Wind power plug pulled in Illinois

End of tax credit a blow for wind power industry

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Up to 37,000 jobs, many in Illinois, could be lost as projects are halted or abandoned

By Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune reporter

The wind power industry is predicting massive layoffs and stalled or abandoned projects after a deal to renew a tax credit failed Thursday in Washington.

The move is expected to have major ramifications in states such as Illinois, where 13,892 megawatts of planned wind projects — enough to power 3.3 million homes per year — are seeking to be connected to the electric grid. Many of those projects will be abandoned or significantly delayed without federal subsidies.

The state is home to more than 150 companies that support the wind industry. At least 67 of those make turbines or components for wind farms. Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of powerful Midwestern winds.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0217-wind-ptc–20120217,0,7153601.story

h/t to CRS, DrPH

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226 Responses to Wind power plug pulled in Illinois

  1. GeoLurking says:

    Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies”

    Gee, I wonder why that is. And don’t tell me it’s because it’s the ‘Windy City.’

  2. hopefully they’ll take their rubbish with them, and restore the environment before they go.
    how are the european/russian wind and solar networks going, or not going, in light of the snow storms atm?

  3. Andrew says:

    “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind…”

  4. Camasinian says:

    So why are they shutting down? They can still take advantage of the powerful midwestern winds. Or, were they more interested in taking advantage of the taxpayer funded subsidies and tax breaks?

  5. bazza norwood says:

    great news they should pull the lot down and sell the steel for scrap.i off for a beer to celebrate.

  6. Alan the Brit says:

    The end of the “Wind” world is nigh? Hopefully!

  7. Bruce says:

    “Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of powerful Midwestern winds.”

    Yeah ff course they would. Chicago is most corrupt city in the world and the wind industry is just one big con.

    Made for each other.

  8. Royaul43 says:

    Without Federal subsidies, there is no viable commercial wind power business.

  9. Sandy says:

    Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of powerful [Midwestern winds] Democrat subsidies.

  10. Phillip Bratby says:

    Love it. I wish we could get the enormous subsidies for wind power stopped in the UK. The cost of electricity from wind in the UK ranges from at least two (large wind farms) to ten times (small domestic turbines) the cost of electricity produced by proper power stations. As a result of the cost of the subsidies being added onto electricity bills, we have massive fuel poverty. And the most scenic countryside is not being spared the relentless march of the white elephants.

  11. Tucci78 says:

    Ah, how nice, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) members must be exulting over the end of this bat-mangling and bird-whacking boondoggle with loud huzzahs and dancing in the streets fit to frighten the chipmunks, mustn’t they?

    Er, they’re not?

    “Never mind.”

  12. eyesonu says:

    Now we can see if the ‘green’ promoters will put their own money on the line. Any bets?

  13. Kurt in Switzerland says:

    Sounds like reality is catching up with some of the projects running on taxpayer largesse. If “make or break” is solely a function of a 2012 tax credit, somebody hasn’t been doing their homework. Reminds me of the guy who can’t pay his debts, so he gets another loan to pay rent but promptly takes that money to the race track and bets it in his favorite horse.

    Sounds like political blackmail ahead this autumn!

    Kurt in Switzerland

  14. captainfish says:

    Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of powerful Midwestern winds.

    ,,,,,wanted to take advantage of chicago politics and insider subsidy deals, you mean.

  15. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Excellent news.

    w.

  16. redc1c4 says:

    “Without the tax credit, the market for wind power generation will grind to a halt, he predicts.”

    if the business model can’t survive without the credit, it’s not a business but a government sponsored charity.
    let them die.

  17. Gary says:

    Why do I hate the term “Supply x-million homes” as a unit of production ??

    13892 MW at [say] 25% capacity factor, less [say] 15% line and transformation losses gives the 3.3 million homes about 900 watts each.

    Who will run the roster for putting on the coffee ?

  18. Kev-in-UK says:

    I realise that the whole green energy thing has been promoted by lobbyists at varying governments around the world, with promises of cheaper ‘fuel’, more jobs, etc, etc. But who did all the actual promoting initially? and who funded them? (I am guessing it was the likes of Greenpeace that started it all off?)
    In a way, this is no different to any other typical economically based ‘bubble’ – people (and big business) got on the band wagon – milked it – and are now complaining when its realised that there is no real sense to the set-up created.
    I am no economist, but seeing the way the world ‘jumps’ headlong into things, simply amazes me – perhaps its the modern era of fast communication?, etc – but in the past, when an idea was promoted, it was carefully considered, tested, tried, refined, and tried again. Renewable energy, was seemingly fast track promoted, without the drawbacks being properly considered – almost like timeshare pressure selling! – when, oh when can we return to a sensible state of DUE CARE AND CONSIDERATION instead of the ‘lets make a quick buck’ attitude…..?

  19. LamontT says:

    But I thought wind power was perfect. What do you mean they have to shut it down if the government doesn’t subsidize them? Other than solar I know of no other power source that would fail without subsidies.

  20. Man Bearpigg says:

    Hopefully a domino effect will happen here. Lets pray that investors get panicky about Wind farms.

  21. Silver Ralph says:

    >>> “enough to power 3.3 million homes per year”

    But only on alternate Thursdays and Sundays – with extra power always available at 3am or on public holidays. At any other time, you can go and sing for an electric light or a working computer.

    .

  22. Woohoo! I mean, er, oh! Sorry about the 37,000 jobs, but….where did they get that figure? 37,000 being fed with a fancy welfare scheme? That somehow just doesn’t add up. Right. G+R+E+E+N=J+O+B+S. No matter that there is no wealth being generated.

  23. Well, they really seem to have had the wind taken out of their sails :-)

  24. nc says:

    I always get a chuckle when these outfits mention how many homes they can power, conveniently leaving out the 30% generation average or what happens when the wind don’t blow.

  25. Brian H says:

    Not really an Illinois story, just happens to be from the Trib. It’s great news nation-wide!

    Prediction: not one abandoned windmill will be properly taken down and recycled by owners/operators. Anywhere.

    Too bad they’re not biodegradable.

  26. The article states,

    “Bowman said a year’s delay can kill some projects, partly because contracts to lease land to host turbines and interconnection agreements with utilities have expiration dates.”

    Wait a minute — they’re leasing land to host turbines? With short-term expiration dates?

    And considering all the energy needed to install and then remove the concrete for a turbine?

    Could such leases really be necessary from a business perspective?

    Also, has anyone looked into the net cost in energy, over a period of years, of wind companies having leased land versus having owned the land, from the perspective of having to remove turbines (including concrete base) from leased land due to loss of a lease prior to the expiration of a turbine’s expected lifespan? What effect does that have on the already dismal ratio of gross energy produced to gross energy consumed as a cost of production?

    RTF

  27. Brian H says:

    OT -
    What happened to this post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/16/need-a-java-programmer/

    Got a notification it was up earlier Thursday, but it has never appeared. “Page not found”.

  28. Maxbert says:

    Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of…. lucrative taxpayer subsidies.

  29. Richard deSousa says:

    “The move is expected to have major ramifications in states such as Illinois, where 13,892 megawatts of planned wind projects — enough to power 3.3 million homes per year — are seeking to be connected to the electric grid.”

    I like the way these scoundrels embellish these pie in the sky numbers. Most of the times the projected estimates will never be realized!

  30. Susan P says:

    Good…now they can stop wasting fuel and polluting the air by driving those giant “arms” for the windmills all around Illinois. I see them all the time when I am there (grew up in central IL…go a lot to visit family) driving down the road on giant flatbeds, but rarely see them actually turning to make any power. Feel bad for the truck drivers, though…they probably make a lot of money driving those things around. Now if only they could make the trucks run on wind power we’d have an industry!

  31. Keith Battye says:

    “tax breaks on wind power ” perhaps we could call them “wind breaks”?

  32. John Wootton says:

    Costs, costs and yet more costs! Wind power is not viable without subsidies and generation facilities have to be provided for when the winds don’t blow. Let users pay to have their own wind turbines installed and then the spending decision will be determined by the pay back time. Electricity consumers should not have to pay for the subsidies to others.

  33. Gary Hladik says:

    Anyone else smell another bailout coming?

  34. Scottish Sceptic says:

    …. and very soon, as the refugees from the wind scam will realise that like the rest of us, they have nothing to gain from these parasites of fear …. the real story of this scam will start appearing on everyone’s TV

  35. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    At least one thing Illinois wind turbines don’t have that others do are hurricanes. If a windmill falls in a hurricane at sea would anyone hear it?

    Though there are tornados. But alas I guess we wont be seeing graphic pictures of flying wind turbines in Illinois. Ah, well, the birds will be happy.

  36. Roger Carr says:

    Keith Battye says: “tax breaks on wind power ” perhaps we could call them “wind breaks”?

    Nice, Keith!

  37. Jakehig says:

    I read somewhere that this subsidy was first introduced in 1992 and that, at the time, it was not expected to be needed beyond 20 years because the technology would become competitive within that time frame. Time’s up!

  38. bill says:

    Just what happened to the wind industry in California in the 1980s. Moral: don’t get involved in a business which depends on government subsidies because governments just can’t be trusted.

  39. UK Sceptic says:

    Rent seekers + public subsidy teat = bane of our times.

  40. Kasuha says:

    I wouldn’t like to live in any of those 3.3 million homes powered by wind anyway. I prefer reliable electricity supply.

  41. Charles.U.Farley says:

    The business case for disturbines is just the same as the environmental case for them- all hot air.

  42. Dave R says:

    So whats one of the fastest growing business areas? – Wind Turbine Removal Services

  43. Brian H says:

    Keith Battye says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:07 am

    “tax breaks on wind power ” perhaps we could call them “wind breaks”?

    Green Power Breaks Wind!
    Thousands asphyxiated. Bats fall from the skies!

  44. pat says:

    another group ready to save the world:

    17 Feb: Globe & Mail: Shawn McCarthy: Plotting a road map for a low-carbon future
    The idea that scientists will lead humanity through our most daunting challenges is an appealing one. Faced with threats of catastrophic climate change, new global pandemics and a growing food crisis, researchers around the world are pursuing technological advances that would, if fully deployed, allow us to contain those risks. And in the process, sleep easier…
    Last June, a high-powered group of scientists and thinkers gathered in Waterloo, Ont., to explore how science and technological innovation could contribute to a more sustainable energy future and avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
    The scientists, business people and policy wonks set themselves an ambitious goal: to lay out a visionary but pragmatic blueprint for moving Canada – and indeed, the world – off a dependence on fossil fuels, and onto a low-carbon, electrified energy system.
    The gathering was organized by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative, a partnership between the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, a research centre started by Research in Motion co-founder Michael Lazardis.
    On Sunday in Vancouver, the results of their collective effort – the Equinox Blueprint – will be released at the gathering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an event that has drawn hundreds of top researchers from all over the globe…
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/plotting-a-road-map-for-a-low-carbon-future/article2341616/page1/

  45. Robin Hewitt says:

    Creating jobs based on a false premise and promoting them as the way to the future can get you political popularity. But they are not real jobs. Politicians must hope the house of cards they create will fall over on someone else’s watch so they can scream unemployment from the safety of an opposition bench.

    An unsubsidised windfarm requires a local industry that can function on an intermittent supply of cheap electricity. Failing that it’s just a neodymium crop ready for harvest.

  46. MAVukcevic says:

    The UK is opting for the French nuclear power technology
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17069455

  47. DEEBEE says:

    WHIRRR WHIRRR WHISH THUNK
    BOO HOO HOO

  48. Espen says:

    William Martin says:

    how are the european/russian wind and solar networks going, or not going, in light of the snow storms atm?

    AFAIK it went much better than expected in Germany – in fact, and somewhat surprisingly, France, with all its nuclear plants, was buying electric power from Germany. Apparently, Germany had very sunny weather during the cold (and partly also windy weather), so solar power (and partly wind) was a significant contributor.

  49. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    Will the corruption finally be exposed and stopped? It is no coincidence that Illinois is the site of this story; the state’s crooked politics (Blagojevich, Obama, Rezko, etc.) makes it a natural site for such a boondoggle. I’m grateful to Congress for taking this step.

  50. John Marshall says:

    Has the US Government finally cottoned on to the waste of money these things are. The report claims a near 14 Gw of planned installation. This is installed power not what they actually give which will be 20% of this.

  51. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Zernial says:

    The yearly output of wind power is slightly below 20% of the total installed wind power in Germany and daily fluctiations sometimes are quite high. Without the the high prices (about a factor of three to conventional gas or coal power systems) defined by the government wind power would not be successfull.

  52. Robin Edwards says:

    Does Julie Wernau understand what she is writing about, I wonder?

    3.3million homes **per year**. What is this supposed to mean? You power 3.3m homes or you don’t. The “per year” statement is nonsense, and it is a nonsense that is repeated time and again by reporters in this field.

  53. Alex the skeptic says:

    Immaterial of what the industry is, be it auto, donkey carts or wind turbines, if it is subsidised then it will eventually fail.

  54. ecoGuy says:

    Meanwhile in California…

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (UPI) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating the deaths of two federally protected golden eagles at a California wind farm.

    The two eagles were discovered Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    A total of eight eagles have been found dead at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Pine Tree wind farm, located 100 miles north of Los Angeles in the Tehachapi Mountains, the newspaper said.

    Federal wildlife officials said the first six eagles were struck by blades from the turbines at the wind farm, which features 90 turbines spread across 8,000 acres.

    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/02/16/Golden-eagles-found-dead-at-wind-farm/UPI-63441329417887/#ixzz1mdbrQXXt

  55. Ian W says:

    As soon as the subsidies stop windfarms and wind power are abandoned. Windfarms are nothing to do with power generation. They are effective money laundering schemes for feeding taxpayers money to favored individuals.

  56. Anon says:

    Re:

    “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind…”

    Surely “Idiot wind” (“Blood on the Tracks”) ?!

  57. NorfolkAlan says:

    Don’t forget the Montana Supreme Court decision against ‘Our Children’s Trust’ in June 2011.
    First prove in a lower court that carbon dioxide emissions cause damage and thus climate change.
    Reported by Climate Physics Institute which opposed the petition.

  58. Jeff Wiita says:

    I will give you tax credits for wind if you give me the keystone xl pipeline.

  59. David says:

    We wait with bated breath here in the UK for the ‘greenest government ever’ to succumb to reality, and start following Illinois’s lead.
    Problem is, our PM’s father-in-law is in receipt of serious subsidy monies for the wind farms on his land – so David Cameron is in a bit of a cleft stick… Do the decent thing for the poor suffering energy consumers, or get an ear-bashing from Samantha..?
    Step in the right direction (albeit ten years too late) – he has today signed an agreement in France with Sarkozy to develop new nuclear power station in the UK.
    Anyway – as Churchill said (approximately): ‘This is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end; but it is the end of the beginning…’

  60. GregS says:

    Face it, the wind energy busineess is simply not sustainable.

  61. Frank K. says:

    ecoGuy says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:32 am

    Meanwhile in California…

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (UPI) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating the deaths of two federally protected golden eagles at a California wind farm.

    It’s the new “Silent Spring”. Wind Farms = DDT.

    By the way, where IS R. Gates?? I wanted to ask him if NCAR has gone “off the grid” yet with their own private wind farm and solar power arrays…

  62. Sandy says:

    Since the land has been polluted by wind farms, one might as well build nukes there?

