We Shouldn't Be Surprised Renewables Make Energy Expensive Since That's Always Been The Greens' Goal

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9 minutes ago, ceo_energemsier said:

We Shouldn't Be Surprised Renewables Make Energy Expensive Since That's Always Been The Greens' Goal

Nor should we be surprised to learn that people who do not understand what they are talking about will make false claims.

I note the OP has no other comments, but for his link.

Shellenberger's claims have been consistently shown to be false, but he still gets air time.

This link shows the present state of play.  What is most interesting is that renewables continue to get cheaper every year, so wind and solar will continue to outpace other forms of energy in terms of being least expensive.

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9 minutes ago, ceo_energemsier said:

We Shouldn't Be Surprised Renewables Make Energy Expensive Since That's Always Been The Greens' Goal

I certainly agree with much of the article linked but I disagree with the contention that the greens are deliberately making energy more expensive for no reduction in emissions as part of some grander plan. For them, and I've argued with a few greens over the years, renewables are good because they harness energy without burning fossil fuels and anyone who points out the major problems of using them must be in the pay of sinister energy companies.  If emissions don't fall after a heap of renewables have been connected up then the obvious solution is to connect more. Power prices going up? That must be because the electricity companies are using renewables to rip-off consumers. In other words, major problems are just brushed off with excuses or simply ignored. Those guys genuinely believe that they are doing us all a power of good, and no amount of reality is going to shake that belief.

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Here's one of many of Shellenberger's oft repeated lies:

"In 2018, I reported that renewables had contributed to electricity prices rising 50% in Germany and five times more in California than in the rest of the US despite generating just 17% of the state’s electricity."

This links to the past 6 years and shows consumer electricity prices increased by less than one euro.

I can take his claims one by one and show how most of his ideas are fundamentally flawed, but will save that for now.

 

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(edited)

One very real problem with "renewables" is the sheer amount of total destruction of the natural environment that accompanies installation of the wind machines.  There is a project in far Northern Vermont apparently the handiwork of David Bettendorf, an engineer and self-styled wind-machine advocate (and who is now a multi-millionaire thanks to the subsidies paid him).  The project consists of VESTA machines, I think some 24 of them, mounted on these gigantic blocks of concrete at the very top of the pristine ridgelines. The machines are salutes to the Pyramids of old, gigantic machines 400 feet tall with 170-foot blades. 

To get the blades and towers up to the top, an entire highway with a minimal grade has to be constructed.  It has to be smooth, shallow, and quite wide, to accommodate the movement of those very long blade parts.  To accomplish that, the fragile vegetation along the way has to be ripped up, the access road literally as wide as the Interstate-91 down in the valley below.  Here is a shot of the road underway, and the damage it causes:

image.png.0956bf58806af0fee41d20d20ecd298c.png

Once built, that scar into the ecology of the mountain is there forever, as that company needs it to get trucks and machines up there to do maintenance and parts replacement.  So you end up with the sacrifice of the local ecology in order to make some electricity, although you could also simply drop a power cable along the bottom of Lake Champlain as the routing of power into Vermont, from the massive hydro installations in Quebec  (and which power is a lot cheaper than Mr. Bettendorf's folly). So instead of a buried cable and perpetually cheap hydropower, you end up with this on your ridgelines, and a wrecked landscape:

image.png.9fdd73de342f821bcacc0696a9f0e7d6.png

And every now and then one of these monsters fails, and then you have to go haul the rubble out of there and trek in another one, or more likely, just abandon the detritus on-site and walk away.  But fail they do:

image.png.6876ae4f69dff113f4ef494a35e0e7b2.png

These machines are monuments to the hubris of promoters, who use "other peoples' money" to get staggeringly rich off the subsidies and tax credits paid by ordinary folks, the ones who in the end pay a premium for their electricity over what they would pay if you forget about this folly and took your steady-state, continuous and not intermittent, power from a decent hydro installation.  This is especially shameful as the Canadians want to sell Vermont some 5,600 MW of excess capacity they already have - power that is let go via the spillways of the unused dams already built.  Goodness gracious, how hard is it to drop a cable off the back end of a barge down into the bottom of a Lake?  And you want to tear apart the mountains in order to self-aggrandize your ideas of personal importance? 

