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Yves here. This important Green New Deal post gives a much more thorough explanation of some issues with renewables we’ve raised but did not unpack adequately. For instance, most advocates of renewables present the cost of production as if that were a set number. In fact, the actual cost of providing power includes providing it at the time it is needed. That means the cost of time-shifting, ie battery storage, and the energy loss in getting it in an out of storage. This is not trivial. Even for solar in the summer in California, peak supply is in the afternoon, while peak use is 8 PM….meaning sunset or after dark.
By Gail Tverberg, an actuary interested in finite world issues – oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Originally published at Our Finite World
The reasons why the Green New Deal won’t really work are fairly subtle. A person really has to look into the details to see what goes wrong. In this post, I try to explain at least a few of the issues involved.
 None of the new renewables can easily be relied upon to produce enough energy in winter.
The world’s energy needs vary, depending on location. In locations near the poles, there will be a significant need for light and heat during the winter months. Energy needs will be relatively more equal throughout the year near the equator.
Solar energy is particularly a problem in winter. In northern latitudes, if utilities want to use solar energy to provide electricity in winter, they will likely need to build several times the amount of solar generation capacity required for summer to have enough electricity available for winter.