  63. commieBob says:

    I think the tide has changed.

    One of the main drivers for alternate energy is our desire to free us from the balance of payments problem of having to pay for foreign oil. Done correctly (not that that’s actually the case) a lot of green jobs could be created and all the money would stay in the country. Such an argument will be very attractive to politicians. Global warming can be viewed as a ‘useful fiction’ to promote the goal of energy self-sufficiency by scaring the population away from oil.

    Once the politicians realize that, in Obama’s words,
    “We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas”
    , the need for alternate energy goes away. We can have energy self-sufficiency without the trouble and sacrifice required by wind, solar and biomass. People who used to push global warming as a ‘useful fiction’ will quietly back away. We’re not going to see folks apologizing for being wrong. In fact, politicians being what they are, we can still expect them to give lip service to global warming so they don’t alienate their base. What will happen though is that they will no longer do much to push their former agenda.

    One hopeful sign: T. Boone Pickens has switched from advocating wind power to promoting natural gas.

  64. Luther Wu says:

    “Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of powerful Midwestern winds, albeit crooked politicians and fat government subsidies.”
    Fixed

  65. Smokey says:

    Paulino,

    I fully agree. Let’s eliminate all energy subsidies. Then the monumentally stupid windmills will be eliminated as well.

    And you ignore the fact that oil companies pay much more in taxes than the total of subsidies and shareholder dividends combined. Of course, not being a hypocrite, you do not use oil company products. Right?

  66. GregO says:

    Imagine 20-30 years from now when these gargantuan structures are nothing but useless, rusting hulks littering the countryside. One day there will come a time of accounting for all this waste and foolishness. People who are now children will by then be grown adults and be faced with this awful blight. They will wonder what form of madness possessed their elders.

  67. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    The amount of tax payer money squandered on failed solar and wind projects constitutes gross negligence and dereliction of duty. It’s time to clean house in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

  68. OldOne says:

    Why does it not surprise me that when you read the whole story, the details do not live up to the hype in the headlines?
    That would be because it seems everything related to the green industry/green jobs is hyped.

    “Immediately at risk in Illinois are 15 wind projects totaling 3,292 MWs that have county-level permits. In general, since developers don’t bother going through the county permitting process unless they are serious about a project, the number of permitted megawatts is usually seen as a good indicator of near-term growth.”

    So the HEF(Headline Exaggeration Factor) is >4.

    But on the bright side, at least they didn’t use the CAGW practices. Had they done that, they would have reported millions of MW after applying a hokey stick growth curve and projected out to 2100!

  69. Frank K. says:

    Smokey says:
    February 17, 2012 at 5:08 am

    To Paulino…
    “Of course, not being a hypocrite, you do not use oil company products. Right?”

    Smokey, don’t expect him/her to answer that. It’s like asking the climate elites about their BILLIONS of dollars in government funding while they wring their hands about the Heartland Institute. Stony silence. Can’t say that I blame the climate elites – I’d be embarrassed too.

    By the way, Brent crude spiked over $120/barrel yesterday:


    Brent tops $120 on Iran, North Sea, Greece

    Reuters) – Brent crude rose on Thursday for a fourth day in a row, topping $120 a barrel at settlement — an eight-month high — on worries about supply from Iran and from the North Sea, where output was expected to dip next month.


    Guess who is against the Keystone Pipeline….

  70. Coach Springer says:

    1. About the article and its numbers. I think they’re convenient wind lobby numbers. The first thing these “investigative journalists” do is go ask the activists and repeat it as fact. (Taught that way. My niece did a piece on the coal industry using Sierra Club talking points which was very popular with her journalism professors.)

    2. The Pickens plan is wind and natural gas. Left foot / Right foot. He wants the subsidies. He wants the power of eminent domain. He wants it all.

    3. This will be – if not already while I write this – an Obama talking point to counter (37,000) the Keystone pipeline criticism (20,000). It will work on a lot of people despite the facts. Government pain killers are a lot like Oxycontin – highly addictive by creating pain when it starts to go away.

  71. I was rummaging around the web, looking for information on broken turbines. low and behold, I found this !
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/the-reality-of-wind-turbines-in-california-video/
    It appears the construction quality of wind turbines is ‘variable’, judging from some turbines lasting 20 years. I suspect the quality of most turbines is likely to be compromised by efforts to minimise cost.

    I was also looking for Russian wind farms that might have been disabled by snow storms, not an easy task ! my search led me to conclude that windpower is a very fledgling industry in Russia (lucky them). let’s hope they learn from the numerous windpower mistakes of western nations.
    http://en.rian.ru/Environment/20101112/161303912.html

  72. greg holmes says:

    It will now be interesting to see how viable the companies feel their own technology is, in the real world.

  73. Frank K. says:

    Coach Springer says:
    February 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

    3. This will be if not already while I write this an Obama talking point to counter (37,000) the Keystone pipeline criticism (20,000). It will work on a lot of people despite the facts. Government pain killers are a lot like Oxycontin highly addictive by creating pain when it starts to go away.

    Coach – wait until people start paying over $4/gallon for gas – I’d LOVE to see President Obama (along with Jim Hansen and all of his sycophants) criticize the Keystone Pipeline

  74. Mickey Reno says:

    A good start. Ethanol anyone?

  75. klem says:

    “Up to 37,000 jobs, many in Illinois, could be lost as projects are halted or abandoned”

    Yea, about 36,000 of them are in China.

  76. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Not so fast non-warmists…

    The tax credit, which debuted in 1992, has a history of one- to two-year extensions and years in which it wasn’t extended at all. A bill tied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extended the program until the end of 2012. Kevin Borgia, who heads the Illinois Wind Energy Coalition, said several years of stability for the tax credit helped drive down costs for wind generation. Without the tax credit, the market for wind power generation will grind to a halt, he predicts. Paul Bowman, vice president of development at wind developer E.ON Climate and Renewables North America, which has its North American headquarters in Chicago, said his company had about $1 billion in construction planned for next year, tied to the tax credit extension.

    It seems politicians tried to tie the tax extension for wind power to the payroll tax credit extension but it was later removed. The wind power tax credit will need to be re-introduced as has happened in the past. 2012 is turning into a banner year for wind farms and the “grind to a halt” is just another pig at the trough demanding more feed. Wind energy will be around for a long while yet.

  77. John Bonfield says:

    But what will we do with the excess bird inventory?

  78. Allan MacRae says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/02/big-wind/#comment-882687

    As a professional engineer. I confess that I don’t think that wind power farms are as esthetically ugly as some other people do. Engineers tend to like large pieces of equipment – you know, “big toys for big boys”.

    BUT:
    1. Wind farms produce essentially no useful, economic energy;
    AND
    2. Wind farms are probably net-energy-value-negative over their project life;
    AND
    3. Wind farms require essentially 100% active standby backup from conventional power generation plants;
    AND
    4. Wind farms require huge life-of-project subsidies;
    AND
    5. Wind farms needlessly increase the cost of electricity for all, including those who can least afford it, contributing to “energy poverty”;
    AND
    6. Wind farms can de-stabilize the electric power grid, due to the huge peaks and lulls in their power generation profile;
    AND
    7. Wind farms kill millions of birds and bats worldwide, including some seriously endangered species.
    AND
    8. Wind farms may be one of the most useless, counterproductive devices ever invented by humankind.

    So wind farms are economically ugly and environmentally ugly, and in summary are just plain old ugly.

    “Wind Power – It Doesn’t Just Blow – it Sucks!”

  79. klem says:

    “Coach – wait until people start paying over $4/gallon for gas – I’d LOVE to see President Obama..

    $4 a gallon is coming. Right now the primary reason oil is at $100/barrel is due to the devaluation of the US dollar, demand does not justify that price. As the dollar devalues, the cost of oil increases. We could see $5 sometime soon. This could be laid at Obamas feet during this election.

  80. _Jim says:

    ecoGuy says on February 17, 2012 at 3:32 am

    Meanwhile in California…

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (UPI) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating the deaths of two federally protected golden eagles at a …

    So much for ‘federal protection’; ‘more air marshals are required’ will be the federal prescription for remedy … /sarc

    .

  81. Chris B says:

    My prediction. Prospective investors will be passing wind for a long time.

  82. G. de La Hoya says:

    As an Illinois resident living within 10 miles of 2 windfarms (1 to the north, 1 to the south), there has been no household economic benefit towards electric rates. They do pay property taxes though. I have yet to see a windfarm in Chicago or Cook County. It is quite a site when 1/2 the turbines are not moving.

  83. Paul says:

    Brian H said :
    Prediction: not one abandoned windmill will be properly taken down and recycled by owners/operators. Anywhere. Too bad they’re not biodegradable.

    Which would of course be considered a hidden subsidy; the money they should have had to spend on a bond to guarantee proper decommissioning. You know the greens would be screaming like raped Apes if Nuclear plants were built without one.

  84. Kaboom says:

    Looks like the viability of the wind energy industry without subsidies is exactly zero.

  85. Justa Joe says:

    Espen says:
    February 17, 2012 at 2:55 am

    AFAIK it went much better than expected in Germany – in fact, and somewhat surprisingly, France, with all its nuclear plants, was buying electric power from Germany. Apparently, Germany had very sunny weather during the cold (and partly also windy weather), so solar power (and partly wind) was a significant contributor.
    ———————————-
    Yeah, Solar & wind worked so well that Germany had to utilize reserve coal % oil generation.

    …three Austrian coal and oil-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 935MW and 100MW of German cold reserve was secured on Tuesday, but only around 600-700MW of it was used.
    http://www.icis.com/heren/articles/2012/02/09/9531044/power/edem/germany-fires-up-reserve-electricity-generation-capacity.html

    That Reuters story about Germany’s renewables bailing perfotming France’s Nuclear was full of problems.

  86. bill says:

    Wind power isn’t scalable. Its a great solution for an individual living on a windy Welsh hillside – why not power your house for free, likewise if you have a 1000 unit pig farm why not convert the poo to methane to heat and light the pig sheds? But to try to morph those kinds of individual self-sustainability schemes into parts of a national energy strategy or anything similarly grandiose, is inviting disaster.

  87. Elftone says:

    By Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune reporter

    …enough to intermittently power up to 3.3 million homes per year…

    …take advantage of powerful milk Midwestern winds for all they’re worth before the general populace realise they’ve been scammed.

    There – I fixed it for you, Julie.

  88. RockyRoad says:

    Exactly what happens when you run out of other people’s money.

    (Attribution to Margaret Thatcher, I believe.)

    Now, if we can just figure out how to make the promoters dismantle these windy boneyards without charging it to the taxpayer. (I can dream, can’t I?)

  89. Paulino says:

    Smokey,

    then indeed why subsidize? 41×10^9 US$ doesn’t amount to penny and quarters, does it? And let’s account for all the costs that each energy source, and then the monumentally stupid coal plants will be eliminated as well.

    And you caught me, I’m hypocrite, but I’m not proud of it, I hope we can change things, that will change not matter what. I also hope we are able chose the timing of the change, and it’s not imposed on us because we failed to act. Now promise me that, when wind and solar catch-up with oil and gas, you’ll turn off the light.

    Frank,
    I’m a “he”. And poor lil’ Heartland institute, only wants to interfere with the teaching of science in schools. You how kids are these days, always questioning grown-ups., we must not suffer that!

  90. Latitude says:

    Barack Obama: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (January 2008)

  91. 1DandyTroll says:

    You know that in about 20 years, when proper development has gone tits up, there’ll be a bunch of enviro-nutts shrugging going: But we didn’t know.

    The obvious never seem to register for the the enviro-alarmist parties. They’re probably the only ones who would want a warning sign, with small print reading “WARNING! Don’t stand here!” on the front of an Abrams tank.

  92. RockyRoad says:

    Brian H said :

    Prediction: not one abandoned windmill will be properly taken down and recycled by owners/operators. Anywhere. Too bad they’re not biodegradable.
    Which would of course be considered a hidden subsidy; the money they should have had to spend on a bond to guarantee proper decommissioning. You know the greens would be screaming like raped Apes if Nuclear plants were built without one.

    Same thing applies to all mining projects. In fact, a complete, acceptable, inspected reclamation plan (along with necessary bond) is required on any mining project of any size (even on private land) before commencement–not one ounce of material can be moved without it (do so and you are in violation of the law). Should these wind projects be left just sitting there as a festering eyesore, it offers an interesting dillema to the Green Energy crowd–will they even care? I seriously doubt it.

  93. polski says:

    Let’s say that the subsidies are removed. Let’s say that many wind farms go bankrupt. Now what should be done with all those wind turbines. Is there an opportunity for some bright, hard working, free enterprise individual to somehow make a viable business out of all this mess?
    What would a large amount of intermittent power be good for? Milling wheat, corn or soy? Water heating/treatment for local towns. Powering compressors to aerate lakes and sewage ponds? Running massive lights to annoy the neighbors?
    Since they are so big and heavy would they not be difficult to just scrap and recycle?

  94. RockyRoad says:

    Paulino says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Smokey,

    then indeed why subsidize? 41×10^9 US$ doesn’t amount to penny and quarters, does it? And let’s account for all the costs that each energy source, and then the monumentally stupid coal plants will be eliminated as well.

    Before making rash statements like this, Paulino, would you please show some hard economic figures and/or citations supporting your position.

    Just because wind farms are going under like Carbon Trading doesn’t mean you have to drag down another industry you don’t care for (but have used all your life–hence you are correct about being a hypocrite).

    So please, spare us the self-righteous collateral association and provide just the facts, and NOT your unsubstantiated opinion–it does your argument a disservice.

  95. David Jones says:

    Frank K. says:.

    February 17, 2012 at 4:40 am
    Meanwhile in California…

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (UPI) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating the deaths of two federally protected golden eagles at a California wind farm.

    This story needs to be given a larger National AND International exposure. Too many people still think (correction “believe” = in spite of the evidence to the contrary) that wind farms are a “good thing” for the planet.

  96. More Soylent Green! says:

    This is the first step in the right direction. The next step is to remove the mandates that utilities must purchase a certain percent of green energy.

    Don’t forget, when a utility is required to purchase expensive energy, it just passes the costs on to the consumer. The alternate energy providers don’t have to provide electricity at competitive prices if the utilities have no choice but to purchase their power. It’s just a transfer of wealth from consumer and tax payers to well-connected corporate interests and political cronies.

  97. Allan MacRae says:

    Questions:
    Is this Tax Credit the biggest subsidy for wind power?
    What are the other revenue entitlements enjoyed by wind power?

    I know that some wind power projects receive huge subsidies through guaranteed rates (revenues) that are several times the cost of cheaper and more reliable forms of electrical generation, such as natural-gas-fired power. Some power companies effectively force consumers to take a portion of their electric power as (highly subsidized) wind power, in order to receive preferential long-term fixed-rate contracts. Such practices are unethical.

    If all these hidden subsidies were rightly eliminated, grid-connected wind power projects would go bankrupt.

    It is obvious that one should never build an energy project that requires huge, life-of-project subsidies. Such projects are not only uneconomic, they are so energy-inefficient they are worse-than-useless.

    Wind power projects are simply unsustainable, anti-environmental nonsense

    Our fearless leaders have squandered a trillion dollars of scarce global resources on global warming alarmism, and much of that has gone to building useless, worthless wind farms.

