85 references critical or doubtful of the possibility of

100% renewable energy supply.

                                                                                                                 T. Trainer


These are articles I have come across and filed. They are not just claims/statements; most provide technical arguments. Most are from academic journals. 23 of the items are by me.

My view on the issue is that it is far from settled. All the studies I have looked at have serious challenges, especially re assumptions. I think there is a strong case that very high penetration renewable energy supply will be either very difficult and costly or not affordable. It is disturbing that the field remains chaotic. This is primarily because the right kind of studies, simulations, have not bee carried out in sufficient number and have not moved towards consensus re findings. (For a discussion of this point see “Some thoughts on the possibility of 100% renewable energy supply for Australia.“)


Alexander, S., (2012), Energy, “Can renewable energy sustain consumer societies?”Apr 26.

Andrews, R., (2017), “Australia, energy storage and the Blakers study”,  Energy Matters.  Nov. 13.

Bhandari; et al. (2015). "Energy payback time (EPBT) and energy return on energy invested (EROI) of solar photovoltaic systems: A systematic review and meta-analysis. In". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 47: 133–141. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.02.057.

Barnhart, C., et al., (2013), On the importance of reducing the energetic and material demands of electrical energy storage. Energy Environment Science, (6): 1083–1092).

Bossell, U., (2006), “Does a Hydrogen Economy Make Sense?”, Proceedings of the IEEE. Vol. 94, No. 10, October

Brook, B., (2013), “Counting the hidden costs of energy”, The Conversation, March 20.

Capellán-Pérez, I.; De Blas, I.; Nieto, J.; De Castro, C.; Miguel, L.J.; Carpintero, Ó.; Mediavilla, M.; Lobejón, L.F.; Ferreras-Alonso, N.; Rodrigo, P.; et al. (2020), “MEDEAS: A new modeling framework integrating global biophysical and socioeconomic constraints.” Energy Environ. Sci. 13, 986–1017.

Capellan-Perez, I., Carlos de Castro, L J. M. Gonzalez, (2019), “Dynamic Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI) and material requirements in scenarios of global transition to renewable energies”, Energy Strategy Reviews, Volume 26, November.

Clack, C. et al., (2017), “Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low cost grid power with 100% wind, water and solar”, PNAS, June 27, 114, 26, 6722 – 6727.

Dale, M., (Undated), A comparative analysis of energy costs of photovoltaic, solarthermal and wind electricity generation technologies

Appl. Sci.. Pages 1 - 13.

de Castro, C, and I. Capellán-Pérez, (2018), “Concentrated Solar Power: Actual Performance and Foreseeable Future in High Penetration Scenarios of Renewable Energies”, BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality, Volume 3, Aug. Article number: 14.

De Castro, C et al, , (2013), “Global solar electric potential: A review of their technical and sustainable limits”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 28, December, Pages 824-835

Dunn, M., (2017 Everything you need to know about Tesla’s battery in South Australia News.com http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/inventions/everything-you-need-to-know-about-teslas-battery-in-south-australia/news-story/a989f74cfccb8a1211de83f5becc60ed

Ferroni, F., and R. J. Hopkirk, (2016), “Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation”. Energy Policy 94, 336–344.

Friedmann, A., (2021), Life After Fossil Fuels: A Reality Check on Alternative Energy, Springer International Publishing. 207 pp.

Friedemann, A., www.energyskeptic.com 

Friedmann, A., (2015), When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, Springer.

Friedmann, A.,, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels,

Friedmann, A., “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”.

Friedmann, A., Podcasts: Collapse ChroniclesDerrick JensenPractical PreppingKunstlerCast 253KunstlerCast278Peak Prosperity , XX2 report

Friedmann, A., (2016), Heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell trucks a waste of energy and money”. EnergySkeptic, Sept.3.


Friedmann, A., (2017), Big Fight; 21 top scientists show why Jacobson and Delucchi’s renewable scheme is a delusional fantasy”, energyskeptic

Friedmann, A., (2016), “Diesel is finite. Trucks are the bedrock of civilization. So where are the battery electric trucks?energyskeptic, July 1.

Friedmann, A., (2016), When Trucks Stop Running, Dordrecht, Springer.

Friedmann, A., (2016), How is Californias’s AB2514 experiment with utility scale battery storage coming along? Dec.3. energyskeptic

Hall, C. A.S. G. L. Lambert, and S. B. Balough, (2014), “EROI of different fuels and the implications for society,” Energy Policy, 64.

Mearns, E., (2017), “100% renewable electricity in Australia’, Energy Matters, Nov 1. https://euanmearns.com/100-renewable-electricity-in-australia/

Heard, Brook, B.; Wigley, T. Bradshaw, C., (2017), “Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems”. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., 76, 1122–1133

Honnery, D. (2016), “Can renewable energy power the future?” Energy Pol. 2016, 93, 3–7.

