Green Energy: The Sad Truth

Most of us are on board with the need to turn away from fossil fuels, and to use carbon-free energy sources. Wind-power, Solar panels, Electric cars, and many other alternatives.

But we have to look beyond the hype if we want to face facts, and see the truth.

*A conventional wind turbine needs more fossil-fuel energy to build it than it will save in its 20-year average lifetime. Even more so if it is situated out at sea.

*Solar panels need to be constructed of metal that has to be fabricated in industrial complexes dependent on fossil fuel power. Outside of very sunny locations, they rarely generate enough power to recoup the carbon footprint of making and installing them.

*Electric cars run on batteries that need metals, chemicals, and minerals extracted from the ground using child labour and intensive industrial manufacture. The body panels are made in the same way as fuel-powered cars, and the batteries only last for 7-10 years, after which they cannot currently be recycled. The electricity needed to charge them every day has to be generated, and that is currently done mostly using fossil fuel systems.

They are all great ideas, but unless someone comes up with a miraculous alternative power source, they are simply a smokescreen.

Not my facts, and not a conspiracy theory. Just the hard truth. We have reaped what we have sown.

62 thoughts on “Green Energy: The Sad Truth

    1. Blogging and Social Media have served to spread the word, Pit. But you are right about the energy used by millions of people blogging. Perhaps there should be an ‘End of social media day’, in the near future, and bring it all to an end to save that power?
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  1. “Green Energy” is a misnomer I’m afraid. Your post points out facts that the eco warriors either seem unaware of or ignore. It is impossible to produce energy without some kind of pollution either in generating it, or in the production of the things to generate it. Currently nobody has the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aside from the problem of being able to have an informed, impartial [i.e.: free from funding bias] & non-confrontational discussion about these issues, I think what is often, if not nearly always, overlooked is that, as a very good friend of mine has stated many times: the world, and the problems which beset us, consequently, are so complex, that they are beyond the full understanding of individuals, so no matter how clever we think we are, assisted by AI systems or whatever, it’s impossible to arrive at an ideal, optimum solution. That said, we must keep trying, of course, but to echo what you say, Pete, I think we should be wary of jumping into exotic new systems without examining all the possible consequences—to the best of our abilities, anyway—so sticking with the tried & tested options until we know better looks like being the least worst way forward. Sorry that was an epistle! 😉 Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m not so sure of your quotes Pete, especially the one on PV. Last time I checked PV panels recoup their embedded carbon foot print within a few years and the manufacturing process is improving every year. And you must remember that once they are producing electricity then a coal or gas fires plant isn’t, so you will eventually get to a point where they will be manufactured by the energy that they are producing.
    I agree about electric cars, I think that a far better battery technology is required before they actually make sense, but I don’t think its too far down the line.
    As for wind, I think I would go wave every time, and who knows maybe that’s the way the will go once they put down the cable infrastructure for the offshore wind, tidal systems maybe more attractive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Cheers, Eddy. You are right that things are improving year on year, but it is still 20-30 years away (or more) until those improvements will contribute a major increase in reliable power. I would like to see more nuclear power stations built in the short term, to give the ‘alternative’ science more time to develop better green systems.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I think each of us needs to examine how much energy we really need in our lives and find ways to reduce it. I hear that in Britain the cost of electricity and heating fuels has increased to the point that some people will have to go without. It shouldn’t have come to that, but the bill for our collective over-consumption is coming due. As always, the poor will be hit the hardest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Electricity prices have increased here by 80% this year, and will go up to a 100% increase in January, Audrey. However, that is driven purely by the greed of the companies involved, and the government allowing them to make huge and obscene profits. The major gas, oil, and elctricity companies operating in the UK have made profits that are so massive, they have never been known before. Compare this to France, where the electricity is state-owned, and has only increased by 4% since Russia invaded Ukraine.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not saying that, Fandango. I think we need to go back to nuclear power stations, and give the scientists time to work out better versions of green energy for the future. Far from ideal, but what is in this world?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we have to go back to building more nuclear power stations. Increase the safety controls, and buy time to give scientists of the future a chance to develop something ‘better’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This is all a matter of ongoing debate of course, and many will argue against it. However, the source of this was a BBC News feature wth a ‘Green’ scientist advocating the building of more nuclear power stations.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We are full of it down here Pete. The govt trying to get farmers into electric tractors plus a ute tax (a ute = utility vehicle is like a small flat deck truck/car, 4wd & powerful, nota city SUV but cab carry 3 tonnes in the back). A previous govt tried a fart tax on cows – but cows burp not fart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot see how any government can believe that people in big cities with intensive housing estates are ever going to be able to charge electric cars. Are they expected to hang cables out of tower blocks, or queue up at charging stations along with tens of thousands of other car owners? It seems the ‘rabble’ have been overlooked, as people with nice big houses, garages and driveways, can easily have charging points installed.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. Looking at the whole picture is necessary, but it does not absolve us from continuing to learn, research, and working to do better. We cannot simply throw our hands up in the air and say, “oh, well – destroying the Earth at breakneck speed then is our only option” (which, of course, is hopefully not what you are advocating here and I don’t think you actually are). The batteries in electric cars are definitely a problem. I call this out specifically because I also happen to know for a fact that this problem is being researched and systems for repair capabilities are being developed. (Meanwhile, personally, I am still driving my gasoline car until it is completely defunct and not worth the upkeep, as has been my practice.)

