Renewable energy neither practical nor viable

Energy generation from renewable energy sources is simply not economical, but in can be and is an excellent source of tax revenue and more yet in secondary taxes.  It cannot produce a good return on investment and requires subsidies to cover the losses it incurs.  People are being frustrated by the relentless push for energy generation from renewable energy sources.  More and more it becomes apparent that renewable energy generation for nothing other than to replace generation of energy from conventional sources cannot be made to pay for itself.  Nevertheless, renewable energy drives up electric energy rates, the more so the more expensive and uneconomical it becomes, and thereby it becomes a prolific source of tax revenues.

Index

Renewable energy sources — The lies and the truth

How renewable energy serves to pull the wool over the eyes of people: Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels..., of course it does. That is evidence of how inefficient and costly it is.

“Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels…, of course it does. That is evidence of how inefficient and costly it is.

Yes, of course it employs more people. If someone would invent a way for people to generate energy for the transmission grid by running tread mills every day, that would employ even more people. The fact that wind and energy employ more people is a consequence of the circumstance that the energy generated from solar and wind is from relatively low-density sources of energy. That is what makes generating energy from wind and solar so expensive.

It cannot be made to employ fewer people than generating energy from fossil fuels and from nuclear sources does. That is why the latter are and always will remain more economical sources of energy generation. They use high-density sources of energy and that happens to make them more efficient per unit of energy generated.

It is curious but not surprising that the Wikipedia article on energy density indicated by the preceding two links does not discuss the energy density of  renewable sources of energy (except for the energy of “Water at 100 m dam height”). After all, Wikipedia is not an objective source of information.  In this case its article lies by omission on an important matter, the very low energy density of the energy of the sun and wind that humans can access.  Fortunately, many scientists and engineers concerned about matters of energy are not so stingy with the truth on that.

WHY RENEWABLE ENERGY
CANNOT REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS
BY 2050 (Link)

A REALITY CHECK

BY ROBERT LYMAN
ENERGY ECONOMIST

May 30, 2016

Humanity is owed a serious investigation of how we have
gone so far with the decarbonization project without a
serious challenge in terms of engineering reality.
– Michael Kelly, Prof. Electrical Engineering, Cambridge

The nature of the renewable energy scam

When discussing what drives the push for renewable energy,  people often reach the conclusion: cut off the subsidies, and the insanity will wither on the vine.  Unfortunately, there is a catch, a big catch, perhaps an insurmountable obstacle.

It is not that easy to stop the drive, the enormous pressure for energy generation from renewable sources.

It is a scam, a very, very powerful scam. The ones perpetrating the scam make money and intend to become rich on it. The governments are in on this one. Even if it were only to squeeze subsidies out of the suckers, the taxpayers, that is not the main reason why the governments are so eager to promote, even to be the main drivers of it.

Government-funded subsidies (in reality taxpayer-funded) are only seed money. Firstly, there is always more where the subsidies (the seed money) come from, the taxpayers. Secondly, the governments are after more, because for every dollar of subsidies paid out, vastly greater amounts of tax revenues can be squeezed out of the suckers, the taxpayers.

Renewable energy most expensive alternative for energy generated per unit of energy generated

Solar- and wind-generated energy is the most expensive alternative for energy generation per unit of energy generated

Of course energy generation from renewable sources does not pay or barely pays for the expense of doing it, the expense of initial investment and the cost of annul operation and maintenance per unit of energy generated. Of course it drives up the cost of electric energy for everyone using it, in the manufacturing and provisioning processes of goods and services, at every stage — from their sources, right down to the end consumers, who will not only pay the price for vastly higher electricity rates charged for their own consumption of electric energy — plus the sum of the price of electric energy per unit price that everyone involved in making and providing goods and services has paid. That is not all, not the most important part of the scam.

Solar and biomass below and wind barely above economic threshold - Cost comparisons (per unit of energy generated) of alternatives for energy sources

Cost comparisons (per unit of energy generated) of alternatives for energy sources

The most important part of the scam is that the governments collect vastly increased tax revenues on the prices that are being paid for the energy by itself at every stage, for every transaction in the provisioning processes for goods and services plus increased tax revenues on the higher prices that must be collected by producers of the goods and services they sell, higher prices that guarantee them a profit margin.

That applies to every single dollar of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), to every single dollar paid in every single transaction where money changes hand in the economy.  The idea is that, if prices for consumer goods and services go up, that will not affect consumption, more dollars will be changing hands, and the governments will be able to collect more taxes.  Of course, that will not be true for goods exported to other nations (it will also not be true domestically, as the total of all income earned will constrain how individuals shift priorities for the necessities of life).  The exported goods become more expensive, as they compete with similar, cheaper goods from countries that did not buy into the scam, and the country that did buy into the scam will see that its exports shrink.  An at least somewhat effective counter-measure is to have multinational organizations (e. g.: the UN and the EU) impose the renewable energy scam on every nation on earth.

