Wind energy subsidies to be discussed in Senate today–opportunity for input

Guest post By John Droz

The matter of how much, if any, federal subsidies that wind energy will get is being discussed (and maybe resolved) today.

Here is a video of the Senate Finance Committee hearing this morning on this (starts at minute 14):

    http://finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=0a55f72d-5056-a032-52a2-b1e30188a9c9

This is a sample recent article discussing these subsidies http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2102129,00.html

PLEASE call your representatives (especially your two senators) to voice your opinion on 1603 Grants and the PTC (Production Tax Credit).

When you phone, all you have to say is that you have an opinion on renewing the 1603 Grants (which expire in 2 weeks) and on the PTC (which expire at the end of 2012, but could be cancelled sooner). Given our financial situation, continued funding of wind energy may be of dubious value, 10 minutes of your time will let your senators know how you stand.

If you want further information to make an informed decision, please read the position piece I outlined on this matter (below).

An Outline of the Case Against Renewable Energy Subsidies

Renewable energy subsidies came about due to intense political pressure from lobbyists groups like AWEA. Their main arguments are NOT that these expenditures will provide us with reliable and inexpensive energy, but rather that these monies will promote jobs and economic benefits. Of course, as lobbyists they are paid to put the best spin on their client’s products that they can. In these times of more focused financial prudence, we need to look at such outlays in an objective light — especially since we are talking about many Billions of dollars (which still is a lot of money).

The fundamental question is: should the US taxpayer subsidize the renewable energy business? From my perspective as a scientist, I think we should support fledgling alternative energy options, under two criteria:1) if there is solid scientific evidence that they will be better than our conventional choices with regards to technical, economic and environmental considerations, and 2) only during the development cycle [i.e. the pre-grid phase]. Wind and solar are neither of these.

A more complex matter is whether mature technologies should be subsidized. My instinctive response is no, but there is a case to be made that if low cost and reliable energy sources can be made even less expensive to homeowners and businesses, then there can be genuine societal and business benefits to be gained from that. Again, this is not the case for wind or solar.

Renewable energy evangelists tend to confuse these points, saying that their “developing” source should be subsidized, since the mature sources are. This is a classic sales slight-of-hand trick, as this is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

The reality is that no matter which position you take about renewables (they are new, or they are old) they should not qualify for subsidies.

Yet, according to EIA statistics (for 2010, the latest fiscal year), the amount of federal subsidies for wind energy (as an example) exceeded the amounts for all conventional sources of electricity, combined. This is simply an extravagent waste of our resources.

Let’s look at the main assertions of the wind proponents, and see how they stack up:

Claim one: jobs

1) Numerous independent reports have concluded that the cost per job that renewable subsidies fund, is VERY high.*

2) Some independent studies have concluded that when we look at the big picture, that there is actually a net job LOSS from subsidizing renewables. One of the key reasons for this is that the cost of electricity produced by renewables is higher than our conventional sources, which leads to businesses cutting back and laying people off.

3) Some independent studies have shown that many of the jobs created when supporting renewable energy are actually foreign jobs. Is that a good use of our limited funds?

4) If the Billions were spent on other, more reliable forms of energy (e.g. gas or nuclear) MORE jobs would be created.

What we see in this (and their other arguments) is that lobbyists make a false comparison. For example, when they say a billion dollars of subsidy will create x wind jobs, their comparison is versus doing nothing. A more valid question is: what would be the number (and quality) of jobs resulting if we invested that same billion dollars elsewhere? They NEVER accurately answer that critical question!

Consistent with all this, a Federal Oversight Committee recently released their report on the failure of the green jobs program <<http://tinyurl.com/5rmkgxl>>.

Claim two: economic development

The fact is that if this same money went to fund reliable, clean, sustainable energy like nuclear power, that there would be just as much (if not more) economic development that will result. A particular area of importance is mini-nuclear (SMRs: Small Modular Reactors). Providing political and economic support for that one area would be a game-changer in the energy business, and have profoundly beneficial technical and economic results for the US. We need to be the leader in this technology of tomorrow. If we are not, be assured that China will take over that role.

Claim three: energy independence

Funding wind energy with subsidies does not give us energy independence. There are several technical reasons for this. For instance, consider the fact that in every wind turbine there is something like 4000 pounds of rare earth elements. China produces 95±% percent of these rare earth elements, so the more turbines we buy, the more dependent we are on the China. That is not energy independence. Furthermore, the extreme reliance on rare earth elements is not considered sustainable either (which is another green mantra).

