Solar Energy Causing Shortage Around the World
Today on TechSanity Check is about what’s happening with the energy policy in the US and worldwide. The major power problems in Europe, Germany particularly, getting all the way down to Australia and it all has to do with green power. So-called green power, right?
This and more on tech news today.
Green Energy Is Causing Power Shortages In Europe During An Awful Winter
Why South Australia’s blackouts are a problem for us all
More stories and tech updates at:
Don’t miss an episode from Craig. Subscribe and give us a rating:
Follow me on Twitter for the latest in tech at:
For questions, call or text:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 02/24/2017
Solar Energy Causing Shortages Around the World
Craig Peterson: Today on TechSanity Check we’re going to talk a little bit about the sanity or maybe Insanity of what’s happening with our energy policy here in the US and worldwide. I don’t know if you heard but there are major power problems in Europe, Germany particularly, getting all the way down to Australia and it all has to do with green power. So-called green power, right? So we’re gonna talk a little bit about that today and of course a couple of other things that are in the news so stick around.
Alright. Here we go. I just did a quick search on Google and you might wanna do it too. I went to news.google.com. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that but it’s a special site Google has that tracks current trending news items. And you can by the way get your site listed on there too. We’re gonna have to do that. Try and get mine because I do post a lot of good new stuff. But at any rate, I did a quick search for green energy causes power shortage. Now I did that because of an article I was reading here just about a week and a half ago. And it’s talking about the major power shortages in Europe. They’re having a bad winter and because of the bad winter, of course, they need more power. What happens in the winter? Well we have less sunlight because of two things. First of all the days are shorter and secondly we have less sunlight because of the clouds and snow. So when you’re trying to get power from solar what do you think happens? You can’t, right? You don’t get as much power. And people are using electricity more and more for different things and that just isn’t available. So that’s a real big problem.
Another big problem, windmills. And I went up to visit my family who live up in Canada just off of the north shore of Lake Erie and I couldn’t believe the number of windmills there. And we all know. We’re seeing the stats. 30,000 birds killed by a windmill. It’s devastating to the bird populations. But I noticed something that I’ve noticed many, many times before and that is most of these huge windmills that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in fact, well over the few million apiece typically, but hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain these windmills. Most of them were idle. They were not turning even though there was a wind blowing. Now some of them were turning, most of them weren’t. It was just shocking to me. So in the winter time, you have an additional problem of the wind and what way is the wind coming? How much wind is there? A lot of times it’s kind of peaceful.
So these European Union nations including Greece and Hungary have been hoarding power due to the cold winter weather. You know they were selling excess, now there’s no excess. So when there’s no excess there’s nothing to sell, right? So they’re calling that hoarding. Yeah that makes a lot of sense here. They’re hoarding. So it’s been cutting off electricity to tens of thousands of homes in Europe. And send power prices soaring to record levels. Now where are you hearing about this? Have you heard about this in any of the news? I don’t think any of the conservative news is even been talking about this. Which is why I went to Google and did a search. So they’re showing the same stories here about major power problems in Europe. The Balkans, wow. People are securing their own consumption and then they have excess to try to help other people. But they can’t be helping other people. What happened to last year? Russia cut down the oil production, not oil, natural gas production and the amount that was being sold and shipped to Europe. So Europe had a whole bunch of problems. This year, we are shipping natural gas to Europe. We are the exporter now of natural gas, of oil, and even gasoline processed products.
Now, I’ve been complaining about the price of our electricity. Here in the Northeast we have some of the most expensive electricity in the nation. Not as bad as Hawaii, who by the way has whole fields of windmills that they’re not even bothering to try and fix anymore. They’re just completely taking them offline because windmills, these windmills are completely useless, right? So we were paying, I think right now the going rate around here is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour for the actual electricity. And then on top of that they charge you for their infrastructure or other investments delivering electricity to you. And we were able to find someone that would sell it to us about $0.09 a kilowatt hour. So that’s good. We’re saving some money. Well the average European is spending almost $0.27, 26.9. $0.27 per kilowatt hour on electricity during the last full year of data that they have. The average American is spending 10.4 cents per kilowatt hour. Isn’t that something? And that comes straight out from government data. Now it’s interesting.