Why renewable energy increases tax revenues

Energy is the life blood of nations. There is nothing that governments like better than to tax the blood of the economy, the energy that runs a nation. That is all the more so as the enormously increased tax revenues that can be collected by taxing energy are completely under the radar of legislative reviews, debates and approvals.

Yet, to be able to tax energy is a dream come true for every bureaucrat, ever politician who ever contemplated how to best generate tax revenues.  It is not necessary to introduce bills that will create new methods for taxation. It is not necessary to debate the need for tax-rate increases. It is only necessary to make energy more expensive, and the stream of tax revenues will increase substantially.

Ideally, and that is the smart aspect of the scam, the cause that drives up the cost and price of energy is being promoted so that the suckers, the end consumers of goods and services, the taxpayers, clamor to have that done because they have been made to believe that there is a global environmental catastrophe that will be mitigated by buying the Trojan Horse of “free and clean” renewable energy. Make them believe that it will save the planet, and no price is too high, but it is not free.  It is costly, and it cannot be made to pay for itself.

Nevertheless, the scam is not only extremely crafty, it is very nifty and enormously profitable for all around, except for those who pay the bill for it, the end-consumers.

Does anyone really think that the governments are too stupid to recognize a good scam for fleecing the taxpayers? I know that the Alberta government isn’t, because many years ago a member of the Standing Committee on Energy suggested to me exactly that, while we had a coffee break during a presentation being made to the Committee, by the board of directors of the Rural Electrification Association of which I was one of the directors. He said; “How would all of this work out if we were to tax energy? ” To which I responded, “You could have a revolt on your hands.” To which he replied, “Not if we told them that they no longer have to pay provincial income tax.” I said, “I doubt that would be enough.” To which he said, “Not if we were to throw in free health care, to boot. There would be enough revenue to do that, and we would still have plenty left.”

Well, see how nice that worked? They did not even have to make any concessions to bribe the people, to get them to buy into the scam. All they had to do is to tell the people that the globe is warming, that the environment is dying, and that people are a cancer on the face of the Earth, but that renewable energy will give everyone a free pass by being the solution to it all, that it will save the planet and bring Paradise on Earth.

There you go! That was easy, but now it will take considerably more than to merely cut off the subsidies to put an end to the scam, because now the scam is a big part of the economy.  In an essentially centrally planned economy that is being driven by millions of bureaucrats who all make a good living off that scam, who all depend on increased and ever-increasing government revenues derived from the scam to continue the life styles they have become accustomed to, it is perhaps too impractical or even impossible to expect a change in direction.

The renewable energy scam is now a controlling factor.  Without it, the economy is likely to collapse instantaneously.  That is so, even though the scam will drive the economies of nations and that of the world into the ground, if not back to the stone age.

Note: The conversation I had with that member of the Alberta Standing Committee on Energy took place before Al Gore had made a single dime on his brain child for cashing in on the scam by producing the award-winning propaganda movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” long ago debunked , that would eventually earn him about $100 million, far more than he had made during his entire term as  vice president of the U.S.  That conversation happened many years before Rachel Notley came on the scene.  It happened during the time of Premier Ed Stelmach — not that he is to be blamed for getting the scam going in Alberta.  It was going already long before he got into the picture. 

Taxing renewable energy in Iceland, as per the IMF

No one should give Alberta bureaucrats and politicians too much credit for pioneering the taxing of energy as an “equitable” method for raising tax revenues, based on the extent of energy consumption by individual taxpayers.  The idea had been considered and tossed around by far more more weighty fiscal expert, e. g.: The International Monetary Fund.  The IMF used it in its recommendations to Iceland on Advancing Tax Reform and the Taxation of Natural Resources.  Some (if not all) of those recommendations were used in designing ways for Iceland to prevent it from getting into another fiscal hole from which it would be difficult to escape due to borrowing on the international market to cover its tax-revenue shortfalls created by the Icelandic Government’s inability to have its bureaucrats stick to the limits of budget constraints.  Here are a few excerpts from that IMF report:

Renewable energy used to raise tax revenue

Renewable Energy : used in Iceland to generate tax revenues – IMF report, bottom of p. 8, second-last par.

Renewable Energy : used in Iceland to generate tax revenues

Renewable Energy : used in Iceland to generate tax revenues – IMF report, p. 12

Renewable Energy : used in Iceland to generate tax revenues - IMF report, p. 15

Renewable Energy : used in Iceland to generate tax revenues – IMF report, p. 15

You may wish to look up the figures at the end of the report, showing that, the higher the tax rate charge on electric energy, the higher the revenues for the government of Iceland. (Reference 1)

The price of electric energy in Iceland, as of Nov 8, 2015, was 5.54 US cents/kWh. At a generation of  50 MWh per capita in 2008, that works out to roughly US$2770 per capita, assuming that there were no transmission losses.  (Iceland electricity rate from Wikipedia)

With a population of 332,529 in 2016, that would add up to potentially US$920 million in gross revenues from the sale of electric energy.  (Pop. figure from Wikipedia)

________
References

  1. Iceland: Advancing Tax Reform and the Taxation of Natural Resources
    Philip Daniel, Ruud De Mooij, Thornton Matheson, and Geerten Michielse
    IMF, Fiscal Affairs Department, May 2011   

Heaven help us. The Wise Men of Gotham have a lot of descendants!