Claim four: CO2 reduction

Despite all the claims of the wind lobbyists there is zero independent scientific proof that wind energy makes a consequential reduction in CO2. Zero. One of the reasons for this is that there is no such thing as wind by itself. Wind must ALWAYS be augmented by a conventional source of power, usually by a low cost/low efficiency version of gas. The net CO2 savings of this combination are very low (if any) — significantly less than would be attained by the same amount nuclear or geothermal capacity. Actually wind+gas is likely to save less CO2 than what would result from a high-efficiency gas option by itself! So why have the wind component?

Claim five: they need the handouts

Wind lobbyists are always pleading poverty, which is what they are paid to do. The fact is that wind energy development is one of the most profitable businesses in the country. TB Pickens stated that as a wind developer he would expect to make at least 25% profit per year! We need to subsidize such a business?

Additionally the OMB and Treasury found severe problems with “the economic integrity of government support for renewables.” <<http://tinyurl.com/4amebep>>. Such an assessment should give Congress severe pause for continuing such handouts.

Summary

When all is said and done renewable subsidies (like Production Tax Credits, 1603 Grants, etc.) usually end up supporting a high-cost, low-benefit sources of energy. Clearly we can spend our resources better. We should focus on solutions that have a proper scientific assessment (i.e. technical, economic and environmental) thatproves that they are cost-beneficial. No such proof exists for wind or solar.

More Information

*This is intended to be a VERY brief overview. All of the statements above can be supported by references. For example, for a more detailed, science-based assessment of our energy policy, see EnergyPresentation.Info, which has several pages of references.

Here are two pertinent articles of interest:

   A summary of wind economics: <<http://tinyurl.com/343wrzv>>

   Sample critique of 1603 Grants: <<http://tinyurl.com/4c8mz6u>>

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54 Responses to Wind energy subsidies to be discussed in Senate today–opportunity for input

  1. Phillip Bratby says:

    It’s exactly the same in the UK. Huge subsidies, grid instability concerns and no evidence to support the claim of CO2 emissions reductions. Fuel poverty is on the increase due to the increased electricity costs and poor people are having to choose between keeping warm and eating. The wind developers, led by the BWEA (now restyled RenewableUK) do not care as long as the subsidies keep rolling in. There are likely to be electricity supply shortages in a few years time as coal and nuclear are replaced by intermittent wind energy. Then people will really die and there will be civil unrest.

  2. vboring says:

    The argument against subsidies is simple:

    Several states have renewable energy mandates. These are the ONLY markets that large scale renewable energy is being built to serve.

    Federal subsidies of renewable energy are cross-subsidy pork projects to benefit these states. It forces states with no renewable energy mandates to help pay for utilities to meet state mandates.

    The state mandates are essentially equivalent to infinite subsidies, so the subsidies have no impact whatsoever on the amount of large scale renewable energy construction – but a pronounced impact on the timing of construction.

    Effectively, the subsidies spread the cost of renewable energy onto all taxpayers instead of limiting these extra costs to residents of states that have chosen to create renewable energy mandates.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Imagine if 20% of our energy generation infrastructure were wind. Now imagine a storm with 100mph winds taking out that generating capacity. Not only must the distribution infrastructure be replaced (replace downed power lines, takes days to weeks) but now the actual generation capacity must be replaced due to demolished / damaged turbines. (could be a much longer lead time and much more expensive proposition to replace turbines).

    This makes NO SENSE.

  4. HaroldW says:

    “For example, when they say a billion dollars of subsidy will create x wind jobs, their comparison is versus doing nothing. A more valid question is: what would be the number (and quality) of jobs resulting if we invested that same billion dollars elsewhere? They NEVER accurately answer that critical question!

    An even better question is, “What would be the number (and quality) of jobs resulting if the same amount of money was left in the hands of the taxpaying public?”

  5. More Soylent Green! says:

    Harry Reid and the Democrats still control the Senate, so I don’t expect much to come from this. However, sometimes, they do let the minority speak, so it may be worth the effort to post your input.

  6. Scott Covert says:

    Can the senate push these subsidies without support from the House of Representitives?

