Wind & Solar Technology Won’t Stop the Collapse Of The U.S. Empire

Americans who believe technology will be the cure for all our problems, don’t count on wind and solar energy to save the day.  This is the delusion I see over and over again in the Mainstream and alternative media.  I even receive emails from followers who tell me not to worry, because the cost of producing solar will continue to fall.  Soon I gather, we will be on our way to driving or flying millions of electric cars, just like in the old cartoon, the Jetsons.

It would be nifty to be able to fly millions and millions of vehicles in the sky.  No doubt, we don’t kill enough insects or animals like rabbits and deer on America’s interstates and highways, so why should the birds be left out of all the fun??  We shouldn’t allow the lousy plant and animal kingdom to get in the way of human ingenuity and progress…. who needs em.

Yes, I am being sarcastic, but progress and technology hasn’t stopped us from pushing to extinction between 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal every day.  That’s correct… every 24 hours.  As they say…. less of them, means MORE FOR US.  However, we may have to start to worry a bit once we wipe out most of the pollinating insects, especially the bees.  If the bees go, then so does our food supply.

GOD HATH A SENSE OF HUMOR…..

But, we shan’t worry about that if our focus in life is to upgrade to the next I-phone or switch the U.S. Interstate Highway from running on oil to stylish electric cars manufactured by Tesla.  For those who are enamored by the wonderful “High-tech” stuff going on at Tesla Motors, please read the following article by Wolfstreet, What Tesla’s “Inexplicable” “Ponzi Scheme” Valuation Says about the Stock Market:

Tesla shares rose to $313.38 this morning, giving the company a market capitalization of about $51 billion, surpassing GM for a moment as the most valuable American automaker. This left some industry insiders wondering about tulip bulbs.

However, unlike GM, Tesla hasn’t gone bankrupt despite its massive losses and negative cash flows. Why? Because Tesla is able to extract new money from investors and lenders. So it won’t run out of money. As it burns that cash, it gets more cash so that it won’t have to go bankrupt. Companies only go bankrupt when investors and lenders, trying to cut their losses, say, “no more.” Then the money-losing companies cannot fund their operations any longer and instead hire bankruptcy lawyers.

…. In comparison with GM, Tesla is ludicrously overvalued. But it’s not “inexplicable.” It’s perfectly explicable by the wondrously Fed-engineered stock market that has long ago abandoned any pretext of valuing companies on a rational basis. And it’s explicable by the hype – the “research” – issued by Wall Street investment banks that hope to get fat fees from Tesla’s next offerings of shares or convertible debt.

Hopefully with a little more work on that technology, Tesla Motors will finally become profitable at some time in the future.  However, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.  This stock is a perfect indicator of what is fundamentally wrong with the broader markets.  And that is…… they are totally INSANE.

Americans… Don’t Count On Wind & Solar To Save The Day

When I get into somewhat of a “Deep” conversation about our energy problems with friends, family or people in general, the typical response is… “TECHNOLOGY WILL SAVE THE DAY.”  Now, I don’t know if they truly believe that, or if they just regurgitate it because the reality is just too damn depressing.  Either why, the data provides clear proof that WIND & SOLAR will not be the “Energy Silver Bullet” to solve all our problems.

If we look at a chart below showing the breakdown in the amount of energy consumption (quadrillion BTU’s) in the United States, wind and solar are those tiny light blue and red smudges on the right hand side:

The only energy source that comes in dead last behind Wind and Solar, is Geo-thermal (which is literally, a smudge).  Currently, Solar Power accounts for 0.6% of our total energy consumption, while Wind Power provides 2.1%.  If we add up Wind, Solar and Geo-thermal together, they still account for less than 3% of the total U.S. energy consumption.

While it is true that U.S. Solar Power generation (consumption) has increased nearly 10 times since 2000, it’s still peanuts.  Let me put it another way.  If we look at U.S. energy consumption using a $100 Dollar Bill metric, Solar Power is producing 60 cents worth of energy, versus $80.70 for Coal, Oil and Natural Gas.  So, it may be impressive to see Solar Power increase from less than 6 cents of the $100 bill in 2000 to 60 cents currently, but it’s still a fraction of our total energy consumption.