These "renewables" guys are a plague upon the population.  They are predators, and pests.  Spray them with DDT and get rid of them. 

Edited by Jan van Eck
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4 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

One very real problem with "renewables" is the sheer amount of total destruction of the natural environment that accompanies installation of the wind machines.  There is a project in far Northern Vermont apparently the handiwork of David Bettendorf, an engineer and self-styled wind-machine advocate (and who is now a multi-millionaire thanks to the subsidies paid him).  The project consists of VESTA machines, I think some 24 of them, mounted on these gigantic blocks of concrete at the very top of the pristine ridgelines. The machines are salutes to the Pyramids of old, gigantic machines 400 feet tall with 170-foot blades. 

To get the blades and towers up to the top, an entire highway with a minimal grade has to be constructed.  It has to be smooth, shallow, and quite wide, to accommodate the movement of those very long blade parts.  To accomplish that, the fragile vegetation along the way has to be ripped up, the access road literally as wide as the Interstate-91 down in the valley below.  Here is a shot of the road underway, and the damage it causes:

image.png.0956bf58806af0fee41d20d20ecd298c.png

Once built, that scar into the ecology of the mountain is there forever, as that company needs it to get trucks and machines up there to do maintenance and parts replacement.  SO you end up with the sacrifice of the local ecology in order to make some electricity, although you could also simply drop a power cable along the bottom of Lake Champlain as the routing of power into Vermont, from the massive hydro installations in Quebec  (and which power is a lot cheaper than Mr. Bettendorf's folly). So instead of a buried cable and perpetually cheap hydropower, you end up with this on your ridgelines, and a wrecked landscape:

image.png.9fdd73de342f821bcacc0696a9f0e7d6.png

And every now and then one of these monsters fails, and then you have to go haul the rubble out of there and trek in another one, or more likely, just abandon the detritus on-site and walk away.  But fail they do:

image.png.6876ae4f69dff113f4ef494a35e0e7b2.png

These machines are monuments to the hubris of promoters, who use "other peoples' money" to get staggeringly rich off the subsidies and tax credits paid by ordinary folks, the ones who in the end pay a premium for their electricity over what they would pay if you forget about this folly and took your steady-state, continuous and not intermittent, power from a decent hydro installation.  This is especially shameful as the Canadians want to sell Vermont some 5,600 MW of excess capacity they already have - power that is let go via the spillways of the unused dames already built.  Goodness gracious, how hard is it to drop a cable off the back end of a barge down into the bottom of a Lake?  And you want to tear apart the mountains in order to self-aggrandize your ideas of personal importance? 

These "renewables" guys are a plague upon the population.  They are predators, and pests.  Spray them with DDT and get rid of them. 

Not to forget Germany's wind experiment was a failure pushing up costs and affecting industries across the board with higher costs.

Spain too.

And then the promoters of wind and solar as clean energy, there is nothing clean about these at all.

As long as they dont see it its good and acceptable.

http://www.bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/10-pollution-on-a-disastrous-scale-environmental-cost-of-wind-turbine-manufacturing

 

 

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1 minute ago, ceo_energemsier said:

Not to forget Germany's wind experiment was a failure pushing up costs and affecting industries across the board with higher costs.

Spain too.

And then the promoters of wind and solar as clean energy, there is nothing clean about these at all.

As long as they dont see it its good and acceptable.

http://www.bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/10-pollution-on-a-disastrous-scale-environmental-cost-of-wind-turbine-manufacturing

 

 

Here's the thing: that German wind is coming in at somewhere around 33 cents a KwH.  Canadian hydropower is at hand for 5 cents.  And all you need is some submerged cable.  So: who is the greater fool?  