    The house is making great sport shooting holes in the Senates hopes and dreams lately. I think better use of your time would be to make sure your opinions are voiced to your Reps.

  7. Adam Gallon says:

    In the UK, we’re halving the subsidies being paid for solar energy programmes. If only wind were next, the building of those bloody bird-choppers would be binned!
    Fenbeagle’s contribution is worth looking at!
    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/dont-shill-for-shally/
    One commentator notes:-
    “Turbines required = 800MW power station output x 80% uptime / 3.6MW per windmill x 30% avg output = 592 windmills!!”

  8. Dr. Dave says:

    Just like the ethanol boondoggle, the subsidies are only half of the problem. The other half is government mandated use of these “alternative”, “renewable” or “sustainable” energy sources. If we ended the subsidies paid for gas, coal, hydroelectric or nuclear power generation we might end up paying a little more for electricity as consumers, but these industries would certainly not cease to exist. Such is not the case with solar, wind or ethanol. These industries would implode without mandated use and subsidies. This is economic idiocy.

  9. Gary says:

    Calling my two idiot senators is a waste of time. They’re totally committed to the wind energy boondoggle. All I’ll get back is a letter thanking me for my concern and some drivel justifying their boneheaded position.

  10. Mike Abbott says:

    John, you make this statement in your article, “The fact is that wind energy development is one of the most profitable businesses in the country. TB Pickens stated that as a wind developer he would expect to make at least 25% profit per year! We need to subsidize such a business?”

    What is not clear from your statement is that it is precisely because of such subsidies that Pickens expected to realize a profit of at least 25% — and with very little risk. This is explained in detail in this 2008 article: http://www.wind-watch.org/alerts/2008/05/13/pickens-profits-show-why-ptc-should-not-be-extended/. Things may have changed since then.

  11. Eric Seufert says:

    Blows my mine how Western Civilization in on the brink of collapse due to government SPENDING, and there are all these special interests out there with their hands out and politicians in both parties mostly gladly and willing to throw out the cash and potentially our societies with it.

    This ignores the fact that if these are such good industries, then why do they need my money given (not earned) to them to succeede. News flash, I go to Germany every year and there is a solar panel farm on very other roof. It is as cheap as it will ever be.

  12. Roy UK says:

    It would be nice to know if any of our American friends called their representatives and gave an opinion (one way or another).

    My guess is that Obama will have his green shirts waiting to call their senators to support these subsidies.

  13. PM says:

    Does anybody have any accurate information about how long a windmill takes to ‘pay back’ it’s carbon footprint and what proportion manage to pay it back during their lifetime?

  14. Dave says:

    Here is an interesting comment I came across:
    WilliamLange
    Instead of all the hand wringing and intellectualizing about global warming, do something! I have a U.S. patent (pending) which details a low cost, and efficient, wind turbine design. Rather than soaring 500 feet in the air, it operates quite nicely on 20 foot towers. Rather than rotating at right angles to the wind, it rotates with the wind. Rather than locating the generator, complex mechanisms, and most maintenance, at the top of a 300 foot tower, it locates the generator at ground level. I could go on, and on, about design features but then my patent is only “pending”. I will include it’s most important feature. It will not require government funding to remain a viable energy source.
    Here is my reply:

    Dave Gibson
    Hi William.
    I am a AGW skeptic but I agree we need to look after the planet/ oceans in the the most practical way. This does not include a lot a crazy solar and wind farms Ect… or listening to Eco fanatics demanding a complete rewrite of modern civilization to solve a lot of the basic problems.
    I Have always been a conservationist and a lover of nature, but I am also a practical man who can smell a con job and the UN- IPPC crowd are just that .

    It’s not the climate for them it’s about the money as evidenced in the last money grubbing COP 17 in Durban.

    However being a hands on practical person I like your wind power solution, it makes mechanical and maintenance sense.
    I think you are talking about an affordable unit that is easy to repair and durable enough to lock down safely and can generate power in almost any wind strength except a hurricane?
    I particularly like the Idea that It will not require government funding to remain a viable energy source.
    How does one get in touch with you and good luck on the patent process.
    Dave.
    See more in the Warmit alarmist rag
    Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas
    Russian research team astonished after finding ‘fountains’ of methane bubbling to surface

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-sea-ice-releases-deadly-greenhouse-gas-6276134.html
    And here is a common sense comment to the nonsensical arlarisym!
    Wayne Delbeke
    And when it was ice covered do they think the methane stopped flowing??? I Have observed methane coming through holes drill in ice for 60 years. This is nothing new for those of us who live with snow and ice for 6 months of the year and my guess is that these Russians know it …. but “Publish or die” is a rule everywhere.

