Shaw’s Green dreams, real-world needs

Donna Laframboise

Roger Pielke Jr. delivers the harsh, mathematical truth. Even if every person in the world thought abandoning fossil fuels made sense, even if every last government was committed to such a plan, the sheer size of the task would remain. He says the scale is mind-boggling.

In an entire year, a nuclear power plant is capable of producing 1 million tons of oil equivalent of energy – or 1 mtoe for short. Pielke says:

In 2018 the world consumed 11,743 mtoe in the form of coal, natural gas and petroleum … there are 11,051 days left until January 1, 2050. To achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions globally by 2050 thus requires the deployment of >1 mtoe of carbon-free energy … every day, starting tomorrow and continuing for the next 30+ years. Achieving net-zero also requires the corresponding equivalent decommissioning of more than 1 mtoe of energy consumption from fossil fuels every single day.

Pielke’s graph reveals the true scale of the oh-so-glib Paris Agreement. The red line shows the far steeper spending New Zealand will endure to have it done by 2030 — for Shaw — though it won’t be for sure (the rest of the world has to join in).

A grownup view would be that this is highly unlikely to occur. Anyway, so-called renewable energy means more enormous mines—how could it not?

Building a wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of non-recyclable plastic.

Solar panels, electric vehicles and the huge proposed batteries need more concrete, steel and glass, other metals, silver, indium and rare earth elements (they’re not actually rare, just evenly spread — no handy clumps for easy mining).

A non-green road to the Green goals of Paris

The childish dream of powering society entirely with renewable energy means the greatest expansion in mining the world has seen, producing huge quantities of waste.

Mining will skyrocket 1,200% or more — a decidedly non-green road to the Green goals of Paris.

Thank you, Dr Pielke. Read the original article at Forbes.

Views: 185

4 Thoughts on “Shaw’s Green dreams, real-world needs

  1. Gwan on 03/10/2019 at 5:31 pm said:

    Shaw sure is driven by ideology .
    When it comes to powering a country the first requirement is brain power .
    Just imagine kiwi build building power plants with government ministers in charge .
    No more dams no coal ,no gas .no more oil and gas exploration .
    We will all be driving drive electric cars but no one in the government has even stopped to calculate how much extra power will be needed to charge them all,
    Shaw is doing his best to wreck New Zealands export industries and what comes after that ?
    We rapidly need some brain power .
    Graham Anderson
    Proud to be a farmer feeding the world .

  2. Richard Treadgold on 08/10/2019 at 9:39 am said:

    You get a thumbs-up from me, Graham! “For powering a country the first requirement is brain power.” Love it.

  3. Barry Brill on 18/11/2019 at 7:40 pm said:

    This makes it very clear that the only way “net zero by 2050” can possibly be achieved is if China and India (and maybe USA, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil) begin building nuclear plants immediately and at a furious pace.

    The world can’t even afford to wait until Gen IV reactors are perfected in about five years – see

    Knowing this, why aren’t we subsidising this effort? Why does s 5W of the Zero Carbon Act require us to spend our entire DAGW budget on reducing New Zealand’s 0.1% of global emissions? That’s a total waste of a whole lot of time, energy and money. It will do nothing whatever to save the planet or to achieve the Paris objective.

    It’s only too evident that the government’s objective is their utopian “economic transformation” and has very little to do with planetary temperatures.

  4. Barry Brill on 18/11/2019 at 9:10 pm said:

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal makes the same point:

    “Solar and wind power alone can’t scale up fast enough to generate the vast amounts of electricity that will be needed by midcentury, especially as we convert car engines and the like from fossil fuels to carbon-free energy sources. Even Germany’s concerted recent effort to add renewables—the most ambitious national effort so far—was nowhere near fast enough. A global increase in renewables at a rate matching Germany’s peak success would add about 0.7 trillion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity every year. That’s just over a fifth of the necessary 3.3 trillion annual target.

    To put it another way, even if the world were as enthusiastic and technically capable as Germany at the height of its renewables buildup—and neither of these is even close to true in the great majority of countries—decarbonizing the world at that rate would take nearly 150 years.”

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