Those wind machines are never, ever, never going to be a stable source of power.  It is a gigantic folly.  Forget about it. 

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1 minute ago, Jan van Eck said:

Here's the thing: that German wind is coming in at somewhere around 33 cents a KwH.  Canadian hydropower is at hand for 5 cents.  And all you need is some submerged cable.  So: who is the greater fool?  

Those wind machines are never, ever, never going to be a stable source of power.  It is a gigantic folly.  Forget about it. 

There is no gain in wind energy for anything sustainable or environmentally friendly including the costs, tons of steel and concrete, metals, wiring just to name a few and plastics from petchem. I see these Vestas monstrosities being hauled around in TX and CO.

 

https://www.politico.eu/article/small-old-wind-towers-make-for-big-new-problems/

 

https://www.energycentral.com/news/retiring-worn-out-wind-turbines-could-cost-billions-nobody-has

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1 hour ago, ceo_energemsier said:

Not to forget Germany's wind experiment was a failure pushing up costs and affecting industries across the board with higher costs.

Spain too.

And then the promoters of wind and solar as clean energy, there is nothing clean about these at all.

As long as they dont see it its good and acceptable.

http://www.bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/10-pollution-on-a-disastrous-scale-environmental-cost-of-wind-turbine-manufacturing

 

 

Mountain top removal and oil sands so much cleaner and greener 😄

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvKe2LYy5pk

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(edited)

2 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

One very real problem with "renewables" is the sheer amount of total destruction of the natural environment that accompanies installation of the wind machines. 

Fossil fuels damage the environment plenty so I won't accept that as a downside for renewable energy. 

Our local "pride and joy" is easily seen from space. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/Athabasca

Meanwhile, our wind farms are on fairly smooth and flat land that doesn't require much of a road to access, and most have been running for over 15 years already. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wind_farms_in_Canada#Alberta

Your example was just poor implementation / choice of location.  I do like, however, that your ideal replacement for US renewable energy is cheap Canadian renewable energy. We just do it better eh? :)

athabasca_cover_iPad_1024x576.jpg

Edited by Enthalpic
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2 minutes ago, Enthalpic said:

I do like, however, that your ideal replacement for US renewable energy is cheap Canadian renewable energy. We just do it better eh? :)

Actually, you do.  Hydro-Quebec is an acknowledged leader in how to do it right.  Along with Churchill Falls in Labrador.  Really good serious engineering. 

The Canadians also did a bang-up job in nuclear reactors with their heavy-water designs, but then the (Canadian) politicians started screwing with it and the whole deal went to hell in a handbasket.  That also happens,  Whether or not that is unique to the dunderheads in Ontario is not for me to say.  I might think it, however.

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47 minutes ago, NickW said:

Mountain top removal and oil sands so much cleaner and greener 😄

I am no fan of mountaintop removal, especially since that coal is being burned for electricity generation.  I remind the readers that pound for pound, Uranium 233 is fifty million times more energy available than coal.  If "environmentalists" and "greens" were serious about the environment, then they would be promoting nuclear power.  Indeed, the numbers do not work for any other solution. Unless, of course, you are prepared to do without. 

As far as the current (Canadian) approach to oil sands is concerned, remember that the default technology involves a boiling process to extract the crude.  Better techniques are developed to the prototype scale, specifically using removable and reusable solvents.  It leaves behind clean sand, which can immediately be placed on the mined sand, and the area made far healthier than it was when raw oil was oozing out of the earth, contaminating all wildlife.   I anticipate that thew solvent approaches will become the new default technique for oil removal and all the players will prosper.  And P.S.  It looks like those fotos were from perhaps 8,000 feet, not outer space. 

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1 minute ago, Jan van Eck said:

I am no fan of mountaintop removal, especially since that coal is being burned for electricity generation.  I remind the readers that pound for pound, Uranium 233 is fifty million times more energy available than coal.  If "environmentalists" and "greens" were serious about the environment, then they would be promoting nuclear power.  Indeed, the numbers do not work for any other solution. Unless, of course, you are prepared to do without. 

