The Green Energy Economy Reconsidered

dutch-windmillThe last we saw such an economy was in the 13th Century

By Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren

“Green” energy such as wind, solar and biomass presently constitute only 3.6% of fuel used to generate electricity in the U.S. But if another “I Have a Dream” speech were given at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, it would undoubtedly urge us on to a promised land where renewable energy completely replaced fossil fuels and nuclear power.How much will this particular dream cost? Energy expert Vaclav Smil calculates that achieving that goal in a decade–former Vice President Al Gore’s proposal–would incur building costs and write-downs on the order of $4 trillion. Taking a bit more time to reach this promised land would help reduce that price tag a bit, but simply building the requisite generators would cost $2.5 trillion alone.

Let’s assume, however, that we could afford that. Have we ever seen such a “green economy”? Yes we have; in the 13th century.

Renewable energy is quite literally the energy of yesterday. Few seem to realize that we abandoned “green” energy centuries ago for five very good reasons.

Read the rest at Forbes.

41 Responses to The Green Energy Economy Reconsidered

  1. paul wenum March 31, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    The Windmill in the picture reminds my of Holland and April coming and tulips in full bloom. They are now tourist traps and never used any longer and haven’t for over 70 years if not more. Yes, energy of yesteryear. Solar and wind are not the wave of the future. They do not report the millions of birds killed annually with wind power and God pray tell what happens if the wind quits blowing? Solar is fine if you have $50,000 for solar versus $2,500.00 for a natural gas furnace and natural gas is predicted to take us another 150-200 years. Whatever, just thinking cost versus factual usage/return on investment. Not rocket science. Oops, forgot, that it must be “Green.” What a loss of our natural resources by the left wing liberals. Finally, I forgot, they have their limo’s and 15000 square ft houses with the Prius parked in the garage, solar panels covering their pool/tennis court, heated of course and well as their place in Beaver Creek, Colorado with the same emenities (Been there), that shows their “responsible” and have an excellent carbon foot print! Must be nice to be a hypocrite! Liberals never change. We must be lemmings, but they are the one’s to tell us what cliff to jump from as they sit back and watch with their Perrier and Brie.

  2. Hollisntq226 May 5, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Wind and Solar Energy do next to nothing for transportation purposes. How are you going to use wind or solar to power a car, truck, tractor, train, airplane, etc. You can only use a very tiny amout of solar or wind for this purpose, less than 1%. The man is in a dream world when it comes toenergy. I honestly don’t think he’s not smart enough to understand the issue. He has idiots surrounding him telling him the false promise that solar & wind can solve our problems. The man is certifiably nuts.

    • Rob N. Hood May 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      So based on that logic why not save most of the oil and gas to power autos, instead of wasting it on other things? Sorry, but your reason and logic are anything but…

  3. paul wenum May 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm #


    As to transportation purposes, you won’t see wind or solar (Cost is too cost prohibitive) unless you use clean coal (America controls coal production) that generates fuel that generates your GM (Goverment Motors) Volt to run on electricity, (Produced by coal) that runs the Volt! et al. My God, when will people wake up? I drive GM pre-Government motors. I can visualize a big solar panel on my vehicle as well as a couple of blades to catch the wind, if it blows? Bottom line, use the resourses we have at present, natural gas, oil, clean coal and then invest in new technology going forward and have no problem with that at all. It does not happen overnight like our Master believes it will. You can dictate but you can not mandate something that has yet to exist. Nice to see you on this site.

  4. Rob N. Hood May 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Oh no! The volt runs off electricity!! How shocking and evil! Compared to energy used by a “normal” car, these are more efficient. Why is that such an impossible concept for you all to grasp? It ain’t exactly rocket science. You all ignore things that currently do exist… head in the sand syndrome. Humanity being dumb once again…

    • sunsettommy May 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      Do you know how many miles a Volt can run between charges?

      Do you realize that if electric cars actually take up a sizable number of the cars on the road.There would have to a lot more coal,gas,natural gas and Nuclear power plants built.To keep up with the demand to charge up those deadly,hazardous,poisonous batteries to full power.