Regardless, individuals who finally realize just how little energy Solar Power is generated in the U.S., still pin their HOPES that the “Wonderful Solar Industry” is going to pull a rabbit out of a hat so we can continue going to McFats, Starbucks and Walmart.  Unfortunately, the Solar Industry has taken a turn for the worse since the oil price collapsed over the past several years.

According to the article, Suddenly The Solar Boom Is Starting To Look Like A Bubble:

By all accounts, 2016 should be a great year for solar power providers. In December, Congress extended the federal investment tax credit for solar installations through 2022, convincing analysts to project strong growth for the solar industry in coming years. Prices for solar panels continue to decline, even as emissions reduction targets reached under the Paris climate accord drive governments to seek more power from renewable energy sources. Several recent reports have shown that the cost of solar is often comparable or nearly comparable to the average price of power on the utility grid, a threshold known as grid parity.

But investors are not feeling the love. This week shares of U.S. solar leader SolarCity tumbled to a new low, while several other solar companies also took a pounding. Last month Nevada introduced sharp cutbacks in its program for net metering—the fees paid to homeowners with rooftop solar installations for excess power they send back to the grid. California and Hawaii, two of the biggest solar markets, have introduced changes to their net metering schemes as well. Across the country, as many as 20 other states are considering such changes, which would dramatically alter the economics of rooftop solar.

SunEdison: Declares Bankruptcy As The Once Mighty Solar Energy Company Stock Price Falls Off A Cliff

Unfortunately, a lot of Solar Stocks are looking quite horrible lately, but the “best of the worst” prize goes to SunEdison.  With 7,000 employees in 2014, SunEdison started to experience serious trouble when it suffered a string of annual losses.   SunEdison lost $1.5 billion in 2011, $151 million in 2012, $587 million in 2013, $1.2 billion in 2014 and another $919 million in the first three quarters of 2015.

It didn’t take much more time before investors started to realize they were the SOLAR BAG HOLDERS.  In 2016, SunEdison filed for bankruptcy protection as its stock price took a stunning NOISE-DIVE.  At its peak, SunEdison’s stock was trading for $30 a share.  Today, its trading at a whopping 6 cents a share:

Now, if you look at the SunEdison stock price chart and see how it continued higher and higher even though it suffered more and more annual losses, most investors had no idea they were holding onto a PIECE OF GARBAGE until the bottom fell out and the stock price plummeted.

For those investors who are CONNECTING the DOTS on the striking similarities between Tesla and SunEdison, I would imagine you are not suffering from BRAIN DAMAGE as are majority of Americans who still have their funds in most STOCKS, BONDS and REAL ESTATE.

As my favorite comedian, George Carlin said, “Folks there’s a lot of BS out there… and it ain’t good for you.”

The U.S. Empire Is In Serous Trouble As Its Energy EROI Continues To Fall

The U.S. Empire is in big trouble because the “Quality” of the energy it uses, to continue running everything, is declining significantly.  As provided in the chart above, the U.S. consumes nearly 81% of its energy from coal, oil and natural gas.  The EROI – Energy Returned On Investment of these three energy sources continues to decline.

Please take some time looking over those Energy EROI figures.  While it is true that this chart was developed in 2010, and solar has become cheaper and efficient, the EROI trend for U.S. energy is heading lower.  As we can see, ethanol and biodiesel with a ultra-low EROI of 1.5/1, isn’t really worth producing.

The United States needs a much higher energy EROI, closer to 20/1 to run everything.  While that figure is more an estimate, it is a good guideline as the U.S. started to run into a lot of trouble when it fell below 30/1 in 1970.

I will be writing more articles on the Falling EROI and how it will impact the United States and the rest of the world going forward.  I also plan on writing an article on the RISE & FALL OF THE SOLAR INDUSTRY. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not against renewable energy.  However, solar and wind really aren’t renewable, rather they are Coal, Oil and Natural Gas derivatives.  Without those three energy sources, we wouldn’t be able to manufacture too many solar panels or wind turbines.

