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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GeoLurking

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.’

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?

Andrew

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

Camasinian

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?

bazza norwood

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

Alan the Brit

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

Bruce

“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.

Royaul43

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

Sandy

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.

Phillip Bratby

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.

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.”

eyesonu

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

Kurt in Switzerland

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

captainfish

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.

Willis Eschenbach

Excellent news.
w.

redc1c4

“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.

Gary

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 ?

Kev-in-UK

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…..?

LamontT

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.

Man Bearpigg

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

Silver Ralph

>>> “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.
.

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.

Well, they really seem to have had the wind taken out of their sails 🙂

nc

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.

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.

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

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”.

Maxbert

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

Richard deSousa

“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!

Susan P

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!

Keith Battye

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

John Wootton

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.

Gary Hladik

Anyone else smell another bailout coming?

Scottish Sceptic

…. 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

Bruce of Newcastle

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.

Roger Carr

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

Jakehig

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!

bill

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.

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

Kasuha

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

Charles.U.Farley

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

Dave R

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

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!

pat

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/

Robin Hewitt

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.

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

DEEBEE

WHIRRR WHIRRR WHISH THUNK
BOO HOO HOO

Espen

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.

Dr. John M. Ware

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.

John Marshall

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.

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.