International Energy Agency, (2021),The role of critical minerals in the transition to renewable energy, IEA, May. https://www.iea.org/reports/the-role-of-critical-minerals-in-clean-energy-transitions

Jasamine, C., (2018), “Electric car dreams may be dashed by 2050 on lack of cobalt, lithium supplies. March 16.  https://www.mining.com/electric-cars-dreams-may-shattered-2050-lack-cobalt-lithium-supplies/


Kingsnorth, P., Quoting Tim Morgan, in Tim Morgan blog, Quoted in
Intermission: The Machine Stops?
Oct  28. 2020(?)

Lang, P., (2020), PA Pundits – International, Australian Daily Wind Power Generation . Posted on Sun 07/26/2020 by TonyfromOzhttps://stopthesethings.com/2020/07/26/dead-calm-australias-wind-industry-suffering-from-prolonged-wind-drought/

Lèbre, Ã., Stringer, M., Svobodova, K. et al. The social and environmental complexities of extracting energy transition metals. Nat Commun 11, 4823 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18661-9

Lang, P., (2012), 100% renewable electricity for Australia – the cost

Brave New Climate,  

Loftus, P.J., Cohen, A.M., Long, J.C.S. Jesse, D. Jenkins, J.D., (2015), “A critical review of global decarbonization scenarios: What do they tell us about feasibility?” WIREs Clim. Chang. 6, 93–112.

Mackay, D., (2008), Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air, Version 3.5.2. November 3, 2008.

Means, E., (2017), “100% renewable electricity in Australia”, Nov.1. http://euanmearns.com

Michaux, S. p., (2021),  Assessment of the Extra Capacity Required of
Alternative Energy Electrical Power Systems to Completely Replace Fossil Fuels, 
Geological Survey of Finland, 20 August 2021 http://www.pelicanweb.org/solisustv17n10page12.html

Moriarty, P., (2012), “What is the global potential for renewable energy? Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16, 244–252 .

Moriarty, P. and D. Honnery, (2016), “Can renewable energy power the future?”, Energy Policy, 93, 3–7.

Moriaty, P., and D Honnery, (2021), “The limits of renewable energy”,  Energy, 25th June.

Moriarty, P., and Damon Honnery, (2020), “Feasibility of a 100% Global Renewable Energy System”, Energies, Oct.

Murphy, T., (2011), “Pump Up the Storage’, Do The Math.15th Nov.

Nieto, J., Carpintero, O.; Miguel, L.J.; de Blas, I. (2020), “Macroeconomic modelling under energy constraints: Global low carbon transition scenarios”. Energy Policy, 137, 111090.

Palmer, G., (2013), “Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power?” Sustainability, 2013, 5, 1406-1442; doi:10.3390/su5041406

Palmer, G. and J. Floyd, (2020), Energy Storage and Civilisation; A Systems Approach. Dodrecht, Springer.

Pellow, M. A., (2015), “Hydrogen or batteries for grid storage? A net energy analysis”, Energy Environ. Sci.8, 1938-1952, 8th April .

Prieto, P. A., (2017), “Spain’s solar revolution revisited”, ISBPE. Montana, June 20 .

Pickard, W. F., (2014), “Energy return on energy invested (EROI): A quintessential but possibly inadequate metric for sustainability in a solar-powered world.”” Proc. IEEE, 102, 1118–1122.

Pietro, P., (2021), 100% Decabonisation with 100% Energy Systems Through Power to Gas and Direct Electrification.  https://www.15-15.15.org/webzine/2021/04/02/report-100percent-decarbonization-with-100percent-renewable-energy-systems/

Seibert, M. K., and W. E. Rees , (2021), “Through the Eye of a Needle: An Eco-Heterodox Perspective on the Renewable Energy Transition”, Energies, 2021, 14, 4508. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154508

Shaner, M. R., S. J. Davis, N. S. Lewis, and J. Caldeira, (2018), “Geophysical constraints on the reliability of solar and wind power in the United States”, Energy & Env

Sinn, H. W., (2017), “Buffering Volatility. A study on the limits of Germany’s energy revolution”. European Economic Review. http://www.hanswernersinn.de/dcs/2017% in   20Buffering%20Volatility%20EER%2099%202017.pdf

Seibert, M. K., and W. E. Rees, (2021) “Through the Eye of a Needle: An Eco-Heterodox Perspective on the Renewable Energy Transition”, Energies, 2021, 14(15), 4508; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154508 (registering DOI)

Smil, V., (2019), “What we need to know about the pace of decarbonization.” Substantia 3(2) Suppl.1: 13-28. DOI: 10.13128/ Substantia-XXX

Smil, V. (2012), “A skeptic looks at alternative energy”. IEEE Spectr.  49, 46–52.

