The Dangerous Consequences of Renewables in the Age of COVID-19


Michael Moore’s surprising anti-renewable’s and environmental-movement documentary “Planet of the Humans” unmasks the trillions being spent on wind turbines and solar panels that do not deliver as advertised. The movie attacks men like Al Gore, David Blood and Elon Musk for making billions through renewable taxpayer handouts, and electric vehicle production that strip landscapes of wilderness and precious minerals leaving them uninhabitable and worthless for plants and trees. The ecological destruction left in the wake of renewable energy to electricity farms and subsidized biomass-fueled power plants is cynical at best, and mercenary in their ability to destroy nature’s ability to alleviate the coronavirus via cleaner air.

What Moore exposes is the “renewable energy sector as not being entirely green or clean as well as criticizing large corporation for virtue signaling on the issue.” Whereas the new movie, “Juice: How Electricity Explains the World” advocates for energy poverty to be eliminated through electricity for the globe, Moore’s film highlights the dark side to renewables.

As an example of renewables problems – if the Indian Point Nuclear Plant (IPNP) in Buchanan, New York that is slated to be closed were replaced by wind turbines the consequences would be rising emissions over increased fossil fuel use since renewables need 24/7/365 fossil fuel backup; and bucolic surrounding lands would be destroyed. Here’s why: IPNP uses approximately 1 kilometer of land to deliver 25% of New York City’s electrical needs, and nuclear is carbon-free. Conversely, it would take 1,300 kilometers of wind turbines to equal the same amount of electrical generation power.

The environmental destruction wind turbines create is extraordinary – “building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic.” New, gigantic turbines spanning football fields are now coming online offshore and onshore in the U.S. and other western nations.

Wind and solar also bring little to no value to electrical grids. When the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow at set speeds it destroys a grids spinning reserve mode, peaking mode, and backup mode. Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, South Australia, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the latest government to go all-in for renewables – Virginia have all experienced blackouts, higher electrical prices, and weakened grids.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson catches coronavirus, and his country struggles with an unstable grid over widespread adoption of renewables for electricity. In the age of COVID-19 those are life and death matters if electricity is hampered for any length of time.

Renewables then make no sense when the entire world is sick. Only using Warren Buffet’s logic does chaotic wind power bring financial wealth when he said: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reasons to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

Large renewable firms in the U.S. expect future, yearly taxpayer subsidies to reach over $60 billion; this doesn’t include other direct loan payments and financial arrangements that wind and sun farms need to survive. Imagine $60 billion invested in medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, hospitals and medical personnel to save lives and discover a vaccine?

Unemployment numbers are skyrocketing, but in Wisconsin power subsidies have diverted public resources into rising electrical prices and lost jobs. A detailed study revealed billions wasted and 10,000 jobs per year eliminated to make way for green-energy jobs, which never materialized. Real jobs were lost for jobs that need billions in taxpayer handouts to exist.

Neighboring Minnesota has the same results from their implementation of wind turbine energy to electricity farms over reliable natural gas, coal, and nuclear for their electricity. Add U.S. dependence on China for rare earth minerals, which solar panels and wind turbines are useless without – makes clean energy a costly proposition – during this global pandemic.

What makes the entire notion of relying on chaotically intermittent renewables dangerous is a seminal work by energy expert Robert Bryce titled, “Question of Power: Electricity and Wealth of Nations,” which highlights this startling fact:

“Roughly 3.3 billion people – about 45 percent of all the people on the planet – live in places where per-capita electricity consumption is less than 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year, or less than the amount used by a refrigerator.”

Take into account globally there are still 6,600 coal-fired power plants in use, and hundreds more planned in China and India; showing the U.S., the western world, and developing world needs affordable, reliable, affordable, abundant, and flexible energy to electricity that fossil fuels and nuclear provide to fight this pandemic.

Uncertainty is the one constant the coronavirus has shown. Long-term planning is no longer en vogue – now it’s understanding cratering oil prices, a possible Great Depression in the U.S. if the country doesn’t get back to work soon, trillion-dollar deficits as the new norm, and prosperity taking a backseat to police-state-like shut-ins. More damning for renewables than endless subsidies or billions needing electricity is the fact that without fossil fuels the coronavirus would rage unchecked.

Over 6,000 products come from a barrel of crude oil – including every part in solar panels and wind turbines. Additionally, renewables can’t produce plastic for plastic gloves, ventilator parts, pharmaceuticals, building materials for hospitals and protective gear for doctors and nurses. All those products begin from crude oil, or as the Wall Street Journal states – “Big Oil to the Coronavirus Rescue.”

