Alex Esptein: Gore’s sequel ‘lies’ about alleged ‘100% renewable energy’ city of Georgetown TX
By Alex Epstein – Author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.
Excerpt: Gore shows us the town of Georgetown, Tex. and its use of 100-per-cent renewable energy. Stories about “100-per-cent renewable” locations like Georgetown, Tex. are not just anecdotal evidence, they are lies. The Texas grid from which Georgetown draws its electricity is comprised of 43.7 per cent natural gas, 28.8 per cent coal, 12 per cent nuclear, and only 15.6 per cent renewable. Using a virtue-signalling gimmick pioneered by Apple, Facebook, and Google, Georgetown pays its state utility to label its grid electricity “renewable” — even though it draws its power from that fossil-fuel heavy Texas grid — while tarring others on the grid as “non-renewable.”
If we look at the overall trends instead of engaging in anecdotal manipulation we see that fossil fuel energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the world — still. Fossil fuels have never been more vital to human flourishing. There are 1,600 coal plants planned for the near future, which could increase international coal capacity 43 per cent. Advances in technology are making fossil fuels cleaner, safer, and more efficient than ever. To reduce their growth let alone to radically restrict their use — which is what Gore advocates — means forcing energy poverty on billions of people.
Because solar and wind are “unreliables,” they need to be backed up by reliable sources of power, usually fossil fuels, or sometimes non-carbon sources including nuclear and large-scale hydro power (all of which Gore and other environmentalists refuse to support). This is why every grid that incorporates significant solar and wind has more expensive electricity. Germans, on the hook for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s self-righteous anti-carbon commitments, are already paying three times the rates for electricity that Americans do.
(End Epstein excerpt)
Also backing up Epstein’s analysis is Professor David Spence of The University of Texas at Austin, who wrote an essay on July 21, 2017 titled: “What Does ‘100 Percent Renewable’ Really Mean?”
“Cities such as Georgetown, Texas, and Aspen, Colorado, already claim to be meeting the 100 percent renewable standard,” Spence wrote.
“For Georgetown and Aspen, ‘100 percent renewable’ means that those cities purchase as much renewable electricity as they can get. It does not mean that all the power they consume comes from renewable sources, however. That’s because there are times when renewable power isn’t available – on windless nights, for example. When that happens, both cities consume nonrenewable power from the regional grid,” Spence explained.
“Even though integrating renewable power into the electric mix is getting cheaper and easier, we still depend on nonrenewable sources when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,” he added.