Monthly Archives: January 2017

Renewable Energy Uses 100X Manpower Compared to Fossil Fuels

solar-panelsThe International Renewable Energy Agency of the US Bureau of Statistics provided employment data for three categories–Solar; Oil and Gas Extraction; and Coal Mining.  Bloomberg drew a chart of employment over the period of 2012 to 2015.  That chart is shown below:

Energy Jobs

Stanislav Jakuba looked at the employment in each of these three endeavours to compare electricity production versus manpower in his posting “Renewable Energy: High Jobs, Little Power (inefficiency personified”.  He offered this analysis:

Ever wondered why has our standard of living not been improving?

The upward-aiming line in the above chart indicates one reason: growing employment in the renewable-energy sector. That employment contributes a miniscule amount to power production, and it does so at a dreadfully high operating cost.

Here are the numbers.

As illustrated, 200,000 people work in the solar industry (Photo-voltaic and Concentrated Solar Power combined), and they enabled the generation of 3.0 GW in 2015, which comes to 15 kW per employee. The down-sloping lines, combined, represent the 400,000 employees in the fossil fuel industry.

Assuming that about a half of those are needed just to supply fuel to generate the 310 GW electricity reported for that year, then the remaining 200,000 employees were responsible for 1550 kW per employee.

In other words, one employee in the fossil fuel industry produces 1550 kW, while it takes 100 employees in the solar business to produce roughly that amount.

Solar is thus the most expensive source of electricity. Plus, its output varies daily, sometime randomly (because of clouds and storms) and always intermittently (because of nights). Its inexhaustibility parallels the abundance of nuclear fuel, but the latter provides cheap and steady electricity, as well as heat, and is no less “clean” than solar.

The true cost of renewable energy is presently covered by subsidies drawn from our taxes, from Government borrowing abroad, and from various fees attached to our monthly utility bills.”

Jakuba has some addition thoughts on this topic in his  posting which can be read by clicking here.

I keep reading that solar and wind are now competitive with natural gas and coal.  Show me the cost number when they remove all the subsidies and when they  include operating cost and investment for the backup fossil fuel generated power–because these renewables not reliable supplies.

I am not sure that I completely  agree with the comparison technique, but they do have one heck of a lot of manpower for such a puny output of electrical power.

The politicians said these renewable projects would create jobs.  They sure were right about that.  Although, it looks like they carried it too far.




Four Key Charts for a Climate Change Skeptic

Rebloging from WattsUpWithThat “4 Key Charts for the Climate Change Skeptic”.
I could have used these charts to illustrate my reply to a commenter who said that I must not believe in climate change.
From my blog:
I don’t know any skeptic that does not believe in climate change. Every 100,000 years or so, the Earth experiences roughly 80,000 years of a very cold climate and about 20,000 years of warm climate called the interglacial period. As you can tell the geological scientists mean that the warm period is squeezed in between glacial periods. This cycle has been going on for about a million years. The question is not, does the climate change, but rather what causes it to do so. Surely you don’t think that this natural cycle has been caused by man burning fossil fuels.
Most skeptics believe the primary cause of the change is natural and most think that man’s activities may play a minor role in the recent climate change. What we believe in is actual measurable data. What we don’t believe in is climate models that have proved time and time again to fail to be even close to actual measurements. For eighteen years or so, there was no statistically significant rise in global temperatures. You may think that the recent temperature spike due to a natural event, El Nino, has caused the “pause” to be broken. I ask you to look at the predicted temperatures versus the current temperature and you will still see that it is way below what is predicted by the computer models. And here is a kicker, the atmospheric CO2 levels used in these selected mean computer temperature predictions are typically lower than the actual measured CO2 level. Wow. That should make the spread between actual and computer predicted temperatures even bigger.
No, I don’t want dirty water or air. You propose so many strawmen that you could populate a remake of the Wizard of Oz. I support the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. Have done so as an engineer and manager of design and installation of environmental facilities throughout my industrial career. But how is it that one could support regulations that are predicated on SECRET SCIENCE? The EPA is out of control. Congress makes the laws. The EPA cannot be allowed to do that.
cbdakota (two minor grammatical corrections from the original reply.)

