Magazine October 28, 2019, Issue

The Trouble with ‘Renewable’ Energy

The sun rises behind windmills in Palm Springs, Calif. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Wind and solar are inefficient, and their environmental benefits are oversold

‘Renewable” electricity — predominantly wind and solar power — is all the rage, described by numerous commentators, politicians, pundits, journalists, and other such “experts” as cost-competitive, clean, and a major part of the solution to the “existential crisis” now purportedly looming large as an attendant effect of anthropogenic climate change. A massive expansion of wind and solar power is a central component of the various proposals subsumed under the heading “Green New Deal” (GND), which has faded from the headlines for now, but which is very likely to return to prominence as next year’s presidential race intensifies.

Notwithstanding the romantic view

This article appears as “The Trouble with ‘Renewables’” in the October 28, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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