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Bryce: the U.S. "must not emulate Europe’s disastrous blueprint" for energy

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist, Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Nov 18, 2021

In written testimony submitted to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, author/film producer Robert Bryce (book, "A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations"; documentary, "Juice: How Electricity Explains the World") illustrated in dramatic fashion the failure of wind and solar to gain more than a 5% share of U.S. primary energy over the last 35 years, and what it implies for future efforts to fight climate change:

"Millions of Europeans are facing the prospect of a cold winter without enough affordable energy to heat their homes. In September, a study done by the European Trade Union Confederation, which represents 45 million members, found that '15% of the EU’s working poor – the equivalent of 2,713,578 people – lacks enough money to turn on the heating.' In addition, fertilizer plants and steel mills are closing their doors because of high energy prices.

We desperately need energy realism.

Energy analyst Art Berman is correct: Energy is the economy. Hydrocarbons now provide 82% of our energy and about 60% of our electricity. As shown in Figure 1, the U.S. now gets 18 times as much primary energy from hydrocarbons as it does from wind and solar combined.

The myriad claims being made by climate activists, politicians, and elite academics that we can run our economy solely on wind, solar, and a few dollops of hydro have no basis in physics, history, or math. Indeed, the scenarios put forward by
leading academics who have made such claims have been roundly debunked. Furthermore, claims that we can convert our energy and power systems quickly are not supported by the facts. As energy analyst Vaclav Smil has noted, “energy transitions are protracted affairs: large-scale energy conversions are still dominated by prime movers and processes invented during the 1880s...or during the 1930s...and no techniques currently under development can rival any of those conversions during the coming two or three decades.”


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