The WUWT is below:

Watts Up With That?

Skeptics often get asked to show why they thinks climate change isn’t a crisis, and why we should not be alarmed about it. These four graphs from Michael David White are handy to use for such a purpose.

By Michael David White

10,000 Years of Climate Change.jpgClimate Models Fail to Predict Warming Trends.jpg140 Years of Climate Change on Two Scales.jpgThe Banality of Climate Change.jpg

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Some EV Sales Improvement, But Still Way Below Obama Forecast

ev-for-postingHave you been keeping up with the car buying public’s interest in electric vehicles (EV)? The many models of EVs that are on the market are quite astonishing.  Nearly all the manufacturers have a model or two.  The sales are still well below the Obama Administrations projections.  But 2016 brought some joy to the makers of plug-in EVs.

Probably most of you that are reading this know about the different versions on the market, but for those that have not been following EVs closely, let me give you some guidance.

The Toyota Prius has been the sales leader. Later on, the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf came on the scene but they have not equaled the Prius sales volume.  Those three vehicles represent the three major categories of EVs.

The Hybrid (HEV) is a vehicle that has both batteries and an internal combustion (IC) or diesel, fossil fuel powered motor to propel the vehicle. The batteries are not charged by an external plug-in arrangement but are charged by the onboard motor. The Prius is a HEV

The PHEV has both a IC or diesel motor and batteries, but in this category the batteries are charged by plugging into an external power supply.     The Chevy Volt is a PHEV.

The BEV vehicle has only batteries for motive power and those batteries are charged from an external power supply.  The Nissan Leaf is a representative of this category as are the Tesla and the GM Bolt.

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Undoing Obama Administration Regulations

There are many regulations  issued by ex-President Obama that the current Administration would like to rescind.  But if you have been following this issue, you would have probably heard that only new regulations passed within the last 60 days can be rescinded by President Trump.  In fact it appears the law may not be so limiting.  One of the authors of the Congressional Review Act of 1996 (CRA), Todd Gaziano says the law gives the Republicans much more power to overrule the regulations.  Scott Johnson posted on the PowerLine website “Review This.” A review of Kim Strassel’s WSJ posting “A GOP regulatory game changer”—(Behind a paywall.).

“The accepted wisdom in Washington is that the CRA can be only used against new regulations, those finalized in the past 60 legislative days.  That would allow the Republicans to reach back to June 2016 , teeing up 180 rules or so for override.  Included are biggies like the Interior Department’s “streams” rule, the Labor Department’s overtime-pay rule, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s methane rule.

“But what Mr Gaziano told Republicans on Wednesday was that the CRA grants them far greater powers, including the extraordinary ability to overrule regulations even back to the start of the Obama administration. The CRA also would allow the GOP to dismantle these regulations quickly, and to ensure those rules can’t come back, even under a future Democratic president. No kidding.”

Strassel goes on to explain”

“ It turns out that the first line of the CRA requires any federal agency promulgating  a rule to submit a “report” on it to the House and Senate. The 60 day clock starts either when the rule is published or when Congress receives the report—which ever comes first.

“There was always intended to be consequences if agencies didn’t deliver these reports,” Mr. Gaziano tells me. “And while some Obama agencies may have been better at sending reports, others, through incompetence or spite, likely didn’t.” Bottom line: There are rules for which there are no reports. And if the Trump administration were now to submit those reports—for rules implemented long ago—Congress would be free to vote the regulations down.”

Also from the posting is the following:



Some of the regulations that deserve to be overruled may have followed the rule by submitting a report to Congress which apparently makes them exempt.  Let’s hope that no report was submitted for the most of them.



