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In the USA, the federal government provides huge subsidies for "farmers." I say that in quotes because the top 10% largest "agribusinesses" get 64% of the money. Not mention the sugar lobby and the huge payoffs to Iowa farmers for corn to be made into ethanol. Buying votes for early presidential caucuses? I'm shocked, shocked to hear that. https://straydoginstitute.org/agricultural-subsidies/

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founding

You are right, thanks for the link - interesting - there are subsidies every where we look, but we do have to eat, we don't need "cheap" wind and solar. Yes you are right - it is the "top 10%" always taking the cream off the top. This is why it could be so easy for them to move from farming to "farming energy". The small farmer can't make it farming (he doesn't get the near the subsidies) and the large ones may eventually move from one subside to the other! Remember the Chinese are the largest pork producers in the US... made me rethink my Sunday pork ribs... how big a move would that be and what would that do to the food markets? Disrupting the energy market is one thing - disrupting the food market is entirely another. We are at their mercy either way!

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Farm subsidies are (or should be if applied well) a public good. One does not want necessities to fall onto the portion of the supply/demand/price curve where demand is above supply and prices are extreme. That would lead to starvation in the case of food.

Farm subsidies are meant or were meant to keep food on the sweet portion of the curve for the consumer.

Now corn ethanol can go hang. It is not a necessity by any stretch of the imagination and should have been aborted a long time ago. But once you get folks sucking down those subsidies, how difficult it becomes to ever stop...

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I get it. Yogi Berra said that in theory, there's no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is. Ridiculous, but yes I get putting a floor under prices. Less than 2 million people are farmers in the US. Our elected Parliament of Whores shovels subsidies to the highest donor. Pretty cheap to buy a member of Congress. A few million tops, some hookers and blow go a long way to getting a 100x ROI, Where's the ETF tracking that?

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Outstanding, Irina!

Great post!

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founding

Wow... well, once a bully always a bully - and here in US, wind and solar certainly are, lovely people to deal with, they know they can get away with it and will get the guarantees and the backing all in the pursuit of Net Zero. You know this has always existed in government and business - not it is just blatant and in our face and all the time! Sorry, but there is no free markets any more, now we have a subsidies game to see who can get the most from every country and who can keep up the pressurebefore they totally bankrupt their coffers and their citizens. Before long our governments will be handing out free kites, a set of roller skates and sauerkraut to all their citizens and many will be grateful, because it is FREE! Great article, as always, thanks Irina.

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Jul 6, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

Not to always sound patriotic but in Canada our Fearless Leader has been positioning our Lithium mines as more expensive but worth it because Canadian Lithium is ethically produced. (I know, he seems to have smashed all the mirrors in his house to avoid the ethical reflections.) And all good green projects should be ethical. Just after finishing off a $25 billion Cdn (39 billion euro) deal for 2 battery plants (Stellantis and VW) whose total share of the North American ICE market is less than the capacity of 1 of the plants. Over here no one has to ask, they are just given what they need. That little ditty amounts to 1.25% of our GDP. And there are now at least 15 battery plants built/planned/in process in North America. This will end well for taxpayers I'm sure.

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founding

Sorry - calculation on Euros was wrong. 17.5 Billion Euros.

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Yes. 13 Billion TAX $$$ to VW and I just read they are having trouble moving their EV product, ppl don’t want EV’s, so they may stop producing them and revert to gas powered. Will they give the 13 B $$$ back for the subsidized battery plant????? I am waiting to see how they roll.

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VW has had to shut down EV production lines due to poor uptake.

Too bad they destroyed diesel worldwide with their emissions scandal.

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Great piece, Irina. I don’t understand the wind deal in Great Britain so I’ll stay away from that other than to say the “renewables are cheaper” bait and switch is pretty common world wide.

A couple of observations.

1. We will never persuade them. There is no argument that will convince someone who thinks their life is in danger from climate change. They’ll have to learn the hard way.

2. The wind producers will likely win this. Your tomatoes and cars argument make sense to me, but I don’t believe renewables are salvation of the planet, or that the planet really needs saving.

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Jul 7, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

Big Wind might “win” temporarily, but this will all just make the Hinkley C and Sizewell C plants look like an absolute bargain even with their massively inflated costs. I will make a confident prediction that there will be no wind power on the grid in 100 years.

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it won't take a century

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Cheers to that!

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author

I agree, they will have it their way but, as Rationalista has pointed out, it will be little more than a pyrrhic victory.

