Green energy industries are impractical, destined to fail

Yes, we need to build the renewable energy industry. But that means concentrating on nuclear and fusion energy systems

Tom TamarkinSupposedly green or renewable energy has become a trillion-dollar-plus annual industry that has spawned tens of thousands of new businesses worldwide. The total climate-industrial complex is a $2-trillion-per-year business.

Even major fossil fuel companies like Shell now have green energy divisions.

These companies are virtually 100 per cent dependent on the politically-driven notion of dangerous manmade global warming and climate change. The media, public and political establishment constantly recite the assertion that 97 per cent of scientists say the problem is real and manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause.

However, increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere don’t lead to global warming and climate change. Carbon dioxide is a trace gas in the atmosphere. The major greenhouse gas is water vapour. An intricate feedback system regulates the Earth’s temperature, maintaining immunity from temperature increases and decreases due to such trace gases.

Furthermore, the false notion of CO2-driven climate change is responsible for the potential massive redistribution of wealth from industrialized nations to poor countries. This has led to the corrupt worldwide business of carbon tax credit trading and more money to fund wind, solar and biofuel energy. Green industries should not predicate their business models on false claims about climate change.

They should base their businesses and research and development budgets on the fact that fossil fuels will become less economically viable over the coming decades as easily recovered reserves are depleted. Renewables such as solar and wind can’t provide material amounts of energy required worldwide – and they require vast amounts of metals and other materials that are themselves not renewable or sustainable.

Utilities and energy companies must be free to use petroleum, coal, natural gas and biofuels at market-demand costs and must increase nuclear energy production. New sources of high-energy-density power generation must be created.

This chart demonstrates in dramatic fashion that there is absolutely no connection between steadily rising CO2 levels and nearly stable to slightly higher average global temperatures over the past four decades.

Many in the renewables energy industry will object to this analysis, because they see it as undermining their reason to exist, affecting investor interest and sales opportunities. They miss the key point.

We do need to find replacements for fossil fuels – but not because of climate change. The real driver is the absolutely indisputable fact that we are depleting economically viable sources of fossil fuels, while increasing our demand for energy worldwide. The key term is ‘economically viable,’ because the petroleum industry will be forced to pursue more difficult-to-recover deposits of oil and natural gas, while also enduring ever increasing amounts of litigation.

Today the only viable energy source beyond fossil fuels is nuclear fission. The nuclear energy industry must be rebuilt if North America to remain a leader in energy, economic growth and opportunity.

We must also continue our research and development in fusion energy, which has many advantages over nuclear fission, if it is ever perfected.

We commissioned an objective science-based analysis of solar power as a means to generate 100 per cent of baseload power in the U.S. based on current demand. The results are clear: solar power for baseload electricity is simply unrealistic. It’s a virtual impossibility to power America from solar energy based on the science, let alone the economics, reliability or land and material requirements. Electrifying the transportation infrastructure will increase this impossibility several fold. The same is true of wind power.

We must develop the next generation of very high-energy-density nuclear power – first nuclear fission, to be replaced possibly by fusion in the mid to late 21st century. We must also learn to conserve energy and materials better, not to save the planet from man-made climate change, but to give man more time to develop high flux density energy generation science and technology.

(To learn more about fusion energy, its promise and scientific difficulties facing it, visit our website For information about what energy is and where it comes from, see “Energy Basics: Where does energy on our planet come from?

Let energy buyers beware. Politicians, activist groups and industrialists are all using climate change to increase their power and income. We need to figure out what they’re doing and fight back.

Tom Tamarkin has been involved with the utility business and energy since 1985. He is founder and president of EnergyCite Inc. in Sacramento, Calif., and founder and general manager of the Fusion Energy Consortium. He is also a contributor to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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