Cap And Trade Group (RGGI) Overstates Its Accomplishments

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, aka Reggie) has posted “New Study: Carbon Cap and Trade Has Saved Lives”.  (The  RGGI posting can be seen at the end of this posting.).  RGGI has a membership of nine states, that have collectively set caps on greenhouse gas emissions.    RGGI states that they have cut emissions by 37%, lowered electricity prices, saved lives and improved the health of vast number of people.  Actually the emission cut is essentially too tiny to measure in the big picture.   Data from the US Department of Energy makes the claim of lower electricity prices questionable and the improved health unsubstantiated.  Let’s examine RGGI’s  claims.

The following chart has been prepared using data from  the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

CO2 Emission in millions of metric tons.   Data from Department of Energy,      
State 2008 2014               %                delta, metric tons
Connecticut 37.7 35.1 -7 -2.6
Delaware 16.2 13.3 -18 -2.9
Maine 19.1 16.6 -13 -2.5
Maryland 73.8 61.5 -17 -12.8
Massachusetts 76.7 63.9 -17 -13.1
New Hampshire 18.7 15 -20 -3.7
New York 190 169.7 -11 -20.3
Rhode Island 10.7 10.6 -1 -0.1
Vermont 5.9 5.9 0 0
RGGI CO2 EMISSIONS 448.8 391.6 -12.3 -58
US CO2 EMISSIONS** 6022 5489 -8.9 -533
GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS** 29728 33355 12.2 3627
** 2007 rather than 2008

The nine States that make up the RGGI are listed.  RGGI’s stated goal  is to reduce emissions from fossil fuel powered electrical generation facilities.  The numbers in the above chart are for the all sources of CO2 emissions in each state. The period from 2008 to 2014 is used because that is the range used in the current (September 2016) RGGI report: “The Investment of RGGI Proceeds Through

The total reduction of CO2 emissions for the RGGI group States for the period from 2008 to 2014 are 58 million metric tons.  That looks impressive but in the big picture, it is a drop in vast atmospheric ocean.  During the time that these 58 million metric tons were not emitted, the global addition was estimated at somewhere around 210,ooo million metric tons.  The net effect is too small to  measure.  The EIA estimates that China and India will emit 11,460 million metric tons of CO2 in 2017 and they are forecast at 11,705 million in 2018.  And former President Obama signed a pact with China that allows them to continue increasing their emissions until 2030 while the US is to reduce its emissions some twenty percent.  Isn’t that a “great” deal?

The RGGI is a “cap and trade” program.  When the US Congress rejected a “cap and trade” program sponsored by ex President Obama, these States developed the RGGI program which was fully operable by 2008.  They reduce the amount of CO2 each year that these power plants can emit.  The reduction has varied but is nominally about 3% per year. If other facilities in their States have a CO2 baseline than exceeds their needs, they can sell it through RGGI to the highest bidder.   These “CO2 allowance”  sold last year at about $3.30/ton.   The income from these sales so far is about $2.5billion. Obviously, this is a State revenue scheme.  RGGI uses this money to insulate homes, put in renewable energy systems, help some people pay their power bills among other things.  In 2014, paying the bills of low income families was nearly non-existent except in Vermont where 98% of their share of the income from sales of CO2 Allowances was used to help single family homes with bills and home efficiency improvements.  It appears that RGGI’s installation of renewable energy systems are a major user of the funds from sales of CO2 Allowances.  So, they probably off-set the cost of installation of solar cells., for example.  One of the States has just set up a deal with Solar One to install these systems. Most of the installations of roof top solar systems that I have  seen are made in communities where affluent people live.  Are the wealthy benefiting the most from RGGI’s programs?

The RGGI posting also said that “Recent assessments of the program have shown none of the negative economic impacts that some feared at the outset.  In contrast, economies in RGGI states have actually grown faster than in other states. Electricity costs have declined by a few percent, on average .”