So, the time to make the transition to wind and solar has long past.  If we were serious about doing that, it should have been started 20-30 years ago.  We have just run out the clock.

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48 Comments on "Wind & Solar Technology Won’t Stop the Collapse Of The U.S. Empire"

  1. This is a criticism of your work from me Steve

    From one of Canada’s brightest 🙂 🙂
    https://katusaresearch.com/peak-oil-peak-anything-peak-nonsense/

    Why “Peak Oil” or “Peak Anything” is “Peak Nonsense”

    When You Hear “Peak” Anything, Do This

    The next time you hear claims of “peak this” or “peak that,” don’t fall for it. Someone is almost surely trying to sell you something you don’t want to buy. Protect your wallet and your portfolio and remember the driving force of human progress. A near-term or even long-term shortage of a resource is no reason to panic.

    Again: We didn’t stop using the horse and buggy because we ran out of horses. We didn’t stop lighting rooms with candlelight because we ran out of candles. Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s reality… and apocalyptic claims or “peak anything” are always “peak nonsense.

    -Marin Katusa

    • Edit! Edit!

      TYPO Steve

      This is NOT a criticism of your work from me Steve.

    • GrahamB,

      No, I didn’t take it as a criticism…LOL. Actually, I have had a few people email me that “GENIUS” piece of work by Marin Katusa (sarcasm). I plan on responding to Katusa’s anti-peak oil rant at some time. However, the guy’s business model isn’t really to provide excellent fundamental analysis, rather he gets paid to get people into garbage penny stocks. That’s my opinion on it.

      As they say….. THERE’S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE, and likely two or three in the United States.

      Gosh, I could tell you stories about the STOCK PROMOTING NEWSLETTER business. But, that will have to wait until I retire or the system implodes. Regardless, the stock mentioned in the article, SunEdison, was a stock promoted by a very well known name in the resource sector. Matter-a-fact, for kicks and giggles, I took the bait and watched and listened to one of those fancy promotions on the next great energy stock.

      After listening to the damn thing for nearly one hour, I decided to click END, because the moron didn’t name the stock. You had to pay to subscribe to that lousy newsletter to find out what piece of crap they were pumping. I did some research and found out that he was talking about SunEdison. Yes, that’s correct. The Moron Analyst continued to pump SunEdison even after its stock price took a NOSE DIVE.

      So… to all the folks out there who are waiting to make it RICH on the advice of NEWSLETTER STOCK PROMOTERS… remember this… BUYER BEWARE…LOL.

      steve

      • Steve, Are you saying or suggesting, implying that Mr Katusa and his uranium energy business is not cracked as it’s pumped up to be?

  2. I find this subject more interesting everyday. I think about it every day, why? Because if it wasn’t for the numbers Steve throws out consistently; I would agree with Marin Katusa.

    When you see a stock such as ExxonMobile grow from $0.20c to $96.00 in 40 years (1974-2014) 48,000% you have to ask yourself the question; “Will it grow another 48,000% in the next 40 odd years?????

  3. Here is another one … Lol

    A DIESEL IN THE SHED…

    You can have your solar panels
    and your turbines on the hills;
    You can use the warmth of sunshine
    to reduce your heating bills.

    You can dream you’re self-sufficient
    as you weed your vegie bed;
    As long as you make sure to keep

    A diesel in the shed.

    http://pickeringpost.com/story/a-diesel-in-the-shed-/7047

    • GrahamB,

      LOLOLOL… that was an excellent poem, if I may say so. Really gave me a good laugh. Much needed.

      However, for some strange reason, people think I am ANTI-RENEWABLE. I am not. If someone pays cash for a small solar system for their house, that is a very wise thing to own when the GRID goes down. However, I am talking about the overall system… not what a few individuals do.

      steve

      • A few hundred Watts of pv, a deep-cycle battery (12v, Group24, 94A/Hrs, AGM, ~$150+core) a small (300W) sine-inverter and the fuses/distribution to make it safe is less than $1000. This system can run a lot of LED lights overnight.

        This is a business model in African markets to charge batteries and devices. It will be much easier to get everything installed and checked before it’s needed than after.

