Mark Mills and the reality of the Green New Deal

The world has collectively deployed more than $2 trillion for alternative energy over the past decade. And the share of the world’s energy coming from hydrocarbons has declined about 2 percentage points, from 86% to 84%.

Mark Mills continues his account of the basic realities of power and energy, and the fundamental lack of scientific understanding that underpins the Green New Deal and all the similar moves that are mainstream in the west, including every state in Australia.

Mark Mills – The Myth of the Great Energy Transistion (1)

The Tesla car is the centrepiece of green energy transition and he calls it the talisman because it has become the icon of the transition for public relations purposes, for virtue signalling and the electric car fleet is even anticipated to contribute to the grid-scale storage that is required to get over wind droughts. What is more, he points out that no single everyday product uses more energy than a car. “The furnace in the average home basement is a distant second, and there are far more cars than homes.”

The real impact of this paper comes from the connection that he makes between the patent inability of RE to significantly replace hydrocarbon/fossil fuels and the geopolitical implications of wildly fluctuating oil and gas prices in a world where the US is about to the abandon the transformational benefits of the fracking revolution that made her an energy exporter and helped to revive the economy.

The bottom line in geopolitics is the resurgence of Russian power and influence due to their gas reserves that are now being piped into China, reducing her reliance on the Middle East and US, and will flow to Europe when the Nordstream 2 pipeline is completed (currently sanctioned by the US).

Mining the makings of the Tesla

Getting back to the Tesla, he considered the optimistic forecasts that there will be  500 million EVs on the road worldwide by 2040 and he found that the reduction in oil consumption and CO2 emissions is not inspiring.

That would constitute a remarkable one-third of all cars by then. But since cars account for only about 30% of petroleum use, the arithmetic for that scenario works out to a less than 10% reduction in world oil demand and a far smaller reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions.

Replacing a standard car with an EV means swapping from liquid fuel to a bunch of sophisticated solids weighing in the order of 1,000 pounds fabricated from 500,000 pounds of stuff dug up somewhere far away. That constitutes a greater-than-tenfold increase in the quantity of material (liquids) that is used by a standard car over its entire operating life.

Woke mining companies have boasted about going solar in the deep north but the reality is that the mining industry in remote areas uses oil for heavy machinery and often to generate electricity as well. Especially at night. Global mining already uses nearly twice as much petroleum as the entire country of Germany, and that’s before the emerging “gold rush” for energy minerals. The global push for EVs will drive up demand for a variety of other energy minerals from 200% to 8,000%.

As for the massive expansion of  RE to fuel the EVs under the Green New Deal, digging up the earth to build wind and solar machines requires at least 10 times the amount of materials for conventional power plants power plants does to produce the same quantity of energy. What is more, most of the materials will be imported.

The United States is, in general, 100% dependent on imports for 17 critical minerals, including those used in green machines, and over half of our domestic needs are imported for another 29.

Not to mention the 90% of solar panels and 80% of key components of wind turbines that are imported.

This means that buying green-machine components is essentially an export of both jobs and hydrocarbon consumption…For example, in 2018, the Netherlands’s government sponsored an analysis of mineral demands associated with its own green energy goals. The study concluded that following a “Green New Deal”-style plan in the Netherlands would require the country alone to consume a major share of current global minerals production.

Economic and political impact of the Green New Deal

The genie of the shale-fracking revolution got out of the bottle during the Obama administration before he could stop it and President Trump gave it added impetus. The New Deal would reverse the current situation where America is essentially self-sufficient in petroleum and a net exporter of natural gas as a direct consequence of the revolution.

But virtually all of the new demand for “energy materials” will come from imports, either directly or indirectly in the form of the green machine hardware and components manufactured elsewhere.

If fracking stops there will be a missive shortage of  energy but green machines and energy minerals cannot  be imported fast enough to fill the gap because at present oil and gas supply 69% of America’s energy, while wind and solar together supply 4%.

A ban would simply mean either shortages or more imports, or both. And in due course, it would also trigger a more rapid, and possibly unprecedented, oil price spike once the post-COVID recovery is rolling. Both OPEC and Russia would appreciate such an outcome.

Disruptions in the oil market can be seismic and a fracking ban will bring on a serious shortage.

Consider that the world saw a 7% loss in supply with the 1973 Arab oil embargo that sent world oil prices soaring   by 400%, triggering a global recession. A few years from now, even in the most dewy-eyed Green New Deal vision, America will still be using roughly as much oil as it is today. But in the frack-ban scenario, that oil will be increasingly imported, and likely at far higher prices.

