The real problem with the unreliables is not just a low EROEI but the dragged out and erratic profile of the energy delivery. Oil, coal and gas can be 100 % utilized as soon as they are available(100 % dispatchable and distributable) whereas wind and solar comes in dribs and drabs over 10 or 20 years before they break even on the original energy expended. They can never build themselves. On a net present value or time value basis they are a dead loss which is why they are and will always be uneconomic.
Unreliables do not deliver energy:
- How it is needed – unpredictable and not 24/7/365. Solar is 10 to 20% and wind 15 to 23% – not dispatchable.
- When it is needed – rarely during peak demand times during day or in winter
- Where it is needed – not easily distributed plus has normal line losses with distance. Cannot be located where is is most needed.
Wind and solar do not deliver energy how, when, or where it is needed. They are not reliable, cheap, dispachable at peak need or 24/7/365 and cannot be located near high demand areas. So called green energy has to be paired with storage or full backup to be useful so it has too low of a EROEI to power modern society. The energy comes in dribs and drabs over the years so no renewable can build itself and can never be economic on a net present value or time value basis. We need to provide cheap abundant energy to everyone which will raise the standard of living which will also solve population growth fears.
Some people seem to think that electric cars will become popular enough that they will lower the demand for oil which ignores the logic trap – that cannot occur because it would mean that oil prices would be so low that electric cars would never have better economics than gasoline cars.