    This is not new information – we confidently stated that this practice was folly in 2002*, over a decade ago.

    ****************

    * We wrote the following in 2002. See our point #8:

    8. The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.

    _________________________________________

    In 2002 I co-authored a paper at the request of APEGGA with Dr. Sallie Baliunas, Harvard Astrophysicist, and Dr. Tim Patterson, Carleton Paleoclimatologist, at
    http://www.apegga.com/members/Publications/peggs/Web11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

    We wrote that article as skeptics of alleged catastrophic humanmade global warming, and I think it is clear that we won that debate (Note: NO global warming for more than a decade!).

    Reviewing the eight summary points in our 2002 APEGGA paper, it is clear that our predictive track record is infinitely better than that of the IPCC and the global warming alarmist movement.

    Some of our predictions did not fully materialize in Canada, because our country did not adopt all the excesses of the Kyoto Protocol, but those countries that did so, particularly the UK and Western Europe, have experienced all these downsides of global warming mania.

    Here are the eight summary points from our 2002 APEGGA paper (excerpt):

    Kyoto has many fatal flaws, any one of which should cause this treaty to be scrapped.
    1. Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.
    2. Kyoto focuses primarily on reducing CO2, a relatively harmless gas, and does nothing to control real air pollution like NOx, SO2, and particulates, or serious pollutants in water and soil.
    3. Kyoto wastes enormous resources that are urgently needed to solve real environmental and social problems that exist today. For example, the money spent on Kyoto in one year would provide clean drinking water and sanitation for all the people of the developing world in perpetuity.
    4. Kyoto will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and damage the Canadian economy – the U.S., Canada’s biggest trading partner, will not ratify Kyoto, and developing countries are exempt.
    5. Kyoto will actually hurt the global environment – it will cause energy-intensive industries to move to exempted developing countries that do not control even the worst forms of pollution.
    6. Kyoto’s CO2 credit trading scheme punishes the most energy efficient countries and rewards the most wasteful. Due to the strange rules of Kyoto, Canada will pay the former Soviet Union billions of dollars per year for CO2 credits.
    7. Kyoto will be ineffective – even assuming the overstated pro-Kyoto science is correct, Kyoto will reduce projected warming insignificantly, and it would take as many as 40 such treaties to stop alleged global warming.
    8. The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.
    _______________________

  98. Retired Engineer says:

    Chicago got dubbed the “windy city” because of the claims of the local politicians. It remains appropriate even after the locals go national.
    Windmills in the midwest have another issue: winter. And ice. They won’t last 20-30 years. They’ll fall apart much sooner. After throwing ice shards many hundreds of meters.
    Of course, a tornado or two could also dismantle them.
    More subsidies are obviously needed. (sarc)
    (full disclosure: I lived in and around the Windy for over 20 years.)

  99. More Soylent Green! says:

    Paulino says:
    February 17, 2012 at 4:58 am
    Just a link:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0309/Budget-hawks-Does-US-need-to-give-gas-and-oil-companies-41-billion-a-year

    The devil is in the details, isn’t it? Subsidies is defined pretty loosely in the article and many of the claimed subsidies for Big Oil apply to all manufacturers. Do you want to end those tax breaks for everybody, or just industries you don’t like?

    There is also a principle in our tax code that allows for legitimate business expenses to be deducted. The problem with this is the definition of a legitimate business expense is very open for interpretation and it makes for a system that’s ripe for corruption.

    A much better system would be a flat tax system, with few or no deductions and a low rate. An even better system than that would be to eliminate business income taxes altogether. Businesses don’t pay taxes, they just collect them from their customers and owners (stockholders).

  100. David Jones says:

    William Martin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I was rummaging around the web, looking for information on broken turbines. low and behold, I found this !
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/the-reality-of-wind-turbines-in-california-video/
    It appears the construction quality of wind turbines is ‘variable’, judging from some turbines lasting 20 years. I suspect the quality of most turbines is likely to be compromised by efforts to minimise cost.
    I was also looking for Russian wind farms that might have been disabled by snow storms, not an easy task ! my search led me to conclude that windpower is a very fledgling industry in Russia (lucky them). let’s hope they learn from the numerous windpower mistakes of western nations.
    http://en.rian.ru/Environment/20101112/161303912.html

    Bill
    You could also have found this!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/uknews/8943507/Parts-of-Britain-are-battered-by-gale-force-winds-and-storms.html
    (from Google “wind turbines cath fire UK”)

    Makes a great picture and REALLY shows up wind farms!

  101. klem says:

    “Barack Obama: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (January 2008)”

    It wasn’t Obama’s plan at all, it was his financial backers plan. I wish he’d own up to that.

  102. Bernieny says:

    There is a new report on wind power statistics for Europe ( http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/publications/statistics/Stats_2011.pdf )
    The astonishing thing in this report is that in 10 pages of text, there is not a single statement as to the actual utilization, i.e., power produced in KWH/over annual potential production. It also introduces the nebulous notion of a “normal wind year” (p11). A bit of sleuthing and arithmetic yields the following facts from the report. In 2011 there was 93957 MW of installed wind power capacity in the 27 EU countries. In a “normal wind year” this is claimed to produce 204TWh of electricity. Now this amounts to an assertion that the utilization at the end of 2011, a “normal wind year”, would be roughly 24.8%.
    This, I believe, is a flat out misrepresentation of actual utilization in the EU-27.
    Lets assume that the EWEA has an accurate handle on the actual installed capacity. In 2010 they claimed that the installed capacity was 84650MW in the EU-27 (p4, op cit). How much electricity was actually generated by wind. This is a tough figure to find in any EWEA document. However, the EU (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/images/9/97/Electricity_Statistics%2C_2010_%28in_GWh%29%2C_table1.png) says that the EU-27 143.638TWh. (Note the difference from the EWEA’s 204TWh figure). Bottom line, in 2010 the utilization appears to have been 19.5%. 2011 figures are not available.
    Going forward I would argue that the 20% figure is more reliable than the generally cited 25%.

  103. DirkH says:

    Paulino says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:45 am
    “then indeed why subsidize? 41×10^9 US$ doesn’t amount to penny and quarters, does it? And let’s account for all the costs that each energy source, and then the monumentally stupid coal plants will be eliminated as well.”

    Please give us a breakdown of the costs these “monumentally stupid coal plants” cause. In every comparison I have seen coal is the second cheapest energy after Big Hydro.

    I’m not questioning your belief system. Just give us your numbers. What costs?

  104. David Jones says:

    Just “in case” (they will!!) one or more of our warmist brethen point out that is was only one turbine and wasn’t necessarily caused by strong winds I refer to this link

    http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/accidents.pdf

    Total number of accidents 1142 over 42 years.
    Number of fatal accidents 87 causing 99 fatalities in that period.
    Fire is the second most common cause of accidents with a total of 168 fire accidents receorded.

    REALLY “green.”

  105. ferd berple says:

    Kev-in-UK says:
    February 16, 2012 at 11:41 pm
    I am no economist, but seeing the way the world ‘jumps’ headlong into things,

    It is called insider trading. Politicians have been doing it for years. Back in the railway era, they would buy up land ahead of the rail line, then announce the decision on the rail route. The same thing happened when the highway systems were built.

    For example, how many politicians in the US would sign up to approve a coal plant if Hansen had just been arrested for protesting coal death trains? So, if you wanted to make some big money, you would schedule the protest a couple of days before a political vote, and short coal stocks at the same time. Similar, if you knew which way the US decision was going to go on the Keystone pipeline, you would short the stocks involved immediately prior to the decision. [SNIP: Fred, this is skating dangerously close to a site policy violation. Supply reputable links and we'll approve it. -REP] Ask yourself why.

  106. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    FakeGate at De SmogBlog.

    Fake industry in Illinois. No subsidies, no industry. Go figure.

  107. d_abes in Saskatoon says:

    US foundations have poured $300 million dollars into Canadian environmental protest groups over the past ten years. Perhaps they could put their money where their mouth is and spend it on subsidizing the wind industry instead, and actually make a difference.

  108. klem says:

    Wind turbines produce very little actual useable power over each year. So if they don’t produce power, people must realize that wind turbines are really just symbolic. They are almost religious symbols for the environmental left.

    Ever notice how geothermal power is not symbolic for the left? Its because geothermal plants are dark, square and industrial looking. So lefty’s don’t like them.They prefer tall white spinning crucifixes.

    When lefty’s see them spinning away on a far hillside, it gives them a warm and fuzzy feeeling, and it says to them “Have faith, we are here”. Sure they generate rental income and increased sales tax revenue to a small extent but the largest reason they exist is symbolic.

  109. Resourceguy says:

    Mining tax credits has been big business for many years in wind and ethanol. The annual renewals of the wind energy credit made for faster churning of influence pedaling in Washington. As evidence of the fake industry viability, watch how fast the industry implodes in the presence of low natural gas prices. This all reminds me of the solar panels mounted on the roof of the White House by the Jimmy Carter con man president when solar was 20x more expensive than today and then there was the 4x oil price guarantee for oil shale from Colorado also set up by the same demonstration project President. In this context, no energy policy is decidedly better for the country than targeted distortions of markets with taxpayer resources.

  110. Rod Everson says:

    polski says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:51 am
    Let’s say that the subsidies are removed. Let’s say that many wind farms go bankrupt. Now what should be done with all those wind turbines. Is there an opportunity for some bright, hard working, free enterprise individual to somehow make a viable business out of all this mess?
    What would a large amount of intermittent power be good for? Milling wheat, corn or soy? Water heating/treatment for local towns. Powering compressors to aerate lakes and sewage ponds? Running massive lights to annoy the neighbors?
    Since they are so big and heavy would they not be difficult to just scrap and recycle?

    Interesting questions, and I’ll bet some entrepreneurs are asking the same questions. Taking your last point first, I wonder what those yearly leases specify be done with the massive chunk of concrete and rusting hulk atop it when the lease is not renewed? How does the landowner get back his farmland, by suing a the bankrupt equivalent of Solyndra? Good luck with that.

    As for what they could “be good for,” probably the most logical use is the old-time use–storing water for use later. On small farms a century ago, that was the main use of a windmill–to fill a cistern up on a hill when the wind was blowing so that water would be available when needed to water stock, or for cooking and drinking. It would make sense to use windmills as the primary power source for filling local water towers, I’d think, only kicking in the grid power supply when the level in the tower reached a minimum level, running it for a brief time to get the head back up a bit, while waiting for the next wind to fill it to capacity again.

    In fact, if a town had a significant overcapacity of water storage, they could fill the tower to capacity, then install turbines to generate power with the excess storage for a time when the wind wasn’t blowing. If the storage was full, the wind power could feed the grid directly. So, first the wind power generation goes to the water storage, then to the grid. With enough storage capacity, a town or large farm might conceivably make efficient use of a windmill or two or three nearby, assuming they could pick it up for pennies on the dollar.

    Lots of engineers in here. If you got a windmill for $1 in good working order (and some will sell for that, or not sell at all, if the subsidies really do expire), how much water storage per windmill would you need to set up a system that supplied a relatively constant supply of power, assuming reasonably reliable, but intermittent winds? And how much does building such storage cost, plus installing turbines, etc.?

    One thing’s certain. Someone’s going to make money if the windmill operations fall apart. The question is if it’s just the scrap dealers, or someone higher up the economic food chain?

  111. Gene L. says:

    I doubt if the subsidy will really expire. But if it does, it only means that Illlinois taxpayers will be expected to make up the difference. As in one of the brokest states, in the brokesest country in the history of the planet throwing money to the wind. Well, at least into the pockets of the annoited.

  112. Frank K. says:

    Paulino says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Smokey,

    then indeed why subsidize? 4110^9 US$ doesnt amount to penny and quarters, does it? And lets account for all the costs that each energy source, and then the monumentally stupid coal plants will be eliminated as well.

    And you caught me, Im hypocrite, but Im not proud of it, I hope we can change things, that will change not matter what. I also hope we are able chose the timing of the change, and its not imposed on us because we failed to act. Now promise me that, when wind and solar catch-up with oil and gas, youll turn off the light.

    Frank,
    Im a he. And poor lil Heartland institute, only wants to interfere with the teaching of science in schools. You how kids are these days, always questioning grown-ups., we must not suffer that!

    Sorry. Didn’t want to assume him or her :^)

    And I’m glad you’re not proud about being a petroleum hypocrite – none of the other warmist visitors we get at WUWT ever want to broach this topic (they are too afraid). You should stop and think about all of the wonderful things we make with petroleum – products that make our lives better. Here’s a partial list for you:

    http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm

    And, finally, as a mechanical engineer, I really have nothing against solar and wind power (despite the bird kills). If they can be made economically viable under current market conditions, then GREAT. In fact, you, Paulino, should sell everything you own and invest it in wind and solar energy. Better yet – start a company and show us how to make these things! Show us how its done. None of the warmists who visit here (as far as I know) ever have any “skin in the game”. They pretend to love “the planet” and vow to have a small “carbon footprints”…just as long as the lights go on when they flick the switch, and their chai tea and organic tofu arrive at the grocery store on big 18 wheel trucks.

  113. cwj says:

    Rocky Road above: “Before making rash statements like this, Paulino, would you please show some hard economic figures and/or citations supporting your position. ”

    Actually Rocky, I’m seeing lots of assertion and anecdotal information on this thread, and very little, (actually nothing) in the way of sound, fact based analysis or comment on this thread, which is disappointing and below the general standards of WUWT. That is, however, the way it is whenever there is an article on wind energy, ethanol, biodiesel, and solar. On these topics the anti renewable crowd is just as irrational and emotional as the pro.

    As far as all the comments about variability of power supply and on-going cost are concerned, the entities that install these generators are not unsophisticated. Their analysis does take into account the variability of power and the costs of long term maintenance and the effects on their electric grid. I’m sure they also take into account the subsidies available, mandates of government, and the potential lack thereof. Yet those power companies, (around here in Iowa it’s Mid-American Energy) are building wind farms and are continuing to operate them. With the very high initial cost of wind installations, the wind farms are not going to be shut down immediately on reduction or elimination of a subsidy, most of the cost is up-front, and will not be unspent by shutting down the facility.

  114. klem says:

    “As in one of the brokest states, in the brokesest country in the history of the planet throwing money to the wind. ”

    Well since the dollar is not backed up with gold and we don’t even print much actual paper dollars anymore, in reality all we really owe are a large number of electronic ones and zeros. In other words, we don’t actually owe anything of substance to anyone. And neither do they.

    So spend with confidence my friend.

  115. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Richard deSousa says:
    February 17, 2012 at 12:34 am
    “The move is expected to have major ramifications in states such as Illinois, where 13,892 megawatts of planned wind projects — enough to power 3.3 million homes per year — are seeking to be connected to the electric grid.”

    I like the way these scoundrels embellish these pie in the sky numbers. Most of the times the projected estimates will never be realized!
    ++++++++++

    Exactly. What is the installed capacity and what is the generated output.

    3.3m homes?? More like 0.33m homes, if they can manaage to get the rated output 10% of the time. No doubt the 3.3m is the result of a very simple ‘model’ of how much power a home needs and when, plus a ‘model’ of how wind power works. That will in turn be based on a simple ‘model’ of how much wind there is. And so on.

