Abundant, Clean, and Safe

If you truly want to save the planet from global warming, there’s one energy source that can do it. It’s not wind or solar. It’s not coal, oil, or natural gas, either. So what is it? Michael Shellenberger, founder of Environmental Progress, has the answer in this important video.

Please watch the VIDEO

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #429

The Week That Was: October 31, 2020
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Quantum theory yields much, but it hardly brings us close to the Old One’s secrets. I, in any case, am convinced He does not play dice with the universe.” Albert Einstein, to Max Born (1926)

Number of the Week: 2%

Knew What? The above quote illustrates the frustration Einstein had with Quantum Physics because one cannot precisely predict what will happens in nature on the atomic and sub-atomic level. For example, one cannot precisely predict what will happen to a photon when an energized molecule emits it. The photon may go in any direction.

We have built vast industries in electronics and other fields using principles developed in Quantum Physics. These industries include transistors (including computer chips); mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc.; nuclear power; health, magnetic-resonance imaging, or MRI; lasers for DVDs, scanners at store checkouts, industrial cutting of metal, eye surgery, etc.

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The Myth of Glorious Renewables

By Vijay Jayaraj – Re-Blogged From WUWT

We all love energy solutions that make life better. It is an undeniable fact that coal propelled the Industrial Revolution and led to the alleviation of poverty in the West. More recently, the oil reserves in the Middle East have made it one of the most economically developed regions in the world.

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Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup #428

The Week That Was: October 24, 2020)
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Holmes: I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1891 A Scandal in Bohemia, [H/t James Randi]

Number of the Week: 251.9 million years ago

Atmospheric Measurements? The generally accepted standard for atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements are the ones from Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii run by NOAA. Writing in No Tricks Zone, Kenneth Richard asks: “Is this the best location to measure global CO2 levels?”

It may be a reasonable location, provided the MPAA carefully maintains the records. Alas, NOAA has not carefully maintained the US surface temperatures, once the gold standard.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Round Up #427

The Week That Was: October 17, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “It is well known that [scientific] reputation is hard to build and easy to lose; however, it is even harder to rebuild.”-– Professor Leonid Tsybeskov, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Physics Today, October 2020, page 10) [H/t George Hacken]

Number of the Week: 99%

Nobel Prize: Last week TWTW reviewed The Looming Energy Crisis: Are Blackouts Inevitable? by Donn Dears. Dears discussed how day-before auctions for electricity generation are distorting the market for electricity, in that the auctions favor non-dispatchable, unreliable, subsidized forms of energy generation over dispatchable, reliable forms. The primary forms of unreliable, subsidized forms emphasized are wind and solar (for brevity, wind will be used here). In the US, when daily weather forecasts show winds will be favorable industrial wind can bid as low as they wish, but they will be paid the highest successful bid amount – the market clearing price.

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The Truth Behind Renewable Energy

By Dr. Lars Schernikau – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Can renewable energy sources supply the world with a large share of the energy it requires? While some environmentalists advocate the total replacement of fossil fuels by solar, wind and battery power, Dr Lars Schernikau explains why this is impossible.

Today we hear and read about the climate crisis every day, driven by well-funded campaigns. But we hear little of the perils of switching from conventional energy to wind, solar and battery-powered vehicles. It appears that every second person has become an atmospheric physicist understanding that carbon dioxide is the main driver of global warming and switching to renewables will save us from devastating hurricanes and floods reaching the ceilings of our dream seaside properties. Every other person appears to be an energy specialist being certain that wind, solar and battery-powered vehicles will be a happy, safe and environmentally friendly way to power our everyday electricity and transportation needs. However, little could be farther from the truth.

 

Photo: A young man burning electrical wires to recover copper at Agbogbloshie, September 2019; Wikipedia Free License

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Countries Must End Harmful Allegiance to Paris Agreement

By Vijay Jayaraj – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Countries across the globe are at a crossroads. They must choose between competing energy sources.

On the one hand, there are fossil fuels, the long-proven, relatively simple technologies of which provide abundant, affordable, reliable, instant-on-demand conventional energy. Indeed, they provide over 80 percent of all energy used in the world today.

On the other hand, there are “renewable energy sources.” Don’t think of the old reliable ones like hydro, wood, and dung, but of what Bjørn Lomborg, in his new book False Alarm, calls “new renewables,” mainly wind turbines and solar panels. Unlike fossil fuels, wind and solar are diffuse, providing less energy per area of land, and intermittent. Consequently, they are less abundant, more expensive, unreliable, and—when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine—often completely unavailable.

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Solar Power Costs 2-3 Times As Much

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Power Operations Report

Why? Because California…

OCTOBER 9, 2020
Solar photovoltaic generators receive higher electricity prices than other technologies

In 2019, the average U.S. wholesale price for electricity generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) technology was significantly higher than average wholesale prices for electricity from other technologies. The weighted average wholesale price for solar PV-generated electricity was $83 per megawatthour (MWh) in 2019, more than double the price paid to producers for electricity generated by wind, fossil fuels, or nuclear. The higher average wholesale price for solar PV relative to other technologies is partly driven by geography and timing.

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Washington State Blows Away Wind Fantasies

By Ronald Stein – Re4-Blogged From WUWT

The Northwest has spoken loudly as the Benton Public Utility District (BPUD) has documented their actual battleground experiences with intermittent electricity from wind farms that should be a wake-up call to our policy makers. Their message is “no more wind”.

