[ RadSafe ] Solution to Global Warming Found Wanting

Maury maurysis at peoplepc.com
Sat May 14 20:04:40 CDT 2011

Whether related to supposed AGW or to saving the cost of fossil fuels, 
wind and solar have intuitive appeal for production of electricity -- 
but Herb Inhaber has found that this intuition is not simple.

News Release May 12, 2011

*Solution to Global Warming Found Wanting*

The solution to looming global warming? Easy. Reduce man-made emissions 
of carbon dioxide (CO2) by cutting down on the use of fossil fuels - 
coal, petroleum and natural gas. Leave them in the ground. The 
replacement?  Renewables such as solar and windpower. If we phase in 
natural energy sources quickly enough, we may be able to avert 
catastrophic climate change.

Or so the story goes. But in groundbreaking research by Dr. Herbert 
Inhaber, in a recent issue the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy 
Reviews, published by Elsevier, it is not quite so simple. He found that 
as the proportion of renewable energy penetrating the electricity grid 
grows, the reduction of CO2 emissions drops sharply. By the time 
windpower (and, by analogy, solar) reaches about 20 percent of the grid, 
the savings in CO2 emissions are negligible, of the order of a few percent.

The result seems counter-intuitive - surely the more renewable energy, 
the greater the reduction of CO2 emissions, and less threat of global 
warming. But the reason for this finding can be found on the miles per 
gallon sticker on the windows of new cars. The mileage for highway 
driving is always greater than that for city - stop and go - driving. 
When we touch the brake pedal, we change the engine speed. The lower 
mileage for city driving means less efficiency from the gasoline, and 
more pollution per mile driven.

In the same way, when back-up electricity (mostly natural gas power 
plants) -  when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine- is 
ramped up and down, there are more CO2 emissions compared to when the 
back-up is running full blast. Result - much of the emissions savings 
from using windpower or solar is lost.

Dr. Inhaber found results from Colorado, Texas, Germany, Ireland, 
Estonia and other countries bolstering his argument. If we are to save 
the world from the ravages of global warming, we will have to find an 
alternative to the programs advocated by many governments.

The reference to the paper is

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, volume 15 (2011) pages 
2557--2562, "Why wind power does not deliver the expected emissions 
reductions", by Herbert Inhaber.

Risk Concepts

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Las Vegas Nevada 89119 Phone: 702-894-9095 Fax: 702-894-9095 e-Mail: 
hinhaber at hotmail.com

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