      Maybe it is better if we went to the modern Diesel engine based cars instead and save having to build a fleet of CO2 belching power plants.

  5. paul wenum May 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Robbie Boy, Let us all know when you buy one for $43,000.00 get your rebate of $8,000 and take your family on a vacation? The battery that costs $12,000 to replace when it goes out? How many children do you have? Had a seven passenger van loaded with kids for camping that cost $18,900.00 new! Are you going to buy two, three Volts? Give me a break. My God you live in la la land not reality as it exists today. Suggest you ride a 7 seat bike?

  6. Rob N. Hood May 8, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    They guarantee the batteries, for many years, just like they warranty the drive train on regular cars etc. Wow, new technology really offends you for some reason/s. Do you work for an oil company, is that your dirty secret? That sure would explain your seeming inability to use reason and logic all the while protecting old, expensive, and dying technology. If you don’t work for big oil, you should. Maybe Dan could hook you up with the Koch Brothers…

    • sunsettommy May 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      Do you realize that they are very hazardous to the environment?

      Where do you think they are getting those key battery ingredients from?

  7. Rob N. Hood May 8, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Also, if I needed a large van for some reason I could still buy one. That’s America, freedom, and the current car market… great isn’t it? Your “logic and reason” leaves much to be desired. Try again.

  8. paul wenum May 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    You are a contradiction. No oil, but you would buy a Van? Give me a break.

  9. don May 10, 2011 at 4:39 am #

    Solar, wind, tide and clean hydro sure can power everything we need. The difference is between initial investment and longer yields, minimal maintenance vs shorter investment and continued cost financially and environmentally. Of course old world oil bigwigs don’t want to pay to transition – my mom took 7 years just to try the internet. Old habits die hard. But the youth are being educated about the realities and this is not a political division issue so much as a HOW can all parties win issue. I’ll be happy to move onto my private property to live off micro hydro later this summer while you suckers pay the oil companies to get richer and greedier at the expense of our life giving earth. I’ll pay no monthly bills for life after my 6000 initial costs and license. I will also not be creating co2 from the dinosaur grid. I will invite everyone in town to come have a look and I will be more than happy to explain it to them, while posting my experiences on the internet in order to make transitioning for others easier. You should just post all the oil company logos at the top of the webpage. Oil owes humanity a priceless debt. I have been sending emails to my local politician and posting about all the alternatives. WIND, SOLAR, TIDAL, CLEAN HYDRO, tax oil companies then recycle the taxes into a clean energy fund. Clean world for the win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sunsettommy May 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

      Do you know what the difference between high mass and low mass power are?

  10. don May 10, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    The US is having a hard time with international relations. Being the number 1 global CO2 driver doesn’t embarrass you?! Everyone knows it. It’s like the loud kid at school [deleted vulgarity] all the girls silently tease.

    • Rob N. Hood May 16, 2011 at 7:30 am #

      I agree Don. Plus there are many examples of less pollution producing countries that have good economies. It’s a no-brainer, not to mention the green technology race that we are busy losing. The old America would be in the lead of that, no question. Big money and big media are taking us all down a dead-end road to a Russia-like implosion or a Mexican style way of life. Not a pretty picture either way. The tea party and Rightys are all happily holding hands and skipping together taking us all down that sad road.

  11. Rob N. Hood May 10, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Who said there’s no oil? Again, what planet are you from? Why post illogical irrational statements? Do you really think that advances discourse? Really? Try again.

  12. paul wenum May 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    “don,” that’s your name? “Everyone knows it.” Your words. No they don’t know what you state. In fact over 30,000 scienctists disagree with you. Suggest that you research further. The internet is not that hard. Assume you are from Belgium? Good luck.

  13. Rob N. Hood May 14, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    No response to me Paul? Too hard to face your illogic? BTW a Prius costs around 23K, the Volt is 40K. And I beieve Don is his “name.” Why such inanities from you Paul? Running out of smart aleck remarks?

  14. paul wenum May 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    No response needed. Been stated in previous posts. Hate repeating.