The Washington state utility 16-page report titled “Wind Power and Clean Energy Policy Perspectives” of July 14, 2020 provides a devastating counter attack to the wind lobbyists that they question the efficacy of wind farms for power generation and resulted in the utility’s commissioners saying they “do not support further wind power development in the Northwest.”

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Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup #426

The Week That Was: October 10, 2020

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”— Richard Feynman, Theoretical physicist, co-recipient Nobel Prize in Physics.

Number of the Week: US$3,660 billion [$3.66 Trillion]

Guess and Test – and Re-Test: Writing in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Matt Ridley, author of books such as How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom (2020) and The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010), had an outstanding, long essay titled:

“What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science

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Wind Turbines Generate Mountains of Waste

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Blade waste, other factors prove wind is no more green than solar

Environmentalists and wind energy opportunists (entrepreneurs who take advantage of overly generous tax credits and multiple other subsidies) want you to believe wind energy is as pure “green” as newly driven snow is white, and as cheap as Taco Bell.

They never tell you about the costs – or the environmental destruction – that they have hidden from you for decades. But neither do most governments, news media or social media.

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Green Paranoia

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Renewable energy does not deliver a useful product, but some greens appear to be having trouble accepting this simple simple explanation for why the green revolution is faltering.

Climate change action stymied by Australian business lobby, UK think tank finds

By The Business host Elysse Morgan
Posted Yesterday at 9:01pm, updated Yesterday at 10:14pm

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #424

The Week That Was: September 12, 2020
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature’s answer.” – Max Planck

Number of the Week: 10%

Review of the Greenhouse Effect: For the past few weeks TWTW used presentations by William Happer to discuss the greenhouse effect, which is how certain gases interfere with the loss of electromagnetic energy, particularly in the infrared frequencies, from the surface of the earth into space. The gases that slow the loss of energy (heat), keeping the earth warmer at night than it would be otherwise, are known as greenhouse gases. Starting in 1859, physicist John Tyndall described their influence through a set of experiments. Tyndall recognized that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, and without it land masses would freeze at night, making vegetative growth virtually impossible.

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What’s Wrong with Wind and Solar?

By Mark Mills
Are wind, solar, and batteries the magical solutions to all our energy needs? Or do they come with too high a price? Mark Mills, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, analyzes the true cost — both economic and environmental — of so-called green energy.

Please watch the VIDEO

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #421

The Week That Was: August 29, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.” – Karl Popper

Number of the Week: 50%

Popular Delusions: Last week, TWTW discussed the problem of the California Blackouts (also called greenouts) and the failure of California politicians to properly prepare for the simple fact that as the sun goes down Photoelectric Power declines and other means of electric power generation must be increased significantly (ramped-up). The state constitution places the ultimate responsibility on the legislature.

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The “Racism” of Climate Change Alarmists

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

It’s not climate change that’s racist, but those who use it to block energy development

Climate alarmists now proclaim that climate change is racist, that it affects minorities more than others. What hypocrisy. By this theory, the Sun, our galaxy and their Creator are racist, since they have driven climate change throughout history.

business, globalization and future technology concept – close up of businessman hands with transparent smartphone and earth hologram over black
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Smoking Out the Golden State’s Green Utopia

By Clarice Feldman – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Into the grandest of fantasies, reality intrudes. And so, it may be that Mother Nature in the form of annual forest fires, will force a key California agency to face reality and modify the overly ambitious and unrealistic renewable energy  fantasy that has characterized the state’s energy planning for  a decade.

On Sept. 1, the California State Water Board will have to decide whether the four natural gas plants that provide desperately needed power in energy-short California must be shuttered or whether to grant them an extension in the midst of devastating state electricity blackouts by amending the policy use of on coastal waters for power plant cooling. .

San Onofre nuclear plant: lights out in California.

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Blackouts Expose Perils And Costs Of California’s ‘Electrify Everything’ Push

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

 h/t The White House; Even Forbes, whose deep green editors recently censored Michael Shellenberger for criticising the climate movement, has sharply criticised California’s headlong rush into a new dark age of unreliable electricity.

Blackouts Expose Perils And Costs Of California’s ‘Electrify Everything’ Push

Robert Bryce Contributor Energy
I write about energy, power, innovation, and politics.
Aug 18, 2020, 08:26pm EDT

The blackouts that hit California over the past few days exposed the fragility of one of the most-expensive and least-reliable electric grids in North America. They also show that California’s grid can’t handle the load it has now, much less accommodate the enormous amount of new demand that would have to be met if the state attempts to “electrify everything.”

20487672 – wind turbines and power lines against sunset

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Study Calls for Ban on Gas Appliances, Misleads Californians

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Originally published in the August edition of The American Oil & Gas Reporter.

A study published in April by the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California Los Angeles claims residential natural gas causes dangerous indoor and outdoor air pollution, and proposes to eliminate gas from California homes. But the study, Effects of Residential Gas Appliances on Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality and Public Health in California, lacks accuracy and perspective, as discussed in my paper criticizing the study that was published in June. Natural gas is a low-cost, nonpolluting fuel for heating, cooking, industrial use, and generating electricity.

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Californian Blackout Fury

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The utter failure of renewables to deliver during the Californian heatwave appears to be creating a surge of interest in reliable energy.

California Blackouts: It’s Not Just the Heat, It’s Also the Anti-Nuclear Power Stupidity

Activists oppose a huge source of reliable, climate-friendly electricity that could have prevented the rolling blackouts in the Golden State.