        • pdx13,

          Agreed. Yes, small efficient solar systems are the way to go if you have the CASH. Nothing wrong with investing in a modest Solar system with highly efficient appliances and lights.

          But, the problem I am discussing here is CENTRALIZED WIND & SOLAR. They will never fly.

          Years down the road when many of the 200 foot tall Highly Technical Wind Turbines are no longer able to be maintained, I would imagine folks will use them as LOOK-OUT TOWERS or a good place for a SNIPER to keep the Town or City safe from roving bands of thieves and plunderers.

          steve

  4. “Tesla hasn’t gone bankrupt despite its massive losses and negative cash flows. Why? Because Tesla is able to extract new money from investors and lenders.”

    and why are they able to extract it, from infestors who KNOW they are buying into a ponzi scheme? 1) because, not the real value, but the notional value, has value, and 2) because the infestors have nowhere else to go.

    “This stock is a perfect indicator of what is fundamentally wrong with the broader markets. And that is…… they are totally INSANE.”

    ? didn’t you read the guy’s explanation? you don’t get it. it’s not that the markets are insane, it’s that they’re not markets anymore. it’s a bunch of infestors, having run out of fresh prey, attempting to prey on each other. entirely logical and rational.

    “Will it grow another 48,000% in the next 40 odd years?????”

    if we last another 40 years, yes.

    • Its currency creation through the stock markets. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • yep. but it’s better described as wealth-transfer. the newly created currency goes to … certain people (c)(tm)(pat), allowing them to buy whatever they want, leaving the rest of us with less purchasing power each day.

        as was always intended and planned.

    • “because the infestors have nowhere else to go”

      LOLOLOL

      …and I agree 100% – the “infestors” are hopelessly lost and THAT is a fact. Greetings gman and thumbs up for making my day here.

    • gman,

      Thanks for explaining why the markets aren’t insane. What would I do without your IN-DEPTH knowledge??

      However, I would like to say that what you are doing is using SEMANTICS. INSANE-INFESTORS… what’s the damn difference.

      Anyhow gman… I like you around. You are sort of like the GADLY at parties. You know, they guy that drinks the host’s booze so he can AMUSE & ENTERTAIN the folks at the party. So, in that regards… thanks for the entertainment.

      Please stay as long as you like.

      steve

  5. I’m guessing wealthy liberals are financing Tesla. If they go bankrupt the ideology suffers a big blow.

    • Barry,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. While I used to be more of a LIBERAL, I am surprised just how highly intelligent Liberal folks in the BIG CITY can be so damn STOOPID. Yes, I was one of them once. While my wife still calls me STOOPID at times (deservedly) I have begun to understand the important FACTOR below:

      COUNTRY FOLK can live with out the CITY… but CITY FOLK can’t live without the COUNTRY.

      At some point, the LIBERALS are going to get the BIG CITY ENEMA Of their life. Of course, CONSERVATIVES aren’t immune to stupidity either. The Falling EROI doesn’t play favorites. It’s an equal opportunity DESTROYER.

      steve

      • “COUNTRY FOLK can live with out the CITY…”

        as low-population-density primitives, sure. not as what they are now. rural areas do not manufacture their own tools, or medicines, or clothing. in fact most rural areas are “banana republics” specializing in specific crops or activities and do not even produce most of their own food.

        “but CITY FOLK can’t live without the COUNTRY.”

        without some kind of farmland support, certainly not – but they don’t need any particular countryside, any countryside anywhere will do. consider korea – 2/3 of their rice is grown in california. consider los angeles – they get as much fruit from chile as they do from california’s central valley.

        in a large-scale decline this city vs country thing is not going to go the way most people expect.

        • gman,

          Just as I stated… an EXCELLENT GADLY always willing to AMUSE and ENTERTAIN. Seems as if you like to play DEVILS advocate, just to keep yourself busy. WELL DONE.

          However, I can assure you that a lot of people in the country do have their own garden. I know, I live in the Country. However, when the FAN HITS THE COW EXCREMENT, let’s see how well the BIG CITY FOLK do.