We are at a “nexus” during this pandemic of choosing between life-saving products coming from crude oil, or renewables that destroy lives, jobs, taxpayer protection, electrical grids, landscapes, and the ability to fight COVID-19. Choosing reliable energy sources over renewables that still need decades of research to improve their energy density and reliability is the prudent choice during these nail-biting times.

Todd Royal is the co-author of the 2019 book "Energy Made Easy," and the upcoming book "Just Green Electricity." Todd is published in,,, The National Interest, California Political Review,,, and has been republished in USA Today, Business, Yahoo Finance and other global outlets. Todd focuses on all forms of energy, national security, foreign policy, and Calfornia politics. He can be reached on Twitter @TCR_Consulting"

Photo credit: Obra19 via Wikimedia under CC 3.0 License.


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Alternate Energy Nonsense - an expanded view

I happened to have invested in passive solar and wind energy in the first (forgotten) green movement in the early 1980's. My (mostly underground) three story home/office built into a south facing hillside had 10" walls and no windows other than south facing where every room overlooks Fish lake in Maple Grove, MN - built in 1983. The 4,000 square foot structure (mostly buried) looked like the smallest 'shack' from the cul-de-sac, more impressive from the lake. I always talk - don't advise if you are willing to live it, and a earth-berm passive solar home with a 10kW Bergey 100' tall wind generator on a normal sized subdivision lot is as environmental wacko as you can get. The home cost $130K in 1983 to build (including the lot), and the wind generator was $26K with 1/2 being tax credits. Powering the home and office back then cost $250 a month in electricity and the 5 year loan on the wind generator was $250 a month. Some months we would even get a check from the electric company for the excess power we created. Logic would apply here - 5 years of paying for a wind generator at roughly the electric bill and the next 25 years after that no electric bill. Maple Grove allowed the wind generator because it had an ordinance allowing them up to 100' tall with just a permit! We built ours and shortly after that Maple Grove repealed the ordinance, eventually buying it from us for something like $30K - but there was no recapture on the tax credit which we were able to pocket. I's say back then 1/3rd of the homes had solar hot water heaters which lasted about 5 years because that was their shelf life - tax payers contributing 50% to a few hundred ugly solar water heaters punching plumbing through the roof tops - to be snow covered in the winter within a half decade ending up in where ever solar water heater junk yards are located. Passive solar - worked great. In fact in sub-zero weather before our window shades were delivered we ran air conditioning to keep us from sweltering, that is, until my 10 year old son said: why don't you just open a window? For 13 years the daily routine was raising and lowering shades on 36 windows to heat the home - no doubt worked great, but the time and effort to save some $$$ could have been better spent elsewhere. The earth-bermed home? Well, we discovered ground water does not avoid a home built in its way, and loved to constantly flood the home until we installed two (2) battery backup sump pumps that ran constantly. In the end after 13 years in the home which would have been worth at least $400,000 on the lake and if it was conventional built - was worth $180K (essentially the home was not valued much and the lot was what most of that $180K was worth). My next home I thought - screw the environment, and my views were mostly east and north facing and I had a ton of glass. I really didn't care what the utility bill was. What I discovered was that the new home construction along with new glass (1993) had very low energy use - anyway. In 2008 I built a new home in St. Louis Park - a dual green certified home (again don't recommend unless you are willing to experience it yourself). Instead of an 89% efficient HVAC another $2K and upgraded to a 97% efficient. Completely normal construction other than 1" spray foam (another $2K) to seal the home in addition to the completely normal 6" insulation. My builder used standard Anderson 400 series windows, and we used Hunter Douglas single ply instead of dual insulated shades (saving another $6,000 single vs. dual). My 3,600 sq.ft. living space with 4 car garage (upper and lower), steel roof, dual large decks, every room and window coordinated with a view of parks and open space, 3 level automated door elevator, and much more came in at a very normal $140 a square foot price. Nothing weird. Utility bill in the dead of winter - no solar, no electric panels, no wind generator? $50 a month - in winter (gas heat) - a little less in summer (electric A/C). I could have changed the 97% conventional HVAC for geothermal (another ripp-off not mentioned in the article) for $50,000 extra and maybe my winter utility bill would be $10 less. So why doesn't everyone build homes smarter? Well, no tax credit for the things we did, and no appraisal advantage, the appraiser will see $0 additional value in all of the things we did, but the next buyer will see the value when we sell for sure. The tax credit should be abandoned - only then will manufactures be forced to actually created alternatives that work. Would I add a 10kw Bergey Wind Generator to my house if the City of St Louis Park allowed it today? In an instant I would. Why, when the energy use is so low and a payback (assuming no tax credit in the future) would be longer? Cool factor - it was really cool.