RONALD BAILEY | 8.19.2020 12:31 PM

Rolling electric power blackouts afflicted as many as 2 million California residents last week as a heat wave gripped the Golden State. (It’s apparently eased up for now.) At the center of the problem is that power demand peaks as overheated people turn up their air conditioning in the late afternoon just as solar power supplies cut off as the sun goes down.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant
Scheduled for Shutdown. Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. By marya from San Luis Obispo, USAFlickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #420

The Week That Was: August 22, 2020

By Ken Haapala, President,SEPP,Brought to You by http://www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: “Private corporations and persons that own, operate, control, or manage a line, plant, or system for … the production, generation, transmission, or furnishing of heat, light, water, power, … directly or indirectly to or for the public, and common carriers, are public utilities subject to control by the Legislature.” – Section 3, Article XII Public Utilities, California Constitution, added Nov 5, 1974

Number of the Week: 10% of 27,695 MW Equals Zero

I’m shocked! Shocked! To protect the energy system which provides electric power for most of the state, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) was forced to create rolling blackouts during unusually hot days this past week. Immediately the chief executive of the state, Governor Gavin Newsom began blaming others for these needed actions, sending a letter to CAISO and the Public Utility Commission. According to the state constitution, the Commission “consists of 5 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, a majority of the membership concurring, for staggered 6-year terms.” CAISO has no authority over the Commission.

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Green California Has the Nation’s Worst Power Grid

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Originally published in Washington Examiner.

More than a million Californians suffered power blackouts last Friday evening. When high temperatures caused customer demand to exceed the power available, California electrical utilities used rotating outages to force a reduction in demand. The California grid is the worst in the nation, with green energy policies pursued by the state likely furthering reduced grid reliability.

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The Excess Costs of Weather Dependent Renewable Power Generation in the USA

By edmhdotme – Re-Blogged From WUWT

These straightforward calculations are intended to answer the simple question:

“roughly how much would it cost to generate the same amount of power as is produced by the 2016 fleet of United States Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Gas-firing or Nuclear) ? and how do those figures compare ?”.

Accordingly, the post quantifies the scale of the fiscal waste and the burdens on utility bills attributable to the use of USA Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2016.  It combines the comparative costs of generation technologies, published by the US Energy Information Administration in 2020 with information on the Nameplate rating of installed USA Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2016.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2016 is accessed from USA  Energy Information Administration, US  EIA.

Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 12.05.54.png
Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 15.22.00.png

Summary

Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 12.38.48.png

These straightforward calculations are intended to answer the simple question:

“roughly how much would it cost to generate the same amount of power as is produced by the 2016 fleet of United States Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Gas-firing or Nuclear) ? and how do those figures compare ?”.

Accordingly, the post quantifies the scale of the fiscal waste and the burdens on utility bills attributable to the use of USA Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2016.  It combines the comparative costs of generation technologies, published by the US Energy Information Administration in 2020 with information on the Nameplate rating of installed USA Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2016.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2016 is accessed from USA  Energy Information Administration, US  EIA.

The name plate value of installed Weather Dependent Renewables in the USA amounted to ~118 Gigawatts producing the equivalent of ~30 Gigawatts in 2016.

Screenshot 2020-08-17 at 13.48.55.png

According to this costing model, the approximate USA:

  • capital cost commitment to the current USA Renewables installed is ~210 $billion:  of which the excess costs over Gas-firing is ~175$billion and ~30$billion over the costs of Nuclear.
  • long-term cost commitment of the current USA Renewables generation of ~30Gigawatts installed is ~890$billion: of which the excess costs over Gas-firing is ~750$billion and ~490$billion over the costs of Nuclear power.

These estimates show that using Weather Dependent Renewables in the USA costs ~6 times as much as using Natural Gas for electricity generation and about 1.2 – 2 times as much as Nuclear power.

The benefit of these expenditures for Weather Dependent Renewables is the replacement of about 9% of USA power gross output capacity by “nominally” CO2 neutral technologies.  Electrical power generation results in about 1/4 of the total CO2 emissions output from USA.

In 2016 the USA in total emitted ~5,000million tonnes of CO2, ~14.5% of the Global CO2 emissions.  Accordingly at ~9% of ~25% of 5,000 million tonnes, the current Renewable expenditures are being made to avert an absolute maximum of ~112 million tonnes of CO2 emissions averted across the USA.  This maximum value entirely ignores all the CO2 emissions and energy costs of Weather Dependent Renewables manufacture, installation, etc.  Thus the maximum averted CO2 emissions from USA Weather Dependent Renewables are as follows:

  • of the 2016 USA CO2 emissions ~4,950 million tonnes     ~2.2%
  • of the 2019 Global CO2 emissions  ~34,000 million tonnes     ~0.3 %
  • of the 2017 CO2 emissions growth from developing world 446 million tonnes    ~25%.

The impact of the poor productivity of Weather Dependent Renewables is shown in these two pie charts, where 29% of the Weather dependent Renewables are ~29% of installed generation but produce ~9% of the power output produced:

Screenshot 2020-08-15 at 08.00.00.png

So, the question should be asked “does the capital commitment of ~200 billion$ and the probable future expenditures of ~890 billion$ to unreliably replace ~9% of USA power output and to avert ~2.2% of USA CO2 emissions make economic good sense ?”

Comparative Costing Model for Electricity Generation Technologies

The comparative costings are derived from US  EIA data released in January 2020.

Screenshot 2020-07-18 at 07.40.41.png

The values used in this model ignore the “EIA Technological optimism factor” above, which would adversely affect the comparative costs of Offshore wind, (by about 9$billion/Gigawatt: long-term) and to a much less extent Nuclear power.  These costs are summarised and translated into $billion/Gigawatt in the table below.