  15. Merovign says:

    Well, at least the abandoned giant wind farms will make good post-apocalyptic movie sets in thirty years’ time, provided we can afford movies after spending all our money on below-cost solar panels and intermittent power generators.

  16. Dishman says:

    Eric Seufert wrote:

    Blows my mine how Western Civilization in on the brink of collapse due to government SPENDING, and there are all these special interests out there with their hands out and politicians in both parties mostly gladly and willing to throw out the cash and potentially our societies with it.

    They’re trying to steal what they can before the music stops.

  17. Ken Smith says:

    Thanks for the tip. Oddly enough, earlier today I happened to run across a pro-wind power website that was asking people to write their representative to plead for more subsidies and mandates for the wind industry. I happily clicked through to my representative and submitted the following:

    Dear Rep. Berg:

    I am writing to plead with you to vote AGAINST continued funding for wind power projects, and to resist and/or roll back if possible all North Dakota renewable mandates unless they are strictly limited in duration and meet strict efficiency standards.

    I was once a fan of windmills. When the Tatanka wind farm was going up in Dickey County a few years ago, I would drive out on an almost weekly basis to watch and admire the construction. I still think they are marvels of engineering and in a way they are sort of majestic. I still like to take pictures of them.

    However I have learned, rather slowly and painfully, that all things considered, these windmills are no friend of electricity consumers or taxpayers generally. They are inherently inefficient and represent what I think is a significant misallocation of both state and private resources. This misallocation will only become more glaring once the true nature of our natural gas resources becomes widely known.

    Mandating that a certain percentage of our electricity be generated by windmills is like mandating that farmers can harvest 90% of their crops with new state-of-the-art combines, but must harvest the other 10% with relatively inefficient, antique early ‘70s vintage machines. Sure, it would be a great benefit to one segment of the economy—namely the people who would sell and maintain that old equipment. But it represents a net economic loss.

    Despite the numerous exalted claims made by the wind power industry and echoed by environmentalists, I am convinced that industrial-scale wind power is a dead end. I say this knowing that my community gets money funneled to it from the scheme.

    I hope you will, at the very least, propose that the REAL costs and benefits of alternate energy programs (as well as traditional ones) be made entirely publicly accessible and transparent. I have a feeling that if ordinary citizens knew the truth about what wind power costs and who pays for it, they would be overwhelmingly against it.

    Thank you for considering my views.

    Kenneth L. Smith
    Ellendale, ND

  18. Bart says:

    Same problem as solar power: absurdly low energy density. The amount of material needed to construct enough units to make a significant contribution to our overall energy needs is massive, and would require decades if not (more likely) centuries to bring on line. The real estate needed is mind-blowing, and the environmental impact horrendous.

    If we want an alternative to fossil fuels, there is only one practical, energy dense solution: nuclear power.

  19. DonB in VA says:

    The argument against energy subsidies is quite simple: If it were so great it wouldn’t need subsidies.

  20. Dr. Dave says:

    The author’s claim of 4,000 lbs of rare earth elements per wind turbine seems a bit high to me. But it is impossible to dispute that each whirligig needs its own generator and for that rare earth elements are necessary. Each turbine duplicates machinery in a manner quite the opposite of coal, gas, hydroelectric or nuclear electricity generation.

    Sooner or later I believe the nation will wake up to the reality that wind power is folly. There is no valid reason to generate electricity with wind when we have abundant coal and gas and tremendous potential for nuclear. Today at PJMedia there is a fascinating article about rare earths.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/chinas-rare-earths/?singlepage=true

  21. Larry Fields says:

    Living in California, I’m more sanguine about the prospects for solar in the Western U.S. But I also say: Let’s cut off all giveaways to the Wind Power corporate welfare bums. We have much higher priorities for our tax dollars.

  22. Dave says:

    Here’s some good news and common sense from potential investors. The beginning of the end maybe?

