Bill Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

It is interesting that there is no US media coverage of this perspective from Bill Gates.  This article comes from the UK.  The UK doesn't utilize direct taxpayer subsidies like the USA, but instead has forced a "Feed-in Tariff" on the grid, forcing electricity costs to skyrocket.  This, in turn, has led to poor and working class people to endure what has been termed "energy poverty" such that they must sacrifice heavily on other things to try to keep the lights on.

Excerpts from the article:

"Retired software kingpin and richest man in the world Bill Gates has given his opinion that today's renewable-energy technologies aren't a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels, and governments should divert their green subsidies into R&D aimed at better answers."

Gates refers to the cost of meeting electricity needs on renewables as "beyond astronomical"

"In Bill Gates' view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funneled to renewables owners to R&D instead. This would offer a chance of developing low-carbon technologies which actually can keep the lights on in the real world."

Bill Gates scorns those ideologues who want to end all fossil fuels and run the world on wind & solar power in this interesting article.  Here is the link:

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Comment by Penny Gray on June 29, 2015 at 7:28am

Does Canada have a migratory bird act or something similar?  The international implications?

Comment by Kathy Sherman on June 28, 2015 at 9:54pm
Jim, I do get it, but the industry won't even do research, they will point to the 'study' about cars, planes, tall buildings, and feral cats killing more birds and not unitize the data, try to rectify the loss from those sources, or admit to what species are vulnerable and when. Now it is an argument that more birds are killed on farmland (I assume they mean from pesticides, not feral cats) against very strong FWS not to put turbines within 3 miles of coastline on the Great Lakes because the birds and bats will drown. The agency seems to be showing some backbone for once despite caving under pressure from industry on their 'guidelines' that would have required monitoring for smaller in number big 'community' wind projects on public lands (what is being pushed in a big way in areas that don't know that they don't have a good wind resource, such as throughout Massachusetts but more generally as 'distributed generation', and now every place can convert from a senseless place to put wind turbines because capacity factors are more like 16% not class 2 and 30% and financially viable, and hope to be class 5 if they just use a 140 m diameter rotor and up the height). I.e., the myth that has been growing from 2010 or before that the big rotor/tall tower will compensate, and is now 'more efficient' at extracting wind's energy. The reason that I say the physics does not work is that the way it has been done so far still puts the wind speed gradient from top of rotation to bottom at a tremendous difference when you have high wind shear, whether coast or forest or coastal forest. That is bad for mechanics of turbine, for acoustics of emissions and propagation of emissions and energy produced likely will not be what was calculated. The implications for avian impacts?? That is where we got a slight hint of migratory bird numbers from.

It won't get to an honest court if the Migratory Treaty Act is disembowellowed. For many of the northern tier from northwest to Maine, I want to know if that covers birds crossing up to Canada or vv. I also want to know if it covers the offspring of migrants such as osprey since it is the juveniles who have been killed so far. My point is that many of our most precious birds are those that spend a short but important time here, either breeding or fattening up on their long way home. For other locations, it is on their long way north. But it is not just resident birds at a particular season even, which is the most that EIAs seem to give nowadays. American Bird Conservancy seems to have a bit greater understanding of the concept of variance. Wanting three years data alone would eliminate most 'studies', but it is relevant for reasons they argue.

I do understand the surveillance issues. I somewhat understand timing issues and methodology issues from what has made it to court. I do not understand why any conservation agency has not demanded the NRC type study. I am selfish and also don't understand why they would only care whether a population went extinct versus the local population went to zero or moved elsewhere.

I also do not understand why there is not more attention to the immediate effects of construction, noise, blasting, habitat and species loss or displacement. In some places that must be devastating (I mean most), but if the birds have all fled that construction or the felling of their nest, you Jim are not going to find their dead bodies even if you have good surveillance techniques. Maybe parts of needed habitat will be restored, but how long does it take? How many nests chopped down meanwhile?
I don't really want 'best practices' for ridge line construction and blasting but I am still naive enough to think that there must be a 'better way'.
Comment by Jim Wiegand on June 28, 2015 at 6:15pm

Kathy I agree with your wind industry transmission lines argument and this should be considered in every wind project equation. But getting honest mortality studies for these lines or these turbines is nearly impossible these days. I could do a study tomorrow and the next day these scum bags will launch 100 rigged studies with their shills to counter anything I may prove.  Then their results will be plastered everywhere in the media and mine ignored.


