LETTER: Victor Joecks nails it on energy reliability
Greens are in denial about renewables.
July 23, 2022 - 9:02 pm
Normally, I find Victor Joecks’ columns somewhere between from mildly annoying to infuriatingly misguided. His July 17 column, however, was dead on.
Renewable energy as it is generally deployed today is not dependable. The wind does indeed not always blow — or blows so hard that it can destroy a wind turbine. The sun goes away for an average of 12 hours each and every day, 365 days a year. And even in Southern Nevada, there are sometimes clouds. Not rain clouds, of course, but ones that nevertheless do a great job of throwing shade (literally) over solar panels.
As has been pointed out, there are storage solutions for solar and wind farms that can provide backup for some of the hours when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind does not blow (within the operational capability of the turbines). However, these are not cheap, and their manufacture has major environmental impacts that seem always seem to be swept under the rug. Such systems are also short-lived, with discharge times measured in hours, not days. Oh, and charging these storage systems takes a large portion of the installation’s total generation capability.
This is not to say there are not major problems with fossil-fuel power generation. There are. But these generating stations generate electricity reliably, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A viable replacement strategy must be capable of delivering electricity the same way. Until the “greens” produce one, they remain evangelists for particular sacred cows, not serious purveyors of serious and actionable solutions.