2035 is 15 years from today. Presidential candidate Joe Biden unveiled his plan to eliminate all carbon-based fuels for electricity generation.

Most people have no idea how large the numbers are for producing energy. The scope is mind boggling.

Here is an analysis from Professor Roger Pielke, Jr:

To illustrate what this translate into in real world terms, we would have to bring online a new nuclear power plant every two weeks from now through 2035.

Or, build 1,700 two MW wind turbines every two weeks, or 121 new wind turbines every day. And since these do not produce power 24 x 7, additional power sources would be required.

Compare this to other large infrastructure projects:

  • It is taking ten years for Portland to update a major water line and water plant.
  • The California high speed rail project was launched in 2008, with construction starting in 2015. Phase 1 is to be completed by 2033. That’s 25 years. For a single railway. And it will not even be complete.
  • Think of other “big” projects and how many years – or decades – they’ve taken to complete. It took 2 1/2 years just replace a 100 yard, 4 lane roadway bridge over a local river.

Can we realistically build the equivalent of two large scale nuclear power plants every two weeks for the next 15 years? You can change the desired electrical power sources – bigger nuclear power plants, or bigger solar PV and grid-sized battery storage systems (using technology not yet in existence) – but no matter how you slice it, the enormity is mind boggling and there is no precedence to believe the scope of this undertaking is achievable. Do we even have enough workers to achieve this? We’d have to take workers out of other functions – such as building offices, homes, factories – meaning we disrupt everything else to focus on this one task.

By EdwardM