The US EIA table quotes the overnight capital costs of each technology and the above table condenses the total costs of the technology when maintained in operation for 60 years expressed as $billion/Gigawatt.  A service period of 60 years is used for these comparisons as it should be close the service life of current generation of Nuclear installations.

Hopefully the comparative data above should realistically avoid the distorting effects of any Government fiscal and subsidy policies supporting Weather Dependent Renewable Energy, whereby it might be claimed that Weather Dependent Renewables can reach cost parity with conventional generation technologies.  The promoters of Weather Dependent Renewables always seem to conveniently forget their productivity differentials with conventional dispatchable power generation.

The service life allocated for Renewables used above may well be generous, particularly for Solar Photovoltaics.  The production capability of all Renewable technologies has been shown to progressively deteriorate significantly over their service life.

Recent 2020 EIA updates fully account for any cost reductions or underbids for Renewable technology, particularly those for Solar panels.  The costs of solar panels themselves may be reducing but this price reduction can only affect about 1/4 of the installation costs, these are mainly made up of the other costs of Solar installations, those ancillary costs remain immutable.

It is hoped therefore that these results give a valid comparative analysis of the true cost effectiveness of Weather Dependent Renewables.  It should be noted that unlike microprocessor technologies “Moore’s Law” cannot be applied to Solar Panels.  As the Solar energy they collect is dilute and diffuse, in order to be effective, they have to be of large scale, so the progressive miniaturisation of “Moores Law” is irrelevant to Solar PV technology.

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

Notes:
    • These calculations are based on the USA installed Renewables base as of the end of 2016
    • The cost data used was published by US  EIA in January 2020 and should allow for the recent price reductions particularly for Solar PV generation
    • The US  EIA data makes the assumption that universally Solar PV productivity is 11.4% for its entire 2016 data set.
    • For the time being these calculations ignore all Offshore Wind power which is currently only a minor part of US Weather Dependent Renewable installations

The true costs associated with Weather Dependent Renewables

Only when the costings estimated from the EIA data above are combined with the actual productivity of Weather Dependent Renewables can a true comparative cost be assessed as below.  Thus these figures represent the true comparative cost / Gigawatt of the power produced by Weather Dependent Renewables installations.

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 15.25.13.png

In addition, even these comparative figures are underestimates of the true costs of using Weather Dependent Renewables.  These results above only account for the cost comparisons for capital and running costs of the generation installations themselves and the actual electrical power generated accounting for the assessed productivity capability of each generating technology.

The costs projected here ignore the ancillary costs inevitably associated with Wind power and Solar Renewables resulting from:

  • unreliability in terms of both power intermittency and power variability
  • the non-dispatchablity of Renewables:  the wind will not blow and clouds will not clear away to order whenever needed
  • the poor timing of power generation by Renewables is often unlikely to be coordinated with demand:  for example Solar energy is virtually absent in winter even in the Southern USA, 1/9th of the output than in the summer period of lower demand
  • the long transmission lines from remote, dispersed generators, incurs both power losses in transmission and costly increased maintenance
  • much additional infrastructure is needed for access
  • the costs of back up generation is essential but is only used on occasions but has to be wastefully running in spinning reserve nonetheless
  • any consideration of electrical storage using batteries, which would impose very significant additional costs, were long-term, (only a few days), battery storage even economically feasible
  • unsynchronised generation with lack of inherent inertia to maintain grid frequency
  • Weather Dependent Renewables cannot provide a “black start” recovery from a major grid outage

Importantly in addition these cost analyses do not account for:

  • the inevitable environmental damage and wildlife destruction resulting from Weather Dependent Renewables
  • the “Carbon footprint” of Weather Dependent Renewable technologies:  they may never save as much CO2 during their service life as they are likely to require for their materials sourcing, manufacture, installation, maintenance and eventual demolition.  When viewed in the round, all these installation activities are entirely dependent on the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels both as feedstocks for materials and  as fuels.
  • the Energy Return on Energy Invested:  Weather Dependent Renewables may well produce only a minimal excess of Energy during their service life as was needed for their original manufacture and installation.  They certainly do not provide the regular massive excess power sufficient to support the multiple needs of a developed society.  Accordingly they are parasitic on the use of fossil fuels for their existence.

Renewables K.O.-ed by EROI?

Comparative Costings for Renewable Generation technologies in USA

The table above gave a capital valuation of the current 2016 USA Weather Dependent Renewables fleet at ~200 $billion with probable ongoing costs of ~890 $billion.  Overall in USA this Renewables investment accounts for ~29% of the nameplate generation capacity but only provides ~9% of the actual power contribution.  This is approximately twice the cost of providing the same power output with Nuclear power stations and more than 11 times the cost of using Gas-firing for equivalent power generation.

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 15.47.35

The three tables above show how the different Renewable technologies contribute to the Government mandated excess costs overall in the USA.

US Wind power is the most cost effective Weather Dependent Renewable technology.  In general it is just 10% cheaper than Nuclear power in capital spend and is only about 1.6 times as expensive in the long-term.  Onshore wind power is only about ~4.5 times more costly in capital and long-term spend than Gas-firing.  Solar PV is the least cost effective US Renewable ~3 – ~6 times more costly than Nuclear to install and 16 times more costly than Gas-firing in the long-term.  However this cost differential does not account for the problem of Weather Dependent irregular intermittency and non-dipatachability.

