Netzero delusions: Supply-side vs Demand-side

We seem to be in the onset of the death throes of climate mania, and hopefully we can return to our senses. Scientists around the world have begun to speak out about the nonsense of “decarbonizing” the economy. The human contribution is simply too small to matter, and other phenomena, chiefly various cycles involving the relationship of the earth and the sun dominate.

Some good sources include the CO2 Coalition, and a growing list of others. Some presentations I particularly like are this one on EROI, Energy Return on Investment, which shows how the world is robbing itself blind with its embrace of renewable energy, by Nate Hagens. This is sharp, logical reasoning.

And here is another very careful analysis of why and how the Netzero ideology is a suicide mission:

And lastly Patrick Moore, one of the early players in Greenpeace has also come to his senses, and sees clearly that right now the world is pursuing an ideological vision that is already costing us dearly, as can be seen from the fact that businesses are leaving very green Germany in droves. So Germany is slowly backsliding into a medieval state and giving the world a massive demonstration how NOT to do it.

New York City is on its own de-carbonization drive, and through subsidies it tends to promote the worst technologies, although that seems to be changing. I think it all boils down to a very few key mistakes, which I will address in bullet form:

  • We need to get clear that Netzero as a society-wide goal is a suicidal mission on several levels. Primarily because it prioritizes uneconomical solutions. My favorite (not!) right now is the fact that the ITC is not applicable to concentrated solar thermal (CST, and ca 95% efficient in harvesting the sun’s energy, moreover with a full-spectrum collector, we can do so 24/7/365, thus building base-load, not peak-load. But the ITC narrowly addresses Solar PV, so it promotes a 22% efficient solution that works only on visible light, over a 95% efficient solution.
  • We are mostly also focused on the wrong thing first: all the eyes are on renewable energy, on the supply-side of the equation, but wind power is dying an early death already. Solar PV is a good solution some of the time, but even regular solar Thermal working only on visible light is 98% efficient versus 22% for solar PV. Wherever it can be used it should have priority – thermal energy is the biggest demand in buildings. On the supply side EROI should guide us.
  • But we should be focused more on the Demand Side: with the solutions we represent, we are able to take 30-80% of the thermal load out of buildings. In other words, NetZero is useful as a measure of the efficiency of buildings. Since there are more old buildings than new, and since envelope retrofits and a few ancillary solutions are much more economical, they should be prioritized.
  • Particularly the drive for electrification is dangerous.We will end up with people freezing to death, if we have one good power outage at the wrong time. Much better to make buildings more efficient: 50+% reductions in fossil fuel demand can be easily achieved. See our Comfy Building Skins(TM) program.
  • The emphasis on CO2 reduction is clearly wrong, for it is the wrong parameter and we end up sub-optimizing a complex system and destroying our own economy. The right parameter for the demand-side is CAPM, the Capital Asset Pricing Model – it is the only way to evaluate energy retrofits for existing buildings, and it will automatically prioritize the most economical technologies. This approach will lighten the load for the utilities much faster than anything else. Right now, even in new buildings we could improve thermal loads by as much as 20-50%, and you would regret some of the expensive solutions that were brought to bear.

I could go on. Too long already. Hopefully somebody gets the point.