  116. Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:

    US actions in the Gulf solely to maintain security of oil supply have cost trillions. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868367,00.html
    This is a subsidy.

    Implicit insurance costs of the nuclear industry are carried by nation states. Uk decomm costs ($100bn+) are paid by the UK state. Nuke waste disposal costs are unresolved. Coal’s health & enviro costs are externalised. Wind power is a relatively small operation, mostly an efficiency measure for gas power stations. All industries cry wolf when their subsidies are threatened. I have no idea why skeptics would dislike wind power, it’s hardly a threat to our way of life or more of a subsidy drain than other energy sources. It only makes sense in certain locations and it can only be used up to about 20% in an energy mix due to diminishing returns.

    Wind turbines have improved in efficiency in recent years. Solar has a had a big jump and will be more viable in certain locations now.

    Anyhow my point is that you shouldn’t take all your ideas from the same box. You can be a skeptic about global warming without prejudging all attempts at alt power generation.

  117. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Ontario turns to wind power!

    Hydro One invests in wind energy to reduce dependence on oil from Alberta:

  118. DirkH says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:17 am
    “US actions in the Gulf solely to maintain security of oil supply have cost trillions. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868367,00.html
    This is a subsidy.”

    You seem to imply that “US actions in the Gulf” have been “solely to maintain security of oil supply”. This is obviously false. Maybe I have misunderstood you.

    “Coal’s health & enviro costs are externalised.”

    Can you give us the breakdown of these costs?

  119. pyeatte says:

    I hear a lot of windpower companies breaking wind this morning – about time. Maybe the birds will sleep easier.

  120. DirkH says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:17 am
    “Wind power is a relatively small operation, mostly an efficiency measure for gas power stations.”

    Do you want to imply that wind power makes gas power stations more efficient? The opposite is true, it makes them more inefficient, as the turbines will most of the time not run with their optimal speed. How does wind power make gas power more efficient?

  121. Don Quixote says:

    I was ahead of my time.

  122. Olen says:

    Thanks should be given to those in the congress who worked to end the tax credit.

  123. Paulino says:

    Rocky,
    “These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered “externalities.” We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually” Epstein et al. 2011
    http://solar.gwu.edu/index_files/Resources_files/epstein_full%20cost%20of%20coal.pdf

    And according to you, all the people that stopped using horses with the advent of motorized transportation are hypocrites.

    Soylent,

    ” It’s just a transfer of wealth from consumer and tax payers to well-connected corporate interests and political cronies.”

    And which industry you figure is more well connected? Certainly not Big Oil.

  124. More Soylent Green! says:

    On these topics the anti renewable crowd is just as irrational and emotional as the pro.

    “Anti-renewable” is a deliberate mischaracterization of the arguments against green energy subsidies. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

  125. More Soylent Green! says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:17 am
    US actions in the Gulf solely to maintain security of oil supply have cost trillions. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868367,00.html
    This is a subsidy.

    I disagree with your characterization of this as a subsidy for the oil industry. However, if we want to improve energy security then approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is the first step. Expanding domestic drilling and production is the next step. Increased use of natural gas, oil shale and other fossil fuel sources are other steps that should be commenced immediately.

  126. harrywr2 says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I have no idea why skeptics would dislike wind power, it’s hardly a threat to our way of life or more of a subsidy drain than other energy sources. It only makes sense in certain locations and it can only be used up to about 20% in an energy mix due to diminishing returns.

    Because the subsidies result in wind power being installed where it doesn’t make sense. The same is true for Solar. I’ve seen ‘taxpayer subsidized’ solar panels installed in the Seattle Area that face ‘north’. In the spring the Windmills installed in Washington state result in an increase in ‘hydro spillage’ due to lack of demand. Windmills displacing hydro power…that will solve our ‘climate problem’ and ‘dependence on middle eastern oil’.

  127. G. Karst says:

    One can only celebrate wind generation cancellation, when an announcement follows, detailing what the plan is, to build replacement generation. What is important is that the North America grid voltage is maintained reliably and efficiently. Now that is a goal worth celebrating! Trouble is… NO mention of shovels in the ground. GK

  128. Justa Joe says:

    Gary says:
    February 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm
    Why do I hate the term “Supply x-million homes” as a unit of production ??
    ————————————-
    To me it shows that our intrepid reporter, Julie Wernau, gets her “facts” spoon fed to her by the wind lobby. The wind council may as well have written the article for her if they didn’t already.

  129. DirkH I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?

    “Can you give us the breakdown of these costs?” [health/environmental costs of coal]
    I can list them but I’m not going to quantify.
    fine particulates, ground level ozone, SO, NOX, mercury, radiation
    no big secret

    “Do you want to imply that wind power makes gas power stations more efficient? ”
    No (badly phrased by me). I mean that the combination of a certain amount of wind power with a peaking gas power plant is more efficient than a peaking power plant alone.

    Efficiency is measured by ratio of input costs to output energy. When the wind is blowing, fuel is not being burnt. There are added costs from wind such as starting and stopping gas power generation. There are added capital costs. The method is to predict wind output continually and balance that wind prediction against gas power output and expected demand. An additional saving by using wind is reduced exposure to gas price volatility. No use in a place with a low wind capacity factor or lacking matching peaking gas power gen. Works better in a place with demand power pricing.

  130. David says:

    Hmmmm, wonder how many jobs will be created to remove those ugly, bird killers?

  131. More Soylent Green! says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am
    DirkH I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?

    Let’s assume your premise is correct. How is that a subsidy for the oil industry? Is my local police department a subsidy for the grocer? Is the fire department a subsidy for the lumber yard?

  132. @ David Jones,
    thanks David, the image of burning turbines is indeed spectacular ! it would give my South Australian bushfire prone locals cause for concern about losing their billion dollar wheat crop. it’s a hot topic. with a google search of ‘windturbine causes bushfires’ yielding 52 000 results, and ‘windturbine fires’ yielding 471 000 results.
    @ Bernieny,
    thankyou for your detective work and math skills. a 20% wind turbine contribution to the European electricity requirement speaks to the success of wind generated electricity, albeit at a grossly increased cost.
    @ Justa Jo,
    thanks for providing the energy sources for Germany during ‘the tight supply situation seen so far in week 6.’
    @ Espen,
    I’m sure wind power has it’s place, but, given present technology, not as one of the main suppliers to industry and societal infrastructure.
    I actually agree with Bill (6.38 a.m.) : there is an economy of scale where windpower is practical in the absence of less expensive alternatives, such as where there is no connection to the power grid.
    a case in point, a neighbour lived $20 000 away from the power grid, about 12 electricity poles in distance. he was able to buy a ‘Southern Cross’ wind turbine, and a storage bank of batteries, for $12 000. he had 40 volt domestic appliances, a back up deisel generator, and could run the house off the car if necessary.

  133. Mickey Reno says:

    > Paulino says: 41 [billion US dollars] doesn’t amount to penny and quarters, does it? And let’s account for
    > all the costs that each energy source, and then the monumentally stupid coal plants will be
    > eliminated as well.
    You have funny ideas about what’s “monumentally stupid.” The $41 billion figure is a complete misrepresentation of reality. From the DOE’s own 2007 (apples-to-apples) study of subsidies paid for electrical generation based on fuel type:
    coal = $0.44 per MWh
    wind = $23.37 per MWh
    http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/chap5.pdf

    > And you caught me, I’m hypocrite, but I’m not proud of it, I hope we can change things, that
    > will change not matter what. I also hope we are able chose the timing of the change, and it’s
    > not imposed on us because we failed to act. Now promise me that, when wind and solar
    > catch-up with oil and gas, you’ll turn off the light.
    My advice is to stop being ashamed because you have a carbon footprint. Every human does; it goes with the territory. If you can pick some low-hanging fruit to reduce it a bit, more power to you. Conservation is generally a good idea, if you don’t go to stupid or non-economical extremes.
    But on the other hand, don’t hold your breath waiting for solar and wind to catch up, because they probably never will. Are you reading some of the links here to windmill reliability, the maintenance issues, the way wind farms affect the power grid, the way we still have to have a complete fossil fuel based system online for the times the wind doesn’t blow, and how that “backup” system is compromised and made less efficient due to variability in the wind generators? Please do, and then you’ll start to commence to begin to understand why your side is losing this debate.
    Renewables will never be able to scale to the size of the problem, and simply calling for an end to the use of fossil fuels before an adequate replacement supply of electricity generating fuel is available, is (excuse the phrase) monumentally stupid.

    > poor lil’ Heartland institute, only wants to interfere with the teaching of science in schools.
    Heartland wants to end the brainwashing of children in school. So do I. Teaching about “climate change in K-12 is not the same thing as teaching science. It’s simply indoctrination about an eco/green policy agenda loosely related to some very suspect science.

    > You how kids are these days, always questioning grown-ups., we must not suffer that!
    So you support skepticism? Good for you. Now the children just need to be taught how science and the scientific method works. You know, falsification, testing, observing, openness, repeatablility, correlations not equalling causation, stuff like that.

  134. Justa Joe says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am
    DirkH I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?

    “Can you give us the breakdown of these costs?” [health/environmental costs of coal]
    I can list them but I’m not going to quantify.
    fine particulates, ground level ozone, SO, NOX, mercury, radiation
    no big secret
    ——————————————
    Does Korea have oil reserves that we’re protecting? Your fellow travelers when they’re not worrying about warming are usually complaining about The USA’s (pick a big number) military bases worldwide so we must have presence in about every region in the world. The mideast would be one of the most important even w/o oil.

    What is the so-called external cost of not having reliable electricity? It would basically be about the same as the GDP.

  135. klem says:

    “the Windmills installed in Washington state result in an increase in ‘hydro spillage’ due to lack of demand. ”

    That’s true, wind turbines produce uncontrolled power. Most people don’t realize that power is not stored, we use it the instant it is manufactured. So if its a warm night and most people are alseep, few people are buying power. The power produced by wind cannot be sold because consumers are not buying.

    If it can’t be sold or given to other power producers, I’m not sure what is done with it.

  136. A Lovell says:

    An interesting, very detailed, article about out of date wind farms. It says it is updated from 1997, but I can’t find when it was written. Even if it is that old, it still seems relevant.

    “New data from California indicates that it may be more expensive to remove wind turbines and restore their sites than previously thought.”

    http://www.wind-works.org/articles/Removal.html

  137. TG McCoy (Douglas DC) says:

    Klem- they feather the blades.and charge the power providers( consumers)….
    “Happness is a warm fast breeder.”

  138. Gordon Richmond says:

    Apologies if this has already been touched upon: “where 13,892 megawatts of planned wind projects — enough to power 3.3 million homes per year “.
    Uh, in a word, no. 13982 mW, might, if it were all available at once, might meet the demands of 3.3 milion homes at that same instance. But not per year. Watts are measure of power, not energy.

    Just another shining example of the scientific illiteracy of the lamestream media.

    And no jobs will be lost. No real ones. Some people, getting paychecks for useless, economically unjustifiable work, will cease to get paychecks, and go on unemployment instead. Same udder, different teat.

  139. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Ontario spend $30,000,000 last year paying the US to take its unwanted windpower when it came available.

    There are three new natural gas generating plants going up near here (Toronto-Windsor) to produce some grid stablility (they can be rapidly brought on and off line). The Mississauga NIMBY’s killed another one meaning we all will have to pay even more to dump power into the US grid so it does not mess up the almost 100% carbon-free power system Ontario already enjoys.

    The farmers get rich, the windmill companies get rich, China gets rich, the birds get killed and the general population pays for all of it – fixed income grannies choosing heat over food and the single income poor with 3 part-time jobs. And where is the Left? Bought off! By whom? It is an eco-tax to benefit narrow interests operating as a ‘trust’ in the way of the Robber Barons of old. It is a capitalist money-grab that would have made Edgar Harriman, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Warne Gates proud. It is not socialism, it is the picking of the public pocket – business in collusion with government – for the private benefit of those connected enough to influence the scripting of Law. Mussolini had another name for that…

  140. Bernie says:

    William Martin:
    It only took figuring out how many zeroes were in a TWh, i.e., 10^12. But remember my definition of utilization is how much of the face plate capacity is actually generated. The % of all electricity generated that comes from wind is another question entirely and it is decidely less than 20% – approximately 5%.

  141. JamesD says:

    To think, this scam was launched because fraudsters utilized upside Tiljander, stripped bark trees, and the lonely Yamal tree to claim we were headed for a catastrophe. And yet ocean data and “unadjusted” satellite data reveal we are in a cooling trend. Makes you want to cry when you consider all the kids who can’t find a job.

  142. LarryD says:

    By 2007, Federal Subsidies for renewables exceeded those for Coal, Natural Gas, and Oil combined.
    http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/execsum.pdf

    Spain lost 2.2 jobs for every job created in renewable energy
    http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment-public-aid-renewable.pdf

    Germany’s experience with Wind Power subsidies
    http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/germany/Germany_Study_-_FINAL.pdf

    Denmark
    http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf

    Does Wind Power actually reduce carbon emissions?
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/08/does-wind-power-reduce-carbon-emissions/

  143. u.k.(us) says:

    ferd berple says:
    February 17, 2012 at 7:44 am

    “It is called insider trading. Politicians have been doing it for years.”……
    ===============
    Not anymore, if you can believe this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/us/politics/house-passes-bill-banning-insider-trading-by-members-of-congress.html?pagewanted=all

    So, all this time, insider trading has been illegal unless one is a member of Congress ?
    WUWT

  144. DirkH says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    “DirkH I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?”

    This might help you:

    “Can you give us the breakdown of these costs?” [health/environmental costs of coal]”
    I can list them but I’m not going to quantify.
    fine particulates, ground level ozone, SO, NOX, mercury, radiation
    no big secret

    Too bad. When someone tells me XXX is so expensive that it’s uneconomical I expect him to have numbers to prove it. In other words, I was explicitly asking for THE COST. And, uh, radioactive? Your body is radioactive. My body is radioactive. The air we breath is radioactive. So, all of your list doesn’t make sense without numbers.

  145. More Soylent Green! says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Yes, completely legal. It’s another example of how Congress exempts itself from laws and regulations us common folk have to obey.

    BTW insider trading is still legal for Congress, their staff and families, as the bill hasn’t been passed into law. A better law would be to have them put their assets in blind trusts while in office or on the Congressional staff.

  146. GeoLurking says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

    “So, all this time, insider trading has been illegal unless one is a member of Congress ?
    WUWT”

    Yep, and they get an automatic pay increase unless they draft and pass legislation to specifically stop it.

    It’s the law. They wrote it.

  147. DJ says:

    Hmmmmm……did they project 37,000 jobs being CREATED with the subsidies when first proposed?

    My money says that the jobs “lost” exceeds the jobs actually created…..

  148. DirkH says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am
    [About efficiency increases in gas power plants by adding wind turbines]
    “Efficiency is measured by ratio of input costs to output energy.”

    Well, I am used to the definition of efficiency of combustion; i.e. what percentage of the fuel’s energy content is transformed into usable energy. What you mean is cost effectiveness, I would say.

    ” When the wind is blowing, fuel is not being burnt. There are added costs from wind such as starting and stopping gas power generation. There are added capital costs. The method is to predict wind output continually and balance that wind prediction against gas power output and expected demand. An additional saving by using wind is reduced exposure to gas price volatility. No use in a place with a low wind capacity factor or lacking matching peaking gas power gen. Works better in a place with demand power pricing.”