That is a serious matter for drivers in the US. Mills calculated that “just” doubling the price of gas would put transportation costs on a par with home mortgage expenses (show us your workings?). And then the ripple through the  transport industry. Trucking did not decline during the pandemic because so much cargo is essential and e-commerce boomed.

Moving on to gas

The electricity supply will be in crisis without shale gas and power supplies will have to rotate supplies (blackouts) and fire up all the available coal plants. Look at the situation where gas supplies a large proportion of the power – New England (nearly 50%), mid-Atlantic (38%) and Pacific Coast (30%).

None of this sounds like an outcome that any serious policymaker, green or otherwise, would want. But a frack-ban would cause such a fallout because there’s no prospect for importing enough wind-solar-battery hardware to fill the gap…Simply consider what the past two decades of climate awareness and spending have actually achieved. The world has collectively deployed more than $2 trillion for alternative energy over the past decade. And the share of the world’s energy coming from hydrocarbons has declined about 2 percentage points, from 86% to 84%.

 And so as the Green New Deal approaches reality, contemplate the cost.

Tesla corporate gets some $400 million in revenues from selling emissions credits to other automakers. That money, supplied by non-Tesla-owning taxpayers, is a “hidden” subsidy courtesy of federal policy. Getting to hundreds of millions of EVs with those kinds of subsidies adds up to trillions of dollars. You find similar numbers in the subsidies for wind and solar. That explains why honest brokers of green deals talk about spending trillions of dollars. How long taxpayers will tolerate such scales of subsidies is the political question of the decade.

So a word to people who are pleased to see Trump out of office: Be careful what you wish for.

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22 Responses to Mark Mills and the reality of the Green New Deal

  1. stackja says:

    Follow the money. Biden family?

  2. mundi says:

    This has a very long long way to go down the rabbit hole.

    Direct spend on energy for most people is only electricity and fuel, both of which are not even going to be over $100/wk per family. Thus the green scam and grow much much larger. People have already accepted double and treble price increases in power from the grid. The only real trick will be with petrol.

    Yes, the green scam will also cause prices of goods to go up, and lower living standards, but as shown with Gillards carbon tax – no one cares about that – they will just blame capitalists and market failure.

    I remember Gillards carbon tax – which applied to kilns who made bricks and tiles. So it became cheaper to export the coal to china, fire the bricks and tiles there, and import them. This is the exact sort of policy that will return under the green scam as soon as the coalition loses power.

  3. Roger says:

    Not to be outdone, the French parliament has recently voted to spend $200bn + on wind and solar over the next 15 years whilst closing a dozen or so nuclear power plants, leading to a 20% reduction in generating capacity. Experts – who in this instance know what they are talking about – have stated that France will have to substitute fossil fuel generated power for the closed nuclear reactors to back up intermittent renewables.

    One wonders how many French politicians have financial interests in renewables?

  4. Lee says:

    So a word to people who are pleased to see Trump out of office: Be careful what you wish for.

    More or less what I wrote on the Cat the other day.

    Unfortunately, Rafe, you and the likes of Mills are trying to convince morons, an utterly corrupted MSM and politicians, those “on the take”, and Green carpetbaggers of the gross inefficiency and ginormous expense of RE.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    reality of the Green New Deal

    Oxymoron.

  6. mindfree says:

    Thanks Rafe – first saw Mark Mills on Improve the Planet linked below

    He absolutely destroys the myth of RE

    BTW how do those wind turbines get manufactured? you know the housing, the blades and the power generators…by RE processes?? Bwa haha

    here’s the vid a bit long (about an hour but well worth it next time you’re at a dinner party and some nong starts rabbiting about zero emissions)

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mark+mills+energy&&view=detail&mid=9165AA0FBE012FD09D0E9165AA0FBE012FD09D0E&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmark%2Bmills%2Benergy%26FORM%3DVDRESM

  7. mindfree says:

    Lee at 1:46…yep despite Mills tearing apart the myth, we now see how many POS are on the take

  8. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    The world has collectively deployed more than $2 trillion for alternative energy over the past decade. And the share of the world’s energy coming from hydrocarbons has declined about 2 percentage points, from 86% to 84%.

    The green dreamers have been orgasming that the heinous bat crud has reduced global human CO2 emissions by 10% or somewhat.

    What they don’t tell you is that the CO2 level in the atmosphere is utterly unaffected by all this.

    Shock graph of rising CO2 emissions despite ‘planet-saving’ UN climate pacts shows ‘farce’ of ‘climate action’ (15 Jan)

    Even looking at the raw data I can’t see any change for 2020 whatsoever, compared with the trends of recent years.