These significant excess costs represent the wastage imposed on the American population both via direct taxation by supporting subsidies to Weather Dependent Renewables and then also added to utility bills America wide by the Government mandates imposing Renewables on electricity generation.  That wastage amounts to a very regressive tax burden imposed on the poorest in American society.  It is leading to ever increasing US-wide “Energy Poverty”.

Comparative Participation of Individual American States

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 16.12.25

The name plate value of  the 2016 USA Weather Dependent Renewable installations reported by EIA  is shown below.  The principle states involved with Weather Dependent Renewables in the USA (49) and their local commitments amounting in total to ~118GW installed are shown graphically below.

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 16.23.07

The scale of the commitment to Weather Dependent Renewables by State is shown below:

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 16.25.14

The comparative take-up of USA Weather Dependent Renewables by individual States in 2020 as measured by Gigawatts of nameplate capacity per million head of population is shown below.

The comparative productivity performance achieved by these principle US States is shown below.  It is notable how poor the productivity achieved is even for those Southern states with major commitments to solar power

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 07.04.53

Cost comparisons to Gas-firing

At ~1.1bn$/ Gigawatt in capital costs and ~3.5bn$/ Gigawatt for the 60-year long-term, the use of natural gas is the most cost effective and efficient means of power generation currently available.  It should be noted that Gas-firing produces ~1/2 the CO2 emissions of Coal-firing and ~1/3 the CO2 emissions of Biomass.

These excess costs calculations indicate of the scale additional costs that burden the economies of individual US States according to the US  EIA 2020 data and recorded Weather Dependent Renewable productivity figures shown above, these total ~175 bn$ in capital costs.

Screenshot 2020-08-12 at 10.35.23.png

The long-term excess costs in comparison to the use of Gas-firing amount to ~750 bn$.

Cost comparisons to Nuclear power

At ~7 bn$/ Gigawatt in capital costs and ~16 bn$/ Gigawatt for the 60-year long-term, Nuclear power is an effective and efficient means of consistent power generation with nil CO2 emissions and low land take.  In capital cost terms for Name plate value Onshore wind power can be nominally cost competitive, however that comparison is just for total power output which does account the intermittent and variable performance of Renewable Wind power, which make real difficulties for Grid reliability.

These excess costs calculations indicate of the scale additional costs that burden the economies of individual US States according to the US  EIA 2020 data and recorded Weather Dependent Renewable productivity figures shown above, overall these total net sum of ~30 bn$ in capital costs.  However Solar photovoltaics impose significant capital cost burdens when compared with Nuclear power.

Screenshot 2020-08-12 at 10.41.00.png

The long-term excess costs in comparison to the use of Nuclear power amount to ~490 bn$.

.

Conclusions

These straightforward calculations show the scale of immediate and long-term costs associated with Weather Dependent Renewables across the USA.  They amount to a capital sum in excess of 210 billion$ and a sum approaching ~900 billion$ were they to be maintained for the long-term.  This sum achieves about ~9% of the USA gross power production.

The capital costs of replacing the full 30GW of American  Renewable generation output with reliable, dispatchable Gas-fired generation would be ~33 billion$ and the whole 600GW USA Generation capability could be replaced by Gas-firing for ~660 billion$.  CO2 emissions from Gas-firing are 1/2 those from coal-firing and about 1/3 of those from the burning of Biomass.

The benefit of these expenditures on Weather Dependent Renewables is the replacement of about 9% of USA power output capacity by “nominally” CO2 neutral technologies.  Electrical power generation results in about 1/4 of the total CO2 emissions output from the USA.

In 2019 the USA emitted ~4,950 million tonnes of CO2, ~14.5% of the Global CO2 emissions.  Accordingly, at ~9% of ~25% of 4,950 million tonnes, the current Renewable expenditures are being made to avert an absolute maximum of ~111 million tonnes of CO2 emissions averted across America.  This maximum value ignores all the CO2 and energy costs of Renewables manufacture, installation, etc.  Therefore, the maximum averted emissions from USA Weather Dependent Renewables are as follows:

  • of the 2016 USA CO2 emissions ~4,950 million tonnes     ~2.2%
  • of the 2019 Global CO2 emissions  ~34,000 million tonnes     ~0.3 %
  • of the 2017 CO2 emissions growth from developing world 446 million tonnes    ~25%

So the question should be asked “does the capital commitment of ~0.2 trillion$ and the probable future expenditures of ~0.9 trillion$ to unreliably replace ~9% of USA power output and to avert ~2.2% of USA CO2 emissions make economic good sense ?”

If the objectives of using Weather Dependent Renewables were not confused with possibly “saving the planet” from the output of the diminishing USA proportion of CO2 emissions, their actual cost, their in-effectiveness and their inherent unreliability, Weather Dependent Renewables would have always been ruled them out of any engineering consideration as means of National scale electricity generation.

The whole annual USA CO2 emissions output will eventually be far surpassed just by the annual growth of CO2 emissions across China and the Developing world.

It is essential to ask the question what is the actual value of these USA government mandated excess expenditures in the Western world to the improvement of the Global environment and for the value of perhaps preventing undetectable temperature increases by the end of the century, especially in a context where the Developing world will be increasing its CO2 emissions to attain it’s further enhancement of living standards over the coming decades.

https://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impact-of-paris-climate-promises

Trying to reduce CO2 emissions, in the Western world alone, as a means to control a “warming” climate seems even less relevant when the long-term global temperature trend has been downwards for last 3 millennia, as the coming end of our current warm and benign Holocene interglacial epoch approaches.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67281-2

The whole Weather Dependent Renewable commitment in the USA is an exercise is attempting to control Global temperature by the reduction of Man-made CO2 emissions in a major sector of the Western world.  These simple calculations show just how costly effecting even a marginal reduction of Man-made CO2 is bound to be.

