Today: 18.Feb.2020

Michael Shellenberger, Environmental Progress: Let’s look at 2016. Germany installed four percent more solar panels but generated three percent less electricity from solar. Even when I’m in meetings with energy experts and I ask people if they can make a guess as to why they think that is, and you’d be shocked by how many energy experts have no idea. The reason is just that it wasn’t very sunny last year in Germany. Well, that probably meant that it was windier, right? Because if it’s not as sunny then maybe there’s more wind and those things can balance each other out? In truth, Germany installed 11 percent more wind turbines in 2016 but got two percent less of its electricity from wind. Same story. Just not very windy. Every major journal that looks at it concludes that nuclear is the safest way to make reliable electricity.

Published in Environmental Progress

Richard Lindzen is an atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor at MIT. An implausible conjecture backed by false evidence and repeated incessantly has become politically correct ‘knowledge,’ and is used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization. What we will be leaving our grandchildren is not a planet damaged by industrial progress, but a record of unfathomable silliness as well as a landscape degraded by rusting wind farms and decaying solar panel arrays. There is at least one positive aspect to the present situation. None of the proposed policies will have much impact on greenhouse gases. Thus we will continue to benefit from the one thing that can be clearly attributed to elevated carbon dioxide: namely, its effective role as a plant fertilizer, and reducer of the drought vulnerability of plants.

Rob Jeffrey, Independent Economic Risk Consultant: The three major objectives of the country are poverty alleviation, reducing inequality and raising standards of living. These objectives can only be achieved by maintaining a high rate of economic growth, thereby reducing levels of unemployment and raising the standard of living. Electricity is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for economic growth. The necessary condition for sustainable economic growth is that there is a stable and secure supply of electricity at the lowest effective economic cost when delivered to the user. The sufficient condition requires that economic, social and political conditions must be put in place to foster and encourage domestic and foreign investment, thereby creating demand for productive and economically efficient industries.

Rob Jeffrey, Independent Economic Risk Consultant: South Africa is now (2018) in a recession, the fact is that South Africa does not have the financial resources to revitalise itself. The country suffers from a low savings rate and the government has no money to undertake the task of renewal and development itself. The only means to forge ahead is to make the country attractive to both domestic and foreign investment. Yet there are wild calls for expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of various industries, including one of the most damaging of the lot nationalising the SA reserve bank or using it as a pot of gold. These calls if they are implemented or gather in strength will drive South Africa into an economic death spiral similar to Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

One of South Africa’s key electricity technology energy advisors is a German renewable energy expert and supplier of German wind turbine equipment. Unbelievable. That highlights the desperate situation South African energy is in. German national energy programs based on wind and solar are only one natural crisis away from being in a disastrous situation.

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