The Absurdity Of Green “Deals” In One Graph

This graph is from:

KiloTon Oil Equiv Energy Of The World

KiloTon Oil Equiv Energy Of The World

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.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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19 Responses to The Absurdity Of Green “Deals” In One Graph

  1. H.R. says:

    Then there’s that little problem of wind turbines not being able to produce enough energy over their useful life to replace themselves.

    IIRC, that was the finding of a Google-funded effort to figure out how to make wind (and solar?) work. They threw up their hands and said, “You can’t get there from here.”

    People didn’t stop using windmills because they ran out of wind or windmills.
    I do wonder about small scale hydro. Most hydropower is some massive project that floods quite a bit of land behind a dam. I’m thinking more along the lines of the old waterwheel mills. There are a lot of continuously flowing large streams and medium-sized rivers that could have some of their flow diverted through a race. I can’t see it working everywhere, but I’d think a fair amount of reliable power could be generated from the sum of them.

    (Yes, there are problems. They still would be less than 100% reliable due to drought or freeze or other factors.)

  2. erl happ says:

    You’ve nailed it. But unfortunately common sense doesn’t come into it. You can’t rely on reason. That’s the problem with the truly hysterical. Might have to lock them away.
    John Kerry, the White House’s special envoy on climate, warned that the U.S. has less than a decade left to avoid the worst of a climate catastrophe such as the cooling affecting Texas. Cooling, warming, its all the same to John.
    Let’s start with John Kerry.

  3. Ossqss says:

    Hey, where have I seen that graph before?

    If you want to see hipocracy in action, look at Google’s site, at least on a PC. It states at the bottom below the search bar. “Carbon Nuetral since 2007”. Yeah right, those server farms run on Unicorn farts!

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m pretty sure you were the one who pointed me a the graph, but I’ve not taken the time to chase that down (today has been a bit, um, busy…)

    Mostly I started staring at the graph and the realizations that it drove became the posting. You just can’t get there from here given the materials required, the size of industry, the area of windshed already covered in windmills, etc. Just not possible.

    The whole “Carbon Neutral” thing drives me a bit around the bend. So just where did your electricity come from when the wind stopped at night, eh? They are NOT “carbon neutral” they are “political offset purchasers for bogus virtue signalling”.

  5. H.R. says:

    [Columbo voice] “Just one more thing…”

    If you want to replace fossil fuel electrical with wind and solar, and you want reliable electrical power**, then fossil fuel or nuclear power generation must increase faster than wind and solar.

    You will need to add more fossil fuel or nuclear power to make all those bird shredders at an accelerated pace (discussed by E.M. in the article), and you will need more fossil fuel or nuclear installations to provide spinning reserve.

    That graph can’t really change. It’s Stuck On Green Stupid©.
    **The wind and solar madness is not actually what it purports to be; an attempt to Save the Planet from turning into a fireball because… ‘caaah-bon’. The push for solar and wind is a deliberate plan to trash and crash Western economies while those ordering the change to wind and solar enrich themselves and their cronies at taxpayer expense.

    ‘Green’ is a feature, not a bug, if you want the demise of the West and a One World Government for the 500 million remaining people after a successful implementation. It is evil, not stupid.

  6. corsair red says:

    John Kerry has been making that decade statement for, what, 100 years now? Someone on Facebook said 21 but coming from Kerry it seems like 100.

  7. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – I’ve been telling various people I know of the problems here, but it’s like trying to persuade a Jehovah’s Witness that their book has inconsistencies. There’s a solid belief that it’s possible to run everything on wind and solar power, and that the consequences of not doing that is that the world will end next Tuesday.

    I’ve just seen a little feature on France24 about sea-level rise in Bangladesh causing floods, and that it’s all due to Climate change, when actually it’s a delta, and the ground is sinking because they are pumping out the ground-water for irrigation and drinking, and a look at tide-gauges shows that the rate of sea-level rise hasn’t really changed much over the last couple of centuries. Allow the river to flood and the delta will gradually build up again to… sea-level. Meantime, for all those islands that were going to be flooded by sea-level rise by now, around 80% of them have actually increased their area. The processes of the building and movements of barrier-islands have been known for a long time, too.

