Policies & Economics
This report by Robert Layman compares the present and proposed targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Canada and to assess their implications in terms of Canada’s main economic sectors. Electricity from wind and solar sources are very costly and unreliable. The report concludes that meeting the targets would be very costly and possibly destructive to Canada's economy, while global emission continue to grow.
The G7 Industrialized countries committed themselves in principle to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2100 and to aim at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 70 per cent from 2010 levels by 2050. Robert Lyman, a retired economist, says that ending emissions from energy production would mean shutting down every oil and gas well and all coal mines and coal-fired power plants, the lowest cost sources of electricity supply. Replacing them with nuclear or renewable energy sources would be far more expensive. Electricity generated from solar and wind is notoriously unreliable.
Many pro-wind organizations claim wind generated electricity is cost competitive with fossil fuel generated electricity, but Rud Istvan and blogger Planning Engineer show that it is not.
The US Energy Information Agency calculates a very misleading "levelized cost of electricity" (LCOE) to compare different generating technologies, but excludes many costs of wind energy. The 2013 cost of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), the main US federal incentive, was $US 13 billion, but is exclude from the LCOE. The actual installed cost/MW of installed wind farm capacity started rising around 2005, but the EIA assumes wind costs will decline 22% by 2019. The EIA also overestimates the capacity factor and the useful life of windmills, and fails to account for costs of the electrical grid, backup requirements and market distortions related to the intermittency of wind electricity. The cost of wind electricity is at least $US 146/MWh, about 50% more than the EIA estimate of $US 96/MWh.
Dr. Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology gave oral and written testimony to a hearing on the President’s U.N. Climate Pledge. Her written statement says case for dangerous anthropogenic climate change has weakened due to the hiatus in global warming since 1998, reduced estimates of climate sensitivity and the large divergence of predicted and actual warming. There is considerable disagreement about whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes, and how much the planet will warm in the 21st century. The U.S. President's U.N. climate pledge "will do essentially nothing to change the climate."
Ontario’s Climate Change Discussion paper 2015 expresses things in simplistic terms, suggesting that a carbon tax will be beneficial to the economy and the environment. The Ontario document relies on predictions of climate models about global warming that are simply not supported by the evidence; a principle fact is that global warming has stagnated for +16 years, despite a rise in CO2. Friends of Science new report “Climate Change Policy – Ideology or Evidence” takes off the rose-colored spectacles and exposes some inconvenient truths about the impact of low-carbon policies in other jurisdictions. ‘Low-carbon’ policies are expensive and have not been shown to help the environment. When ‘polluters pay’ – consumers pay more. Canadians should learn from the sorry adventures overseas that has resulted in ‘heat-or-eat’ poverty for millions of ordinary taxpayers.