However, as opposed to being a dangerous pollutant, by every measure, more atmospheric CO2 is benefitting life on earth by substantially increasing plant growth through fertilisation and increasing drought tolerance.  Any fraction of the minor warming we have experienced since the little ice age that is due to Man-made CO2 has also clearly been a direct benefit to agriculture and human comfort.

For additional tables and graphics detailing State by State excess cost calculations and the growth of Weather Dependent Renewables:  see

The Context in 2020

In spite of all the noisy Climate Propaganda of the past 30 years, in Spring 2020 the world was faced with a different but very real economic emergency arising from the political reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That emergency, with the world facing global economic breakdown as well as the death of many elder citizens, should put the futile, self-harming and costly Government mandated attempts to control future climate into stark perspective.  This real pandemic emergency and the self-harming reactions to it clearly shows how irrelevant concerns over probably inconsequential “Climate Change” in a distant future truly are.

CONTINUE READING –>

In CAISO Emergency Break Glass

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Here in the United California Socialist Republic, we have an insane bunch of laws about electricity. Number one among them is a “Renewables Mandate” that requires the local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) to purchase a huge amount of expensive, unreliable solar, wind, and other renewable energy. So of course, our electricity price increases have far outstripped those of our more sane neighboring states.

(As a side note, under California law large hydroelectric dams are NOT counted as “renewable” under the Mandate … why not? Because if they counted hydro we’d already have met the Mandate … but I digress …)

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Residents Asked to Reduce Power During the California Heat Wave

A blistering heat wave over the next several days is prompting the California Independent System Operator to issue a Flex Alert for Friday, which means residents are being asked to reduce power usage from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

California is expected to have record-breaking heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas.

Clean Coal: the Commonsense Answer to Africa’s Energy Crisis

A CENTURY from now, maybe sooner, it’s unlikely we’ll be using coal to make electricity. Or not much of it.

Wind and solar are getting cheaper and they are easier to set up than building a power station that runs on heat, be it from coal, wood, rubbish or anything else.

The problem is that we’re not there yet. Solar doesn’t work at night, the output slips in cloudy weather, and turbines stand idle when the wind doesn’t blow. Even hydro has its limits when rainfall is low and dams don’t fill high enough to drive the turbines. Batteries are getting better at storing energy, but we need baseload power – and lots of it – to run a city such as Chicago or Cape Town.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #419

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Week That Was: August 8, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Re-Blogged From WUWT

Quote of the Week: “What we observe is not Nature itself but Nature exposed to our methods of questioning.” –Werner Heisenberg, also “We have to remember that what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our methods of questioning.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Number of the Week: Zero (0)

July Summary Part V; General Conclusions: Four weeks ago TWTW reviewed Richard Lindzen’s new paper summarizing what we know with reasonable certainty, what we suspect, and what we know is incorrect about climate change, the greenhouse effect, temperature trends, climate modeling, ocean chemistry, and sea level rise. Key parts included (with additions in boldface):

1) The climate system is never in equilibrium.

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The Battle Over US Energy Policy and Its Consequences

By Tilak Doshi – Re3-Blogged From WUWT

With the US presidential elections less than 90 days away, US energy policy – which includes government regulations dealing with climate change – has emerged as one of the core issues. This is not only because the Democratic Party, in seeking to unseat incumbent President Trump, has itself elevated energy and climate change policies to its highest priority. Energy is the lifeblood of the modern economy – the “master resource” that affects the production and use of all other resources – and hence US energy policy will affect the livelihood of all Americans. And as the US has emerged as the world’s leading oil and gas producer over the past decade, the energy and climate policies adopted by the next US administration will also profoundly influence global economic and geopolitical affairs.

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Do We Have to Destroy the Earth to Save It?

Do wind turbines and solar farms hold the keys to saving the environment? Michael Shellenberger, founder of Environmental Progress and noted climate activist, used to think so. Now he’s not so sure. He explains why in this important video.

Please watch the VIDEO

CONTINUE READING –>

About Those ‘Green Energy’ Unicorns…

By Michael Walsh – Re-Blogged From WUWT

You think those baby unicorns grow on trees? Better think again. “Green” energy, in fact, comes with a very high price tag. as this report from the Manhattan Institute makes clear:

As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy. Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars. Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #418

The Week That Was: August 1, 2020

By Ken Haapala, President, www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: The right to search for the truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” – Albert Einstein. [H/t Michael Dourson]

Number of the Week: 33 to 1

July Summary Part IV; Changing Ocean Chemistry and Sea Levels: Three weeks ago TWTW reviewed Richard Lindzen’s new paper summarizing what we know with reasonable certainty, what we suspect, and what we know is incorrect about climate change, the greenhouse effect, temperature trends, climate modeling, ocean chemistry, and sea level rise. Key parts included:

1) The climate system is never in equilibrium.

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Solar Plant That Was Obsolete Before Ever Going Online

By CHRIS WHITE – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Department of Energy reached a settlement Thursday to recover $200 million in taxpayer funds from a loan the Obama administration distributed in 2011 to finance a $1 billion solar power plant that was deemed obsolete before it could officially go online.

The settlement between DOE and Tonopah Solar Energy must now be approved by a bankruptcy court, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

The DOE provided a $737 million loan to Tonopah in September 2011 for the purposes of financing the $1.1 billion Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada. The agency disbursed funds for the plant in 2011 and 2013 before the project experienced problems requiring improvements, rendering the Crescent Dunes obsolete by 2015, Bloomberg reported in January.

