Wednesday, 6 April 2011

“Green energy” is economically senseless

Following on from yesterday’s post, Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren give five reasons why “green energy” is economically senseless:

  • “First, green energy is diffuse, and it takes a tremendous amount of land and material to harness even a little bit of energy…”
  • “Second, it is extremely costly…”
  • “Third, it is unreliable…”
  • “Fourth, it is scarce….”
  • Finally, … electricity produced by sun or wind cannot be stored because battery technology is not currently up to the task.

In short,

_Quote The fundamental question that green energy proponents must answer is this: if green energy is so inevitable and such a great investment, why do we need to subsidize it? If and when renewable energy makes economic sense, profit-hungry investors will build all that we need for us without government needing to lift a finger. But if it doesn't make economic sense, all of the subsidies in the world won't change that fact.

Hence our working definition of Renewable Energy = “unreliable energy produced by means that would be uneconomic without tax breaks and subsidies.”

Read The Green Energy Economy Reconsidered.

[Hat tip TOS Week in Review]


  1. Oh well then using your definition NZ's hydro and wind generation is not renewable. Let's run with that.

    Jol Thang

  2. You speak as if the alternatives such as nuclear are unsubsidised?

    Personally I think wind and solar are currently inefficient as they can't provide baseload. However Hydro, Geothermal and Tidal are all capable of providing reasonably predictable power generation capacity.

    The main problem is some of us live in a country where political interest groups (eg the Greens) can petition against building hydrodams (eg Project Aqua) and gather signatures from people enjoying holidays besides those very same man-made lakes in the Waitaki Valley.
    Yet those signatures are, for some reason, just as valid as any other!?!


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.