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Jul 6, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

Irina,

Once again, the negative effects have yet to percolate through to the real world

Even the current energy crisis is just "RUSSIA!!! PUTIN!!!" and everyone just accepts it

It will take de-industrialization, brown outs and even black outs, before people start paying attention

Look at the UK political parties - they are one and the same when it comes to NetZero. There is 0 political currency in england today in pushing back against this. And when that day does actually come, it will be 5 or 10 years too late.

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author

It is quite frustrating that there is no political push against net zero in the UK, definitely. Whoever you vote for, you vote for net zero. Talk about a choice.

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Jul 6, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

Excellent article. Wind power is a fraud .

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author

Thank you. It is beginning to sound like a fraud, yes.

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It's worth noting that Net Zero Watch is a lobbying group, one that actively promotes climate change denial and is backed by the fossil fuel industry and made up of mainly conservative party cronies - party donors, current and past MP's, Lords, Dames. Despite their recent name change (bad press, I assume) making them sound innocuous enough, it's an organisation designed to allow it's members to funnel information into the climate debate without being held personally accountable and without scrutiny. This is the same group that helped kick off the infamous "climategate" palaver, where they unsuccessfully tried to demonstrate that scientists were lying to us. At least in recent years they have put playing scientist on the backburner, turning to attacking renewable energy subsidies and government policies. Seemingly they are unaware of the gargantuan subsidies the UK Govt continue to give the fossil fuel industry, or else surely they would take issue with these too?

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They are NOT a lobbying group. They are an NGO just like the thousands that promote Climate Change Fear Porn AND anti-nuclear activism. So the people who DON'T want our economies destroyed by the Net Zero Carbon Trading SCAM and the Wind/Solar/Batteries/Hydrogen giant scam-of-the-century aren't entitled to an NGO? Who is going to speak for the interests of the people? Whereas the Climate Change Alarmist pro-corruption groups have $billions/yr in corporate/$billionaire/$trillionaire funding.

So quit the smear jobs, they put out excellent, accurate analysis of the absolute insanity of these renewable energy scam projects. And the subsidies the fossil fuel industry on a per twh produced are trivial compared to wind/solar subsidies. Most of those so-called subsidies are tax incentives that just reduce the amount of tax revenue they supply. The big difference is fossil fuel, nuclear & hydro supply useful energy to society, whereas wind & solar do not. They are a total waste of capital. And make climate change MORE LIKELY than not. Those are just the facts.

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They are a self described lobby group. Sorry.

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Jul 6, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

From their website:

"Net Zero Watch is funded by private donations. In order to make clear its complete independence we do not accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company."

This does not prevent energy money from getting to them. It sure doesn't prevent it from getting to the pro-wind groups. They use all kinds of sneaky ways to hide the cash that is donated. Including Foundations of Foundations.

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And just a point to make - the fossil fuel companies themselves are the biggest funders of the energy transition. When you talk about "Climate Change Alarmist pro-corruption groups", fossil fuel corporations are in that group. That's not a smear. And calling a lobby group a lobby group isn't a smear either.

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Fine, than you can equally well call Greenpeace, WWF, NRDC, RMI, FOE, Sierra Club, EDF, WISE, hundreds of others Lobby Groups as well. They both do the same thing, except on opposite sides of the fence. And big difference those groups get many $billions/yr in funding vs groups that don't promote Alarmism get $millions/yr in funding. I bet Net Zero Watch gets funding that WWF, Greenpeace would call lunch money. And oddly enough a lot of Big Oil $billionaire funding goes to the Alarmist groups rather than the rational energy policy groups.

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I would say you're right, considering NZW is a British lobbyist group that aims to lobby the British government and British political circles. WWF / Green Peace are global organisations after all. I didn't realise calling a lobby group a lobby group was contentious.

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Subsidies to wind and solar are tens to scores of times higher than subsidies to fossil fuels on a per energy produced basis.

In the USA coal/oil/gas all get about $.60 per MWHr equivalent of energy produced.

Wind gets $30 - $70 per MWHr and Solar gets $40 - $90 per MWHr.

Your whining about subsidies has no basis in reality, unless you also whine about the massively disproportionate subsidies wind and solar get for producing almost nothing of use.

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I suppose anyone can win the "who gets more subsidies" argument if they pick and choose the way its measured to support their argument. Let's not get into tax breaks..

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My numbers are from the US EIA, which has, so far, been a pretty reliable reporter of current information. Their future projections are questionable, but they seem to hew close to reality with their current statistics.

