Coming Soon: A New Dark Age?

Environmentalists always guffaw if you suggest they want us all to go back to living in caves, but the consequent logic of their practical positions certainly points that way. Consider these recent news stories:

Sierra Club: No Gas, No Coal, No Nukes; Lansing Utility: No Lights, Then

The Sierra Club has adopted a position that would effectively require all electricity in Michigan to come from renewable sources such as wind and solar. This appears to have caused a rift between the environmentalist organization and Lansing’s public utility over the replacement of a coal-fired power station set to close in 2020.

The Sierra Club opposes building a natural-gas powered plant to replace the coal-fired plant, the utility says.

“I’ve given up trying to talk to them,” said Dick Peffley, the general manager of Lansing’s Board of Water and Light.

The Sierra Club supported a natural-gas plant the utility built three years ago. But according to Peffley, it is now opposed to all nonrenewable forms of energy, including nuclear, coal and natural gas. . .

“They (Sierra Club) believe all energy that will be lost can be replaced by renewables or energy efficiency,” Peffley said. “You can’t supply energy that way. With only wind and sun, this country will be black.”

I don’t think the good Mr. Peffley understands that this is not a bug, but a feature. As Australia apparently learned the last few days. From the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:

South Australia pays the price for heavy reliance on renewable energy

Hard on the heels of a “near miss” in July when it narrowly averted widespread blackouts, South Australia was warned on Wednesday night to prepare for an extended loss of electricity in the wake of wild weather. . .

In an unprecedented development, the state was cut-off from the national electricity network, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said “resulting in a state-wide power outage in South Australia”. As a result, the entire electricity market in the state had been suspended as it sought to work with electricity transmission company ElectraNet “to identify and understand the severity of the fault, as well as determine a power restoration time”.

The extensive disruption follows the narrow avoidance of widespread blackouts in South Australia in July. At that time, the state government brought pressure to bear on a local power company for an idled power station to be restarted to avoid potential disruptions, following a lack of electricity generated from wind and solar sources at a time when it was unable to “import” sufficient supply from Victoria.

But Wednesday’s event will trigger renewed debate over the state’s heavy reliance on renewable energy which has forced the closure of uncompetitive power stations, putting the electricity network in South Australia under stress.

Seems to be going catching. From CapX today out of Britain:

When it comes to UK energy policy, costs are not the only concern. The last 10 years has seen capacity plummet dramatically – but it has also seen the UK’s energy security come under increasing threat.

The culprit is a series of EU directives which have been forcing many coal-fired power stations to close prematurely. At the same time, inept domestic policy has meant that there are simply not enough new gas-fired stations to make up for the shortfall. . .

To make up for the shortfall in domestic capacity, Britain has been increasingly reliant on electricity from abroad. In a written parliamentary answer in May of this year, the Government confirmed that imports of electricity have risen by 30 per cent in just two years.

Coming soon to a state near you as a result of the so-called “Clean Power Plan”? And if so, who will we import electricity from?


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