As far as the current (Canadian) approach to oil sands is concerned, remember that the default technology involves a boiling process to extract the crude.  Better techniques are developed to the prototype scale, specifically using removable and reusable solvents.  It leaves behind clean sand, which can immediately be placed on the mined sand, and the area made far healthier than it was when raw oil was oozing out of the earth, contaminating all wildlife.   I anticipate that thew solvent approaches will become the new default technique for oil removal and all the players will prosper.  And P.S.  It looks like those fotos were from perhaps 8,000 feet, not outer space. 

Im not anti Nuclear (more on the fence on this one) but I have seen the mess Uranium mines make first had and while its 50 million times more energy intensive than coal, at a typical concentration of 0.04% (u3O8)  thats a lot of rock that needs to dug up and processed. 

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14 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I am no fan of mountaintop removal, especially since that coal is being burned for electricity generation.  I remind the readers that pound for pound, Uranium 233 is fifty million times more energy available than coal.  If "environmentalists" and "greens" were serious about the environment, then they would be promoting nuclear power.  Indeed, the numbers do not work for any other solution. Unless, of course, you are prepared to do without. 

As far as the current (Canadian) approach to oil sands is concerned, remember that the default technology involves a boiling process to extract the crude.  Better techniques are developed to the prototype scale, specifically using removable and reusable solvents.  It leaves behind clean sand, which can immediately be placed on the mined sand, and the area made far healthier than it was when raw oil was oozing out of the earth, contaminating all wildlife.   I anticipate that thew solvent approaches will become the new default technique for oil removal and all the players will prosper.  And P.S.  It looks like those fotos were from perhaps 8,000 feet, not outer space. 

SAGD facilities look a lot better.  Much less surface scarring than the pit mines.

Yes, the Athabasca river does cut though some of the sands, and therefore is sort of a natural spill, but erosion is generally slow.

The pictures were apparently taken by Landsat satellites about 900Km up.

Edited by Enthalpic

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27 minutes ago, NickW said:

Im not anti Nuclear (more on the fence on this one) but I have seen the mess Uranium mines make first had and while its 50 million times more energy intensive than coal, at a typical concentration of 0.04% (u3O8)  thats a lot of rock that needs to dug up and processed. 

All true, Nick.  I point out that at this point there is enough nuclear material in circulation to power Molten Salt Reactors for the next 500 years at least.  So, no real need to go mining more of the stuff ☺️

The other thing I would mention is that U233 is vastly more plentiful than straight uranium (U-235).  It does require a two-step procedure to get to fissionable material but hey, that part is all inside some factory building, not out in the open fields making a big mess, as say the Chinese approach to mining rare earths for those Siemens and Vesta wind machine magnets.  Let's be fair;  using spent fuel rods lying about in those storage canisters, and I am not even going to the nuke warheads that the crazies have built and still continue to build for their stockpiles (and that now includes the craziest of all, Little Rocket Man over there in (North) Korea) which provides a vast store of fissionable material. 

You can, if you want to, convert all, 100%, electricity generation to nuclear plants within ten years, if you really wanted to. And you do not need to mine one gram of new material; it is all already there, in those storage casks, just ready to be harvested.  Makes more sense to me than any current alternatives.  Cheers. 

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2 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

All true, Nick.  I point out that at this point there is enough nuclear material in circulation to power Molten Salt Reactors for the next 500 years at least.  So, no real need to go mining more of the stuff ☺️

The other thing I would mention is that U233 is vastly more plentiful than straight uranium (U-235).  It does require a two-step procedure to get to fissionable material but hey, that part is all inside some factory building, not out in the open fields making a big mess, as say the Chinese approach to mining rare earths for those Siemens and Vesta wind machine magnets.  Let's be fair;  using spent fuel rods lying about in those storage canisters, and I am not even going to the nuke warheads that the crazies have built and still continue to build for their stockpiles (and that now includes the craziest of all, Little Rocket Man over there in (North) Korea) which provides a vast store of fissionable material. 