I’m looking at some the government data right now and it’s kind of crazy here. Showing the cost per kilowatt-hour in some places it’s just crazy. Look Norway’s expensive but you get Sweden’s more than $0.25 a kilowatt hour. Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, all over $0.25 per kilowatt-hour. What do these guys all have in common? So-called green energy. Great Britain, for example, pays an average of 54% more for electricity than Americans. And a lot of it comes from subsidies for so-called green energy. And I keep saying so-called because when you look at the technology that’s behind this, for instance, the solar cells. They have to produce some, right? They are using all kinds of nasty chemicals. We can’t produce these types of solar cells in the US without incredible expense because of the hazardous m materials involved. Now China, China doesn’t seem to care. China is polluting all over the place. They’re making these solar cells. Denmark’s government pledged to reduce the amount of money it spends on so-called green energy by 67% in December. Germany’s planning on abandoning the construction of new wind power plants by 2019. It’s going crazy and crazy. The estimated cost for Germany to replace their nuclear reactors with wind or solar is over 1.1 trillion dollars. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with nuclear reactors. We had a major problem with Fukushima in Japan because of the, you know I’m going to say it, the Japanese culture of not losing face. Of hiring nepotism. Of hiring family. Of literally lying on reports about having done the upgrades. If they had done everything that the manufacturer of their nuclear plant told them to be, which is a US manufacturer, none of this would have happened over there. None of it, okay?
But there’s other options. Do we have coal? Of course coal workers voted big time for Trump in the election. We have potentially new nuclear power. Here’s another problem that we have. And it’s, frankly, it’s a real big problem. And that is our nuclear power here in the US has been limited, severely limited, over the last 30 years because the standards we have in place from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, are based on 30, 40, even 50 year old technology. It’s really, really crazy. We could have the safest, best nuclear power ever. They’re now making, I don’t know if you read about this, but they’re making nuclear power plants that fit into a box that’s about the size of a box truck. Think of those smaller box truck that’s a complete nuclear power system that will run a small town and only needs service every 10 to 20 years that’s it. Doesn’t have the type of nuclear radiation that the terrorists want, right? They can’t use it for dirty bomb. It doesn’t have The China Syndrome problem. It’s really great. But our Nuclear Regulatory Commission won’t let us do it.
So, you know, what’s green? What’s black? Here is a problem right now. New South Wales down in Australia, major problem down there because temperatures are expected to rise to over 40 degrees Celsius. So they’ve got the opposite problem that Europe has. Europe is freezing to death. They don’t have enough electricity to keep people warm. In Australia, they don’t have enough electricity to keep people cool. And in both cases people die. So Australia’s looking at turning back to coal for very, very good reasons here.
So we’ve got the new EPA head Scott Pruitt. He’s looking at dismantling some of the craziness that’s been coming out of the EPA. Moving us back to sustainable power, which I think is a really, really good thing. And ultimately, I think, will be better off and so will the rest of the world. I am just going through this thing. Here’s another one on the heat wave they’re having right now. Total ban on fire declared. Potential catastrophic warnings. They don’t have electricity. They can’t deal with it. Newsweekly here talking about green policies threatening our energy security here. Threatening jobs in the US. It’s absolutely true. I’m glad to see we’ve got a little bit of sanity coming back. And, by the way, we need this electricity. We need cheap electricity to make aluminum here and we needed it for steel plants. And now, of course, the Trump administration is mandating New Westmead Steel in the pipelines. So I think things are going to get better. I really hope they are. Europe is waking up. They are getting rid of the crap green energy stuff they’ve been putting in place. Canada hasn’t woken up yet. But we are and I’m glad for that.
Now I’ve also got to say I’m glad to see Elon Musk doing what he’s doing in trying to come up with new types of solar energy cells. These new roof shingles that we’ve talked about on the show before. They have three new shingles. It look like the regular roof shingles from the street. There 3 different styles. But they do collect electricity. What I don’t like is the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that they’ve taken from us and they are pushing it toward Elon Musk. Literally to Musk’s companies. Over three billion dollars, I don’t have the exact number in front of me. But that’s insane. Government cannot pick the winners. Investors are only right on picking a winner 1 out of 10 times, if they’re lucky. They can be much worse than. Government picks winners as it were based on who their friends are and who’s been spending the most money lobbying. This is something better served by the free market but I’m glad to see Elon investing in battery tech, in solar tech, because ultimately that is the future. But it’s not government’s job to do that.
Anyways, little bit of a TechSanity check. A little bit of ramblings. All of the above. Visit me online CraigPeterson.com as we keep up on the latest in tech. Have a great day. Take care.
Don’t miss any episode from Craig. Visit http://CraigPeterson.com/itunes Subscribe and give us a rating!
Thanks, everyone, for listening and sharing our podcasts. We’re really hitting it out of the park. This will be a great year!