New report says Biden energy policy is misleading and unattainable

By Ted O’Neil | The Center Square

Recent experiences in three states provide an insight into how problematic President Joe Biden’s push for renewable energy could be for electric customers nationwide, according to a new report from Power the Future.

The report, titled “Lights Out: How Green Mandates are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity,” was written by Larry Behrens, western states director for Power the Future, a nonprofit trade group that speaks for oil and gas workers.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Sarah Swenty

In California, state law requires utilities to purchase 50% of their electricity from renewables by 2026. As a result, over the past decade electric bills there increased 30%, seven times more than the national average.

“One thing is clear. The Biden Administration is misleading the American people to impose the Green Agenda,” Behrens said. “Biden can’t achieve his pledge with stifling bureaucratic manipulation in every sector of the market.”

To examine the impact Biden’s policies could have on the country, Behrens looked at scenarios in Texas, California and New Mexico, where more dependence on renewable energy has failed customers.

Texas in mid-February experienced winter storms and record low temperatures that left millions without power and claimed more than 100 lives.

“One factor stood out among the rest,” Behrens said. “The state’s heavy reliance on and subsidization of wind power came up empty at a critical time.”

According to data from the Electric Reliability Corporation of Texas, wind provided 42% of the state’s electricity on Feb. 7. By Feb. 11, when the storms first hit, that fell to 8% as turbines froze. Coal and natural gas plants increased output by 47% and 450%, respectively, to meet increased demand.

In California, state law requires utilities to purchase 50% of their electricity from renewables by 2026. As a result, over the past decade electric bills there increased 30%, seven times more than the national average.

New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act, signed in 2019, required utilities to have 20% of all electricity sales from renewables by 2020. The Public Service Company of New Mexico, the state’s largest utility, missed the mark, and plans to close the state’s largest coal plant next year, costing the local economy hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.

PNM has also said 75% of customers’ electricity needs will come from renewables by 2025.

“This claim strains credulity coming from a company that failed to meet the state’s 2020 renewable target,” Behrens said.

According to the Associated Press, last August, days after New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stood by a solar panel installation in Albuquerque praising renewables, PNM took to social media to ask customers to cut back on air conditioning while temperatures increased due to concerns about cloud cover leading to reduced solar generation.

“The lessons learned from these states’ experiences with renewable energy should be pushing policymakers across the country to reject top-down green central planning of the electrical grid,” Behrens said. “But that doesn’t appear to be happening.”

Image courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Sarah Swenty

4 thoughts on “New report says Biden energy policy is misleading and unattainable

  1. Here is a capital cost estimate of “moving away from fossil fuels” by the US and the World.

    WORLD AND US PRIMARY ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND CAPITAL COST
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/world-total-energy-consumption

    World energy consumption is projected to increase to 736 quads in 2040 from 575 quads in 2015, an increase of 28%, according to the latest from the US Energy Information Administration, EIA.
    See URL and click on PPT to access data, click on to page 4 of PowerPoint
    https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/

    Most of this growth is expected to come from countries that are not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, and especially from countries where demand is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in Asia.

    Non-OECD Asia, which includes China and India, accounted for more than 60% of the world’s total increase in energy consumption from 2015 through 2040.

    SUMMARY OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES FOR THE WORLD AND US

    The analysis includes two scenarios: 1) 50% RE by 2050, and 2) 100% RE by 2050.
    The CAPEX values exclude a great many items related to transforming the world economy to a low-carbon mode. See next section.

    50% RE by 2050

    World CAPEX for RE were $2,652.2 billion for 2010-2019, 10 years
    World CAPEX for RE were $282.2 billion in 2019.
    World CAPEX for RE would be $24,781 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 5.76%/y

    US CAPEX for RE were $494.5 billion for 2010 – 2019, 10 years.
    US CAPEX for RE were $59 billion in 2019.
    US CAPEX for RE would be $7,233 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 8.81%/y

    100% RE by 2050

    World CAPEX for RE were $2,652.2 billion for 2010-2019, 10 years
    World CAPEX for RE were $282.2 billion in 2019.
    World CAPEX for RE would be $60,987 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 10.08%/y

    US CAPEX for RE were $494.5 billion for 2010 – 2019, 10 years.
    US CAPEX for RE were $59 billion in 2019.
    US CAPEX for RE would be $16,988 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 13.42%/y

    SUMMARY OF “BIG-PICTURE” CAPEX FOR THE WORLD AND THE US

    World More-Inclusive CAPEX

    The above CAPEX numbers relate to having 50% RE, or 100% RE, in the primary energy mix by 2050, which represents a very narrow area of “fighting climate change”. See Appendix for definitions of source, primary and upstream energy.

    This report, prepared by two financial services organizations, estimates the world more-inclusive CAPEX at $100 trillion to $150 trillion, over the next 30 years, about $3 trillion to $5 trillion per year
    https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/research-and-markets/funding-the-fight-against-global-warming/

    NOTE: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that an average of $3.5 trillion per year will be needed just in energy investments between 2016 and 2050 to achieve the 1.5-degree target.
    https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/us-must-halve-emissions-galvanize-global-climate-action-un-chief-2021-04-19/

    US More-Inclusive CAPEX

    The ratio of World CAPEX for RE / US CAPEX for RE = 16,988/60,987 = 0.279

    A more-inclusive US CAPEX could be $27.9 trillion to $41.8 trillion

    The US CAPEX could be less, because, at present, the world is adding a quad of RE at about $58.95 billion, compare to the US at about $102.78 billion.

