Green New Deal Can’t Depend 100% on Renewable Energy
Many cities (San Diego, Portland, WDC, San Fran, even Puerto Rico) are adopting “100% Renewable” standards or goals by 2030 or thereabouts more as a political slogan’ not a verifiable engineering plan. This “hope and change” approach to engineering undergirds the “social transformation” process sought by Green New Deal peddlers of fantasy.
During the recent Polar Vortex in Detroit, Toledo and Chicago, wind and solar were not available, and CMS suffered a debilitating fire at a major gas compressor station. Fortunately, the Fermi 2 plant on Lake Erie was running at 100%. Lives were saved during the record freeze (with little sun), perhaps thousands. Batteries would have been worthless.
The primary objective of the Green New Deal is a self-admitted “democratization of capital”, a brazen socialist agenda, not reliable energy. Never mind that most of the solar panels are made in China. Sure, use wind and solar when and where available (CA, AZ, NV), but “100%” is a Grand Naive Delusion that will put hundreds of communities at risk needlessly. Socialist city councils cannot legislate new laws of physics.
COUNTERPOINT (EBJ’s Voice in California)
At this point the Green New Deal is not a program, nor is it part of a socialist agenda, but it is a broad sweeping agenda meant to drive the discussion and awareness of environmental and climate change issues, and I guess might as well throw in social equality as well.
But the movement is shaping the details as we speak and as more statements come out. A Green New Deal has been adopted by some of our newly elected members of Congress, which I would applaud, but it lacks definition and may not tie directly back to its first recorded references by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times in 2007.
Similarly I would counter that the 100% renewable targets announced by cities and states are knowingly just ambitious targets and long term goals made as statements, and I agree from an engineering perspective are unlikely to be achieved. However you can’t dismiss the potential of renewables and energy storage, and the advances made in combining the two, as ‘worthless’, even in the face of deathly cold. The advances in battery technology in the last 5 years rival the advances in solar photovoltaic technology and cost decline over the previous decade, and these advances are likely to continue.
Railing at distributed energy commitments as ‘socialist city council’s legislating the laws of physics’ is a bit much, but I do see your point. Soapbox declarations of unattainable goals are kind of commonplace in American politics these days anyway, but exaggerating to make a point has gotten a little out of hand. Can’t we just tax carbon emissions at $30/ton and be done with it?