Renewables must help pay for transmission and their energy storage backup of fossil power plants

Preface. Wind and solar advocates don’t include transmission and backup costs in their net energy calculations. But without fossil backup, the electric grid will come down due to lack of storage. There is almost nowhere left to put pumped hydro storage in the ten states that already have 80% of hydropower, there is only one Compressed Air Energy Storage plant in the U.S. in one of the few salt domes in three states along the Gulf coast that have salt domes (with half of it powered by natural gas turbines), and it would cost $41 trillion dollars to make Sodium Sulfur (NaS) batteries lasting 15 years to back up just one day of U.S. electricity generation (Friedemann 2015).

Mexico is asking renewable companies to pay for transmission and natural gas / coal backup for when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun shining. About time, because this is all a gigantic waste of money if wind and solar can’t stand on their own, a dumb investment when we could have used the money to convert to organic farming, plant more trees, beef up infrastructure and other efforts to prepare for peak oil, coal, and natural gas and the lifestyle that will be forced upon us.

Alice Friedemann  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Collapse Chronicles, Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report


Garcia, D. A. 2020. Renewable firms in Mexico must contribute to grid backup – CFE chief. Reuters.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Private renewable energy firms in Mexico should pay for part of the baseload power underpinning the flow of electricity on the grid, the head of the state power company said….Renewable operators had not been pulling their weight in contributing to the infrastructure that sustains them.

Wind and photovoltaic (plants) don’t pay the CFE for the backup,” said Bartlett, referring to the cost of power generation from fossil fuels, mostly natural gas, to guarantee uninterrupted flow. “Do you think it’s fair for the CFE to subsidize these companies that don’t produce power all day?” he asked.

The firms should also start helping to pay transmission costs, he said.

“That’s not a free market, it’s theft,” said Bartlett, a close ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has pledged to hold down electricity rates.

CENACE cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification, arguing that intermittent wind and solar power is not consistent with ensuring constant electricity supply.


Friedemann, Alice. 2015. When Trucks stop running: Energy and the future of transportation. Springer

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2 Responses to Renewables must help pay for transmission and their energy storage backup of fossil power plants

  1. Rice Farmer says:

    Absolutely. The three essential requirements for any energy system are that it must be (1) self-sustaining, (2) self-replicating, and (3) still supply enough surplus energy to power the economy. A corollary to the third requirement is that the amount of surplus energy (net energy) determines what kind of socioeconomic system is possible. The outlook for a wind/solar system is pretty grim.

  2. LagosPalm says:

    Payment for transmission and backup storage by ‘Renewables’, Nuclear, Fusion and Hydro – will never change the the fact that these technologies are parasitic

    Palm oil coming from salve-planted Nigeria and India, lubricating steam engines in the 18th and 19th century in Britain – is a demonstration that even fossil fuels were parasitic, to forests, palm farms, other framing, other natural resources and muscle power.

    Can anybody really believe that the almighty steam engine, that has animated the entire Industrial Revolution, has been dependent on the humble palm and other bio oils, or it would have ceased running without lubricants in a matter of an hour or much less?

    Renewable, Nuclear, Fusion, Hydro, Geothermal, etc – are all parasitic energy systems, too.

    Humans are yet to realise and accept that “Energy, like time, only flows in one direction, from past to future“.

    Fossil fuels are simply a brief burst of energy caused by practicing mass deforestation and available healthy man-power, both external to fossil fuels.

    Both bio fuels and available man-power were energy from the past.

    Without both, fossil fuels would have remained in the underground, like how they remained all the history – until their mass production started, in 1600 onward.

    Fossil fuels, which hold energy from the past, then created Nuclear, ‘Renewables’, etc.

    Humans have ended up today powering themselves with parasitic source of energy inside another – all were dependent on the energy from the past, that most of it is running out – and will never break away from that dependency.

    Today, humans think themselves smart they have come up with ‘Technology’ that will generate for them endless energy supplies coming from the future.

    Humans are wrong.