So what exactly does it mean to be “green”? Is it a lack of dental hygiene? Love of the Irish? Why those could apply, most would now agree that being “green” refers to how energy is produced visa vie renewable energy, carbon footprints, etc.
Now I am a green guy in this sense, but not for the reasons you might think. Yes, as a semi-outdoors-man (means I like to hunt/fish when I can) I want clear air and clean water. In fact, as a child of the 70’s, I can remember when the Clean Air Act of 1970 and its companion Clean Water Act of 1972 were needed. We were screwing up big time on the environment. Snowflakes of today would have already jumped off the nearest bridge…. The fact is we cleaned it up.
I am a green guy as it provides an opportunity to be independent from a never ending electrical slave meter. Note I wrote “opportunity” – I am well aware of how property renewables are being used to lease and sell excess energy back to the grid. One way to use it, but not my plan. I own a little more land than the average bear and plan on getting a bit more. I want to be on my own and not reliant on the grid.
In full disclosure, I have been invested in renewable tech for about 10 years. So, I know its land intensive for land applications, I know what it can generate in water applications, and I am fairly versed in geothermal tech and applications. I also have no qualms in writing that the US, or the globe for that matter, is not ready to convert 100% of energy needs to renewable tech. The technology, while improving all the time, is not capable of handling the globes energy needs right here and right now.
Why go through explaining all of this? Well, we are seeing a push to eliminate all fossil fuels from the planet like has never been seen before. The Green New Deal, as promoted by liberal leaders in the Democrat Party, have a 12 year (now 11) plan to get rid of fossil fuels and be 100% green. Is it practical or realistic? Let’s hit both.
Is it realistic to be 100% green by 2030?
I am using 2014 here as a basis for reference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption#By_country I am not going to review heat to energy and all of that jazz, just some basic facts. In 2014, the globe produced 155841 Terra Watt hours of power. Global consumption was 109613 Terra Watts of power. Of that, the US consumes somewhere between 22 to 25% of global energy. Coal produced 41%, natural gas 22%, nuclear 11%, hydro 16%, other renewables 6%, and oil was 4%. Globally, that puts fossil fuels around 67% on total energy production.
According to the US Energy Information Administration https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3, the US produced 64% of its electrical power from fossil fuels in 2018. Nuclear provided 19% and renewables about 17%, which places the US a bit lower on renewable energy production. Setting nuclear aside that means we have to produce an additional 64% of our energy in the US to make the Green New Deal 2030 schedule. That means around 2700 billion kilowatt hours to be produce in addition to the current renewable production. Where is that going to come from? Turn the southwest into a solar generation plant? Wind farms along all of the coasts and mountain ranges? Has anyone seen a plan to replace 64% of our energy production?
Will renewables power the US one day? Perhaps, but not by 2030.
Is being 100% green even practical?
Here is where it is going to get even uglier.
Everywhere I see where the auto industry is promoting new electric cars for a growing environmentally conscious community. https://www.autonews.com/retail/ford-says-reservations-full-high-end-version-electric-mustang-mach-e The trucking community is beginning to follow as well. https://www.greenbiz.com/article/big-truck-makers-are-starting-take-electric-trucks-seriously All the climate crowd are having mass orgasms over it. Here is the challenge- the US electrical infrastructure can barely handle the property energy needs, much less the needs for electric vehicles. There are around 275 million personal and commercial vehicles on the US roads. If the internal combustion engine magically was replaced by batteries, AND we magically had the power equipment to re-charge the batteries, WE DON’T HAVE THE FRIGGIN POWER TO CHARGE THEM.
This is ignoring that the batteries would not allow the normal US driving usage for the delivery of goods and services.
This is ignoring that the batteries for electric vehicles actually produce a bigger carbon footprint than gas.
That 64% fossil fuel replacement to get 100% green is to convert EXISTING energy needs and does not factor in 100% replacement of gas/diesel engines….
Oh, but it gets better –
Do you like that cell phone, pad, and laptop that allows you to be portable and use data at will? Do you like the business flexibility of backing up the desktops and servers to the cloud to save office space? How about your favorite social media usage? Must haves for today – right? That all requires data and data centers for it to all work seamlessly. Did you know that data centers use between 2 and 4 % of US energy produced? https://www.vxchnge.com/blog/power-hungry-the-growing-energy-demands-of-data-centers
So that 64% would be closer to 80% to make the US 100% green, be it 2030 or any other date.
I would say it’s safe to say it’s not practical right now.
Stuff happening you need to know about
A month ago, I penned my blog on the year 2030 and its implications. Energy is part of that blog as is what is happening in insurance in the movement against fossil fuels and coal in particular. Here is the link to review: https://darrenyancy.com/2019/12/06/the-2030-timeline-evolution-or-basis-for-the-next-revolution/ What I did not know then was the source behind the push on insurance companies and banks in getting them to start to divest in fossil fuels. Finally tracked the little boogers down – Insure Our Future (https://www.insureourfuture.us/) and their sister cause Unfriend Coal (https://unfriendcoal.com/). These are funded groups that popped up from the Paris Acord and are waging an all-out political campaign against fossil fuels.
Remember the data I shared earlier – Coal is responsible for about 40% of world power and roughly 28% of US power. So, if you knock these out right now, you have problems. This is the underlying cause these groups are working for and are becoming successful. Check out their websites – they have some very recent wins to their belt in getting Liberty Mutual, Chubb, and other companies to commit to stop insuring coal projects.
Oh, here is the best part of this – there is technology coming out in the form of carbon capture that can be used on the existing coal fire plants. The carbon captured is a natural fuel for the production of bio fuel. So, this group is actually killing a food resource for a form of renewable energy production.
If 40% of the energy production globally gets outlawed and there is no reasonable and effective plan to replace the power with renewable tech, what happens? While I am not sure, I think the worst parts of the Book of Revelations in the Bible is a place to start.
Weather has been around for 4 billion years on this planet. I have ZERO confidence we die in 2030 if the world does not get rid of fossil fuels in the entirety.
So, the real question is why is going green by any means being pushed by a select sect of political views?
Who gets crushed?
Time to think, ask questions, and get into the game before the time clock runs out.
Remember – it started in 2018.