Batteries: A Forlorn Hope

The most efficient wind turbines produce electricity around 40% of the time, solar panels far less often in most climates. So how do “green” energy advocates propose to produce electricity the 60% of the time when the wind isn’t blowing, or the 85% of the time (in some areas) when solar panels are ineffective? They build natural gas plants that ramp up and down depending on the weather. In other words, wind and solar (unlike nuclear power) lock in a dependence on fossil fuels for the indefinite future.

If you ask a greenie whether he has a better idea than pretending to go “green” while relying mostly on natural gas, his answer will be: batteries! The idea is that giant batteries can store electricity created by wind turbines and solar panels when conditions are right, and dispense the stored electricity when winds are calm, at night, and so on. Of course, if you ask to see one of these giant batteries, the answer will be that they don’t exist. And, in fact, they never will.

My friend of Mark Mathis of Clear Energy Alliance produced this nice short video that explains why batteries are a technological dead end, and will never make “green” energy practical:

I have written before about the excellent paper by Mark Mills, “The New Energy Economy: An Exercise in Magical Thinking,” which Mark Mathis draws on. Mills’s paper is, I think, very important. You can read it here.

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