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Where Do We Get Most Of Our Energy (Hint: Not Renewables)–Lomborg

February 21, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Bjorn Lomborg puts the hype about renewable into perspective:


The world is mostly run on fossil fuels (81%). Nuclear makes up 5%, with 14% from renewables. Solar panels and wind turbines contribute 0.8%.

When you hear 14% renewables, you will likely think ‘wow, things are going pretty well with the switch to renewables’. But these renewables are not the ones you hear about. The biggest contributor is humanity’s oldest fuel: wood.

4.91% is known as biomass as we also burn food (ethanol) and energy forest (trees or woody shrubs) in the rich world. This is, for instance, the American forests, cut down and shipped across the Atlantic to be burnt in European power plants to be called green and CO₂ neutral – of course, that is only true when the new woods have grown up in 50-100 years.

4.93% of its use takes place in the poor world where people still use wood (dung, cardboard, etc…) to cook and keep warm. This leads to terrible indoor air pollution – it is actually the world’s deadliest environmental problem, killing some 4.3 million people each year. We should definitely hope the poor will have to use less polluting wood in the future.

The other main contributor of renewables is 2.5% hydropower. In total, that makes up 12.4%. The last 1.6% comes mostly from geothermal energy (0.57%) and wind turbines (0.61%) along with solar heaters in China, tidal power etc. (0.26%) and solar panels (0.19%).

Contrary to the weight of news stories on how solar and wind is taking over the world, solar panels and wind turbines really make up a very small part of the global energy mix. (I started out coloring solar panels yellow [see graph below], but the thin sliver at the top became invisible.)


 Read the full post here.

  1. February 21, 2018 11:43 am

    Greencrap is not a viable energy future.

  2. Coeur de Lion permalink
    February 21, 2018 2:22 pm

    As Matt Ridley said quite recently, wind and solar cannot keep up with the INCREASE in world energy demand, let alone substitute the bulk. Wake up.

  3. Bitter@twisted permalink
    February 21, 2018 7:02 pm

    Puts wind and solar into perspective.
    Subsidy troughs for the rich, producing sweet FA in terms of useful power.

  4. Anders Otte permalink
    February 21, 2018 7:26 pm

    I never like when anti AGW people quote Bjoern Lomborg, because he isn’t that much against the AGW lie. He in reality only states 1. that we should consider what the consequenses are before we act, and, 2. That the price of preventing AGW is far grater than the price of adjusting to it – if any. I also come from Denmark and I far more prefer the dane Henrik Svensmark (with the Sky and Sky 2 experiments – and confirmed (and quantified) by Jasper Kirkby’s Cloud experiment on CERN). Henrik is a true scientist in a relevant field (he is director of the Danish Techincal University’s Space division), whereas Lomborg is a mathematical statistician.
    Also even if the AGW tale was true, all the promoted green energy sources aren’t really producing more energy than they consume during their total lifespan. If you would like to save on energy consumption in your household, you could just use a DIY solar panel air heater. It gives a way better yield in benefits compared to expenses and energy consumption.

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