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New Ontario Power Record: 895 days of Reliable, Uninterrupted 24×7 Zero Carbon Nuclear Power

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Ontario Power Candu Reactor
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Candu Reactor. Source CANDU Owners Group

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Democrats Climate Policy Follows Germany’s Failed Plan

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California

Higher energy costs for Americans are eminent along with worldwide ecological degradation and human right abuses from mining for wind, solar, and EV materials

The social changes with COVID-19 may have been prelude to life with less fossil fuels. With COVID-19 we have seen extensive self-imposed social adjustments to transportation that are very similar to what will be required to live with less fossil fuels in the future, i.e., with virtually no airlines, cruise ships, or automobiles.

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Excess Costs of Weather Dependent Renewable

By edmdotme – Re-Blogged From WUWT

These straightforward calculations are intended to answer the simple question:

“roughly how much would it cost to generate the same amount of power as is produced by the present fleet of EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Nuclear or Gas-firing) ? and how do those figures compare ?”.

Accordingly the post quantifies the scale of the fiscal waste and the burdens on utility bills attributable to the use of EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2019.  It combines the comparative costs of generation technologies, published by the US Energy Information Administration in 2020 with information on the Nameplate rating of installed EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2019.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2019 is accessed from EurObserv’ER.

Screenshot 2020-07-07 at 13.36.26.png

Summary

Screenshot 2020-07-06 at 10.13.35.png

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Weaknesses of Solar and Wind

By Rob Jeffrey – Re-Blogged From WUWT

It is claimed that wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity and these sources should dominate future electricity supply.  This paper focuses on known additional costs and subsidies which are not taken into account in the costs of wind and solar put forward by their advocates.

Advocates of wind and solar claim a cost of 0.62 rand (about 3.6 US cents) /kWh.  This is, however, the price at the gate of the supplier.  It does not include all the costs of supply necessary to convert this electricity from non-dispatchable electricity supply at the gate to dispatchable electricity supply at the point of supply to the customer.  These are in effect direct subsidies to solar and wind suppliers, whereas they should be added as a cost to the renewable energy suppliers.

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NSW Government Offers Subsidised Infrastructure for Renewable Energy, Overwhelming Response

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The NSW government has offered support in the form of improved grid infrastructure and streamlined approvals for new wind farm projects in designated renewable energy zones.

Government renewable energy investment program swamped by support

Plans to open up the Central West of NSW to more renewable energy have generated overwhelming investor interest – topping $38 billion, or nine times the government’s available capacity.

The government program is designed to attract investors to build 3000 megawatts of new wind and solar farms worth an estimated $4.4 billion in the state’s first renewable energy zone around Dubbo, but has instead drawn proposals for 27,000MW in so-called 113 registrations of interest, the Berejiklian government said.

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Greens Promote Child Slave Labor and Ecological Destruction

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Why don’t African black lives and ecological values matter? or impacts in and beyond Virginia?

The US Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had invalidated a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will bring West Virginia natural gas to Virginia and North Carolina, for home heating, factory power, electricity generation and manufacturing petrochemical feedstocks.

Environmentalists had claimed the US Forest Service had no authority to issue the permit, because a 0.1-mile (530-foot) segment would cross 600 feet below the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail, which is administered by the National Park Service. Justice Thomas’s majority opinion scuttled that assertion.

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The Green New Deal Dress Rehearsal

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Covid-19 lockdown as a blueprint for a permanent economic shutdown to ‘save the Earth’

More than 1.4 million cases of Wuhan Coronavirus and 106,000 deaths in the United States alone have accompanied stay-home lockdowns, businesses bankruptcies, over 40 million unemployed workers, plummeting tax revenues and unprecedented debt. Ongoing rioting, vandalism, arson and looting are compounding problems for many cities and minority communities.

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Aussie Federal Senator Defends Call to Leave the Paris Agreement

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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Destroying the Environment to Save It

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Pseudo-green energy will wreak devastation, pretending to prevent exaggerated climate harm

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The infamous Vietnam era quotation may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra that reflected attitudes of the time.

For Virginians and others forced to travel the path of “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy, it will redound in modern politics as “We had to destroy the environment in order to save it.”

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Solar Panel-Like Device Generates Power From Darkness

Dark Energy

A strange new device — think of it as a Bizarro World version of solar panels — is capable of generating electricity from darkness.

The gadget, dubbed a “shadow-effect energy generator,” is a solar cell-like material that generates an electrical current when part of it is in the light and the other part isn’t, Science News reports. While the electric current from the proof-of-concept generators is weak for now, it hints at a future in which clean energy generation becomes far more ubiquitous and commonplace.

Closed Spaces

When only part of the generator is illuminated, electrons flow across a gold coating from light to dark areas. Capturing that flow, according to research published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, generates power twice as effectively as conventional solar cells blanketed by shade.

“We can harvest energy anywhere on Earth, not just open spaces,” National University of Singapore materials scientist Swee Ching Tan told Science News.

First Steps

While these generators can’t solve the energy crisis yet, Science News suggested that it could be used to power wearables like smart watches, which can’t depend on steady or full sunlight.

“A lot of people think that shadows are useless,” Tan told Science News. “Anything can be useful, even shadows.”