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Exactly!

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author

I see no "information funneling" here but rather a challenge to what has become a set of assumptions that are not to be disputed in polite circles. They may or may not be a lobby group but I've found it's all too easy to call someone a fossil fuel lobbyist only because they challenge the net-zero/cheap renewables narrative. By that token, I'm a fossil fuel lobbyist, too, which in reality I am not.

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Well, we need a reset, but we can't continue without wind energy in all places. How would New England, NYC decarbonise? Should they continue burning diesel? Hydro permitting is next to impossible.

Even at 150$/MWh, OFSW would be cheaper than diesel at 300$/MWh. Let alone the carbon impact, we don't have a way to decarbonise NYC without wind.

Developers need to be a lot more aggressive in their negotiations. Otherwise, US decarbon won't pan out.

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Nonsense. Wind energy is NOT helping New England or New York decarbonise. The opposite is true. New York had two perfectly good Nuclear Power plants at Indian Point, 2GWe of reliable 24/7 zero emissions clean energy that they stupidly shutdown for political reasons, replaced by gas. Similarly for the shutdown of Vermont Yankee, by the corrupt slimy politician, Governor Shumlin, also replaced by gas generation.

If they want zero emissions energy in New England, the only option is Nuclear. They should just exit the NRC, start their own regulator based on the successful South Korean model, and start building NPPs. Problem solved.

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Don't forget that Cuomo, Markey, Sanders and Schumer all helped or supported the foolish closings. Oh, and our favorite idiot, the popular Kennedy scion that so many fools want to run for president.

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That's true. Shows how much they REALLY care about emissions. But expect us to do mickey mouse things like not eating meat. Climate change is an existential threat until the "N word" is mentioned, then suddenly it's no longer important.

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They wouldn't be burning so much diesel, or any, if they had not prematurely shut down Vermont Yankee and Indian Point for purely political reasons.

There's not enough land in those regions to decarbonize with wind/solar. If they are serious about CO2 they'll build nuclear, but when you dig into the funding, it's not really about reducing CO2. It's about drinking down sweet sweet subsidies for wind and solar.

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I'm pro nuclear. But when is the next one coming online? Do you have an answer?

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Corn farmers in the USA do indeed have these kinds of guarantees through the renewable fuel mandate.

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Funny the Green touting politicians have no problem whatsoever with all the fertilizer (nitrogen emissions) used to produce all that corn ethanol & biodiesel. That doesn't count. Just emissions to produce food for people. That has to be curtailed.

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Jul 6, 2023·edited Jul 6, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

"I see some pretty significant moral and ethical concerns right there but what do I know."

I can appreciate the facetious ending to your sentence, but you have truly struck gold with those words. Our energy problems ARE philosophical. Distortion, denials and evasions ,of morality and ethics are the under pining of all the manipulations in the energy field.

While it would take at least an essay, though more likely a book, to elaborate fully on the absurd ideas that have been served to the public for decades, one of the most glaring is the idea that a free market is both evil and cannot solve problems. Another is the idea that the ordinary citizen is too stupid to look after themselves and a cohort of well-paid experts need to make all decisions.

I could go on but then I'd be stealing your space and it's delightful to see your sharp keyboard driving stakes into the hearts of the energy manipulating vampires.

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author

Oh, I love the vampire reference, thank you! Do go on whenever you have the time, the philosophical/ideological aspect of the whole transition affair is greatly overlooked.

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With regards to the analogy of farmers needing guarantees of quotas, that’s exact what they are asking for, that’s the cost of build it back here (Global North) but it won’t be cheaper. When people ask why are prices inflating they need to understand we’re importing stuff from the other side of the world. Our home grown farmers won’t produce unless they know there’s a market at the price they can economically grow the produce. With regards to WT’s few countries are set up to manufacture them at home, and those that can costs are again subject to global material quotas and inflation, and that applies to construction materials like reinforced concrete and means of transporting and erecting them. And the same applies to CFPS’s, OFPS’s, GFPS’s and especially Nuclear. We’ve been living in the Golden Age of cheap Energy and Mineral Elements, so party whist you can because we’ll soon be heading for “The Great Simplification”🤔

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Material & energy inflation is far less significant for Nuclear than wind & solar since nuclear uses ~ 1/20th of the material inputs of wind/solar. And the EROI of nuclear is 75:1 to 120:1 CANDU upwards to 2000:1 MSR & FSB reactors with a closed fuel cycle vs Solar 0.8 to 6:1, Wind 10-16:1. Not including long distance transmission or storage.

