Saturday, May 15, 2010

Power Hungry--The truth about "green" energy exposed

A couple of days ago, I downloaded Robert Bryce's book "Power Hungry" to my kindle and I am about 1/3 of the way through it. The book is a trove of information on alternative energy and how unrealistic it is as a quick fix replacement for the much derided fossil fuels we depend on. I'm going to post some of the more salient points from some of the chapters as a reference for myself and others who may be interested in the information.

Chapter 10 dealt with Denmark and its wind-power generation. Here are some quotes and notes to ponder:

1) "Despite massive subsidies for the wind industry and years of hype about the wonders of the Denmark's energy policies, the Danes now have some of the world's most expensive motor fuel. And in 2007, their carbon dioxide emissions were at about the same level as they were two decades ago."

2) Denmark is an oil exporter because it has been very aggressive with its off-shore oil drilling in the North Sea. "Between 1981 and 2007, the country's oil production jumped from less than 15,000 barrels per day to nearly 314,000 barrels per day--an increase of 2,000 percent."

3) Despite its wind power generation, Denmark continues to import coal for electricity generation: Wind power will always need a back-up when the wind doesn't blow. Denmark also supplements their wind power with hydropower from Sweden when the doldrums come for an extended stay.

4) Denmark boasts near-zero energy consumption between 1981-2007 but this is achieved primarily due to near zero population growth and high energy taxes.

5) Electricity rates in Denmark are the highest in Europe. Danes shell out $.38 per kilowatt hour while the French pay $.17 per kilowatt hour. Americans pay $.10 per kilowatt hour.

6) "The Danes are among the most oil-reliant people on earth. In 2007, Denmark got about 51 percent of its primary energy from oil. That's far higher than the percentage in the U.S. (40%) and significantly higher than the world average of 35.6...Denmark is also more coal dependent than the U.S., getting about 26% of its primary energy from coal while America gets about 24% of its primary energy from the carbon-heavy fuel."

More to come.


The_Chef said...

This is veeeery interesting.

Any info on Norway/Sweden? I've heard those referenced as "Environmentally enlightened" by people in discussion and I couldn't speak to the issue because I'm not aware of much data on those two.

I know that Sweden has some serious Hydroelectric and Norway is a relatively large oil producer, but I'm not sure about the actual numbers.

VH said...

There is some information on Sweden not much on Norway except for some charts. I'll post anything I come across from these two nations.