- Mar 9, 2022 10:19 pm GMT
Mark Jacobson says “electricity blackouts can be avoided across the nation by switching to 100 percent clean and renewable energy, such as solar, wind and water.” Mark Jacobson is out of his mind.
"During my three decades as a reporter, I’ve seen plenty of hype and poor news coverage about renewable energy. But two recent pieces—in the Washington Post and National Public Radio, respectively—are particularly egregious.
These reports demonstrate, yet again, that some of the biggest media entities in the world have no clue about—and apparently no sympathy for—the rural Americans, from Maine to Hawaii, who are fighting to protect their homes and neighborhoods from large wind and solar projects. Nor do the reporters have any sense of the amount of renewable energy—and, therefore, the massive amounts of land—that will be needed to meet America’s voracious appetite for energy and power.
On February 20th, the Post ran an article by reporter Kasha Patel touting a recent study, the lead author of which is Stanford professor Mark Jacobson. Jacobson’s study, Patel writes, purports to show that “electricity blackouts can be avoided across the nation—perhaps even during intense weather events—by switching to 100 percent clean and renewable energy, such as solar, wind and water.”
That’s a bizarre claim. When the ERCOT grid was on the verge of collapse a year ago, wind and solar were almost completely unavailable. Furthermore, a new report by the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers has determined that the grid’s market design coupled with excessive subsidies for wind and solar were central to the near-meltdown of the state’s electric grid. An analysis by energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie found that the worst of the Texas blackouts coincided with a days-long wind drought across much of North America.
In keeping with his previous work, Jacobson’s proposal would require cartoonish amounts of land and roughly 5.7 terawatts of renewable generation capacity—more than five times all existing forms of electricity production in the US. (Total existing generation capacity in the US is about 1.1 terawatts.) So where is 5.7 terawatts of renewable infrastructure to be installed? Patel doesn’t say. Nor is there any mention of supply chains. Polysilicon is an essential ingredient in photovoltaic (solar) panels, but the US State Department has banned its importation from Xinjiang (nearly half the world’s supply) because the Chinese province has been using Uyghur slave labor in its production."
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