    Well well. Theoretically and given a high gas price, that’s possible, but again you don’t provide numbers, and you don’t provide real world examples of gas power plant operators who “increase their efficiency” by adding some non-subsidized wind turbines.

    And yes, I do know that, for instance, German energy giants RWE and Eon have some renewable energy thingies, but those are of course subsidized – I doubt they would have done it without subsidies.

    Examples and NUMBERS really would help your case.

  149. LearDog says:

    Idk – I’ve just had a look at the “United States Annual Average Wind Power” mapped published at http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap2/2-01m.html and see that Illinois is barely covered by Wind Power of Class 2 (of 7).

    I think that the only “powerful midwestern wind” in Illinois was that generated by the enormous sucking from the Illinois Tax Payer’s wallets…

    Market forces distorted to the max….

  150. higley7 says:

    As ancillary energy near the end user, wind or solar energy can simply allow the end user to draw less power from the grid. That’s a good thing as it saves the user money and lower the draw from the grid.

    But, as a major source on which the grid has to rely, it just plain sucks. Germany has been learning the hard way that using large amounts of wind power on the grid produces constantly changing loads and burns out the grid while being adjusted almost minute to minute. It is certainly more trouble than it’s worth. It is only the subsidies and the political will to promote this lousy form of energy that makes them exist at all. Wind power is so 1700s.

    What few know is that wind energy can only be transported effectively 50 miles. AND, the icing on the cake is that wind, even more than solar, is the least green energy on the planet. From the land use, the infrastructure, the materials and rare elements, the composites which cannot be recycled, to the maintenance (including regular blade washing and de-icing) and the intermittent energy production, wind power is worthless. I’m not even mentioning the effects on humans and animals living near wind turbines.

    There are currently 14,000 defunct wind turbines in the US. The habit when they stop working is to simply abandon them.

  151. Stephen Richards says:

    Power of the wind varies contiuously. It is never constant. You therefore have to have a back up system which can also switch on and off simultaneously. This is the smart grid where ‘alternative energy sources’ can be used to reduce fossil fuel energy sources by this ‘instant’ switching technique. Alternatively, we could stop funding all climate work and divert that money in the search for efficient storage systems and LTR power stations. Sadly the lunies are currently running the asylum so it won’t happen. Need to get rid of chief luny this autumn

  152. Don Quixote says:

    @Paulino

    It seems you’ve put some thought into the costs to the public from utility companies’ use of coal to generate electricity, however, have you considered that it’s the public that demands the electricity in the first place and therefore the rightful owner of those costs. Why aren’t car companies required to pay a tax proportional to the costs associated with car crashes?

    The benefits to the public of having electricity as cheaply as possible far out weigh the costs of coal usage.

  153. Mac the Knife says:

    Camasinian says:
    February 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm
    “So why are they shutting down? They can still take advantage of the powerful midwestern winds. Or, were they more interested in taking advantage of the taxpayer funded subsidies and tax breaks?”

    Perfect Shot! Hole In One!!!

  154. More Soylent Green! says:

    Where does the rare earth elements used in wind turbines come from? Which nation controls the majority of the world’s supply of rare earth elements, and how much of the market do they control?

    Unless we can find a better source of rare earth elements, wind and solar make us less energy secure, not more.

    If energy security and energy independence is important, we should be developing our domestic energy resources. We have an abundance of coal, natural gas and oil (especially when you consider non-conventional sources such as oil shale and tar sands), enough to power this country for centuries.

  155. TIM from NZ says:

    I feel such unease entering this debate as I am clearly dwarfed intellectually when it comes to physics and climate science. I have often switched from this site to Skeptical Science and back again in an attempt to track the debate (at least I accept there IS a debate still). More often than not the argument drifts into ad hom attack and pithy self congratulations on both sides.
    The two camps also appear to mirror political beliefs. No doubt the majority of ‘alarmists’ are lefties and the majority of ‘deniers’ are right wingers. So where does the science come in?
    We are told to accept the theory that human induced CO2 causes warming. Whether that’s ‘catastrophic’ or ‘insubstantial’ seems to currently occupy the main front of the war. The largest and most respected scientific communities, we are told, also support one side over the other, which leads to accusations of corruption and ulterior motive (this I simply can’t reconcile).
    We are also told that one camp is funded by vested interest (big oil) which works to confuse and confound the public while the other is supported by Governments and NGO’s who work transparently and responsibly based on scientific consensus (yes, I understand that science has nothing to do with consensus etc).
    My main problem is this;
    While all this debate is going on in the blogsphere…there are some serious actions being taken by Governments all around the world with extraordinary consequence (someone has to do some comprehensive studies as to what’s happening in Africa with their imposed aversion to industrializion). It would appear that one side has already won the war while a series of inconsequential battles still flare up in pockets (like climategate, Scientists switching sides ie Vahrenholt/Stopa, carbon exchange collapse, wind farm/solar plant failures etc).
    While I do all I can to keep up with the science and the debate….I am only one man. At some point I have to trust those who know more than me to ‘make the big decisions’ for me.
    One thing I do know; Without industrialising…Africa is screwed. Why does no one care about that? Did Bono ruin it for everyone?

  156. Bernie says:

    Tim:
    In general I tend to agree with your sentiments. However, I see an assymetry in how you present the two sides. You should try re-reading and then re-writing your statement so that any positive or negative attributes are mirrored by the other side. For example, it is true that fossil fuel producers have vested interests. But then so do NGO, academics and governments.
    I assume you recognize just how pro-environment many if not most skeptics are. Anthony Watts is a very good example of this.
    As to allowing others to “make the big decisions” for you – OK, if their interests are owned up to and you always have the option of auditing the basis for the decision by those who are also qualified, i.e., “trust but verify”.

  157. Thanks for the Debunking the Palestine Lie,DirkH (February 17, 2012 at 11:04 am). Saw that one a while ago. I know this isn’t a political blog, but I’ve often thought that the AGW scam would not have been possible without a number of “dry runs” involving information and causes that are patently absurd, unjust and false and yet with the help of governments, social movements, the arts and media cartels, become accepted as the gospel truth. The dry-runs, I think, include the ban on DDT, the “ozone hole” and “palestinianism,” which turned the Arab world’s attempts to annihilate the Jews and their history into a romantic risistance or liberation movement by a 1960s KGB-PLO co-creation, the “Palestinians.” Once we bought into these notions, whose fraudulent nature and sheer harm should have been obvious, we were clearly ready for the next big act, the transfer of billions to new technology cartels and Third World governments, and the destruction of West’s energy and industrial base. Funnily enough, our good old friend, the UN, has its paws in all of these shams. Speaking of cost analyses, someone needs to do one on the UN.

  158. Roger Knights says:

    polski says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:51 am
    Let’s say that the subsidies are removed. Let’s say that many wind farms go bankrupt. Now what should be done with all those wind turbines. Is there an opportunity for some bright, hard working, free enterprise individual to somehow make a viable business out of all this mess?
    What would a large amount of intermittent power be good for? Milling wheat, corn or soy? Water heating/treatment for local towns. Powering compressors to aerate lakes and sewage ponds? Running massive lights to annoy the neighbors?
    Since they are so big and heavy would they not be difficult to just scrap and recycle?

    How about powering those low-volume “nodding” oil pumps one sees here and there? A battery could store twenty (say) minutes worth of power to smooth out the ups and downs. Pumping would shut down when the battery was pooped.

  159. Roger Knights says:

    cwj says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:09 am
    Rocky Road above: “Before making rash statements like this, Paulino, would you please show some hard economic figures and/or citations supporting your position. ”

    Actually Rocky, I’m seeing lots of assertion and anecdotal information on this thread, and very little, (actually nothing) in the way of sound, fact based analysis or comment on this thread, which is disappointing and below the general standards of WUWT. That is, however, the way it is whenever there is an article on wind energy, ethanol, biodiesel, and solar. On these topics the anti renewable crowd is just as irrational and emotional as the pro.

    The details of the anti-renewable case have been posted on prior threads on this topic. (WUWT should set up a FAQ, with the assistance of volunteers, consisting of answers, culled from past threads, to 101 queries, such as “What’s wrong with wind power?”, etc.

    As far as all the comments about variability of power supply and on-going cost are concerned, the entities that install these generators are not unsophisticated. Their analysis does take into account the variability of power and the costs of long term maintenance and the effects on their electric grid. I’m sure they also take into account the subsidies available, mandates of government, and the potential lack thereof.

    Maybe the installers are sophisticated, but the activists and politicians who’ve pushed them through aren’t, and have fudged over the downsides, based on what I’ve read here.

  160. George E. Smith; says:

    US houses these days are typically built with a main breaker box that has two line phases giving nominally 220 Volts at 200 Amps each. That comes to 44 kW in my calculator. And it could be more than that if you wanted threephase power to run a swimming pool pump system.

    900 Watts won’t run my wife’s radiant heater, but it will run every light in the house ten times over.
    I all LED house.

  161. polski says:

    Ok, it’s snowing here finally and chicken is on for the Friday feast.
    No wonder so many are abandoned:
    “What kind of platform is a wind turbine set in?

    The steel tower is anchored in a platform of more than a thousand tons of concrete and steel rebar, 30 to 50 feet across and anywhere from 6 to 30 feet deep. Shafts are sometimes driven down farther to help anchor it. Mountain tops must be blasted to accommodate it. The platform is critical to stabilizing the immense weight of the turbine assembly.
    How much do wind turbines weigh?

    In the GE 1.5-megawatt model, the nacelle alone weighs more than 56 tons, the blade assembly weighs more than 36 tons, and the tower itself weighs about 71 tons — a total weight of 164 tons. The corresponding weights for the Vestas V90 are 75, 40, and 152, total 267 tons; and for the Gamesa G87 72, 42, and 220, total 334 tons. ”
    http://www.wind-watch.org/faq-size.php

    I think that they would make dandy shelters, condos, research stations, bird houses, cell towers storage bins and sky high restaurants. I think I would like to live 200-300 feet aloft saying hello to the passing raptors!

  162. Roger Knights says:

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am
    DirkH I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?

    The US gets little oil (20%?) from the Middle East. Most comes from Nigeria, Venezuela, Canada, and domestic wells. (And we don’t have oil-related military efforts in those places.)

    Our strategic interest in the Middle East is (supposedly, anyway) to promote democracy and deter ideological fanaticism (that was a powerful contributing factor to our involvement in WWI, WWII, and the cold war), to protect Israel, to quash Al Quada (which attacked us), and to deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to regimes headed by madmen.

  163. TIM from NZ said, “I feel such unease entering this debate as I am clearly dwarfed intellectually when it comes to physics and climate science” (February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm).

    Ha! You and me, bro! However, as you noticed, there are many paths to skepticism on this topic, not all of them reliying on the science behind the issues. In my case, I became repulsed by the propaganda in the early 2000s because the promotion, the arguments, stridency and mendacity reminded me so much of the shite we were spoonfed in once-commie Eastern Europe. Also, once I looked at the argument, I couldn’t understand how a warming trend could be bad. I’m a history buff and know that all warming trends in our past were closely followed by revolutionary cultural and civilizational changes. Agriculture, Greek civilization, Fertile Crescent booms, Rome, the Medieval agricultural and technological revolutions. Cold periods, on the other hand were followed by the “Four Horsemen;” war, pestillence, famine. Not to forget overall insanities like massacres, witch burnings, persecution of Jews and heretics and enslavement of entire nations and classes of people.

    Nor did I buy the huge stretch of credibility required where new and still immature computer models concocted by a small circle of technocrats supposedly predicted not only a warming far into the future, but that it would be disastrous for us…without so much as one good example or proof. And sure enough, “remedies” involving our impoverishment were instantly offered aggressively and with the power of the state and financial catels; another red flag there.

    For some of us it’s not the science, but the stink of corruption and the obvious lies that have raised our hackles.

  164. John F. Hultquist says:

    TIM from NZ says:
    February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    “Without industrialising…Africa is screwed. Why does no one care about that? Did Bono ruin it for everyone?

    I read your comment and wondered where you were going with it. I guess Bono (?) doesn’t like wind power and you think it would help industrialize Africa. (No, that is not what I thought but this is a posting about subsidizes for wind power in the USA.) I think I understand your concern, though. The fellow that has argued most persuasively in this arena is Bjørn Lomborg:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg
    Comments on his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, are easy to find. Also, WUWT had a post:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/30/disputing-the-skeptical-environmentalist/

    154 comments on the link above.

  165. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” DirkH says:

    February 17, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    “DirkH I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?”

    This might help you. “””””

    Well I looked at your movie clip. Well I looked at part of it. So maybe I missed the part where the grandfather of the present king of Jordan kicked a bunch of radical dissident Arabs that were a thorn in his side, across the Jordan river into Israel. Seems that made them instant Palestinians, since Israel is just a part of the ancient land of Palestine. Well the whole lot of them seemed to be just a bunch or warring nomadic tribes that created havoc wherever they went.
    And along comes “Lawrence of Arabia”, another community organiser who talked the Arabs into becoming a bunch of very big warring “tribes”, which they have pretty much been ever since.

    The Gaza strip is an insanity; like taking the land from San Diego to the Mexican border between highway five and the coast, and turning it over to the Soviets, or North Koreans.

    So there already is a dual state solution that has always been there; West of the Jordan river is Israel, and East of it is Jordan, unless they want to rename it back to Palestine, and recover all of their exiled citizens.

    It’s truly amazing how much the Gaza strip has blossomed under Palestinian rule since they kicked the Israelis out of there. Meanwhile, the Arabs in Israel, don’t seem to be having much of a problem; nor do the Christians.

    Seems to me there was this United Nations thing that set up rules to stop people going around grabbing other people’s territory.

    The Israelis should be complaining that Moses managed to find the only dry hole in the middle east; amazing what they have made of it.

    Wasn’t it the USA that conned Mosadeq into nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and then having him have an oops moment so the Shah could come in and turn it all into Aramco.

  166. Tucci78 says:

    At 3:00 AM on 17 February, John Marshall had written:

    Has the US Government finally cottoned on to the waste of money these things are. The report claims a near 14 Gw of planned installation. This is installed power not what they actually give which will be 20% of this.

    The officers of government operate on a vastly different quality of incentives than do people making decisions in the private sector. Politicians and government bureaucrats set a very low priority on considering the “waste of money these things [various wind power boondoggles] are” first and foremost because it’s not their money that’s being wasted.

    There’s something else going on here.

    Economist James Buchanan received the 1986 Nobel Prize in his field, chiefly for his work on public choice theory, Mr. Buchanan’s efforts having “…initiated research on how politicians’ self-interest and non-economic forces affect government economic policy.”

    More recent – and lucidly, angrily polemic – publications include Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out: How Politicians And Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Trading, Stock Tips, Land Deals and Cronyism That Would Send The Rest of Us to Prison (released 15 November 2011) in which he speaks authoritatively about what he calls “the permanent political class” and the phenomenon of “legal graft,” which Mr. Schweizer has assessed by examining open information sources on American politicians’ personal fiscal activities. He has commented:

    “When people think of politicians making money in Washington, they think of bribery and other illegal activities. That’s small potatoes. The real money is made by doing stuff that’s legal, including insider trading on the stock market and land deals.”