          Again… please stick around as long as you like. I find your opinions quite humorous.

          steve

          • Steve,
            I was one of the guys to send you the Katusa article. I was being facetious. The guy claims to have mega-millions and then promotes his penny stock newsletter. Nobody makes money on that crap. I agree with you. Big trouble ahead.

          • “However, I can assure you that a lot of people in the country do have their own garden. I know, I live in the Country.”

            no problem. tell you what – as often as you like, share with your country friends what I said, and you can both laugh together at how some people just don’t get it.

  6. Amazon lost boatloads of money when it started out, but was still able to get more investors, the same as Tesla. And that worked out pretty good for the investors, didn’t it. I’m not suggesting that Tesla will be as successful as Amazon, but it goes to show you that sometimes investors are correct.

  7. YES IT WILL !

  8. Well, gentlemen, if you take a moment to get your collective heads out, you may find out that there are other energy devices that can run circles around wind and solar. they are called “Over Unity” devices or “getting energy from a vacuum”. AND YES, they do work and have been invented by numerous men over the last half dozen decades, but because they are being bought out and then shelved you don’t hear of them. Who is buying them. Guess who? Oil and the energy companies, because when homes have these installed the energy companies will waste away like an under fed child. Some companies are already testing this technology and are finding it works the way the developers have stated. Yes, some are better than others, but the point is that we do now have the ability to extract energy out of the cosmos instead of out of the ground.

  9. Next Era energy seems to be a good investment. It is buyer and user of subsidized solar and wind. Only thru subsidies have these technologies achieved grid parity. If they truly achieved parity, their usage would be spontaneous and demand and use would be mushrooming like cell phones did a few years ago. As always the battery is the issue. All energy systems need energy density and non intermittent use age.

  10. Here is one that may actually help transportation,

    https://www.ornl.gov/blog/ornl-reporter/nano-spike-catalysts-convert-co2-directly-ethanol-production-0

    If it doesn’t, at least we can drink it and feel better about it.

  11. Solar and wind energy collecting devices and their auxiliary equipment have an industrial history. They are an extension of the fossil fuel supply system and the global industrial infrastructure. It is important to understand the industrial infrastructure and the environmental results for the components of the solar energy collecting devices so we don’t designate them with false labels such as green, renewable or sustainable.
    This is a challenge to ‘business as usual’. If we teach people that these solar devices are the future of energy without teaching the whole system, we mislead, misinform and create false hopes and beliefs. They are not made with magic wands.
    These videos are primarily concerning solar energy collecting devices. These videos and charts are provided by the various industries themselves. I have posted both charts and videos for the solar cells, modules, aluminum from ore, aluminum from recycling, aluminum extrusion, inverters, batteries and copper.
    Please note each piece of machinery you see in each of the videos has its own industrial interconnection and history.
    http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2015/04/solar-devices-industrial-infrastructure.html

  12. I’m wondering: what is the EROI of wool long-johns?

  13. John Weber,
    Wooden dutch windmills are a sustainable technology. Passive solar is sustainable too. Biomass is probably sustainable at some level. However, none of these scale very well.

    I question the sustainability of batteries. It takes energy to make a battery. A battery has a finite times it can be recharged until it fails. The total lifetime energy storage is the product of the times it can charged and the total quantity of charge. I know the lead acid battery has a very poor return in this metric. The total quantity of charge is similar to the cost of making the battery. Maybe newer design are better?

  14. Slithereen Guard | April 16, 2017 at 10:35 am | Reply

    may be we want to give a last try to renewable energy with massive credit generated by central banks, even if it seems it does not work.
    If oil will not be affordable in near future then what choice do we have.

  15. What about LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor)? Oak Ridge had one working prototype from 1966 until they shut it down in ’74. The reason that it wasn’t chosen as a standard model was that .gov could not make nuke weapons out of the by products. One could also use the heat from the LFTR to create synfuels (Fischer-Tropsch), or to separate hydrogen from water. From everything that I’ve read, there is plenty of Thorium available, and still plenty of coal, so how does that pan out on the EROI scales?

    • Yeah, Mike.

