Skip to content

Can You Imagine New England Without Fossil Fuels?

January 6, 2018

By Paul Homewood




As New England digs itself out of the snow, it is sobering to see just how much they are dependent on fossil fuels for staying alive.

Currently, at 1.24pm EST, oil, gas and coal are providing 63% of the region’s electricity.

ScreenHunter_1774 Jan. 06 18.25


Renewables are only contributing 11%, but nearly half of that is burning wood and waste.

Wind and solar power, that we hear so much about, is providing just 6% of New England’s electricity.

 ScreenHunter_1775 Jan. 06 18.25


With a lot of natural gas diverted for domestic heating, oil is now the dominant fuel, often burnt in dual fuel power plants, i.e.gas/oil.

In overall energy terms, of course, this means that New England is even more reliant on fossil fuels than the above figures suggest.

Note, as well, the 22% coming from nuclear. Unfortunately for the locals, they won’t even be able to rely on this for much longer. One of the region’s four reactors, Pilgrim at Plymouth, will shut in 2019.


None of this seems to stop the usual crowd from claiming that more renewable energy is the only answer.


Let me be brutally frank here.

If left wing politicians and their climate science fellow travellers succeed in their attempts to phase out fossil fuels, they will be guilty of a great crime against humanity.

  1. Francis permalink
    January 6, 2018 8:30 pm

    I live in Ontario, Canada. This morning I woke up to a minimum temperature of -24.8C as recorded by my weather station (Davis). Here is how our province’s wind and solar farms have been contributing (Not!) to our energy supply:

  2. Metoak permalink
    January 6, 2018 8:40 pm

    The USA storms in the Great Lakes and New England in the 1950s were in location, intensity, and duration. As one of your recent blog posts noted, some historic storms are not mentioned by even the better USA blogs, official or unofficial. In addition, the history of how we measure snow in the USA needs to be reiterated for the now IBM owned, non federal government weather sites. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in New England aread and the Great Lakes region as well. We had automobile races across the Hudson River at West Point routinely. We walked through snowy tunnel walkways for weeks during the storms.

  3. January 6, 2018 8:41 pm

    I second that. As Goethe said in 1833: ” A false hypothesis is better than none at all….However, if it takes root, if it is generally assumed, if it becomes a kind of credo admitting no doubt or scrutiny – that is a real evil, one which has endured through the centuries.” Green is becoming evil. ‘Homo’ maybe, but ‘Sapiens’ is fast diminishing.

  4. January 6, 2018 8:45 pm

    Brings a new meaning to ICE cars 🙂 Without FF they wouldn’t have to dig their ICE cars out of the ice. Of course the new normal is EVs. Powered by Li-Co batteries produced sustainably by child slave labour in DRC, and PV panels built from coal in China. The PV panels in New England are like those in Scotland. They work equally well in the box as mounted on a N facing roof or even under 6 feet of snow.

    Paul, I love your blog and tune in at least 3 times a week. But I’m thinking about spectral variations in solar energy and a feeble Sun and I’m worried.

    How do we get rid of the hoards of mindless academics that have led us up this cul-de-sac?

    All the best for 2018.


    • Metoak permalink
      January 6, 2018 8:51 pm

      Yes, indeed…and ditto for the hordes of “mind streatched” millennials who have absolutely no idea about the Rare Earth components that are indeed procured from DRC, Communist China, and other place like Afghanistan!

    • mikewaite permalink
      January 6, 2018 10:40 pm

      It would be interesting to gather comments from electric vehicle owners in the areas affected by the cold about performance of the batteries at the sub zero temperatures.
      According to some information that I looked up a few days ago Li-ion batteries should not be recharged at temperatures below 0C.
      (BTW I am not opposed to EVs , living on a busy road I would appreciate the replacement of the many noisy pollution- puffing diesels passing our house but is their performance practical in other than favourable weather?)

    • January 7, 2018 7:36 am

      An engineering version of the GWPF might be worth considering, with input from real engineers it should be able to wipe the floor with the academics and their endless studies about the Renewables Garden of Eden.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        January 8, 2018 10:30 am

        The engineering institutions have been taken over by the same green controllers that manipulate all the meja. The I.Chem.E. will not publish any criticism of global warming: when the editor told me this, I resigned after a few further communications. So, I don’t think that engineers can solve the problem, the main hope is the excellent web sites run by Paul, Euan and a few others.

  5. Broadlands permalink
    January 6, 2018 9:44 pm

    Google this: snow-covered solar panels

  6. January 6, 2018 9:55 pm

    “Can You Imagine New England Without Fossil Fuels?” Soon and very soon they won’t have to imagine it–they will be living it. Brings new meaning to the term “freeze in the dark.”

    • January 7, 2018 7:30 am

      … and living without the strengthened sea defenses and other infrastructure that they could have had if they’d spent money on that rather than on futile gestures at changing the composition of the atmosphere via wind farms and batteries.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 7, 2018 12:00 pm

      Let us face it, somebody somewhere is going to have to kill a whole lot of people before the truth of their absurd futile idea sinks in. Maybe New England, somewhere in Canada, S Australia, Germany…..

  7. RAH permalink
    January 6, 2018 10:01 pm

    When I came in from the road early this morning I checked to see what the weather conditions were at the observatory at the summit of M. Washington:
    Summit Conditions
    Temperature -32°F
    Gust 102 mph
    Wind 90 mph
    Wind Chill -85°F
    Direction 290°(WNW)
    Last Updated Saturday, January 6 2018 3:06 AM

    New England has a far higher proportion of homes heated using fuel than any area in the lower 48. Before they shut down Ft. Devens near Ayre, MA in the early 90s about every building on post was heated with fuel oil. Back then it was a detail for some poor troops had to do.

