Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate

5 hours ago, Personal Coach said:

Wind Energy and Solar need to be renamed from "Renewable Energy" to what they really are: "Intermittant Energy Sources".   Where I live less than 1% of the electricity in my outlets is from wind/solar.  Fossil Fuels built our modern world.  

Wind and solar can incorporate storage.  Storage is getting increasingly more affordable.  

Renewables will still be available in a billion years, not that we will be around then, and getting cheaper each year on an energy input basis.  Fossil fuels are increasingly more expensive to extract on an energy input basis, and will not be available in any meaningful quantities beyond a thousands years at best.

5 hours ago, Personal Coach said:

I am amused by people who say "CO2 is Pollution", and those who want "Carbon Sequestration" to rid the air of "dangerous CO2".   It tells me they are poorly educated. 

You have confused 2 different senses.  Carbon sequestration is a viable means to reduce GHG levels such that global warming trends are mitigated.  

The natural fluxes of CO2 are not at issue, and never have been.   What you and many others who are equally poorly informed do not understand is that the physics of GHG's is immutable.

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12 hours ago, BuddaonTiger said:

CO2 is not a green house gas.  It is the stuff plants breathe.  I want more CO2.  I want bigger and healthier plants, which will produce more oxygen.  I like oxygen. 

This made me laugh. It's as if you somehow think that because plants use CO2, it can't be a greenhouse gas. There is no such connection and one does not preclude the other. You are also clearly unaware of the fact that plants have a limit on their efficiency gains with higher CO2 concentrations. This limit has been researched in multiple papers and it is generally considered to begin at about 450ppm to 500ppm. Many plants will begin to lose their capacity to increase their absorption of CO2 once we move past 450ppm and beyond 500ppm, this capacity flattens out rapidly.

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9 hours ago, DanilKa said:

At least with ICE you know if car starts (true, same hassles as it relies on battery) - your range won't be a moving target and you are likely at arrive to point B.

You have some false expectations of ICEVs. Their range is in fact also a moving target, they just do not provide extensive means to visualise this which might leave you with the impression that it's not happening:

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/coldweather.shtml

https://www.internationaltrucks.com/blog/fuel-economy-weight

So clearly, range is substantially lower in 20F temperatures (up to 20% for ICEVs and over 30% for hybrids) and if your fuel economy goes down with additional weight, so does your range. The weight element should be obvious to anyone who understands what it means to have a limited energy supply as well as comprehending basic physics. Most likely, many such as yourself have not actually thought about this.

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9 hours ago, Personal Coach said:

I am amused by people who say "CO2 is Pollution", and those who want "Carbon Sequestration" to rid the air of "dangerous CO2".   It tells me they are poorly educated. 

CO2 is a 100% normal, natural and ESSENTIAL part of our ecosystem. Humans and other animals produce vast amounts of CO2 within our bodies.  Plants and trees absorb the CO2 as an essential nutrient, and they produce Oxygen for us in return.  This is called a Symbiotic Relationship.  

Did you know the air we inhale is less than 0.04% CO2, but the air we exhale is 4%-5% CO2 ?   We are all CO2 Makers, and the plants and trees love it.  

 

image.png

CO2 is actually an asphyxiant that can affect human performance even at low concentrations of 0.155% (tested on pilots). So while we can exhale higher concentrations, we do not want to be in a situation where our atmosphere approaches 0.1% concentration. Since living spaces and other enclosed locations can have much higher concentrations, an average CO2 concentration that is beyond 0.1% (this is where we would be in about one century if the current administration are correct in their EPA assessment) would almost certainly result in high to dangerous levels of CO2 in enclosed spaces. Such concentrations will likely have considerable effects on the efficiency of the workforce.

So, while much higher concentrations were prevalent millions of years ago, the asphyxiating and mentally degrading effects of CO2 could be one reason why no technologically capable species has arisen during hundreds of millions of years until these concentrations dropped in more recent epochs.

Our species has actually never encountered 410ppm in it's 300,000 year history.

Edited by David Jones
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Constantly rising CO2 concentration, without foreseeable end is a big problem. 

First, it makes oceans more acidic, as dissolve CO2 forms acid - H2CO3. It kills life in ocean, particularily coral reefs, making oceans less able to sink CO2. 

Many plants do not start to use more CO2 as concentration rise. Even vice versa, they react to higher concentration with less CO2 consumption. It will speed up atmospheric CO2 concentration rise.

Mammals, including humans breathing is regulated by CO2 concentration in inhaled air, not by oxygen concentration. CO2 concentration higher than 500ppm start to impair our brain abilities. 1000ppm CO2 concentration impairs brain function considerably. 1500ppm+ brain is able to function at less than half of its capacity. 2,5% means death. CO2 negative effects on humans are well documented. Until atomic submarines, diving time was mostly limited by CO2 concentration inside the submarine. We are already at mark 410ppm.
Soon we start to see hotels, office buildings and workspaces that offer low CO2 internal atmosphere of preindustrialisation era, with special equipment installed, to remove excess CO2. It would be a great business opportunity in a large cities first.

Edited by entertenter
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S

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1 hour ago, David Jones said:

You have some false expectations of ICEVs. Their range is in fact also a moving target, they just do not provide extensive means to visualise this which might leave you with the impression that it's not happening:

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/coldweather.shtml

https://www.internationaltrucks.com/blog/fuel-economy-weight

So clearly, range is substantially lower in 20F temperatures (up to 20% for ICEVs and over 30% for hybrids) and if your fuel economy goes down with additional weight, so does your range. The weight element should be obvious to anyone who understands what it means to have a limited energy supply as well as comprehending basic physics. Most likely, many such as yourself have not actually thought about this.

Dude, I grow up in Siberia and drove with temperatures <-40 (fun fact for you: at -40 C and F are equally freaking cold). Range goes down with extra friction in transmission (takes a while for wheels to become less square) and moving through the snow but not anywhere near 20-30% you are citing based on biased bogus source. Heating in ICE cars does not consume extra fuel (unless Webasto/extra heater is fitted) because it comes from waste engine heat.

What a heck weight has to do with this conversation??? Do you want to discuss electric freight trucks where battery weights more than load?

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1 hour ago, David Jones said:

CO2 is actually an asphyxiant that can affect human performance even at low concentrations of 0.155% (tested on pilots).

it is more like 4% to cause problems - dangerous because it displaces oxygen and not because it is "toxic".

8 hrs exposure limit is 0.5% (5000ppm)

https://www.kane.co.uk/knowledge-centre/what-are-safe-levels-of-co-and-co2-in-rooms

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf97edac-77be-4442-aea4-9d2615f376e0/Carbon-Dioxide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Here is historic CO2 concentrations. Guess when Earth had more plants...

1166681440_CO2Historic.jpg.da1c90c0aae91

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55 minutes ago, entertenter said:

Constantly rising CO2 concentration, without foreseeable end is a big problem. 

First, it makes oceans more acidic, as dissolve CO2 forms acid - H2CO3. It kills life in ocean, particularily coral reefs, making oceans less able to sink CO2. 

Many plants do not start to use more CO2 as concentration rise. Even vice versa, they react to higher concentration with less CO2 consumption. It will speed up atmospheric CO2 concentration rise.

Mammals, including humans breathing is regulated by CO2 concentration in inhaled air, not by oxygen concentration. CO2 concentration higher than 500ppm start to impair our brain abilities. 1000ppm CO2 concentration impairs brain function considerably. 1500ppm+ brain is able to function at less than half of its capacity. 2,5% means death. CO2 negative effects on humans are well documented. Until atomic submarines, diving time was mostly limited by CO2 concentration inside the submarine. We are already at mark 410ppm.
Soon we start to see hotels, office buildings and workspaces that offer low CO2 internal atmosphere of preindustrialisation era, with special equipment installed, to remove excess CO2. It would be a great business opportunity in a large cities first.

that is actually very entertaining!

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13 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Breitbart is actually the most important site for those who want to know what is going on in politics.

Are you serious? Breitbart is seriously biased. Even @Tom Kirkman recognizes that. 

you can believe and think what you will but Breitbart is not facts. End of. if you believe that I feel sorry for you. Seriously. 

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2 hours ago, David Jones said:

This made me laugh. It's as if you somehow think that because plants use CO2, it can't be a greenhouse gas. There is no such connection and one does not preclude the other. You are also clearly unaware of the fact that plants have a limit on their efficiency gains with higher CO2 concentrations. This limit has been researched in multiple papers and it is generally considered to begin at about 450ppm to 500ppm. Many plants will begin to lose their capacity to increase their absorption of CO2 once we move past 450ppm and beyond 500ppm, this capacity flattens out rapidly.

Try telling this to Ron😉

I recall reading that Dutch glasshouse operators raise CO2 levels to about 800ppm beyond which the effect flattens out irrespective of what other nutrients are input .

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12 hours ago, ronwagn said:

You are just being silly and do not understand botany. Even the atmosphere contains nutrients. Have you heard of bacteria and aerophiles? Transpiration? Read up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromeliaceae

Of course the atmosphere contains some fly blown nutrients. Enough to sustain large scale plant growth - err no. 

The genera you quote are relative bespoke ecological niche of shrub like plants

Tell me - does wheat, rice, maize, potatoes, cotton, sugar, grass, citrus fruits, oil seeds rely on these processes - of course not which is why farming is reliant on fertilisers. 

Bacteria work to fix nitrogen in legumes and a relatively small number of tree species but thats about it. 

I don't quite know why you have quoted Transpiration (movement of water through a plant). If the water isn't available then that will act as a limiting factor. This may expalin to you why deserts are so sparse in vegetation😄

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1 hour ago, entertenter said:

Constantly rising CO2 concentration, without foreseeable end is a big problem. 

First, it makes oceans more acidic, as dissolve CO2 forms acid - H2CO3. It kills life in ocean, particularily coral reefs, making oceans less able to sink CO2. 

Many plants do not start to use more CO2 as concentration rise. Even vice versa, they react to higher concentration with less CO2 consumption. It will speed up atmospheric CO2 concentration rise.

Mammals, including humans breathing is regulated by CO2 concentration in inhaled air, not by oxygen concentration. CO2 concentration higher than 500ppm start to impair our brain abilities. 1000ppm CO2 concentration impairs brain function considerably. 1500ppm+ brain is able to function at less than half of its capacity. 2,5% means death. CO2 negative effects on humans are well documented. Until atomic submarines, diving time was mostly limited by CO2 concentration inside the submarine. We are already at mark 410ppm.
Soon we start to see hotels, office buildings and workspaces that offer low CO2 internal atmosphere of preindustrialisation era, with special equipment installed, to remove excess CO2. It would be a great business opportunity in a large cities first.

2.5% by vol of CO2 will be horrible but it won't kill you. 

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37 minutes ago, DanilKa said:

it is more like 4% to cause problems - dangerous because it displaces oxygen and not because it is "toxic".

8 hrs exposure limit is 0.5% (5000ppm)

https://www.kane.co.uk/knowledge-centre/what-are-safe-levels-of-co-and-co2-in-rooms

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf97edac-77be-4442-aea4-9d2615f376e0/Carbon-Dioxide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Here is historic CO2 concentrations. Guess when Earth had more plants...

1166681440_CO2Historic.jpg.da1c90c0aae91

Most plants today have evolved and do not respond to increasing CO2 above about 1000ppm so the analogy of what happened in 520 million BC is not applicable today. Commercial Greenhouse growers do not lift CO2 levels above 800ppm because it has little or no effect. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 7:09 PM, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Are you serious? Breitbart is seriously biased. Even @Tom Kirkman recognizes that. 

you can believe and think what you will but Breitbart is not facts. End of. if you believe that I feel sorry for you. Seriously. 

All news has bias.  Brietbart is open about it, strongly conservative, and I have no particular issue with that.  Brietbart uses hyperbole to emphasise their Conservative viewpoints, much like Huffington Post uses hyperbole to highlight their liberal viewpoints.

CNN pretends to be fair and unbiased, which is hilarious.

About the closest to mainstream news that I read these days is Drudge Report for a quick 1 page scan of the news, then over to ZeroHedge,  where I've commented in the comments section for years.  Then Oil Price forum and the Oil Price main news site.  And then most of my news-reading time is over at a particular 8chan forum which is aggregated and updated every few hours by anons, and is hidden from casual readers.  Google refuses to show that particular 8chan URL in search results, which amuses me greatly.

My news site bookmarks are pretty long, but here are a few that I regularly visit, you can poke around on them if you feel like it:

https://m.theepochtimes.com

https://theconservativetreehouse.com

https://gab.com/home  (alternative to Twitter, mostly uncensored, be warned)

https://www.whatfinger.com

https://www.americanthinker.com

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10 minutes ago, NickW said:

Most plants today have evolved and do not respond to increasing CO2 above about 1000ppm so the analogy of what happened in 520 million BC is not applicable today. Commercial Greenhouse growers do not lift CO2 levels above 800ppm because it has little or no effect. 

agree - plants were quite different in Carboniferous period.

I've seen numbers up to 1500-1800ppa but CO2 cost money so 800-1200 ppm may have better economics.

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13 hours ago, jaycee said:

Red you have turned up didn't notice you there.

OK lets dance.

LOL.  🤺🕺

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1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

All news has bias.  Brietbart is open about it, strongly conservative, and I have no particular issue with that.  Brietbart uses hyperbole to emphasise their Conservative viewpoints, much like Huffington Post uses hyperbole to highlight their liberal viewpoints.

I just said that they aren't facts. That's all. And I feel sorry for anybody that doesn't question their news. Confirmation bias I believe is the term... 

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4 minutes ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I just said that they aren't facts. That's all. And I feel sorry for anybody that doesn't question their news. Confirmation bias I believe is the term... 

Question everyone, question everything.  Long time mantra.  Keep poking around.

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4 hours ago, DanilKa said:

it is more like 4% to cause problems - dangerous because it displaces oxygen and not because it is "toxic".

8 hrs exposure limit is 0.5% (5000ppm)

https://www.kane.co.uk/knowledge-centre/what-are-safe-levels-of-co-and-co2-in-rooms

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf97edac-77be-4442-aea4-9d2615f376e0/Carbon-Dioxide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Here is historic CO2 concentrations. Guess when Earth had more plants...

1166681440_CO2Historic.jpg.da1c90c0aae91

Here is one paper:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/231558578_Influence_of_carbon-dioxide_concentration_on_human_well-being_and_intensity_of_mental_work

That took 5 minutes to find. In general, beyond 2000ppm things get uncomfortable. Room CO2 concentrations can be 1000ppm higher than average atmosphere so with 0.1% (1000ppm) your are going to have occurrences of 2000ppm indoors in many places.

Tasks which require quite a bit of concentration like pilots can experience, show effects at even lower percentages. Keep in mind that the atmospheric concentration is permanent in as far as it is all encompassing, there's nowhere to hide from it. It's very likely that we will need CO2 filtration indoors once we reach >0.1% CO2 in the atmosphere.

0.5% is the level at which it is considered toxic:

Exposure to CO2 can produce a variety of health effects. These may include headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, coma, asphyxia, and convulsions.

The levels of CO2 in the air and potential health problems are:

  • 250 - 350 ppm: background (normal) outdoor air level.
  • 350 - 1,000 ppm: typical level found in occupied spaces with good air exchange.
  • 1,000 - 2,000 ppm: level associated with complaints of drowsiness and poor air.
  • 2,000 - 5,000 ppm: level associated with headaches, sleepiness, and stagnant, stale, stuffy air. Poor concentration, loss of attention, increased heart rate and slight nausea may also be present.
  • 5,000 ppm: this indicates unusual air conditions where high levels of other gases could also be present. Toxicity or oxygen deprivation could occur. This is the permissible exposure limit for daily workplace exposures.
  • 40,000 ppm: this level is immediately harmful due to oxygen deprivation.
Edited by David Jones

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5 hours ago, DanilKa said:

Dude, I grow up in Siberia and drove with temperatures <-40 (fun fact for you: at -40 C and F are equally freaking cold). Range goes down with extra friction in transmission (takes a while for wheels to become less square) and moving through the snow but not anywhere near 20-30% you are citing based on biased bogus source. Heating in ICE cars does not consume extra fuel (unless Webasto/extra heater is fitted) because it comes from waste engine heat.

What a heck weight has to do with this conversation??? Do you want to discuss electric freight trucks where battery weights more than load?

What the heck? This was a question of changes in range. Adding weight to your car by say towing something will reduce your range considerably whether it's an EV or ICEV. My point is that ICEVs are not magical machines that do not adhere to the laws of physics, pulling more weight requires more energy and depletes whatever energy source is being used more rapidly, whether that is fuel or a battery.

As for temperature, it doesn't matter if we are talking F or C because the percent reduction was provided based on a fixed value. 20F is about -6.7c and either way the value is 12% loss of range for ICEVs and 20% if the journey is short. The article I linked is a government webpage informing the public of these issues. I'm sure if you look around you will find other articles confirming their findings and the reason ICEVs lose range in cold weather especially when executing short trips is because the ICE works less efficiently when it is cold. You obviously did not know this.

It's quite likely that you have no way of actually checking this in your ICEV so your "feeling" of how much range you are getting, assuming that you are basing your argument on a subjective impression, is quite irrelevant. Your vehicle might also be some truck based monstrosity in which case it could have 600 or 800 miles of range, then you are unlikely to notice the fact that it looses 12-20% of it's range in cold weather conditions.

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I have to admit there is some entertainment value in reading through this thread. Red and Nick are very passionate about their cause and very proficient at citing links to "facts". Neither side is going to persuade their counterparts to see the light and cross over to join the enlightened. 

I see the bottom line as this when it comes to climate change: WE DO NOT KNOW!

While it is easy to see short-term changes in climate, we don't have enough data to make long-term forecasts. The climate is always changing and we have not been gathering data long enough to know for certain what the cause(s) of these changes are. It is my opinion that anyone claiming to be able to do so is either profoundly arrogant or has some other agenda (usually political). 

We need long-term data to the tune of millions of years in order to make good decisions. Science will claim that they can derive the needed data from fossil remains and associated sedimentary rock but ultimately these are subjective opinions and scientists are easily manipulated by the source of their current funding.

The US government is spending untold billions/trillions of our dollars subsidizing green energy in order to reverse climate change. Is that really a smart thing to do when we do not know what has caused the climate to change? Could we really change the climate if we wanted to? 

WE DON'T KNOW

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2 minutes ago, MUI said:

I have to admit there is some entertainment value in reading through this thread. Red and Nick are very passionate about their cause and very proficient at citing links to "facts". Neither side is going to persuade their counterparts to see the light and cross over to join the enlightened. 

I see the bottom line as this when it comes to climate change: WE DO NOT KNOW!

While it is easy to see short-term changes in climate, we don't have enough data to make long-term forecasts. The climate is always changing and we have not been gathering data long enough to know for certain what the cause(s) of these changes are. It is my opinion that anyone claiming to be able to do so is either profoundly arrogant or has some other agenda (usually political). 

We need long-term data to the tune of millions of years in order to make good decisions. Science will claim that they can derive the needed data from fossil remains and associated sedimentary rock but ultimately these are subjective opinions and scientists are easily manipulated by the source of their current funding.

The US government is spending untold billions/trillions of our dollars subsidizing green energy in order to reverse climate change. Is that really a smart thing to do when we do not know what has caused the climate to change? Could we really change the climate if we wanted to? 

WE DON'T KNOW

Long term data is confirmation. Physics aspects such as thermodynamics do not require confirmation, they are accepted as generally valid. Neither do experiments that have been carried out as mentioned above which confirm the negative effects of even relatively low CO2 concentration on human cognitive capabilities. Basic mathematics also does not require confirmation as this can be internally confirmed by anyone with minimal capabilities. Such is the fact of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere that are rapidly rising. You can confirm our effect on these by simply measuring the amount of CO2 we emit annually and comparing this to the weight of the atmosphere. You will find that the amount we emit is substantially larger than the ppm increase values we register annually, this can be accounted for by absorption in oceans and land (plants for example), these are natural sequesters.

Climate is nothing more than thermodynamics and turbulence on a massive scale. It adheres to the same principles. You are right in as far as that we do not know everything but you do not need to know everything in order to arrive at a probability that leads to a solid conclusion. The anthropogenic climate change result of altering the energy content of Earth's fluids is not unknown and the simple fact is that additional energy in the fluids of Earth are without a doubt going to alter the flow of energy/turbulence and thus the climate and climate related phenomena, this is solidified in the laws of physics and is not debatable unless you can present new laws of physics that define and explain our universe with greater scientific precision. None of the sceptics/deniers have done this. 

