Calculating 'Nenergy'

Liberals say that energy prices will stabilize and decline when we start to use ‘green’ energy like wind power. Most people know this is false. In fact energy prices will skyrocket if we switch to wind power because wind power is only feasible when subsidized by the government. That is a really bad start.


Environmentalists have told us for decades now that we need to produce “negawatts”. This means that if we have the option of building, say, a 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactor, or simply conserving 1,000 megawatts of energy, it is more efficient to save the energy, which is true. But always beware the ways in which liberals wish to control everything with their ideas.


The fact is that our society is getting more energy-efficient all the time. We have naturally moved toward efficiency because that is man’s nature. Our economy today produces twice as much Gross Domestic Product per unit of energy input as it did just 50 years ago.


Imagine a factory owner saying he wants to continue to use old energy-guzzling machinery when more efficient machines are available. Sensible people shift over to save money in the long run because it makes sense in every way. They do not need anyone like some ‘green’ advocate to preach energy efficiency.


Yet even though we always are becoming increasingly efficient, enviros claim that we have to become ever more efficient. Yet they themselves are preaching massive energy inefficiency not on the consumption end, but on the production end.


They are advocating that we use inefficient energy sources like windmills and solar panels. These sources produce small amounts of energy at very high cost. That is why there are no sailing ships crossing the seas. That is why no factories use wind power except in very primitive circumstances.


So why should we start converting our energy supply over to sources that man abandoned more than a century ago?


We shouldn’t. And we should expose environmentalists for producing “nenergy”, which is the amount of energy that we are not producing by using their inefficient sources.


Here is how to calculate “nenergy”:


Imagine we are going to spend $1 billion to build a 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactor. Or, as an alternative, we can invest that same $1 billion in windmills.


The nuclear reactor will produce 1,000 megawatt-hours of electricity for every hour it operates, which is most hours throughout the year except for times the plant is shut down for routine maintenance.


But $1 billion worth of windmills will produce much, much less energy. Because windmills will produce energy only when the wind blows. If the wind only blows half the day, the windmills will produce only an average of 500 megawatt-hours per hour. So the “missing” 500 megawatt-hours per hour of energy production is the “nenergy” or the amount of energy that we will lose by investing our fixed capital resources in wind power instead of more dependable energy sources like nuclear.


But wait! There’s more! This equation assumes that the investment capital for windmills is equally wise to that for nuclear power. But it is not. It is much more wasteful right from the start because you must consider Economies of Scale. Here is how to think about that:


Go into the most primitive village in the jungle and ask the chief to make stew for the whole village of 30 people. Will he make it one bowl at a time?


No, even a primitive person knows that that is very inefficient. He knows that you should make a big pot of stew and then divide it up. It is called Economies of Scale and is one of the most basic laws of economics – that to do things on a large scale (make a big pot of stew) is more efficient than doing things on a small scale (making stew one bowl at a time).


The same with wind power. If you make one big nuclear reactor of 1,000 megawatts, it produces energy much more efficiently than if you produce it by erecting 1,000 windmills one megawatt at a time. In other words, even if the wind blew 24 hours a day, there would be less total energy in the small-scale source just by applying Economies of Scale. Then add in the fact that the wind does not blow 24 hours a day and you would have severely reduced energy supplies by investing the same amount of capital in wind power as in nuclear. So through supply and demand, this would push electricity costs through the roof. 


Third… and this is crucial. Since the government is subsidizing wind energy, the government may demand that all wind-energy jobs be unionized. This will further push costs skyward and reduce efficiency even further.


Energy is produced when investment capital meets resources. And if the capital is consumed by the inefficient resources, you have less and less supply, and subsequently more and more in price. This will lead our nation to disaster. Nuclear power is the answer, and is the “miracle” power source that has been under our nose for decades.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.