“If the purpose is to show fuel consumption by various fuels in electricity generation, the correct measure is not the electricity produced but the fuel consumed with the impact of erratic and unreliable wind and solar generation accounted for.”
This is the second post in a series reviewing Power magazine’s article on the International Energy Agency (IEA) paper, the recent World Energy Outlook. Part I yesterday dealt with installed capacity projections to 2040 and showed that this was a misleading measure. This post will show that in understanding fuel consumption, simply reporting the electricity produced is also misleading.
To illustrate the trends in fuels for electricity generation, the Power magazine article shows a more complex chart of electricity generation flows (compared to the installed capacity in Part I), reflecting such things as the net effect of plant closures and new plant construction to arrive at a result for 2040.…
“The reality is that non-dispatchable generation technologies, (wind and solar) cannot be directly compared with dispatchable generation technologies (coal, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, and generally speaking, hydro). This is a common mistake.”
Unfortunately, unrealistic representations of wind and solar are alive and well in many publications. Even if mathematically correct, their ability to reflect reality should always be carefully assessed.
These are like maps that show only a few major features, such as coastlines, mountains, large rivers, and major roads, leaving out the likes of non-fordable smaller rivers, marshes, ravines, and steep slopes or cliffs.
Signs to watch out for:
“The diversion of the associated massive investment of national wealth away from mitigation to adaption policies is most likely our best chance of meeting all the other major threats to humanity, many of which are more ‘clear and present’ than global warming.”
How are the vast majority of us to assess the claims of problematic global warming and mandated responses? At present, we are simply being told by ‘experts’ what is happening, and what we must do about it. The task of properly assessing climate issues is very complex, and individually we do not have the time to devote to the immense task of properly doing this.
One helpful approach is a simple decision tree model to evaluate policy options for global warming that has been published by Michael Cochrane, whose background includes a Ph.D.…