Using the EIA data for the Average Price Electricity to Ultimate Customer by End Use Sectors for the YEAR 2015—Cents per Kilowatt-hour we constructed this chart:

STATE Residential* Commercial Industrial Transport
Connecticut 20.94 15.97 12.95 13.18
Massachusetts 19.83 15.79 13.54 7.76
Rhode Island 19.29 15.78 13.76 18.54
New York 18.54 15.31 6.31 12.95
New Hampshire 18.50 14.96 12.74 —–
Vermont 17.09 14.54 10.27 —–
California 16.99 15.73 12.17 8.99
New Jersey 15.81 12.79 10.64 10.25
Maine 15.61 12.47 9.05 ——
Michigan 14.42 10.55 7.02 11.44
Wisconsin 14.11 10.89 7.58 14.66
Maryland 13.82 11.00 8.53 8.34
Pennsylvania 13.64 9.60 7.20 7.28
Delaware 13.42 10.25 8.28 —–

In Bold are the 9 RGGI States. 

New Jersey, once in the RGGI, dropped out.

(*Beginning with Connecticut, these 14 States have the highest residential rates in the continental US.  (Hawaii and Alaska are the only other States with higher residential rates.)

There must be other things going on to make the statement that the RGGI States “economies are growing faster than in other states.”  It does not look like the electricity prices would be favorable.  I am surprised that the prices for 6 of the RGGI States are higher than those in California.

Another part of the posting by RGGI alleged health benefits.

The following are the health benefits that RGGI lists in their posting:

“Abt Associates used mathematical models to estimate the scale of such health benefits, and found that RGGI has averted:

  • 300 – 830 premature adult deaths
  • 35 – 390 heart attacks
  • 8,200 – 9,900 asthma exacerbations
  • 13,000 – 16,000 respiratory illnesses”


Models!!  UGH!   Anyway, the EPA has a model based upon some secret science that generates these figures. It is 2.5 micron particles that are inhaled that are supposed to cause these health issues.  The EPA is using this secret science to try to put out of existence, all fossil fuel generated electricity.  The EPA has issued regulations that are called the Clean Power Plan. These regulations have been  stayed by several courts.   The Courts along with President Trump’s support, may withdraw the Clean Power Plan.

Before delving into the secret science, let’s lok at what a stretch RGGI is making.  The atmosphere is well mixed and CO2 and these 2.5 micron particles are pretty much in the same amounts in most places around the world. So, it is unlikely that the atmosphere in the RGGI regions is any different from any place else. Nothing the RGGI is doing can be having a measurable effect on the air the people breath, hence the claim is not viable. Remember how small the actual RGGI emission reduction is.

I have made two postings on the Clean Power Plan.  The EPA claims  mercury and 2.5 micron particles are dangerous .  Thus they must be removed from the emissions by fossil fuel (particularily coal) electrical generating plants.  The EPA limit on mercury lacks a good scientific basis.  Click here to review my posting on mercury.   The following is from one of my  posting on the 2.5-micron particle which discusses the secret science the EPA is using.  Cllick here to read it in its entiretly.


In this case the toxins are particulate matter—2.5microns (PM2.5) or smaller in diameter.   For perspective, how big is a 2.5micron particle? 2.5 microns are equal to 0.00025 centimeters or 0.000099 inches. Yes, you are right, you can’t see them.

The EPA touts a study that says PM2.5 is dangerous, but they won’t share all the study data with anyone. Thus, no other science body can confirm or deny the studies results.  Secret Science. We are told we must take their word for it.

The EPA found it necessary to get a friendly team to do this study because other work, including some of their own, shows no harm. This particular study group has done “friendly” work for the EPA and the American Lung Association. One of principal authors has received over $31 million in payments from the EPA for his studies.   (No energy company can match the EPA and other government bodies when it comes to paying for studies.) The study is called the Harvard 6 Cities Study and this is what Dr Battig** said about it in his posting on WUWT titled “A Physician’s Perspective on the EPA’s “Data Derangement Syndrome”:

“The Harvard Six Cities Study (Laden et al 2006) forms the scientific basis for much of the EPA claims regarding PM toxicology. Yet examination of the data shows that the statistical relative risk (RR) for total mortality claims range from below one to barely above one and a fraction. They do not meet the minimum legal standard of a RR of 2 to identify a significant population risk. In addition, these Harvard studies have walled-off their raw clinical data from independent investigators by claiming patient confidentiality, thereby preventing duplication of results by others. Independent reproducibility and verification of test results are the traditional hallmarks of scientific research. Invoking patient confidentiality to block access to raw data casts doubt on the entire process since providing such patient protection is not particularly difficult.”