Little old Ontario produces CANDU reactors far cheaper than wind or solar with a 96% domestic supply chain. So it can be done.

Chris Adlam, a senior analyst and cofounder of Canadians for Nuclear Energy joins me for an in depth discussion on the Case for the CANDU reactor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC-9N6ud3r0

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Very good podcast. It’s regrettable that nuclear power was so ineptly defended for forty years. The dangerous stigma it carries to this day was never warranted and so it is gratifying to see so many strong advocates speaking up.

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Having had opportunity to view your link of Decouple Media’s - conversation between Chris Keefer and Chris Adlam - The Case for Candu - YouTube. I’m afraid if this is your evidence for the defence of Nuclear Power, it has only confirmed my reservations that there will not be a renascence in the proliferation of Nuclear Power. I’m wondering if you actually viewed the whole conversation as the discussion between Chris Keefer and Chris Adam’s the first 50 mins was reasonably professional but the last 30 mins was likened to a game of Top Trumps played by enthusiastic hobbyists with this and that type of conventional NPP, SMR, Mini and Micro NPP’s, treating costs in the billions of $’s as though this money would just appear like magic, and deliverability with all that that entails as though it was a certainty, when in fact there’s a long long way to go, meaning probably decades, hence my original comment regarding primary material, energy costs and related inflation, and all of this of course excludes dealing with storage of toxic waste and end of life decommissioning issues🤔

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They've already blown $5T on wind & solar with zero results. In the name of climate change emergency. Why on the Earth do you think that couldn't be spent on nuclear instead? Which unlike wind & solar actually works. Proven to work. And uses 1/20th the material inputs of wind & solar. So no, material, energy costs are not the issue, that applies to all energy sources, even more so to fossil, wind, solar & hydro. And with energy prices rising much faster than inflation that means ROI for REAL energy sources that don't emit carbon are easily the most rational choice for new energy builds.

Surprised you brought out the old Greenpeace dodges about spent nuclear fuel and decommissioning. Both are utter nonsense and have been debunked about a million times. If you have to resort to that, then it is obvious you don't even believe your own argument.

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I notice you didn’t challenge my views on conversation between Chris Keefer and Chris Adlam - The Case for Candu - YouTube.

Anyways I dislike BURNING of Coal, Oil; lesser so Gas. Coal, Oil and Gas are double edged swords as they provide material feedstocks for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics etc, Solar Panels (PVP’s), Wind Turbines (WT’s), Biomass, Nuclear don’t. And so I advocate the use of integrated energy systems using all sources of energy, not supplied solely as Electricity: Globally only ~20% of Power is supplied as Electricity, and only ~2% of that is from alternative energy and that includes Nuclear, leaving ~80% provided by flammable fossils.

Wherever large sums of public (Tax Payers) money or favourable terms like licensing is available I’m afraid, corruption and crony ponzi capitalism reigns, it’s not just isolated with RE’s: PVP’s and WT’s etc.

If NPP’s were such a good deal with no issues one would expect the private sector to be falling over themselves to build them, but they aren’t, and no private company underwrites NPP’s from a major release of radioactive or toxic waste, or where necessary take custodianship of radioactive waste for millennia.

You cannot build NPP’s at present time without FF’s help

When Oil depletes to point it’s no longer economically extractable, which in a human lifetime may not be that far away, we’ll be on the road to “The Great Simplification” irrespective of NPP’s🤔

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So that's what your buddy Klaus Schwab is calling it now "The Great Simplification". Why don't you guys just come up with a term for it and stick to it. I mean we have "UN Agenda 2020" --> "The Green Agenda" --> "The Green New Deal" --> "UN Agenda 2030" --> "The Great Reset" --> "Build Back Better" --> "The Great Simplification".

Your views on The Case for CANDU video are more nonsense. The last 30min discussion was on the various SMRs being developed in Canada vs building large CANDUs instead as well as the very serious & relevant debate on economies of scale in size vs scale in number of units built.

They rightly stated that Ontario is dumb to build a BWRX-300 SMR at Darlington. That's the location to build large CANDUs, likely EC9's. There is lot's of good locations for the BWRX-300 in areas with lower demand like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.

The basic scaling problem for SMRs is the old chicken & egg situation. To make them competitive with large NPPs you need to make them in large factories pumping out dozens even hundreds per year. For that you need large demand. For that you need competitive cost. Chicken & egg. The way that is overcome is exactly what was done with wind & solar. Government subsidized their scale up with large orders, that financed the giant factories all over the World that now produce the Wind & Solar. Now they are mature tech, no need for the subsidies, but instead the subsidies are not just remaining but increasing.