    Just trying to provide a little balance of perspective, at least from my point of view. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jayne. You are correct that I am not advocating this. However, I am starting to think that nuclear power may be the ony long-term option. And we all know that carries its own huge issues.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Can you cite sources? From a fairly cursory examination these claims don’t seem to be well-supported. I’m interested in research methods and stats etc. I came across a claim from here – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096014810900055X – that a wind farm generates twenty to twenty-five times the energy input. Also, does it not depend on the sources of the energy used to manufacture the equipment? The question of electric vehicles seems to have been resolved in their favour as well according to a report from the EU whose title I can’t currently remember. All that said, we must remember that capitalism is to blame and that avoiding using electricty where possible would also be wise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The source as such was a report on BBC News involving a ‘Green energy’ advocate, a professor of some kind. He wants us to consider an extensive programme of nuclear power stations to reduce/remove dependence on coal/gas/oil. He stated the claims I put in my blog post, and was not contradicted. It was argued that wind turbines will improve, and that electric cars will also improve. However, the issue of users charging cars in big cities with high-rise housing is considered to be insurmountable currently, so other options need to be expolred. He argued that nuclear is the best option, despite the dangers and safety fears.
      I agree with you that global capitalism is the main problem, and dependence on personal transport also needs to change.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  8. You’d have thought these politicians hoping to burnish their green credentials would have ensured the clean means of generating electricity matched the old power stations before they were demolished, instead of relying on buying power from a rogue state.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We actually imported very little gas and oil from Russia, David. The problem is that our own natural resources were all sold off as shares, into the ownership of foreign companies like EDF. That left us having to pay market prices to import gas and oil from the North Sea rigs that are in our own waters. Privatisation, Tories, and greed. Always a bad combination.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I think nuclear has to be the way, Cheryl. As dangerous as it is potentially, it solves the problem in the short term. That will hopefully give the geniuses time to work out something better for the future.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Since I moved to Cambridge, Amish people have moved into the area. They live totally off the grid, riding around in horse-drawn carts. They have a hard working life but are totally self-sufficient. I do not share their religious views but they do not attempt to convert anyone and they are very much in touch with the land.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember the great excitement of using hydrogen extracted from water to power everything. I am sure one of the oil companies bought the patent, then ignored it.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  10. Frankly it’s laughable Pete that people think that the only way is renewables. The only non fossil fuel option that works 24/7 is wave energy. Ask the average Aussi what they think of Solar power, if you have a Deathwish. We live on an island surrounded by constant pounding waves. Whether you agree or not, until we construct wave generators, we still need coal!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jack. Wave-power could well be very useful, I agree. I also think the use of nuclear power will have to be increased, despite the long-term issues with radioactivity.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

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