By Gary P Jackson
Although we know Obama’s real agenda has nothing to do with so called “green energy” and every thing to do with greenbacks, you gotta give the guy credit for the dog and pony show he’s putting on for the American people.
It’s all kabuki theater though.
Behind the scenes, Obama has engineered a “carbon credit” trading scheme and helped create the Chicago Climate Exchange in order to launder the money in an incredible scam that would make Bernie Madoff blush.
As we talked about here and here, in the continuing series on Crime Inc., Obama has helped engineer this phony baloney Chicago Climate Exchange along with Al Gore, Maurice Strong, and elements from Goldman Sachs. This set-up is expected to generate TENS of TRILLIONS of DOLLARS for all of those involved.
We also know, as we have reported here and here, that Barack Obama is doing his level best to halt oil exploration in America to help his boss man, Nazi sympathizer George Soros out. Soros, the self proclaimed “owner of the democrat party” has benefitted greatly from a $10 billion “loan” Obama gave to Brazil last year so they could explore for oil off of their shores.
This $10 billion was then funneled into Brazilian oil giant, Petrobas. Why is this significant? Three days before Obama gave Brazil $10 billion of OUR hard earned dollars, Soros bought controlling interest in Petrobas. This is George Soros’ largest single holding.
Now that this Gulf disaster is in full swing, Petrobas is looking to capitalize, and is ramping up it’s efforts to drill offshore at a frantic pace. Petrobas has announced the second largest stock sale in history, in an effort to raise capital for this monumental effort. Again, you can read more here and here.
Now that we have established that Obama is a crook and a phony, lets get into why, even for those who are serious about developing clean, renewable energy, it’s an unrealistic idea to think we can ever replace oil, natural gas, and coal as our primary sources of energy, with wind or solar.
Robert Bryce, writing for Forbes magazine gives us all a serious dose of reality:
The Real Problem With Renewables
The growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has, predictably, resulted in a new chorus of voices calling for increased use of renewable energy sources. But over the past five decades renewables have actually been losing market share.
In 1949 nearly 91% of America’s total primary energy came from coal, oil, and natural gas. The balance came from renewables, with hydropower being a dominant contributor. By 2008 the market share for coal, oil and natural gas, along with nuclear, had grown to 92.5% of total primary energy in the U.S. with the remainder coming from renewables.
Given the raging hype over renewable energy sources, those numbers, which are readily available from the Energy Information Administration, are remarkable. Over the past six decades tens of billions of dollars have been spent on renewable and alternative energy schemes such as wind energy, solar energy, corn and other biofuels, and electric cars. All have aimed at cutting our hydrocarbon use. And yet only nuclear power, which went from zero to about 8.5% of the U.S. primary energy over that time frame, has managed to steal significant market share from coal, oil and natural gas.
In other words, despite these huge investments, renewables’ share of the energy market has been shrinking. What’s happening? While conspiracy theorists may want to believe that Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Nuclear are stifling the growth of renewables, the simple truth is that coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear can satisfy the Four Imperatives: power density, energy density, cost and scale.
The Four Imperatives provide a simplified way to analyze the physics and math that rule our energy and its delivery, the latter better known as power. Before going further we must differentiate between energy and power. If you recall your high school physics, the definitions are straightforward: Energy is the ability to do work; power is the rate at which work gets done. Put another way, energy is an amount; power is a rate. And rates are more telling than amounts.
The first of the Four Imperatives, power density, is the most telling of the rates. Power density refers to the energy flow that can be harnessed from a given unit of volume, area or mass. Common metrics of power density include: horsepower per cubic inch, watts per square meter and watts per kilogram. And given the current infatuation with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, the essential metric for power density is watts per square meter (W/m2), which shows how much power can be derived from a given piece of real estate. It is also the metric that exposes the inherent weakness of sources like corn ethanol, wind energy and solar energy. If a source has low power density, then it will likely require too much real estate, material or space to provide the power that we demand at prices we can afford or in the vast quantities that the world needs.
The production of corn ethanol is a loser for many reasons. Just a quick glance at corn ethanol’s power density–just 0.05 W/m2–shows why the fuel makes no sense from a physics standpoint. Corn ethanol’s low power density is inherent in all biomass, which leads us to the second of the Four Imperatives. Energy density refers to the quantity of energy that can be contained in a given unit of volume, area, or mass. And the low energy density of biomass–corn, switchgrass, wood, etc.–makes it difficult to produce sufficient amounts of energy without occupying huge swaths of land.
Now let’s consider the power density of wind energy, which is about 1.2 W/m2, and solar photovoltaic, which can produce about 6.7 W/m2. Both sources are superior to corn ethanol (nearly everything is), but they are incurably intermittent, which makes them of marginal value in a world that demands always-available power. Nor can they compare to the power density of sources like natural gas, oil and nuclear. For instance, a marginal natural gas well, producing 60,000 cubic feet per day, has a power density of about 28 W/m2. An oil well, producing 10 barrels per day, has a power density of about 27 W/m2. Meanwhile, a nuclear power plant like the South Texas Project–even if you include the entire 19 square-mile tract upon which the project is sited–produces about 56 W/m2.