You can, if you want to, convert all, 100%, electricity generation to nuclear plants within ten years, if you really wanted to. And you do not need to mine one gram of new material; it is all already there, in those storage casks, just ready to be harvested.  Makes more sense to me than any current alternatives.  Cheers. 

I'm not anti nuclear although I think the economics of renewables is increasingly making nuclear look like a lost opportunity in that it had its time but has been superceded by the falling cost of renewables. 

There is probably still a place for nuclear, particularly cold, heavily populated countries without the space or natural resources to develop renewables on the sort of scale needed.

The UK, Belgium, Germany (haha), South korea are a few that come to mind. 

 

 

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(edited)

11 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

 no real need to go mining more of the stuff ☺️

 

Plenty of super-enriched crap sitting around doing nothing good. Bombs to energy; win-win.  Of course, not an option for Canada.

"Risky" elements/isotopes to use but a ton of energy in there.

Edited by Enthalpic

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15 minutes ago, Enthalpic said:

Of course, not an option for Canada.

The Americans will b e perfectly happy to sell you the stuff. 

Hey, maybe even hand it to you for free!  :D

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China, India thermal coal imports hit multi-year highs in May

 

Seaborne thermal coal imports by China and India hit multi-year highs in May, shipping data showed, contrasting with trends in other regions where there is a shift towards cleaner electricity sources like natural gas and renewables.

China’s shipped imports of thermal coal, which is used mostly for power generation, will reach 17 million tonnes in May, data in Refinitiv showed, the highest level since at least 2015, and up from around 12 million tonnes a year ago.

Together, the two countries will account for just over half of all seaborne thermal coal shipped in May, according to the data, up from less than 45% a year ago.

The figures exclude land imports, such as China’s purchases from Mongolia.

The high demand from India and China has been sparked by strong industrial consumption and a steep fall in international coal prices that has made overseas supplies more competitive.

“Foreign supplies are at a 100 yuan($14.48) (per tonne) discount to domestic supplies now, driving utilities to ramp up purchases of foreign supplies to prestock for summer,” said a manager with Huaneng Group, one of China’s largest utilities.

He declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to media.

The price of year-ahead API2 thermal coal futures , a commonly used benchmark, last closed at a two-year low of $65.25 per tonne, more than a third below 2018 highs.

“The overall thermal coal market has continued to soften, which has created economic opportunities for coal-fired generators to secure thermal coal imports at more competitive prices than in the recent past,” said Pat Markey, managing director at commodities consultancy Sierra Vista Resources in Singapore.

The price decline has been driven by healthy supply as well as tepid demand in Europe, Japan and South Korea due to lower economic growth and shifts towards cleaner fuels.

INDONESIA, SOUTH AFRICA PROFIT

In India, booming industrial demand and a struggling domestic coal industry have spurred imports.

“A pause on … allocations of most of the locally available coal to the power sector and double-digit growth in sectors such as cement have led to high growth in demand for imported coal,” said Vasudev Pamnani, a senior coal trader at Iman Resources, a merchant that specializes in supplying India with coal.

Pamnani pointed to a boom in small and medium scale industries in the coastal regions of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

“India’s thermal coal imports are likely to grow at approximately 22% to 24% in the first five months of 2019,” he said.

Sierra Vista’s Markey said India’s economic growth of 7% this year “will help to continue to support the need for increased power generation.”

Indonesia is the biggest supplier of thermal coal to both India and China.

Refinitiv data showed Indonesia shipped 13.5 million tonnes of thermal coal to China in May, beating January’s 12.3 million tonnes.

Indonesia also sent about 9 million tonnes of thermal coal to India in both April and May, the highest since the first quarter of 2015, the data showed.