    NRG DROPS DELAWARE OFFSHORE WIND FARM PROJECT
    NRG Energy brought development of a key offshore wind project off the coast of Delaware to a screeching halt on Monday. Saying the development of a new domestic offshore industry was ridden with “monumental challenges,” the Princeton, N.J., company cited its inability to find an investment partner, a lack of federal loan guarantees, and the looming expiration of wind tax incentives as key reasons behind its decision.
    Read More »
    http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4231.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2345638&hq_l=4&hq_v=d0622051c2

  23. Dave says:

    OT
    Here’s some more good news. Don’t it bring a smile to your face.
    VATTENFALL’S JANSCHWALDE DEMO IS LATEST IN STRING OF CCS PROJECTS SHELVED

    Vattenfall last week scrapped a much-awaited €1.5 billion ($2 billion) carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project it planned to build and begin operating by 2015 in the German federal state of Brandenburg, blaming “insufficient will in German federal politics.”
    Read More »
    http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4233.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2345638&hq_l=5&hq_v=d0622051c2

  24. Larry Fields says:

    One more thing. If the prices for Rare Earth Elements go through the roof, I’d expect wind turbines to become attractive targets for metal thieves, assuming that the figure of 4000 pounds of REEs per turbine is accurate . In addition to the currently outrageous high cost for Wind Power, we’d need to spend even more for armed security at these facilities.

  25. 1DandyTroll says:

    Subsidies for windmills is bad for other reason as well as pointed out.

    We have less then five percent of fossil fuel usage, and that’s during the harshest winters, due to nuclear and hydro and because there still isn’t any economical incentive to do large scale energy forestry–you actually have to have the subsidies for that area to make a profit.

    So pretty much the largest part of the remaining 95% of emitters are from cargo trucks, since most of the trains ferry people.

    And what did the environmentalist party, and all the other crazed climate hippies make sure the more than 200 billions of the money went?

    To windmills, instead of the much needed extension to the railway infrastructure to support freight trains and high speed passenger trains at the same time, that would have cost…200 billion of that same money during the same time period.

    Did we lower our CO2 emissions? No!

    Get more jobs? No!

    Get people to go by train, instead of plane? No!

    Does cargo and passenger reach their destinations faster? No!

    But we did scrap one nuclear power plant, and our electricity prices, plural for all the new taxes that was amended during the same time period, sky rocketed, but we did get the bird choppers around our bird lakes and marshes and cut down large areas of formerly protected forests.

    Was the NGOs happy? Yes! Every single one had nothing bad to say…at first.

  26. Dave says:

    But the Madness goes on with the existing Wind farms and the government. It seems that the customer CANNOT get the most reasonably priced electricity
    .
    FERC Finds for Wind Generators in BPA Curtailment Dispute

    POWERnews

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week ruled that the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) discriminated against wind generators when it used its transmission market power to curtail wind power after high river flows and high wind last May and June caused generation on the BPA system to exceed power demand.

    FERC said in an order last week that granted a petition filed by a group of owners of wind facilities in the Pacific Northwest that the BPA used its market power to “protect its preferred power customer base from costs it does not consider socially optimal.” FERC also directed the BPA (under authority granted to it in section 211A of the Federal Power Act, FPA) to revise its curtailment practices and to file a revised open access transmission tariff (OATT) with the commissions within 90 days.
    The dispute stemmed from high seasonal river flows and hydro generation this summer that had prompted the BPA to temporarily limit output from nonhydropower resources—including wind. The BPA said it was forced to make that decision because it would “safeguard protected fish and assure reliable energy delivery without shifting extra costs to BPA electric customers.”

    But the decision made by the agency—which also operates and maintains about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in a service territory that includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana, and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming—was “wrongheaded,” the wind industry said, claiming it could cost wind companies tens of millions of dollars.
    More….
    http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4230.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2345638&hq_l=6&hq_v=d0622051c2

  27. Matthew says:

    Are any of them vulnerable this election cycle? Tell them that you’ll be donating to their opponents if they don’t squash renewable subsidies.

  28. Hearings are a gross waste of time. It is the amount of lobbying money being invested by the wind power industry and the NGO of all stripes will make the difference. Any subsidy of anything is foolish and counterproductive. Just like the financial and auto industry it will depend on which and how many politicians have their hands in what pockets.

  29. H.R. says:

    Ohhhh… so this explains the advertisement I saw on TV last night.