But if anyone anywhere ever pulls them into an honest courtroom it can be proved with nearly every wind industry study that they are rigged not to find most of carcasses.

Comment by Kathy Sherman on June 28, 2015 at 5:38pm
I have not listened yet but just started an economic comparison between job and 'trickle down' benefit of Atlantic offshore oil/gas drill vs. Big Wind out there. yes, job creation still number one, but it will be people with offshore experience, at best from Calif. and Texas, but more likely big Eurpean investors. So I want Bill to total up the costs to US and argue for better way. Fund the R&D himself for a better way. Fund solar thermal cooking and water purification so women don't get killed going out long distances for firewood. But recognize how much of our energy use has become PC/Big Data/etc. connected. research how to put that to more efficient use. I feel like MSN and Google are in a war with Apple winning along the way. It all takes energy and ever more disposable waste. We don't even think about the waste, although a Sierra Club presenter showing box car loads of disposed phones (back when the life expectancy of phones was years rather than months) and I thought about it yesterday when a poster complained about the fact that every student needs a laptop now to be recharged at parents expense. I thought about it big time when I learned that NSA's new data center in Utah was expected to spend $18 million per year in electric costs at 2-4 cents per kWh (Pretty sure that is total). They will be the second biggest consumer after copper refining so more land can be deforested to mine copper for the transmission lines to carry electrons from Canada or northern New England and NY, or make an offshore line (High Volt and Google too) up and down the Atlantic coast. Stop Big industrial, and 'sustainable' corporate imaging, not just what you have come to hate best.

Jim, I still think you would have a better argument if you simply took the wind industry's argument that transmission lines kill way more birds and calculate how many miles of ugly transmission (enviro busting too) are needed to get fickle wind around). Go after raptor deaths, but less as the media ignoring you and more inclusive of other raptors such as osprey that we have spent millions to restore and which don't avoid even small little Searsburg turbines or single to double turbine facilities down in coastal MA, at least as juveniles. Protest that there has not been a single study done that NRC '07 called for. Protest that Maine DEP Commis Ato did not know how we'll post-construction avian monitoring was going. I hope it is going better than noise compliance monitoring in Vinalhaven, and in a number of coastal towns in MA where industrial wind has been sites so close that 50 - 150 homes are within flicker, let alone noise distance. We got a small, vague clue.

Please fight for the preservation of migratory species act, and preservation of humpback whale listing.

I am compelled by arguments that land preservation (even if habitat is fragmented while rest-stops and intact corridors remain) is an argument that should remain - fighting for climate change resiliency. Maine Audubon did not really endorse stripping ridgetops where developers want to go (with nearly 8 cents/kWh subsidy counting MA RECs and PTC) - They endorse the new huge rotors on ever higher towers that will magically transform a piss poor wind resource into a viable one. Excluding urban areas, of course.
That is going to be woe to any species around. The physics still does not compute, the rotor area to slaughter increases as a square. No One really wants to address life-cycle carbon costs, but they have gone up greatly with tower height and blade length and coming from Asia.
Comment by Penny Gray on June 28, 2015 at 4:54pm

I posted to Facebook. 

Comment by Jim Wiegand on June 28, 2015 at 3:25pm

You are not reading about this in the media for the same reason my insightful comments are being deleted from articles and renewable energy shills flood comments with their lies. In the two articles below dozens of my comments have been hidden from readers leaving the industry's"big green lie" center stage.                      

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on June 28, 2015 at 2:36pm

shared on Facebook and twitter- we should all get this out far and wide..this is a man with an objective voice and an intelligent nongryeedy brain- he does not need to be greedy- finally! Brad is right..doubt the media that has vested interest in this in our country will cover this so let's get it out there!!

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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