  9. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV) says:

    The world has collectively deployed more than $2 trillion for alternative energy over the past decade.

    it’s only taxpayers money, let them eat yellow cake

  10. Captain Katzenjammer says:

    Pesky western maths & science. The natural basis for virtuous topics is indigeneous science.
    Ask any school child.

  11. max says:

    Vaclav Smil:

    IN 2000, GERMANY launched a deliberately targeted program to decarbonize its primary energy supply, a plan more ambitious than anything seen anywhere else. The policy, called the Energiewende, is rooted in Germany’s naturalistic and romantic tradition, reflected in the rise of the Green Party…

    The policy worked through the government subsidization of renewable electricity generated with photovoltaic cells and wind turbines and by burning fuels produced by the fermentation of crops and agricultural waste.

    During the past two decades, the Energiewende has been praised as an innovative miracle that will inexorably lead to a completely green Germany…

    In 2000, 6.6 percent of Germany’s electricity came from renewable sources; in 2019, the share reached 41.1 percent. In 2000, Germany had an installed capacity of 121 gigawatts and it generated 577 terawatt-hours, which is 54 percent as much as it theoretically could have done (that is, 54 percent was its capacity factor). In 2019, the country produced just 5 percent more (607 TWh), but its installed capacity was 80 percent higher (218.1 GW) because it now had two generating systems.

    The new system, using intermittent power from wind and solar, accounted for 110 GW, nearly 50 percent of all installed capacity in 2019, but operated with a capacity factor of just 20 percent. (That included a mere 10 percent for solar, which is hardly surprising, given that large parts of the country are as cloudy as Seattle.) The old system stood alongside it, almost intact, retaining nearly 85 percent of net generating capacity in 2019. Germany needs to keep the old system in order to meet demand on cloudy and calm days and to produce nearly half of total demand.

    It costs Germany a great deal to maintain such an excess of installed power. The average cost of electricity for German households has doubled since 2000. By 2019, households had to pay 34 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to 22 cents per kilowatt-hour in France and 13 cents in the United States.

    In 2000, the country derived nearly 84 percent of its total primary energy from fossil fuels; this share fell to about 78 percent in 2019. If continued, this rate of decline would leave fossil fuels still providing nearly 70 percent of the country’s primary energy supply in 2050.

    http://vaclavsmil.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/71.ENERGIEWENDE.pdf

  12. Entropy says:

    What is more, he points out that no single everyday product uses more energy than a car. “The furnace in the average home basement is a distant second, and there are far more cars than homes.”

    The obvious answer is to have everyone renting a unit in a city tower owned by the asset holding class, and you don’t get to own own a car at all. The reason is they won’t proved sufficient parking (for the environment, but really to save developer money, there will be special environmental charges if you dare to own a car, and the rego and fuel price will be astronomic, all by government fiat). Instead you subscribe to a self driving service also owned by the asset holding class.

  13. DM OF WA says:

    No matter how well-researched, no matter how cogent the argument, MarkWells, and others like him, are shouting into the wind. Sadly, it seems to me, no one is listening anymore; certainly none of our leaders.

  14. Squirrel says:

    “The Tesla car is the centrepiece of green energy transition and he calls it the talisman….”

    Speculation has already started on when the Presidential limousine will be electric (doubtless a Tesla) – the very thought of which will have the RE nutjobs besides themselves with excitement.

    I just hope the Morrison government persists with the line that what we need from the US now is technological breakthroughs, particularly for storage. We don’t need any more rhetoric and exhortations – that does not solve one practical problem.

  15. Fat Tony says:

    Who benefits from all this ? The CCP
    Who owns a good proportion of the Western governments? The CCP.

  16. BalancedObservation2 says:

    GDP over the same period has gone up more than 300%.

  17. Fat Tony says:

    BalancedObservation2
    #3726667, posted on January 16, 2021 at 7:48 pm
    GDP over the same period has gone up more than 300%.

    Imagine how much more it would have gone up without “RE”….

  18. Damon says:

    Everyone is seduced by the lure of ‘free energy’.

  19. Another Ian:

    Brad lived in California and was a lifelong environmentalist. He was sick of the world; of Covid-19, Brexit, Russian belligerence, China, global warming, ethnic tensions, and the rest of the disturbing stories that occupy media headlines.
    Brad drove his car into his garage and then sealed every doorway and window as best he could. He got back into his car and wound down all the windows, selected his favorite radio station, started the car and revved it to a slow idle.
    Two days later, a worried neighbor peered through his garage window and saw him in the car. She notified the emergency services and they broke in, pulling Brad from the car. A little sip of water and, surprisingly, he was in perfect condition, but his Tesla had a dead battery.

    Thanks Ian. Now that was the funniest thing I heard all week.

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