Stanford Prof: ‘It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth’

You first.

From the NYTimes article, “Life After Oil and Gas“:

…A National Research Council report released last week concluded that the United States could halve by 2030 the oil used in cars and trucks compared with 2005 levels by improving the efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles and by relying more on cars that use alternative power sources, like electric batteries and biofuels.

Just days earlier a team of Stanford engineers published a proposal showing how New York State — not windy like the Great Plains, nor sunny like Arizona — could easily produce the power it needs from wind, solar and water power by 2030. In fact there was so much potential power, the researchers found, that renewable power could also fuel our cars.

“It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the main author of the study, published in the journal Energy Policy. “You could power America with renewables from a technical and economic standpoint. The biggest obstacles are social and political — what you need is the will to do it.”…

23 thoughts on “Stanford Prof: ‘It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth’”

  1. I don’t fear catastrophic “Climate Change” but am absolutely terrified by progressive “Climate Change” Legislators. They who have no issue Hiding-the-decline to increase their power and control will have no issue pushing laws that not only steal more taxpayer money but create a scenario where energy poverty becomes the norm. Energy just happens to be the lifeblood of our Western societies. Energy Poverty equals a bleak and nasty Dark Ages.
    Look, if you are “green” and believe that the world is overpopulated and CO2 is an evil pollutant then do the world a favor and lead by example.
    Stop exhaling. It’s a win-win.

  2. What about during cold waves, when all the solar collectors are covered with snow? I remember several times on the day after a big snowstorm when the sky was clear blue under high pressure that followed the storm, and the wind was still while I shoveled snow in my driveway. Double whammy – no solar (in spite of bright sunshine) and no wind.

    Millions will die.

  3. The resulting unreliable grid should kill off many more during heat waves when the brownout/blackouts occur.

  4. I won’t make 9 million in my lieftime. My guess is that I will make 5 million total (including SSA and other benefits) over my whole life, so how am I worth 9 million “on average.” I am aslo an engineer – so I am earning above average money already. I would guess the average life is worth $2 million, max, and much of that 2 million is for personal consumption.

  5. I thought the same thing–having people live longer costs more in health care, food, energy, everything. So how does preventing death save money and pay for energy projects?

  6. It has been shown many times that early death SAVES health care cost. Longevity is the greatest factor in an individual’s lifetime health care cost. That’s why I find this statement very strange:

    “deaths would decline by about 4,000 annually and the state would save about $33 billion”

    In my state, we pay zero dollars on health care for the dead. Double ought zero.

  7. We have a standard of living that calls for lots of dependable and cheap energy. Anything that raises the cost of energy is guilty until proven necessary by a wide margin.
    A given person is likely to use about 75% of health care expenses in the last year of life, which makes sense — most people will die of something like cancer or heart disease and will use a lot of resources in the last year fighting for life or even in palliative care. Postponing death won’t eliminate it and, while I’m all for clean air and stuff, it is likely to leave overall health costs about the same.
    Chris Y is much on point. The dollars are not likely to be switched from healthcare to energy in any reliable way, I don’t think they’ll be saved in the first place, and claiming $9M per death avoided is just flat nonsense. Almost no one spends $9M on health care in a lifetime; very few people earn $9M in their working lives.

  8. I read this poppycock and wonder what has happened to higher education in America. Is the entire higher education system here on happy pills? Perhaps because they are so out of touch with reality they have lost the ability to do intelligent assesment of the variables in any given hypothesis. Perhaps they have suppressed all cognative thinking in exchange for an easy paycheck and acceptance by similar thinking individuals and groups.

  9. Mark is 47 years of age, deduced from his graduating year.

    That is just a little bit old for this type of childish thinking.

  10. The The New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA), in the tradition of John James Audobon, can hold meetings under the turbines to study birds.

  11. So they just have 2600 more (as of 2011) on shore and 12,770 offshore turbines to go 13 years. Not a problem. I think they may have to replace some of the onshore, since turbines were 2.5 MW until recently.

    I notice “hydro” is suddenly back in the renewable list. More subsidies on the way for hydro?

  12. They are calling for only 16,790 wind turbines.

    o 4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
    o 12,770 offshore 5-megawatt wind turbines

  13. Personally I don’t care, but doesn’t the NRC realize that biofuels and wind power will do nothing to cut CO2 emissions and may even raise them some.

  14. With an estimated 200 years’ supply of coal in the U.S., and about 100 years’ natural gas, as of now, and an estimated 100 years’ supply of petroleum still in the ground, not to mention the Alberta Oil Sands, (think Keystone), why would anyone want to hook up solar, much less wind power?

    The Stanford group have too much time on their hands.

  15. These two studies are economic junk.

    The renewables are ‘paid for’ by ‘savings’ in health care costs. Set aside the challenge of moving health care savings into energy infrastructure investments. Almost all of those calculated ‘savings’ are due to avoided deaths, which are valued at about $9M each. Unfortunately, the $9M per death is not real dollars. It is based on how much the public would be willing to pay to reduce an average death rate by such and such parts per 100,000. The money does not exist in health care savings. Guess where it is going to come from…

    Another problem with these studies is the ab initio rejection of natural gas energy, even though it could eliminate more than 90% of the deaths they ascribe to air quality problems, by replacing gasoline with natural gas vehicles. NYS could be completely energy independent with MArcellus shale gas. Implementing changes just in NY City would eliminate more than 50% of the deaths. That could be done for 1/100th of the estimated $1T needed just for NY State renewable nirvana.

  16. Perhaps these folks should check out the European islands that were going “100%” renewables. After days of clouds (solar failed) and wind that tore apart their turbine, they broke out the diesel generators.
    If we are to do this, those who advocate it must live 5 years on an island with NO backup generator before getting a vote in the matter. Unless they can lead by example they deserve no followers.
    Check out this example of “earth-friendly” turbines and ask yourself how many of these eye-sores we will need and how much of the planet we will destroy to save it.
    http://middleburycampus.com/article/wind-energy-debate-explodes-across-vermont/

  17. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/march/new-york-energy-031213.html

    It is madness. The MASSIVE, MASSIVE installation of renewable sources is paid for by:

    “According to the study, if New York switched to WWS, air pollution–related deaths would decline by about 4,000 annually and the state would save about $33 billion – 3 percent of the state’s gross domestic product – in related health costs every year. That savings alone would pay for the new power infrastructure needed within about 17 years, or about 10 years if annual electricity sales are accounted for. The study also estimates that resultant emissions decreases would reduce 2050 U.S. climate change costs – such as coastal erosion and extreme weather damage – by about $3.2 billion per year.”

    Gigawatts of solar and wind energy with no backup.

    Additionally, homeowners would be subject to massive investment in new A/C and water systems for their houses.

    Madness.

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