It is true that World electricity demand is only 17% of World Primary Energy consumption, but that is the highest value component of energy. Advanced Western nations, like Norway, electricity is 70% of primary energy. Moving to electrify a lot of transportation and building heat/hot water could move that everywhere to ~70% of primary energy. Nuclear is quite capable of supplying the rest of the energy with heat directly, especially with high temperature reactors (PBGCRs, LSFRs, MSRs), Cogeneration, Nuclear hydrogen and Nuclear synthetic methanol.

The wise thing to do is conserve Oil & Gas for the chemical industry, i.e. fertilizer, plastics etc. Use nuclear for energy.

You are using the usual Greenie ridiculous cognitive dissonance excuses. Yup, "its the end of the World", "The Great Simplification", "the economy will collapse", "the end is near" but when someone says just build NPPs instead. Then the shouting begins: "the nuclear waste", "Fukushima" "radiation", none of which has killed anybody in Commercial nuclear power ever. But its the end of the world.

The only reason Nuclear didn't continue replacing fossil energy as it was in the 60s to early 80s is because of the same old corruption. The PTB stopped the nuclear build.

And again saying you need FF to build Nuclear is nonsense. It would certainly help to have fossil, especially petrochemicals, but that would be a tiny fraction of current fossil production. Insignificant.

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Klaus Schwab 🤣😂🤣 I’m afraid you’re suffering from conspiracy theory syndrome, have you checked under your bed lately. I’m aware Schwab coined a phrase The Great Reset which I was rather surprised about as for some years before that the phrase was in vogue was and still is used by John Mauldin a noted financial expert, check him out on Wikipedia or whatever, John Mauldin now makes quips about Schwab stealing it from him. But the phrase “The Great Simplification” is associated with Nate Hagens (check it/him out, Google it see what pops up) explores money, energy, economy, and the environment with world experts and leaders to understand how everything fits together, and where we go from here. I would provide a link but very often when I’ve provided links I either loose the posting or the link’s deleted. But “The Great Simplification” if Schwab’s decided to use it would be plagiarism.

I’m even more convinced that you haven’t viewed Chris Keefer and Chris Adlam - The Case for Candu video you’d linked, from end to end, oh yes you can quote from it now, now that you’ve viewed it, probably last 30 mins, but come on with all the laughing and joking it was a game of Top Trumps not a serious discussion on a serious subject.

Norway a country with a large landmass compared to its very small population, and country well known for its high mountain plateaus, abundant natural lakes and steep valleys and fjords, Norway's topography lends itself perfectly to hydropower development plenty of opportunity for hydro electricity, but whose wealth is instead well embedded into the Oil industry, it won’t give that up lightly.

Sorry, you need FF’s to build your Nuclear Plants, tell me when you’ve built your all Nuclear Power civilisation, creating Concrete, Steel, Glass, Fertilisers, Plastic, Pharmaceuticals, and replaced all the diesel mining and construction equipment, and vehicles, and trains and boats and planes. And while you’re thinking about it you might like to read one of the many books Vaclav Smil’s written, I can recommend Energy And Civilisation A History, and one of his latest “How The World Really Works” Smil apart from being a polymath is also a prodigious writer, and basically says when it come to transitioning for our current FF civilisation to another the problem is that of scale and complexity🤔

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Absolutely superb commentary because you make it abundantly clear that the "Net Zero" / "Climate Change" / "Renewables" ideology is nothing but a protection racket.

"We're so righteous because we're working to save the WORLD. You want to save the Earth, too, don't you? So give us more money."

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Jul 7, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

I want to cry, because i think our 'Masters' will probably cave in. History will not be kind to the politicians, grifters and public who go along with this scam of epic proportions.

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author

We can hope they will be held accountable. It is a really frustrating situation for normal people who can do nothing whatsoever to stop this.

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Jul 7, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

This whole energy transition novel is a big one and we’re just a few chapters into it! Plot-twists, villains … waiting for the hero to show up!

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Jul 8, 2023·edited Jul 8, 2023Liked by Irina Slav

Good article!

I will be launching an update soon on that wind turbines signicantly heat the air in operation and cause evaporation via increased air circulation. Bad for ecosystems!

Hide the ball Wind Game hopefully will come to an end sooner than later.

tucoschild.substack.com

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