    It is unclear what accounts for the large difference.
    Part of it may be due to differences of accounting methods among countries.

    NOTE: The CAPEX numbers exclude costs for replacements of shorter-life systems, such as EVs, heat-pumps, batteries, wind-turbines, etc., during these 30 years. For comparison:

    Hydro plants have long lives, about 100 years.
    Nuclear plants about 60 years
    Coal and gas-turbine plants about 40 years
    Wind turbine systems about 20 years
    Solar systems about 25 years
    Battery systems about 15 years

  2. The government of Paris implemented an EV program. The EVs were ugly, little boxes.
    EVs with chargers were parked at certain places
    By inserting your credit card a person can drive them in town and park them later.
    By inserting your credit card again, you get an email with the charge.

    A lot of these EVs were damaged, and gave out after a few years, and are now parked in EV graveyards.

    I have seen these ugly boxes on Paris streets, installed by the Paris government at great cost, including chargers.
    A perfect example of another useless boondoggle.

    Pure virtue-signaling; nothing else.

    Where would Vermont store its subsidized EVs, after about 8 – 10 years? Somewhere in Burlington?

    Who would want to put an expensive NEW battery in an eight year old EV?

    Several studies have shown, EVs are used about 7000 miles per year.
    However, EAN uses at least 12000 miles per year to artificially boost “CO2 savings”; about 50% of US EVs are used in California.

    HUGE investments to implement EVs would be required, including:

    Chargers everywhere,
    Additional generation with HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED, EXPENSIVE, VARIABLE, INTERMITTENT wind and solar,
    Additional grid build-outs
    Additional grid-scale batteries everywhere,
    Additional costs for balancing
    Worldwide battery materials supply chains

    This means, as a fleet, EVs would reduce less than 50% of the CO2 envisioned by RE folks’ dream scenarios.
    RE promoters of “GOING EV” are seriously deranged, if they keep spouting EVs have no CO2 emissions.

  3. Vermont Has Much Better Options Than Expensive Battery Systems

    Buildings:

    A state-wide building code, which would require new buildings to be highly sealed, highly insulated so they could easily be energy-surplus buildings, or be entirely off-the -grid. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc., have had such codes for at least a decade.

    Vermont should be replacing run-of-the-mill, old houses, with up-to-date, energy-surplus, off-the-grid, new houses, at a rate of at least 5,000 houses per year. There would be 150,000 such houses by 2050.

    Dabbling at weatherizing, at $10,000 per house, is politically attractive, but a gross waste of money. The goal should be energy conservation and high efficiency. Their combined effect would reduce CO2 at the least cost.

    Energy efficiency measures to reduce energy consumption, CO2, and energy costs, such as by:

    1) Exchanging traditional light bulbs for LEDs
    2) Insulating and sealing energy-hog housing and other buildings
    3) Increasing the mileage of existing gasoline vehicles

    Such measures would cost $50 to $200 per metric ton, much less than the $2,100/Mt of electric school buses.
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-l

    Vehicles:

    Vermont needs a gas-guzzler code to impose a fee on low-mileage vehicles.
    The more below 40-mpg, the greater would be the fee.
    Vehicles with greater than 40-mpg, such as the 54-mpg Toyota Prius, would be exempt.

    RE folks would have everyone drive unaffordable EVs, that would not reduce much CO2 compared with EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles.

    On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, with travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years, the CO2 emissions, based on the present New England grid CO2/kWh, would be:

    NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would emit 25.967 Mt, 246 g/mile
    TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would emit 26.490 Mt, 251 g/mile
    SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would emit 43.015 Mt, 407 g/mile
    VT LDV mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would emit 56.315 Mt, 533 g/mile

    The above shows,

    A NISSAN Leaf, a compact vehicle, would have CO2 reduction of 30.3 Mt over 10 years (3 Mt/y), if compared with the VT LDV mix, which contains small and big vehicles.

    A NISSAN Leaf would have CO2 reduction of 16.3 Mt over 10 years (1.63 Mt/y), if compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle

    NOTE: EAN estimated 4.5 Mt/y, based on an artificial 25 g CO2/kWh electricity, instead of using the 300 g/kWh of the NE rid, calculated by ISO-NE on a rational basis. EAN neglected: 1) the CO2 of MAKING the battery, etc., and 2) LIFETIME conditions
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/poor-economics-of-elec

  4. EVs will not reduce CO2 nearly as much, as has been “predicted”, because they are driven about 7,000 miles per year vs at least 12,000 per year for gasoline vehicles.

    That is one major flaw of almost ALL studies.

    In my studies, I have assumed travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years.
    VERY FEW PEOPLE WILL DRIVE AN EV FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS.
    The vehicle will be worn out, and so will be the battery.; end of story.
    No one would replace a battery in a 10 year old vehicle.

    These URLs show, EVs are driven an average of 7,000 miles/y, compared to 12,000 miles/y for the US LDV mix. The difference holds for:
    1) all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles,
    2) single- and multiple-vehicle households, and
    3) inside and outside California.

    This means, as a fleet, EVs would reduce less CO2 than envisioned by RE folks’ dream scenarios.

    http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/ldavis/Davis%20AEL%202019.pdf
    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a35498794/ev-owners-low-mileage-shttp://www.truenorthreports.com/tag/travels-with-charlie

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