The Stupidity of “Net Zero Carbon”

I presented a short course to the local University, OLLI, Life-Long Learning Program. I thought it may be helpful to provide a summary of the course on this Blog so that it is available to others. Mindful that many policy makers and voters are not aware of the costs of renewable energy and the difficulties in living without carbon based fuels. This course was intended to provide insight to non-energy engineers on this important topic. Also included at the end are numerous references that are not widely discussed by the Main Stream Media, Entertainment and even in “Woke” Social Media.

America uses about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s per year. This translates to about 830,000 to 1 Million Btu’s used each day by each American. This includes electricity, transportation, shipping, heating, industrial and commercial. Each individual citizen consumes roughly about a million British Thermal Units (BTU’s) per day, the chart below show the sources of those BTU’s and how they are used.

From U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory data

About 37% of America’s energy is used for electricity generation. The other 63% is also important and if everyone drove EV’s, then much more electricity demand will be required.

Each citizen uses almost a million Btu’s per day. Depending on employment type, home location in warmer or northern climate and life-styles, the amount of energy used will vary. But for me and my friends and our life-styles, I am sure we use over a million Btu’s per day. For the class, I prepared an illustration of just how an average person could use 866,000 to a million Btu’s each day.

Another illustration shows just how we depend on energy to carry on our daily living.

I have watched the use of total energy for the last twenty years or so and have seen it hover at about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s each year. This is the energy required to fuel our economy and the Freedom to travel and live our lives as Americans have enjoyed for many years. Disrupting this energy supply to fuel our economy and our life styles will create unnecessary hardship, pain and National security risks for all Americans.

The Democrats and the Biden Administration have America on a path to “Net Zero Carbon”. This is insane, foolish and simply not possible to attain. Not unless our standard of living and productive capacity as a nation are severely compromised. I refer you back to the first figure above, the Sankey Diagram that shows total Primary Energy Used in 2019. Of the 100 Quadrillion Btu’s used, only 3.8% came from wind and solar. This is after decades of tax subsidies to renewables. Only 3.8%. Now, for the “Net Zero America” path promoted by Princeton University and the Democrats, they want to change ALL of our ENERGY to Carbon Free. See the figure below:

After many years of subsidies, renewables can’t do better than 3.8% of our energy and the “Net Zero Carbon” proponents think that by throwing Billions and Billions of your tax dollars to connected, (D) Crony Capitalists, we will be able to replace Fossil Fuels and Nuclear with solar panels and wind turbines. This is simply not practical and it will harm America if it is tried. Why? Because we utilize and depend on 96.2% of our energy to come from conventional sources. Petroleum, Coal, Natural Gas and Nuclear. It is absolutely Nuts to have a “War on Carbon” when in fact, we depend on carbon based fuels for every day living. OK, I am a retired coal power engineer and some will say, I am biased toward Fossil Fuels. Imagine that. So to get past the bias, let’s take some real world examples of where large groups of citizens have been subjected to “Extreme Green” policies and take a look at the results. Certainly the politicians are smart enough to understand we should learn from the mistakes of others. You think? Four examples I will offer are:

  • Wind Power in the UK and resulting extreme costs
  • Emphasis of Solar and Wind in Germany and the escalating costs
  • Hawaii Electric’s highest price electricity of the 50 States due to the commitment to shut down a coal plant and depend on renewables
  • Texas Blackout Feb 2021 due to excessive solar and wind being included in their reserve generation

Are these examples of what “we the people” desire for all of America? How can we reshore American Manufacturing with electricity costs such as Hawaii now has? How can we remain the #1 Economy in the world if we depend on imported energy. Does anyone remember the 1974 Arab Oil Embargo and what it did to slow our way of life? Reminder, 96% of our energy is provided from conventional (including old nuclear plants) sources. Yes, old nuclear is good. My state of SC generates 55.8% of our electricity from nuclear plants, some of which are over 50 years old.

American Energy Policy Gets Dumber Each Month, Elected Officials should take notice of how these policies have worked out where tried:

From Wall Street Journal Oct. 6, 2021

Hawaii has chosen their own version of the “Green New Deal” and it has earned them two first places. (1) They burn the highest cost fuel for generating electricity and not surprisingly, (2) they have the highest electric costs of the 50 U.S. States. Fortunately, Hawaii is not a major manufacturing state. These high costs of power do not bode well for manufacturing, especially primary metals like steel, copper and aluminum. However, it is important for my state of SC to continue with reasonable cost electricity. We do have NUCOR Steel and Century Aluminum and they depend on abundant and reasonable cost electricity. Hawaii can pass the costs on to Tourists and Government, SC cannot. and EIA Electricity cost data

The High Cost of Renewables is well established in the U.S.A. and in Europe

Dick Storm, October 13, 2021

References and Additional Study Materials to research the basis for my opinions as stated above:

  1. Santee-Cooper Flip Facts Sept 2021:
  2. Santee-Cooper IRP, Dec 2020:
  3. SC Dept of Energy :
  4. Dominion Energy SC IRP update, Feb 2021:
  5. Donn Dears Report on Hydrogen
  6. WSJ  Japan and Hydrogen Commitment:
  7. America’s :
  8. References for further reading and research on Climate Change from Natural Forces:
  9. On Natu ral Climate Change (Not Carbon Dioxide) The Right Climate Stuff Team (Retired NASA Engineers):
  10. D. Roy Spencer website, “Is there a Climate Crisis?” :
  11. Watts Up With That Blog, “Follow the Money” By Dr. Paul Rossiter:
  12. Judith Curry website, Climate.etc :
  13. Science and Environment Policy Project  Website:
  14. Princeton Physicist, Dr. William Happer, A key segment begins at minute 24 where the effects of CO2 are discussed.
  15. Donn Dears Articles:
  16. Science and Environment Policy Project  Website:
  17. Judith Curry, 15 slides to summarize Climate Change website:
  18. Global Warming Policy Foundation:
  19. WSJ article on “Climate Change Agenda Goes Out With a Bang” July 15, 2021:
  20. Armstrong Economics Climate Change Chart:
  21. Armstrong Economics on coming Ice Age:
  22.  Energy Facts from respected sources:
  23. Donn Dears Articles
  24. Nuclear Energy Institute, Land Area Required for Wind and Solar to replace a 1000 MW Nuclear Plant
  25. EPRI video:
  26. Real Time US Power Grid link to EIA (Energy Information Administration):
  27. CA Grid Real Time Demand:
  28. PJM Operations:
  29. MISO Operations–market-data/real-time-displays/
  30. SPP (SW Power Pool) Market Generation by Fuel:
  31. ERCOT Grid (Electric Reliability Council of Texas):
  32. John Shanahan (Excellent) Website:
  34. WUWT Blog on Global Fuels Use, July 11, 2021:
  35. EIA Battery Storage as of August 2021
  36. Dick Storm Blog:
  37. Mark Mills, The Myth of Renewable Energy:
  38. WSJ, Wind Stops in Europe:
  39. General Energy and Environmental References:

5 thoughts on “The Stupidity of “Net Zero Carbon””

  1. Dick, nice job. Thanks


    On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 8:51 AM dickstormprobizblog’s Blog wrote:

    > dickstormprobizblog posted: ” I presented a short course to the local > University, OLLI, Life-Long Learning Program. I thought it may be helpful > to provide a summary of the course on this Blog so that it is available to > others. Mindful that many policy makers and voters are not aw” >


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