    It was a political ad paid for by some unicorns-and-rainbows sounding group and the ad said that congress (senate?) was going to raise taxes on wind energy which would destroy our energy future and all the green jobs created by the wind power industry. The ad urged viewers to contact their representative and urge them to oppose raising taxes on wind energy companies.

    Anyone else (USA) see something like that?

    My only thought, besides “must barf now,” was that there must be some talk of cutting subsidies to wind power and that the wind industry was spinning it as a “tax.”

  30. observa says:

    Quite a good discussion of the problem here with the usual objectors in comments-
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/11/30/solar-wind-combined/
    Brave New Climate is run by Barry Brook from Adelaide University in South Australia and while he’s a committed warmist, he’s automatically a heretic among them for advocating nuclear as the only sensible alternative to fossill fuels. Whilst I would be more agnostic on CO2 induced warming than Barry, I can respect a man of science re his policy prescriptions.

  31. KLA says:

    What has not been posted is the real reason for all the subsidies, loan guarantees and other “green” schemes. Newsweek had an article about this:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/how-obama-s-alternative-energy-programs-became-green-graft.html

  32. Mr.D.Imwit says:

    Well have a look at this http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.htm A kick in the balls for windpower.l

  33. Pamela Gray says:

    If subsidizing wind power is considered to be an important part of the US budget during a recession, I see no valid reason to deny my request to subsidize my chocolate and red wine needs. So Obama, add me to that budget!

    Which begs the question, just how important is the wind power subsidy anyhow?

    Answer: Damned Important!

  34. John Marshall says:

    As a scientist you feel that fledgling green energy production should be supported.

    Why?

    As a scientist you should look at all aspects of the problem before coming to a decision. On all aspects wind energy, an oxymoron if ever I heard one, fail apart from the fact that occasionally the wind blows at speeds acceptable to the turbines to produce power.

  35. P. Solar. says:

    >> The fact is that if this same money went to fund reliable, clean, sustainable energy like nuclear power,
    >>

    Reliable and clean huh? Try telling that to the 200,000 people displaced by the Fukupshima accident.

    Perhaps you’ll say that’s apple pollution and not orange pollution and should not be taken into account.

    Your argument is as twisted and biased as those you are out to criticise.

  36. P. Solar. says:

    >> Blows my mine how Western Civilization in on the brink of collapse due to government SPENDING.

    Yep, like “spending” $100bn given to the banks without even President being allowed to know actually WHO got the money.

  37. dojo says:

    The main point of subsidy is help a new technology break into a market.

    Economy of scale and invested relations always favour the status quo of established firms and technology.

    Once the advantages of a new technology become unavoidable they will be adopted. That may be 20 years later than the most advantageous time to get into the change.

  38. Pamela Gray says:

    dojo, wind power, by its very nature, has a HUGE footprint in relation to the power it generates, and it always will (unless you think you can change the natural laws of physical mechanics). This new technology is as antigreen planet as China’s smog. Subsidizing it is a means to a vote, nothing else. And certainly has nothing to do with “new technology”. Every farm in the US used to have a windmill.

  39. john says:

    Switch to ‘green’ energy sources will push up electricity bills by 25%, admits Government

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2074418/Switch-green-energy-sources-push-electricity-bills-25–admits-Government.html

    excerpt:

    The study concluded that electricity prices are likely to rise by 41 per cent by 2020 in real terms – with more than half the increase a result of switching to ‘low carbon’ energy sources.
    In total, ‘green’ measures will add 23.8 per cent to the price of electricity.
    The impact on families will vary according to consumption, but the report found that those whose homes are heated by electricity could see their annual bills rise by more than £400.
    The analysis also suggests that a new ‘carbon price floor’ – introduced on the pretext of cutting carbon emissions – will effectively act as a tax, raising £3billion a year for the Treasury from electricity consumers by 2020.
    The CCC’s report suggests that people whose homes are heated by electricity will see their average bills rise from about £1,500 to £2,100 in 2020.
    Around £400 of the projected increase is directly related to ‘low-carbon measures’.

  40. Greg Holmes says:

    Brilliant, I wish that the UK would read this, but we have the mad Huhne spending even more on this rubbish. He must have a plumb job lined up when we eventually get rid of him.

  41. More Soylent Green! says:

    P. Solar. says:
    December 15, 2011 at 3:54 am
    >> Blows my mine how Western Civilization in on the brink of collapse due to government SPENDING.

