This graph is from:
Look at this graph carefully. Just below a dark green line (that is hydro) below the lighter green labeled “nuclear” you can find the yellow “wind & solar” and such line. Look hard. It’s a tiny wedge at the right side.
Now notice how the whole graph continues to rise from left to right. Global energy consumption rises from about 9,000,000 KTOE to about 14,000,000 KTOE (kilo-tons of oil equivalent). Wind, solar, etc. are all of 286,377 KTOE. Global use rose by 5 MILLION while ALL of solar and wind is just over 1/4 million. In fact, over the roughly 10 years where you can make out the Wind & Solar line, global energy demand increased about 1.5 Million KTOE, or about 5 times as much.
We’ve been on a giant global Green Orgy of building, and we can’t do 1/5 of the GROWTH of energy use. There’s just no way you can build enough to catch up.
Now back off and look at those other color bars / lines.
Coal, Oil & Natural Gas are increasing the most. Nuclear is growing, but at a very low rate. Mostly just holding steady in the last decade or two. Hydro is pretty much all built out wherever you can get it in quantity. Biomass is mostly fixed by farming waste and how many forests you can destroy, so not much more available there.
The simple fact is that massive growth of wind and solar, covering huge chunks of land and most of the areas with decent wind, has provided nearly nothing. 10 Times that much is still nothing.
14,000,000 / 286,000 = 49. We would need to build roughly 48 times as much wind and solar as we have at present. We don’t have that many places with decent wind devoid of wind turbines. We’ve already covered roofs all over California and built $Billions of boondoggles in the deserts. I suppose you might be able to make a case that covering the Sahara could do it. But then how do you get the power to where it is needed?
Putting solar panels up in Calgary will not help warm nor light a Toronto winter. Ones in the Sahara are even less able.
Now realize we’ve been building these things for a decade+ already. That’s the size of the industry. About 1/480 th of global KTOE/year. You can either run that industry for 480 years more (and then you start to get into end of life replacement demand too, but we’ll ignore that for now) OR you must double, and double, and double, and double again the industrial capacity and even then you will need to run for 480 / 16 = 30 years flat out to make the needed capacity. You can’t quadruple and quadruple again the industry in that time. You would need to go back up stream and mine 16 times all the minerals mined, the rare earths and copper and more. We can’t mine that much that fast.
Just not going to happen.
I don’t care what laws you pass, what mandates are mandated, what incentives are given, who is bribed how much (though they will). It just physically can not be done.
One More Thing
Note that most of this demand growth is happening in China. They are building more coal plants than the rest of the world combined. I heard one estimate of 1 a week. They are buying more cars too.
ALL that a “Green Deal” can do is stagnate the West (USA, UK, EU, Australia) by preventing our industries from remaining viable, or perhaps crash our economies totally, while China has a 100% free ride on all the cheapest best energy sources of the world.
When all the growth is in cheap and effective coal and oil, and that goes to China, the rest of the global economy trying to run on fairy tale supplies of wind and solar will crash and burn. There is no other outcome from blocking our use of oil, coal, and natural gas while China can burn all it wishes.
You can not build your way out of this with wind and solar. It just can not be done.