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Fifty years of failed renewables predictions

For five decades, experts have been predicting renewable energy would supply 20 – 50% of the US Electricity Grid. Instead it’s taken twice as long to get to one fifth of the original prediction. (And to get to that pitiful 10%, that includes Hydropower).

Renewable Energy is the wordsmiths Great Hopium. The seductive temptation of “free energy” rolls on, never mind about the vast infrastructure and land it takes to capture a low density energy source. The price for “free fuel” is expensive maintenance, costly transmission, extra stability charges, and eye-bleeding storage costs (or an entire national spare grid for “back up?”).

Failed renewables predictions

For fifty years people have been overestimating the renewables transition.

The graphs comes from the JPMorgan, Energy Review. Even back in 1970, the need for 24 hour supply and frequency stability were well known.

A search online did not find a copy anywhere of Bent Sorensen’s original 1970-ish prediction, but it did find about 500 articles and nine of his books, showing that if at first you don’t succeed, you can make a career out of it.

Joe Biden is also marching down Failure Boulevard:

Carbon reduction in the USA. Biden plans.

What are the odds?

Globally we used to get 95% of all our energy from fossil fuels. After half a century and a trillion dollars, now that’s plummeted all the way down to … 85%. Yeah. :

How is the global energy transition going? Taken together, the aggregate impact of nuclear, hydroelectric and
solar/wind generation reduced global reliance on fossil fuels from ~95% of primary energy in 1975 to ~85% in
2020. In other words, energy transitions take a long time and lots of money. The IEA expects fossil fuel reliance
to decline at a more rapid pace now, fueled in part by “Big Oil” companies becoming “Big Energy” companies
and by a faster global EV transition

Can any readers can find the original quotes listed in the graph above? I wonder which part of the “forward projections” failed the worst. They knew the wind and sun wouldn’t work all day, so were they depending on the birth of a Super-battery that never came?


-Michael Cembalest, JPMorgan, 2021 Energy Review

h/t  Thanks to Rafe Champion at Catalaxy and Old Ozzie.

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