Developing nations need abundant, scalable, reliable, affordable, and flexible energy. The Green New Plan (GNP) being proposed by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) for intermittent renewable electricity, is most likely unaffordable even for “rich” nations, is an irresponsible plan to run every economic platform across the globe. Many of the world’s inhabitants survive in deplorable economic and living conditions where the GNP cannot work.

Infrastructure projects in the U.S. are not controlled by the Federal Government, nor State Governments, nor Local Governments. They are under total control of organizations such as NIMBY, BANANA, SOBBY, NAMBI, and NIABY. Thus, the GNP idea for a “super grid” to distribute intermittent electricity is a stupid idea that has no chance of ever happening.

For those not familiar with the various acronyms for organizations that put up opposition to proposed developments in their local area and initiate a herd of lawsuits to stop or delay projects for eternity, here they are:

  • NIMBY – “Not In My Back Yard

  • BANANA – “Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything”

  • SOBBY – “Some Other Bugger’s Back Yard”

  • NAMBI – “Not Against My Business or Industry”

  • NIABY – “Not In Anyone’s Backyard”

The ensuing lawsuits from the above powerful organizations present significant infrastructure hurdles even for worthwhile projects, and insurmountable hurdles for bogus projects as they rightfully target pork barrel projects from progressing.

Further, any “super grid” will be unable to support the two prime movers that have done more for the cause of globalization than any other: the diesel engine and the jet turbine. Both get their fuels from oil. Without transportation – there is no commerce.

Road and air travel dominate most people’s lives in industrialized countries and emerging markets. Airlines are conducting more than 100,000 flights a day around the world. Commercial aviation, with 23,000 commercial airplanes worldwide that has been accommodating 4 billion passenger annually. Cruise liners, each of which consumes 80,000 gallons of fuels daily, have been accommodating more than 25 million passengers annually worldwide.

Electricity alone, especially intermittent electricity from renewables, has not, and will not, run the economies around the world, as electricity alone is unable to support the energy demands of the military, airlines, cruise ships, supertankers, container shipping, trucking infrastructures, and our space program. Without transportation – there is no commerce – since globalized road and air travel dominate most people’s lives.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) now pays Russia to Uber our astronauts & scientists to and from the International Space Station.

The intermittent electricity from wind, solar, or from batteries and storage units made from exotic materials like cobalt and lithium CANNOT supply the thousands of products from petroleum that are demanded by every transportation infrastructure, electricity generation, medications, cooling, heating, manufacturing, agriculture, and virtually all the products that are the basis of everyone’s standard of living across the globe have led to reduced infant mortality, extended lifespans, and allowed the movement of goods and people anywhere in the world.

Land requirements for wind and solar are huge compared to the land area needed for electricity from zero emission nuclear. To generate the same electricity, wind needs almost 100 times the land area and solar requires 8 times the area of a nuclear plant. To make matters worse, the renewable sites will need wind and sun which is mostly not available continuously and uninterruptable around the country.

Having a “super grid” for supplying intermittent electricity, as proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her Green New Plan, is a socially and economically irresponsible idea.

Author

  • Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched Principal Technical Services (PTS) in 1995. He writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.