It's too easy to shoot holes in his "facts". I won't even try. He's deliberately being intelectually dishonest, coating his opinion in statistics carefully taken out of context.
Now for an interesting look at wind power technology, have a look at a list of the ten most powerful wind turbines.
Dumpster tier reporting. On a side note, does HN blacklist any sites for being chronically bad?
And they look ugly as well. Personally I hope we can get rid of wind turbines as soon as possible.
When they're situated in windswept plains, they do not.
(I do/help with these assessments)
If he is wrong, could someone who is knowledgeable take his numbers and state why they are wrong?
This is a honest question. I would like to have energy, ideally clean energy, uber ideally lots of clean energy. He is telling that wind and photovoltaic are not enough, by large, to replace our energy use of today. Why is he wrong? If we wanted to completely switch to green energy, would this be technically possible? (let's put the political agendas aside, I want to take this opportunity to actually make up my mind)
Now he appears to be cheerleading for another industry (fracking/oil) that is piled high with debt:
You could probably run a profitable hedge fund that simply bet against his predictions.
While I cannot discount his assertion of how much power it takes to build wind turbines, I can point out that using CURRENT fossil fuel power generation to bootstrap our renewables, even wind energy, is a good thing. We're not attempting to go from 0 - 60 by building an entirely separate power grid from scratch. We, as a species, are attempting to move from a harmful and eventually scarce set of fuels to clean energy. Not suddenly. Not quickly. And eventually, slow moving as it is, we will find ways to maximize renewable output. Look at how long it took to squeeze so much power from coal and oil. It didn't take 5 years, it took decades.
To decry renewables like wind because we RIGHT NOW need current coal and oil power to produce it, is worth mentioning but NOT a reason to discount such!
But it is worth considering. Hrm, Seems like Holland is known for its windmills.
Vast lands in the midwest that are unsuitable for farming are being turned into wind-farms. This is controversial because it is subsidized so it's difficult to do a cost-benefit analysis.
Finally, if climate-change is an issue, we should also consider that wind take energy out of the atmosphere whereas the proposed alternatives put waste energy into the atmosphere.
Source: I live on that farm land, and I have a turbine ~3000' from my bedroom window.
the author states:
>And let’s put some of that burgeoning wealth in nuclear, fission and fusion, so that it can take over from gas in the second half of this century.
He's advocating for nuclear power. From a pure numbers perspective it makes a lot of sense.
In return for paying more for Hinckley point the UK cedes sovereignty over its power generation to the Chinese and, of course, in case of disaster taxpayers are on the hook for almost all of the clean up costs.
What's not to like?
Nuclear has massive bang for your buck (both figuratively and literally) but we ignore it in the first world because we cater to peoples' mostly irrational fear of it and there is no money to do it right in the third world.
Infrastructure evolves very slowly, and he's using a true figure (wind is a small part of the grid) as an argument for keeping it a small part of the grid.
So the fears are not that irrational.
Beside having diversity when solving a problem is never a bad thing : Wind power does have its place.