    Yep, like “spending” $100bn given to the banks without even President being allowed to know actually WHO got the money.

    Stupid is as stupid does, huh, or is it one stupid thing deserves another?

  42. More Soylent Green! says:

    China controls roughly 90% of the rare earth resources, and we require rare earth elements to construct these turbines. How does contribute towards energy independence?

  43. Douglas DC says:

    Pamela Gray-there is a plan afoot to cover Cricket Flats with Wind power..
    Heard that from a local OTEC guy.
    For those of you who aren’t denizens of NE Oregon, Cricket Flat is a farm/ranch
    area in mostly N Union co. also very windy. There is a local group that is fighting all of this.
    OTEC is the Union/Baker Co. Electric CO-OP that hasn’t seen a Govn’t subsidy it doesn’t like.
    I’d take a Natural Gas Plant or better yet a Thorium Pebble Bed reactor any day…

  44. D. Patterson says:

    P. Solar. says:
    December 15, 2011 at 3:44 am
    >> The fact is that if this same money went to fund reliable, clean, sustainable energy like nuclear power,
    >>

    Reliable and clean huh? Try telling that to the 200,000 people displaced by the Fukupshima accident.

    Perhaps you’ll say that’s apple pollution and not orange pollution and should not be taken into account.

    Your argument is as twisted and biased as those you are out to criticise.

    The precautionary evacuations took place because of the hysteria being provoked by the fear mongers dedicated to portraying nuclear power plants as unsafe. The reported levels of radiation measured are typically lower than the radiation you are exposed to by sleeping in bed next to your spouse’s normally radioactive body. The evacuations were only necessary to calm the fears which the fearmongers promoted with baseless accusations.

    The nuclear power plant underwent a tsunami having much greater force than what it was designed to survive. Nonetheless, the containment worked well enough to avoid radiation exposures any worse than normal everyday exposures. The radiation exposure outside the power plant is lower than what you experience on long commercial air flights. The newer nuclear power plants are much safer than the early designs used at Fukushima, which were recommended to be shutdown and replaced due to their age and eqarly design. If it hadn’t been for the scaremongers trying to shutdown the nuclear power industry with irrational fears, Fkushima and the other early nuclear power plants would already have been replaced with newer and safer plants located away from the areas at risk from tsunami damage. The anti-nuclear activists are responsible for the consequences of the precautionary evacuations caused by the unnecessary fear and any increased risks caused by the inability to replace the older plant designs.

    perhaps the evacuees should consider suing the anti-nuclear propagandists for their losses suffered as a consequence of the unnecessary evacuations?

  45. Allan MacRae says:

    I have studied this subject for decades and I agree with the above guest post by John Droz.

    Any energy technology that requires life-of-project subsidies is fundamentally uneconomic and anti-environmental. To date, this includes corn ethanol, some biodiesel, and grid-connected wind and solar power.

    Technological improvements could hypothetically improve some of these renewable energy schemes over time, but most are already technologically mature.

    A super-battery, consisting of millions of electric cars plugged into the grid, could significantly improve the economics of wind and solar power.

  46. More Soylent Green! says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    December 15, 2011 at 10:02 am
    I have studied this subject for decades and I agree with the above guest post by John Droz.

    Any energy technology that requires life-of-project subsidies is fundamentally uneconomic and anti-environmental. To date, this includes corn ethanol, some biodiesel, and grid-connected wind and solar power.

    Technological improvements could hypothetically improve some of these renewable energy schemes over time, but most are already technologically mature.

    A super-battery, consisting of millions of electric cars plugged into the grid, could significantly improve the economics of wind and solar power.

    I haven’t studied this for that long, but no disagreement. The technology is not ready-for-prime-time and may never be. The energy density with wind is simply not there, and may never be.

    These subsidizes just enrich a few with the taxes of the many.

    As someone previously mentioned, the mandates for alternate energy also must be addressed and revoked.

  47. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Now I know why, here in central Pennsylvania with no cable and broadcast-only, I’ve been assaulted for a few weeks by non-stop any-time-of-day TV commercials to stop Congress from ‘imposing unfair taxes’ on the wind industry, which will force American jobs overseas.