    An understanding of “legal graft” and its effects upon the thinking and actions of elected and appointed government officers should be nothing difficult for those of us on the skeptical side of the “man-made global climate change” kerfluffle. We need only refer to Joanne Nova’s seminal 2009 Climate Money monograph, in which she spoke of how:

    “The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.”

    …and:

    “Carbon trading worldwide reached $126 billion in 2008. Banks are calling for more carbon-trading. And experts are predicting the carbon market will reach $2 – $10 trillion making carbon the largest single commodity traded.”

    This was, of course, before Climategate and the subsequent tanking of the carbon credit market.

    Mr. Schweizer’s “permanent political class” has made out like bandits on the “legal graft” that’s been critical to the perpetration of the AGW fraud, not only because the “Liberal” fascisti among these thugs find it politically “sweet” (i.e., serving their “Watermelon” core constituencies’ insane interests) but also because all incumbent politicians see in the various “global climate change” subsidies and regulatory exactions incredibly lucrative opportunities to enrich themselves, their staffers, and their family members.

    To these politicians, the “waste of money” on these bird-bashing Teletubbies pinwheels of which John Marshall speaks is not a “waste” at all, but just another wonderful opportunity to enrich themselves.

  167. harrywr2 says:

    I don’t know why else the US spent trillions in the Gulf other than to secure oil supplies. What other strategic interest is in that region?</i?

    The WWII Soviet Strategic Supply lines ran thru North Africa then up thru the Gulf then North via Iran and Iraq. The British and Soviets jointly overthrew the Shah during WWII as the Shah had wanted to remain 'neutral'. WIthout supply lines thru Western Europe(which were blocked by the Germans) the Soviet Army was in danger of starving to death.

    Denying the Soviet Union access to 'warm water ports' was a simple way to keep them in check. Without warm water ports they would just starve to death in the Russia winter. If you control someones access to food…you control them.

  168. Roger Knights said, “WUWT should set up a FAQ, with the assistance of volunteers, consisting of answers, culled from past threads, to 101 queries, such as ‘What’s wrong with wind power?’, etc.”

    HEAR, HEAR!!!!!

  169. TIM from NZ says:

    @Bernie; ‘I assume you recognize just how pro-environment many if not most skeptics are.’

    Yes I do. I assume that most thinking people (from either side) want a clean environment. It baffles me that people would even accuse someone of being ‘anti-environment’. I guess it becomes a deluded moral high ground from which to argue.
    I recently blew my top at a woman who listed all the things she was doing to ‘reduce her carbon footprint’ as though she were Jesus reincarnate. The self righteousness alone set me off.
    No thought was given for those, even within her own community, who couldn’t afford to take such ‘liberties’. To her the idea of cutting back on the water for her manicured lawn was equal to cutting back on the water for the use of cooking and cleaning.
    It makes me sick with anger when the self indulgent guilt of the middle-class can be used to essentially punish the poorest and sickest.
    The problem is…I find it increasingly difficult to remain impartial to the discussion knowing that those who ‘support’ it tend to lean in the opposite direction to me (whether out of ignorance or obstinance).

  170. Rujholla says:

    I think what is needed for these companies to succeed on their own is an energy storage device capable of accumulating energy over a long period of time, storing and releasing it with little loss. I chuckle when I think of this being defined as a missing component back in the 70′s by sci fi author Robert Heinlein. Anyone else remember the Shipstone Corporation?

  171. RockyRoad says:

    Paulino says:
    February 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Rocky,
    “These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered “externalities.” We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually” Epstein et al. 2011
    http://solar.gwu.edu/index_files/Resources_files/epstein_full%20cost%20of%20coal.pdf

    And according to you, all the people that stopped using horses with the advent of motorized transportation are hypocrites.

    No, Paulino–and please quit putting words in my mouth. Your “And according to you, ….yada yada yada” is what you’d LIKE me to say; it isn’t what I said at all.

    But thanks for the link.

    I find it interesting that the authors of the above article thank Amy Larking of Greenpeace, along with James Hansen, Mark Jacobson, Jonathan Levy, John Evans, and Joel Schwartz, yet under their Conflicts of Interest section state “The authors declare no conflicts of interest”.

    You may believe what you may believe, but what I didn’t see in the study was what the power source would be used to replace coal, except “cleanly powered smart grids”. Just what are “cleanly powered smart grids” powered by? Here are the alternatives if you eliminate coal:

    Solar
    Nuclear
    Wind
    Geothermal
    Natural Gas/Petroleum.
    Hydro
    Exotic

    Solar would require an area the size of the state of Nevada or larger–a “dead upon arrival” solution (we wouldn’t be seeing multiple Solyndras bite the dust if this were a viable option already–sans the huge tax monies wasted/purloined).

    Nuclear finally got two new plants approved after 33 years! They won’t be on line for 4 more years (a 37 year gap since the last ones). No solution here.

    Wind is, in my estimation, never going to be sufficent because it is not “base load” (not reliable). It requires huge subsidies to compete at current rates.

    Geothermal has many environmental problems, but may be able to increase somewhat although will probably never be a major source of future energy.

    Natural Gas/Petroleum: Probably the only bright spot on the horizon although the current administration is not thrilled about the prospects of putting more CO2 in the atmosphere. The current administration is not carbon-fuel friendly at all unless it benefits them directly (Gulf of Mexico moratorium).

    Hydro: Most potential sites are already taken, with a small amount of upside available, and that’s about it.

    Exotic perhaps has the most potential and should be receiving significant attention, although there’s no government money going into any significant research on the one I favor most because it upsets the current energy paradigm: http://coldfusionnow.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/29-5-billion-requested-by-doe-0-for-cold-fusion/

    So using your analogy of the horse and buggy days, I don’t see any solutions besides coal for meeting our projected energy demands (increasing at 2.7% per year)–we’re heading in reverse if we can’t rely on coal (“Whoa, Nellie!”). Are there problems with coal? Sure there are. But tossing it out completely in favor of wind/solar (or whatever they’re asserting is powering “cleanly powered smart grids” in your referenced article) is irresponsible. The one solution I believe will actually do the job is receiving zero funding; in fact, the powers that be have been and are continuing to fight it with all their might (even though NASA recently applied for a patent on the concept, which I find rather strange and ironic, indeed).

    Now, where’d I put my buggy whip?

  172. 1DandyTroll says:

    “Roger Knights said, [...]‘What’s wrong with wind power?’[...]”

    The irony of wind power is that it wouldn’t exist without petrochemical toxins, not even suitable for boat building according to enviro-nutts, and being completely tax supported to boot.

  173. TIM from NZ says:

    John F. Hultquist says: ‘The fellow that has argued most persuasively in this arena is Bjørn Lomborg’

    Thanks John, I am familiar with Bjorn Lomborg and his views. It was his TED talk which started me thinking about this issue in context (ie that Maleria and AIDS etc are clearly more important and amendable).

    That being said, his argument is simply dismissed (I think because he is classed as an economist, not a climate scientist) as a kind of side show which distracts from the scientific debate. The ramifications of global warming are expected to impact these very same people (or rather the generations that follow) in a much greater way than any known disease, poverty or famine we currently witness on a daily basis.
    To that end the UN Security council was lobbied full and hard in July last year by the likes of Achim Steiner, a seemingly mild mannered and innocuous bureaucrat, to place ‘climate change’ on the Agenda toward the “Maintenance of international peace and security”
    I watched this man place before this council (these are the guys who allocate the big guns) the following;

    ’3-4 Celsius warming by end of century’
    ‘Arctic free of summer ice by 2030′
    ‘sea level rise by end of century of 1 metre’
    ‘worst case scenario is 4 degrees by 2060′
    ‘climate change we know it as fact’
    ’2010 – 42 million were displaced by natural disasters and 90% were from weather events’
    ‘food insecurity will become a phenomenon leading to social insecurity’
    ‘scientific confirmation increases by the day’
    ’65% of Africa will suffer yield crops this century’
    ‘tipping points; implications of 2-3-4 degree warming…ecosystems like in Amazon cease to function as they do today, Arctic melt and permafrost releasing carbon.’
    ‘feedback mechanisms;…hydrological cycles are being put into question’,
    ‘Glacier melt..as in the Himilayas, there is a significant reduction in the air covered by glaciers…determining water flow and sustainability.
    ‘implications…are of such a profound nature…’
    ‘CLIMATE CHANGE IS NO LONGER AN ACADEMIC DISCUSSION’

    http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/07/achim-steiner-unep-security-council-meeting-part-1.html

    With this kind of discussion at this kind of level….where is there any room for debate?
    Meanwhile…in the real world…people are dropping like flies.

  174. LazyTeenager says:

    Kev-in-UK says
    – but in the past, when an idea was promoted, it was carefully considered, tested, tried, refined, and tried again.
    ———
    Ah the conservative’s rose-colored glasses about the past. Actually it did not happen that way at all.

    The guys who put in place just about every modern convenience took huge risks and very often failed. Railways, cars, electricity, etc., you name it.

    They were also government subsidized in one way or another. Military spending is just one standout factor. Land grants are another.

  175. DirkH says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    “Wasn’t it the USA that conned Mosadeq into nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and then having him have an oops moment so the Shah could come in and turn it all into Aramco.”

    Mosadeq was chosen by the Shah and confirmed by the parliament. The Shah was the head of state all the time.

  176. Nerd says:

    [SNIP: Sorry, but this really is getting rather far afield from the thread topic and we REALLY don't want to encourage this topic. Sorry. -REP]

  177. Tucci78 says:

    At 2:49 PM on 17 February, Rujholla had contributed:

    I think what is needed for these companies to succeed on their own is an energy storage device capable of accumulating energy over a long period of time, storing and releasing it with little loss. I chuckle when I think of this being defined as a missing component back in the 70′s by sci fi author Robert Heinlein. Anyone else remember the Shipstone Corporation?

    Ah, someone else literate in what Heinlein had called “speculative fiction” (see his 1947 essay on the writing thereof).

    Has anybody yet considered that if surveys were conducted among both us AGW skeptics and the credulous and/or schemingly duplicitous warmistas as to such literacy in science fiction, we’d find that a preponderance of those critical of the crippled conjecture upon which the hideous “man-made global climate change” fraud is based will reliably prove to be SF readers, while the screeching catastrophists will overwhelmingly demonstrate that they’re a buncha friggin’ mundanes?

  178. DirkH says:

    TIM from NZ says:
    February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    “One thing I do know; Without industrialising…Africa is screwed. Why does no one care about that? Did Bono ruin it for everyone?”

    Don’t despair.
    http://www.gapminder.org

    Also, a thing that has been largely ignored by the media. Notorious Africa-helper Geldof about G.W.Bush:
    “”I read it has been incompetent – but not in Africa. It has created bitterness – but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.” ”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7831460.stm

  179. GeoLurking says:

    RockyRoad says:
    February 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    “…Nuclear finally got two new plants approved after 33 years! They won’t be on line for 4 more years (a 37 year gap since the last ones). No solution here.”

    Yeah, and the flipping nuisance garbage munchers are still trying to tie that one up.

    A dozen environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging federal licenses issued last week for the expansion of a nuclear power plant near Waynesboro, Ga…

    … In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the plaintiffs asked for an order requiring the NRC to prepare environmental studies outlining how the reactors’ design would protect from the kinds of earthquake and flooding damage that occurred at the Fukushima plant in Japan last year.

    I guess that they don’t realize that if there is a tsunami in that reaches to central Georgia… a nuclear power plant would be the least of our concerns.

  180. TIM from NZ says:
    February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    The two camps also appear to mirror political beliefs. No doubt the majority of ‘alarmists’ are lefties and the majority of ‘deniers’ are right wingers. So where does the science come in?

    I think you are correct about that, and the question is “why”.

    If you read the various groups posts objectively (hard for any person as we all have “personal filters”) you realize that the two groups have fundamentally different world views, and different models of logical evaluation of information.

    The pro CAGW group and liberals (U.S. version) tend to put much more weight on “feel good” issues and have much less precise and restrictive definitions regarding what constitutes “proof”. They accept arguments of authority without question (or nearly so) especially if they come from one of their Guru’s, putting a heavy weight on the source of the information rather than the credibility of the information itself. They seldom run logical reasonableness tests on “facts” and almost never do so from a “friendly source” and assume that just because a “fact” is published some where, it must be true.

    The majority of the skeptics (conservatives U.S. version) tend to acknowledge “feel good” issues but to not allow them near the weight that the liberal left does. As a group we tend to be better at compartmentalizing concepts and treating “feelings” and “facts” according to different rules.

    It would be “nice to feed the world”, but that does not mean it is a practical possibility in the real world, and they tend to evaluate the two issues independently, and weigh them separately. The skeptics also put much less weight on the source of the information unless they have (in their mind) a proven history or producing bad info. They also accept the premise that it is their duty to question even “trusted information” because they do not assume infalibility even of trusted sources.

    So skeptics do weigh the source, but tend to do that evaluation based on their assessment of the value of previous work not necessarily intangibles such as which group the individual works for.

    Liberals are also much more likely to allow beliefs in one area to taint credibility in others. For example for many the simple fact some one is religious arbritrarily taints all the views of that individual. They do not recognize that a person can be competent in one area and a moron in others. They tend to project their predujudices on others and because some people who are religious believe in “intellegent design” presume that all people who hold religious beliefs also have those views. They seem impervious to the fact that religious views cover a huge span of beliefs ranging from the extreme radical to very subtle “I think there might be a god” level of religiosity. They tend to assume much more black and white distinctions, and put people in cubby holes if you hold one belief they find unacceptable they assume all your beliefs are unacceptable. Likewise they put great value in titles. The fact someone has a Phd lends great weight to their views regardless of their demonstrated skill.

    Classic example is Judith Curry, in the beginning her postings were viewed with significant skepticism here, based on the standing record for other “warmers” but she has largely gained acceptance based on the content of her work, and now is well regarded by many even though they may disagree with some or her positions. The liberal left however has a much more extreme source bias, where the fact someone had a neighbor who worked for Shell oil or some other trivial connection to the “evil big oil” forever taints that person.

    This regardless of the fact that many of the biggest and wealthiest power players in the left have a long and very well known connection to “big oil” and make huge investments (and thus have huge incentives financial incentives) involving oil. The man on the street liberal accepts without much critical thought that a major liberal power player opposes some oil related project (keystone pipe line) for entirely benign reasons such as pollution potential and gives them a total pass on the fact they may be heavily invested in an oil venture (Soros Brazil) that might be competing to deliver oil to the same world market.

    Unless we recognize this different world view, communication is largely past each other rather that with each other.

    A sound scientific hypothisis or theory falsification is meaningless to someone who places little value on the source of that information or places a much higher value on the pronouncements of some authority figure in their own group that asserts a contrary opinion.

    Larry

  181. Nerd says:

    Larry, I agree. Good post.

  182. Mickey Reno says:

    I’ve long thought that IF we insist on using wind power, it’s energy should be captured in a way that does not depend directly on spinning blades to generate electricity but instead uses an indirect method which saves the energy and generates it’s electricity in a smooth manner from a hydroelectric system. If the terrain allowed, large, sealed reservoirs of some hopefully benign, liquid anti-freeze, could flow downhill into a gravity fed electrical generating station, then to a lower reservoir would catch the fluid, and all the wind rotors would have the sole function of pumping the fluid from the lower to upper reservoir. When electricity demand is low, the fluid can be shut off, and when needed, gates open, fluid flows, and the generators starts spinning. The generating equipment could start and stop quickly.

