Wind, Solar Energy Not Seen Replacing Coal, Nuclear Any Time Soon
Manhattan Institute Report Says Alternative Fuels More Costly Than Coal
November 8, 2009
By: Dave Rogers
Fossil fuels and nuclear produced more than 91 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2007.
Renewable energies are not a short-term panacea, says Michigan Science Magazine in its current issue.
The magazine has a four page article adapting a Manhattan Institute report entitled "Energy & the Environment: Myths & Facts" by Drew Thornley.
"The rise of renewables will not be as rapid as many believe, and fossil fuels and uranium will continue to supply the bulk of our energy and electricity in the near term," according to the article.
Fossil fuels and nuclear produced more than 91 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2007, the Energy Information Administration(EIA) reports.
Even 20 years from now, in 2030, those fuels will still furnish about 80 percent of total electricity needs of the nation, the report states.
"Ironically, because renewables are not commercially viable technologies, the goal of energy independence is at odds with reducing our use of conventional fuels," the article states, concluding: "Unless we are willing to cut our energy use drastically, cutting back on imported fuel means that our consumption of domestic fossil fuels and uranium must increase."
The most startling conclusion is: "Though wind and solar rays are indeed free, wind energy and solar energy are costly compared with the costs of conventional power generation."
Costs of renewables are attributed to high costs of materials and skilled labor, added operations costs to electric grids that were not built for intermittent power sources, and lack of adequate transmission lines to carry power from remote areas where wind and sun are most plentiful.
Wind and solar generated less than one percent of the nation's electric supply in 2007 and required high federal subsidies -- about $24 per megawatt hour -- compared to about 44 cents per megawatt hour for coal while natural gas and petroleum received about 25 cents per megawatt hour and nuclear $1.59.
"Without these generous subsidies, renewable energies would not be competitive with conventional energy sources," the magazine states.
Also, odds are the new electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids won't be recharged with solar or wind energy, the article says, quoting electrical engineer John Voelker.
"On the other hand, many studies reveal that replacing conventional vehicles and hybrids with electric cars and plug-ins will lead to an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Outdoors Article 4352
- Feedback From Readers!
On November 09, 2009
at 10:28 AM
MAYBE NOT RIGHT AWAY BUT INEVITABLE.. A FEW WHO WOULD ADOPT "CAN DO" INSTEAD OF USUAL HO HUM "NOT ON MY WATCH" ATTITUDE COULD PUT US IN FOREFRONT INSTEAD OF USUAL PLACE AT THE TROUGH .. MICHIGAN USUALLY ARRIVES ONCE THE PROFITS ARE GONE AND NOTHING LEFT BUT HAND WRINGING ..
On November 10, 2009
at 10:38 AM
Do you know what the per kilowatt hour subsidy that nuclear power is receiving?
Dick Van Akker
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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