. As indicated, Engineers realized this very early on and the facts bear this out.
    Are they deaf or do they have another agenda?

    • August 21, 2015 10:06 am

      They have an agenda, and surprisingly, the head of the UNFCCC (the body overseeing the COP meeting in Paris this December) admits it.

  2. Neil Jones permalink
    August 21, 2015 11:48 am

    Another excellent piece. Thanks. What did the head of UNFCCC say the agenda is?

  3. August 21, 2015 2:43 pm

    Thanks. Here is what Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC said:
    “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history. This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution.”
    The economic development mode is capitalism.
    And Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III, said:
    “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

  4. Kenn Latzer permalink
    August 22, 2015 5:09 pm

    Very interesting article, we should be investing more time and money on natural gas, lots of it around and at a cheap price. Good article , thanks kenn

    Sent from my iPad


  5. August 24, 2015 6:56 am

    Thanks Donn, You do a great job of shining the light on foolish policies. I appreciate your efforts and shared knowledge!

  6. August 24, 2015 9:15 am

    Scientists and engineers have known for a long time, and so has anyone with a lick of common sense that has taken five minutes to do any research at all. The information is plentiful and easily found. Industrial wind is the biggest scam to ever come down the pike – a transfer of wealth scheme that would make Bernie Madoff blush.

    “America’s Big ‘Green’ Wrecking Machines” – Politically-connected industrial wind zealots are destroying rural America and electricity markets, By Mary Kay Barton, CFACT

  7. August 24, 2015 9:29 am

    I have taken the Liberty of sharing your link to your Blog in comments on wsj articles. Today on the natural gas methane regulations piece:
    This may be a way for us to reach a wider group of people? Energy savvy Citizens are a small minority. Keep up the great job!

  8. August 24, 2015 3:05 pm

    Dick Storm nailed it.

  9. August 24, 2015 6:43 pm

    Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Yup. More on this coming.

  10. August 31, 2015 12:45 am

    Lmao. I love it when you guys distort the truth into utter prices of garbage. I read that article about the Google scientists when it first came out… They state ‘renewables ALONE can’t solve our energy demand, or our climate problem. This means 1) we use too much energy to solve our issues sustainably; 2) we’ve already f*****d up our climate past the point we can completely mitigate our impact. Does NOT mean wind and solar are not a solution….only means that they can’t solve the whole problem. Does NOT mean we should do everything we can to promote these technologies.

    Then again, I suppose if the pot is boiling over, we should let the whole damn house burn down? Smh.

    • August 31, 2015 11:42 am

      Thanks for your comments, here and on Facebook.
      Whether we use too much energy is a matter of opinion.
      There are only a few things we can do to cutback on the use of energy without affecting our standard of living, but they are very limited. LEDs and programable thermostats are two, but there aren’t many more.
      But , other than to reduce costs, why cut back on our use of energy?
      We have supplies of oil, coal and natural gas that will last for hundreds of years. In the case of natural gas, the world probably has a thousand year supply.
      It’s high likely that CO2 emissions are not the main cause of global warming, so we haven’t damaged our environment, as you infer. The sun is probably the cause of global warming and climate change. You may want to investigate Svensmark’s hypothesis, and read the Negligent Sun by two German scientists.

  11. October 1, 2015 3:54 pm

    Donn, thanks for the article. I agree whole heartedly that subsidies should end for current wind and solar technologies. They simply cannot do the job they were promised to do. Mandating and subsidizing their use is a waste of taxpayer money. Germany and a few other European nations are learning this the hard way.

    However, abandoning renewables altogether is just as ludicrous. What we should be investing in is research and development better technologies, not subsidizing the implementation of current wind and solar that do not perform. If we instead focused on development of future solar, wind, and battery storage technology, perhaps in the future we will have cost competitive renewables.

    America should be generating her baseload electrical needs through Nuclear and supply peak demand with Natural Gas. Sell our abundant Natural Gas and Coal to Europe and China and reap the spoils. Alas, entrenched interests and misguided environmentalists will make this impossible to realize.

    • October 1, 2015 5:11 pm

      As you say, we should be investing in fundamental research rather than subsidizing current technologies that can’t perform as well as fossil fuels or nuclear.
      Thanks for your comment.

      • September 12, 2016 1:02 pm

        About time , any money made on Ontario Turbines has gone into the deep pots of Wynne and her buddies. Meanwhile we continue ue to help fill them again

  12. September 12, 2016 1:01 pm

    About time , any money made on Ontario Turbines has gone into the deep pots of Wynne and her buddies. Meanwhile we continue ue to help fill them again


  1. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #193 | Watts Up With That?

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