Your statement of We Don't Know is simply a result of a lack of understanding of system element definition, probability, isolated systems, thermodynamics, statistics, geometry, relative time scales and so on. The people who have come to the conclusion that anthropogenic climate change is a serious issue derived from our activity are those that are versed in these fields and understanding. We should listen to them because we do not have unending time to change.

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I think you either missed the general tenet of my post that more information is needed or you have discounted it altogether in alignment with my previous statement that it requires either profound arrogance or a (usually) political agenda to do so.

I also picked up the use of "anthropogenic" in exchange of "man-made". 

I am still of the opinion that we (the world) need more information prior to committing to a course of action which may not in the best interests of progress.

Please take the politics and emotion out of this issue altogether. Decisions like changing over to solar and wind should be made on merit alone. Governments should not subsidize these technologies in order to give them an unfair advantage on the economic playing field. If a new technology comes along that is superior to one already in use then the marketplace is pretty darn efficient at replacing the inferior one. Private investment is the most efficient vehicle for advancing technology. That is not government's role.

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On 2/6/2019 at 1:58 PM, NickW said:

Comedy statements of the week

Wind doesn't blow for upwards of a month at a time 

Sun does not shine for months at a time up north 

I looked at the weather maps for the mid west polar vortex and saw there was plenty of wind and sunny periods.  

http://windmapper.com/MW/forecast

I have said in another thread that for cold northern climates running a BAU economy, in the absence of using fossil fuels will likely need nuclear or large amounts of hydro to provide baseload. However, Hydro / pump storage does not need to be in the location of the population bases. HVDC allows for economical transmission. Other utility scale options for storing electricity are looking to be a viable option. One is using electric trains with regenerative breaking  loaded with something very heavy and cheap like Iron ore. With these systems you can use hills and mountains that wouldn't necessasily lend themselves to pump storage or hydro applications. 

Also you overlook other renewable options that offer huge potential to provide dispatchable power on demand - notable examples are biogas, waste to energy and biomass. 

So, NO, you have never opened a wind rose graph by month ....

So, No, you have never opened a graph of solar insolation where majority of people live.

Bravo!  Golf clap... Bravo!

PS: your "train" idea is so laughable as to be absurd.  It makes pumped hydro look cheap and like childs play.  Genius alert: You need GIGAWATTS; hundreds of them.  Eastern USA power grid is 660GW in Winter and well over 700 in Summer. 

Take for instance Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia river.  Nameplate is ~7GW(less actually), drops 550ft, and its penstock diameter through the Turbines are 18 penstocks ~10ft diameter and 6 penstocks 40ft  in diameter and a couple minor ones which don't count.  Running 24/7.   Each BIG penstock dumps 1000cubic meters/second through the turbines.  Times 6.  Generating half the power.  The 18 smaller ones dump total of approx 6000cubic meters/second as well for the other half of the power.  Total dumpage is roughly 12,000 cubic meters/s at maximum power for a drop of 550ft generating ~7GW  And it needs to run 24/7 for upwards of MONTHS during the winter when the sun does not shine, the wind does not blow, or it blows to hard, or it is ice and turbines cannot spin. 

In ONE day(86,400s) x 12,000 cubic meters = 1E9 cubic meters of water.  One cubic kilometer of water is 1E9

SO, 1 CUBIC Kilometer of water, dropped 550ft is a measly 7GW of power.  Eastern USA Grid is 660GW

Assuming no population growth or reindustrialization of the USA, Eastern USA ONLY would need 660GW/7GW or roughly 100 Grand Coulee Dams dropping 1 CUBIC kilometer of water every day down to a LOWER dam.  NOTE: I used the LOWER winter total, not the summer peak.  Summer has better wind and sun obviously. 

FUN FACT: Lake Erie is roughly 500 Cubic Kilometers of water and 550ft above SEA LEVEL. 

SO, IF you EMPTIED 100% of Lake Erie down 550ft(sea level), that would power the Eastern USA for ~5days....

PPS: In case you are ignorant: Texas/Oklahoma is on its own power grid and so is Western USA. 

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