    This would mean no more generators up high on towers. Obviously, the kinetic energy of the spinning blade would have to be connected to a pump rather than to a generator. In this scheme, the electricity all comes from only one spot, making the transmission wiring much simpler. But then, on the downside, there is much more complex plumbling for fluid storage and management. But all the plumbing is at or below ground level, making it much easier to maintain. Since energy can be saved in this scheme, perhaps shorter towers or horizontal spinning blades would be adequate, and could help mitigate bird and bat losses.

    Has any wind farm ever tried such a design?

  183. Pumped storage is used around the world to smooth peak load in conventional power grids.

    The cabin creek project in Colorado is such a system where water is pumped up hill to a holding reservoir during periods of excess generation capacity and released to generate power during peak demand periods. Hydro pumped storage is right now the only cost effective electrical storage system with enough capacity to be useful.
    http://www.xcelenergy.com/About_Us/Our_Company/Power_Generation/Cabin_Creek_Generating_Station

    Larry

  184. TIM from NZ says:

    Re: Larry. ‘Unless we recognize this different world view, communication is largely past each other rather that with each other.’
    Agreed. And so the battle rages on with people becoming evermore polarized. As an example of this I saw a Bill Maher episode where he lambasts Republican candidate Rick Perry for denying Anthropogenic Global Warming by stating that ‘He also believes in Intelligent Design’ …then goes on to claim that MOST ‘deniers’ believe the world is 5000 years old. Enough said.
    In a world where the ‘shock jock’ (be that Bill Maher or Glenn Beck) influences public opinion so much…what role does ‘truth’ play? There is no room for dissent on either side. They simply form a block and shout each other down.
    Having said that, if anyone reading this blog truly believes in ‘intelligent design’ and attempts to argue it’s case…they will instantly lose credibility (in my eyes), which undermines my trust in their views across the board (whether I like it or not). It exposes a flaw (or bias) in critical thinking which diminishes their otherwise sound judgement in other things. It is incurably relevant.
    I saw a republican debate last year where they were asked ‘who believes in evolution?’ and only one of the 7 candidates raised their hand….I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. If a President believes that Armageddon is coming (and that Jesus would descend from the clouds)…why would he try to avoid it?
    This exposes my own prejudice of course, as it seems ludicrous to ‘deny’ the weight of evidence for evolution and believe in bronze age mythology. But the same argument is used by ‘alarmists’ as their evidence seems, to them, without question.
    In these sets of circumstance it seems today that you either believe every storm is evidence of ‘global warming’ or ‘god’s anger’. They are diametrically opposed. Unfortunately I, and many like me, feel lost in the noise between two radical world views.

  185. RockyRoad says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Kev-in-UK says
    – but in the past, when an idea was promoted, it was carefully considered, tested, tried, refined, and tried again.
    ———
    Ah the conservative’s rose-colored glasses about the past. Actually it did not happen that way at all.

    The guys who put in place just about every modern convenience took huge risks and very often failed. Railways, cars, electricity, etc., you name it.

    They were also government subsidized in one way or another. Military spending is just one standout factor. Land grants are another.

    I’m guessing you’re not an engineer, Lazy. Or a scientist. For all of the items you mention (railways, cars, electricity, etc.) started as an idea that was carefully considered, tested, tried, refined, and tried again and again before they “took huge risks and very often failed”. Those are the logical, procedural steps taken every time.

    If an item wasn’t “considered, tested, tried, refined, and tried again” first it won’t even make it to the next step. You make it sound like all that’s needed is to take huge risks and acquire government subsidies (cash or land) to achieve notable success but that’s a myopic (and lazy) view of the whole process–and this from someone who IS an engineer AND a scientist and has gone through the above-described process numerous times.

    But nice try denigrating conservatives as wearers of “rose-colored glasses”; it just isn’t true (which if you’d open your mind to find out what conservatives really are about you’d perhaps *gasp* realize you’re one too).

  186. Brian H says:

    LT? A confused closet conservative? Not a chance in Hades.

  187. Ed Mertin says:

    @ GeoLurking & RockyRoad,
    Nuclear powerplants are using up decommissioned nuclear bombs! The deal we had with Russia to supply our powerplants with decommissioned warheads uranium ends in 2013. Uranium mining and production cannot keep up with demand. Spaghetti O’s warhead reductions proposals maybe related to scarcity?

    With hundred(s) of planned nuclear reactors worldwide, some under construction, there might not be enough uranium mined to support them.

  188. des1 says:

    Well, this is going to screw me in my job. If there are government grants involved, then it’s a good thing to kill them. If it’s merely a tax break, then all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth is awfully Progressive of you guys. The Conservative position is that corporations shouldn’t be taxed in the first place. Giving a business a tax break in order to encourage hiring is hardly a Leftist ideal.

  189. RockyRoad says:

    des1 says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Well, this is going to screw me in my job. If there are government grants involved, then it’s a good thing to kill them. If it’s merely a tax break, then all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth is awfully Progressive of you guys. The Conservative position is that corporations shouldn’t be taxed in the first place. Giving a business a tax break in order to encourage hiring is hardly a Leftist ideal.

    True, but neither Left nor Right make good business decisions–any time the government gets involved in the economy they create a shortage in one sector and a surplus in another–and the taxpayer makes up the difference ($). (Reminds me of when the Soviet Union collapsed, gold production from the combined USSR fell by about a third practically overnight, ’cause when they put actual cost numbers to their production, they found that much of their gold was costing more to produce per ounce than the spot market. Oops. Theory was they were using gold production figures as a way to promote their ideology just like they used “non-professional athletes” in the Olympics.)

  190. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Ed Mertin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm
    “With hundred(s) of planned nuclear reactors worldwide, some under construction, there might not be enough uranium mined to support them.”

    So it should be…
    Time to turn to Thorium Technology.

    Scrap all Renewable subsidies [Sorry, David Cameron's Father in Law!] and regret the wasted monies that could have already had the UK’s massive Shale Gas reserves provide us with our own independent source of [not external and politically dangerous] energy.

    Frakking obvious I would have thought.

  191. GeoLurking says:

    Ed Mertin says:
    February 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    :… Uranium mining and production cannot keep up with demand.”

    Of course it cant… that is also by design.


    January 09, 2012
    Federal land around Grand Canyon off limits to new uranium mining

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that new uranium and other hard-rock mining won’t be allowed on about 1 million acres of federal land around the Grand Canyon for the next 20 years.

    The decision doesn’t ban previously approved mines or claims with valid existing rights. The Bureau of Land Management estimates that 11 uranium mines could still be developed because they have pre-existing rights. It says if the ban hadn’t been put in place there could have been 30 mines in the area over the next 20 years.

    http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/washington/2012/01/federal-land-around-grand-canyon-off-limits-to-new-uranium-mining.html

  192. DirkH says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm
    “Kev-in-UK says
    – but in the past, when an idea was promoted, it was carefully considered, tested, tried, refined, and tried again.
    ———
    Ah the conservative’s rose-colored glasses about the past. Actually it did not happen that way at all.

    The guys who put in place just about every modern convenience took huge risks and very often failed. Railways, cars, electricity, etc., you name it.

    They were also government subsidized in one way or another. Military spending is just one standout factor. Land grants are another. ”

    The only transcontinental railroad company that never declared bankruptcy was the Great Northern. It was also the only one that wasn’t subsidized.
    http://biggovernment.com/dweinberger/2011/12/16/from-time-to-trains-government-is-no-innovator/

  193. Tucci78 says:

    At 8:16 PM on 17 February, des1 had posted:

    Well, this is going to screw me in my job. If there are government grants involved, then it’s a good thing to kill them. If it’s merely a tax break, then all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth is awfully Progressive of you guys. The Conservative position is that corporations shouldn’t be taxed in the first place. Giving a business a tax break in order to encourage hiring is hardly a Leftist ideal.

    To the extent that there’s anything resembling a coherent political “Conservative position” on the subject of taxation of productive enterprise, that’s simply not true.

    With it understood that “…I Am Not a Conservative” but very much an adherent of the Austrian School of economics, let us discuss the concept of “malinvestment,” okay?

    Austrian School economists hold that: “…systemic malinvestments occur because of unnecessary and counterproductive intervention in the free market, distorting price signals and misleading investors and entrepeneurs.”

    The provision of something like “a tax break” afforded particular actors (or types of activity) in the power generation market while continuing heavily to tax other generators of electricity – by functioning to impose a heavy penalty upon those who do not get that that “tax break” – induces investment in those actors (and types of activity) which would not have otherwise have warranted monetary support in a free market.

    The free market, remember, is one in which economic activities do not sustain either the impairments or the advantages of government thugs intervening normatively to “pick winners and losers.”

    When it is understood that wind power has no real comparative advantage against other forms of electricity generation, the resources, funds, and human effort devoted to these bird-whacking pinwheels constitute a malinvestment. Thus whether “there are government grants…or “a tax break” “…involved, it’s a good thing to kill them” and thereby discontinue and liquidate the malinvestment.

    Whether one is politically “Conservative” or “awfully Progressive” (the latter being the weasel-word in current usage to evade the myriad negative connotations of “Liberal” and “socialist” and “fascist”), it should be acknowledged that any government policy or activity which serves to induce malinvestment is destructive of the economy, and reason more than sufficient sufficient for great numbers of the private citizenry:

    “…to load the pistols, hone the knives, and tie the hangman’s knots”
    H.L. Mencken, “Under the Elms” (1927)

    …in addressing the perpetrators thereof.

  194. Sabastian says:

    The Green in Green power is your money.

  195. Allan MacRae says:

    polski says:
    February 17, 2012 at 6:51 am
    Let’s say that the subsidies are removed. Let’s say that many wind farms go bankrupt. Now what should be done with all those wind turbines. Is there an opportunity for some bright, hard working, free enterprise individual to somehow make a viable business out of all this mess?

    What would a large amount of intermittent power be good for? Milling wheat, corn or soy? Water heating/treatment for local towns. Powering compressors to aerate lakes and sewage ponds?
    Since they are so big and heavy would they not be difficult to just scrap and recycle?

    _________________

    You are on the right track polski. We probably cannot afford to take down these worthless eyesores, although maintaining them may not be economic either.

    If we ever develop a “super-battery” , such as millions of electric cars plugged into the grid when parked, wind power may become more economic.

    Other possibilities, such as those you have mentioned, are to use wind power for applications where its intermittent nature is not such a detriment. Large heating systems using hot water could be one such application, perhaps coupled to large industrial users. However, waste heat from coal and natural-gas fired power stations would probably be less expensive.

  196. Allan MacRae says:

    Further to my immediately previous post, there is also the serious issue of bird and bat kill by wind farms.

    It’s seems obvious that wind farms in some areas, such as Altamont Pass in California, should be decommissioned – since the loss of significant numbers of endangered bird species cannot be allowed to continue.

    Perhaps the most economical approach would be to remove the large propellers, and leave the structures for large birds to nest in. Over the years, these aging towers would become encased in layers of guano, a fitting end for wind power, and a suitable monument to the discredited global warming movement.

  197. Alan Watt says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    900 Watts won’t run my wife’s radiant heater, but it will run every light in the house ten times over.
    I [own an] all LED house.

    900 Watts probably won’t power the idle standby draw for the whole-house UPS you’ll need to tide you over the dips and surges in the wind turbine output.

  198. Mervyn says:

    As a professional accountant, it never ceases to amaze me that governments still do not get it… that if it needs subsidising, it obviously is not viable, and artificially propping up an industry or a technology, or whatever, is not sustainable, and so when the plug is eventually ‘pulled’, nothing but chaos and misery eventuates.

    The sad thing is that politicians introduce their ludicrous policies because its ‘only tax payers money being wasted’… all that matters is that the politicians’ political goals are achieved… without a care in the world for the damage that their policies will most certainly cause, and worst of all, these politicians are never held accountable other than being voted out of office.

  199. Sabastian says:

    RE: Allan MacRae: If we ever develop a “super-battery”

    The “Super battery” like fusion is a fanciful illusion. Batteries have been around for 150 years. Plot watts per pound and watts per dollar, and you will discover that the rate of technical progress is very slow. Because of huge demand for mobile devices (not including autos), the rate of progress has moved up recently. But extrapolation of the plot shows it will be many decades before an electric car has the range and price point of a gas vehicle. Another show stopper is the many hours needed to recharge a vehicle. A much better bet is super capacitors which can be recharged in minutes, but this is still an infant technology. Super capacitors will have shortcomings too.

    The same can be said for fusion. When I was in school we were told that fusion would be viable within 50 years. 50 years later it is probably another 50 years before commercial viability. Maybe LENR will turn out to be real. I won’t bet on it.

  200. Ed Mertin says:

    Yeah, I think it’s really ignorant, build a hundred plus reactors without knowledge of even being able to effectively fuel them.
    We get an ethical and sensible candidate to lead the US who supports corporations, but not corporate welfare, and he gets lied about so he can thus be ignored. Andrew Napalitano referenced him to being the Thomas Jefferson of our time. He was soon shown the door.
    “Judge Napolitano. How to get fired from FOX in under 5 mins”

  201. klem says:

    “With hundred(s) of planned nuclear reactors worldwide, some under construction, there might not be enough uranium mined to support them.”

    There’s lots of uranium remaining in the ground don’t kid yourself. Deposits are just sitting there waiting for sufficient demand to justify mining them. And old used nuclear rods have the potential to be recycled and used again. Wouldn’t be too concerned about having enough uranium.

  202. DG says:

    right then.sounds like ye all don’t understand the waking reality you are in. well not all, just the primates with the red necks, you know who you are! Soon you’ll loose access to your foreign oil supplies. You’re dollars won’t be worth much then will they? Silly monkeys! You could have spent your fantasy greenbacks on some basic power infrastructure and kept the lights on, thats the main purpose of electricity. Of Course you could always nuke those cheeky countries who decide its pointless to keep you alive any more, you just use stuff up like mad, take their oil anyway and live greedily ever after. ‘declining energy supply’ is just leftist bullshit, or something. We just need to think positive have faith, all that zzzzz

  203. elizabeth (not the queen) says:

    So much for altruism and deep caring for the environment….

  204. The #1 reason for the United States’ economic problems right now is liberalism, which has been dramatically pushed forward by every president since Hoover with the partial exceptions of Eisenhower and Reagan.

    Also by every Congress since at least FDR, with the exception of some of the Senates in the pre-U.N. days.

    Fix the addiction to unrestrained liberalism at the federal level (which addiction is what leads the U.S. to adopt anti-U.S. policies) and the economic and energy problems just about handle themselves.

    Liberalism produces the obsession with debt (both private and government debt) as a tool for one’s improvement.

    Obsession with debt has led to the delusional beliefs that:

    - An asset is a liability.
    -A liability is an asset.
    - Production doesn’t matter.
    - Productivity doesn’t matter.
    - Deficits don’t matter.

    and finally, by extension, the ultimate in economic delusions:

    - Results, in general, don’t matter.

    All of this is the antithesis of conservatism. All of this represents steps on the path to collapse.