READ MORE: A new device can produce electricity using shadows [Science News]

CONTINUE READING –>

On The New Gemini Solar Power Plant Near Las Vegas

By Arvid Pasto – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In the May 12th edition of the Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ), there appeared a description of a newly-approved (by the U.S. Government) solar power facility, near Las Vegas, called Gemini. This would place it not very far from the recently-defunct solar power facility known as Crescent Dunes. The new facility is quite different in operation from Crescent Dunes, relying on huge photovoltaic cells to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity, with backup power batteries to store the electricity for use when the sun isn’t shining. In Crescent Dunes, huge mirrors were focused into a tank of molten salt atop a high tower. The heated salt was pumped down and through a turbine to extract electric power.

The RGJ article (https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/05/12/biggest-us-solar-project-approved-nevada-despite-critics/3120319001/ ) describes the proposed and newly-approved facility: “The $1 billion Gemini solar and battery storage project about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas is expected to produce 690 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 260,000 households — and annually offset greenhouse emissions of about 83,000 cars.

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Mexico’s President Is Betting Big Against Renewables

By Irina Slav Re-Blogged From Oilprice.com

It sounds like a news report out of yet another dystopian novel: Mexico is halting grid connection for new solar and wind power projects. In a world rushing to produce clean energy, Mexico has suddenly stood out like a sore thumb. But, as usual, there’s more to the story.

The country’s National Energy Control Center, or Cenace, announced it would suspend grid connections of new solar and wind farms until further notice earlier this week. The motivation behind the decision was the intermittency of solar and wind power generation, which, according to the state-owned power market operator, could compromise Mexico’s energy security in difficult times.

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A Miraculous Turn of Events

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Michael Moore and Driessen agree! Wind, solar and biofuel energy are devastating Planet Earth

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision a day when I’d agree with anything filmmaker Michael Moore said – much less that he would agree with me. But mirabile dictu, his new film, Planet of the Humans, is as devastating an indictment of wind, solar and biofuel energy as anything I have ever written.

The documentary reflects Moore’s willingness to reexamine environmentalist doctrine. It’s soon obvious why more rabid greens tried to have the “dangerous film” banned. Indeed, Films for Action initially caved to the pressure and took Planet off its website, but then put it back up. The film is also on YouTube.

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Australian Energy Security on the Brink

By Rafe Champion – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Australian electric power supply is on the edge of a cliff because one more substantial coal-fired power station is scheduled to close in 2023. Then for the first time we will need  input from the wind at the evening peak, certainly in very hot and cold weather. If this input is not available there will be blackouts of greater or lesser extent.

The bottom line of this argument is that RE cannot replace conventional power in Australia because at the lowest level of supply of sun and wind they deliver no power. That is the choke point for the grid, like the point where the air supply to our lungs is cut off by choking or drowning. To keep the lights on there must be enough conventional power available to meet 100% of the demand, 24 hours a day/365 days a year.

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Low Electricity Demand and System Balancing Problems during The UK’s Coronavirus Lockdown

By Dr John Constable – Re-Blogged From GWPF

The restrictions on economic and personal activity imposed to address the spread of the coronavirus are reducing electricity demand in the UK to unusually low levels, increasing the difficulties of operating the system, particularly in the presence of embedded solar and wind generation.

As a result of the restrictions on economic activity and personal movement, designed to reduce the rate of transmission of Covid-19, there are striking anomalies in the British electricity markets. The following chart, drawn by the author from BM Reports data, shows daily electrical energy (GWh) transmitted over the network, and gives evidence of a substantial fall in electricity consumption. Domestic consumption may be rising as a result of the Stay at Home policy, but it is nowhere near offsetting the fall in industrial and commercial consumption.

Figure 1: Daily electrical energy (GWh) transmitted over the British electricity network, from 1st of January to 23rd April 2020 (red line), compared to the historical norm (grey line). Source: Chart by the author, data from BM Reports.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #407

The Week That Was: April 25, 2020

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1933)

Number of the Week: 3, 4, & 5

Politics Not Science: The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) published a report by Patrick Michaels and Kevin Dayaratna discussing the critical thinking, or lack thereof, that went into the 2009 EPA finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare – the Endangerment Finding. The finding is largely based on the first and second US national climate assessments produced by what is now called the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). According to its web site, the legal mandate of the USGCRP is:

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Michael Moore’s new film trashes ‘planet saving’ renewable energy – full movie here!

By Michael Shellenberger– Re-Blogged From WUWT

A MUST READ! Wow, the renewable light bulb of “great idea” over Michael Moore’s head just burned out. He’s trashing renewables in this new film Planet of the Humans.

On the 50th anniversary of EarthDay, the irony meter is pegged. It’s an epic take-down of the left’s love-affair with renewables by one of the left’s most known public figures. Full video follows. h/t to Dennis Wingo.

New Michael Moore-Backed Documentary On YouTube Reveals Massive Ecological Impacts Of Renewables

Over the last 10 years, everyone from celebrity influencers including Elon Musk, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Al Gore, to major technology brands including Apple, have repeatedly claimed that renewables like solar panels and wind farms are less polluting than fossil fuels.

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Climate Change – Ebb and Flow of the Tide – Part 3 of 3

By Kelvin Kemm – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Dr Kemm’s complete essay containing all three parts may be found here.

The Pause Century

40. There has been essentially no global warming during the 21st Century. This reality has been called ‘The Pause’ by some, who claim that the real rise in temperature is actually going on, but that for some unexplained reason, has paused for a while.

There is debate about the ‘Pause,’ with some saying that there were gaps in data; the variations are too small to be statistically significant; etc. If this is so, how come climate change enthusiasts have been so utterly certain of their position and their figures for the past 20 years plus.

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