Not only will they not allow examination of all the data, the study’s RR does not meet minimum legal standards and yet they want to impose it on us.

Dr Battig adds this:

“The EPA has been conducting controlled human exposure studies to air pollutants on the University of North Carolina campus for more than thirty years. During that time more than six-thousand volunteers have been studied without a single serious adverse event being observed…so is there a health problem to investigate or not? How much more testing looking to define a disease? It looks more like a disease concept in search of a susceptible victim”.

At the 10th International Conference on Climate Change, Dr Battig; Scientific Integrity Institute President James Enstrom; and S. Stanley Young, a fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science did an outstanding panel discussion on this topic. posted “Conference Panelists Criticize EPA Health Scares” written by ALYSSA CARDUCCI carried this insight from S Stanley Young:

“After examining reams of data, Young concluded the threats of air pollution, PM2.5, and ozone contributing to deaths are “imaginary”.

Young received “the biggest data sets on the planet” to study the effects of air pollution on human health in California. The dataset included 13 years of data on eight California air basins and daily electronic death certificates equaling more than two million certificates and a total of 37,000 days of exposure.

Using standard statistical techniques, Young and two other statisticians found there were “no acute or chronic effect on deaths in California.”

“I call this a fact,” Young said. “We have the biggest data set on the planet for looking at this, and there is no effect.

“If air pollution was a killer, it would be killing everywhere, and the fact that we’ve established that it’s not killing in California puts every other paper at risk for the claims that they have made,” Young said.

Dr Battig adds:

“In view of EPA PM2.5 mortality claims at 35µg/m3, why are airport smokers and the Shanghai population not dropping dead on the spot? Airport smoker lounges have ambient levels of 600µg to 10,000µg PM2.5. A single draw on a cigarette floods a smoker’s lungs with 10,000µg to 40,000µg. The Shanghai press reports PM outdoor levels of 600µg/m3. It also reports that the average life expectancy there is 82.5 years…a life expectancy greater than any major U.S. city. Where are the overflowing emergency rooms and mortuaries?”

It’s clear that the EPA doesn’t have science to support this bill. Extensive testing by the EPA and in California for just two examples, show no correlation between PM2.5 and “premature death” or apparently, any deaths. The study they are using is by scientists that seem to be bought by the EPA. And obviously, they know that the study data cannot stand the light of day, hence it becomes another use of SECRET SCIENCE.

My take on RGGI is that it really has not done much for what they set out to do, and that was to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Perhaps they recognized the futility of that objective and decided that the tax would work out just fine.  One more bureaucracy taxing and regulating.  Would it not have been better to just lower the price of electricity and rather than collecting money and trying to pick winners and losers?

The thrust of the posting by RGGI (see it in its entirety below)  was that they were saving lives.  Firstly, the basis for the saving lives is some secret science that would not need to be secret if was actually verifiable.  Secondly, the actual reduction of CO2 and related emissions is too small to have any effect what so ever.  Thirdly, because the atmosphere is well mixed, there never will be a pocket of significantly cleaner air just over the RGGI States.


** Dr Charles Battig resume

Charles Battig

Charles Battig is a retired physician with a postgraduate degree in electrical engineering. In the 1960s he served as principal scientist in bio-medical monitoring systems at North American Aviation Los Angeles in support of the Apollo Moon Mission. From 1967 to 1969, he held the rank of senior surgeon/commander in the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, in the biomedical engineering branch. Following teaching appointments in anesthesiology at UCLA and Mt. Sinai,New York, he entered the private practice of anesthesiology until retirement. After re-settling in the Charlottesville, Virginia area, he undertook to provide an alternate voice on climate change issues in the backyard of the University of Virginia, the former home of both Patrick Michaels and Michael Mann.