    • January 7, 2018 3:08 am

      RAH, i actually trained one ROTC summer at Fort Devons. 1969. Man, my side had fun with concealed trip wires to ‘lethal’ smoke grenades. And, I remember a final uphill night charge firing blanks into the observing hidden trainers— for which I got both merits and demerits. Now ‘guess’ which side of the mostly Harvard Law ROTC draft dodgers in 1969 I was on.
      Highest regards, sir.

      • RAH permalink
        January 7, 2018 9:42 am

        Thanks ristvan
        I imagine the winning side!

        I was stationed there for 5 1/2 years. Knew every bit of that small post by the time I was transferred to Flint Kasserne, Bad Tolz. One time we were on the range firing a 106mm recoilless rifle and got a call on the radio to cease fire because some guy recovering from a heart attack in the town of Harvard was being disturbed by the noise. That kind of thing due to the relative small size of the post, the population density around it, the repeated failure of local private pilots to observe the restricted air space, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and the rather poor opinion of the US military held by many of the surrounding residents sums up the possible reasons why that historic post was slated for shutdown during the downsizing.

        10th SFG(A) Group Hq and 2nd and 3rd Bn went to Ft. Carson, CO. The Army signal intelligence school went to Ft. Huachuca, AZ.

        Now days I still get to go back there on occasion because I typically cover two or three loads of year to deliver new soda cans to the Pepsi Bottler in Ayre.

  8. Robert Doyle permalink
    January 6, 2018 11:16 pm

    The baseload of nuclear will shut down between 5 an 6 plants by 2020. DOE Secretary Perry
    has raised this concern However the Green and the Governors seem to be clueless.
    This will be a big deal.

    • January 9, 2018 12:24 pm

      They ignore Secretary Rick Perry at their own peril. “Clueless” has consequences.

  9. markl permalink
    January 6, 2018 11:47 pm

    Anyone that believes piling more inefficient wind and solar onto the grid will eventually produce 100% renewable energy is either seriously deluded or has an ulterior motive.

  10. January 6, 2018 11:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  11. enarhem permalink
    January 7, 2018 2:55 am

    Nothing like REAL winter weather to make you realise how critical it is to have on-demand FF energy at your fingertips.

  12. January 7, 2018 8:28 am

    Don’t panic. According to the BBC, the mayor of Boston will sort it out with more windmills and solar panels to reduce global warming:

    Mayor Marty Walsh blamed climate change. “If anyone wants to question global warming, just see where the flood zones are.”

    • Broadlands permalink
      January 7, 2018 3:04 pm

      Google: frozen wind turbines.

  13. January 7, 2018 9:13 am

    If they think that following the German electricity ‘model’ is a good plan….

    Irregular and unpredictable wind and solar power is increasingly becoming a problem for Germany’s power grid. Utility company Tennet TSO spent almost a billion euros last year on emergency interventions to stabilize the national grid.

    That’s not Germany’s total bill, just one large company.

    • January 9, 2018 12:26 pm

      Germany has to save a few coins to pay their NATO bill.

  14. Rowland H permalink
    January 7, 2018 11:35 am

    Gillian Ambrose was extolling the virtues of blending hydrogen with natural gas in the S Telegraph today. So where does the hydrogen come from? Meanwhile the MSM is catching up with the plan to phase out all coal fired power stations by 2025. Not to mention phasing out domestic oil and then gas heating. See the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy. Candles and fur coats at the ready everybody?

    • Green Sand permalink
      January 7, 2018 12:04 pm

      Anybody know who and when the phenomena ‘Hydrogen Embrittlement in Metals’ was discovered? Earliest I can find is Morlett, J. O. (1958). “Hydrogen Embrittlement in Steels”. SteeIInst. 189: 37. and that is from Wiki?

      Dear Jillian’s cut and paste carries the follwing:-

      “…..Crucially, KPMG said ­hydrogen heating would be the least hassle for energy customers because very few appliances would need to be replaced.

      The existing gas grid would need only minor upgrades because it was originally designed for hydrogen before the North Sea boom provided a flood of cheap natural gas to burn ­instead…..”

      Hydrogen was never more than 50% of ‘Town’ or ‘Coal’ gas and I doubt we knew anything about Hydrogen Embrittlement when the grid was originally designed. Ho hum….

    • Beale permalink
      January 8, 2018 12:44 am

      How many people will be able to afford candles?

  15. Dave Ward permalink
    January 7, 2018 1:14 pm

    @ Gerry, England January 7, 2018 12:04 pm

    “I was very pleased to be in my diesel van as I splashed along the puddle strewn roads. Even more so when I plunged into the unseen lake under a railway bridge”

    I DO hope your engine air intake is not mounted low down, like so many vehicles these days. With the high compression ratio of a diesel it only takes a couple of drops of water ingested into a cylinder to cause a “hydraulic lock” which will wreck the engine.

  16. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 7, 2018 2:12 pm

    Anyone died in an electric vehicle? Yet

  17. Paddy permalink
    January 8, 2018 7:24 am

    Can you imagine being in an electric car in that weather? If I turn the heating on, will it even move? Better get the good old diesel out.

  18. Russ permalink
    January 8, 2018 11:10 am

    I’m just wondering how much power they’ll get from solar through a metre of snow. Also from windfarms when they are all frozen solid, not to mention the blades breaking off when they get a couple of tons of frozen rain stuck to them…! Did anyone think this renewable garbage through at all before implementation? Considering that the answer to the whole Global Warming threat is to prepare for the worst, just in case Gore was right, surely someone, at some point, must have thought ahead to what might happen if it snowed a lot? No? Nobody? Back up plan anyone?

    • January 9, 2018 12:29 pm

      Oh, the pesky “unintended consequences” of their brilliant plans.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: