100 Percent Renewable Cities – Is Your Mayor Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Mayors in more than 100 U.S. cities have announced plans to transition their electrical power systems to 100 percent renewable by 2050. They propose replacement of traditional coal, natural gas, and nuclear-generating stations with wind, solar and wood-fired stations. But none of these mayors have a plausible idea of how to meet their commitment.

In December, Cincinnati became the 100th U.S. city to commit to 100 percent electricity from renewable sources, with a target to achieve this goal by 2035. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said, “It has become clear that cities will lead the global effort to fight climate change, and Cincinnati is on the front lines.” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also pledged to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 as part of the city’s 2018 Climate Action Plan.

But these announcements appear to be a folk tale worthy of the Brothers Grimm. In 2018, renewables provided less than 3 percent of Ohio’s electricity, which came 47 percent from coal, 35 percent from natural gas and 15 percent from nuclear generators. Mayors Cranley and Jackson appear to have failed to consider the cost or scale of their energy change commitments.

As part of the effort, the Ohio Power Siting Board approved the Icebreaker Wind Facility last July. The Icebreaker project would initially construct six 3.5-gigawatt wind turbines in Lake Erie, ten miles off the coast of Cleveland, at an estimated cost of $126 million. The project would annually produce only about 75 gigawatt-hours of electricity, but plans call for an expansion to over 1,000 offshore wind towers.

Renewable energy is fashionable, but also expensive. The Icebreaker wind turbines cost $21 million each, or about six times the U.S. market price for wind turbines, which is about $1 million per megawatt. The cost of expansion to 1,000 turbines would approach $20 billion. These renewable system costs will be in addition to existing power generation plants, 90 percent of which must be maintained to provide security of electricity supply when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

In 2017, Ohio residents consumed 119,000 gigawatt-hours of electrical power. If completed, the 1,000 wind turbines of the expanded $20 billion Icebreaker project would deliver about 12,000 gigawatt-hours, or only about 10 percent of Ohio’s electricity need.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter pledged their cities to 100 percent renewables by 2030. Major wind system build-outs during the last five years boosted Minnesota to the 8th-leading wind energy state in the United States. Renewables now provide about 27 percent of the state’s electricity. But Minnesota residents are paying for it. Over the last nine years, Minnesota power prices increased 34 percent, compared to the US average price rise of 7 percent.

In Wisconsin, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced last July the city’s commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050. But Wisconsin is not exactly the sun belt. Traditional generating stations provide 92 percent of the state’s electrical power and Wisconsin is a poor location for both wind and solar.

Not to be deterred, the City of Madison announced in 2017, a contract for five “utility-scale” solar arrays that would deliver 20 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. But Wisconsin consumes 65,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. More than three million such “utility-scale” solar projects would be needed to supply just one percent of Wisconsin’s electricity.

City officials in Atlanta pledged to reach 100 percent renewables by 2035, but have been honest about the fact that they don’t know how to do it. Only about 6 percent of Atlanta’s electricity comes from renewable sources, about the same amount as the state of Georgia. So, Atlanta proposes purchasing large amounts of renewable energy credits from wind and solar generators in other states, so that they can claim their green energy status.

Energy does not have color. No one can tell whether the electricity from their wall outlet is green or provided by a coal-fired plant. Purchasing renewable credits from other locations is the sleight-of-hand method that allows city mayors to claim 100 percent renewable status.

Maybe these mayors have learned a way to spin climate change straw into gold. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Atlanta and several other cities will receive $2.5 million grants from the Bloomberg Philanthropies group of billionaire Michael Bloomberg for their efforts to “fight climate change.” Unfortunately, these grants will only be a drop in the bucket compared to the billions in additional electricity costs that citizens will pay for renewable electricity programs.

California is the center of the 100-percent-renewables fable. More than 30 California cities have committed to 100 percent renewable electricity, including San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as the state of California itself. The state is doing a great job of boosting electricity prices. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, California 2017 residential electricity prices were 18.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, about 50 percent higher than any other state in the West. Look for California rates to double in the next two decades, driven by efforts to achieve high penetration of renewables.

So is your mayor smarter than a fifth grader? When it comes to energy policy, maybe not.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business and public policy. He’s also the author of the book, “Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.”

States Are Introducing Bills That Could Prevent Teachers From Advocating for Climate Change

Pacific Standard Kelley Czajka | Feb 18, 2019

Several states have recently introduced bills that could interfere with the teaching of scientifically founded theories on climate change in public school science curricula.

A bill in South Dakota would require each school board to adopt a code of ethics that prevents public school elementary and secondary school teachers from advocating “for any issue that is part of a political party platform at the national, state, or local level.” The Arizona legislature introduced a nearly identical bill.

The potency of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas

By Antero Ollila
September 2014

According to this study the commonly applied radiative forcing (RF) value of 3.7 Wm-2 for CO2 concentration of 560 ppm includes water feedback. The same value without water feedback is 2.16 Wm-2 which is 41.6 % smaller. Spectral analyses show that the contribution of CO2 in the greenhouse (GH) phenomenon is about 11 % and water’s strength in the present climate in comparison to CO2 is 15.2. The author has analyzed the value of the climate sensitivity (CS) and the climate sensitivity parameter () using three different calculation bases. These methods include energy balance calculations, infrared radiation absorption in the atmosphere, and the changes in outgoing longwave radiation at the top of the atmosphere. According to the analyzed results, the equilibrium CS (ECS) is at maximum 0.6 °C and the best estimate of  is 0.268 K/(Wm-2 ) without any feedback mechanisms. The latest warming scenarios of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for different CO2 concentrations until the year 2100 include the same feedbacks as the 2011 warming i.e. only water feedback. The ECS value of 3.0 °C would mean that other feedback mechanisms should be stronger than water feedback. So far there is no evidence about these mechanisms, even though 40 % of the change from 280 ppm to 560 ppm has already happened. The relative humidity trends since 1948 show descending development which gives no basis for using positive water feedback in any warming calculations. Cloudiness changes could explain the recent stagnation in global warming.

House Democrat counters Trump with resolution declaring climate change a national emergency

Washington Examiner by Josh Siegel | February 15, 2019

Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said Friday he intends to introduce a resolution declaring climate change a national emergency.

Blumenauer, who has endorsed the progressive Green New Deal resolution and is active on environmental and renewable energy issues, circulated a letter to colleagues Friday seeking support for a resolution that would declare the “sense of Congress” that climate change is a national emergency.

The climate change bubble

Bud Bromley July 5, 2016

Dr. Judith Curry takes down the AAAS in the post at this link to her website. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) attempts a power play on climate change but instead shoots itself in the foot. This is an example of the Iron Law of Bureaucracy.


The management of ACS is one of the signers of the AAAS propaganda letter. I was a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) for many years. I was heavily involved with an ACS subgroup in gas chromatography in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. There was little climatology, the sciences of climate, at ACS in those years. In fact, I and the others involved in that ACS subgroup were teaching ACS members how to measure gases, including teaching EPA employees how to measure real pollutants.

The Club of Rome and beyond: How the socialist religion of environmentalism was born

The Rebel Tim Ball | February 20, 2016

The entire world needed the new paradigm of environmentalism. The problem is that a few grabbed it for a political agenda.

They used it as a vehicle to take the moral high ground, to claim only they cared about the environment. They argue that everyone else was guilty of environmental destruction because of their avarice and wasteful ways.

Environmentalism as a political agenda is pushed by extremely wealthy and powerful left wing people who made their money exploiting the environment. The psychology of that is beyond the realm of this discussion, but consider the hypocrisy of George Soros, Maurice Strong, Bill Gates, the Rockefeller’s, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Turner among many others. The confusion is similar to surrounding another person who most people think was a right wing fascist, but was in fact a socialist promoting environmentalism, Adolf Hitler. (Nazi stands for “National Socialism.”)

AOC says America should lead the world

Dr. Paul DriessenBy Paul Driessen

February 18, 2019

In committing national economic suicide and sending living standards back to 19th century

29-year old ex-bartender and freshman U.S. Representative (D-NY) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received thunderous environmentalist and media acclaim when she introduced her Green New Deal resolution in the House and Ed Markey (D-MA) submitted it in the Senate. It was quickly endorsed or cosponsored by scores of House and Senate Dems, including many who want to run against President Trump in 2020.

But within days the GND was subjected to rigorous analysis (and ridicule) by energy experts, President Trump, Republicans, conservative pundits and even some Democrats. Their disdain is well-founded.

World leading sea level expert Prof. em. Nils Axel Mörner presents some stark examples that show how the IPCC and climate activists are wildly exaggerating their claims of rapid sea level rise.

Prof. em. Nils Axel Mörner auf der 12. IKEK München, Bild EIKE

notrickszone.com Feb. 13, 2019

World leading sea level expert Prof. em. Nils Axel Mörner presents some stark examples that show how the IPCC and climate activists are wildly exaggerating their claims of rapid sea level rise.

12th IKEK: Nils Axel Mörner – the Kattegat and others among test areas for sea level