There Is No Transition

We are told constantly that the world is in the midst of a transition from fossil fuels to “green” energy. “News” outlets commonly report this as fact. But in reality, no such transition is underway, nor will it ever be.

Robert Bryce, one of the country’s top energy experts, explains; see original for links:

[T]he hard truth is this: the energy transition isn’t. The numbers from the just-released Statistical Review of World Energy show, once again, that despite rapid growth in wind and solar, those two forms of energy are not even keeping pace with the growth in hydrocarbons. That’s true both globally and in the U.S.

[I]n absolute terms, hydrocarbon consumption grew by 110 exajoules, (EJ), while wind and solar grew by just 32 EJ. Thus, the growth in hydrocarbon use over that time frame was 3.4 times faster than what was seen in wind and solar.

And here’s the key point: hydrocarbons are prevailing despite staggering amounts of spending on wind and solar. According to a January report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, some $6.7 trillion was spent on alt-energy globally between 2004 and 2022, with the vast majority of that, some $4.8 trillion spent on renewables. And the vast majority of that $4.8 trillion — about $4.1 trillion — was spent on wind and solar.

How about the U.S.?

According to BNEF, between 2004 and 2022, U.S. spending on wind and solar totaled some $591 billion. Despite that massive investment, as can be seen in the graphic above, just the growth — repeat, just the growth — in natural gas consumption in 2022 was twice the growth in wind and solar combined. Coal demand fell by 0.7 EJ. Oil use grew by 0.6 EJ and gas grew by 1.6 EJ. Thus, the net growth in hydrocarbon use in the U.S. in 2022 was 1.5 EJ, or 1.9 times the growth seen in wind and solar combined. …

Domestic gas use in 2022 jumped by a whopping 5.4% and hit a record 85.3 billion cubic feet per day. In March, the Energy Information Administration reported that gas consumption set monthly records in 9 of 12 months in 2022. Not only did annual use hit a new record, but the U.S. also set a new record for daily high demand.

Bryce points out that 2022 was no anomaly. On the contrary, in 2021 the growth in hydrocarbons in the U.S. exceeded the increase in wind and solar by a whopping 5.7 times.

There never will be a transition to “green” energy because wind and solar just don’t work. A large majority of the time, they produce nothing. There could be a transition someday, but if so it will be to nuclear energy:

One final point: imagine how much further along the world would be today if the $4.1 trillion spent on wind and solar over the past 18 years had, instead, been spent on developing and deploying the next generation of nuclear power plants. That would be an energy transition worth writing about.

One more thing: check out the report that Robert Bryce did for Center of the American Experiment on land use issues associated with wind and solar energy. Fun fact: to meet America’s electricity needs with wind energy, it would be necessary to devote an area twice the size of California to wind turbines:

If we all drove electric vehicles, God only knows what it would take.

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