Simple math shows that a marginal gas or oil well has a power density at least 22 times that of a wind turbine while a nuclear power plant has a power density that is more than 8 times that of a solar photovoltaic facility. Those numbers explain why power density matters so much: if you start with a source that has low power density, you have to compensate for that low density by utilizing more resources such as land, steel, and ultra-long transmission lines. Those additional inputs then reduce the project’s economic viability and its ability to scale.
That can be understood by comparing the land use needs of a nuclear plant with those of a wind energy project or a corn ethanol operation. The two reactors at the South Texas Project produce 2,700 megawatts of power. The plant covers about 19 square miles, an area slightly smaller than the island of Manhattan. To match that output using wind energy, you’d need a land area nearly the size of Rhode Island. Matching that power output with corn ethanol would require intensive farming on more than 21,000 square miles, an area nearly the size of West Virginia.
Environmental groups and many politicians in Washington insist that the U.S. must lead the effort to develop renewable energy sources, with wind, solar and biomass being the lead components. But doing so will mean replacing high-power-density sources that are reliable and low cost with low-power-density sources that are highly variable and high cost.
The ugly oil spill in the Gulf may continue growing in size. In response the Obama administration may approve more projects like Cape Wind, the controversial offshore wind energy project in Massachusetts. And Congress may pass another energy bill that gives yet more mandates and subsidies for renewables, but try as it might, Congress cannot repeal the laws of physics.
Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His newest book, Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, was released last month.
Look, I’m an “all of the above” kind of guy on energy. I truly believe that we will always need oil and natural gas as our primary energy source. That’s why I support Sarah Palin and her efforts so vigorously. She understands that we need oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as nuclear energy and renewables.
It’s criminal that France gets over 75 percent of it’s electricity from nuclear powered generation plants, and we don’t. FRANCE!
From the World Nuclear Association:
France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.
France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.
France has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and fuel products and services are a major export.
It is building its first Generation III reactor and planning a second.
You can read more about what can only be described as an incredible success story here.
Frankly, this is embarrassing to no end. How in the hell can America, the greatest nation the world has ever known, sit back and let FRANCE lead the world on nuclear energy production?!?
The environmental moon-bats go crazy when you mention nuclear as a source of energy, but America has had nuclear powered submarines for almost 60 years and nuclear powered aircraft carriers for almost 50 years without incident.
The United States launched the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, in 1954. Nautilus could circle the world underwater for up to four months without resurfacing.
USS Enterprise (CVN-65): 93,500-ton nuclear-powered supercarrier commissioned in 1961. First nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Scheduled for decommissioning in 2013, may be extended to 2014-2015.
My thinking is a nuclear power plant on the ground is a heck of a lot safer than one in combat conditions, and yet, here we are.
Why aren’t we building nuclear plants at the rate Starbucks was throwing up coffee shops at one point?
I think Cracked Magazine (of all places) got it absolutely right in this article:
The 5 Most Ridiculously Over-Hyped Health Scares of All Time
# 5 Three Mile Island
On March 28, 1979, what should have been a minor plumbing problem somehow escalated into a reactor fuel meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station in Pennsylvania. Within five days, the Governor had ordered the evacuation of all children and pregnant women, within a five-mile radius of the area. Since that time, the name Three Mile Island has been synonymous with nuclear disaster. Hooters even named one of their hottest (and most delicious) wing sauces after it!
But unlike other nuclear disasters, Chernobyl for example, which caused at least 4,000 eventual deaths, Three Mile Island was responsible for a whopping zero fatalities. In fact, there weren’t even any injuries. Later tests revealed that the level of radiation people were exposed to in the five-mile radius was equivalent to the amount of radiation a person is exposed to while flying on a commercial airliner. In other words, the danger was nil.
So why all the ruckus? Much like that restraining order Catherine Zeta-Jones slapped us with a few years back, we blame Michael Douglas for this.
Just 12 days prior to the incident at TMI, The China Syndrome premiered. In the film, Michael Douglas plays a television news reporter who surreptitiously films a nuclear power plant crew as a near meltdown is taking place. As luck would have it, the events depicted in the movie almost perfectly mirrored what occurred at TMI. With the movie stirring public debate about the safety of nuclear power, there was no way the incident at TMI occurring just days later would do anything less than scare the ever-loving crap out of people. And that’s exactly what it did.
In 1979, Three Mile Island killed fewer people than ….
Ford factory worker Robert Williams was killed when a robot hit him in the head, thus outranking Three Mile Island’s death toll, 1-0.
This is a great piece on a lot of stupidity by politicians, environmentalists, and so on. You can read about all 5 here, though I must throw out a language warning for our more genteel readers.
Look, Obama is asking the wrong question. The question is not why we can’t get off of oil. Nope, the real question Obama and the nation should be asking is:
If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we beat the French and get more than 75 percent of our electricity from nuclear?