      I think I first read about Thorium in Chris Martenson’s blog a few years ago and have heard nothing else since Where’d it go? Another false discovery of the holy grail? Is it feasible, or in the semi urgent time frame energy crunch we are facing, won’t arrive in time and sufficient force to save the day? Plus there monopolies and political infighting/bribes and kick backs by current energy utilities and producers to contend with.

      In the meantime, Steve, nice interview by Dave on X22
      Spotlight.

      • Hubbs,

        Karl Denninger and Chris Martenson have both discussed it, and there is a fellow named Kirk Sorensen who has a company promoting it. I’m not nuke engineering savvy enough to know the viability, but as I said, Oak ridge had one up and running until 1974, when the decision was made to go to Uranium based metal reactors. That WAS a political decision that evidently had a large amount of local/national Cali politics involved, especially because Nixon was Prez, and wanted Cali to gain the lion’s share of the grift.

  16. The question is do we have too many people and not enough oil, or not enough oil and too many people? Which is the easier issue to solve? That’s where we go next. /sarc

  17. Has anybody mentioned that we have the largest prison population is because we have the greatest return on investment for energy ( OIL )? Once oil goes away so will the prisoners.

  18. Wind and solar do have a tremdous storage, no cost to produce battery; it’s called coal.

  19. There is a history of very bad decisions, mostly politically motivated, that have led the US to its current position regarding the lack of funding of a technology that would probably make abundantly cheap energy: and this technology has already been successfully demonstrated at Oak Ridge Labs in the 60’s: I’m talking about LFTR – liquid fluoride thorium reactor . google it. LFTR.

    • Jim Beam,

      If I received a silver coin for every-time someone mentioned LFTR on my site or through an email, I would have a NICE CHUNK OF CHANGE.

      Unfortunately, liquid fluoride thorium reactors are constructed using energy sources of OIL, GAS & COAL in their manufacture. For some odd reason… no one seems to understand this. I gather because the world is so complex, people just think things are manufactured OUT OF THIN AIR.

      Lastly, the ENERGY PROBLEM we are facing is not one of “ELECTRICITY”, rather it is of LIQUID FUELS that runs the transportation system. And no… we can’t go to electric EV cars as that is not SCALE-ABLE in the time we need it before the U.S. and Global Oil Industry starts to disintegrate within the next 5-10 years.

      So…. LFTR is a NON-ISSUE, A DEAD END, A RED HERRING. Never gonna happen or amount to much at all.

      We have just run out the clock. Watch for serious fireworks within the next 5-10 years.

      steve

    • IMO the problem with developing and building a long term energy solution is capitalism.
      Although I am a strong supporter of the capitalistic system, it does have a down fall, it depends on readily available natural resources.
      Human nature just does no fit well with the idea of putting off present wants to achieve future needs.
      It would require tremdous self control on a national level to use what’s left of petro resources to build out a sustainable energy structure.

  20. Steve,
    I have been in the renewable energy industry for more than 15 years. There is no one today within the industry I know, and I know hundreds of industry executives, walking around saying solar and/or the wind or CHP or geothermal will be the savior of the US energy needs. The academics, ill-informed PhDs, and technocrat engineers have been driven out of the industry by reality. But certainly, some who know energy such as yourself know as well the average American is underinformed, highly emotional and very confident in their own minds of what they think they know about energy while in fact knowing precious little.
    Per Lazard Research, the unsubsidized LCOE of utility-scale solar and wind is now $60 MWh with nuclear and coal at $140 MWh with the much touted natural gas peaker plants at $200 MWh.
    One can argue about the scale and rate of renewables implementation but clearly the old
    Heritage Foundation canards misrepresenting renewables is now seen for the self-serving nonsense it really is. Best regards, Bob Magyar

    • Bob,

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Yeah, 3% Wind, Solar & Geothermal of total U.S. energy consumption is not enough to change much of the balance going forward. With serious fireworks getting ready to take place in the U.S. Oil Industry within the next 5-10 years… we have just run out the clock.

      Bob, by the way… I sent you an email, but it came back. If you get a chance, contact me via my old email address or through my contact page.

      steve

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