How can one explain why we see things being done that make no sense, unless one consider that the only thing the all have in common is that they are designed to drive up the cost of energy?  Take this example: Burning the environment to save it   A story of mining forests for trees all over the world, to reduce the trees to wood chips that are then shipped to the U.K., to be burned there in the furnaces of the Drax power station, to save on the burning of coal for power generation, so that the environment can be saved.  Surely, the Wise Men of Gotham or their offspring must have had a hand in that scheme.

I grew up in Germany. While there, as a kid, we frequently joked about the silly and illogical things the citizens of Schilda were doing. Never did I dream in my craziest dreams that the stories about the citizens of Schilda were parodies of real-life follies of their descendants who now promote energy generation from wind, solar and biomass, to feed into the transmission grid. That folly never fails to trigger memories of the very first fable summarized below.

The well-known follies of the citizens of Schilda (the German equivalent of the Wise Men of Gotham)

The citizens of Schilda build a town hall:
When the citizens of Schilda build a new, pompous town hall, the architect forgot to allow for windows, and the town hall is inside as dark as can be. As a result, the citizens of Schilda try to capture the sunlight with buckets and carry them inside to pour out the sunlight there.

The citizens of Schilda move the town hall:
A jacket serves as a mark of the town hall shift. When a vagrant takes the jacket, one of the citizens of Schilda believes the town hall has been pushed too far.

The salted community:
In order to be independent of the expensive salt deliveries, the citizens of Schilda decide to grow salt themselves, and spread a load of salt on the congregation. The harvest of the supposed salt plants (in reality nettles) by hand unfortunately fails.
In Schilda, the place where that happened is known as “Saltberg”.

The cow on the old wall:
Because high grass grows on an old wall, some of the citizens of Schilda want to remove the grass by letting a cow graze it. To hoist the cow on the top of the wall, some strong men pull the cow up on a rope. Since the rope was wrapped around the neck, the cow is finally strangulated. When the citizens of Schilda saw the cow’s outstretched tongue, they shouted enthusiastically: “Look how it is stretching its tongue! It’s eating the grass already!”

The Sunken Bell:
In order to protect the valuable town hall bell from the enemy, the citizens of Schilda decide to sink it in the lake. To find out where in the lake they can retrieve the bell after the end of the war, the resourceful citizens carve a notch into the boat’s edge. When, after the war, they realized that they could not find the bell again, they cut the notch out of the boat’s edge, in anger, which made the notch even bigger.

About the right scarecrows:
Because crows pick the freshly sown grain out of the field of the community, they are to be scared off. So that the mayor does not crush the seed, four men carry him on a platform on to the field.

(There are a few more stories like that, but that is enough to teach even the dumbest sack full of hammers a lesson, we can only hope. Solar and wind are not economical sources of energy for feeding into the grid. The people who think that they are may as well go and borrow a couple of pails from the citizens of Schilda and use the pails to catch some of the sunlight and of the wind they want so badly. – Walter)

Original source: German-language edition of Wikipedia

Conclusion

A maxim goes, “Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity.”  That is an interpretation of Ockham’s razor, “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

It is tempting and would be easy to poke fun at the politicians, the government bureaucrats, and their camp followers, who act like the Wise Men of Gotham when they rationalize the need for promoting energy generation from renewable sources.  That would be a fatal mistake.  Some may seem dumber than a sack of hammers, but those who invented, promote and drive the scam are not dumb, which does not protect them against being irrational, and that makes them dangerous.

It would be far better to apply, in relation to them, a maxim that is the converse of the interpretation of Ockham’s razor shown above, as the simplest explanation that applies in the case of the renewable energy scam is not stupidity.  Therefore, “Never ascribe to simple stupidity what must be caused by malice,” except not malice drives it but nothing other than greed.

For government bureaucrats and their water boys, the politicians, what drives it all is an insatiable craving for tax revenues generated through a scheme that will give them an everlasting, open-ended budget (it will at least last until the end of the economy that it will drive into the ground).

Relating to a bureaucracy, keep in mind Parkinson’s Law:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

In the case of the renewable energy scam and the open-ended budgets it funds, the work will expand indefinitely, as the resources funding it become indefinite but are nevertheless limited by the capacity of the economy to generate the funds to support it.  A cancer that nothing can or will cure would be an apt description of how that works.  It will feed on its host until the host becomes exhausted and dies, and the cancer along with it.

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