    And none of it has any direct relation with engineering, available energy reserves per capita, or foreign policy. All three of these things are, from a technical standpoint, subordinate to the issue I have referenced. That issue — liberalism as a state ideology — has been set as the given, the constant, the “immutable”, the “unquestionable”, and those other three are made variable but dependent on the needs that arise from the acceptance of the first.

    Conclusion: Talk of getting control of your energy or your engineering or your deficits is interesting. But first things first: you have to get control of your state, so that what has been made constant can once again be made variable, and thereby, the conditions that had been undesirably variable can be brought back within an acceptable range.

    RTF

  205. feet2thefire says:

    Taking one of the nicer drives of my life in May 2010, I was traveling the back roads from the Fox River valley, northwest of Chicago, heading toward Iowa, along the Illinois-Wisconsin sate line, as much as I could that line. It is one of the few areas of northern IL where there are hills. There are some wonderful vistas (by Illinois standards, anyway), both to the north and to the south – kind of like one stretch of the crest in the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt. Mitchell, NE of Asheville, though with less trees and more farms. As I climbed up a hill somewhere in the middle of nowhere, I saw UP, in between the beautiful trees, a monstrous white behemoth, slowly flashing an arm between the branches – WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP. And I hung my head in sadness.

    Since then, more and more, as I drive down through Illinois I cry, when I see the rape of the prairie, in fields of 100 or more of those big, frightening, horrendously ugly monstrosities. Yes, frightening. They scare me. They are like huge versions of those bobbing desk top toys from the 1970s, looking from the side as if they are bobbing up and down. They are like oil well pumps – only 50 times bigger. They make me think of the Martians in War of the Worlds. WHY any farmer would want those gigantic pieces of alien crap all around them – money be damned – I have no idea. Alien to rural America, I can assure you.

    I HATE the things, on esthetic grounds alone.

    The sooner they are gone, the better. Literally, as I do drive in the flat featureless plains of central Illinois (particularly around Emington, where I used to live), I have asked myself, “Is THIS going to be what the state is going to look like forever, now? Please no!” It has little to recommend it, those horizons that are at eye level in all directions (like the steppes), but THIS is about the only thing that could make those horizons less appealing. Armies of giants? We want armies of giants in our state? Would we like it less or more if they were all giant gantries for loading ships – and in all directions? How TERRIBLE of a rural environment is that?

    So, the sooner the gargantuan puppets die, the sooner I, for one, will believe the world can come back down from Brobdingnagian scale, back down to human scale.

    Kill them all. Win the war for humans.

    Steve Garcia

  206. David says:

    Robin Edwards says:
    February 17, 2012 at 3:22 am
    Does Julie Wernau understand what she is writing about, I wonder?

    3.3million homes **per year**. What is this supposed to mean? You power 3.3m homes or you don’t. The “per year” statement is nonsense, and it is a nonsense that is repeated time and again by reporters in this field.
    ————————–
    Well Robin, actually they were being honest for once. In a one year time frame three million homes would, at some point in the year, recieve some power from wind to their home.

  207. David says:

    DG says:
    February 18, 2012 at 11:10 am
    right then.sounds like ye all don’t understand the waking reality you are in. well not all, just the primates with the red necks, you know who you are! Soon you’ll loose access to your foreign oil supplies.
    =============================
    DG, look up prejudice and ignorance, then face the mirror. The energy crisis is manufactured politicaly. The WORLD has adequet energy, fossile fuel and otherwise, for many many thousands of years.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/
    ====================================

  208. Roguewave says:

    The perfect headline for the article, “Congress Breaks Wind; Wind Industry Faints”

  209. Ed Mertin says:

    Klem, I wish I had a warehouse of uranium. Investing in scarcities has been profitable, but I will keep what you say in mind and research it more. Here they talk about the numbers on uranium demand. Have found them other places also.

    http://web.streetauthority.com/m/srw/SRW05/srw-sample.asp?TC=SRW692&utm_source=NL-TOW&utm_medium=EMAIL&U=1867854&utm_campaign=TOW_This_Rare_Precious_Metal__Could_Easily_G

  210. Allan MacRae says:

    Sabastian says: February 18, 2012 at 7:14 am
    RE: Allan MacRae: If we ever develop a “super-battery”

    The “Super battery” like fusion is a fanciful illusion. Batteries have been around for 150 years. Plot watts per pound and watts per dollar, and you will discover that the rate of technical progress is very slow. Because of huge demand for mobile devices (not including autos), the rate of progress has moved up recently. But extrapolation of the plot shows it will be many decades before an electric car has the range and price point of a gas vehicle.
    ___________

    Sebastian, your comment seems inappropriate in tone and context, as if I were a big fan of wind power (I’m not) and had great hopes for a “super-battery” (I don’t).

    Furthermore, you say: “But extrapolation of the plot shows it will be many decades before an electric car has the range and price point of a gas vehicle.”

    Electric cars are now appearing in the marketplace, and they may succeed or fail, but there is no need for them to have the same range as a gas vehicle – most people seldom use the full range of their gasoline vehicles, instead using their cars almost exclusively for short daily commutes to and from work.

    The key to using all these electric cars in a ‘super-battery” is that this application is essentially free (secondary use of the resource), which means that your economic argument about the high cost of batteries does not have much traction.

    I still see great practical obstacles for the “super-battery” concept, and I use the term broadly, to include batteries, capacitors, recycled hydroelectric power, or whatever, and I doubt that a super-battery will become a practical reality in the next twenty years.

    In conclusion:

    Wind power is still an energy dog. I wrote this conclusion, with confidence, in newspaper articles in 2002 and 2003. A decade later, this energy dog still has fleas. Even if we overcome the fatal flaws of wind power’s highly intermittent power generation profile through the use of a “super-battery”, there is still the serious problem of bird and bat kill.

    Grid-connected wind power is uneconomic and anti-environmental.

    Let me repeat yet again, for those who missed it:

    “Wind power – it doesn’t just blow – it sucks!”

  211. DirkH says:

    After the people who asserted that coal would be uneconomic if not subsidifzed failed to produce any number or links, I accidentally found this article which might be the source for their assertions:

    http://grist.org/coal/2011-09-30-coal-is-enemy-of-human-race-mainstream-economics-edition/

    Quite an interesting article. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ask the question how our civilization can exist in the first place when its primary power source destroys wealth instead of creating it. Had the author asked himself that, well, he probably wouldn’t work for grist.

  212. In this “feel-good” world that bellies-up to beliefs and eschews engineering reality, the concept of Energy Returned On Energy Invested must be rejected or at least appear hostile.

    The abandonment of tax credits and the total collapse of this sham, leaf-raking, unsustainable, alternative energy industry can not come soon enough.

    Who would burn more than three barrels of oil to find one barrel? This is the legacy of wind power.

  213. DirkH,
    That conclusion sounds counterintuitive.

    A Harvard study of the negative externalities of coal is here:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05890.x/full

    Generating electricity from coal results in people suffering ill health and dying. The owner of the coal generator does not compensate the families for these deaths, instead, he can externalise these costs so that they do not affect his bottom line. This is a subsidy. You can argue about the amount. What is a human life worth etc but this is a different question.

    My point is that coal is subsidised.

  214. Mickey Reno says:

    > ArnoldRing said two things. “My point is that coal is subsidised.”
    Give yourself a cookie. From the DOE’s own analysis, coal is subsidised at a rate of $0.44 per MWh. Wind and solar are in the $24.00 per MWh. These subsidies include black lung health benefits, but not the costs of operating OSHA or other safety enforcement agencies.

    > and he said: Generating electricity from coal results in people suffering
    > ill health and dying. The owner of the coal generator does not compensate
    > the families for these deaths, instead, he can externalise these costs so
    > that they do not affect his bottom line. This is a subsidy. You can argue
    > about the amount. What is a human life worth etc but this is a different
    > question.

    You progressive utopian occupiers just drive me crazy when you make your one-sided emotional analyses. There are deaths in the renewable energy industry too, probably more than you’re aware of. And the numbers are growing as the number of wind farms increases. This is from a 2010 analysis done by the Heritage Foundation:

    “On a million-megawatt-hour basis, the wind-energy industry has averaged 0.0220 deaths compared with 0.0147 for coal over the years 2003-2008. Even adding coal’s share of fatalities in the power-generation industry, which brings the rate up to 0.0164, still leaves wind power with a 34 percent higher mortality rate. For the record, the workplace fatality rate for wind also exceeds that for oil and gas on an equivalent-energy basis.”

    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/06/26/wind-power-is-more-dangerous-than-coal-or-oil/

    One might argue with Heritage’s final numbers or their methods, but CLEARLY you will have a large number of offsetting deaths in the “renewable” electricity generating industry, if not even higher fatality figures, if renewables were ever to scale to provide the same quantities of electricity as does coal. Of course, I don’t think it is capable of scaling, so maybe we’re just arguing about nothing.

    Would you now like to talk about nuclear energy electrical generation risks?

  215. Sabastian says:

    Re: “and had great hopes for a “super-battery” (I don’t).”
    I miss read your comment. I thought you endorsed hunting for a unicorn.

    RE: “Wind power – it doesn’t just blow – it sucks!”
    We wholeheartedly agree. Isn’t interesting that greens only endorse technologies that are wildly uneconomic (solar) or don’t work (fusion) or won’t scale (hydro and geo-thermal).

    A few years ago the Greens said natural gas could be the transition fuel to a green economy. The said it before the effects of horizontal drilling and fracking were know to them. Natural gas is not the transition to the future; it is the future.

  216. Allan MacRae says:

    Thanks for the clarification Sabastian.

    Grid-connected solar power much more expensive that wind power, and suffers similar if somewhat lesser problems of intermittency. Still, I have some hope for solar power in the long term, because of the rapid pace of progress in the electronic industry – we’ll see …

    In the interim, for all you uber-subsidized solar power enthusiasts (not you Sabastian), a catchy slogan:

    “Solar power – stick it where the Sun don’t shine!”

  217. M. Simon says:

    From:

    http://climatephysics.org/2011/06/15/montana-supreme-court-rejects-the-global-warming-petition-by-our-childrens-trust/

    CPI used 2 key scientific exhibits in its Motion to Intervene: A 321-page “Climate Depot Special Report” compiled by Marc Morano and The Heartland Institute’s “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” edited by S. Fred Singer.

    Maybe that explains the recent “attack” on Heartland.

    Thanks to NorfolkAlan above for the heads up.

  218. lsarc says:

    @Espen said:
    February 17, 2012 at 2:55 am

    “AFAIK it went much better than expected in Germany – in fact, and somewhat surprisingly, France, with all its nuclear plants, was buying electric power from Germany. Apparently, Germany had very sunny weather during the cold (and partly also windy weather), so solar power (and partly wind) was a significant contributor.”

    Espen, you should check your facts before posting.  In actual fact, though Germany has in fact been exporting electricity to France, it is not electricity from renewables, it is electricity from coal fired generators and even an old oil-fired generator.  The Germans have had to start up these coal and oil fired generators not because renewables don’t produce electricity, but because of their they produce it unpredictably and unreliably and thus require constant back up from reliable generation such coal, gas and nuclear.

    The greater the percentage of renewables on a grid the less reliable the grid and incidentally the higher the co2 emissions, both total and /kWh – if anyone really thinks that CO2 is a problem they should consider this fact.

    “Solar energy has gone from being the great white hope, to an impediment, to a reliable energy supply.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,809439,00.html

    http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Germany_forced_to_tap_into_electricity_reserves_999.html

    Germany has been exporting not only to France, but also to any country they can pay to take the excess power they are producing when their renewables do generate.  The difference, given the present cold weather, is that other countries can actually use the electricity at present given the huge demand for electric heating.  But earlier this year that wasn’t the case when Poland was talking of blocking German exports of electricity

    http://www.lsarc.ca/lsarcaa1.htm#Poland_blocks_imports_of_German_wind_and_solar_energy

    Just as with AGW we see the promoters of renewables telling half-truths, cherry picking facts, or taking them out of context, in their propaganda as they try to convince us that inordinately expensive, unproductive, unpredictable and unreliable industrial scale renewable technologies must continue to receive subsidies in order to save the planet.

    The only thing green about these technologies is the money they transfer from ratepayers and taxpayers into the pockets of investment bankers and corporations.

  219. Mike P says:

    I would venture to say most of the people that are happy about another 37,000 jobs and that is not counting the truck drivers/shipping company jobs, are the same ignorant people who want EPA to shut down power plants cause they pollute the air, they enjoy the benefits of electricity and complain about the companies that provide it, then complain about high energy bills. Tax credits and govt funding for companies that actually create jobs and improve our way of life is waste but billions to bail out crooked bankers and mortgage companies is OK. The wind turbines are manufactured, shipped, built, and operated by Americans, so you people are rejoicing in thousands of american jobs being terminated in a troubled economy. Congrats!

  220. Tucci78 says:

    Succumbing to the broken window fallacy, Mike P vomits up:

    The wind turbines are manufactured, shipped, built, and operated by Americans, so you people are rejoicing in thousands of american jobs being terminated in a troubled economy. Congrats!

    To this truly crappy and idiotic misapprehension of the laws of economics (which, like the laws of physics, work even if you don’t want them to) there have been made on this thread many responses already.

    The “thousands of american jobs” entangled in the manufacture, installation, and upkeep of these bat-swatting Teletubbies pinwheels don’t produce enough return on the expenditure of materials and effort to become intrinsically viable. This is why government thuggery must be exerted to bring them into existence, and the moment political conditions change so that no such goon-squad extortionate misappropriation of resources takes place, the efforts to create and run such wind turbines come spectacularly to naught, leaving behind the residua of unemployment and thousands of gaunt gaudy nonfunctional structures with less economic value than those big ugly statues all to hellangone over Easter Island.

    In Austrian School economics, the wind turbine boondoggle extolled by Mike P is known as a malinvestment, formally defined as:

    An investment in wrong lines which leads to capital losses. Malinvestment results from the inability of investors to foresee correctly, at the time of investment, either (1) the future pattern of consumer demand, or (2) the future availability of more efficient means for satisfying a correctly foreseen consumer demand. Example of (1): An investment of available savings in a manner that cannot produce as much consumer satisfaction as the same funds could produce if invested differently. Example of (2): An investment which, before the end of its expected useful life, becomes obsolete due to the unforeseen development of more efficient means for satisfying the same consumer demand. Malinvestment is always the result of the inability of human beings to foresee future conditions correctly. However, such human errors and the resulting malinvestments are most frequently compounded by the illusions created by undetected inflation (q.v.) or credit expansion (q.v.). From the viewpoint of attaining maximum potential consumer satisfaction, every political intervention, other than that needed for the preservation of the market society, must lead to malinvestment.

    This formal academic consideration of malinvestment, of course, politely fails to address the consideration of political corruption as it has manifested in the government subsidization of the wind turbine industry, which would never have engaged any genuine economic interest whatsoever absent political chicanery and the arrant stupidity of people like M<ike P and other flaming Watermelons.

    So we should all rejoice that jobs and other economic resources idiotically – even criminally – devoted to a purpose that was impracticable from before the first day it was ever considered are now no longer pushing along a path that could achieve nothing but absolutely useless waste.

  221. Jeff says:

    Too bad all these “supposed jobs” will be lost, but hey, if the business, whether it’s farmers, wind or what have you, it needs to make it on their own w/o gov’t money.

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