  15. Rob N. Hood May 16, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Lazy and anti-discourse. Everything you claim you are not. Hmmmm

  16. paul wenum May 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    It seems Robbie Boy hasn’t purchased a car in a long time. A Prius for $23,000 etc. Are you back in the 80’s? Oh well, kids in college will be kids. Nothing personal just my opinion. My cheap Government Motors car cost my $30,000 in 2006 and it is a simple car with now 100,000 miles on it. Nothing changes with you. Dribble, dribble.

  17. Rob N. Hood May 19, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Look it up on the internet… the prices are right there. They are actually having to re-tool the Volt plant to keep up with the demand. Who would’ve ever thought that green technology would be good for the economy??!! If someone only would have thought of that sooner!!!!! (sarcasm alert)

    I don’t play basketball so I can’t be “dribbling.” And sorry, last I checked the price for the Prius, at least in my neck of the woods, has increased to 27K, probably due to demand via the high price of gas. And too much for me. I need a new car due to my accident and would love a Prius or more so a Leaf, but can’t afford either since I am a lowly middle class (working class) American and not able to even live the way my father did, regardless of my college degrees vs. his high school degree. Very sad that the American dream truly only lasted for one generation. Greed and evil put a stop to that sillly nonsense, eh?

  18. Rob N. Hood May 19, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    $30K is “cheap”??!!! Especially, in 2006? Wow… Paul, it amazes me that people like you have the gall to whine and complain. Simply amazing. I’m hoping beyond hope to spend half that much.

  19. Rob N. Hood May 19, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    My last car pruchase was in 2005, and I paid 11.5K. Yep, and that was new, and all I could really afford. So put that in your self-rightous pipe and smoke it.

  20. paul wenum May 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Love sunsettommy’s comments. By the way the $30,000 SUV I purchased in 2006 I paid $26,000. Got rid of a Toyota Highlander that got 22 MPG, and now get 22MPG with my trailblazer (Nice SUV) Toyota wanted $43,000 for the highlander. Duh, no brainer. As Sunsettommy says, where are the batteries coming from, what is the long term cost and yes, they burn electricity that comes from coal et al. Finally, there is yet to be a Volt on the road and according to consumer reports, it basically sucks due to the cost factor. Remember “logic and reasoning?” quoting you. Finally, have numerous pipes and like the cherry blend with a lot of coffee and friends with good discourse.

  21. Rob N. Hood May 20, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Sorry Paul, nice try. I didn’t make up the thing about the plant re-tooling to make more Volt’s. And I’m not an idiot grade schooler, I do know where electricity comes from. You haven’t responded to my point that a car like the Volt uses LESS energy than a comparable one. What is it about FACTS you don’t like Paul? And that I also admitted they are too expensive, for me. All new things cost more at first… or do you not remember even the basics of economics…? Trying to have logical and rational “discourse” with the likes of you is… becoming scarily insane. I need to seriously think about that… Or maybe I should start smokin’ what you are smokin’.

  22. paul wenum May 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    It’s economics 101. Suggest you re-read.

  23. Rob N. Hood June 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    [comment deleted]

  24. paul wenum June 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    Nice comment RB, Dasvidania!

  25. Rob N. Hood June 8, 2011 at 5:30 am #

    Oh, now you can read that which is deleted? Wow! You are powerful and insightful (not).

  26. paul wenum June 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Didn’t have to it is a given what you normally post. Dasvidania!

  27. Rob N. Hood June 9, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    I “normally” post that which is entirely deleted? Wow- another half-baked, or no- bake, theory from Paul…

  28. paul wenum June 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Why would you of all people be “deleted?” Let me quess.

  29. Rob N. Hood June 16, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Dodge and weave Paul, dodge and weave. And you think I’m good at that. Not compared to you that’s for sure.

  30. paul wenum June 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Will let you guess why.

  31. Rob N. Hood June 18, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    You are not only contradicting yourself, but confusing as well.

  32. paul wenum June 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Will let you figure it out.

  33. Rob N. Hood June 22, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Gee thanks for clearing that up.

  34. paul wenum June 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I did, you didn’t.

  35. Rob N. Hood June 26, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I said thanks…. sheesh.

  36. paul wenum June 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    I guess your welcome?

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