Smil, V.(2018),  “It’ll be harder than we thought to get the carbon out”, IEEE Spectr., 55, 72–75.

Tempe, J., (2018), “The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid”,  MIT Technology Review, July 28. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611683/the-25-trillion-reason-we-cant-rely-on-batteries-to-clean-up-the-grid/

Trainer, T., (2013), “Can Europe run on renewable energy? A negative case.” Energy Policy, 63, 845–85

Trainer, T., (2013), “100% Renewable supply? Comments on the reply by Jacobson and Delucchi to the critique by Trainer”. Energy Policy, 57, 634–640. 

Trainer, T., (2017), “Can renewables meet total Australian energy demand: A “disaggregated” approach”, Energy Policy,109, 539-544. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.07.040

Trainer, T., (2012), Critical comments on “Simulations of scenarios with 100% renewable electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market.  Solar 12011, 49th AuSES Annual Conference,  30 Nov – 2 Dec., By Ben Elliston, Mark Diesendorf and Iain MacGill, UNSW...Published in Energy Policy,17TH Aug.

Trainer, T., (2021), Some thoughts on The Gratton Report, Go For Net Zero, 2021. https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Go-for-net-zero-Grattan-Report.pdf (Sent to Gratton Inst., three times without response.)

Trainer, T, (2018), “Some questions concerning the Blakers et al. case that pumped hydro storage can enable 100% electricity supply.”, Energy Policy, (2019) 128, May, 470-475.)

Trainer, T., (2013), “Can the world run on renewable energy? An improved negative case,” Humanomics,  29, 2, pp. 88 -104.  http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0828-8666&volume=29&issue=2&articleid=17088332&show=html

Trainer, T., (2011), “Critical comments on Energy (R)evolution; A Sustainable Australian Energy Outlook.”,    

Trainer, T., 2013. Limits to solar thermal energy set by intermittency and low DNI: Implications from meteorological data. Energy Policy, 63, 910 -917.

Trainer, T, (2014), “Comments on the proposal for 100% renewable electricity supply for Australia by Ellistonn, Diesendorf and MacGill, Brave New Climate, June 2. https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/06/02/critique-100pc-renewables-edm/

Trainer, T., (2014) “The limits to solar thermal: Reply to Lilliestam et al.” Energy Policy, (75) 422 – 423.

Trainer T., (2017-18?, ), “Some factors that would affect the retail price for 100% Australian renewable electricity”,  Energy Policy,

Trainer, T., (2014), The limits to solar thermal power”, Energy Policy, 2014. DOI 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.05.020.

Trainer, T., (2014), “Some inconvenient theses,” Energy Policy, 62 168 – 174.

Trainer, T, (2019), “Some questions concerning the Blakers et al. case that pumped hydro storage can enable 100%.” Energy Policy, (2019) 128, May, 470-475.

Trainer, T., (2017), “Some problems in storing renewable energy. Energy Policy, 110, Nov., 386-393.

Trainer, T. (2018), "Estimating the EROI of whole systems for 100% renewable electricity supply capable of dealing with intermittency," Energy Policy, Vol. 119(C), 648-653.

Trainer, T., (2020), “Run everything on renewable energy? Consider the German experience.” Pearls and Irritations, 15th Dec. https://johnmenadue.com/the-german-experience-running-everything-on-renewable-energy/)

Trainer, T., (2018), “Estimating the performance of the Aurora CSP plant in poor conditions”, Energy Policy.

Trainer, T., (Undated), Renewable Energy Limits — A Brief Summary, Brave New World.

Trainer, (2017), Questioning “Our Renewable Future”: There is a stronger case than Heinberg and Fridley present. Resilience, 8TH Feb.

Trainer, T., (), “Estimating the EROI of whole systems for 100% renewable electricity supply capable of dealing with intermittency.” Energy Policy, vol. 119(C), 648-653

Trainer, T., (2016), “Brief critical notes on the UTS report,100% Renewable Energy for Australia: Decarbonising Australia’s Energy Sector Within One Generation, Prepared for: GetUp! and Solar Citizens.

Vikström, H., Davidsson, S., Höök, M., (2013), “Lithium availability and future production outlooks,” Applied Energy, 110(10): 252-266.

Weisback, D., G. Ruprecht, A. Huke, K. Cserski, S. Gottlleib and A. Hussein, (2013), “Energy intensities, EROIs and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants”, Energy, 52, 210- 221.

World Energy Council, (2015), http://sputniknews.com/environment/20151207/1031387439/energy-demand-renewable-energy.html#ixzz3tffri7pF