    Only the bits of the evidence that match the Climate Change four-walling are talked about. Miami is getting more flooded, so it’s sea-level rise, and the pumping-out of the groundwater can’t be a factor. Same with Venice. Erosion of cliffs is Climate Change, but finding old ports now being a few miles inland because of deposition isn’t. Historic climate changes, such as the Sahara changing from a savannah with monsoon rains 5000 years ago to a sandy desert a millennium or so later was natural, but any change now is All Our Fault for burning all that oil and coal.

    The big thing though is that the people calling for renewable energy actually believe that this will avert a disaster that will otherwise ensue. Showing them the evidence against it makes no difference, because beliefs aren’t based on facts. Since China and India are fully intending to increase the amount of CO2 they produce, then if it was in fact a problem we’d be buggered no matter what reductions we could make, but even that point doesn’t seem to get through.

    The “energy balance” diagrams I’ve seen, saying how much downwelling radiation we get from “greenhouse gases” (where Water Vapour is somehow ignored) are obviously wrong, given that the absorbance length of the relevant IR wavelengths are somewhere around the 20m range, so the only greenhouse gases that can actually make a difference to “downwelling radiation” are within a few hundred metres of ground-level, where water vapour is the most-important radiative gas anyway by 2 orders of magnitude over everything else. What’s in the stratosphere is far too far away to make any difference.

    Bottom line is that this is all a matter of faith and belief, and such things are very hard to change, and that that faith is widely-held and being reinforced daily by the majority of the media and politicians. Only a child could say the emperor had no clothes, but when Greta Thunberg says “what a wonderful suit of clothes” things get a little bit harder to change the paradigm. The children mainly suffer from the brainwashing so can’t see clearly.

    I figure the fix has to be a new technology that produces energy cheaply but does not produce CO2. There are some possibilities for that, such as triggered fission (you could have nuclear power down to a few kW and with no radioactive waste), and energy-creation from nothing which seems more far-fetched but looks like it may be possible. If you can violate Conservation of Momentum (CoM), as the EMDrive shows, then it follows that Conservation of Energy can be violated, too. See for a possibly-better way of violating CoM. Incidentally, I’ve shown an alternative derivation from Relativity and the fixed speed of light that CoM applies when you use a constant field, and that once you use a varying field (or a wave) then momentum is not necessarily conserved. So far, no-one has managed a refutation of that except to say that CoM is inviolable so I must be wrong.

    We may thus be able to side-step that belief problem, and still get enough energy to run a modern civilisation that needs a lot of energy relative to subsistence farming. Science is pretty useful.

  8. H.R. says:

    Simon Derricutt: “The big thing though is that the people calling for renewable energy actually believe that this will avert a disaster that will otherwise ensue.”


    The GEBs know it’s a farce, nonsense, and an economy-wrecker and have bribed the right people and hired enough agents provocateur to brainwash and stampede the herd of sheeple into demanding renewables out of the lies that have been repeated constantly until the lies are believed.

    The GEBs (Communists by convenience because it’s the best system to achieve their goals of ultimate power) hired a couple of guys at the back of the crowd to yell “Hang him! Hang Him! He’ll kill us all if we don’t!” After a bit, the crowd is all riled up and convinced that they should hang some hapless soul. The GEBs also paid someone to be there with a rope and they paid off the sheriff to look the other way.

    So you are right. It’s just that the people calling for renewable energy didn’t get there by their own reasoning. For them, reasoning is an airplane flight plus a train ride and then a ride on the bus away from their calls for renewables.

    Any time the sheeple start to think about their wallets, which tends to concentrate the mind, the agents provocateur just yell louder to get the sheeple back in line and on the path to their own destruction.

    So far, everything is going according to plan for the GEBs, except for that little 4-year Trump hiccup.

  9. Ossqss says:

    Hummm, I was reading up on several fronts regarding Green Energy.

    If you replace the word green in all of the articles and papers with “Misanthropic”, it seems more accurate. Is it just me? ;-)

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, it’s just you. The rest of us just replace it with “evil”…

    ;-) of course 8-0

  11. cdquarles says:

    This appears to be one of those times when we should embrace the power of “and”. This is misanthropic *and* evil. ;p

  12. YMMV says:

    Ossqss: “This was quite the special comment on WUWT.”

    It’s a long comment, so here is the key to the reset plan. It’s like a reboot, but without the boot. A shutdown. We asked nicely. Now we are telling you. It’s for your own good.

    Building enough wind, solar, and nuclear to replace even half of our carbon energy resources by 2030 is completely impossible. The only practical means of quickly achieving the emission reductions climate activists say are necessary is to impose a series of drastic energy conservation measures on the American public.

    snip the details: Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan (SSCECP)

    The SSCECP imposes an artificial shortage of fossil fuels on the American economy while greatly increasing the price of all forms of energy for all energy consumers. In addition, the SSCECP establishes a system of carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon.

    Texas was just a trial run. Asking us to please reduce your energy usage did not work. Adding a small tax to the cost did not work. Threatening us with the end of the world did not work. What to do? Shut down supply! Then supply and demand theory will mean the price will shoot up for those who can still get energy and they will turn off their energy usage. What could possibly go wrong?

    Some brain dead eco-communist would actually do this.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Or a crafty smart CCP Agent…..

    The goal is China hegemony AND USA destruction.
    They are not dumb, they are just back on track to goal.

  14. philjourdan says:

    And when they come for the woke, there will be no one left to speak up for them.

    I do not see Biden trading in Air Force 1 for the Gossamer Albatross – or Kerry riding bikes.

  15. Foyle says:

    This is really eye-opening, PV + Wind amounts to ~2% of global total energy production and is only adding about 0.25% of world demand a year, less than 20% of annual demand increase. That’s still pretty much irrelevant. We would need to add about 1TW of PV capacity (costing ~$1trillion) each year, 7x current rate, just to keep pace with rising energy demand never mind replacing fossil fuels.

    So all the bollocks spouted by various activist organisations and empty headed politicians about how much renewables are being installed and how we can transition to carbon neutral in a few years is utter bullshit when the reality is that the industry would need to be adding 20-30x as much per year to replace fossil fuels using PV panels that last 25 years – and that scaling up manufacturing to that degree would take another decade even with heroic efforts that our civilization is generally incapable of these days.

    And given seasonal capacity variation it could need twice as much as that (>100TW of solar panels), at typical 30MW/km² for PV plants that is 3million km² of PV plant, ~40% of Australia’s total area! and 100000km² per year (65% of whole South Island) that would need to be installed.

    Cheap molten salt reactors could work too, but development and scaling time for them is even worse

    Clearly informed people who assert oil and gas are going away any time in next few decades are delusional or lying, there is nothing to replace them and scaling the PV industry to the point that it could will take 2-3 decades or more.

    The other side to this is perhaps that investing in PV producers (outside of China’s 70% market share) could be a good investment with how much the industry will need to grow to supplant the inevitable tapering off of fossil fuels in coming decades.

  16. YMMV says:

    I thought the eco-communists were stupid. We tried to tell them to build up the new energy supply first before cutting off the old energy supply. If that is what they wanted, at least do it right. But no.

    The Evil Plan is more like this. Destroy the old means of energy production. Tell the people not to worry, green renewable energy is the future. Some of that new stuff is built, to show off, and to make friends rich, but it is all show. It is not meant to be able to meet energy demands. Not now, not in the future. It is only there as a cover while the old ways are destroyed. The tell is nuclear. No nukes. Not the traditional designs, not the new and improved designs.

    That would fix the problem. But we want the problem, we do not want a fix. Just like Covid.
    We don’t want the things that would cure covid (IVM et al), because we ONLY want the vaccine.
    If we have a prevention and a cure, we don’t need the vaccine, and our friends do not get rich.

  17. another ian says:

    This might crimp the system

    “German experiment to make wind powered Silicon Chips fails”

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    Anything with high energy inputs will abandon nations with high energy costs. i.e. anywhere with Green Mandates.

    Look at Steel and Cement. Just no way you make those anywhere using windmills and solar panels. You MUST use metallurgical coal for making metals… and metals are rather important to modern economies.

    Aluminum uses vast quantities of electricity to refine it. It can only be done where electricity is the cheapest. That will be nuclear and excess hydro.

    Glass uses astounding energy to melt rocks.

    Try making a modern economy without: Steel, Aluminum, Glass, Concrete, Silicon chips. Just try. I dare you…

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