    We’re getting the turbines from China, like those used in this large Texas wind farm, also from Europe. Things like the concrete and the steel towers are sourced in the US due to prohibitive transportation costs. If they stopped putting up turbines then we’d lose the US manufacturing and installation jobs but we wouldn’t be importing parts and materials for putting up windmills. Thus I fail to see how jobs would be sent overseas by killing the subsidies, aka ‘taxing the wind industry’. But then I’m not a marketing genius working for rabid windpower activists and/or windpower profiteers.

    Here’s the site the ads are directing people to go visit, click on “Wind Energy by 2030 Fact Sheet” (pdf link, 3.6MB for only two pages of glossy graphics) and experience a curious disconnection from reality:
    http://www.saveusawindjobs.com/

  48. john says:

    Quebec to start cap-trade climate plan with California

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1102549–quebec-to-start-cap-trade-climate-plan-with-california?bn=1

    What is interesting here is all the work being done to run transmission lines into New England to balance all of the wind projects going up. Furthermore, hydroelectric power sent to New England from Quebec did not qualify for Renewable Energy Credits.

    http://www.electricityforum.com/news/mar10/MaineconsidersimpactofHydroQuebec.html

    excerpt:

    John Kerry, the director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security, said steady Canadian hydroelectric capacity could balance Maine’s production of wind energy.

    “I think we should work collaboratively with our Canadian neighbors,” Kerry said in an interview. “I underscore that we should do it at arm’s length and be prudent, but we should see it as an opportunity.”

    For its part, Hydro-Quebec said that its wind capacity, aside from about 150 megawatts for Massachusetts and Connecticut, is for Quebec consumption, and hydroelectric power like that in Hydro-Quebec’s portfolio does not qualify for valuable renewable energy certificates, or RECs, traded in New England.

    The question now to be asked is, does this deal change the way Hydro Quebec’s hydroelectric power is treated regarding REC’s?

  49. observa says:

    Here in Australia where Federal Labor are introducing a carbon tax starting at $23/tonne, their State counterparts are busy ditching the ‘Greenwash’-http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/greenwash-call-on-desalination/story-e6frea83-1226223353066?from=public_rss
    Supposedly Adelaide’s new desal plant was going to run on wind largely but the cost of ‘waterproofing’ Adelaide with the new plant was getting prohibitive anyway. It was no sooner nearing completion in response to the long General Drought (naturally blamed on global warming by the usual suspects) when down came the rains and Australia was flooded everywhere. Problem is, Adelaide water consumers are saddled with a contractual commitment to buy so much water from the desal plant to guarantee a return on it and with water bills skyrocketing, naturally the polllies are scrambling for obvious savings.

  50. Dan in California says:

    P. Solar. says: December 15, 2011 at 3:44 am
    >> The fact is that if this same money went to fund reliable, clean, sustainable energy like nuclear power,
    >>
    Reliable and clean huh? Try telling that to the 200,000 people displaced by the Fukupshima accident.
    —————————————————–
    Closer to 20,000 than 200,000 and most of them are back home now. They were displaced by the Japanese government as a precaution. There were zero injuries and zero deaths as a result of the problems at the drowned nuke power plants (unless you count the heart attack, two drownings and two guys crushed when the wall of water hit). It was the tsunami that directly killed thousands of people.

  51. Pamela Gray says:

    Douglas DC knows what he is talking about. These old farms and ranches in NE Oregon are littered here and there with the decaying metal remnants of “new technology”. These metal fossils are fun to look at because they don’t “cover” the landscape, they just litter the corners of most pastures and fields. Imagine an entire field littered with wind power fossils.

  52. Wind Power has an Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI) Ratio of less than 1; by my calculations 0.29, depending on various factors..

    By definition, wind power is unsustainable.

    Why would you expend over 3 barrels of oil energy to find only one barrel of oil? This is the promise of wind power.

    Of course wind power, like solar, needs subsidies. If it weren’t for susidies wind farms would never get built.

  53. old44 says:

    As an addition to observa says: December 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm
    In Victoria, a Labor government also commissioned the building of a desal plant that was going to run on wind for only $3.5 billion construction cost, now blown out to $4.5 billion largely because it was located on the flood plain of the Powlett River and it rained (a lot) instead of building a $1 billion dam that would provide 3 times the water. Total cost over the life of the contract $25 billion if they don’t turn it on, and $35 billion if they want water. Queensland and NSW have also mothballed their desal plants.

  54. larryjoss says:

    happy xmas to all wattsupwiththat.com-ers

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