New Study: Carbon Cap And Trade Has Saved Lives


Living Lab on The Point



A new study this week finds that a regional carbon cap and trade system has saved hundreds of lives and billions of dollars for New Englanders. Officials from the nine participating states are currently working out the future of the program.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced Reggie, for short) began in 2009. There are nine member states – all six New England states, plus New York, Delaware, and Maryland – that collectively set caps on greenhouse gas emissions, and then auctions off allowances for power plants to produce such carbon emissions. To date, participating states have cut emissions by 37% – two and a half times more than non-RGGI states.

Recent assessments of the program have shown none of the negative economic impacts that some feared at the outset. In contrast, economies in RGGI states have actually grown faster than in other states. Electricity costs have declined by a few percent, on average. And, the cap and trade program has generated $2.5 billion in revenue for participating states.

Now, a new study says it has also produced health benefits. It’s a logical conclusion; power plants that emit greenhouse gases also produce particulate air pollution that is linked to adverse health effects, such as asthma, respiratory illnesses, and heart attacks. Conversely, limits on greenhouse gas emissions would be expected to reduce air pollution and their related health impacts.

Abt Associates used mathematical models to estimate the scale of such health benefits, and found that RGGI has averted:

  • 300 – 830 premature adult deaths
  • 35 – 390 heart attacks
  • 8,200 – 9,900 asthma exacerbations
  • 13,000 – 16,000 respiratory illnesses

Since people who are sick (or worse, dead) can’t work, these health benefits also have ramifications for workforce productivity. Abt Associates estimates that the avoided health problems resulted in somewhere between 39,000 and 47,000 regained work days.

Between the savings in health care costs and the restored productivity, Abt Associates says RGGI has saved participating states some $5.7 billion.

That’s one more piece of information RGGI supporters hope officials will factor in as they decide the future of the program. Current emissions caps expire in 2020, and the participating states are currently working to set new caps for 2021-2030. It had been hoped that a new plan, or at least proposal, would be in place by the end of 2016. The process has been delayed by a few months, in part to allow participating states to explore options if President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is struck down in the courts or abandoned by the incoming Trump administration.

Still, RGGI hasn’t fallen off the radar. Earlier this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged to cut the RGGI carbon cap 30 percent by 2030. That would be roughly 3 percent per year between 2021 and 2030. That’s less than the 5 percent annual reduction RGGI states have been averaging since 2005.

Last fall, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker called for maintaining the annual 5 percent reductions through 2030. This week, Peter Lorenz, a spokesperson for the Baker administration, said they remain committed to RGGI and the “objective of reducing carbon emissions while stabilizing energy bills, preserving electricity system reliability, and creating local jobs and economic growth.”

The Impending Collapse Of The Global Warming Scare

I am reblogging the “The Impending Collapse of the Global Warming Scare“.  That’s the title of a posting by Francis Menton on the Manhattan Contrarian blog.  His description of the state of the catastrophic man-made global warming theory and how it got to be so pervasive if not persuasive is spot on.  He outlines why he thinks the new administration will take actions that will ultimately cause its collapse.  I think he is right that if the funding dries up, or is finally given to skeptics too, the science will finally put the computer forecast science out of business. 

There is a caution in my mind.  And that is I think the really wealthy NGOs like World Wildlife Fund and wealthy people like Soros and Styer who have political reasons to want to continue the scare will put up an enormous fight to keep it alive.  The scare tactics will not diminish, but with the help of the liberal media, the scare stories will reach new heights.  I hope I am wrong about this.


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German Solar Scientists Say Solar Cycle 25 Will Look Like Cycle 24.

German solar scientists, Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt say that Solar Cycle 24 is the “..third weakest cycle since observations began in 1755.”  The Accumulated Sunspot Anomaly until 97 months after cycle start is shown on the figure below:

Figure 2: Comparison of all the solar cycles.  The chart shows the accumulated sunspot number anomaly from the mean value.

The mean value is noted at zero and Cycle 24 is running 3817 spots less than the mean and only two other Cycle had fewer.    Note that the seven Cycles that preceded Cycle 24 had more sunspots than the mean.

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