Another big benefactor has been South Africa, which in May sent a record 5.8 million tonnes of thermal coal to India, over 1 million tonnes more than the previous monthly highs reached in 2015 and 2016, according to Refinitiv.
Source: Reuters

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On 6/2/2019 at 11:57 AM, Red said:

This links to the past 6 years and shows consumer electricity prices increased by less than one euro.

I can take his claims one by one and show how most of his ideas are fundamentally flawed, but will save that for now.

Red - the statistics you link show that prices increased by 6 euro cents per kilowatt hour since 2010, off a base of 23.75  - maybe one since 2012. And Germany's renewables policy - renowned for its wastefulness - predates 2010 by quite a few years.. You need to refine your criticism I think.. what periods are you saying the other guy is wrong for or whatever?

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(edited)

1 hour ago, markslawson said:

Red - the statistics you link show that prices increased by 6 euro cents per kilowatt hour since 2010, off a base of 23.75  - maybe one since 2012. And Germany's renewables policy - renowned for its wastefulness - predates 2010 by quite a few years.. You need to refine your criticism I think.. what periods are you saying the other guy is wrong for or whatever?

Shellenberger made this claim: " that renewables had contributed to electricity prices rising 50% in Germany."

How far into the past is he digging to get to 50%?

Unlike your claim, Germany is renown for efficiency and remains at the cutting edge of industrial design and production.

Most people do not know what goes into their electricity bills, and in Germany over half is comprised of  taxes, levies, and surcharges. 

composition-average-german-power-price-h

There was an initial spike in Germany's electricity prices after they adopted their "Energy Concept for an Environmentally Sound, Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply" in September 2010" and included the renewables surcharge (charted above).   However, as can be seen below, since 2012 Germany has been reducing its gross subsidies in renewables and the surcharge will continues to decline from its peak. 

 

1-s2.0-S1040619017303342-gr2.jpg

Given that Germany has maintained a stable electricity price for the past 6 years, and these prices are more likely to decrease than increase into the future, demonising what Germany has now put in place seems more like kicking own goals than sensible commentary.

  

Edited by Red
chart details added

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21 hours ago, Red said:

Unlike your claim, Germany is renown for efficiency and remains at the cutting edge of industrial design and production.

Red - wow, how do you manage to overlook the huge problems with your own statements, as well as ignore the pile of evidence that German's clean energy effort has failed dismally..

Note this statement

Germany's enormously expensive Energiewende green energy transformation is sputtering. The numbers tell the story.

Despite spending about €150 billion and years of political effort to scrap nuclear and fossil fuels and switch to renewables like wind and solar, Germany is expected to fall short on pretty much all its national and EU emission reduction and clean energy targets for 2020.

if you're not happy with that, try the New York Times take on it..

Also note this statement in the NYT article

But renewable energy subsidies are financed through electric bills, meaning that Energiewende is a big part of the reason prices for consumers have doubled since 2000. 

There is plenty more where that came from. I just grabbed the first couple of articles in a basic search. If you claim that Energiewende is a success then you're totally alone in doing so.. Leave it with you.. 

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I moved to San Marcos, Texas in 2015. The energy co-op was Bluebonnet, and they were charging me 8 cents per Kwh.

After a year I looked up the 'all-green' option to see what they would charge me for wind generated electricity. When I subscribed, my new rate was 8.5 cents per Kwh. When I had been living in Austin the tiered structure meant that I was paying 11 cents per Khw for anything over 500Kwh per month. However, gas prices had collapsed in 2014 - the Austin costs were pre-2014, the San Marcos prices post 2014.

The attached satellite image shows how much area has been 'torn up' by oil rigs in the Permian basin. If this were paved over with either wind turbines or solar panels, it would be enough to power the entire US.

PermianBasinLandArea.png

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34 minutes ago, Meredith Poor said:

The attached satellite image shows how much area has been 'torn up' by oil rigs in the Permian basin. If this were paved over with either wind turbines or solar panels, it would be enough to power the entire US.

PermianBasinLandArea.png

Nope, not even close.

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